Week of December 14:

A joyful Gaudete Sunday to all of you! We have one week left before Christmas break, and we intend to use it😁. Students will be working on new skills, practicing old ones, and, wherever possible, having some holiday fun. If you need a reminder of the spirit days this week, check out the News, Events, and Expectations section for details.

This is also the third week of Advent, so we want to take a moment to remind you of the school Advent project – sponsoring nine children around the world through the Unbound program! If you haven’t already read about, prayed for, and or donated to the project, please check out the information below:

St. John School Advent Project: Unbound

This Advent, St. John School continues to collect donations for the charity Unbound. St. John School’s monthly contribution goes toward basic needs such as nutrition, healthcare and an education for our sponsor students. Meet our Unbound friends: https://youtu.be/bLYCReYTZHc


Ways to donate:

  • Bring a donation to class (PK-2)
  • Drop off your donation when picking up hot lunch
  • Give online:  https://st-johnschool.org/unbound/ (this is a new, dedicated as of last week – please let me know if you have any questions!)

Please review the Curriculum Preview to get an idea of what’s happening in classes this week, and reach out if you have any questions.

News, Events, and Expectations:


  • Monday, December 14 – Holiday Headwear Day
    • Wear fun and festive holiday hats, like antlers headbands, elf ears or Santa hats.
  • Tuesday, December 15 – Winter Sports Fan Day
    • Calling all fans of winter sports – hockey, skiing, ice skating, speed skating, snowboarding, ice stocking, luge, skeleton, bobsled, curling, ice fishing, Nordic combined and more.
    • Dress up in your favorite winter sport gear or our school colors of purple and gold – break out your St. John jerseys.
  • Wednesday, December 16  Cozy Day
  • It’s getting cold!  Time to put on your fuzzy slippers, wearable blankets and scarves.
  • Thursday, December 17 – Ugly Sweater Day
  • Sparkly tinsel? Multicolored ribbons? Christmas cats eating pizza? Are they on a sweater? Wear it proudly.
  • Friday, December 18 – Festive Friday
  • Go all out!  Dress and decorate yourself in Christmas Cheer!


 Tips, Tricks, and Tools:

  • Take Time for You

    • The tip this week is simple – if you can, take some time for yourself this break to recharge your own batteries. This is a trying year for everyone, and you have a lot of demands on your time. Given the marathon nature of this pandemic, and the fact that you have at least one middle schooler living with you, self-care is incredibly important. 
    • If you haven’t already, please take some time for yourself this holiday season and do whatever brings you a little bit of peace and joy!


Curriculum Preview:

  • Science
    • In science this week, 7th graders will continue to learn about historical models of the solar system, and begin work on the mechanics of Earth’s orbit around the sun. There will be a short checkpoint quiz on Thursday instead of Friday this week. In addition, students are strongly encouraged to continue working on their research papers, which are due on January 12.
  • Social Studies
    • This week in 7th grade Social Studies students will wrap up their study of ancient cultures of Asia by learning about the great Mughal Empire in India. They will explore both the Muslim and Mongol invasions of India, and then the rise of fall of the Mughal Empire.
  • Language Arts
    • One-on-one book talk meetings with me continue this week. I look forward to meeting with students and helping them grow! In addition, we will continue our discussions about the importance of seeking and using credible sources, and hopefully get some time to practice.
    • Students have a quiz on their Greek root (biblos – book) on Wednesday, December 16th. They should review their vocabulary 5-10 minutes a day.
  • Math
    • This week we will be creating a Holiday Cookie Shop! Students will be able to put their fraction, decimal and equation writing/solving skills to work through this yummy, real world scenario!
    • Students do NOT have to actually bake cookies – but if you want to, the recipe sheet is attached!
  • Community / Religion
    • In community-7th graders will complete their “Freedom Song” projects this Tuesday.  On Thursday we will ring in the Christmas holidays with a round of Christmas Jeopardy.

As always, please reach out if you have any questions, and have a week and break that is full of light, joy, rest, wonder, relaxation, laughter and so much more!

Week of December 7:

Happy second week of Advent! This is the week of peace and faith, both qualities we can all appreciate and get behind. Speaking of Advent (what a peaceful transition 😉), our schoolwide Advent project is focused on the children we sponsor through Unbound. Please review the two items below to find out more:


St. John School Advent Project: Unbound


In 2019, St. John School made a commitment to sponsor 10 children through the organization, Unbound. Our monthly contribution goes toward basic needs such as nutrition, healthcare and an education. Meet our Unbound friends: https://youtu.be/bLYCReYTZHc

This Advent, please consider making a donation toward Unbound.

St. John School Elf College

Join St. John School’s Elf-in-Training Program today! The “course-load” includes four kindness activities and a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) challenge. Upon completion, students will graduate Elf College earning a special graduation gift!

Cost: $15 (all proceeds go toward Unbound)

Sign up here: https://st-johnschool.org/elf-college-enrollment-form/?mc_cid=9c3a8d85c0&mc_eid=295a1fc65f


So, this week’s message is all about Unbound! Learn about our sponsored student, Naydelin, from your 7th graders. Help them find meaningful ways to contribute to our sponsorship of Naydelin – maybe one of their gifts can be a donation to Naydelin, or they can earn extra money by doing challenging chores at home, or a family prayer time can be devoted to Naydelin and her family. Whatever you do, know that your support is deeply appreciated!

News, Events, and Expectations:

  • Tuesday, December 8th, 2020 – Mass of the Immaculate Conception
  • Tuesday and Thursday, December 8th and 10th – opportunities to drop off money for Unbound!
    • If you’re coming by to pick up hot lunch, you can also drop off money for Unbound. Look for the festively dressed teacher/administrator🎄

 Tips, Tricks, and Tools:

  • Mental Health Matters!

    • This year has been challenging and while we are entering a fun and festive season, many people, children included, struggle with greater mental health issues. 
    • Please review the December newsletter from Ms. Shaw, our school counselor, for valuable information and support. The pdf of the newsletter is attached to this message.


Curriculum Preview:

  • Science
    • In science this week, students continue to learn about the conservation of momentum. Some students are having a very difficult time with this topic; if your child in one of them, please encourage them to contact Mr. Tice. There will be a checkpoint quiz on momentum on Friday.
  • Social Studies
    • In 7th Grade Social Studies this week we will continue with our study of ancient civilizations of Asia. This week we’ll investigate feudalism in Japan. Students will learn about the samurai and the rules for warriors, bushido. They will also Kublai Khan’s failed invasions of Japan and the period of isolation under the Tokugawas.
  • Language Arts
    • We had a great discussion in one of the classes last week about how to learn from mistakes and set ourselves up for success, particularly with book talks. This week will be a mix of independent work for their expository writing on the school theme and one-on-one meetings with me to go over their T1 book talks. I look forward to meeting with students and helping them grow!
    • Students have a quiz on their Greek root (philia – love, friendship) on Wednesday, December 9th. They should review their vocabulary 5-10 minutes a day.
  • Math
    • Regular –

      The Ch. 3 test (Simplifying Expressions and Solving 2-step Equations) will be this Thursday, December 10th.

      Last week the class made a review booklet and was given the practice test (due today). On Friday, students with questions came to Math office hours and I worked individually with students on their questions. Please encourage your child to ask questions in class – it helps everyone!

      This week we will continue to prepare for the test and look at examples of how to organize your math work in order for another mathematician to read it.

    • Zero Period –
      The zero period students continue to learn about writing and graphing linear equations. In our work at the beginning of the week, students will practice drawing equations on the same coordinate plane. This will create a unique picture that will by colored to create the look of stained glass.
  • Community / Religion
    • This last week the students observed how important music and songs were during the Civil Rights Movement.  This week they will be learning more about how the SNCC utilized these Freedom Songs/Chants for encouragement, solidarity, and hope- and will be writing their own freedom chants to the tune of well-known nursery rhymes.

As always, please reach out if you have any questions, and have a faith and peace-filled week!