8th Grade Homeroom Classroom Expectations
Mr. Zachary Loverro
Eighth Grade 2021 – 2022
Welcome to Eighth Grade
These past two years have been quite the adventure but finally we are heading back towards normal. While there are special challenges this year, I am very excited to share this upcoming year and challenges with the 8th grade students and families. This year is a special time for your families and marks the end of a key educational experience. For Assumption School, your 8th grader is the pinnacle of what it means to experience Assumption School and enter into the world as active Christians, lifelong learners, effective communicators, and socially responsible citizens.
Discipline: Assumption School will continue to implement a discipline curriculum.
The teachers and students will work on a social-emotional curriculum together. This program seeks to establish strong and meaningful connections between students, families and school staff. It views mistakes as opportunities to learn and misbehaviors as opportunities to practice critical life skills. In the beginning of the year, the 8th Graders will work collaboratively to create their own classroom guidelines. These will be shared with parents/families once they have been created.
Attendance will be taken each day in the morning at the beginning of homeroom. Those in quarantine will be considered as present as long as they remain responsive, complete assignments, and attend all check-in appointments set.
Religion: Mr. Zachary Loverro
Text: Sadlier, Church History
Subject Matter: Students will continue to grow in the understanding of their faith through studying models of prayer, scripture study, and faith retreats. Content emphasis will be placed on Church history: A.D. 100 to Church today, including the importance of the Gospel of Matthew as a foundational book of scripture to the Church, the Catholic Social Teachings, and living a moral and faith-based life.
Service learning is an important part of the 8th grade year with students expected to create service learning projects with their families and community as well as participate in service learning within the classroom.
8th grade is about faith-based servant leadership. 8th grade students will learn effective leadership skills as they take the lead in whole-school activities throughout the year, including liturgies and prayer services as well as "faith families" (K-7 grade students in small groups).
Expectations: Students should have their textbooks and bible accessible in class. Students will keep a folder for any papers in class but most work will be done through Google classroom. Chromebooks should be charged and ready to use each morning. Work should be turned in on time and any extensions must be communicated before the due date.
Grading: Students will be assessed using Google Classroom and other forms of technology and traditional methods. Students will receive feedback and grades online (primarily through Google Classroom and PowerSchool), in addition to the traditional manner.
Literature: Mr. Vince Silvestri [email protected]
Text: MacDougall-Littell, The Language of Literature, Warriners, Vocabulary Workshop, selected novels), poems, and short stories.
Expectations: All students are expected to read for at least 30 minutes every evening, from either their independent reading book or book group book. Nothing is as important for their development as a reader as regular, sustained time with books. Research shows us that the highest achieving students are those who consistently devote leisure time to reading. There really is no better habit to lay down. Please sit down with your child and discuss the best time and space for this reading to happen. And please do not consider your children ever too old to be read to. Enjoying a story together is a wonderful way to bring literature to life, and into your lives.
Subject Matter: Students will study novels, short stories, plays and poems. They shall be challenged to think critically about the text, analyze for themes and purpose, and identify literary techniques including alliteration, personification, rhyme, idioms, analogies, metaphors and similes. They will learn the strategies that make for successful and fluent readers and writers and how to select appropriate books. Students should expect to write a lot, and will get regular feedback in order to communicate more powerfully. Students must have a free reading book on them at all times.
Grading: Grades will be based on tests, quizzes, classroom activities (participation), writing assignments, book reports, projects, and homework assignments.
English: Mr. Vince Silvestri [email protected]
Text: Writing Pathways, Lucy Calkins, First Hand Heinemann
Expectations: Students are required to bring a journal to class, in which they will write reflections, take notes, record their ideas, work on their writing assignments and complete homework. Journals will be collected periodically and the quality of work assessed.
Subject Matter: It is increasingly important for all children to be given an education that enables them to synthesize, organize, reflect on and respond to the data in their world. Assumption School has adopted Writing Pathways, the TCRWP Writing Workshop program, across all grade levels. These learning units are aligned to the Common Core State Standards and will assist our knowledge of the teaching of writing. In the Units of Study, students will be able to synthesize, analyze, compare and contrast information and ideas in a workshop environment. This program will give the students the skills to write narrative, argument and expository texts.
Grading: Grades will be based on tests, quizzes, classroom activities (participation), writing assignments, book reports, projects, and homework assignments.
Science: Ms. Kate Bauman ([email protected])
Text: FOSS Kits by Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley
Subject Matter: Throughout the year, we will be going over topics relating Earth Science, Life Science, and Physical Science. We will have a particular focus on Populations and Ecosystems, Heredity and Adaptations, Electromagnetic Force, and Gravity and Kinetic Energy.
Expectations: Students will be expected to complete daily tasks, quizzes, exit tickets, tests, investigations, demonstrations and presentations. Students are expected to come to class ready to engage in class discussions, prepared by completing any assigned tasks, and bringing any required materials to class each day. Students should arrive to class ready to collaborate with their peers, deeply investigate, and to learn about the many wonders of science!
Grading: Grades will be based on daily class participation, tests, quizzes, projects, and completion of homework. Homework and assignments must be turned in on time.
US History: Mr. Zachary Loverro
Publisher: Teachers Curriculum Institute, http://www.teachtci.com.
TCI program is designed to reach learners of all abilities using multiple intelligences teaching strategies and theory and research-based active instruction. An important part of the program is an online Student Subscription. The subscription is our online textbook, and students will need it to complete assignments and study for tests. The TCI Student Subscription includes: Student text, End-of-lesson Reading Challenges, Reading tools such as highlighting, in-line vocabulary definitions, and a main idea viewer. Students will need internet access daily for their homework and review. Many assignments will be electronically submitted in class as well as at home.
Subject Matter: Students will concentrate on the critical events of the period
from the framing of the Constitution to Reconstruction.
Expectations: Students are expected to be responsible, organized, respectful and use good communication skills. Work assigned to students should be neat, complete and with full effort. Students should participate in class discussions or on assignments with complete sentences. A big part of their success depends on the Interactive Student Notebook which will become a major resource for them for quizzes and tests. Notebook checks will be done regularly. History class will be an interactive, cooperative, and hands-on learning experience. Tests are given about every three weeks. Students are tested on material from the text as well as activities or discussions from class and note taking. All assignments must be completed on time. Absent make up work and tests must be completed within a week of students' absence. Students are responsible for making necessary arrangements.
Grading: The student’s grade is based on class work, the student Interactive Student Notebook, open-notebook quizzes, unit tests, projects and class participation. Homework assignments involving reading and note taking will be evaluated according to the quality and completeness of each assignment and will be reflected in the student’s effort grade on Progress Reports and Report Cards. Students will be assessed using Google Classroom and other forms of technology and traditional methods. Students will receive feedback and grades online (primarily through Google Classroom and PowerSchool), in addition to the traditional manner.
Text: Pre-Algebra & Algebra 1, Glencoe
Subject Matter: Students will go into more depth regarding fundamental
algebraic concepts, including linear functions and polynomials. They will also
be introduced to more concepts, such as quadratic equations and linear
systems. Specific topics are listed in the contents of the textbook. At the end
of the school year, students will complete a project for the "Math Fair" that
demonstrates their knowledge of mathematical concepts learned throughout
their elementary and junior high years.
Expectations: Students will continue to develop the ability to successfully
problem solve individually and in cooperative groups. They will be expected
to complete problem sets and corrections daily, as well as ask for help when a particular concept is unclear. Notes, homework, quizzes, and tests should be
organized and referenced throughout the year to help students review
previously learned skills.
Grading: Grades will be based on in-class assignments, quizzes, tests, and
projects. Although homework will not be used to calculate their actual letter
grade, its completion, and correctness will help determine their conduct and
Digital Citizenship: Mr. Zachary Loverro
Text: An array of educational software and the internet, e.g. Google applications
Subject Matter: Learning basic digital tools like Google Docs, Google Sheets and Google Slides, integrating multimedia technology through age appropriate projects into the curriculum, using educational software and internet access. Understanding the importance of our online life and how it affects our non-digital relationships
Expectations: 100% hands-on participation by all students resulting in completed projects.
Music Class – Fall 2021 - Spring 2022
Subject Matter: With masks on and social distancing, I am hoping to return to the art of singing. Music class will be in church, which gives us ample room to spread out. We will work on music for various Masses and hopefully Christmas and Spring concerts. We will also work on learning how to read music. We will also learn about instruments and music history.
Expectations: Active participation through singing and memorization of the score in class is primary. In order to do this, good behavior in the classroom and church is a must. Attendance with an animated spirit at all school-sponsored Masses, Christmas and Spring Concerts is mandatory.
Grading: Grading (a letter or number grade) will be based on assessments made at the time of a ‘performance,’ and quizzes afterwards. Along with these assessments, I also review behavior in the classroom and church, active class participation, and attendance at mandatory liturgies/concerts.
Materials: I will supply the students with musical scores and worship leaflets to learn music. Let’s get started!!
Mr. Bill Vaughan
ART- Mrs. Karen Barbera - [email protected]
Subject Matter: The Assumption School Art program is a comprehensive arts program which encompasses the subjects of Visual Arts (Art History, Art Appreciation, Studio Art) and Performing Arts. Students are introduced to various mediums through direct instruction as well as lecture and discussion. Visual Arts subject matter includes various movements in art history and the artists responsible for those movements. Direct instruction demonstrates the elements of art and the use of varied supplies, tools, and mediums. Performing Arts subject matter introduces acting techniques to improve imagination, attention, memory, improvisation, and self-confidence. Students in grades 4 through 8 receive letter grades for art based on diocesan guidelines. Students' work is assessed based on the following factors:
- Preparation. Supplies required for in-class projects will be listed in Google Classroom on the morning of art class. Students are expected to check their supply list and be prepared to begin each scheduled class on time. Project materials not on the school supply list will be supplied by the art teacher.
- Completion of work according to instruction.Students must turn in finished work completed according to instruction using the correct techniques and materials. Work must be neat and done to the best of a student's ability. Incomplete work done with inappropriate materials will not be accepted.
- Complete and return work in a timely manner. Habitual submission of late or incomplete work may result in after-school detention. Absent students must contact Mrs. Barbera to plan and schedule make-up work.
- Students' work must be clearly marked with their name.Unlabeled work cannot be graded.
- All work must be the student's own work. Art is a subject which requires experimentation and practice. Neither is accomplished if the work is not done by the students themselves. This is very important. Perfectly copied work is never as good as any work a student creates on their own.
- Preparation. Each student is expected to be ready with the correct materials for class. Memorization and practice outside of class may be required.
- Participation. Students should be actively engaged in class and willing to accept and to give constructive criticism. There is an expectation for an increased level of comfort and improvement in technique.
- Respect. Drama class is a safe place for self-expression. Students should respect and encourage the work of others. Teasing will not be tolerated.
P.E.: Mr. Darren Deonigi [email protected]
Subject Matter: Physical games and motor skills, group play and teamwork will all be emphasized in this subject area.
Expectations: Students will be expected to participate and exhibit proper sports behavior and self-discipline.
Grading: Students will be graded on being active and achievement of the above listed expectations.
Students who are absent are responsible for all work and should make arrangements with the teacher to make up tests. Students are responsible for getting all missed assignments. An absent folder is kept in the classroom for students to use as needed to see missing assignments. Students have the same number of days (up to three days) to make up assignments after a student’s absence. Students should schedule a time during recess or lunch to conference with individual teachers regarding questions about absent work.
Due to food allergies, please note that birthdays can be celebrated at school by donating a board game, book, or other class resource to the classroom. The student’s donation will be shared and used during the week of his/her birthday. Please contact me to let me know your plans. Thank you for wanting to celebrate your child with the class.
I send home a weekly newsletter via email to parents each week highlighting topics covered in my classes, important dates to remember, and other gentle reminders about what is happening in 8th grade. Please take a look at these emails on Fridays. If you haven’t received an email, please contact me asap. The best contact for day to day odds and ends or reminders would be email. If you would like to discuss a concern via phone, leave me a message in the school office or contact me via email and I will return your call within 24 hours.
I will be happy to meet with you to discuss your child’s progress. Please email me at the address listed above or call the office for an appointment. If you have a concern or question about another teacher or subject I don’t teach, please schedule an appointment with that teacher. If your questions or concerns are cross grade, contact me and I can schedule an appointment with teachers for a collaborative meeting.
Class Expectations/School Norms:
- Respect yourself and others.
- Contribute to the learning environment.
- Follow school and classroom procedures.
Teachers and staff continue to use a school-wide social and emotional program, “Positive Discipline.” The focus is creating a positive learning environment where students understand the importance of self evaluation, group problem solving, empathy and self worth.
This student-centered process was started on the second day of school during the Junior High “Vision Day” Orientation. Junior High students and teachers joined together the second day of school to focus on being the leaders of our school during a day long orientation. During this time, students discussed successful learning environments, student behaviors that support learning, and student/teacher agreed-upon logical consequences/solutions.
Various Catholic schools in our area host dances for junior high students each month. Dances are not required. The dress code and permission slips for dances are available on the school website.
Students cannot have more than TWO missing assignments from any classes during the previous month by the time the dance is announced, must not be on academic probation, and must be at school on the day of the dance to be able to attend dances.
One parent chaperone is required for each dance we are invited to attend. I will send a dance schedule as soon as I find out.
- Chaperones arrive 15 minutes early and leave after the last Assumption student is picked up from the dance.
- Chaperones supervise the sign-in and sign-out process assuring that each student is signed in and out by an authorized adult.
Field Trips and Important Events:
8th grade has specific field trips and important events to help with their
learning which include:
- 8th Grade Day at the Cathedral – September ($18)
- USS Hornet * - March ($36)
- 8th Grade Retreat – April ($37)
- High School visits – September (No Cost)
- Day at the State Capitol * - February ($30)
- Christmas Carol/Christmas in SF * - December ($30)
- Catholic Schools Week Presentation to the Parish - January
- Victorian Tea – December
- Rite of Passage Experience – Late May
- May Crowning Mass and Reception - May 1
I will need parent chairpersons to help set up field trips with an * by booking
the reservation and transportation (chartered bus or public transportation),
securing chaperones as needed, and organizing the day’s events.
The estimated total cost for all listed field trips is about $160. You can pay in
advance or pay individually. Trip cost includes student insurance, admission,
chaperone fees, and transportation costs.
I will be continuing a program called Genius Block. It will be ONE 50-
minute block a week committed to self-directed, student centered learning on
the topic of their interest, passion, and/or choice. During the first trimester
students will be introduced to the process, set-up, and work expectations,
then fine tune their topic. During the second trimester, students will complete
their research and brainstorm final project ideas. At the start of the third
trimester, students will complete their project and prepare their presentation.
At the start of the first trimester, 8th grade families who read, discuss, sign, and return their Technology Acceptable Use Policy and Device Permission Slip will
be issued a Chromebook to be used for all classes and taken home. Please read
the policies carefully as students are expected to care for these learning devices
and use them respectfully. The ability to use them at home can be revoked if at
any time a student is not following the policies and guidelines set out in the
policy and permission documents. All teachers expect students to have their
Chromebooks fully charged at the start of each day. Charging is not always available at school and should not be expected.
Students will have access to Google Classroom, an online learning management system used to engage students safely and effectively in their learning. Students will use their school google accounts for all school communication and assignments. I will be using the site for homework updates, quizzes, and reflections. It will also allow students to turn in assignments, see graded work, look at the calendar of events, take online quizzes, and ask class-related questions in an electronic learning platform. Please note that this will not include any Powerschool grade updates or provide you will an official cumulative grade. A parent portal will be available for you to view your students’ comments, graded work, and schedule of assignments.
Graduation and 8th Grade Events
Eighth Grade year is an exciting one of celebration culminating in the 8th grade Rite of Passage Experience (ROPE), May Crowning, Dinner Dance, Baccalaureate Liturgy, and Graduation. Please attend 8th grade Graduation Meetings held at the school every 4 – 6 weeks as designated by our room parents. These events take the whole 8th grade community of parents, students, and teachers to plan and prepare. This year our Dinner Dance is Wednesday, June 1 and Baccalaureate Mass/Graduation are Thursday, June 2. Please attend 8th grade Graduation Meetings held at the school every 4 – 6 weeks as designated by our room parents. These events take the whole 8th grade community of parents, students, and teachers to plan and prepare. For your information, during the five days before Graduation, 8th graders will be dismissed at noon (Thursday through Wednesday). No extended care will be provided.
Eighth grade students not only take our school pictures in September in school uniform but also take Graduation pictures in their graduation gowns in January at the school. More details, dress code and expectations will be given closer to the date.
Bullying and harassment stand in the way of our social vision and the gospel values of empathy and inclusion. Therefore the Diocese of Oakland has adopted this policy to ensure that our schools prevent and respond to bullying and harassment during school hours and after-school programs, field trips, school or Diocesan sponsored events, and when students are traveling to and from school.
What is bullying?
Bullying occurs when a student, or group of students, repeatedly try to hurt, humiliate, intimidate or get power over another less powerful student in any
of the following ways.
- Physical bullying is when a student repeatedly uses physical force to hurt another student e.g. by hitting, pushing, shoving, kicking, impeding or blocking movement, taking a student’s belongings or stealing their money.
- Verbal bullying is when a student repeatedly uses words, images or gestures to intimidate or humiliate another student e.g. by taunting, name-calling, teasing, put-downs, insults, threats and blackmail.
- Relational bullying is when a student repeatedly and intentionally excludes or isolates another student e.g. through leaving them out, manipulating others against them, or spreading untrue rumors or gossip.
- Cyberbullying is when a student repeatedly uses their cell-phone, text messages, e-mails, instant messaging, the Internet and social media to threaten, shame or isolate another student. This is defined in more detail in the Diocesan Telecommunications Responsible Use Policy.
Bullying is different from conflict. Conflict is an inevitable part of life and can occur at school when a student perceives another student as being an obstacle to what they want or value. If students are in conflict but are not using bullying to get power over the other student, we are committed to helping our students talk it through.
What is harassment?
Bullying may at times amount to harassment. It is harassment to target a student online or face to face because of their actual or perceived disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or because they are associating with a student or group of students with one or more of these actual or perceived characteristics.
It is sexual harassment to target a student with unwanted sexual comments, gestures, attention, stalking and physical contact that cause a student to feel uncomfortable or unsafe at school, or interferes with schoolwork. It is the policy of the Diocese to ensure that schools investigate and respond to complaints involving sexual harassment as provided in the school’s Sexual Harassment Policy. All forms of harassment are illegal.
Assumption School is committed to helping students and families through the process of conflict, bullying and/or harassment. Our work with Positive Discipline as well as our commitment to due process will be our guide to help all students safely navigate through their ongoing and changing relationships with others. Please refer to the Assumption School Parent/Student School Handbook for more information on this topic.
High School Visits
8th graders are encouraged to shadow the Catholic high school of their choice during the Fall. Please note this counts as an absence. Students are expected to complete missed work and make arrangements before the visit with the teacher for tests or projects. For the sake of curriculum planning, please contact me asap regarding student’s planned high school shadow visit. If more than four students are shadowing on ONE day, you will be asked to reschedule the high school shadow day.
Please check the Parent Handbook regarding our late work policy. Late work is any work turned in after the assigned due date. After three days, late work will be accepted only in special circumstances and the effort /work habits grade will be affected.
To ensure that the needs of all learners are met, Assumption School has two part time teachers who support both students and their teachers. Student services include both individual and small group pullout or push in instruction. If you believe your student has special needs please discuss your concerns with their teacher and/or the Learning Support Coordinator, Sue Mart [email protected] or Reading Resource Teacher, Krista Imrie. [email protected]
Breathtaking religious stained glass windows provide the perfect backdrop for an enriching library experience. Grades T/K – 3 check out books for  week; grades 4 and 5 get to check out books for  weeks.
In addition to providing students with a variety of reading adventures, the library hosts an annual book fair through Scholastic in the spring. This event sparks a lot of excitement and enthusiasm—it’s like having our very own bookstore for a week!
Students will be expected to adhere to the usual rules you would have in any other public library. Additionally, sometimes books do get lost or damaged. The policy for this school library is that in the event that this happens, the book would either need to be replaced with another book [in excellent condition] of equal value or remit a check made out to Assumption School that covers the cost of the book.
Powerschool is the Oakland Diocese school management system for
attendance and report of achievement. A parent portal to check your student’s
grades will be open after the first trimester progress reports. Parents can
access their students’ grades in real time. Teachers will post grades within 10
days of all assignments. I plan to use Powerschool as a homework check in as
well on a daily basis. While homework and projects might not have a grade,
work that is turned in will be checked.
Rite of Passage Experience Exit Interview and Student Learning
Expectations Portfolio Project
Each 8th grade student is asked to create an online ClassDojo Student
Learning Portfolio to record learning throughout this year in class. Students
will be given graded work regularly. They will need to electronically save one
or two pieces, pictures of assignments, photos of activities a week to the Class
Dojo that connect to the Student Learning Expectations. At the end of each
trimester, students will choose work that represents their best learning to
place in their student portfolios final reflection for the trimester.
Throughout most of their time here, students have created these portfolios of
their work in relation to our student learning expectations. 8th graders will be
expected to create a Rite of Passage Experience (ROPE) Exit project to
present to their classmates and a panel of teachers as well as their families
about their kindergarten through 8th grade learning experience. This is done
during the school day. Questions will be asked and students will be expected
to show work samples, pictures, and share memories. I will prepare 8th graders
and provide more information after our first 8th grade Parent Meeting in
Service Learning Projects
Trimester 1: 5 hours of Community Service Free Choice. Please have your
student complete five hours of unpaid/uncompensated community service
anywhere they can including the Fall Festival, summer service hours, Breast
Cancer Walk, or service to the parish or their church. Students will need to
provide a 3-paragraph essay of their service learning and an illustration or
photo of what they did. Please sign off on their hours on their essay or have a
supervisor send me an authorization in the form of an email or letter.
Trimester 2: Group Community Service. Teacher led community service, Project TBD. After completing their 3 - 5 hours they will write a letter to Bishop Barber about the work they did signed off by parents. The bishop has shared that he truly enjoys this mercy service done by Assumption 8th graders.
Trimester 3: Individual Community Service. Students should look for individual or small group service projects that focus on one of the works of mercy. Students will be asked to spend at least three to five hours of one non-school day sometime during the third trimester at a service learning opportunity as an individual or with a small group of classmates. I would like to ask parents to help coordinate these events by hosting one event that I can promote to the class. I ask that the event is at least three hours and students can connect the works of mercy. Photos should be taken and students will write a reflection of this work.
There are NO FORMS for service learning this year. Please take pictures of your service learning. The essays/letters and parent signatures/supervisor confirmation will be all we need. If you have any questions, you can contact me.
Students and parents can find important information on our School Website and my class page. I will post daily homework for student access. There are also links to teachtci.com, Google Classroom, and Powerschool.
Young Authors Faire
Students will be participating in the annual Diocesan Young Author’s Faire during English class. The Faire committee at Assumption might ask for a $4 fee to cover the cost for supplies.
Zoom Rules and Norms
All classroom norms apply when in a Zoom session. In other words, if you wouldn't do it while in physical class, don't do it while in digital class. (see SLE’s ?)
Find a quiet, appropriate learning space, set up your device so that its camera is stable, stay there.
Use your camera, we need to see your face.
Join your class a few minutes early to ensure proper connection. (Early is on time, on time is late, late is unacceptable)
Use mute when you are not speaking
Have any supplies you might need for a given class ready and at hand. (textbooks, notebooks, pens pencils etc.)
Participate! Video meetings and classes are not meant to be passive, one way interactions, please ask and answer questions.
Try to speak clearly
Speak one at a time, give time between speakers
Use your first name and last initial when logging into zoom
Do not share the Zoom link with anyone outside of your class. Those links are intended for your eyes/use only
Students should not record any part of the class, or take any screenshots, unless directed to by the instructor.
Treat your classmates with respect and dignity. Follow the golden rule during online interactions. Do not record or share any video, audio, or images from Zoom meetings.
Be on time for class. Be prepared for class, have any supplies you might need with you at your workspace.
Socially responsible citizen
Help us build community by participating in class activities. Pay attention when others are talking.
Do not speak when others are speaking.Give a pause when someone else is finished speaking. Speak clearly.