Mrs. Cathy McConnell » Home


Welcome to the 4th Grade! My name is Cathy McConnell and I am the 4th Grade teacher. I look forward to teaching the 4th Graders this year so much. It is going to be a great school year full of interesting history about California.
I have been teaching at Assumption since 1997. Prior to teaching 4th Grade, I was the 2nd Grade teacher. I attended Corpus Christi School as a child and graduated from Bishop O'Dowd High School. I earned a B.S. in Geography from the University of Oregon and a multiple subject credential from Holy Names University. I taught preschool for several years and worked in many after school and summer camp programs.
When not teaching, I love to hike, travel, cook, read and work in my garden.
It has been a great pleasure to teach at Assumption all these years and I continue to love working with and supporting the children and families of this wonderful community.



Back to School Night Information

Assumption School

Grade Four



Mrs. Cathy McConnell Homeroom Teacher

Mrs. Helen Martin Teacher Assistant

Ms. Isabel Gregorio       Science

Mr. Darren Deonigi Physical Education

Mr. Darren Deonigi Coding

Mrs. Karen Barbera Art

Mr. Bill Vaughan Music


  1. Respect yourself, others and things.
  2. Contribute to the learning environment.
  3. Follow school and classroom procedures.


  1. Listen to one another.
  2. Engage in quiet work so everyone can learn.
  1. Always do your best.
  2. Respect each other and their belongings.
  3. Never harm anyone’s body or feelings.


  1. All classroom behavioral expectations apply to Zoom meetings.
  2. Be prepared for the meeting with materials required.
  3. Clear distractions (phones, TV, games, toys, etc.)
  4. Stay muted until it is your turn to speak.
  5. Keep your video on so your face can be seen.
  6. Keep the live setting, as opposed to a photograph, as your background 
  7. Use your full name when logging into Zoom

Positive Discipline/Classroom Guidelines:

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 4th Graders will work collaboratively to create their own classroom guidelines. These will be shared with parents/families once they have been created.

DISCIPLINE POLICY: (In-Person Learning)

Students will be asked to write their names in the behavior journal if they break the classroom rules. The consequences are as follows:

1st time:   Warning

2nd time: Complete a Reflection Sheet

3rd time: Parent will be contacted/Referral will be issued


Students will be assessed using a standards-based system.

During in-person learning, approximately every two weeks a folder of graded papers will be sent home with students. Please look over the papers, sign the folder, and return the folder to school. 

During Distance Learning, students will receive feedback and grades online (primarily through Google Classroom and SeeSaw), in addition to the traditional manner.

HOMEWORK: (In-Person Learning)

Students can expect to have homework every day of the week except Friday. The week's assignments will be listed on the homework sheet, which students will receive at the beginning of each week. Homework will often involve finishing assignments that were started during class time and studying for upcoming tests. Parents are strongly encouraged to read over the homework sheet with their child on Monday evenings to keep informed of our class activities.

In order to develop responsibility and good study skills it is important that students be encouraged to complete assignments punctually, neatly, and independently. Most students will benefit greatly, however, if an adult can look over their finished work and guide them in correcting mistakes that have been made. 

Students who do not have their homework completed and at school at the beginning of the school day will be required to complete the missing/incomplete assignment. 

Students are responsible for assignments missed during absences. The class work missed will be sent to the office or delivered to a sibling by the end of the school day on the date of the absence. Work is expected to be completed within one week of the absence. As stated in the handbook, students who miss school due to extended weekends, off-season family vacations etc.,should not expect teachers to produce assignments in advance. A packet of work will be collected for the student during his/her absence. 

HOMEWORK: (Distance Learning)

No traditional homework will be assigned during Distance Learning. 


Students are graded on quizzes, tests, projects, and other activities. Homework assignments are not always graded.

During Distance Learning, students will be assessed using Google Classroom, SeeSaw, other forms of technology and traditional methods.


Students’ academic progress can be viewed online using PowerSchool, the school management system. Parents use a login to access their child's information. This login information will be given to parents in October during the Goal Setting Conferences. The information will be updated on a regular basis. Summative assessments (tests and projects) will be graded and recorded on PowerSchool no more than ten days after the test was given or the assignment was collected.

ABSENCES/TARDIES: (In-Person Learning)

Students need to bring a note to school on the first day back following an absence. Students who are tardy need to go to the office to get a tardy slip before they can be admitted into the classroom. Students are considered tardy if they are not in their assigned place in line when the second bell rings at 8:00am in the morning.

ABSENCES/TARDIES: (Distance Learning)

Attendance will be taken each day at the morning Zoom meeting at 8:15AM. All students are expected to attend these morning Zoom meetings, but if your child is unable to attend this meeting, but will be participating in distance learning that day, you must send the teacher and school office an email informing the school of your child’s attendance status.


Communication is important to ensure your child’s success in school. If you wish to discuss a matter with me please send a note, or write an email or call the school office so an appointment may be scheduled. 

Mrs. McConnell’s email address:

BIRTHDAYS: (In-Person Learning)

Since we have several students with food allergies, we are requesting that students who would like to share their birthday with their classmates bring a non-food item to share. A board game for rainy day recesses or a class book would be a great birthday gift to the class. Please contact Mrs. McConnell a few days prior to bringing treats so she can be aware of what/when your child plans to bring in a gift for the class. Thanks.

BIRTHDAYS: (Distance Learning)

We will designate a day each month to have a class birthday party for those born in that month. We will sing happy birthday and allow each birthday child to do a show and tell. We will also invite the other students to all share a snack together on video. 


Feel free to visit our classroom website. You can find the classroom website on the school website:

Mrs. McConnell’s email address:

This website will give you access to our weekly homework sheet, project dates and guidelines, links to websites offering educational resources, and reminders of important dates during the school year.



Text:   God’s Law Guides Us Sadlier

Family Life Benziger

Circle of Grace

Subject Matter: The emphasis is on living as Christians, Works of Mercy, the Ten Commandments, the Beatitudes, prayer, and liturgy. Family life is intended to foster the development of important attitudes and moral values in a Christian context.

Expectations: Students will be expected to participate in religious discussions and to complete assignments and presentations.

Grading: Students will be graded on class activities, written assignments, and test scores. 


Students will work on a service learning project together as a class this year.


Text:   Reading Street Scott Forseman

By the Great Horn Spoon by Sid Fleischman

Literature Circle books

Other resources:

 Lexia online Language Arts program

Learning A to Z non-fiction online and printed books

Subject Matter: This literature based integrated program emphasizes reading, vocabulary, and critical thinking. Grammar, usage, and mechanics are also included in the program. During the later part of the year students will read the novel By the Great Horn Spoon! in conjunction with our study of the California gold rush.

Expectations: Students will be expected to read, understand and critically analyze the stories read in class. They will apply the grammar lessons learned in class in their writing.

Grading: Students will be graded on their comprehension skills, grammar skills, knowledge of vocabulary, and completion of class activities


Text: Writing Pathways, Lucy Calkins, First Hand Heinemann 

Subject Matter:  Today it has become 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 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. This program will give the students the skills to write narratives, arguments and information texts. 

Expectations: Students will be expected to apply their knowledge of writing to all types of writing, narrative, opinion and informational. Students will be expected to revise and publish their work, in addition they will apply the language arts skills learned in class in their writing.

Grading: Students will be graded on mini lessons that teach skills that build upon one another in order for the students to become writers. Students will also be assessed on “published” writing assignments.


Text: Word Study and Spelling Practice Scott Forseman

Subject Matter: Spelling words will be given based on Common Core Language Arts Standards.

Expectations: Students will be expected to study the words as well as complete the spelling activities and assignments.

Grading: Students will be graded on spelling tests.


Text: enVisionMath Common Core Pearson

Other resources:

IXL online math tool

Subject Matter: Our math program will allow us to develop a mastery of basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts. Students will be exposed to fractions, decimals, geometry, measurement and problem solving techniques. Students will engage in direct instruction, games, group activities, projects and problem solving activities.

Expectations: Students are expected to give their best effort in accurately completing nightly problem sets and preparing for math tests. Daily work on basic math facts is encouraged, as this will help facilitate comprehension of the more complex concepts being introduced throughout the year.

Grading: Students will be graded on completion of assigned classwork and homework, math tests, math-facts timed tests, and other supplemental activities.


Text: California Studies Houghton Mifflin

Other resources: 

St. Mary’s Press: California Native Peoples and Missions online curriculum

Subject Matter: We will study the first Californians, early settlers, immigrants, the mission and gold rush periods, transportation, geography, and map skills. Students will experience life as a Californian through projects and excursions.

Expectations: Students will be expected to participate in group discussions and written assignments. They will work independently and cooperatively to complete projects and other assigned tasks.

Grading: Students will be graded on activities, projects, and tests.


4th Grade: 

SCIENCE: Ms. Isabel Gregorio

Text: Energy, Soils, Rocks, and Landforms, and Environments, FOSS Kits by Lawrence Hall of Science, UC Berkeley

Subject Matter: Students will continue their study of science, diving into the world of  rocks and minerals, studying changes on the Earth’s surface, magnetism and electricity, respect for and understanding of life, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and food webs and food chains. We use FOSS kits (Full Option Science System) developed at the Lawrence Hall of Science. The goals of these programs are to create an exciting and hands-on learning environment.

Expectations: Students will enhance their understanding of each topic using the scientific method in lab activities, tests, quizzes, and classroom presentations. Students are required to bring materials to class each day. Students are expected to come to class ready to collaborate and investigate with their peers — just as scientists do every day!

Grading: Grades will be based on daily class participation, science notebook, tests, quick writes, response sheets, projects, and completion of homework. Homework must be turned in on time.


Text- An array of educational software, keyboarding, the internet and coding, e.g. Google Suite, Google Classroom, SeeSaw, Microsoft Works 4.0., and Type to Learn.

Subject Matter: The students will be integrating multimedia technology through age appropriate projects into the curriculum using educational software and internet access.

Expectations: Students are expected to participate 100%, resulting in completed projects.

Grading: Grades given for assignments in which computer technology was used will be integrated into the assessment of that particular assignment's subject matter.


Subject Matter: Physical games, group play and teamwork will all be emphasized in this subject area.

Expectations: Students will be expected to participate fully and exhibit proper sports behavior and self-discipline. 

Grading: Students will be graded on achievement of the expectations.

ART- Mrs. Karen Barbera -

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 projection. Students in grades 4 through 8  receive letter grades for art based on diocesan guidelines. Students' work is assessed based on the following factors:

Visual Arts:

  1. Complete and return of work in a timely manner. Late work is accepted but assessed at 50% of its original value. This encourages the return of student art work on time. Incomplete work will be returned to the student for completion. Absent students must contact Mrs. Barbera to plan and schedule make-up work.
  2. Completion of work according to instruction.Students must turn in a finished work completed according to instruction using the correct materials. Work must be neat and  done to the best of a student's ability. Unfinished work done with inappropriate materials will not be accepted. 
  3. Students' work must be clearly marked with their name.Unlabeled work cannot be graded. Work which is later identified will receive a grade of 75%.
  4. 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. A student's best copied work is never as good as the worst work they can create on their own.

Every child is an artist.


Performing Arts:

  1. Preparation. Each student is expected to be ready with the correct materials for class. Memorization and practice may be required.
  2. Participation. Students should be actively engaged in class and willing to accept and to give constructive criticism.  It is recognized that students may be new to performing arts but there is an expectation for an increased level of comfort and improvement in technique.
  3. Respect. Drama class is a safe place for self-expression. Students should respect and encourage the work of others.  Teasing will not be tolerated.  Students will be expected to politely ask questions for clarification and to raise their hand when appropriate. 


Exceptional Needs Program

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 or Reading Resource Teacher, Krista Imrie.

Music Class 

Bill Vaughan

Welcome back, and welcome to the new ‘temporary’ virtual musical class.

Subject Matter: During this stay-at-home start of the school year, when we cannot meet as a class to prepare for singing at Masses and concerts, I thought we could use this time to learn how to read all those little notes and symbols, and learn what they all mean. This is what I have been wanting to add to each class session for quite some time now, but because of our performance schedule, I didn’t have much of a chance. This way, hopefully, when we do return to school, and are able to sing in public again, the students will have a better understanding of how to read choral music. This will be an awesome step in your child’s musical journey that they can keep building upon as they grow up.

Depending on the class level, I will be using Seesaw, Google Classroom, Nearpod, Edpuzzle, Zoom, Loom, and perhaps new platforms that come our way. 

Our ‘Masses’ will be in the style of a Liturgy of the Word presented virtually. Students will have a chance to read and cantor virtually. I will piece all these videos together in Google Slides or Powerpoint and the liturgy will be presented to the whole school through Loom or an unlisted YouTube account. 

For the middle school grades, we will work on short composer projects. These will be done in Google Slides or perhaps a different platform that the child would like to explore, and presented to the class via Zoom.

Expectations: I am expecting students to listen to the asynchronous videos and attend the Zoom sessions. 

Grading: Grading will be based on watching the videos, attending Zoom sessions and occasional quizzes. Music class is Pass/Fail during this virtual time.