April and May
I thought that I would put these two months together due to having Easter Break in the middle of April.  Besides attending regular classes, the 8th graders spent the first two weeks of April preparing for Living Stations.  After the presentation was completed, Fr. Gene felt the 8th graders did a superb job recreating the crucifixion of our Lord.  Jimmie Fidanzia was a very
competent Jesus of Nazareth.  School let out for Holy Thursday, and the middle school had a terrific Easter break.  Hopefully, it was a blessed holiday for all.  Celebrating the Resurrection of the Lord is always the highlight of the Liturgical year. We return on April 24, to Aspire testing for the entire week.  Students will be tested in Reading, Mathematics, Writing, English, and Science.  These test scores are the basis of understanding how well the school is performing against all other schools in the Archdiocese and the United States.
In May, we truly start to wind-down the school year, but boy does that pack a punch with all we have to accomplish.  Besides completing our studies, there are many tasks to prepare for the next school year; starting with student council.  On May 2, the ever-popular ABC Countdown begins.  Here's a shout out to Josh Reider, the mastermind behind the project.  The council has many things planned to execute this year as we A,B,C countdown to the last day of school.  We also have to have student council elections for next year's executive council.  On May 16, we have May Crowning and the 8th Grade Ribbon Ceremony.  I will select our Mary and her court for the crowning ceremony after I read their perspective poems they produce.  We will also be selecting the 5th Graders who will be chosen for their halls for the 2017-2018 year.  There are some future St. Francis students who we inducted in the our hall late in the month.  Matthew Boekeloo and Katie Torrez are definite selections already due to their siblings graduating from our hall previously. 
Here is what we are studying until the end of the year.  In Religion, 6th grade will complete the parts of the Mass focusing on the Communion and Reconciliation with our Lord.  7th grade is continuing their work on the Sacrament of Confirmation, which they will be receiving in late February, 2018.  The 8th graders complete their year with the study of being a Christian in today's world.  This includes marriage and the family, the law and its consequences, how the Church helps social order, and the end of their lives obtaining Particular Judgement.  In History, we will complete ancient Greece, plus study the Roman Empire in 6th grade.  In Early American History, 7th grade, we study the American Civil War and the Reconstruction Era, and in 8th grade we complete World War II and the Cold War Era.   So much to do, so little time...


March is upon us which means Easter is just around the corner, however, March brings the late snows of winter and the joys of spring rains.  Smile, sun is on the way!!!  In World History we are completing the study of Ancient China and beginning our study of Ancient Greece.  That means we will be learning the art and architecture of a civilization that heavily influences us today.  We will also study this land as the birthplace of democracy and the home of the ancient Olympic games.  In 7th grade, we will finish our study of the US Constitution, with the big test in the middle of the month, then moving on to Jacksonian Democracy and the suffrage of the common man.  Lastly in history, the 8th grade is working on understanding the reasoning for the Great Depression of the 1930s and the greatest war of modern history: World War II.  March also brings......
YES! That means the students will be doing their best to out fox me with their bracket to win EXTRA CREDIT points.  I'm up and ready for the challenge!  Go Sun Devils!!!
In Religion, we are focusing on different aspects of our faith.  In 6th grade we are studying how Jesus acquired his flock and began his teachings; in 7th grade we are beginning our study of the Sacrament of Confirmation; and in 8th grade we are studying how a virtuous life is one worth living.  We also are strengthening our faith by attending the Stations of the Cross every Friday, with a Living Stations celebration by the 8th grade class on April 7.


6th Grade
Religion- This month we study how we have ownership of our free will and from this gift from God we make our life decisions.  We will also will be looking at the 8th Commandment, "Thou Shall Not Bear False Witness Against Thy Neighbor".  This commandment governs our powers of communication.
History- Well, this is the big month!  January is Catholic Schools Week and as always in 6th Grade History we will be creating a museum.  This year the museum will cover the ancient empire of Mesopotamia.  Each student will be creating an artifact and help construct the museum by doing an important job such as curator, advertising, tour guide, planning and design, or physical construction of the museum.   

7th Grade
Religion- This month we will be studying the topics of Respect, Responsibility, and Service to Others.  During the month we discuss how our actions reflect upon us, how it is our responsibility to follow Jesus' teachings, as well as study the lives of saints, the parts of the Church, and habits we need to make and break.  We will also be reading scripture from the bible that covers these topics.  Also, during Catholic School's Week we will be honoring Jesus with the Presentation of the Lord's Mass on February 2.  We will be practicing the last week of January for the Mass on the 2nd.  This Mass celebrates the introduction of Jesus to the Jewish community as a baby. 
History- We will finish our study of the American Revolution.  We will begin our study of the US Constitution and will be taking the American Constitution Test in the month of February.

8th Grade
Religion-  We are continuing to work on our Sacrament of Confirmation that the students will be celebrating on February 26.  We are creating our books that will be shown to Bishop Vrassas on that day. 
History- We are completing our study of World War I.  The students all created a song and dance routine to present to the class displaying their understanding of the topic.  Then we move on the topic of The Roaring Twenties!  Students will learn and understand how this transformative decade changed America.  From the fashion of flappers, to the Barons of Wall Street and Big Business, America became the richest nation on earth.  But hold on to your hats, we crash and burn in 1929 as Black Tuesday arrives and the world falls into economic distress.    


6th Grade
Religion: In the month of December and the Advent season, we study how Christians must have goodwill toward their neighbors while anxiously awaiting the birth of our savior and the Christmas season.   
World History: We learn that civilization began along the Indus River Valley in India around 1700 BCE.  We also study the important religions of the area, Buddhism and Hinduism.

7th Grade
Religion:  We discover three important topics, Prayer, Relationships, and Respect through the teachings of Jesus based on scripture, discussion, and writing.
Early American History: Students learn about the causes that created the American Revolution from Great Britain.  We study the Declaration of Independence, major battles of  the war, and effects of the war both domestically and internationally. 

8th Grade
Religion: November we complete our studies of the saints through history. 
Contemporary American History: We study the cause of the Great War, World War I; through militarism, alliances, imperialism, and nationalism Europe and the world become engulfed in conflict.  With the addition of the dough boys in 1917, the conflict is over and America is now a world power.  

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6th Grade
Religion: In the month of November, we cover the topics of citizenship and God, the Church's authority and how Jesus founded it, and our respect for life in all forms that God created.
World History: We learn that about 5,000 years ago, Egyptian pharaohs organized a strong central government and built tombs in the shape of pyramids to honor their leaders.

7th Grade
Religion:  We discover three important topics, Love, Money, and Peer Pressure through the teachings of Jesus based on scripture, discussion, and writing.
Early American History: Students learn about the causes that created the American Revolution from Great Britain.  We study the Declaration of Independence, major battles of  the war, and effects of the war both domestically and internationally. 

8th Grade
Religion: November we discover life of our Blessed Mother, the Communion of Saints, and Saints throughout the centuries.
Contemporary American History: We study the emergence of a modern United States as it begins to look outward, forming its role as an important leader among nations of the world and contending with domestic issues and global conflicts.
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