The Nerve Center for all things 8th Grade

Working Toward a Common Goal

Dear 8th Grade Parents,

I can hardly believe that it's the middle of October! The light has changed and today, the air was cooler and crisper than usual. We are finally into my favorite season of the year. We continue to be busy with firsts and lasts, and everything in between!

I've included two articles that might be of interest to you: one on parenting and the other on learning. Here's what's relevant this week:


This week is Student-Led Conference Week. We spent some time last week reflecting on our year thus far. Students completed self-evaluation guides to prepare to share their progress with you.

Please be prompt for your scheduled conference time as there is no built in "passing" period between appointments. We can always schedule more time to meet outside of this week if it becomes necessary. This time is reserved so that your students have the opportunity to show you how they are taking charge of their learning experience.


The students have formed committees to begin the planning of the Halloween Carnival. Please keep a look out for the list of items that the students would like to borrow and items that will need to be donated to decorate the gym and turn Hofmann into a Haunted Hospital. We will also be seeking donations of "treats" to reward our little gamers.

More importantly, we need your help to supervise the set-up and strike-down of Hofmann and Howley. The busyness will begin on Thursday afternoon, early morning of Friday, and after dismissal on Friday. Please plan on picking up students at 1:30, not at 12:30 dismissal as we will need to clean up completely before they can begin the weekend.

Proceeds of this year's carnival will go towards the refugee relief fund through Catholic Relief Services. Your donation of time and items towards prizes and decorations are greatly appreciated. If you wish to donate towards CRS collection, we would be doubly grateful!


It is flu season, some of us are overcommitted, and we just spent the first weekend in October running around at the Country Fair! Please remind students to wash hands frequently and not to share water bottles. We are working at keeping surfaces sanitized in the classroom and making sure there are plenty of tissue and hand sanitizers available.


Now that students are layering (cooler mornings), there are sweatshirts and extra shirts being left behind. Many students are leaving lunch pails, books, and supplies behind. It is so easy to replace items in our disposable society, but please help us instill in students the concern for conservation. If we keep track of our belongings, there wouldn't be a need to replace them.


Please make sure students are wearing UNIFORM sweaters, sweatshirts, and fleece jackets only. Untucked shirts and short skirts may mean that your student has outgrown their uniform. Please check the used uniform closet to see if there are some available replacements for those short shirts and skirts. Remember that two uniform notices mean one demerit and two demerits mean a detention.

Here are some recent happenings:

  • Homeroom: The Mt. Hermon Retreat was a success! Students showed their heart and willingness to try things that are challenging and to be supportive of one another.

  • High School Preparedness Elective: On Oct. 2, Notre Dame San Jose presented to the 7th and 8th grade girls regarding the benefits of an education with the charism of St. Julie Billiart and the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. During the class period, we had alumna Oona (sp) Gilmore and Archbishop Mitty High School Admissions Director Katherine Wesmiller lead the students into a discussion regarding what they are excited about and what they might be anxious about looking ahead to high school. Mrs. Wesmiller reassured students that they are attending a school with faculty that prepares them for the next step. She and Miss Gilmore also expressed to students that they will get plenty of support when they get to high school. We are working on learning to bounce back from adversity, putting things in perspective, and resilience.

  • Religion: We led our last school mass on Oct. 8 and celebrated A Hopeful Heart. We are hopeful for what lies ahead and are grateful because we have been prepared well. We continue to discover the Mystery of God through Sacred Scripture, moral formation, reflecting on our growth as Catholic school students. Fr. Rick visited the classroom to talk to us about how closely connected conscience and consciousness are. We are looking forward to more visits and talks about issues that challenge our faith.

  • Social Studies: We are well into our study of the American Revolution, having learned about the First and Second Continental Congress, the “shot heard ‘round the world”, and the Declaration of Independence. We observed how politically astute the colonists had been engaging the New England colonies through the Massachusetts militia (eventually the Continental Army), George Washington from Virginia (a Southern colony), and holding the Congresses in Philadelphia. We have also began our U.S. map tests and the students are doing an awesome job mastering the states! We are working on test-taking and study skills, and critical reading and analysis.

We continue to work on getting ourselves quickly back on track whenever we lose our way.