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Messages From the Classroom

Principal Message

I hope all of you and your family had a wonderful Christmas and a restful holiday.  We are excited to start the new year.   It comes with the excitement of the winter season and continued engaging learning and school activities.

Our grade 7 students are preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation and the grade 2 students will soon be beginning their preparation for First Holy Communion.  Our monthly school masses will continue.  It is an amazing experience to join together to celebrate our faith.  The student’s participation in the choir, readings and altar servering is exceptional.  I would like to invite parents and extended family members to celebrate with us.

We are continuing our monthly “Umbrella Skills” theme.  January’s focus is “Resiliency”.  Each month a short summary of the skill is posted to the web site.  Please support us by having discussions with your child(ren) about the monthly theme.  Share with them opportunities and examples in their life that demonstrate and require resilience.

I recently had a conversation with grade 4 students, he mentioned a website that I had not heard of called Special Books for Special Kids.  It profiles the lives of individuals living with exceptionalities and a diagnosis.  I was overwhelmed and inspired with the stories of the people interviewed.  I would like to share the site with you.  These individuals clearly live and demonstrate the Umbrella Skills.

The web site is Special books for Special kids –  https://sbsk.org.

Assessment and Evaluation is fundamental aspect the teacher communicating the student’s achievement, strengths and next steps.  This should be on going taking the form of teacher feedback during lessons, quizzes, test and assignments.  Reports Cards are formal way that we share with you your child’s achievement.  Report cards will be sent home on February 14th.  I encourage you to regularly review the assignments, notebooks and test to keep informed of your child(ren) strengths and need as a learner.

This winter is bringing some varied day to day changes in the weather.  We have had several days where the temperature has changes throughout the day.    Please encourage your children to bring all winter clothing to be prepared each day for being outside recess.

I wish you all a healthy New Year


Vic Longo



Ms. Kate Butter & Mrs. Sarah Lichti

Happy 2019! We hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends. Please see below for what is being covered this month.


Through December, we finished our unit on Geometry (we will revisit these concepts throughout the year). We studied the difference between 2-D and 3-D shapes and different shapes that fall under these categories. We investigated their attributes (e.g. number of sides, corners, faces, etc.) and identified real world items that are these shapes. We also briefly discussed surveys before the break. In January, your child will be learning how to design and conduct a survey, as well as how to graph their results. We will also continue working on representing numbers in different ways (e.g. ten frame, using our fingers, drawing pictures, tallying, etc.) with our numbers of the week (we have now covered 0-11) and various other numbers in our centres. This is a theme that we will continue through the rest of the year.


In  the month of December, we focussed on Christmas themed texts and writing. We made personal connections to the texts we read including traditions we have at Christmas. In January, we will be focussing on texts that center around the theme of New Year’s Resolutions/ goal setting and winter. Last month we continued working on our Jolly Phonics program, learning letter names (upper case and lower case) and sounds, as well as sight word identification. Please check calendar or Google Classroom to see what letter and which words we are working on. We will continue this in January.

Outdoor Learning/Science

We had a great opportunity to go to Benjamin Tree Farm in December. We will now discuss different activities kids can play in the snow and will also have a construct a sled (small scale) challenge.

Religion/Family Life

We will be learning about our Umbrella Project monthly theme (resilience) and study New Testament Bible stories, discussing how we can be like Jesus.


Mrs. Sike and Mrs. Grimberg, FDK Room 8

What’s Up?

With some beautiful snow, we can focus on the Season of Winter and the changes in our environment that we observe. We will study and classify animals in winter: those that hibernate, migrate or adapt. We will conduct simple experiments with snow and ice.

Our next “Awesome Author” will be Jan Brett. Her books often have a winter setting. Also, her books lend themselves to making predictions of what may happen next in the story. Making predictions is a thoughtful way to approach a text and offers rich discussion as we develop comprehension strategies. Check out her website at www.janbrett.com for engaging activities. We’ve already read some of her Christmas stories and the children loved them!

Math and Research

We will be wrapping up our shapes investigation by using problem solving to solve some shape problems. We will soon be turning our attention to Measurement. However, throughout the year we continually revisit the various math strands (patterning, number sense, geometry, data management) through independent math stations.

Each child will be selecting an animal to research through a kid friendly, board purchased database, called PebbleGo.


Ms. Jardine

Goodbye 2018 … Hello 2019!!! Welcome back everyone! The children have eagerly shared what they did over the holidays and we are happy to see everyone back for a new year. In Math, we will continue learning about 2D shapes and introduce 3D shapes. In Language, we will be continuing our Letters and Sounds program. The first week back will be review of all the letters and sounds we have learned so far. We will continue our Home Reading Program. If you did not return it before the break, please return it as soon as possible. Home Reading will be sent home every Monday. Please remember to return it every Friday. The book your child brings home is based on their reading level. Your child will be reassessed this month and may be bringing home a different leveled book. At school, your child participates in Guided Reading groups at their reading level each week. The groups are small and allow each child to practice various reading strategies with the guidance of their teacher. In Science, we will learn about the season of Winter. We will continue to learn and inquire about ice and snow. We will learn more about snowflakes this month – how they are formed and the unique characteristics snowflakes have. In Religion, we are back into Ordinary Time. We will change our prayer centre to reflect Ordinary Time. Ask your child what colour we changed the cloth to represent Ordinary Time. We will be learning about ourselves and our families and what makes us unique.


Mrs. Schlotzhauer Gr. 1

Dear Parents,

Happy New Year! It’s good to get back to routines again!

Just a reminder to please make sure that your child is coming to school each day with snow pants, a hat and extra mitts as our weather is very unpredictable and many students have been improperly dressed for those cold windy days. Thank-you to all for returning the ‘Neverending Story’ trip form. Another note will be sent home soon to let you know whether we will be going ahead with this and payment if required. New words have been written in their agendas and dictation tests will begin again on Mon. Jan.14th. There will be some intramurals for our primary classes this term. I have included the Gr. 1 days on the January calendar that was already sent home. These will take place during the last recess of the day. We have begun a new unit in Math on addition and subtraction to 20. We will focus on using a variety of strategies to assist us in solving these problems such as 10 frames, counting on or back, drawing pictures, and number lines. In Social Studies students are creating a schoolyard map for a fictional St. Paul’s School Neighbourhood. This is their culminating activity which will be completed at school. Once complete their work and map along with the rubric will be sent home. I am currently retesting all student’s reading levels and letter sounds.  A summary sheet will also be sent home once I have personally met with all children. We have begun some opinion writing in Writer’s Workshop. Students are asked to provide examples to support their opinions and thinking. We will also be taking a greater look at conventions and using rich descriptive language.

As always if you have any questions please contact me here at school.


Mrs. Gentile Gr. 1

Happy New Year!

With the beginning of a new year comes more new learning in the Grade 1 class. In Math we are discussing shapes, both 2D and 3D, and playing with symmetry and spatial sense, including puzzle building. We will also be playing with money in January, so please have fun discussing coin values and “trading money” (2 nickels for a dime) at home. In Language we will continue to practice various decoding strategies for when we get stuck on a tough word while reading, as well as comprehension strategies such as determining the main character and setting in a story. We will also begin a unit on procedural writing where students will write “How to” instructions to complete a task. We are wrapping up a science unit on living and non-living things, including learning about our senses, and will move onto Characteristics of Objects and Properties of Materials. Please continue to check your child’s agenda and read together on a daily basis. Thank you for your continued support at home.

Miss Esbaugh Gr. 1/2

Miss Esbaugh’s class had a lot of fun in December! We had some wonderful field trips (Laurel Creek and Benjamin Tree Farm) and some very special Advent celebrations! Now that we have come back from Christmas break, we are busy as usual! In Math we are learning about 2D and 3D shapes. In Language Arts, we are in the midst of a Media Studies unit; we are discussing different forms of media, and how media is used to persuade, inform, and entertain. In Social Studies, the Grade 1s are finishing up their Changing Roles and Responsibilities unit, and the Grade 2s are finishing Changing Traditions and Celebrations. We are wrapping up our Road to Bethlehem unit in Religion. Please continue to check agendas and D2L for further updates. Thank you!


Mrs. H. Shouftas Gr. 2

Dear Families,

Happy New Year! We had a busy December! Students enjoyed getting ready for the arrival of Baby Jesus. Students learned about the importance of the Christmas Season by reflecting on our classroom Nativity. Also in Religion, students had the opportunity to research a Saint of their choice and present their research to the whole class. Students did a great job on their presentations.

In Math, students learned how to multiply and divide. Students multiplied single digit numbers by using counters to make groups. Students then added all of their counters to find the answer. Students divided simple numbers by using counters to make equal groups. Students had a lot of success multiplying and dividing numbers. Have your child explain to you how to multiply and divide at home. Students also learned about growing and shrinking patterns. Students are able to make growing and shrinking patterns and show their patterns in different ways (e.g., clapping patterns, number line pattern, picture pattern).

In Social Studies, students wrapped up their unit on Family Traditions and Celebrations. I really enjoyed learning about some important celebrations and traditions that my students celebrate. We ended the unit by learning about where some of our Christmas traditions come from. Next, in January we will move on to Science and learn about how things move. We will also learn about each of the simple machines and how they make work easier.

In Language, students have been focusing on answering the 5W’s and 1H in their writing pieces. Students have also learned how to organize their ideas by using the words first, then, next, and finally. Next, students will learn how to use strong verbs in their stories. (e.g, twirl instead of dance). Students will be encouraged to use adverbs as well as adjectives to help make their writing “pop!” In Reading, students are learning about the Elements of a Story (i.e., Characters, setting, problem and solution). We will read a variety of book and take a closer look at these items in the story.

I am look forward to this New Year and continuing to work with and getting to know your child.


Mrs. Gruber Gr. 3/4

It has been a Happy New Year in Grade 3/4.  The class is feeling refreshed after their Christmas Break and have been eagerly participating in their learning since we have been back.  Most students have finished their Cereal Box Book Reports. Those who are not finished have been asked to complete the remainder of the work at home with the due date being Monday, January 14th.  Please let me know if you have any questions about the assignment. In Math, the class has been learning about angles and will continue with their Geometry unit into next week. This is a short unit so they will have a test very soon.  As always, I will provide a “test preparation” package which your child will have a choice to complete. I will communicate with you on the date that I offer the package so you can talk to your child about whether or not they feel they need to do some extra practice at home.  Please consider helping your child practice their multiplication facts at home to prepare for our upcoming multiplication unit. In Science, the Grade 3s have started their new unit about Forces Causing Movement and the Grade 4s will continue with the last portion of their unit on Light.  The Grade 3s are taking a break from Social Studies until the spring, while the Grade 4s finish up their Early Societies unit with learning about Medieval Times. We have lots of fun and interesting activities coming up such as; creating Chocolate bars and advertising after listening to the novel “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, participating in Coding Quest, and preparing for our Scientists in Schools visits early next month.  The Grade 4s will also be receiving their bibles soon. We plan on having a Bible Ceremony in February and will let you know as soon as we confirm the date with Father Stephen.


 Ms. Jarvis Gr. 4

Happy New Year!!!  We are quickly back into the swing of things and report cards are right around the corner. The students are working on finishing up some things we started before Christmas and beginning some units and other fun initiatives.

In Math, students are working on finishing up their Data Management unit and learning how to interpret graphs and comparing their data. We will then move on to our first Geometry unit of the year!  The learning will be focused on measuring angles.

In Reading, students continue to be in guided reading groups where we are working on reading aloud, fluency and reading punctuation.

In Writing, students will soon be presenting their research projects to the class and will be moving on to procedural writing next week

I hope everyone had a relaxing and wonderful holiday.


Mrs. Kalbfleisch Gr. 5

Grade 5 January Update

Happy New Year!

This month in the portable we are setting goals and deciding how we can stick to them. It takes a lot of resilience to make New Year’s resolution stick and we need to remember that even if we fall down, we can start anew the next minute, hour or day!

We are working on Data Management in Math now and have been recalling our previous knowledge about bar graphs. We are going to deepen our understanding of bias and perspective in the conclusions that we make from the data we collect. We will continue to learn about more graphs including stem and leaf and line graphs.

In Language, we are reading a narrative mystery novel and writing a narrative of our own. We will practice the elements of a this type of writing including setting, problem, solution as well as beginning, middle and end. Of course we will create some colourful characters and the perspective of a main character will be a focus.

In Science, we are beginning to realize how powerful force can be! We have built mini earthquake models and are connecting the need to plan our structures and cities to account for the powerful forces of tornadoes and forces that affect our environment.

We are beginning to discuss the reproductive system and the miracle of birth. God made us human beings that are a body we do not that simply have a body. In Religion we will be talking about St. Nicholas and St.Teresa of Calcutta and our call to model our lives after Jesus.

With so much to do we jumped right in when we returned and in many ways it feels comforting to be back in our familiar “home”, with our familiar friends in the “cabin”. Unfortunately for us, one of our friends moved from our area and is attending a new school. We wish Lucy all the best and will miss her smiling face and kind spirit.

I wish you all the best in 2019!

Ms. Mcleod Gr. 6

Happy New Year! Hopefully everyone had a nice restful break and is ready to get back in to things. With report cards right around the corner we have a busy month ahead of us! For the month of January, the students will be focusing on “resilience” for our school theme.

This month we will be focusing on the following things:

Writing: narrative writing, as well as, continue with report writing (and how to effectively use the chromebooks to help us with this)

Reading: we are continuing to work on finding evidence from the text when answering questions and explaining it clearly and fully. We will also be looking at summarizing. Finally, we will be looking at non fiction magazine articles that relate to our social studies unit of Canada and issues around the world.

Math: patterning and representing whole numbers (up to 6 digits)

Science: “Flight”

Social Studies: Canada’s Interaction with the Global Community (specifically looking at organizations around the world that help with global issues) and taking a closer look at how it connects to our read aloud “A long walk to water”

Art:the element of texture

Health: safety (focusing on bullying)

Gym: yoga

Important dates in January:

Jan 25: PD Day


Mrs. Hurren Gr. 7 – Portable One

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a restful break and is ready to dive, brains first, into the last few weeks of term one!

January has started with an exciting look back at the Newsworthy events of 2018. Ask your little journalist about the important story they are covering in this newspaper writing assignment. Our reading focus for the month will be self-selected Book Talks and we will have an opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of media advertisements with a healthy lifestyle spin. Our current math strand is Geometry where we are classifying polygons and exploring congruency. Have your son/daughter explain to you how a rectangle actually has 4 different names. Our beakers and stirring rods will be dusted off as we start our next science unit exploring the properties of pure substances and mixtures – be prepared to be blown away with how much matter matters! This month the Umbrella Project focus is resilience. We will be building on our ability to bounce-back when faced with challenges. Stay tuned for information coming home closer to the end of the month regarding our trip to Laurel Creek in February (fingers crossed for snow!).
Portable One Shout Outs: Congratulations to all members of the Portable One Theater Company – Christmas Story Time presentations were worthy of 5 stars!


Math Challenge: What do you THINK, NOTICE, and WONDER, about the following image?


Mr. Vuylsteke Gr. 8

Welcome Back and Happy New Year… It’s a great year for a great year!

I hope you all had a joyful and restful holiday with family and friends. The Grade 8 students have so much to look forward to as we begin 2019! Students will continue to have opportunities to try out for sports teams, experiment with technology in the classroom, get involved in leadership activities within the school, select courses for next year and start to think about the fun and exciting preparation that comes with graduation! As we begin the new year, students will continue to set their own individual goals and will monitor their progress towards achieving these goals. Opportunities for self-assessment as well as regular student- teacher conferences will continue to be provided in class to ensure that all students feel successful in accomplishing their goals each day.

There are a few upcoming items this month that I want to make sure everyone is aware of. Tuesday, January 15th is Grad Photo Day. If you are interested in ordering a class composite please have the order form that I sent home and $33.90 with you on Picture Day. You will have a chance to review proofs before you have to place orders for any other grad photos. I also sent home a note about Grad Wear. We are once again going with schooltee.com. This is the same organization the school has used for spirit wear orders… You have the option for both online and offline ordering. If you are familiar with the site and have done online ordering before you should be able to use that account to place an order, if you’re planning on using the paper order forms, please have all cash or cheques into myself by Friday, January 18th.

As a final note I just want to say thank you to all the Grade 8s for the excellent leadership and enthusiasm they showed in facilitating our school wide christmas activity day before the break – well done Guardians!


Mme Paquette

Happy New year!

We jumped right back into the swing of things. With that said, the end of term is almost upon us. This means report cards are on everyone’s minds. We will continue learning French with the DJ DELF unit and this will help with the assignments and tests that are on their way.   

Special Education

Mrs. Mash

January ~ Special Education

Happy New Year!!!

The start of the new year means we are coming close to the end of the First Term. Parents and guardians of students on an Individualized Education Plan will be asked to reflect on their child’s current (Term 1) IEP goals and components as we begin the process of developing Term Two IEPs. Classroom teachers will be sending home a form (Term 2 IEP Review) to parents inviting input and feedback as we review all IEPs. Please complete, sign, and return the form by Wednesday, January 16, 2019 so that we as a school staff can work together to ensure that your child’s learning needs are being fully met.

Please continue to keep the school informed of any assessments or health related information documentation so that we are always  up to date.

In the coming weeks, I will begin to assess the needs of our Early Years Readers. Over the past few years, Holy Family School has been lucky enough to offer the Strong Start Reading Program. This is a volunteer-run reading program. If you, or someone you know, is interested in volunteering a few hours a week to help a young reader advance, please contact me at the school or by email (erin.mash@wcdsb.ca)  and I will give you more details. Feel free to visit strongstart.ca as well. More information about this fabulous program will be shared in February.

Let’s continue to work together to make 2019 a successful year for everyone!

Planning Time

Mrs. Valant

First of all, I hope that all of you and your loved ones had a restful and wonderful Christmas break! It was nice to hop off of the treadmill for a couple weeks and rest idle. 🙂

In Drama this month, our classes are discussing the power of inferencing and how much emotion and information we can convey without saying a word. This week, for example, we have been enjoying some good games of charades and determining what our classmates are trying to say using body language and facial expression.

Phys. Ed., classes will be looking at maintaining static balances and various levels, with and without equipment. We will also be focusing on target games and activities.

In Health, we will be finishing up our unit on Healthy Foods, discussing the differences between local and imported foods, processed and unprocessed foods and organic vs. non organic foods. We will then delve into our unit on Online Safety, one that has become increasingly more important with more students now navigating and exploring various websites and apps on a regular basis.

This month’s Umbrella Project focus is RESILIENCE. We continue to support our students in being able to bounce back in the face of difficulty, e.g. a hurtful comment, a math question that is so tough, a fall on the school yard. Check out these two links to watch with your children if you choose:

Boundin” – a Pixar Short https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkUi4qdZStQ

“Try Everything”, song from Zootopia, STRONG resilience message! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2finUM4Y1Q


News from the desk of Mrs. Afonso-Magolon

Dear Family,

I hope your start to 2019 has been a happy and healthy one.  I wanted to say how proud I am of all the children during rehearsals and their performance at the Christmas Concert.  I hope you will cherish those memories of your child(ren).


Physical Education & Healthy Living

Our “Awesome Attitude” Award continues to be very popular.  After each Physical Education class, one child that has participated, tried their best, followed instructions and safety rules will be awarded the ribbon.  In Healthy Living, the children will review how to care for their teeth and what to do when they have wiggly teeth. To finish the unit, the children will circulate through stations that will reinforce and review personal hygiene tips and how to care for themselves.

The Arts

In Drama, the children with gain confidence using their bodies and gestures to portray different scenarios and characters.  They will also play guessing games by acting out different winter activities and getting dressed for winter. Through singing simple songs, the children will review the elements of music (i.e., beat, rhythm and dynamics).


Physical Education & Healthy Living

Since September, I have been selecting a student that demonstrated a S.T.A.R.S (Skill level, stays on Task, Active participant, Respectful of others and equipment, Sports etiquette) attitude.  For the next few months, the children will be completing self-evaluations using the S.T.A.R.S. as a guideline.  This month we will spend time on all four of the fitness components – flexibility, cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, muscle strength and muscle endurance.  In Healthy Living, we will continue to investigate the five senses and how they function.

The Arts

We will be learning and using drama terms during our lessons.  I will encourage the children to creatively express themselves through various emotion and charade games and through story dramatizations.

Through song and various activities, we will review beat and continue to write rhythms by using symbols and manipulatives (e.g., popsicle sticks to represent quarter notes).


Physical Education & Healthy Living

In Physical Education, I have been selecting a student that demonstrated a S.T.A.R.S (Skill level, stays on Task, Active participant, Respectful of others and equipment, Sports etiquette) attitude.  For the next few months, the children will be completing self-evaluations using the S.T.A.R.S. as a guideline.  This month we will be focusing on all four of the fitness components – flexibility, cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, muscle strength and muscle endurance.  In Healthy Living, we will wrap up our unit on oral hygiene.

The Arts

Due to the time involved in preparing for the Christmas concert, the children did not get enough time to practice their Christmas skits.  They will continue to work in their group to practice and present their Christmas skit. The importance of staying in role, having good stage presence, and being a respectful audience member will be reinforced during rehearsals.


By |2019-01-14T10:36:32+00:00January 14th, 2019|News|Comments Off on Messages From the Classroom

First Communion dates reminder

Good Afternoon, Holy Family Parish and Father Stephen have given us dates and times for the First Communion preparation meetings and sessions.  Please see the information below.

First Communion Program 2019:

Thurs. Jan. 31 @ 7:00 pm:  Meeting with Parents

Procedure for Requesting the Sacraments of:

First Reconciliation and First Eucharist for Your Child

(Enrolment Ceremony is set for Weekend Masses)

Thurs. Feb. 28 @ 7:00 pm: Meeting with Children Only:

Preparing for First Reconciliation: Ten Commandments;

Jesus’ Rules and prayer pamphlets.

Thurs. Mar. 28 @ 7:00 pm: Meeting with Parents

(Father meets with the children upstairs in the Church)

Parent’s role in preparing their child for First Reconciliation

and First Eucharist – using the 5 themes of the Booklet.

Thurs. April 25 @ 7:00 pm: Meeting with both Parents & Children:

Using Booklet to prepare for First Communion and the Order of the Mass.

Sacrament of First Reconciliation

Rehearsal for First Communion

First Holy Communion – May 5, 2019 at 12:00.

By |2019-01-09T08:23:31+00:00January 9th, 2019|News|Comments Off on First Communion dates reminder

January’s Umbrella Project Skill



Resilience is a skill and takes practice! Resilience is:

  • • The ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens
  • • Responding and adapting to adversity in healthy ways
  • • Bouncing back from hardship as a stronger, more resourceful person
  • • The ability to keep going in the face of challenges


    • Dealing with disruptive life events in a way that provides us with additional coping skills that we didn’t have prior to the event
  • • Adapting well to change and new situations



Why do some people get knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever? It’s their resilience. Over time everyone will face a range of obstacles and difficulties; it’s part of life. Resilience allows us to adapt or even feel stronger and happier after these times. It helps us to feel less like the victim of our own story and more like the hero.

When it comes to resilience, practicing helps. With every storm you successfully weather, your resilience gets a bit better and the more we do that, the stronger we get. The next time life is difficult, know that you become a bit more resilient with each challenge you face.


1. Helps us graduate from school

2. Allows us to see bad times as temporary

3. Prevents us from feeling like victims

4. Helps us to manage pressures positively

5. Improves life satisfaction

6. Increases our feelings of self worth

7. Leads to better health and wellbeing

By |2019-01-07T10:20:24+00:00January 7th, 2019|News|Comments Off on January’s Umbrella Project Skill

Merry Christmas

I wish to extend my gratitude to the staff and volunteers of Holy Family school.  It has been a busy Advent Season with the Christmas concert,  Monday Advent liturgies, confession and mass, classroom lessons and Christmas activities. These events would not be possible without the dedication of the school staff.  Thank you!  We are also fortunate to have the support of the School Council and many parent volunteers who contributed to our turkey lunch.   Father Stephen is an important member of our school community whose leadership and guidance allows us to grow in our faith and celebrate the presence of Jesus in our lives.  We are blessed to have him as our parish and school priest.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,


Vic Longo

Principal – Holy Family Catholic School.


By |2018-12-21T12:01:00+00:00December 21st, 2018|News|Comments Off on Merry Christmas

Turkey Lunch- Dec. 20th

On Thursday  December 20th we will be having our annual turkey lunch.   Each student will need bring their own plate and cutlery to support our school’s ECO  friendly goals.

On behave of the school staff and students I wish to thank Sabrina Henhoeffer who has organized and coordinated this event, all the parent volunteers who are helping to prepare and serve the meal and the MacKay Family and NO Frill for their generous support.


Thank you all,


Vic Longo


By |2018-12-17T07:38:09+00:00December 17th, 2018|News|Comments Off on Turkey Lunch- Dec. 20th

Wilmot Family Resource Centre Food Bank needed items

Good Afternoon,

In an effort to make our collaboration with the Wilmot Family Resource Centre meaningful we asked for a list of  items they are in the greatest need of receiving.  Below is a list of items you may wish to donate.  All donations are graciously accepted.

100 % fruit juice

Hot drinks


Canned fruit


Jam or honey

Margarine or butter



Cake mix and frosting

Festive desserts



By |2018-12-11T11:08:14+00:00December 11th, 2018|News|Comments Off on Wilmot Family Resource Centre Food Bank needed items

Christmas Food hamper and Coat / Sock Drive

Good Morning,

The Christmas Seasons comes with the excitement of celebrating with special meals and gift giving.  The Holy Family School community has always recognized that these are also times when some individuals and families benefit from support to help celebrate their Christmas.  This year we ask for your support with two school charity initiatives.  We are accepting donations for our sock and new and gently used coat drive.  Starting this week we are also be collecting non-perishable food items which will be given to the Wilmot Family Resource Centre.  You can also bring and drop off either of these items when you attend the Christmas concert this Wednesday.

Thank you for your kindness.

By |2018-12-10T07:40:03+00:00December 10th, 2018|News|Comments Off on Christmas Food hamper and Coat / Sock Drive

December Messages from the classroom

Principal’s Message

November was another great month.  I would like to thank all the staff for their dedication of supporting and leading our student’s education.  There were several events and activities in November which make Holy Family a vibrant place of learning.  There were  trips to Laurel Creek, guest instructors from the University of Waterloo, Intermediate Girls basketball tournament, Remembrance Day Liturgy, book fair, and the Grade 8 Mount Mary retreat and our monthly mass.  Our monthly Umbrella Project themes are progressing well.  Decembers theme is “Self Compassion”.  Please see our website for information on this theme.

One of our school goals is to increase the communication between home and school.  In November this included progress reports, parent interviews and a monthly classroom memo posted to our school website.  Research shows that parents reviewing teacher assessed assignments and work positively impacts student commitment and success.  We encourage you to ask your child to share their work with you and use the teacher feedback to acknowledge what was done well and what the next steps for improvement are.  All  assessed work should provide you and the student with this feedback.

We began the Advent season on Dec 2nd.  At school we are preparing for the celebration of Jesus’ birth.  Every Monday we will have a Liturgy in our gym to introduce and reflect on the week’s Advent theme.  In addition, we  have daily classroom prayers and reflections for teachers and students to discuss.

We have some festive events scheduled for December.  The Christmas concert is scheduled for Wednesday December the 12th.  To accommodate our growing numbers the night is separated into three performances.   We respectfully ask you to only attend the division performance of your own child(ren) to provide room for all.

Early Years (EY) concert begins at 4:30 p.m.

Primary division (Grades 1-3) at 5:15 p.m.

Junior division (Grades 3/4-6) at 6:00 p.m.


On December 20 we will have our annual Christmas Turkey Dinner for staff and students.  This event happens with the generosity of No Frills and the volunteers who prepare the food.  If you are able to give your time to supervise on the day or prepare some of the food please contact Sabrina Henhoeffer at shenhoffer1@gmail.com.

I wish you and your family a Peaceful and Restful Christmas Holiday

Mr. V. Longo


Ms. Jardine, Mrs. Simpson & Ms. Floto

In Math, we have been learning about sorting and shapes. We discovered that we can sort by colour, shape and size. We have been learning our 2D shapes and we enjoy sorting our shapes. We are excited to make a winter picture using different shapes! In Language, we really enjoy finding words that start with the letter of the week to add to our Letter of the Week Chart. We love reading the room to look for words that start with the letter of the week! We are learning to use our Word Wall to write words and sentences in our journals. We read the book The Polar Express and loved it. We decided to renovate our house centre and transform it into The Polar Express. It looks amazing! Check out our website to see updated pictures. In Science, we have been studying ice and snow. We experimented by making ice by putting water in the fridge, freezer and outside! We are excited to make fake snow and play with it in our sensory bin! We will learn more about snow and snowflakes this month.


Miss Butter & Mrs. Lichti

Dear Parents,

Below is a summary of what we have worked on in November and what we will be learning in December. For a more in-depth summary of our learning, please refer to our classroom newsletter.


Through November we have continued working on representing numbers in different ways (e.g. ten frame, using our fingers, drawing pictures, tallying, etc.) with our numbers of the week (we have now covered 0-8) and various other numbers in our centres. This is a theme that we will continue through December and the rest of the year. We also completed a unit on sorting and patterning which we will revisit throughout the school year. In Geometry, we have studied the difference between 2-D and 3-D shapes and different shapes that fall under these categories. We will continue to look at their attributes (e.g. number of sides, corners, faces, etc.) and identifying real world items that are these shapes. We will then move into our unit on Surveying and Graphing.


In the month of November we continued working on our Jolly Phonics program, learning letter names (upper case and lower case) and sounds. We have also been practicing sight word identification, especially for S.K students. Please check calendar or Google Classroom to see what letter and which words we are working on. Students have enjoyed listening to and making connections to Remembrance Day (stories about peace) and winter books. Going forward we will continue our letter of the week, identification of sight words and making connections to the stories we read in class.

Wishing you and your family a safe and wonderful Christmas!



Mrs. Grimberg and Mrs. Sike

Writer’s Workshop

Daily writing is in full swing in our classroom which enhances reading and literacy skills. We are writing everyday in some form or another. We will be posting ‘great ideas’ prompts on our Writer’s Workshop wall to refer to, however the children are rarely without an idea to write about. We keep our written pieces in a writing folder which will come home at the end of the year. From great accounts of our daily life events (e.g. what I did on the weekend, exciting places to go, being sick, my pet, my collection or talent etc.) to using writing strategies to relay the message (what you think you can write, draw a ‘quick pic,’ have-a-go writing, read back your writing) we are all learning the power of the written word. Also ask your child about ‘writing the room’ on whiteboards during language centres. We are all awesome authors!


We have wrapped up our formal learning/exploration of sorting and are moving onto our investigation of shapes! We will be exploring the properties of shapes, similarities and differences, shapes in the world around us and working through problem solving involving shapes. Hands on learning at its finest!




It’s hard to believe that Christmas is almost here! We have come a long way in our learning in Grade 1 but still have lots to do. Don’t forget our trip to Benjamin Tree Farm is Wed. Dec.5th. Please make sure your child has snow pants and a hat and mitts as some of our time will be spent outdoors. Please note our class picture will finally be taken on Dec. 6th, in the morning. I will not be giving out new words for dictation tests in the last week before our holidays. This will resume again in the new year. Please note on the calendar a few class prizes from the Dance-a-Thon in the last week of December. Students may bring in something to show and share if interested, there will be some electronic game time and there will be a stuffy/pillow/blanket & treat & movie day. If you wish to purchase books from the book order as Christmas gifts, please just write me a note and I will give you a call when they come in to make pick up arrangements.

Curriculum at a glance this month;

Math – Data Management with a focus on collecting, showing, comparing and analyzing data       in tallies, pictures and bar graphs.

Religion – Advent, the Road to Bethlehem

Family Life – Families and Love

Social Studies – Different Neighbourhoods and some globe skills including mapping, legends and symbols

Literacy – The big focus this month is a Media Project that also includes Visual Art, Oral Communication and Writing. Students will be designing and advertising a New Christmas Product. Success Criteria and a Rubric will be sent home the last week of December after they have presented their work. All work will be completed at school, although; they may wish to bring something in from home to spice up their presentation. Showing and discussing advertisements at home from print, digital, audio and visual would reinforce what we are doing in class with a focus on messages, why companies advertise and how they grab our attention and make us want to buy their products. In Reading we will also be taking a closer look at story elements and retelling a story identifying a beginning, middle and end.

Merry Christmas! and Enjoy Your Family Time Together!


Miss Esbaugh

November was a busy month in Miss Esbaugh’s classroom! Students did very well with the supply teacher that was in for 2.5 weeks. Data management was covered in Math, giving students the opportunity to create and analyze various forms of graphs. We are currently working on telling time to the hour, half hour, and quarter hour; temperature will our next focus. Letter writing was our focus in Language, and we practiced by writing friendly letters to our families and staff members at school. We have now moved onto procedural writing (writing instructions for how to complete a task). We are just wrapping our our current Science units (Energy for Grade One, and Liquids and Solids for Grade Two). We will be switching to Social Studies for the month of December. We are looking forward to celebrating Advent, going to Laurel Creek, and going to Benjamin Tree Farm! Please continue to check D2L for daily updates. Thank you!


Ms. Gentile

I cannot believe that December is here already! We have been doing a lot of amazing learning in our class this month. Thank you to all the families at home who are continuing to practice WWWs with their children, the improvements in our Writer’s Workshops have been exciting to see! Thank you, also, for being diligent with reading and returning the Home Reading folders, I will continue to monitor progress, and send home books at your child’s appropriate reading level. Also, thank you for sending in the information needed for us to complete timelines of important events in our lives – they were a lot of fun to create and share! In math we will be practicing both exploring time through months, days, analogue and digital clocks; as well as beginning to investigate 2D shapes and 3D solids. In Religion we will be participating in school and class-wise activities, both learning and celebrating Advent. I look forward to seeing our classroom families at the Christmas concert on Dec. 12! Merry Christmas.


Mrs. Shouftas

Dear Families,

We have had quite a busy month! Students learned what it means to have GRIT. Students gave it their all this month to learn new concepts and try new things.

In Social Studies, students are learning about traditions and how Christmas is celebrated around the world. Students enjoyed sharing their family traditions around birthdays, Easter, Christmas and various other special days.

In Math, students have been learning about 2D and 3D shapes. Students learned about naming and sorting shapes. They made 3D shapes with a partner using tape and straws. Students used shape nets to create many interesting shapes.

In Language, students are learning how to retell a story using the words first, then, next and finally. Students are also learning about the elements of a story which include the identifying the characters, problem, solution and main ideas of a story.

In Religion, students are learning about various Catholic Saints. Students were given a project that is to be completed at home about researching a Saint of their choice. Students will present their chosen Saint to the rest of the class on Thursday, December 6th.

On Wednesday, November 28th, three University of Waterloo students came to our class to demonstrate medieval simple machines. Students had the opportunity to build and explore catapults, a drawbridge (pulley) and ramps (inclined plane).

Next, we will be getting ready for Christmas by learning about the Advent season. We will also complete art activities related to Christmas.

Parents, please provide your children with the necessary eating tools that they will need. Our classroom has been going through many spoons and forks. If you have any plastic spoons and forks to donate to our classroom that would be great! Please continue to practice adding and subtracting with your child. We will review and revisit important math concepts throughout the year. I look forward to seeing all the families at our Christmas concert on the 12th. Take Care!

Mrs. Rice

This past month, we focused on building our GRIT in our classroom and community. Congratulations to Andrea, Jaime and Lauren for getting brag tags and being recognized for this virtue. In December our focus is Self-Compassion, so with the chaos of this festive month, we ask that all take it easy and be good to yourself. In Language Arts, our focus has been on persuasive and letter writing. The children have applied for a Reindeer position at the North Pole and are trying to persuade Santa, through strong language and evidence from their experiences, that they are best suited for the job! The students have all chosen a novel to read for their Cereal Book Report that we will be starting next week. Please encourage your kids to read 15-20 minutes every night. In Social Studies, we are finishing up our Units on First Nations and Early Settlers in Upper and Lower Canada. We had a fantastic experience at Crawford Lake and learned so much about how our First Nations people survived hundreds of year ago. The students are now completing a poster project on one aspect of Early Settler life, obtaining information from PebbleGo. In Math, we continue to develop mental math subtraction through Number String routines. We are also completing a Data Management package by conducting Christmas surveys and graphing our data on 3 different types of graphs. We will also be starting some 3-D Geometry before Christmas break. December often flies by so quickly because it is such a busy and fun month. I wish all of you restful and joyous holidays over Christmas holidays!


Mrs. Gruber

There is much to look forward to in Grade 3/4 in the coming weeks.  The class is busy preparing for our School Christmas Concert on December 12th and are excited to perform for you.  Mrs. Valant and Mrs. Radisic are helping the children prepare their acts, so I am sure it will be a great show!  We have also begun preparing our hearts for the Advent season by starting our new unit in Religion where we will learn more about Advent and the importance of this time of waiting where we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus.  In Writing, we have also started a Christmas-themed activity in which the students will be attempting to use persuasive writing skills to convince Santa to hire them as Reindeer workers.  Ask your child which job he or she is applying for and the skills they have that make them the best Reindeer for the job!  In Reading, the class is doing a great job reading their chapter books to prepare for the Cereal Box Book Report assignment that was introduced earlier this month.  Beginning next week, your child may be asked to do some of their reading at home so that they can stay “on track” with this assignment.  I will write you a note in the agenda if your child should be doing some home reading.  In Mathematics, we are focusing on patterns in addition and subtraction.  This will be a short focus and we should be starting a new unit on Geometry in the month of December.  I would like to wish you all a safe and fun-filled holiday.  Merry Christmas to all!


Ms. Jarvis

December has snuck up so quickly and we are excited for all of the fun things we have going on for the Christmas season.  Along with all of the fun, we will continue with our curriculum and here are the things we are focussed on for December.

  • Science – we are continuing to work on our Habitats and Communities unit. Students will be learning about food chains, food webs and how we all impact their environment
  • Math – our main focus right now is on addition and subtraction of 4 digit numbers with a continued focus on explaining our thinking and communicating it clearly
  • Reading – we are working hard on finding evidence from the text when answering questions and explaining it clearly and fully
  • Writing –  we are going to continue working on our research projects on the animal of their choosing.  We are working on topic sentences and putting information into our own words

I am also excited to host an activity for parents and families in the classroom before Christmas too if everything works out. Keep an eye out for more information.

I hope everyone has a wonderful December and a Merry Christmas!


Mrs. Kalbfleisch

Hello Everyone!

Here are a few of the things going on in Grade 5 this coming Month! We are finishing our unit on Multiplication and will circle back to it later on in the year and add division and some more elements of Number Sense. We need to have a break and apply some of what we know to our other units in Math. Measurement is next and we will add a Christmas flair.

We have some great art projects planned during Art. We will be preparing for the birth of Christ in Religion with reconciliation and talking about the real gifts we share as a Catholic community.

We look forward to seeing you at the Christmas concert on Dec.12th!

Ms. McLeod

It has hard to believe that it is already December and Christmas Break is soon to come! For the month of November, the students displayed great perseverance towards our school theme of “Grit”.

This month we will be focusing on the following things:

Writing: narrative writing, as well as, continue with report writing (and how to effectively use the chromebooks to help us with this)

Reading: we are continuing to work on finding evidence from the text when answering questions and explaining it clearly and fully. We will also be looking at summarizing. Finally, we will be looking at memoirs some read alouds, to connect with personal narratives.

Math: fractions, locations and transformations and patterning

Science: Biodiversity (end assessment) and starting our second unit “Flight”

Social Studies: Canada’s Interaction with the Global Community (specifically looking at organizations around the world that help with global issues) and taking a closer look at how it connects to our read aloud “A long walk to water”

Art:the element of space

Health: healthy eating

Gym: basketball

Important dates in November:

Dec 7: PD Day

Dec 12: School Christmas concert

Dec 21: last day of school

Ms. McLeod


Mrs. Hurren – Portable One

Twas the weeks before Christmas when all through the school not a student was working, except for the Grade 7’s in portable one – but clearly, they are not working on rhyming!

This week we expectantly welcome the season of Advent with excitement and joy, challenging ourselves to take some time to be still and pray in preparation for Christmas. Ask your son/daughter to share with you the relevance of the colours on our advent wreath and why this is an important time of waiting. The end of November brought with it the end of our “Fish in a Tree” novel study and we are working on demonstrating an understanding of the novel by creating a personal interpretation of the theme. We will be working through language centres in December, focusing on inferring. In Math, we have wrapped up Data Management and have begun our unit in Measurement. This is giving us an opportunity to revisit working with variables as we get messy with formulas. No more wasted Christmas wrapping paper – you will have an expert in your house thanks to our surface area calculations! We are diving into our next major battle in History and will be uncovering more about conflict and change in our country’s past. All of our hard work in our drama unit is coming to a close with our Portable Theater Company productions of various children’s Christmas stories. Our actors will be performing for some very excited little friends in our JK/SK study buddy class. Our monthly focus is self-compassion and the students have been challenged to practice positive self-talk and to celebrate the extraordinary gift that each and everyone of us is!

Portable One Shout Outs: Congratulations to our Girls’ Basketball team and our Boys’
Volleyball team!

Math Challenge:


I wish all of you a safe and relaxing Christmas break – I look forward to seeing everyone in the New Year!

Merry Christmas!


Mr. Vuylsteke

Hello Grade 8 families!

December is here and Christmas is just around the corner. There are many exciting things to look forward to this month leading up to the holidays. The season of Advent is a time for hope and waiting, and the Grade 8s have the privilege of leading this month’s Advent school mass. We will be working with our FDK buddies to prepare for this celebration.

We wrapped up November with our retreat to Mount Mary.  I hope the students have shared their memories and reflections from this truly uplifting experience. I have posted a few pictures on our google class site and will be sharing the full album with all students.

With the start of a new month, we have wrapped up our math unit on square roots and pythagoras. Please look for the unit packages coming home and be sure to sign and return. Unit 4 focuses on the measurement of circles and cylinders. In Science we will be finishing up our look at cells and moving towards an indepth look at water systems. We are continuing our look at the road to Confederation in history, and in Language we will be focusing on inferencing through literacy centers. In media literacy, we kicked off the month with the Supreme Court of Vuylsteke in session as the students researched and took a stance to debate the Trans Canada pipeline expansion.

This month we focus on the virtue of self compassion. We will explore what it means to honour our own humanness, and practice positive self-talk taking ownership for our actions. Please be sure to take some time for yourself over the holidays, and celebrate all we have to be thankful for. Merry Christmas!


Planning Time

Mrs. Valant’s December   

Dear Families,

First of all, I would like to share with you that this month’s Umbrella Skill is SELF-COMPASSION. During this month, we will be focusing on treating ourselves with care and understanding instead of harsh judgement. Many of us feel that being self-critical pushes us to do better; however, self-criticism actually reduces our self-confidence.

All of our classes have been preparing for the Christmas Concert and each class is very excited to share their dancing, singing and recitation talents with you!

** Just a few reminders…

1) If your child is unable to attend the after-school performance, please let myself or the classroom teacher know in advance.

2) Please bring your child(ren) to school 15 minutes before his/her performance time and in costume as indicated on the note that went home.

Early Years Performance 4:30 p.m.

Primary  Performance 5:15 p.m.

Junior Performance 6:00 p.m.

3) Early years children are dropped off at the early years door and will be met and guided to their classroom by a teacher.  Primary & Junior students use the main entrance stairs and then go directly to their classroom.  Grade 3 to Library, Grade ¾ to Room 3, Grade 5 to Room 2.

4) Please promptly pick up your child at his/her classroom and only stay for the performances wherein your child(ren) are involved.

**For any further details regarding the Christmas concert, please see the Holy Family NewsWire sent out and dated November 15th.


This month’s main focus has been Arts driven throughout all classes and divisions.

All of our classes have discussed the importance of facial expression, (Do I look like I’m enjoying myself?), voice projection, (Am I speaking/singing loudly enough?), enunciating, (Am I speaking and singing clearly?), knowing our physical place on stage, how to breathe properly when singing (from our diaphragm), knowing our cues, (e.g. I say my line before/after this phrase, I start my dance portion of the song at the instrumental interlude, etc.), following the song tempos, (Am I singing fast enough? Or am I singing too slow?), singing in proper pitch and in continuing with last month’s Umbrella Project theme of grit, not giving up easily, persevering, and practicing often. There is no such thing as, “I can’t! Simply, I can’t YET!”

I have thoroughly enjoyed working with your children to create varied performances for your enjoyment at the Christmas concert next week!

I would also like to take this opportunity to wish you all peace, love, joy and happiness this Christmas season, and all things wonderful in the New Year!

Many blessings,

Mrs. Valant

News from the desk of Mrs. Afonso-Magolon

Dear Family,

Self-compassion is this month’s Umbrella Skill.  During this month, we will focus on treating ourselves with care and understanding instead of harsh judgement. Many of us feel that being hard on ourselves is motivating, but self-criticism actually reduces our self-confidence.

Practices are well underway for the Christmas Concert and the children are very excited about sharing their gift of song and dance with you on Wed. Dec. 12.  Just a few reminders:

1)  Please do your best to ensure your child is at school every day to practice.  If your child is unable to attend the after-school performance, please let me know or the classroom teacher.

2) Please bring your child(ren) 15 minutes before his/her performance time and in costume, as indicated on the note that went home.

Early Years Performance 4:30 p.m.

Primary  Performance 5:15 p.m.

Junior Performance 6:00 p.m.

3) Early years children are dropped off at the early years door and will be met and guided to their classroom by a teacher.  Primary & Junior students use the main entrance stairs and then go directly to their classroom.  Grade 3 to Library, Grade ¾ to Room 3, Grade 5 to Room 2.

4) Please promptly pick up your child at his/her classroom and only stay for the performances that you have children in.


Physical Education & Healthy Living

Our focus this month in Physical Education will be to continue to demonstrate hand-eye coordination in movement by throwing, catching and target skills. They will practice independently, with partners and in co-operative games.  The children will also be learning new Christmas themed co-operative games.  In Healthy Living, the children will learn about the importance of oral hygiene.

The Arts

The children will have fun dancing and moving creatively to Christmas songs.  We will also be engaging in some simple dramatizations to emphasize using our face and body expressively.  This month the children will be learning some new and traditional Christmas songs.  They will have more opportunities to use instruments to reinforce the beat and rhythm to the songs they learn.  Of course, we will continue to practice daily for the Christmas concert.


Physical Education & Healthy Living

In Physical Education, we have discussed setting personal goals during our cardio warm ups to build up endurance.  This month we will continue working on throwing and catching different sized balls and rolling balls to targets. In Healthy Living, we will be identifying the 5 senses and learning how they function.

The Arts

The children will play drama games and engage in role play by focusing on the drama element of character.  They will be encouraged to adopt the thoughts, feelings and gestures of the characters they play.  We will also be spending a lot of time learning and practicing a song and dance for the Christmas concert.  The children will continue to sing, in unison, Christmas themed songs and use instruments to accompany simple songs.


Physical Education & Healthy Living

In Physical Education, we are building up our endurance by warming up with line exercises.   This month we will continue working on throwing and catching in varying ways (i.e., underhand, overhand); with a variety of balls and from a variety of levels (e.g., standing, sitting, lying down).  We will play games that incorporate throwing and rolling to targets. In Healthy Living, we will see the effects of acid (i.e., vinegar) on an eggshell and how similar effects happen to our tooth enamel when plaque mixes with sugar to create acid.  We will be discussing proper brushing and flossing techniques and other ways to maintain good oral hygiene.

The Arts

The children will be working in small groups to practice Christmas skits.  They will learn about the elements of drama needed to make their play a success with a focus on the element of role/character.

We will continue to spend a lot of time learning and practicing a song and dance for the Christmas Concert and participate in singing other Christmas songs.

I would like to wish you all a magical and blessed Christmas and a safe and healthy New Year.


Mrs. Afonso-Magolon


Special Education

December ~ Special Education – Mrs. Mash

Now that Progress Reports have gone home and Parent-Teacher interviews have occurred, I hope that you have had an opportunity to celebrate the successes that your child has made. Even a small increase in ability should be recognized and highlighted. Your child is working hard and the benefits are starting to show. Hopefully confidence is building as well.

I have had the opportunity to speak with some parents about their child’s progress (i.e.,  Empower Reading Programs, Speech-Language sessions, etc.,  and I love to share accomplishments made in the classroom with home. Please feel free to contact me at the school at any time if you would like to connect and find out how your child is doing. If I am not able to answer your questions, I will direct you to someone that can.

Here’s to a happy and joy-filled holiday season.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Mrs. Mash

Special Education Resource Teacher







By |2018-12-10T14:55:05+00:00December 5th, 2018|News|Comments Off on December Messages from the classroom

PD Day Friday Dec. 7th

The school board has scheduled the Faith Formation Professional Development day for this Friday.  There will be no school for students.



By |2018-12-05T12:57:52+00:00December 5th, 2018|News|Comments Off on PD Day Friday Dec. 7th