Abby and Ethan are both in 8th grade this year. Abby is finishing her second year at Immaculate Heart of Mary (go Vikings!), where she wears a red, white and blue uniform to school each day. She is in a class of 25 8th graders, which suits her just fine. She’s made some great friends there, and loves her teachers. It has been a true blessing. Abby loves her English and Literature classes and doesn’t much enjoy Math.
Ethan is finishing his last year at Pinewood Middle School. Pinewood has as many students in 6th to 8th grades as IHM has from Kindergarten to 8th, which suits Ethan just fine as it provides lots of opportunity to make new friends. Ethan loves Social Studies and dislikes English, and is in his third year of band playing trumpet.
Trista finds herself in school a few times a week as well, volunteering for the 4th year in her niece Courtney’s 1st grade class at Bowen Elementary School. This year, Trista is reading with four students three times a week. All of the kids are English Language Learners (students who are relatively new to the English language). ELL students are learning vocabulary, sentence structure and so much more in addition to learning to read, so additional support can help a great deal. It is really rewarding to see those kiddos develop reading skills.
Mark is always learning new things, although not in a traditional classroom. Sometimes he takes classes on Udemy (which also hosts the class he teaches) and sometimes it's self direction. This years he's worked with a new computer language as well as improving his skills in security and encryption (both modern and otherwise).