Second Grade, Ms. DeVaney-Wilkes, (Ms. D.)

My name is Suzanne DeVaney-Wilkes, but I'm better known as Ms. D. This is my thirty-eighth year of teaching, my thirtieth at Holy Cross. Time flies when you're having fun! Most of these years have been spent teaching second grade. It's such an incredible year of growth for the children academically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually. I still have fond memories of being a second grader myself. My hope is that your child will feel the same way I do about this special year of elementary school.

I am pleased to be working with Miss Jacquelyn Miller this trimester. She is currently enrolled at Western Governor's University and is fulfilling the requirements for an elementary teaching license. Miss Miller will be with us until December 8th. Her previous classroom expereince includes teaching PreK. She attends St. Patrick's in NW Portland. We're happy Miss Miller will be sharing her time and talents with us this fall.

Students need a respectful, challenging classroom environment where they can feel comfortable and confident in their learning. Effective classroom management directly enhances the learning environment. Students who consistently demonstrate behaviors and attitudes that reflect the Schoolwide Learning Expectations (SLEs) become Busy Bee Self-Managers. The children really take these expectations to heart and do their best to become Busy Bees!

Second graders who have been baptized have the opportunity to receive the sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist during the school year. Please contact Andrea Swanson, the parish Director of Religious Education, if you are interested in having your child participate in the parish program. This is an important mission of the parish to deepen the children's knowledge of Catholicism and put their faith into action. The children come with open minds and hearts in order to more fully participate in the Church, the Body of Christ. Even though I won't be teaching the weekend classess this year, I will offer support by planning with Mrs. Swanson and presenting faith-based lessons in the classroom.

It's wonderful to be part of the Holy Cross community. It feels like a home away from home.


We are the light of the world.

                                                                                    Matthew 5:14


Look what second graders are learning now . . .


  • We have just begun to study about the sacrament of Reconciliation. 


  • Basic addition and subtraction facts to 18 are being practiced daily. Our goal is to become fluent (recall quickly and accurately). 

  • Students are deepening their understanding of the base ten number system.

Language Arts

  • Students are reading a variety of texts from different genres this year. The biggest shift in second grade is reading to learn, instead of learning to read. That being said, I understand that each learner is unique. Small guided groups enable the teacher to provide the targeted instruction that students need in order to be successful. The Journey's reading series and many other resources are utilized to help meet the needs of all the students. Electronic books are also utilized during reading time. Students may access these books at home by clicking on this link My teacher name on the login page is sdevaneywilkes. The school has purchased a license for classroom and home use for the year. Please take advantage of this great resource!

  • The 6+1 Traits of Writing model is used schoolwide to teach and assess student writing. Second graders are currently utilizing the writing process of focusing their ideas, writing a rough draft, revising, editing, and publishing. Students are writing in the narrative style. In grammar, we're learning about verbs.

  • Second graders are learning cursive writing strokes and will practice all the lowercase letters of the Zaner-Bloser style alphabet followed by the capitals.


  • New to Holy Cross this year are the Next Generation Science Standards. We are exploring interdependent relationships in ecosystems. 

Social Studies

  •  Students are learning about the history of Holy Cross (parish and school).


  • The children will learn about line, shape, form, color, value, texture, and space as they complete art  projects this year. Our latest project used straight and curved lines to draw turkeys! 



Have a blessed Thanksgiving!


Click here to read The Second Grade Buzz

The second grade's newlsletter is emailed to families and made available online at the end of each week.


Faith Formation

Children's Liturgies are amazing! Join us on Fridays at 8:30 A.M. in the church during the school year.

Thank you, Fr. Mark, for teaching us more about our faith and helping us grow closer to God.



Use this link to place your Scholastic Book Order online

Books orders are due Dec. 1st.


Service Projects

The second grade will be working with PreK this year to assist the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry with whatever they may need. We will also continue to provide service to the parish through cleaning projects in the church and artwork for the homebound.


Art projects made for the church by second graders from 2016-17. We love Holy Cross!

Contact Mrs. D.


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