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

“To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love, For it is in giving that we receive. . .”
~ from The Prayer of Saint Francis

My name is Suzanne DeVaney-Wilkes, but I'm better known as Ms. D. This is my fortieth year of teaching, my thirty-second 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, spiritually, and physically. I still have fond memories of being a second grader myself in Mrs. Edlund's class at The Madeleine School in Portland . My hope is that your child will feel the same way I did and still do about this special year of elementary school.

Students need a respectful, challenging, and safe 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. We hope 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 am no longer directly involved in teaching the Sunday sacramental preparation classes, 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, and there's no place I'd rather be!

Contact Ms. DeVaney-Wilkes


                                                                 Open the eyes of our hearts Lord.                                                                                                                                      (based on) Ephesians 1:18


Second Graders are learning . . .

  • Religion: We are exploring the Essential Question of Unit 3: Why do we depend on Jesus' promise for mercy and forgiveness?   Please practice the Act of Contrition with your child at homeMy God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against you whom I should love about all things. I firmly intend, with your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior. Jesus Christ, suffered and died for us. In His name, my God, have mercy. Amen.


  • Reading: Second graders are reading a variety of developmentally appropriate literature and informational texts. Phonics, vocabulary, and comprehension skills are ongoing. Guided reading groups provide differentiated lessons to meet the needs of all learners. Students are also reading ebooks on a website called Raz-Kids. This site can be accessed at home for additional practice.


  • English: The 6+1 Traits of Writing integrated with the English Language Arts Common Core Standards are being used in planning, teaching, and assessing the progress of my young authors. Students are currently writing informational paragraphs about various groundhogs. In this style of writing, the author writes a topic sentence, at least three facts and details about the topic, and a closing sentence related to the topic. In grammar, the focus is on commas.


  • Spelling:The Rebecca Sitton Spelling Program is a resource that provides the weekly word lists. In second grade, there are 170 Core Words that the students should master by June. The spelling lists are made up of high-frequency words that recycle through the year. It's not a one and done kind of program. Here is a link to a website for spelling practice:


  • Handwriting:The cursive alphabet is now being introduced. The four keys of legibility (letter size, shape, spacing and slant) are being emphasized and used as the basis for handwriting evaluation.


  • Math: The second unit of math is Number and Operations in Base Ten. This includes learning a variety of strategies for solving two-digit addition and subtraction problems, solving one and two-step word problems, reading, writing, and comparing  three-digit numbers,  as well as adding and subtracting numbers to 999.


  • Social Science: Second graders review the Schoolwide Learning Expectations on an ongoing basis. Geography skills are being practiced daily as part of Morning Work Time, and current lessons are about the history of Holy Cross.


  • Science: We are building on our knowledge of matter from the first unit of study. The second unit focuses on the non-living Earth materials that support life.


  • Art: Second grade artists will be exploring line, shape, texture, and color this year. We will also have fun with seasonal arts and crafts projects!


Click here to read The Second Grade Buzz Newsletter.


Faith Formation

Learning about and having the opportunity to fully participate in the wonderful sacraments of Reconciliation and Eucharist makes second grade an extra special year!

First Reconciliation ~ Preparation Class on Sunday, March 15th at 11:15 a.m.

Celebration of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is Saturday, March 21st at 10:00 a.m.

First Holy Communion ~ Preparation Retreat Day on May 3rd from 11:00 a.m. -3:00 p.m.

First Communion Rehearsal on May 5th at 6:00 p.m.

First Communion Mass on Saturday, May 9th at 10:00 a.m.

These are a few photos of children who received their first Holy Communion last school year.




Use this link to place your Scholastic Book Order online

The next book order due date is April 3.


Service Projects

The second grade works with the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry with whatever they may need. We also provide service to the parish by making various projects, and writing notes for the homebound.

Second graders carried all the items donated during the fall Food Drive to the SVdP Food Pantry.