Parent Letter

  • The Original 13 Colonies  
    Welcome back...
    to  Heatherwood Middle School for the 2023-2024 school year. I look forward to being your child's History teacher this year. I grew up in Spokane, Washington and love the Pacific Northwest. I earned my Bachelors of Education degree at Eastern Washington University. While teaching in the Las Vegas area for five years, I earned my Masters of Education degree from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. I am excited about my 23rd year in the Everett School District. Further, I am looking forward to a great year with a fantastic group of students, parents/guardians, staff, and administrators. There will be high expectations for all and with those come high achievement and success! These pages will tell you about our rules and grading procedures here at Heatherwood, and my classroom expectations. 

    Human Geography This study will examine physical features, political features, cultures, movement of peoples, economies, environments, peoples, events in History, governments and much more.   Also, tying these areas in with what is happening in the world today.
    Eighth grade students will be studying American History.  The atmosphere leading up to the Revolution and the  Declaration of Independence.  The Spirit of the Revolution and the ambience of writing the US Constitution.  A focused look at the pulse of the people as our history unfolds with the spotlight always going back to the US Constitution.   Finally, always tying these events in with what is happening in the world today.  


    Students need to have the following items with them during class each day.

    • Pencils/sharpener
    • Folder that I will provide
    • Colored Pencils
    • Library Book -- To read and fill the mind with knowledge and wonder!


    (Tests will include a  5 paragraph essay project), quizzes, and other projects: (Summative Assessments) will make up 100% of the grade. Classwork (Formative Assessments) will be graded either complete (scored 1, 2, 3, or 4 with 4 being the highest) or missing (History only). My expectations for students are that they complete all the classwork (formative) and homework on time, and study for upcoming tests that includes a 5 paragraph essay project (summative). "Formative" is similar to football/volleyball practice that readies a player for the big game (the test).  Players who complete the practice (classwork) play well in the game (test).  Students will be given time to complete most work during class. They may, however, have additional work to be completed at home if they don't use their class time productively. Test/assessment re-takes should be rare. However, they are required if/when a student scores lower than a C. Students who "push" themselves by doing the exceeding standard requirements on the test/essay will earn bonus points. This will also encourage them to study the material they are learning in class for their tests. I do not award extra credit.
    Late Work:

    Any work that is turned in late will be evaluated on an individual basis and given appropriate credit if the teacher is in agreement with the lateness of the work. Students are encouraged to be accountable for their work. If students are absent, they have two days per day of absence to make up their work. Asking for assignments and finding out what was missed is the responsibility of each student. It is important for your child to be in school because many of the learning experiences that occur in the classroom simply cannot be made up at home.



    New online grades will be posted approximately every two weeks on our website. No grade will fall below 50%This helps students recover their grades and is far more efficacious in student growth/success. The online gradebook is updated at the same time as I enter the grades.  The grading scale will be as per Heatherwood Middle School policy:

    A = 100 - 93%           C+ = 79- 77          F= 59 - 0

    A- = 93 - 90               C = 76 - 73

    B+ = 89 - 87              C- = 72 - 70

    B = 86 - 83                D+ = 69 - 67

    B- = 82 - 80               D = 66 - 60


    Communicating with Student/Parent(s)/Guardian(s):

    • It is recommended that students check Mr. Z.'s teacher website calendar daily.  This is also a good way for you to find out what happened in class and ask your student questions about what they've learned.
    • Also, you have my teacher website at Heatherwood, located on my Canvas Home page in the middle of the page. There, students/parents/guardians can access e-copies of essay rubrics and other helpful aids.  The calendar is updated regularly. 
    • Parent involvement in education is a key to every student's success. 
    • Also, for both 8th and 7th grade History, you will be purvey to the online textbook, found on my Canvas homepage on the left, called "American History" and "Experience State History". 
    • Weekly History Emails (weekends) informing parents, guardians and students of what was learned and what is upcoming.



    My classroom phone number at school is 425-385-6472. My planning period this year is period 4 (11:17 - 12:12). I will do my best to return your phone calls or emails within a 24-hour timeframe. Email is a good way to reach me, and it will be a quick and very helpful way for me to communicate with you about your child. My email address is


    American Character: George Washington
     American Character: The Liberty Bell

    Mr. Zinkgraf's Class Expectations: The American Character

    1. "With Malice toward none and Charity toward all". -- Abraham Lincoln

    2. All students need to be in their seats working with class materials when the bell rings.

    3. Further, students read the agenda (power point) the moment they enter the room.

    4. Listen, follow instructions, and apply your best effort at all times.

    5. Ask questions, help your neighbors, learn a lot, be safe, and have fun.

    6. "Judge not a person by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character" -- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King




    Gregory L. Zinkgraf