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031017 Friday Focus

posted Mar 10, 2017, 11:16 AM by Michael Lepene

Frances C. Richmond Middle School

Friday Focus 031017

Woodworking students build classroom furniture with Mr. Starr. (Lepene)

Principal's Corner

Dear Parents/Guardians,

This week we feature a write-up from Lynn Callaway (Learning Specialist) and Amanda Yates (Associate Principal). Amanda and Lynn provide some highlights from recent and on-going work by our staff aimed at developing and supporting a positive and healthy community at RMS. I hope you enjoy the look-in!

Michael Lepene, Principal

At this week’s staff meeting, the RMS School Community Committee provided an update on the work they have done to date this year and shared information about Restorative Practices. This committee organized after several staff members attended a three day workshop on Restorative Practices last August.

The Committee identified the following goals for this year:

  • Identify and lead opportunities for building a strong, positive school community

  • Review, assess and provide recommendations on current behavior system

  • For conversations/actions around behavior to become a process of learning rather than consequence

  • Explore Restorative Practices

At Wednesday’s staff meeting the Committee focused on three main activities:

1. Share the experiences RMS teachers have had using community circles in their classrooms to build and strengthen relationships

2. Bring forward a draft revision to our office referral process that incorporates the Restorative Practices philosophy and questions:

  • What happened?

  • What were you thinking of at the time?

  • Who has been affected by what you have done?

  • In what way?

  • What do you think needs to be done to make things right?

3.  Share an example of a Resolution Circle- a circle process that can be used when significant harm has impacted the community. For this example, we used the film, Burning Bridges, produced by The International Institute for Restorative Practices.

The structure of the staff meeting incorporated the three tiers of Restorative Practices. Tier 1 focuses on community building through use of developing relationships and connecting members within the community. Tier 2 uses language as a tool that allows members of the community to work together to identify and resolve conflicts peacefully. Tier 3 has a structure that facilitates conversation and lays out a process for when significant harm has taken place.

The Committee will continue to participate in professional development opportunities to learn more about Tier 1 & 2 Restorative Practices and how schools are using these strategies successfully to promote a positive, healthy school culture.

Hanover High School currently has a process where they use Restorative Practices. You can learn more about their work by visiting their website.
Lynn Callaway and Amanda Yates

All School News and Events

March 13 - Inservice Day, No School

March 17 - RMS School Dance and Spirit Day

March 28 - Q4 Elective Arena Scheduling

RMS Notes and Information

-The RMS Model United Nations group will again travel to New York to participate in the MSMUN conference. RMS students this year will represent Mauritius, working in five different committees to create and debate resolutions on a variety of topics including: The Threat of Transnational Organized Crime to International Security; Protecting World Heritage Sites Threatened by Conflict; The Use, Production & Trade of GMOs & GMO Crops; The Protection of Online Identity & Fundamental Human Rights; and the Effect of Harmful Traditional Practices on Women. Students have been working hard since September to learn about the role of the UN and its various organizations, the process of creating and debating resolutions and the country of Mauritius and its role on the international stage. We look forward to hearing more from the group after their March 30 conference. Ellen Fisher and Maryann Nugent, Advisors

-RMS School Dance this Friday, RMS, 7-9p. Regular dance guidelines apply. Theme: "Decades Dance"

-Thank you to the many parent and community volunteers who assisted with our 7th grade health screening yesterday. We appreciate your support of RMS student wellness!

-This week the RMS strings students played in a collaborative concert with the high school orchestra and chorus.  We were performing selections from Handel's Messiah, and the combined strings played the famous Pastoral Symphony as part of this.  I was incredibly proud of the middle schoolers' participation in this event and thought you might like to watch the linked video clip of the Tuesday concert.  Congrats to all the string students.  Enjoy! Hannah Rommer

-Lost and Found: Items in the lost and found have been sorted, folded, and put out on tables in the auditorium lobby. Please feel welcome to stop in to take a look (after signing in). We have returned any items with names directly to the students. In addition, Deb has been sharing photos of the lost and found in weekly announcements to the students. We hope lost items can be found!

Community Calendar and Activities

-Help send our RMS Robotics Team to the World Championship. Bake sale fundraiser at the Hanover Coop on Sunday, March 19, from 11:00 a.m.- 2 p.m.  Unable to make the bake sale but would like to make a contribution?  Please make your check payable to the Dresden School District with RMS Robotics in the memo line. Thank you! Adina Desaulniers.

-Please join us! Saturday, March 25 from 8:30 - 10:30 at the RW Black Recreation and Senior Center (48 Lebanon Street, Hanover) for a delicious pancake breakfast.  $5 per person.  The event will support Youth-in-Action at Hanover High School whose mission is to provide local high school students with a diverse set of opportunities to engage in community service, with the ultimate goal of equipping them with the skills and motivation to improve the lives of others, their environment and themselves.

-HEART &  SOLE - 6th - 8th Grade Girls' RUNNING program

Tuesdays & Thursdays;  6pm - 7pm;  3/21 - 6/1 & Final 5K on Sat, June 3rd in Essex Junction, VT: Will NOT meet on 4/18 & 4/20 FOR: 6 - 8th Grade Girls LOCATION:  Tracy Hall Gym & Norwich Green area 

*FEE:  $110;  Non-residents:  $120   *H & S T-shirt included in this price.  Please list T-shirt size when registering on-line.   

COACH: Laurie Rosen (802-649-1919 or 603-650-4728 or   Assistants, Laurie Furch, Gwen Adams, Kye Ameden & Charlotte Rutledge          'Heart & Sole', or 'H & S' is a 10-week program that promotes physical, emotional, social and intellectual development. 

H & S creates a positive, structured space for middle school girls to learn about themselves, explore new ideas, cultivate empathy, strengthen connections and develop skills that will help them as they move through adolescence and beyond. Physical activity is a core element of the program and includes running, strength and conditioning appropriate for this age group. H & S is accessible to all girls regardless of athletic ability or fitness level and considers the range of ages and varied experiences of middle schoolers.  The season concludes with a 5K celebratory event that gives the girls a tangible sense of goal setting and achievement.

Please REGISTER on-line at / Departments / Recreation / On-Line Registration.  Visit  for more information.

-Yes, And! Join Kate Schaefer for a fun filled series of classes in which we will play theater games and learn the basics of improvisation. The games and exercises will improve your confidence, imagination, speed of reaction, self-awareness, and connection to others. Most importantly, they will make you smile! We'll learn how to make one another "look good" on stage and in life!

Grades 4-6. Classes held on Wednesdays: April 512  May 3, 10, 17 and 24 3:00 pm - 4:30 pm Howe Library

Registration required by Friday, March 31 Must commit to all six classes 603-640-3268