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121616 Friday Focus

posted Dec 16, 2016, 10:45 AM by Michael Lepene

Frances C. Richmond Middle School

Friday Focus  12/16/2016



Principal’s Corner
Dear Parents/Guardians,

+As many of you know, Julia Wybourne will be retiring from our front desk at the end of next week. Julia leaves with more than 17 years of service to the school and community and leaves us with some enormous shoes to fill. Julia has shown an unmatched dedication to ensuring the safety and well-being of thousands of students and hundreds of staff in her time at RMS. She has been an incredible colleague, teammate, and example of why we choose to work in schools. Julia has acted countless times on her belief that there are no bad kids, details-matter, and people deserve to be treated with respect. Should you get an attendance call this week or have the opportunity to stop by or send a note to wish her well I know it will be appreciated.

+At our staff meeting this week we continued our work on "developing our community of socially responsible students and staff." This week we reviewed our mission statement and expectations of student learning and compared that to documents and resources being utilized in other identified school districts around the world. One of the tools that was looked at was a quick scale of social responsibility being used in British Colombia. The four aspects of Social Responsibility identified in the scale were:

  • Contributing to the Classroom and School Community
  • Solving Problems in Peaceful Ways
  • Valuing Diversity and Defending Human Rights
  • Exercising Democratic Rights and Responsibilities

The quick scale is below and the elaborated scale can be found here (p5).

In the coming months we'll use this example and several other sources to more closely examine what we are doing, why we are doing things this way, and how we might do them in a more coordinated and deliberate fashion. As an example: What is my role as a classroom teacher in developing socially responsible students? How can I be more effective in integrating these ideas into my instructional design? How will I know that I am being effective at facilitating this growth and awareness? What do I need to grow professionally in this area? We'll keep you posted on our progress and welcome input from students, parents, and community along the way.

+Survey Reminders: Thank you to the individuals who have responded to our two short parent/guardian surveys. If you had not had the opportunity and would like to respond the surveys will both be available for another week. Thank you for sharing your ideas and feedback!

Sustainability Survey

Web Site Survey

Have a terrific (warm?) weekend!


Michael Lepene 

All School News and Events (RMS web site has GoogleCal with events and dates/times)

Wednesday, Dec 21 - Rock Show Assembly in the afternoon.

Thursday, Dec 22 - Monday Jan 2: December Vacation. NoHWHoliday*

*Schoology/Powerschool will be unavailable due to server work.

Thursday, Jan 5 - Q3 Elective Arena Scheduling

Monday, Jan 16 - MLK Day, No School

RMS Notes and Information

-Congratulations to all of the participants in this week's 8th grade "Of Mice and Men Mock Trial". The trial required an understanding of the processes of the judicial system: making a statement, gathering evidence, effectively communicating and supporting one's position. Students effectively played all of the roles involved in a trial and most juries spent hours in intense deliberations. This culminating assessment more than demonstrated an understanding of the text as well as a host of skills practiced and developed in classes. Thank you to Mr. Ivanoski, Mrs. Haines, Mr. Goodling and the entire teaching team for all of the work involved in providing our students with an authentic and engaging assessment of their learning. For a fun quick view of the court scene visit this #mannequinchallenge video created by Mr. Goodling.

-Winter Weather and Evacuations: We ask that students dress for school with consideration for the possibility of an evacuation and extended time spent outdoors. We see a good amount of sandles and shorts in the winter. In the event of an emergency evacuation students and staff would not have time to retrieve jackets, boots, or other warm clothing. While we have a plan for relocating to other facilities it would take a bit of time to account for everyone and make the mass move. Thanks for planning ahead! -RMS Safety Committee

-RMS Robotics Team Roadkilz will be heading to the First Lego League World Championships in St. Louis next April! The team won the 2nd Place Champions Award at States on Saturday. They displayed outstanding programming, team work, technical judging, and presentation of their research project.

Team Roadkilz also won the Global Innovation Award. This award is given to one team per State Championship (that's the top project out of the 51 best teams in NH) to present their Project Idea to the XPrize group of national judges, who evaluate them for consideration of grants, patents, feasibility.

Team Roadkilz shared their project idea with the RMS staff this Wednesday and hope to visit with the Dresden School Board at an upcoming meeting.

Congratulations to all of the RMS Robotics teams for a great season!

-Toys for Tots Update: The RMS community provided over 125 gifts for Toys for Tots!  Thanks for helping families in the Upper Valley!!

-Lost and Found Final Reminder: Lost and Found Items that are not claimed before December Break may be donated to a local charitable organization.

-Thank you to our group of parents who volunteered to interview our Receptionist finalists this week! We appreciate your time and input. We should have an announcement on this hire next week.

-Band/Chorus/Orchestra Students: A revised concert schedule and agreement will be shared directly with students in class. Please note the changes!

-Kendal Connections Transition: Longtime Kendal Resident Liaison Phyllis Fenander will be stepping down from her role this month. Phyllis has helped to organize countless opportunities for RMS students and Kendal residents to connect over writing, art, music, curriculum, and service. We thank Phyllis for all of her work to strengthen our community connections.

-8th Grade iPads will be collected for maintenance over December break. If a student requires an iPad to complete make-up work or study over the break please contact Mike Lepene via email.

-Technology in the Classroom with Marty Warren:

A few years ago a class could not easily work online together.  At best attachments and revisions would be sent back and forth by email and one person would try to organize all of the pieces.  Today, we almost take our ability to collaborate online for granted.  Students seamlessly create webpages that combined with others create informative websites that enhance their learning and the learning of others in their class.

Take the seventh grade unit on studying different stream organisms and how they relate.  Each student is assigned an organism to study and creates a webpage that illustrates essential characteristics, movements, predators and prey of their organism. Each page must have pictures, video and a chart showing how their organism relates to others.  All the webpages combined create a RMS Field Guide Website for each class.

Click here to view a sample class field guide.

Creating a class website makes it easier for students to share information and learn from each other because all of the information is in one easily accessible place.  They also have the benefit of video which helps prepare students for when the actually go to the stream to observe different organisms.  Before, making website for this project students used to make posters and would walk around the classroom to learn about the organisms.

-(Repost)Schoology and Powerschool will likely be down for most of the December Break. The SAU technology staff will be doing necessary upgrades and server work. Students, parents, and teachers should not plan to access these applications. At RMS this is a No Homework Holiday period.

Community Calendar and Activities 

-FREE: Junior Squash Clinic Open to any and all 6-17 years olds!

Are you interested in your child playing squash? Or interested in them learning more about squash? Did you know squash was voted the world’s healthiest sport by Forbes? Try our FREE Junior Squash Clinic for any and all 6-17 year olds @ the Dartmouth Squash courts on Monday January 9 and/or Wednesday January 11 from 6-7.30pm.  We will be offering a regular clinic beginning Monday January 16 running through to Wednesday March 8All required equipment except indoor shoes is provided. Please if you would like to register your child/children.

-(Repost)The Dartmouth Mathematics Department is sponsoring a Essay Contest on "Biographies of Contemporary Women in Mathematics."  We are very excited to share this program with our community and hope to receive some outstanding essays. 
This contest is open to ALL 6-8 and 9-12 students in the Upper Connecticut River Valley, including home schooled students.  The grand prize will be an iPad for each of the two age groups. Depending on the quantity and quality of essays there could be additional prizes. 
To go directly to the website for all the details go to: 

-(Repost)Go holiday shopping while Red Cross Certified Babysitters watch your 2-6 year olds. For more information and to sign up see:

-(Repost)The snow is here and Whaleback Mountain is hosting an afterschool ski program on Tuesday afternoons starting on January 10th.  Students can take lessons or just come out and ski.  It's a great way to enjoy the snow and the outdoors with friends. If you're interested, please sign up by Friday, December 16th with the link below or pick up a form in the Main Office.  Questions may be directed to the RMS Whaleback Ski Coordinator, Marty Warren at


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