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Friday Focus - 092614 (Updated)

posted Sep 27, 2014, 4:16 AM by Michael Lepene


RMS Friday Focus 
Friday, September 26 2014

student created mural

+Principal’s Corner

Dear Parents/Guardians, 

Good afternoon! The RMS Fall Open House will be on Tuesday from 5:30-7:20PM. There are further details later in this message. In addition to our Open House I also wanted to make sure you knew that you can ask for a scheduled meeting with your child's teaching team. These meetings are scheduled through our guidance counselors. Meetings can be requested whether you have concerns or questions and can be scheduled at any point during the school year. While these conferences are not required, some parents find them helpful and we wanted to be sure you feel welcome to discuss the idea with your child's guidance counselor.

I also wanted to let you know about our current efforts to improve opportunities for you to provide us with feedback and suggestions. We are currently working with a program evaluator who is examining our previous parent surveys and providing ideas as to how we might improve the instrument. Further, I am committed to distributing the survey earlier in the school year. When we have your feedback earlier we are better positioned to make adjustments in the current school year. Look for our survey this winter. In addition, we will incorporate some of the responses to our parent and student surveys into our Friday Focus newsletter. I hope to demonstrate that we both review your feedback and, where appropriate, we act on it as well. 

We greatly appreciate all of your efforts and assistance in making the Richmond Middle School a truly exceptional school for your children. Your feedback, participation, and support are essential elements in a successful school and we thank you!

Michael Lepene 

+RMS Quick Poll 

Last week we asked you how your experience with the arts has aided in your career or profession. Here are some examples of the responses we received:
-Has helped me to appreciate the diversity around me and recognize the inherent value of all things.
-As a child I did a fair amount of theater acting. When I got into sales and marketing after college that experience helped me present to a crowd with confidence.
-It has had very little impact on my profession.
-I used to use works of great artists on the covers of my reports.
-I have a bachelor in Graphic Design and I am good in drawing. After I graduated from college I followed my passion in sport and started personal training and became a fitness instructor as well. Today I don't go to a single class without drawing my every move. It is a lot easier to know what the next move is if I see the picture rather than read the description or the name. I also draw every program tailored to my client.
- I work in the design field, so it has literally BEEN my profession. So, exposure to arts at a young age allowed me to connect with the field - our creative economy is more and more prevalent, and also competitive due to prevalence...

Thank you for all of the responses. We'll be sure to share these responses with our staff and students.

This week's poll question:
-What is one thing you hope to take away from the Fall Open House at RMS this Tuesday night?
(I'll share the responses we have received by Tuesday afternoon with the staff)

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

Tuesday, September 30 -RMS Fall Open House. RMS. 5:30-7:20PM.


Wednesday, October 8  -International Walk/Bike to School Day -WISE Parent Presentation. RMS auditorium. 6:00PM.

Friday, October 10 -No School (Teacher Inservice Day)

Monday, October 13 -No School

+RMS Notes and Information
-(UPDATED)Free RMS Student Flu Clinic at Richmond Middle School
October 16th Thursday 8:30-12noon
Nasal and Injectable Vaccine Options
***Vaccine Consent Form must be completed and returned to the school by October 15th Wednesday***
Consent forms can be picked up at the RMS main office and will be available at Open House. 
Please visit further complete information

-(UPDATED)Students and parents interested in participating in a new Model UN club at RMS are invited to attend a brief informational meeting on Tuesday October 7th, at 5:30 pm in room 712. Model UN is an exciting and rigorous program where students prepare for and participate in a simulation of the United Nations, representing countries and working together to resolve real-life issues that face the world today. Model UN participation culminates in a conference in New York City, March 26-28th, 2015, that hosts over 1600 student delegates from a variety of countries.  

During Tuesday's meeting we will discuss the logistics and requirements of participation in the club and conference. There will also be a general information session for students to learn more about the program during school in the coming weeks, however, we strongly urge parents and students who are interested to attend this meeting.
For more information about the conference, visit the conference website.
For more information about Model UN in general, check out these FAQs.
For additional questions, please contact Claire Groby & Chris McCarthy at and

-RMS Open House: Open House will be on Tuesday, September 30th from 5:30-7:20PM. Parents should come to the lobby at 5:30PM to pick-up a copy of their child's schedule. We will be following a Wednesday schedule and will provide a bell schedule for the evening that includes time in each of your child's core classes and some elective blocks. During elective blocks we encourage you to visit any of the elective classes that your child is taking this quarter. We hope you enjoy the time getting to know the staff, the classes and the building. Many parents also report enjoying the time talking in the halls on their way to their next class.

-Talking to Your Children About Peer Pressure: This week in 8th Grade Health, students learned about how peer pressure influences decisions about whether or not to use drugs and alcohol. The six peer pressure resistance strategies that Mr. Atkinson and Mrs. Powers reviewed with students are: 
(1) Simply say “no”
(2) Give a reason
(3) Give an alternative
(4) Stand up to pressure
(5) Leave the scene
(6) Avoid the scene
Parents have a major impact on the decisions that their children make with regard to drug and alcohol use. Mr. Atkinson and Mrs. Powers highly encourage parents to reflect on the following and have a conversation with their 8th grade children:
When you were a teenager, was there peer pressure? In what areas? (school, clothes, drinking, dating)
At what age do you remember being most worried about what your friends thought of you?
How did you resist peer pressure when you were a teenager?
What was your most embarrassing moment when you were a teenager?
The idea behind this week’s lesson is that if students rehearse refusal responses prior to the first time they are offered drugs or alcohol, then they will be less likely to make high-risk choices. In helping students learn how to say “no,” the Project ALERT curriculum validates their feelings that it’s hard to resist the pressures to use drugs, hopes to convince them they have the right to say “no.”, helps them believe they can say “no” without suffering rejection or embarrassment, and gives them several different ways of saying “no.” 

-The 2014 International Walk & Bike to School Day will be held on Wednesday, October 8th and RMS will be taking part in this event. Walking or biking to school promotes heath and a cleaner environment. We are looking for parent volunteers for biking groups, departing times are what we used last year and can be adjusted. I listed a few that we typically offer but more stops could be added! The Ray School is organizing the walking groups. Please email Catherine Patch if you are able to help. Thanks!! 
Black Recreation Center biking- departing at 7:30
Hanover Green biking- departing at 7:30
Norwich Green biking- 7:20 departure

-WISE Technology and Relationships Parent Presentation. October 8 6:00PM. RMS Auditorium. Technology has become central to the ways that we create, maintain, and experience relationships. This is especially true for young people, and can be baffling for those of us who didn’t grow up completely immersed in all of it. This presentation and dialogue is meant to build the skills of parents – whatever your technological comfort – to engage with young people around the risks of harm online, and the tools for healthy relationships online and off. Parents should leave with an overview of terms and popular social activities online, and feeling confident in their ability to rationally and relevantly connect with their children about the perks and risks of online life. Presentation by: Kate Rohdenburg, Program Director WISE Program Center, 38 Bank Street, Lebanon NH Contact: Marty Warren

+Community Calendar and Activities 
-Game Day hosted by Dartmouth College's Tiltfactor Lab. Brand new and in-development game prototypes, hot off the presses. See game design in action. Participate in the creation and research of new games. See our newest games before anyone else! Ages 12 to Adult or 603-646-1007 Date: September 28, 2014 Time: 2:00 pm - 4:00 pmLocation: Mayer Room

-Save the date—Join us the evening of Oct.23rd, as the Town of Hanover launches “Solarize Hanover”, a community-wide opportunity to purchase clean electricity through solar panels at significant savings.  As part of Vital Communities’ highly successful “Solarize the Upper Valley” campaign, we'll work together to make clean, renewable energy as affordable as possible.  Join us in the HHS Auditorium at 6:30 pm to learn all about solar installations! Contact: Julia Griffin

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