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Friday Focus 011516

posted Jan 15, 2016, 11:04 AM by Michael Lepene

Frances C. Richmond Middle School

Friday Focus  01/15/2016   

Principal's Corner

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Last Friday I mentioned that I was attending the NHASCD conference on teaching reading and writing. I joined a team of teachers and specialists from RMS and around New Hampshire for a day of learning and discussion around best practices. We continued our discussion at a department meeting this week. Here are a few of my notes from the workshop:

  • "In the teaching of reading what matters most is students spending time reading." Calkins
  • What language do you use to teach deliberate author craft moves & purpose? Model: "The author uses __ in order to __"
  • Great film to look at author craft recommended by Calkins: View and discuss.
  • What does it entail to do deep reading comprehension? We need to understand the work to teach kids how to do it.
  • "We can tell how well a student will do with non-fiction by the way they preview the text." Calkins 
  • Students need to be taught and practice summarizing non-fiction text before doing across text work/analysis.
  • "Teach kids to use academic literary language when writing about their reading. Use the jargon of a professional reader." Calkins
  • "Be learners together in a supportive community." Brown TedTalk on Vulnerability
  • "Journaling is a huge part of creating active readers and writers." Judge
  • Discussion of idea that students choose a personal project for a year and learning/exploring area of interest.

While my notes may not provide a clear look into what we discussed and considered on Friday I hope they at least give you a glimpse into the topics and ideas that we bounced around and continue to work with as we discuss teaching reading and writing at RMS. I often wonder whether parents or students might like to attend a conference or workshop as part of our group. Something to consider going forward as we learn together.

Finally, here are a few images from the week. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Students in Spanish class enjoy singing and a pinata with Sra. Madory. (Photo: Patch)

Students engage in some team building exercises during Morning Meeting Weds. (Photo: Lepene)

Student finalists compete at the RMS Geography Bee today. (Photo: Lepene)

Dartmouth WBB coach Jill Glessner offers RMS students tips during PE class Monday. (Photo: Patch)

Michael Lepene 

All School Events and Calendar

Monday, January 18 - MLK Day, No School.

Tuesday, January 19 - Dresden School Board Meeting and Budget Public Hearing, 7p, HHS Library.

Wednesday, January 20 - Student Portal closed

Monday, January 25 - Begin Q3

RMS Notes and Information

-2016 Yearbooks for Sale: The 2016 RMS Yearbook is on sale now through January 29th for just $15. The Comic Book Themed Yearbook will be delivered to students in June 2016. The price of yearbooks ordered after January 29th will be $20, so take advantage of this limited time offer. Yearbooks should be ordered by check only and checks can be made payable to "Richmond Middle School". Please put your child's name in the memo and send checks directly to Yearbook advisor, Liz Powers. Students may stop by Mrs. Powers' office to place an order at any time, and the Yearbook Staff will have a table at lunch on Wednesday, January 13th where student may also place orders.

-8th Grade Baby Pictures for Yearbook Due January 29thThe Yearbook staff is collecting 8th grade baby pictures. Please ensure that 8th grade baby pictures are emailed to Mrs. Powers by January 29th to ensure that the photos are included in the 2016 yearbook. Digital photos may be emailed to Mrs. Powers at

-The Powerschool Student Portal will close on Weds, Jan 20 to allow teacher to complete Q2 Report Card comments and grades. Report Cards will be available when the portal reopens on Friday, January 29th.

-Q3 Classes begin on Monday, January 25th. Students will get the final draft of their new schedules in homeroom on the 25th.

-The SAU has been contacted by theAlice Peck Day Hospital, who informed us that a series of recent inoculations for children in the Upper Valley have been found to be ineffective.  An article appeared in the Valley News this week, and the hospital will be contacting parents to notify them about these immunizations.  The hospital will provide re-inoculation for these children at no cost. The school system was contacted as a means of helping to get the word out.

-(Repost)Seeking Parent Volunteers to Help with RMS Staff Appreciation Luncheon

Who is ready to learn the ropes of organizing a THANK YOU meal for all the amazing teachers and staff at RMS? Let me know! I will help guide the process all the way through. Any questions, email me at and I can give you details. 

Special Recognition

- Congratulations to the following students who had perfect scores in the preliminary rounds of the National Geographic Geography Bee held in social studies classes earlier this week!

6th Grade: Eric A, Gavan B, Mia E, Casey G, Max G, Lia N, Alicia S, Aidan T.

7th Grade: Eamon B, Hank T, Zach B, Will C, Emma D, Lazlo S.

8th Grade: Piper AE, Frances T, Cam C, Rose K, Amy W, Matt B, Joseph B, Henry B, Johari A, Daniel B, Anthony M. 

Community Calendar and Activities
-WISE Parents at Hanover High

Thursday, 1/21 6:30 pm at the High School

WISE is the Upper Valley organization responsible for supporting individuals and communities to end domestic and sexual violence and stalking.

WISE spends a week with each semester of health classes at Hanover High working with students to understand why and how gender-based violence exists, and strategizing ways each of us can play a role in ending it. Parents will get an overview of the concepts and practices building skills for students in class; and leave with an understanding of how to reinforce safe and healthy relationships at home.

-What's better than stuffing yourself full of pancakes on a February morning?! Stuffing yourself full of pancakes with your friends for a good cause! Come join us on Saturday February 6th for theAnnual Youth-In-Action Shelby Sirlin Memorial PANCAKE BREAKFAST.

Saturday  February 6th8:30 AM -10:30 AM

The Hanover Recreation center, $6 adults $4 children, students & seniors

The Breakfast supports Youth-In-Action and The Shelby Sirlin Scholarship Fund. Includes blueberry, chocolate chip or plain pancakes with real maple syrup and drinks. Come Enjoy the feast!

-Tuesday AM Basketball Shooting Clinic: Learning points for Tuesday 6:30 to 7:30 AM, RMS: #1. form shooting #2. free throw #3. short corner scoring

Please have a look at the Steve Nash 20 minute shooting work out on YouTube over the weekend. I would like to use that as a teaching tool on Tuesday.

-NACLO 2016 at Dartmouth: NACLO is a computational linguistics olympiad for students in grades 6-12 studying in North America.




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