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Friday Focus 012216

posted Jan 22, 2016, 7:53 AM by Michael Lepene   [ updated Jan 26, 2016, 7:16 AM ]

Frances C. Richmond Middle School

Friday Focus  01/22/2016   

Principal's Corner

Dear Parents/Guardians,

As we begin our 3rd quarter on Monday we mark the halfway point of the 15-16 RMS school year (already!). I spent some time last night scrolling back through the weekly Friday Focus notes from first semester and am proud of all that we have accomplished with our students. I hope that as you review Q2 report card comments next week you also are able to recognize the growth and accomplishment noted. Even more, I'm excited to see what we can do with the momentum we have created over the second half of the year. I look forward to sharing the adventure with you.

This is also the point in the school year when we begin working on transitions to the 16-17 school year. We are working with our counterparts at the Ray School, MCS, and HHS to organize transition activities, meetings and information. Whenever we hear of something we'll be sure to pass it along. With that in mind here are a few upcoming notes and dates:

​Transition to RMS - 6th Grade Parent Q & A on March 9th: Please join the Richmond School Guidance Counselors John LaCrosse and Liz Powers, as well as Associate Principal Amanda Yates and Principal Mike Lepene, for a Q & A session in the MCS Library Wednesday, March 9th 6-7 PM. This initial meeting for parents of current MCS 6th graders, will help answer questions about topics including choosing middle school classes, the schedule, the elective program, and the structure of middle school teams. We hope to see you there!

Informational Meeting for RMS Transition for Ray School 5th Grade Parents: Monday, March 7, 6-7 PM, Ray School Multi Purpose Room 
Please join the RMS Guidance Counselors John LaCrosse and Liz Powers, as well as Principal Mike Lepene and Associate Principal Amanda Yates, for a Q & A session. This initial meeting for parents of current 5th graders, will help answer questions about topics including choosing classes, the schedule, the elective program, and the structure of middle school teams. We hope to see you there! 

  • For students and parents returning to RMS next year we will be sending out information regarding preliminary course selections (music and foreign language) in the next month or so. 
  • Finally, for everyone who will be at RMS or HHS next year the Dresden School Board approved the 16-17 calendar on Tuesday night. You can find a link to the calendar here.

I hope you have a great weekend. Take note of the many events and opportunities listed below. We hope to see you soon!

Michael Lepene 

All School Events and Calendar

Monday, January 25 - Begin Q3 Classes.

Thursday, January 28 - RMS Theatre Showcase, 7p, RMS Auditorium.

Thursday, February 11 and Friday, February 12 - 8th Grade Renaissance Fest

February 15 - 19 - Winter Vacation (No HW break)

RMS Notes and Information

-Theatre Department News:

RMS Theatre Department is presenting "A Theatre Showcase" this coming Thursday, January 28th at 7pm in the Auditorium.  A combo of 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students will be performing scenes and songs from a variety of plays.

The spring play this year will be "The Wizard of Oz" presented on May 19th and 20th.  Auditions will be held on February 3rd and 4th and are open to all RMS students.  Students should pick up an audition form from Mrs. Emmerton in Room 712 if they are interested.

-Yearbook: Congratulations to Kate H. for winning the 2016 RMS Yearbook cover contest. Please check out Kate's cover on the bulletin board in between guidance and Mr. Eastman's room later today or next week. It was a tough choice, because all of the student submissions were of great quality. The yearbook staff was also pleased that students in grades 6, 7 & 8 participated.

-The 16th annual 8th grade Renaissance Festival is coming up on Thursday and Friday, February 11 and 12. All 8th grade students will be participating in a variety of hands-on activities run by RMS staff.
Parent volunteers are integral to the success of this interdisciplinary event every year. There are opportunities to help and be an extra set of hands with Archery, Dancing and Costumes, and Stained Glass. If you would like to volunteer, please be in touch with Debby Cromwell, the volunteer coordinator for the district. Her email is Thank you!

-RMS Game Design Class: This past quarter, students in the Video Game Design class developed original games using Scratch. The class was taught in collaboration by Luke Eastman and Chris Putnam-Pouliot. Not only did students code their games themselves, they also created their own images. As well as learning basic coding skills, students practiced iterative design and giving constructive feedback to peers. If you'd like to try some of the games, follow this link to our class studio:

​Please note that the studio also contains example games created by Chris Putnam-Pouliot.​

-8th Grade Transition Information for Parents & Students can be found here. Please do not hesitate to contact Mr. LaCrosse or Mrs. Powers with questions.

-Photo: Student art located in the RMS lobby. (c. Lepene)

-Camp Fair at RMS February 24th
Looking for summer programs and camps for students in elementary, middle, and high school? 
Stop by the Richmond Middle School gymnasium Wednesday, February 24, 2016 to meet with area camp and recreation directors to leave more about programming for your kids. The fair will run 5:00-6:30 PM. Questions? Contact Liz Powers at

-Jeh Kulu, a West African Dance and Drum Group, will be teaching the 6th graders West African dance on Thursday, February 4. Thank you to Mindi Goodling for organizing this annual experience.

-Q2 Report Cards: The Student Portal will reopen on Friday, January 29 at 3p to allow access to Q2 report cards. A guide to accessing report cards can be found on the RMS web page or by clicking here.

-RMS and Dresden Budget information can be located at:

Special Recognition
-Former RMS student Dillon Bradley spoke to our 6th and 7th grade classes during an assembly this week. Dillon spoke with us about a project he lead while at RMS that increased awareness about local and global water issues and resulted in a new water bottle filler being installed by our gym. While encouraging the students to create positive change Dillon offered advice including:
"Be calm, patient, and persistent."
"Have confidence in your ability to make change."
"We as young adults in this community are privileged to be in a position to have our voices heard. Get involved and make positive change happen."
Thank you to Dillon for sharing his message and inspiration with RMS.
Community Calendar and Activities
-​As part of Dartmouth's Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, Young Writers Project is hosting awriting workshop from 2-3pm and an open mic/poetry slam from 3:30pm to 5pm on Jan 24. Both events are open to people of all ages and should be very fun​!​ Here is a link to the event page and advance sign up​
 on youngwritersproject.org

-BarnArts presents NOISES OFF at Barnard Town Hall, Barnard, VT  Feb 5-6 and 12-13 @ 7pm Feb 7 and 13 @ 2pm Tickets $15 adults $10 students available here NOISES OFF is a hilarious satirical play depicting the back-stage antics of an overly ambitious director and his distracted cast as they struggle through a silly British sex comedy play-within-a-play.  Expect side-stitching laughter as back-stage conflicts get mixed with on-stage scenes and the whole show (almost) comes crashing down. The cast includes RMS staff member Mark Alloway.

-News from The Howe Library:

Make a Snow Sculpture: Get excited about February's Occom Pond Party.  If weather permits, join us outside as Bill Young and friends carve a snow sculpture.  If the weather doesn't cooperate, we'll watch a slide show and make our own (clay) sculptures.  
Drop-in between 2-4pm.  No registration is required.

Date: January 31, 2016
Time: 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Cool Doodling: Artist Margaret Sheehan will teach a cool way of doodling to create a small piece of artwork. 
All materials will be supplied, but if you have a favorite fine point pen, bring it along! No registration required

Date: February 7, 2016
Time: 1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Location: Mayer Room
Ages 10 through adult

-Photo: Students in Mr. McCarthy's class work on note-taking strategies this week. (c. McCarthy)




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