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Friday Focus 012315

posted Jan 23, 2015, 12:16 PM by Michael Lepene   [ updated Jan 24, 2015, 4:20 AM ]


RMS Friday Focus
Friday, January 23 2015

6th grade photo

6th Grade class photo this morning to celebrate "Halfway Day." (photo credit: Rich Starr)

+Principal’s Corner

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Hard to believe but we have already hit the mid-point of the school year. Our students have much to celebrate as they have been achieving and performing at exceptional levels both in and outside of school. We are proud of their accomplishments and also know we have much more to experience and learn this year. 

Eighth-grade students met with both the HHS Science and Math department coordinators on Wednesday morning. At the meeting, each coordinator gave an overview of the course offerings available to freshmen at HHS. We'll have many more opportunities for our students to learn more about the HHS program prior to and during the scheduling process. This will include visits from other department coordinators and HHS guidance staff. In addition, HHS has organized a parent information night on February 5th at 6:30p at HHS. At this meeting coordinators will provide an overview of the course offerings and curriculum for freshmen. 

I had the pleasure of attending the playwriting elective performance on Wednesday night. Students wrote short plays, configured costumes/set/lighting, directed and performed original works. The audience was treated to a wide-range of performances all of which showcased both the talent and courage our students. Congratulations to the students involved and to Ms. Groby. The evening also included a delicious assortment of appetizers and cookies created by our own Foods classes with the guidance of elective teacher Anissa Morrison.

The Dresden School Board adopted a budget for the 2015-2016 school year at their meeting on Tuesday night. The meeting followed several board meetings and public hearings, Dresden budget committee meetings and discussions, SAU 70 and school administrative meetings, and school-level budget committee work. Throughout the process your questions and feedback have helped guide our discussions. I feel confident that the adopted budget will allow us to continue our work in meeting the mission and goals of the school. Thank you for the support.

Finally, you've heard from me a few times more than usual this week. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we worked through the situation in the RMS cafeteria. Monitoring and testing will continue and we are in close communication with the Army Corp of Engineers. Links to the notes sent yesterday summarizing both the initial discovery and the resulting testing can be found here. We will continue to keep you informed of any developments. Thank you for all of your questions, comments and suggestions. We hold student and staff safety as our first priority and know that effective communication with you is an important part of maintaining that priority.

On the lighter side, I've had some great pizza requests from parents and students, some references linking air testing and #deflategate, and many who have sought to both understand and also appreciate the work being done. Perhaps, for the fun of it, we'll find a way to surprise the students with pizza or something similar down the road.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Michael Lepene

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

Monday, January 26 Q3 Begins

Wednesday, January 28 MLK Assembly

Friday, January 30 Q2 Report Card sent home and available on the Portal. 

+RMS Notes and Information

-HHS Meeting NoticeFebruary 5, 2015Thursday, 6:30 Grade 8 Parent Night, Coordinators present 9th grade programs/curriculum.

-HHS Math Department Note: (For 8th Graders) 

On February 5, all 8th graders will be taking a Math Placement test.  The results of the test will help us determine proper placement in math courses for next year.  Please see the links on my webpage for more information. After you have read the  information, please feel free to contact Jeanine King if you have any questions.

-RMS Physical Education News: A BIG thank you to the River Valley Club for hosting RMS' 2nd Annual Climbing Nights this week. We had a wonderful group of students eager to take risks, problem solve routes, challenge themselves, help others and have fun! Thanks to our volunteer belayers: Alan, Jason, Bob & Jake and our school chaperones Ms. Patch and Mr. Behre. 

The River Valley Club and Ms. Patch set this opportunity up to expand the students knowledge of climbing as a lifelong physical activity. Students were able to experience a real climbing gym and students challenged themselves physically and mentally while participating in healthy risks. Middle schoolers can climb for $8 with accompanying adult at the RVC, click here for times and details. Again, thank you to the River Valley Club for hosting this event free of charge to RMS students! 
This event coincided with the end of the climbing unit in Physical Education class. In PE the students have all learned about climbing and practiced on our climbing wall, understand what routes are and they are identified by tape, they can all put on their own harness, clip in their carabiners, lock them and perform a "squeeze check" to be sure it is locked. We have also done prussic knot climbs and crate game challenges. They can all Australian Group Belay (using 5 people clipped into their harness and backing up). 

+Community Calendar and Activities 

-Empower Lacrosse Winter Sessions at KUA start January 25, 2015.  All middle and high school girls welcome to attend!  Register NOW!  Sunday Mornings 9:30 - 11 am, KUA Barn, Jan 25 - March 15.  More info and registration at

-18th ANNUAL OCCOM POND PARTY.  Saturday, February 7th, 2015, 12noon to 3pm at Occom Pond.  (weather date Sunday)
Join the family fun.....skating, games, rides, parade, music, food and more!
Parking at Dewey and Maynard lots, shuttle from 11:30am to 4pm.  No drop off/pick up at the pond.  access limited to local traffic and handicap.