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Friday Focus 030615

posted Mar 6, 2015, 10:19 AM by Michael Lepene   [ updated Mar 6, 2015, 10:20 AM ]


Frances C. Richmond Middle School Friday Focus
Friday, March 06 2015

student writers

+Principal’s Corner

Dear Parents/Guardians,

This week we are featuring a writing project from our 7th grade English classes. Mr. Hague has offered to provide a lens into his course and the student writing that is occurring. At the same time, the entire RMS staff has looked at the process of teaching argumentative writing, analyzed student work samples using feedback rubrics, and participated in discussions of best practices for teaching and reinforcing these skills. Looking at student work and discussing instructional strategies is an important part of our ongoing work as a collaborative teaching team. For the individual teacher, the feedback and new ideas gained are invaluable. For the student, the result is a more effective lesson, better feedback and improved skills. I hope you enjoy the look-in on Mr. Hague's class and the samples of student work.

Michael Lepene 

​Parents and Guardians,

Last Friday students mailed letters to the NHL commissioner, the US Secretary of Education, Vermont Congressman Welch, Hanover Town Manager Julia Griffin, Dr. Frank Bass, Mr. Lepene, Mrs. Yates, and a high-up politician--to name some. These letters were well-researched entreaties from Richmond Middle School 7th graders. They put forth arguments for less homework, a later start time for school, having school uniforms, allowing gum in class, abolishing the NHL shootout, and more.

In the last few weeks students have been crafting arguments with Mr. McCarthy, Mrs. Wonsavage and myself. Our unit focused on supporting claims with research, considering the needs and biases of the intended audience, and developing an overall trustworthy presence by including a counterclaim.

The final assessment was to research and write an argumentative letter on an issue students really care about. We dropped these letters in the mail last Friday. A few of the letters in my class were directed toward “parents of gamers,” “parents of RMS,” or “parents.” Since these missives lacked an obvious point person, Mr. Lepene has graciously allowed me to use his Friday Focus in order to disseminate these arguments to their intended audience--you.

If you have specific feedback or thoughts about the topics presented either for the authors or for me please direct your comments to my email address:

Letter One

Letter Two

Letter Three

Thanks for considering,

Mr. Hague

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

Friday, March 6: RMS School Dance, RMS, 7-9p.

Wednesday, March 11: RMS Camp Fair, RMS Cafeteria, 5-630p

Thursday, March 12: RMS Ceramics classes take field trip to the Hood Museum. Contact: Sarah Glass

Saturday, March 14: Last day to complete the annual RMS Parent/Guardian Survey.

Monday, March 16: Teacher Inservice Day (no school for students)

+RMS Notes and Information

-15-16 Music and Foreign Language Course Requests for 6th and 7th graders: In homeroom this week your 6th and/or 7th grade student received enrollment forms for the school year 2015-2016.  These forms are also located on our website on the RMS Information page.  These forms ask your student to indicate their choice of foreign language and music for next year.  Once completed the forms should be returned to their homeroom teacher by March 20th.  If you have any questions please call or email your student's guidance counselor Liz Powers or John Lacrosse, or Associate Principal, Amanda Yates.

-The 8th grade team is reviewing our end-of-year 8th grade night celebration and we would like parent feedback. We would like to know if there are parents who are interested in collaborating with us to look at how we celebrate our students' end of middle school. Recent tradition has been that 8th grade night be a semi-formal evening at RMS with a guest speaker, chorus performance, POC painting gallery walk, recognition of each student, and a light snack/reception.

Depending on the results of this survey, we may form an "Exploratory Committee" with parents, staff, and students to look at possible new options.

Click here to take the brief survey. Thank you for the feedback!

-First Annual Richmond Middle School Camp Fair
Wednesday, March 11, 2015 - 5:00-6:30 PM, Richmond MS Cafeteria 
Hosted by RMS Guidance, students and parents from all over the Upper Valley are invited to drop in to meet with representatives from camps from all over NH and VT to explore summer camp opportunities of all different kinds.

-2014-2015 RMS Parent Survey 

The Dresden School Board, in conjunction with the staff at the Richmond Middle School, would like feedback from parents and guardians so that we can celebrate our successes and identify opportunities for improvement. 

Please take 15-20 minutes to complete ONE SURVEY FOR EACH OF YOUR CHILDREN who attend the Richmond Middle School. You should answer the questions based upon your child's experience this year. The results will be completely anonymous.

Staff will analyze the results of this survey over the remainder of this school year. We'll use the results to help guide our ongoing work and discussions and also to aid in setting our building goals for the 15-16 school year. 

A summary of responses will be provided through the school web site. In addition, we will keep you up-to-date on our resulting work through the Friday Focus newsletter.

This survey will remain open until Saturday, March 14, 2015.

The survey can be accessed by clicking here: RMS Parent/Guardian Survey 2014-2015 

or entering this URL into your browser:

Paper copies are also be available in the RMS Main Office.

Thank you for your time and feedback. We look forward to reviewing and discussing your contributions.

-A Message from the Town of Hanover Regarding Richmond Middle School Student Drop-off

In recent weeks, Town staff has been dealing with an array of complaints from local residents regarding parent drop-off practices at the Ray School and the Richmond Middle School.  As a result of those complaints, we want to alert Richmond School parents to the following concern and related prohibition:

We ask parents NOT to travel through the Dresden Road neighborhood to drop-off their RMS (or Ray School  students) at or near the intersection of Curtiss and Dresden Roads.  That neighborhood has observed many parents driving over the speed limit on Curtiss, Bridgman and Dresden Road en route to drop off their children, disregarding the safety of neighborhood children who walk to the school from their homes.  Several “No Parking, Standing or Stopping” signs are in place on both Curtiss and Dresden Road at the RMS end of each road which means this is NOT the place for parents to drop off their children.  In addition, signs have now been installed around the cul-de-sac at the bottom of Dresden Road in order to prevent drop-offs in this location as well.  The Hanover Police Department will begin enforcing this prohibition and a number of residents on Curtiss and Dresden Road have begun to note license plates of offenders and will be reporting those to HPD.  Please refrain from shortcutting through the Dresden Road neighborhood to drop off your children at either RMS or Ray.

Thank you very much for your cooperation as we work to keep all of our children safe.

Julia Griffin

Town Manager

+Community Calendar and Activities 

-CHAD Injury Prevention Center Helmet Program information.

-CircleUp! Spring Forum: Community Dinner and a Movie, April 2, 6-8p, Howe Library. The movie, The Anonymous People, challenges the public perception of substance use treatment and recovery and offers insight into how to move the conversation toward solutions. Click here for the event flier and more information.

-Coping With Anxiety and Social Skills Training Groups at DHMC: The Child and Adolescent Section of the Department of Psychiatry at DHMC will be offering groups this spring for students ages 8-12. These eight-session groups run from 4-5 PM. A group for children coping with anxiety will be on Mondays beginning in April, and a group for children experiencing difficulty interacting with peers will be on Thursdays beginning in April. For more information, or to obtain a one-hour screening appointment, interested families should call 603-650-4724.

-Crossroads Summer Program: If you will be in the area this summer, Crossroads Academy is offering programs in science, philosophy, history, climbing, and archery on their campus in Lyme, directed by their full-time faculty.

* A Summer Academy with workshops in field biology, philosophy, history, music, drama, and poetry (for students entering grades 6-9)

* Climbing and Archery Programs (for students entering grades 4-8)

* Explore the World Around Us, a science & nature program (for students entering grades 1-5)

Further details and registration information is available here:

-YOUTH WIND ENSEMBLE: SAT | MAR 7 | 2 PM | SPAULDING AUDITORIUM| FREE: Join dedicated young middle-school musicians from throughout the Upper Valley in a free concert culminating the third season of this wildly successful Dartmouth College Wind Ensemble program. The six-week program offers band-instrument students grades 5-8 the chance to explore musical concepts and learn musically rich, level-appropriate repertoire, playing alongside DCWE mentors, led by student conductors.