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Friday Focus 090216

posted Sep 2, 2016, 9:23 AM by Michael Lepene   [ updated Sep 6, 2016, 5:30 AM ]

Frances C. Richmond Middle School Friday Focus
Friday, September 2 2016

Principal’s Corner
Dear Parents/Guardians,

We hope that your children all had a great start to the school year. I opened school with an assembly that was organized by our 8th grade leadership class. In that assembly I spoke briefly about our community, goals for the year, and the importance of being courageous and compassionate. I asked our students to be engaged, vocal, assertive, and agents of positive change in the school, community, and the world. All of these themes are likely not so different from most school openings. However, a twist on the delivery made for one of my favorite school opening events. Leadership students worked with homerooms prior to the assembly to create an action and call in response to a "trigger" word in my speech. As I delivered my opening address groups of students rose to their feet and showed some spirit and energy at the prompt. This made for an entertaining read-through and even more gave opportunity for active listening by 500 people... that might be the unusual piece for an opening school address! I think the students and staff enjoyed the twist on the opening message and I know it was a favorite for me. Ask your child about it if they haven't already brought it up.

The RMS Guidance Team (Liz Powers and John Lacrosse) works hard to have a personal conversation with each student during the first days of school. This year they constructed a giant puzzle that had every student and staff name written on an individual piece. Students and staff were asked to find their piece and then take it to one of our counselors for a quick check-in and hello. We've seen it be hugely successful so far and love both the immediate direct connection and the opportunities to use the "piece of the puzzle" metaphor in our conversations about how we all have a place and a role in a successful school and community.

Along with all of the introductions, team building, rules, guidelines, and procedures introduced this week we also began using several online services connected to the curriculum and our school program. For those who might like an overview or the major applications and their purpose I have listed them immediately following this introduction.

Please do let us know if we can help you with anything. We know that the transition and school year brings new challenges for students and also for their parents. We are happy to help if issues or questions arise. I am so impressed already with the energy and enthusiasm on full display this week from our staff and students. It should be a great year to be at RMS!


Michael Lepene 

RMS Tools and Applications

Media: At RMS we use a variety of tools to share information and communicate happenings and events.

RMS web site:

Email: Weekly Friday Focus email and other special announcements.

US Mail and Paper Handouts: Occasional reminders and special notices.

Twitter: Follow us @RMSHanover for highlights and announcements.

Facebook: Follow us at Frances C. Richmond Middle School for selected announcements and highlights.

Google Calendar: Subscribe to view updated event listings.

Information Systems

PowerSchool Portal: All parents should now have access to the portal via the Single-Sign-On (SSO) letter sent home this summer. The portal can be used to view grades, teacher comments, attendance, and report cards. You can also access InfoSnap via the portal.

InfoSnap: System being used to collect new registration information and also to allow for updating of information. Most of you have used this to provide us with updated information.

For assistance with either of these applications please contact RMS Tech at either 603-643-6040 or via

Learning Management System:

Schoology: Teachers in grades 6-12 are using a single learning management system for posting of homework, assignments, announcements, and course information. We hope that moving to a single platform will simplify things for students and parents who previously had to navigate a myriad of LMS systems. Schoology should work on any device and operating system. We will be reviewing the basics of using the system with students at the start of school and also periodically provide support material for parents interested in learning more about the platform.


Atlas Rubicon: SAU70 is mapping the K-12 curriculum using an online portal called Atlas. This portal provides an overview of curriculum topics and standards for each subject area and is updated annually. You can access Atlas via the RMS web page or via this link.

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

Monday, September 5 - School Closed, Labor Day.

Tuesday, September 6 - RMS After School Study Begins

Friday, September 9 - 7th Grade Class Day (See note below)

Tuesday, September 13 - 6th Grade Homework Club Begins (Tuesdays)

Tuesday, September 20 - RMS School Photo Day.

Thursday, September 22 - RMS Open House, 530-720p.

Friday, September 23 - RMS School Dance, 700-900p.

RMS Notes and Information

-Math Club starts Monday 2016.09.12 after school until 17:00 and Mondays thereafter. A small snack is provided but donations are appreciated for future sessions. The Math Club centers on competition in several math contests for grades 4 through 8. A parent volunteer trains grades 4 - 6 and Mr. Kitzmiller handles 6 - 8. Got math? Get here and get better. --CoachK

-RMS After School Study: We are pleased to again offer an after school study program in our library on MondayTuesday, and Thursdays from 300-500p. There is no charge to participate though we will ask that students attend to complete work or study. This program will be facilitated by RMS staff members. The first after school study session will be Tuesday, September 6th. Please contact John Lacrosse if you have any questions.

-Parents of 6th Graders: The 6th Grade Homework Club will begin on Tuesday, September 13th. 6th Grade Homework Club meets every Tuesday in the science room from 3-4 PM. Homework Club is voluntary and all 6th grade students are welcome to come. Some students finish all of their homework during this hour. Mrs. Powers or Mr. LaCrosse will be supervising and there will be students from Hanover High School helping as well. And.... there will be popcorn! 

-Parents of 7th Graders: Next Friday will be our annual 7th Grade Class Day.  Class Day is designed to celebrate the coming together of students from Norwich, Hanover, and other locations.  Students will leave RMS at 12:00 and walk down to Storrs Pond for lunch.  Homerooms will be planning lunch on their own (some do a potluck some just bring lunches).  We will again be having our annual brownie contest if your son/daughter enjoys baking.  The rest of the afternoon is spent on a variety of team building activities.  We end the day back at RMS with a skit performed by 8th graders and a couple of other presentations.  Completion of the walking field trip permission slip is adequate for this activity.  Make sure that you let us know if your son/daughter will need to be picked up early on Friday.  

-The Howe Library, Circle Up!, and RMS have partnered for a community showing of Screenagers on September 29th at 6:30 PM in the RMS Auditorium. Following the 67-minute film, there will be a panel discussion for teens, parents, and community members. Please spread the word about the acclaimed film. Hope to see you there!

Here is a trailer:
Also, a link to the Howe events page:

-RMS Open House: Open House will be on Thursday, September 22nd from 5:30-7:20PM. Parents/Guardians should come to the lobby by 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.

-(Repost)RMS Volunteer Opportunities: Reminder you can access the 2016-2017 RMS Volunteer Sign-Up Sheet here.

Community Calendar and Activities 

-Empower Lacrosse Club will start it’s fall sessions Sunday, Sept. 11.  Our lead coaches are Sarah Martin, Whit Willocks and Kelsey Redpath.  Early registration is encouraged and financially sensible; goalies are free for practices.  For more information and registration forms, please go to

-Traffic Alert: On Tuesday, September 9th, from around 9:30-10:30 am, the Hanover Police and Public Works Department will be assisting CRREL with moving an oversized piece of equipment from their location at 72 Lyme Road to Trumbull-Nelson Construction at 200 Lebanon Street.  The route of travel will be from 72 Lyme Road (CRREL) to Park Street to 200 Lebanon Street (Trumbull-Nelson).  There could be minor delays on this route during that time.

SAU70 students are riding on brand new buses this year!

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