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Friday Focus 090916

posted Sep 9, 2016, 10:27 AM by Michael Lepene   [ updated Sep 11, 2016, 2:27 PM ]

Frances C. Richmond Middle School

Friday Focus  09/09/2016


7th grade students at Storrs Pond for their annual community-building activities.

Principal’s Corner
Dear Parents/Guardians,

In addition to sharing news and highlights from our school week I like to use the Friday Focus to also give you a window into the curriculum and instructional strategies being utilized at RMS. This week I thought I would share a list of "Close Reading Strategies" that are taught, practiced, and utilized by students across content areas. In this case, these strategies are targeting close reading for informational text

Steps For Close Reading  Informational Text

Reading closely means reading for meaning and understanding. Reading something enough times so you can understand it, explain it to someone else, and ask and answer questions about it using evidence from the text.  Close reading is a metacognitive process (that means you think about your thinking).

To begin, read through the entire passage slowly.  Re-read the passage and go through the following steps:

Step 1: Circle any vocabulary you are unfamiliar with. Try to figure out the meaning of the word using context clues or word structure. Confirm the meaning by looking up the word in the dictionary. Double check that the definition makes sense in the context of the text.

Step 2: Key/main ideas - highlight or underline the main ideas in the paragraph

Step 3: Interesting Information - Put a star next to anything you find that’s surprising or particularly interesting.

Step 4: Connections and Comments  - does the text remind you about your own experiences? Or other books and films? What are the similarities? Use the symbol # to indicate your personal connection.

Step 5: Questions - write your questions in note form in the margins.

As we move through the year and you have the opportunity to see your child complete reading assignments you might look for evidence that they are using these strategies. Or they might provide some prompts for conversation or support around a particularly difficult piece of text. While just a small example of the reading and writing strategies taught and employed across the curriculum I hope you find this informative.

Have a wonderful weekend!


Michael Lepene 

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

Tuesday, September 20 - School Photo Day.

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

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

Thursday, September 29 - RMS hosts film: Screenagers, 630p, Auditorium.

RMS Notes and Information

-The first RMS School Dance of the year is coming up on September 22. Dances are for RMS students only and are held from 700-900p. Admission is $5.00. In addition to music/dancing the gym is open for pick-up basketball and soccer. Other games and activities may be offered as well. We review dance guidelines and expectations with our students in homeroom prior to the first dance. You can find the full RMS dance guidelines here.

-Bus Route Update for H9: Please be advised that the PM run/drop-off for H9 has been rearranged effective Monday, September 12th. Specific information regarding these changes can be found on the SAU web page

-Friendly Safety Reminder from HPD: Please do not use the school parking lots or circle for drop-off or pick-up between 730-815a and 230-315p (130-215p Weds). Instead use the pull-out lanes on Route 10 and the traffic circles to change direction. Thank you.

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

-Football has returned to the Middle School for any 7th and 8th grade student that is interested in participating. There will be an informational meeting for students on Monday, September 12th during snack time in Mr. Ivanoski's room. Anyone is welcome, and all are encouraged to try it out. Go Marauders! Coach Jon Young

Duct tape! RMS students enjoy the new "Maker Space" activities in the library with Mrs. Putnam-Pouliot and Mrs. Barrett.

Community Calendar and Activities 

-Please come support the Hanover HS football team as they play Merrimack Valley on Friday September 9th at 7pm at the Hanover HS Turf. The coaching staff includes RMS staff members Mike Ivanoski and Jon Young! -Friends of Hanover Football.

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

-A hint of autumn in the air - This year's classic Fall Foliage Five running race in Union Village, VT, an out-and-back from the dam, along the Ottaquechee River, been reinvented:
    o New time and day: Sunday, Oct 2, at 2:00
        - That means for Thetford people it is not in conflict with Woods Trail.
    o All proceeds from the race go to the new, Upper Valley Running Club (UVRC) Scholarship Fund for local high school graduating runners.
Race it or Volunteer
    o This is the only race organized by UVRC, so there are plenty of opportunities to volunteer.  Interested? Contact
    o Racing?  This is part of the Upper Valley Racing Series. Register at:

Students assemble outside for our first fire drill of the new school year. We complete a minimum of 10 safety drills per year.


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