Friday Focus‎ > ‎

Friday Focus 091914

posted Sep 19, 2014, 10:59 AM by Michael Lepene   [ updated Sep 22, 2014, 5:35 AM ]


RMS Friday Focus 
Friday, September 19 2014


+Principal’s Corner

Dear Parents/Guardians, 

Good afternoon. Today, our thoughts remain with the Gemery family. Staff, students and the school community have been remarkable in their support for each other through this difficult time. I know that you all have had difficult conversations at home and I thank you for all you have done to help your children. Yesterday was tough for all of us. At RMS, we worked as best we could to let each student know we are here for them, we care about them and we will continue to support them in whatever way they might need. I have reposted the resources for support to our web page for your future reference. If at any point you have questions or concerns please don't hesitate to contact our guidance department or any of the staff members that you feel comfortable speaking with.

I had planned to write the Friday Focus this week on the role of the Arts in the educational program at the Richmond Middle School. I'll add a few thoughts here and return to the topic again some time later this year. Last week was "Arts in Education Week." Arts learning has been linked to positive student outcomes such as engagement and persistence and improved communication and collaboration. The Richmond Middle School provides a diverse set of Arts courses through our elective program. In addition, our staff integrates arts themes and topics throughout the core curriculum. We recognize the benefits of teaching content through the arts and also teaching the arts through the core content curriculum. At team meetings this week I asked the staff to provide some examples of how they include the arts in their courses. Here are a few:

Eighth grade balloon project, art interpretation and writing, dramatic performances of texts and stories, black and white photography in social studies, illustrations and bookmaking in multiple disciplines, 3D brain models in science, dancing/cooking/singing in French and Spanish, audio-drama productions in English, finding patterns and symmetry in math courses, responding to art with poetry, and many more. 

We'll look to highlight some of these projects in greater detail in coming newsletters. We believe the arts are a crucial part of a comprehensive, complete and balanced education for 21st century learners. Further, a middle school is based on the importance of interdisciplinary connections and opportunities to transfer knowledge across content boundaries. As educators, we are excited about our ongoing work to strengthen those connections and develop new and exciting opportunities for our students.

Please take care this weekend and thank you again for everything this week.

Michael Lepene 

+RMS Quick Poll 

Last week we asked you for your ideas on how to make the Richmond Middle School a more sustainable organization. Here is a sample of the responses:
-Reuse paper, notebooks, binders and folders.
-Increase percentage of students walking, biking or taking the bus to school.
-Go paperless, especially with forms and summer mailing.
-Consider a school garden, greenhouse and composting.
-Add a school dishwasher.
-Add light sensors and additional water bottle fillers.
-Organize additional equipment swaps.
Thank you for all of the responses. We'll be sure to share these responses with our staff and students.

This week's poll question:
How has your experience with the arts aided in your career or profession?

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

Friday, September 19 -RMS School Dance. RMS. 7:00-9:00PM. RMS students only please. $5.00.

Tuesday, September 30 -RMS Fall Open House. RMS. 5:30-7:20PM.

Saturday, October 4 -RMS Family Hike and Picnic on Balch Hill POSTPONED. Contact: Amanda Yates

Wednesday, October 8  -International Walk/Bike to School Day -WISE Parent Presentation. RMS auditorium. 6:00PM.

Friday, October 10 -No School (Teacher Inservice Day)

Monday, October 13 -No School

+RMS Notes and Information

-Health Office News and Updates for Week of September 15-19th

-Library Media Center News
Over the first few weeks of school, all students participated in an orientation in the Library to meet the new Librarian, Mrs. Putnam-Pouliot, and learn about our new library automation software. Ask your student to show you Destiny Quest. The 8th grade iPads have a Destiny Quest app and the 6th and 7th graders learned how to access it from the library web site.
Did you know that all students at RMS are eligible to get a library card from the Howe Library? On Thursday September 25th we have invited Mary Lockhart, the Young Adult Librarian from Howe, to come to RMS to sign students and teachers up for library cards. If your student is interested in getting a Howe Library card, have him or her stop by the table in the lobby at lunchtime.

-RMS Open House: Open House will be on Tuesday, September 30th from 5:30-7:20PM. Parents should come to the lobby at 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.

-RMS Model UN Club: Students and parents interested in participating in a new Model UN club at RMS are invited to attend a brief informational meeting on Tuesday October 7th, at 5:30 pm in room 712. 
Model UN is an exciting and rigorous program where students prepare for and participate in a simulation of the United Nations, representing countries and working together to resolve real-life issues that face the world today. Model UN participation culminates in a conference in New York City, March 26-28th, 2015, that hosts over 1600 student delegates from a variety of countries.  During Tuesday's meeting we will discuss the logistics and requirements of participation in the club and conference. There will also be a general information session for students to learn more about the program during school in the coming weeks, however, we strongly urge parents and students who are interested to attend this meeting.
For more information about the conference, visit the conference website.
For more information about Model UN in general, check out these FAQs.
For additional questions, please contact Claire Groby & Chris McCarthy

-Swami Gurusharanananda visits RMS: "Swami Gurusharanananda is a perfect blend of academia and asceticism. He has been under the guidance of his enlightened Guru, Swami Kedarnath (an eminent disciple of Anandamayi Ma) since he was a young boy. He is a master of Yoga asanas, and when younger received many awards in nation-wide yoga programs. He has an MA in Philosophy and a PHD in interpretation of the Upanishads (Indian Scriptures). He serves as director of the ashram and the school run in Omkareshwar. He is an expert in Vedic Astrology (Jyotish) and many natural healing methods. He spends his time in meditation and austerity, and uses his many talents in the service of his Guru and ashram"

I stayed with Swami Gurusharanananda last February in Omkareshwar, India at the Anandamayi Ma Ashram and saw first hand this man's commitment to education and service to the children on the island. I am honored to be bringing him to the Frances C. Richmond School's 8th Grade Social Studies classes to speak and sing with our 8th Graders on Wednesday 9/24. Learn more about the Ashram school here. We invite you all to join us in a Kirtan at Rollins Chapel on Tuesday 9/23 at 7PM  co-sponsored by SHANTI - The Dartmouth College Hindu Student Organization and The Children of Ma Anandamayi Foundation.  

Jai Ma!, Joshua Hall - Frances C. Richmond Music Dept.

-THE TURBULENT TEEN YEARS: What's a Parent to Do? Join Diane Guarino, Health Educator, and Chris Seibel, School Counselor, for an evening of information and dialogue.Wednesday, September 24th,7:00-8:15 p.m. HHS Auditorium POSTPONED. HHS to reschedule.

+Community Calendar and Activities 

-Empower Lacrossethe UV girls' lacrosse club, starts their fall clinic series this Sunday, September 14th.  Clinics run 3:30 - 5 pm at Huntley Meadows in Norwich for 8 Sundays/thru Nov. 2.  Sign up asap at
-Hanover hockey: registration is open for the house teams. Are your kids interested in playing hockey but extensive travel doesn't work for your family?  Or do they play another winter sport and cannot make the commitment to games each weekend day?Hanover Hockey Association is continuing its house hockey program for players aged 9 to 14. This is a co-ed program, and teams will be divided as numbers allow into age groups. Practices will be held one to two days per week, and there will be occasional games against other teams in the Upper Valley. This is a no-checking league, with emphasis on building skills, good teamwork, and having fun. The season will include a session from mid-October through New Year's and a second session from early January to early March. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to play hockey and still have time for other winter activities! For more information go to  If your child was born in 2004 or 2005, contact Tris Wykes (; birth year 2000-2003 contact Derek Callaway (

- Join other Richmond Middle School students for indoor rock climbing at the Green Mountain Rock Climbing Center (GMRCC) in Quechee.  This co-ed program is open to middle school students in grades 6th-8th.  Teams practice at the GMRCC Quechee facility and compete as a team against other local schools at monthly competitions.  Last year's team placed 1st at the Vermont State Championship.  While practices run year round, competitions are held November-March.  Students will learn climbing skills and total body fitness.  All team members will have access to the climbing gym during regular business hours, free safety lessons, and free harness/shoes rentals.  No climbing experience necessary.  GMRCC will be holding an open house for students who would like to try climbing (cost $10/person) with no obligation to join the team on September 16th and September 23rd at 5pm. For more information contact Jeff Low ( 

-]unior Squash Clinic for any and all 7-15 year olds. The clinics will feature: Fun warms ups, warm up games, quality squash instruction, skills, drills and mini tournaments. The aims of the clinics are to: Learn and understand the basic rules, tactics and shots of squash. Learn the basic techniques of hitting a squash ball. Have fun and interact with other children. Dates: Monday September 22 – Wednesday November 12. Time: Mondays and/or Wednesdays 6pm - 7.30pm. Venue: Dartmouth College Squash Courts Cost: $175 for one day/week or $350 for two days/week. Racquets and balls are provided. The first day of the program will be Monday, September 22 and we will wrap up the fall term clinic with our "Pizza Party" on Wednesday, November 12. 

Please e-mail if you would like to register your child/children so that we can plan ahead and hire the appropriate number of coaches. 

This e-mail has been sent to you by RICHMOND MIDDLE SCHOOL. To maximize their communication with you, you may be receiving this e-mail in addition to a phone call with the same message. If you no longer wish to receive email notifications from RICHMOND MIDDLE SCHOOL, please click here to unsubscribe.