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Friday Focus 103015

posted Oct 30, 2015, 1:05 PM by Michael Lepene

Frances C. Richmond Middle School Friday Focus
Friday, October 30, 2015

RMS Pumpkins

+Principal’s Corner

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We asked parents for their recommendations for new elective courses in our parent survey two years ago and the most requested course was one in coding and programming. This fall we were able to offer a course co-taught by Mr. Warren, Mrs. Putnam-Pouliot, and Mrs. Yates. I asked them to share some highlights from their recent trip to Burlington for this week's Friday Focus.

Have a fun and safe weekend,

Michael Lepene 

The RMS programming elective class attended the 2015 Vermont TechJam in Burlington, VT last Friday, October 23rd.  Vermont TechJam is an annual conference bringing together students and technology companies from all over Vermont.  Our students presented the games they created using the program, Scratch, to other conference participants and hosted a booth on the exhibition floor.  Shortly after our presentation, we learned the Mayor of Burlington, Miro Weinberger,  was in the audience and spoke with a couple of our students after their presentation.

This field trip is a part of our new Programming elective offered at RMS. The class explores basic programming and computer science concepts and focuses on how to problem solve and work together as a team.  Students are introduced to a new programming concept and often try it out with an unplugged activity first, and then students try out the concept by completing the challenge problem of the day using their computer. At the end of class, students reconvene and share their work with their classmates from the day’s activity.

Most of the programming for the class has been done using “Scratch”.  Scratch is a free programming tool designed for students by MIT to teach basic programming to k-12 students (

As a culminating activity, students will share their final class projects, a game they created, in the school lobby during lunch next Thursday, November 5th.

Coding class at VT TechJam

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

Friday, October 30 - RMS "Halloween" Dance, 700-900p, RMS.

Friday, November 6 - End of Q1. (Report Cards available in the student portal 11/13/15)

Wednesday, November 11 - No School Veterans Day

Wednesday, November 18 - Schoology Parent Work Session with RMS Tech, 1200-100p, RMS.

+RMS Notes and Information

-RMS Halloween Dance Tonight: Reminders - School rules apply. Cost is $5 plus money for snacks. Dance is from 7-9p. Costume Contest and Photo Booth.

-RMS Parents are invited to a Schoology How-To and Work Session with RMS Technology staff on Wednesday, November 18 from 1200-100p. In this hands-on session technology staff will help you navigate Schoology and also answer your questions. Please RSVP with Marty Warren if you will attend so we can determine what size space we need. Thank you!

-Food Drive for Haven. Thank you and congratulations to the RMS community for their tremendous support of the annual fall Haven Food Drive at RMS. Thanks to the many contributions we were able to deliver over 2000 food items along with our largest ever financial contribution.
-Google's Made with Code initiative is committed to inspiring more girls to try coding. We’re showing documentary filmmaker, Lesley Chilcott's film, CODEGIRL, focusing on girls in Computer Science
Showing will be in the RMS Auditorium Thursday November 5th starting at 6pm. Contact: Amanda Yates.
-RMS will have a public screening of “The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia” (a fifty-minute film) at RMS on Thursday, November 12 at 7:00 pm. Please consider joining us. Contact: Becky Wipfler.
-Budget 2016-2017: Last year we were able to include funding for an after school homework program and some additional funds for new textbooks in our budget. We are currently in the process of organizing our operating budget for the 2016-2017 school year. Please consider offering your suggestions for new programs/opportunities and/or savings through this quick survey. We appreciate your input in this process. Thank you, Mike Lepene.

+Community Calendar and Activities 

This new Sundance documentary is a smart and engaging look at education in 21st-century America. Discussion follows.
Monday, November 2, 2015 7:00pm-10:00pm
Loew Auditorium, Black Family Visual Arts Center Sponsored by: Hopkins Center for the Arts
Discussion follows with producer and education activist/philanthropist Ted Dintersmith


-This Friday, October 30, the Hanover High School Marauder Varsity Football team will host Plymouth in their last game of the season. Senior recognition night will begin at 6:30 and kick off will be at 7 p.m.  In addition, the JV Marauder football team will host their annual jamboree on Monday, November 2 at 4pm.

There will be snacks and grilled foods available at the Snack Shack as well as Marauder Wear available for purchase. 

-On Sunday, Nov. 8Empower Lacrosse Club will hold a Parent Meeting from4:30-5:15 at Richard Black Community Center in Hanover.  Please come to learn, ask questions, and share your thoughts on UV girls' club lacrosse.

-Next week, the annual Christmas Market with a Difference will return to Church of Christ at Dartmouth College (that's the white church with the steeple on campus) 10am-6pm Thursday November 5th & Friday November 6th, and 10am-1pm Saturday November 7th. Twenty non-profit organizations will be selling handcrafted items from more than 15 different countries. The "difference" is that 100% of proceeds support the participating charitable organizations and their artisans. You can find jewelry, apparel, linens, baskets, toys, cards, specialty foods, and lots more. It's a great way to get an early start on your holiday shopping, feel good about buying fair-trade products, and know that you are supporting organizations that work to help people around the world. Find out more at: or 
Several HHS and RMS students will be helping with this event and we hope you will come check it out!
-PARENTS' NIGHT OUT Friday, Nov 20 5:30-8:00pm 

Calling parents of kids aged 3-12!  

Enjoy a night out while RMS 8th graders babysit your children at the Marion Cross School for an evening of movie and food fun!  Proceeds support the RMS 8th Grade French Exchange with St. Gaudens, France.

Cost: $15 per child in advance, $20 at the door 

Ticket price includes pizza, juice box, and popcorn.  Checks payable to Dresden Schools Memo: RMS French Exchange Fundraiser.

3 ways to reserve a spot at the special $15 rate:

1)    Register online!! by visiting: include your child’s name, age and any allergies.  Drop off payment to MCS, Ray or RMS by Nov 19.

2)    Buy tickets in person in Mrs. French's room at MCS after school the week of Nov 16 or via email at

3)    Drop payment at Ray School or RMS offices attn: Sarah Mills.  Please include your name, telephone, email address, child’s name and age. 

Tickets can also be purchased at the door on the day of the event ($20)

Questions? contact or

-Howe Library News:Artist Margaret Sheehan will teach a cool way of doodling to create a small piece of artwork. 
All materials will be supplied, but if you have a favorite fine point pen, bring it along!
No registration required Date: November 8, 2015 Time: 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm Location: Mayer Room Ages 10 through adult

-Come enjoy the snow with Whaleback this winter!  Whaleback Mountain's After School Ski & Ride Program is an instructional program that provides a fun and affordable way for kids to get on snow with the schoolmates and to be active, healthy and happy. Our Learning Center instructors create and supportive environment for each youth to progress at a pace they are comfortable with. It begins with grouping students by ability level with an instructor-to-student ratio that is appropriate for that level. And Whaleback offers terrain for all levels! Equipment is available to rent at the mountain. WHEN: WEDNESDAYS starting January 6th,3:30-6pm.   For more information, contact Kristin Fauci 802-649-7181 and check