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Friday Focus 111315

posted Nov 14, 2015, 4:13 AM by Michael Lepene   [ updated Nov 17, 2015, 9:49 AM ]

Frances C. Richmond Middle School

Friday Focus  11/13/2015   

Principal's Corner

Dear Parents/Guardians,
SAU 70 Messaging System Change:
SAU 70 is transitioning to a new messaging system called SchoolMessenger. This system will replace BlackboardConnect as our mass email and phone messaging application. Hopefully the transition will be smooth and we appreciate your patience as each school works to learn the ins and outs of a new application. With the possibility of snow days increasing by the day it is also a good time to log in to the Portal to verify your emergency contact information. As a reminder, in addition to the phone call you can find delay and cancellation notices with most local media outlets (I find WMUR to be among the first to list Hanover).
Opening Doors to Learning:
This Monday all staff at RMS will be opening their doors to their colleagues for peer visits. As part of our ongoing efforts to learn from and with each other as education professionals we recognize the value in observing and discussing the teaching and learning happening in our classrooms and less structured spaces. Through visits and follow-up conversations teachers are able to make connections across their curriculum content, amplify efforts in skill development, and collaboratively problem solve to improve education outcomes for all students. The staff at RMS participates extensively in professional development through conferences, courses, readings, and study groups. Just last year our staff accumulated over 3000 hours of PD efforts. We feel that working together to support this growth through classrooms visits and peer feedback allows us to leverage and transfer this learning, magnifying the positive impact on our school and district. While we have been participating in these visits on an ongoing basis this is the first time we will commit to everyone participating in both the visits and follow-up conversation on the same day. I'm excited about this development and grateful to work in a school where we have the trust and professional respect in place to truly "open our doors" to peer feedback.
Here is the note I've written to inform our students about Monday:
"Students: Today you might find RMS teachers and staff visiting your classes. As educators we are constantly learning from each other and one of the best ways to do this is by opening our doors and spending time seeing each other teach. While we know it can be a bit distracting to have adults coming and going during your class we ask for your help in making this the best learning opportunity possible. Please continue with your classwork and activities as you normally would. We might ask you a question or we might sit in the back quietly. Either way, we are all looking forward to learning with you today. Thank you, Mr. Lepene"
In addition to all of the positive benefits for the staff outlined above we also hope that we are modeling collaborative learning for our students in an authentic and transparent way. As teachers we recognize, and create opportunities for, the positive outcomes and skills that come from collaborative groups and projects. We believe the positive possibilities and practice are good for learners of all ages. I look forward to sharing our experience with you in a future edition of the Friday Focus.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Michael Lepene 
All School Events and Calendar

Friday, November 13 - Q1 Report Cards available in the student portal.

Wednesday, November 18 - POSTPONED Schoology Parent Work Session with RMS Tech. Will be rescheduled. Marty Warren.

Friday, November 20 - RMS Fall Talent Show, 700-900p, RMS auditorium.

Wednesday, November 25 - Begin Thanksgiving Recess (No HW Holiday)

RMS Notes and Information

-Quarter One Report Cards are available online in the student portal beginning at 300p today (Friday). Paper copies can be printed directly from the portal or requested from the RMS front office. Please direct any questions about specific grades and comments to the appropriate teacher. Thank you and congratulations to our students for all of their efforts this Q1.

-We've had some questions about the Hanover Rec Dance tonight. The dance is organized, staffed, and hosted by the Hanover Recreation Department and is not a school sponsored-event. For more information visit the Hanover Recreation web site or contact them directly.

-The RMS Student Council is hosting a Veterans Appreciation Luncheon 
When: Tuesday, November 17, 2015  Where: Richmond Middle School
Start Time: Student tours of school start at 12:30
Food Start: Pasta, Salad and Dessert Lunch 1:00-2:00.
All Veterans are Welcome, Come Share or Listen to Stories.

-Just a quick reminder as the Thanksgiving Holidayapproaches: If you are going to be taking your child out of school for any extra days, you will need to inform the school office in writing, either by email to Julia Wybourne or a hand written note.

-Smarter Balanced Test Results from the 2014-2015 School year are being released by the NHDOE this month. We anticipate sending you individual score reports for the Computer Adapted Tests in Math and English Language Arts in the next week or two. At this time we have not received a date for the release of scores on the performance task portions of the test.

-Stop by the Thayer School of Engineering and enjoy the First Lego League Regional Robotics tournament from 9:30 AM- 4PM this Saturday, November 14th.  Cheer on our four teams: TWACA (Team With a Cool Acronym), Trash Turtles, Rexcyclers and Wastenauts. Twelve teams from the Upper Valley will be competing.  This event is free and open to the public.  Go RMS Robotics! 

-Tuesday 6th Homework Club & After School Study Before Breaks
There will not be 6th Grade Homework Club, After School Study, High School Tutors, or "Math with Bates" in the RMS Library on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving or the Tuesday before Winter break. Students will not have regular homework during school break, and therefore we will not have study support on those days.

-French Exchange Students visit RMS

For the past two weeks, RMS has been hosting 11 students from France, as part of an ongoing exchange program between Woodstock Union High School and the Collège St Didier in St. Gaudens.  The French students have been staying with RMS 8th grade students and shadowing their hosts during the school day, completing many of the same assignments.  This is an exciting English immersion experience for our visitors but also a great opportunity for all RMS students to learn a little more about the French culture, language and school system.  In addition to spending time at RMS, students spent the afternoon visiting the Marion Cross and Ray Schools.  They also enjoyed a Vermont tour including the State House, Ben & Jerry’s and the ECHO aquarium in Burlington.  Another highlight was a day exploring the Museum of Science and Freedom Trail in Boston.  Next April, the American host students will get the opportunity to visit their exchange partners and spend time at their school, as well as a couple of nights sightseeing in Barcelona and Paris.  A special thank you to RMS teacher Sarah Mills for organizing this cultural experience and exchange.

-Come Join Us for our Annual Fall Talent ShowFriday, November 20 7:00pm RMS Auditorium $5.00 per ticket

Twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring we have a chance to come together and laugh, cry and be amazed as we watch our students and staff show off their "talents".  Our fall show will feature a variety of instrumental, singing, dancing and acting performances from students in all grades.  Tickets for this show will be sold at the door.  The show should be over by 9:00pm.

-Attention Classical Music Fans
For the first time, we will be providing an opportunity for our classical musicians to perform at a special event just for them.  On Sunday December 13 4:00-5:30 in the RMS Auditorium we will be hosting our first RMS Classical Music Showcase.  The event will feature performances by Stephen Wang on piano and Justin Zhou on cello.  Performers will need to check in with Mr LaCrosse and Ms Rommer.  

-The RMS Open Invitational Quiz Bowltournament has been rescheduled to Saturday, January 30th. Additional information will be available closer to the event. 
Special Recognition

-RMS teacher Catherine Patch has been selected as the New Hampshire Middle Level Physical Educator of the Year for 2015-2016. The selection committee highlighted her experience in physical education and teaching, outstanding recommendations, and involvement in professional development in awarding her teacher of the year. Catherine will be recognized at the annual NHAHPERD conference this month. Congratulations to Ms. Patch!
Community Calendar and Activities

-When in Rome by the Trumbull Hall Troupe is a family friendly musical written by Jodi Picoult and Kyle van Leer, with music by Ellen Wilber.  Performances are Fri Nov 13 at 7pm, Sat Nov 14 at 7pm and Sun Nov 17 at 3pm at the Lebanon Opera House.  Seat reservations with donations at the door going to the Zienzele Foundation, CHaD, and the Upper Valley Haven.


As you likely know, Zappos delivered 1800 boxes of goodies to Hanover families between mid-night on Monday and Tuesday morning.  As it turns out, Hanover is an excellent Zappos customer — and it’s not just the college.  The boxes are a surprise thank-you gift.  If you received a present from Zappos, can you share by donating some of it to the Upper Valley Haven?  Please bring your full Zappos box or anything in it that you choose to donate to The Ray School, RMS, or HHS.  Zappos boxes will be in the entry to each school.  Let’s pay the generosity forward!  We’ll collect the Zappos goodies until Wednesday, Nov. 18 — especially the warm, winter gear.  Can you and your children help count the items and deliver to the Haven on Wednesday, Nov. 18?  We’d like to have at least 5 volunteers per school.  Please contact the following point person in your school if you’d like to help:




-**​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




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