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Friday Focus 112114

posted Nov 21, 2014, 10:54 AM by Michael Lepene   [ updated Nov 24, 2014, 5:46 AM ]


RMFriday Focus 
Friday, November 21 2014

RMS PE class

RMS PE students playing "Pool Noodle Hunger Games" this week with Mr. Atkinson.

+Principal’s Corner

Dear Parents/Guardians, 

The Richmond Middle School hosted a team from the New England League of Middle Schools (NELMS) on Thursday. The purpose of the team's visit was to evaluate our alignment with middle level best practices. Schools that align appropriately and effectively with these practices are designated "Spotlight Schools". Spotlight Schools then become destinations and resources for middle level educators in New England and beyond. In addition, as a Spotlight School we receive feedback from the site visit that can inform us of potential areas for growth and improvement. The visit included a tour led by students, visits to team meetings, conversations with school leadership and committees, lunch and snack with students, classroom visits, and conversations with Superintendent Bass and a member of the Dresden School Board. 

We know that any effective organization relies upon feedback and assessment in order to improve and grow. We feel that including external groups like NELMS in the feedback process will give us an additional lens and opportunity to learn. All of us in the Richmond Middle School community want our school and district to be among the very best. We are eagerly awaiting the feedback from NELMS through the Spotlight School process. We will be sure to share what we learn with you.

Michael Lepene 

+RMS Quick Poll 

Thank you for your feedback on how we might better support our students as they make the transition to RMS. As a first step, I have shared your feedback with our admin and guidance teams. Highlights of what we have learned were also shared at a K-12 guidance meeting this week. Themes included looking at grades/feedback, staff attending meetings at sending schools, creating quiet spaces in the morning, considering faculty advisors, looking at aspects of some specific courses, grade-level specific communication methods, and giving additional consideration to how we scaffold and support students in their move from dependent to independent learners.

This week, a somewhat practical question. We are considering offering a salad bar in our cafe on additional days (currently, we provide the salad bar every other Wednesday). When we look at our financial numbers it is difficult to assess whether students would take advantage of this opportunity. We plan on surveying the students and we are also interested in your thoughts.

We believe that offering healthy food choices that are attractive to students is an important component of our food service program. Further, it affords us with the opportunity to source food locally and prioritize relationships with sustainable organizations. In this instance, making this shift has some upfront costs but the investment lines up well with our mission.

-Do you support the expansion of our "Make Your Own Salad" option in our school lunch program?

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


Wednesday, November 26 RMS Closed for Thanksgiving Break

Tuesday, December 2 RMS 7/8 Chorus Concert. RMS Auditorium. 7p.

Thursday, December 4 RMS 6th Grade Band/Chorus Concert. RMS Auditorium. 7p.

+RMS Notes and Information

-3D Vermont is a competition for middle and high school students to work in teams to research and recreate 3D models of historical buildings in their area. In the process they will uncover and document the history of buildings and create a multimedia presentation to accompany their printed 3D models. If you are interested in serving as an advisor with Mr. Eastman and Mrs. Yates, please contact us at:

-6th Grade Homework Club will not meet on November 25th. We will be taking a break before Thanksgiving but will be back on December 2nd. 6th Grade Homework Club is a voluntary, free support available to any 6th grade student after school on Tuesdays. RMS teachers and counselors, as well as tutors from RMS and HHS help 6th grade students in the science room with their homework from 3-4 PM. Contacts: John Lacrosse and Liz Powers

-RMS Fall Talent Show Date Change: After much consideration we have decided to move our talent show date to Friday, January 9th.  We met with performers today to inform them.   This will eliminate conflicts with our own band/chorus shows, Northern Stage, Revels, ballet and the other things that happen in December (which we probably should have anticipated).  Thank you in advance, for your flexibility.  This is going to be a great show and we look forward to seeing you there! Contact: John Lacrosse

-RMS Community Ice Rink: We are forming a school-community committee of individuals interested in pursuing an outdoor rink on the RMS field for Winter 2015-2016.  If you would like to join us, please contact Amanda Yates

-Many thanks to ANSYS, Inc., a corporate sponsor of RMS Robotics. Their generous donation will support the purchase of new equipment for the 2015 season.

-Richmond Middle School Music Department: Dear Parents/Guardians of RMS Musicians, It is that time of the year again.  Concert time!  We want to remind everyone of our upcoming December concerts. To start us off, the 7th and 8th grade choruses are excited to share their voices with you on Tuesday, December 2 starting at 7:00 PM.  Following that the 6th grade band and chorus will show off their talents on Thursday, December 4, also at 7:00 PM.  One week after that the 7th and 8th grade bands and 6/7/8th grade string orchestra will wrap it all up with their own impressive show on Thursday, December 11 at 7:00 PM.  

Please make sure that your child’s schedule is clear so they can participate in their concert (s).  All students are asked to arrive at the school no later than 6:30 to warm up/tune up and prepare themselves for the concert.  We also want to make sure you are aware of the dress code for this particular concert series.  All musicians are required to wear black on the bottom and white on the top.  As a department we have also agreed that all shoulders must be covered and boots such as Ugg boots are not acceptable as dress shoes for such an occasion. Boys are encouraged to wear a collared shirt and a tie/bowtie is totally acceptable.  Girls may wear a skirt or pants, what ever is most comfortable for them.  All of these expectations are to help create a uniform and professional look for our more formal December concert series. Thank you for helping us with this.  We look forward to sharing these concerts with you.  
Thank you so much for supporting music at RMS. Sincerely, Joshua Hall    Jonica Leuthauser    Hannah Rommer

+Community Calendar and Activities 

-We discuss the work of M.C. Escher in art and math courses at RMS. Here is some information on an exhibit currently at the Currier Museum of Art. M.C. Escher created intricate geometric drawings and prints of spaces that can only exist on paper and in the viewer’s mind. His images continue to boggle the eye and the brain, captivating viewers more than 40 years after his death. In Escher’s world, stairways are built upside-down, water runs uphill and every object is reproduced with mathematical precision. This Escher retrospective is one of the largest and most comprehensive ever offered in the United States. Its exclusive New England showing at theCurrier Museum of Art will contain his best-known works of art, early family portraits, original preparatory sketches and mezzotints he created, and one of the of lithographic stones he used to print a later work.

-Dance Nite Out! Friday November 21, 2014 By Sayon Camara Drumming With Sayon Camara & Landaya at Barrett Memorial Hall in South Strafford VT from 8:00 – 10:00 pm and then some! The irresistible polyrhythms of this West African ensemble combined with Sayon’s expert hands on the djembe and haunting melodies on traditional flute will get you up and dancing! This is a fundraiser for Barrett Hall, a historical community building with great wooden floors and lots of room to move. Connects with francophone Africa unit delivered by Mindi Goodling in French 6.