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Friday Focus 120415

posted Dec 4, 2015, 10:42 AM by Michael Lepene   [ updated Dec 4, 2015, 10:47 AM ]

Frances C. Richmond Middle School

Friday Focus  12/04/2015   

Principal's Corner

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Field trips offer a terrific opportunity for students to get out in the community and see the skills and content they experience in school in an authentic setting. On top of that, we enjoy the opportunity for our community members to visit with our curious, intelligent, and respectful students. They always leave a great impression! We have several existing field trips as part of our curriculum and are always looking for new opportunities. 

Today I was able to join our 6th grade for a visit to Hypertherm. Hypertherm generously welcomed our students and 6th grade staff in two groups. Each group was treated to a science lesson on "plasma", a tour of the facility which included sustainable practices, an assembly and communication lab, and an opportunity to cut some metal using a plasma cutter. As a bonus, students enjoyed a 30 minute Q/A session with engineers and leaders from within the organization. 

As a former science teacher, I know first-hand the benefit of hands-on, authentic experiences with content and skills. I can tell you that talking about the states of matter is one thing. Using a plasma cutter to slice through metal and seeing robotic plasma cutters in action leaves a lasting impression and gives meaning to the terms and diagrams studied in class that you can't easily replicate in a classroom. 

We are fortunate at Richmond Middle School to be in a community full of resources, expertise, and experiences open for learning. My thanks to Hypertherm and the many organizations and individuals in the community who generously contribute to our educational program. The student experience is richer for it. 

Michael Lepene 


Photo Credit: @RMSGuidance

All School Events and Calendar

Monday, December 7 - Hour of Code Events at RMS.

Thursday, December 10 - RMS 7th/8th Bands and Orchestra Concert, 7p, RMS auditorium.

Tuesday, December 15 - RMS/HHS Jazz Bands Concert, 7p, RMS auditorium.

Wednesday, December 16 - 8th Grade "Of Mice and Men Trial", all day, RMS.

Wednesday, December 16 - Rescheduled 7th/8th Chorus Concert, 7p, RMS auditorium.

Friday, December 18 - RMS Spirit Day "Ugly Sweaters"

RMS Notes and Information

-The Hour of Code is coming to RMS again this year during the week of December 7-11. Hour of Code lessons and experiences, both plugged in and unplugged, will be featured at each grade level. Activities will be led by RMS technology staff and classroom teachers. These opportunities should allow students to engage in learning what coding is and in the critical thinking process involved in successful coding practice.

In addition to the classroom experiences, RMS staff and students will feature coding activities in the lobby during lunches all week. These will include online coding, robotics, 3D printing, and more. Parents are welcome to visit during lunches anytime.

Beyond this week, students have many opportunities to learn about coding at RMS. We have offer elective courses in coding and gaming, there is an active after school robotics program, and we integrate coding experiences into computer literacy, mathematics, and other courses throughout the year. Further, students pursue additional coding experiences through independent projects that vary from web design to app creation.

-Winter Weather Advisory: We are moving towards winter and the possibility of challenging weather conditions which can lead to many cancellations of after school sports and activities. Please could we ask you to talk to your students and have a plan in place so that they know what to do/how to get home in the event of a cancellation.  When everything is canceled it is often impossible to get individual messages to students. All Parks and Rec cancellations are posted in the lobby daily and when we have a district wide cancellation, as on Tuesday of this week, we announce over the paging system.

-Lost and Found is filling up. Please visit (or have your child visit) our lost and found before December break begins. Thanks to the Desaulniers homeroom for organizing the collection this week.

Special Recognition
-Congratulations to the RMS chorus groups, bands, and orchestra for their performances this month. Students have worked hard to deliver some terrific music and performance for you. We hope you can attend a show!

Community Calendar and Activities
-ZAP IT FORWARD! As a result of our ZAP IT FORWARD efforts, HHS, RMS and The Ray School collected 229 items for The Haven.  If Upper Valley families had bought the donated items on the Zappos website, it would have cost at least $5,100.  Highlights are 48 winter hats ($960), 51 neck gaiters ($918), 30 thick and cozy SmartWool socks ($570), and 31 rugged backpacks ($1,550).  This does not include all of you who passed along items on your own through the COOP, to the Listen Center and directly to the Haven.  Thank you for sharing so much of your brand new, warm winter gear from the Zappos elves, and thank you, Zappos!

-Former Richmond Middle School student & 2014 Olympian Julia Krass is hosting a ski & snowboard camp at Whaleback Mountain. Camp 360 (December 28-30) for ages 6-14 will be hosted by 2014 Olympian and U.S. Ski Team Member Julia Krass. Julia has generously offered to donate her time to encourage athletes to learn and discover what disciplines inspire them. This is a wonderful opportunity for skiers and snowboarders to test out freeride, freestyle, and alpine - a full 360-degree view of on-snow disciplines! It is for all ability levels, including beginner. For more information or to sign up, please visit Sign up deadline is December 14th

-PARENTS' NIGHT OUT Friday,​ Dec 11 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.

​To reserve a spot at the special $15 rate
​1​)    Buy tickets in person in Mrs. French's room​ or at front desk​
 at MCS until Thurs Dec 10​

2​)    Drop payment at Ray School or RMS offices ​before Thurs Dec 10 ​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




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