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Friday Focus

Welcome to the Friday Focus. Our weekly newsletter will be posted here. It will include the Administrator's message, important updates, and fun things happening around our school.

Most Recent Friday Focus:

Thoughts from the Front Office

Dear Parents/Caregivers:

This week often found many of us sitting in the main Atrium of RMS, seeking the sunlight that often accompanies the cold that has arrived with vigor this week.  While watching the scroll of pictures of our lobby TV, Mr. Goodling remarked that the newest pictures (thanks to Emma Cottage for sharing them) reflected well the positive energy with dashes of chaos that characterize middle school.  He also pointed out that all of the photos were taken from lower angles - through a student’s eyes - which made them more compelling.  The change in our regular perspective, though small, changed the way the school looked.

That comment proved to have some staying power in our brains.  We realized that in middle school we are better when we remember to view the world through the eyes of our students.  Their wonder, curiosity, and joy are glorious antidotes to an adult world that often feels heavy and mundane.  The world is much newer when you are young, and that novelty brings energy.  It can, however, also bring worry and concern.  Without the perspective of time the pitfalls of middle school seem much bigger to students than to adults.  As we move into Q3, historically the most difficult quarter of the year (largely due to weather), we will strive to keep our student perspective on life at RMS, honoring and celebrating the experiences of our students. 

While we look forward to the 2nd half of the year, we do have some updates to pass along:

  • Join us next Wednesday for a quick parent check in via zoom.  Admin will be available to answer any general questions, and to provide a chance to interact since the parent coffees are on hiatus due to the recent surge.  

  • Next week we will start a short process that will allow us to change names on our power school class lists to a student’s “preferred name.”  If your student would like to change their name as it appears on attendance lists please reach out and we can help in this process.  As a person who has two family members who prefer being called by their middle names, I know that having to explain to every substitute and every new teacher that the name listed on the class list is not the one you use can be exhausting.  We hope this change allows for a more welcoming environment. 

  • Toward the end of next week we will be conducting a mandated “shelter in place” drill.  The drill will be warned prior, so students will know it is a drill, and in our discussion of the protocols we stress that we most often shelter in place because of health emergencies, privacy concerns, or weather events.  We recognize, however, that our students live in a world where drills that involve locked doors can evoke a great deal of stress and anxiety.  As a result, we will publicize the specific day and time next week, and look forward to working with families to limit negative experiences for our students.  

As we move through this weekend please be safe, stay well (and warm), and take care of each other.

 

Warmly,

Tim Boyle
Principal
 
Anissa Morrison
Associate Principal

 

School News & Information

RMS Cafe

View our most up-to-date menu.   Thank you to our volunteers and to Austin and Seanna for keeping us warm on these cold days.

If you have any questions, concerns, or dietary restrictions please contact Austin Jacobs.

RMS does offer a lunch program for families who may need assistance or special needs.  Please contact Robin Morley-Ploof in the office for more information.

RMS NEWS
RMS News will return in two weeks.  

Club News
Dungeons and Dragons/Magic Club will be meeting in the library on Monday  

Student Council Update
Today was "Anything but a Backpack Day". A new spirit day for us.  Pretty funny to see wagons, sleds, laundry baskets, shopping carts, strollers, guitar cases and many other things come in for the day.  

There were a number of great door displays done in recognition of Civil Rights Day.  Keep an eye out for photos.

The school store is now selling student made items.  If your child is "crafty" and wants to sell something let us know (profits stick with student council).

Coming events will include a number of activities during Super Bowl Week including cooking and commercial contests and flag football.

The social justice committee is also working on a schedule for Black History Month    

RMS Health Office Updates
Thank you all who have filled out the vaccination status surveys.  As your student receives a booster, please contact Nurse Abby so she can update records. 
 
Currently our student population reports that 89% have received two doses of the vaccine! Our staff rate is above 95%.  Thank you to everyone for taking the steps to take care of our community. 

In light of the Omicron surge, we wanted to clarify the new COVID guidelines and the terms used.

Students are considered fully vaccinated if they are:
12 years or older with 2 doses of covid vaccine
AND  
1 Booster shot (if eligible - 5 months or more after the last vaccine)
If you are in the 5 month waiting period for the booster, you are still considered fully vaccinated. 

OR
11 years or younger 
2 doses of Covid vaccine (not eligible for booster yet)

Students are considered NOT vaccinated if they are:
12 years or older 2 doses of covid vaccine (5 months after last vaccine) with No Booster
(and 5 months have passed since last vaccine) If you are eligible for the booster and have not yet received it, you are NOT considered ully vaccinated.  

Any age, No Covid vaccines or only one of a two dose series and no booster.   

Isolation
Students who are fully vaccinated will not be asked to isolate due to a close contact (even within the household), provided they remain masked and separated at home, and display no symptoms.  

Students who are NOT fully vaccinated AND have a Covid positive household member, must isolate for at least 5 days from last contact with a positive family member. 

Students will need a negative rapid test and no symptoms on day 5 to return to school on day 6 .  Please note students must isolate themselves from the positive members of the household as well.   
As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out.  Thank you to a great community for working so well together to keep us all safer. 

Prescription Medications
Does your child need to take a prescription medication during school hours? Students must keep all prescription medications in the health office and have a signed medication form as well. The medication form and additional information can be found here: Health Office Website

Volunteer News 
Volunteer Sign Up   Student Tutoring Program - Is your child interested in tutoring fellow students at HHS or RMS? Would your child benefit from some peer tutoring? Please contact me if you would like more information.  

Volunteer Sign Up - SAU 70 requires that ALL volunteers in the district complete the Volunteer Application Form. This link will direct you to the form, and details the Volunteer Background Check Process. Please reach out if you have any questions.

Thank you, 
Emma Cottage 
SAU 70 Volunteer Coordinator

The SAU 70 district needs substitutes - We would love to have you help us occasionally in the school. If you are interested in being a substitute teacher, you can apply for the role on the SAU 70 Job Listings 

Parent Resources 
Links to parent resources aimed specifically at Middle School aged students.    
Family Programs offered by Outright Vermont Outright Vermont (https://www.outrightvt.org/) is an organization that supports LGBTQ+ youth and families around Vermont and neighboring areas. They offer a support group for families: Trans Parent Group - Online - First Monday of every month 6-8pm. Support group for parents and caregivers of trans, nonbinary, and gender expansive youth. Email info@outrightvt.org for more information and links.  

How to talk to your student about gender
RMS is committed to building an inclusive school environment, and beginning discussions around identity for all students.  The following article can help you join those discussions with your student.  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxjmcJln7VwrMGc3ZWNnbnEtVjFxZ0oxc1p3LVBYN0pnNE1B/view?usp=sharing

 


PTO Bulletin Board

PTO Bulletin Board for Friday, January 21, 2022  

Join us online this coming Monday evening from 7:00 to 7:45pm for "Together We Read." 

“Together We Read” is a parent and child book discussion of All Rise for the Honorable Perry T. Cook by Leslie Connor.

Erin Davidson, Norwich Public Library Librarian, will facilitate the discussion. Feel free to attend even if you did not finish the book or if you just want to get a flavor of the book.

Here's the link and passcode: https://dartmouth.zoom.us/j/99313789597?pwd=ODFCMFA2bWRlWEpzTzVxM2NmSkM5QT09 
Meeting ID: 993 1378 9597
Passcode: 892563
Please RSVP or send questions to Elizabeth Dollhopf-Brown, edollhopfbrown@gmail.com



Would you like to help with an appreciation event for the amazing RMS teachers and staff? Or do you have a skill you'd like to share, such as running a yoga class or something else? If so, please contact Tracey at  traceyhayeswarren@gmail.com.  



Below are the RMS PTO meeting dates for the remainder of the school year. Meetings are via Zoom until further notice and the Zoom link (which remains the same from meeting to meeting) is sent in Friday Focus prior each Monday meeting.

We hope to see you!

Monday, February 7, 2022 6:30pm
Monday, March 7, 2022 6:30pm
Monday, April 4, 2022 6:30pm 
Monday, May 16, 2022 6:30pm   



Please join the PTO at our NEW Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/RMSPTOFB 

This page replaces the previous Facebook group.