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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.

RMS Friday Focus, November 5, 2021

Important Dates                                  

November 7th - End of Daylight Savings - FALL BACK 1 hour

November 8th - Report Cards Available on Power School

November 11th - No School in observance of Veteran’s Day

November 15th - PTO Meeting

November 18th - Admin/Parent Coffee - 2 pm.

November 24-28 - No School in observance of Thanksgiving (US)

Message from RMS 

Dear Parents/Caregivers:

Happy beginning of the 2nd Quarter!  With report cards pending, we embark on the traditional reporting mission that is less comfortable than talking about the caring and creativity shown daily by our students and staff - grades.  We all remember grades, don’t we?  The anxiety evoked by the seemingly universal A-F scale (why we leave out E remains a mystery) is something probably all students, present and former, share.  At RMS even more anxiety comes from the fact that for some of our students this report card will be their first foray into this uniquely American experience.  We want to try to ease some of that anxiety.  

The larger discussion of grades is the stuff of long scholarly works and philosophical treatises, today we feel it important to offer a few reminders about grades at RMS.

What a grade is:

  • A snapshot of the work in each class for the past 9 weeks.  

  • A measure of progress toward a goal that is ongoing.

  • A discussion point regarding what strategies worked in the first nine weeks, and what habits and methods might be changed.  (The “leave all work to the last two weeks” is not a great method despite its popularity in middle school).

  • Potentially a reflection of choices regarding energy and effort that may have been directed at another goal during this quarter.  Discussions of these choices can be enlightening.

  • The starting point of a discussion about wider educational expectations between families and RMS.   We welcome inquiries about report cards, and look forward to deeper conversations about your students' learning.  

What a grade is not:

  • A measure of self worth.  A 2002 study found that 80% of undergraduates based their self worth on how they were doing in school.  This is not a healthy nor helpful idea - especially for middle school students.  We, as adults, can mitigate this feeling by continuing to stress what was learned at RMS rather than what letter was recorded.

  • An end point.  The 9 week grading period is, at some level, arbitrary, often coming in the middle of a unit.  Work and learning are ongoing, and will continue to build on themselves as we move forward.

  • Restrictive or punitive.  In most cases middle school grades will not be divulged to outside entities.  Sometimes the lessons learned from a letter grade that is less than expected last longer than the subject matter of the class.  (Middle school is where I learned that I could not, in fact, do my entire science project in two days.  The grade reflected that, and I did not make that mistake again.)

  • A complete picture of a student.  At RMS we know that students are so much more than letters in a column.  We try to use comments to reflect the full, and wonderful, complexity of each student. 

  • Meaningless.  We also know that the academic world as it exists relies on our current system, so we try to reflect in our grades the same values that will be important as our students navigate secondary and post-secondary education.  We will continue to stress individual learning and growth while remaining grounded in our current grading system.

We know that the single letters are not conducive to reflecting the nuance and subtle individual differences that make each of our students wonderful.  We will continue to try to foster those qualities while preparing them for what comes ahead.

Please reach out with any questions or concerns regarding report cards (available on PowerSchool on Monday afternoon), grading, or the quarter in general.  Enjoy the extra hour we gain on Sunday.  Please be well, stay safe, and take care of each other. 


Tim Boyle
Anissa Morrison
Associate Principal

School News & Information

RMS Cafe

Love to Cook - We are searching for some help If anyone is interested in joining Austin and his crew (part time position, during the day), we are looking for some help in our cafe.  Come join the fun!

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.


Student Council Update
Halloween Week was great fun.  Special thanks to our friends from King Arthur Flour who donated small flour bags to all bakers and gift certificates to winners. 
The school store is up and running and will be open every Wednesday morning. 

Veterans Day week will include:
Red, White and Blue day on Wednesday and our first Run/Walk a thon on Thursday.  Interested students will be able to take pledge forms for completion over the week.  The event will take place on Thursday from 1:00-3:00.

RMS Health Office Updates
We are awaiting more information about next week's vaccination clinic for 5-12 year olds at Lebanon High School.  Hopefully more information is forthcoming.

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 - Student Tutoring Program Is your child interested in tutoring fellow students at HHS or RMS?
Would your child benefit from some peer tutoring?
We are in need of students to sign up. Math is in high demand and we now have a few Dartmouth students available to tutor. 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. The following link will direct you to the form, and details the Volunteer Background Check Process. Volunteer's CLICK HERE

The SAU 70 district needs substitutes. Would you like a taste of the best job in the world? We would love to have you join 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.   Please reach out if you have any questions.

Thank you
Emma Cottage
SAU 70 Volunteer Coordinator

Parent Resources 
Links to parent resources aimed specifically at Middle School aged students.     Staying Connected with Your Teen®:  Wednesdays - October 20 - November 17 from 6:30-8:30 pm via Zoom Register here.   This workshop is for parents of teens to increase communication skills, improve family management, and strengthen family bonds which can help result or prevent participation in high risk behaviors. Full Flyer Here  

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.


PTO Bulletin Board

PTO News PTO Friday Focus News for November 5th, 2021  

The RMS online family directory gets better each time a family signs up. Opt-in and get connected! Some of you may have been at schools where you're automatically in the directory unless you opt out. At RMS, you need to opt-IN. It's free, and you can decide what information to list (or not list). Once you sign up, you can use the directory to find emails, addresses, and phone numbers for other RMS families. Just follow this link   

Whether your family is new to RMS or has been part of the school for years, please consider joining us for the November PTO meeting on Monday, November 15th at 6:30pm via Zoom. The link will be posted closer to the date.  

If something in-person is more your style, please drop by for Coffee & Conversation to hear from and talk with members of the RMS administration. November's Coffee & Conversation is Thursday, November 18th at 2:00pm in the RMS Cafe.    

As you consider your holiday shopping, please help the RMS PTO by signing up for AmazonSmiles.  A small percentage of each order you make on Amazon will get donated to the PTO, and there is no cost to you. Click here to learn more and to sign up:

You can also donate to the PTO via PayPal: Thank you to all of you who have already donated!   

Thank you!  -The RMS PTO