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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, October 27, 2023

Important Dates

October 27  - Fall Social.
November 3 - End of Q1
November 6 - Start of Q2
November 7 - PTO Meeting via Zoom link
November 10 - Veterans Day - NO SCHOOL
November 15 - Family Round Table - Suicide Prevention
November 17 - Fall Talent Show
November 22-26 - Thanksgiving Break - NO SCHOOL

Thoughts from the Rolling Desk

(different, non-rolling desk today, but it was just too nice to stay inside when outside beckoned)

tree with yellow leaves and a picnic table

Today was a welcome reminder of the joy we can all find outside on a warm fall day.  Sitting outside throughout lunch I was privileged to watch football games, soccer games, gaga matches(?), reading groups, conversation circles, and a few instances of teachers helping students complete projects in a much nicer environment than any classroom can offer.  These activities are largely student organized and maintained, with groups mixing and cooperating in ways that could serve as models for some adults in what seems to be an increasingly fractured society.  The recent studies showing the benefits of unstructured play for all students seem to be on to something.  Once again I am grateful to work in an environment that allows and nurtures unstructured time and individual choice - Thank you. 

In the more structured part of our school calendar we do have a number of items to address:

  • Our Fall social is this evening from 7:00-8:30.  Admission is $5, and there will be a way to show off costumes, along with a photo booth (for $2).  Please remember to be careful at drop off and pick up.
  • Next Tuesday is Orange and Black spirit day.  We ask that students do not bring costumes or candy to school in order to keep the day as orderly as possible.  Although recent research purports to debunk the “myth” that sugar makes middle school children more energetic, multiple years of anecdotal evidence from numerous adults offer contrary evidence.  Less Candy = more calm learning.   Thank you in advance.
  • Friday will mark the end of Q1.  Please check upcoming assignments with your student (there may not be a marked difference, we try to underplay the end of quarter chaos at RMS), and reach out with any questions. 
    • On another note, the end of Q1 will also be the last day of school before we turn our clock’s back (just in case the last week of October wasn’t disruptive enough).  Get ready for early evenings.
  • The next Friday, November 10, is a day off school for Veteran’s Day.
  • Wednesday, November 15 - Mental Health Family ConversationConnors Climb Foundation is proud to partner with the Dresden Schools in offering a family and community suicide prevention training at Richmond Middle School on November 15, 2023. The conversation will take place in the RMS Library Media Center 6-7 PM. The program complements the Signs of Suicide (SOS) curriculum that is used in developmental guidance during 7th grade, but is appropriate for supporting anyone who has youth in their life that they care about. Adults come away from the training with ideas to effectively start the conversation of mental health with youth, as well as assist with youth in a crisis -- whether their own or a peer's. We hope to see many Dresden families at this round table event. 

Finally, given the tragic events in Maine this week we have fielded some questions about the preparedness of RMS for emergency situations.  RMS has a robust and detailed safety plan that we follow every day (behind the scenes).  We are constantly observing, evaluating, and implementing actions to keep us all safe.  We know it can be difficult not to know exactly what that plan is, but we have been advised by the Department of Homeland Security not to share specifics.  Thank you for understanding and supporting the RMS community as we work to keep school the safe, welcoming, and fun place it is.  

Please relish the last days of summer-like weather prior to the cold front we have coming, maybe take some time for some unstructured time in the sun.  As always, be safe, stay well, and take care of each other.

Tim Boyle
Anissa Morrison
Associate Principal

School News and Information

RMS Cafe

Our monthly menu is available, (new one is coming) and the link to the updated price list.

RMS works hard to accommodate the dietary needs of our community, so if you have any questions, concerns, please contact Austin Jacobs.  

The RMS lunch program is run “in house” and does not follow a state or federal program.  If your family may benefit from assistance for meals, please contact Robin Morley-Ploof in the office for more information.  The program is confidential and runs the same way as the more traditional cafe meal funding program. 

If you have any questions regarding payment, please contact Janice Starkey in the main office.

RMS Health Office

health office door

Flu Clinic a Success

Thank you for the support of our student flu clinic.  We hope that by taking these streps we can keep folks healthy throughout the flu season.

Prescription Medications

Does your child need to take 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

If you have questions regarding health programs, or anything related to the health of your students please reach out to Nurse Abby.


RMS News Broadcast for this week:

RMS Fitness room needs your help

Last spring our PE department, spearheaded by Missie Rodriguez, secured a grant from the Dorothy Byrne foundation to refurbish the RMS fitness room, which is currently stocked with machines purchased when the new school opened. The grant is contingent, however, on raising funds to match the grant, so it is in this spirit that we are beginning a campaign to raise the money (approximately $30,000)  to make equipment upgrades to expand our fitness and PE offerings at RMS.  We would like to replace the 20 year old cardio equipment with new, manually powered (using no electricity) Concept II Ergs, Rogue Echo Upright Bikes, Suspension Ellipticals, Assault Runner Pro Treadmills, and Maxi-Stair Climber Machines. Coupled with a new, protective floor, these machines would offer an opportunity for a class of 20 students to take part in a meaningful, and safe, fitness experience that will set the stage for later life, and prepare students to use the newer, recently upgraded, fitness room at HHS.  We understand that this is a significant amount of money, and welcome any and all support anyone can give. Donations to the Dresden School District (RMS PE) will be accepted in any amount in the front office. Thank you for your continued support of our school and community.  

From Student Council
  • Fall Social  Tonight is our annual Fall Social/Halloween Dance - 7:00-8:30 $5 admission with $2 for use of the photo booth that we have for this event.  Student Council will also be selling drinks and treats.  There will be a costume contest as well though students do not have to wear a costume to attend the dance.  Soccer and basketball will be played in the gym.
  • Norwitchy Walk  RMS Student Council will have a table at the Norwitchy Walk on Sunday.  
  • Halloween Baking Contest. Monday is the Halloween Baking Contest.  Students should bring in their items in the morning to be judged by a variety of community members.  Prizes will be awarded for creativity, taste and theme.
  • Orange and Black Day Tuesday is Orange and Black Day.  We do not expect students to wear costumes to school.
  • Coming Events  Veterans Day Pledge Run: Thursday November 9th (after school).  If you are a veteran and would like to support the students who choose to participate in this event please feel free to stop by and cheer them on.  
  • Fall Talent Show: Friday November 17th.  Applications to be in this show are now available and should be turned in by Friday November 3.


Howe Library
  • The Howe Library wants to hear from you! We are conducting a community survey as part of our strategic planning process. Please consider giving us a few minutes of your time to tell us what is important to you. Howe Library Survey or you can go directly to our website to access the link Thank you!
  • Movie Night  Join Howe Library on Friday, November 4th for an after-hours movie night for preteens. Popcorn will be served. You bring pillows and sleeping bags. The library will be closed during this event. Adults, please drop off and pick up at the lower entrance. Recommended for ages 9-12. Children 8 years and younger must be accompanied by an adult. Registration required.


Want to play Chess?

Join other students at the Howe Library on Monday nights.  View the full information.

Video Resources from All Together

The Hartford Community Coalition, in collaboration with All Together, has created a video resource for parents around the issue of substance use.


Family Programs offered by Outright Vermont

Outright Vermont ( 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 for more information and links.




Cocoa, Conversation, and Costumes on Halloween night, 5-7pm– RMS Field

Halloween is for parents too! Warm up and connect with fellow RMS parents on Halloween night over a cup of hot chocolate and a cookie. Let your middle schooler trick-or-treat in the adjacent neighborhood, while you relax and catch up with other adults. Look for the lit tent on the southeast corner of the RMS field where we’ll have goodies for RMS parents - hot beverages, treats and even some hand warmers. Join us for this fun PTO social and make this your designated family check-in spot. We hope to see you there (in costume, of course)!

Save the Date:  PTO Meeting on Tuesday, November 7th @ 7pm

This will be a hybrid meeting, with an in-person location (TBD) as well as a Zoom link. Come join us to learn about all the PTO news and activities.