FYI April 5, 2011
The Enriched Studies Program (ESP) is Coming!!- The faculty and staff of Rutland Middle School are pleased to present our seventh annual Enriched Studies Program (ESP) this June. This unique middle school program offers Rutland Middle School students the opportunity to study academically challenging and invigorating coursework for large blocks of time over five days.
Goals of this program include the following:
ESP provides extended blocks of time for intensive study and immersion into academically challenging and interesting topics that cannot be studied within the typical school day;
ESP helps teach students a wide variety of problem-solving skills and apply them to culminating projects and ‘exhibitions’ that are presented to parents and the community at large;
ESP broadens the range of success experiences for middle level students;
ESP reinforces positive student/teacher relationships while studying topics of particular interest in a collaborative, positive environment.
The Enriched Studies Program will take place over five school days, starting Wednesday, June 8 and ending on Tuesday, June 14. During that time students will participate in two half-day programs or one full-day program while at school. They received their ESP Handbooks on Thursday, April 7. The ESP Handbooks contain course descriptions and other information about this special program. Students will choose their ESP programs during a special scheduling assembly that will take place on Tuesday April 19. We will have more information about ESP in our June issue of FYI.
The Rutland Middle School Fair! T., May 17 and W., May 18– We are revitalizing the RMS School Fair! The School Fair gives parents an opportunity to view student work that has been collected by teachers and is displayed in the Keefe Gym. Many student-created projects and other student work will be displayed on tables set up throughout Keefe Gym.
The School Fair will take place on Tuesday, May 17 and Wednesday, May 18. These two dates coincide with our two spring musical concerts. Plan on spending some time at our School Fair before listening to our wonderful music groups!
Spring Is Here! – Some Reminders- As long awaited warmer weather approaches we want to be sure that our students remember these important reminders:Dress and Footwear: Please be sure that your child is appropriately dressed for school. Check the ‘Dress Code’ section on page 27 of your Family Handbook for details. Additionally, please encourage your child to wear solid footwear. ‘Flip flops’ or locker slippers are discouraged. This type of footwear provides less stability and is not safe for an everyday school atmosphere.
Bike Riders: We anticipate that students will begin riding their bikes to school. We have a bike rack located behind Keefe Gym. If your child does ride a bike to school be sure that he/she is wearing a helmet and uses a bike lock to keep it safe during the school day.
RMS May Assessments– During the month of May, our seventh and eighth grade students will participate in two different tests.Eighth grade RMS students will take the New England Comprehensive Assessment Program’s (NECAP) Science exam. This test is similar to the fall NECAP tests in Reading, Math and Writing. The Science NECAP measures a student’s progress in meeting science standards from 5th to 8th grade. It includes two sessions that ask students to show what they know about physical, life and earth science through multiple choice questions and constructed response short essays. The third session asks students to perform as a scientist, analyzing data or conducting a lab, and then to writing an extended response (lab report) based on evidence they come up with. We will use student results to make decisions on curriculum and professional development. Parents will also receive individual results sometime in the early fall. Our science teachers will also spend some time prior to this exam preparing our students to do their best on this assessment. Please encourage your eighth grade child to give his or her best effort on this important test.
While eighth graders are taking the Science NECAPs, seventh grade students will take tests in Math and Language Arts. These ‘in-house’ tests have been created by RMS staff to evaluate student progress during the year. Results on these assessments will help RMS staff gain a better understanding of student progress during the 2010-11 school year. It will also help us make better student scheduling decisions for the 2011-12 school year.
A New Final Day for Students –Thursday, June 16- Because of our four snow days (so far!) the final day of school for students is now Thursday, June 16. We will have our two awards ceremonies on the morning of June 15 and 16 in the RIS/RMS auditorium. More specific information about our special end-of-year programs will be publicized in our June edition of FYI.RMS-RHS Transitions– As many parents are aware, eighth graders who are planning to move to Rutland High School next fall have already begun the transition process. This past winter, RHS Counselors met with these students in small groups to give an overview of the high school and came to RMS to complete ninth grade schedules. This May we will continue this preparation when RHS students come to RMS eighth grade Teacher Advisories to talk directly with our pupils. RHS visitors will receive written questions from our eighth graders prior to their visit. Two RHS students will be assigned to each eighth grade TA and talk directly to students to respond to these questions and discuss other concerns they may have. Student to student communication has been extremely successful in the past in allaying the normal anxiety eighth graders often experience during this transition. We are hopeful that this will give further comfort to departing students as they get ready for grade nine next fall. The RMS Coffeehouse is Coming!- Our popular Coffeehouse takes place on Thursday, May 12 in the school cafeteria. Students will recite their own original poetry, prose and short stories to an audience in a darkened coffeehouse atmosphere that will include cookies and floor lamps. What a wonderful way to celebrate the literary efforts of our students! We hope you can make it. Our annual Memorial Day Service, presented by the RMS Student Council, will be Friday, May 27 at 1:30 in the RIS auditorium. Please join us for this event honoring those who have given their lives for our country.
School will be closed for Memorial Day on Monday, May 30.