Saturday, January 31, 2015


Students and staff at RMS engaged in discussions of stereotyping and perspective-taking through an all-school activity organized by Mrs. Powers and Mr. Lacrosse. Students involved in both the leadership course and student council led group discussions and facilitated an activity in mixed-grade groups
The activity provided an opportunity for students to better understand how stereotypes and generalizations are formed and the ways they influence thinking. Students considered how categorizing people can lead to assumptions that prevent people from seeing one another as individuals. We hope that all involved increased their understanding of the multiple perspectives that exist in any situation and the potential of one's perspective to influence perceptions and behavior.
Using an activity adapted from curriculum created by the Anti-Defamation League, students studied and created stories about lemons. Then in their small groups they shared these stories which included name, age, history, place of birth, family group and other variables. Once all of the lemon stories had been told all of the lemons were placed in the middle and group was asked to try and match the lemons to the stories. A discussion followed with questions like:
-Given the short time you have "known" one another, what feelings have you developed toward your lemon?
-In what ways did your feelings about lemons as a group change, once you got to know your lemons personally?
-What are the conditions that make it possible to see someone as an individual?
-What stereotypes, if any, emerged in the lemons' life stories?
-Why do you think stereotypes are harmful?
Certainly, using lemons added a bit of fun and we hope made what can be a challenging topic more accessible for students. This effort is part of expanded discussions of topics of diversity and community that we hope to introduce this year.

Michael Lepene

Saturday, January 24, 2015

SAU 70 Winter Wellness Challenge 2015

SAU70 Admin Wellness Challenge: 

Are you participating in the SAU 70 Wellness Challenge organized by Jenn Quevedo? Participants are wrapping up week two of their individual wellness plans and activities. Data tracked has included measures of physical activity, healthy eating, stress reduction, water consumption, and other individual metrics. 

I am finding two aspects of the challenge to be particularly helpful so far. First, the daily reminder of things I could improve and achieve in easy to measure incremental steps. By starting my day reflecting on my activities from the previous day and then thinking of the day ahead both in terms of appointments and tasks but also wellness I think I am moving towards a more sustainable and healthy agenda. Second, looking back at the week I can look at trends and match them to how I feel and felt each day and about the week in general. As an example I’ll offer up some data I have gathered as part of my individual plan:

Steps/Day via Fitbit for Mike:
Screen Shot 2015-01-24 at 6.25.04 AM.png
I try and use steps as a measure of both physical activity but also as a tool to gauge my effectiveness at getting out of my office and out into the school. With one of my professional goals focused on increasing the visibility of administration and upping the frequency of face-2-face conversations with staff and students it can be helpful to have some quantitative measures during periods of reflection. Looking at this graph it is pretty clear (in combination with my Googlecal) that as the week progressed I spent more time sitting and less time on the move. Given that, I hope to employ some additional planned activity later in the week and we’ll see how it goes.

What is your wellness story? How have you connected wellness activity to your daily responsibilities and effectiveness as an educator? We’d love to hear about it and feature it here if you are willing! 


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

 RMS Friday Focus
Friday, January 16 2015

RMS Book Clubs open to all RMS students and staff. Facilitated by Mrs. Putnam-Pouliot.

+Principal’s Corner

Dear Parents/Guardians,
We hope that you all have a wonderful three-day weekend. In addition to the holiday on Monday, students at RMS will also be participants in an assembly honoring the work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Wednesday the 28th. Josh Hall has created a program of music and readings that will help us all reflect on the meaning and memory of Dr. King's legacy. This program will be followed by several small group activities led by students on Thursday. We hope these efforts, along with many others, assist our students in their growth as positive members of many communities. I'm looking forward to the program and to hearing the thoughts and ideas generated by our students. 
Student talent was on full-display this past week at our annual talent show and geography bee. Those in attendance last Friday (and there were many!) witnessed the incredible talent, courage and determination of our students first-hand. A wide range of performances, skits, and routines were delivered to great applause. I am always equally impressed by our audience and their positive support of each and every performer. I think our students recognize the risk each performer takes and they truly celebrate their efforts. A big thank you to Mr. Lacrosse for organizing this annual event.
rms talent show
This week we also held our annual Geography Bee. Students in grades 6-8 competed in their Social Studies classes for a chance to be in the finals, held in the RMS auditorium in front of 6th and 7th grade students and staff. All participants impressed with their knowledge of both United States and World Geography. Our final three contestants had a particularly spirited last round with question after question answered correctly. Congratulations to our winner, Max S, and to all of our contestants. Thank you to the RMS Social Studies department for their support of this event.
Geo Bee Finals

Michael Lepene