Realms Middle School


WE ARE CREW - March 2017

REALMS Newsletter - Read It!

Article Date: Mar 17, 2017

ROGER'S HIGHLIGHTS... The Three Dimensions of Student Achievement

You may have heard us talk (a lot) about our "Three Dimensions of Student Achievement" at REALMS, and especially High Quality Work, and Character... two dimensions we are very fond of here! However, all three legs of the stool must be important if the stool is to balance! The third leg of the stool, and the highlight of these photos below, is Mastery of Knowledge and Skills.

Mastery of Knowledge and Skills in Action This week: Phoebe's 8th grade humanities class could be found analyzing, story-boarding, discussing, outlining, and then finally writing (furiously and with great intensity mind you!) an on demand essay based on a book that most students do not read until well into high school - Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.


8th graders have been fully immersed in their study of slavery through the reading of the autobiography of Frederick Douglass. They demonstrated phenomenal grit and tenacity this past week as they wrote an on demand argument on the paradox of education in the life of Frederick Douglass in the primary source narrative. Here they pick apart Douglass's account of his escape in sections and create storyboards in order to learn the whole story.

For more about "Three Dimensions" at REALMS, visit our EL Education Portfolio



In our efforts to fully recover from "Snowmageddon" and respond the the District's calendar changes we have a couple of important date changes to let you know about.

  • We still have a NO SCHOOL DAY at REALMS on Friday March 10th for Professional Development
  • No Student Led Conferences in April: Our normal spring round of "student led conferences" have been cancelled. The District has replaced the April 13th and 14th "conference days" with regular school days. Instead of student led conferences, REALMS students will review their progress writing their own midterm progress reports. More details on this coming soon!
  • SBAC Assessments have been shifted - please click on our FULL CALENDAR to see details
  • Reflections From the Field (our major celebration of learning at the end of the 2nd semester) has been shifted from June 1st to June 8th and will still be held in the Bend High Auditorium. Mark your calendars... it is awesome!
  • Graduation & Year End Celebration (our culmination of the year for ALL grades) has been shifted from June 15th to Wednesday June 22nd. Year end awards, slide show, graduation and more!


UPCOMING DATES - click on our full calendar to stay up to date

Wednesday March 8th, 15th, 22nd - Full day Wednesdays (no early release)

Thursday March 9th - 2nd Parent Action Crew Meeting (5pm) - ALL WELCOME! (for details and RSVP, click here)

Friday March 10th - No School at REALMS. EL Education Training Day

Thursday March 16 - 6th Gr Portland Trip - Parent Volunteer Mtg (required for all volunteers, but optional for parents w/ questions)

Friday March 17th - All PDX trip medication due in the office (note - our due dates for meds are early... it's a safety thing!!)

Wednesday March 22nd - Final Travel Study Parent Meeting (required) @ 5:30pm

Tuesday April 4th - 6th - 6th Grade "Nourish Fieldwork" in Portland

Friday April 7th - No School for 6th Graders

Tuesday April 11th - Wednesday April 12th - 8B Shakedown Bike Overnight (leave 11ish Tuesday)

Wednesday April 12th - Thursday April 13th - 8A Shakedown Bike Overnight (leave 11ish Wednesday)

Friday April 14th - Student Written Midterm Progress Reports

Saturday April 21st - Banff Film Festival @ Tower Theater

Sunday April 22nd - Banff Film Festival @ Tower Theater



Here's a photo of last week's U-Rock recipients!! Want to know what each was nominated for?

Click here to read!




Want to see those awesome 6th graders and their Julius Caesar performances from Kid Fair!! Visit our Vimeo channel... we have all four troupes posted!

Here are some 6th graders playing math games - looks like fun!



Once again we are hosting the Banff Film Festival World Tour at the Tower Theatre... this year for TWO great nights with different films on each night. This event raises money for the fieldwork program for all grades at REALMS and is brought to you with some special attention by our 8th grade class who will be pedaling their hearts out that night in an attempt to reach their destination - the San Juan Islands!

Saturday April 22nd and Sunday April 23rd at the Tower Theatre.

This is a GREAT event - get your tickets HERE before they sell out! Watch this short teaser!


In February each year, 7th graders at REALMS springboard from a study of civil rights to a semester long investigation of Native Americans: Then and Now. Students dive deep into the complicated legacy of President Andrew Jackson and work to understand how our country's past influences the lives of Native Americans today, from Standing Rock to the reservation in our own backyard. They begin this study by spending three days based at Kahneetah during which they have the opportunity to interact with and learn directly from with tribal members who are kind enough to share their stories with us! Check out this short video for some trip highlights!


It is classified employee appreciation week, and we have some awesome classified employees who help make our school great. Feel free to reach out to any of them to say "thanks"! They are:

Tony Gierszowski - Our very own “Bahamanian Bomb”, (as in, you da bomb) and the best custodian ever to grace the halls of REALMS.

Paula McClean - And last but not least, the lead Ninja, undercover author (you’ll have to ask her about this secret life) and energy providing nutrition expert!

Jennifer Scalley - The world’s best office manager and advocate for all things furry, human, and good

Chicken (Lori) Stoefen - Our very own rubber chicken and newest addition… helper of all, deliverer of hope, master of trivia and EA extraordinaire!


Two of our awesome parent volunteers have helped design some great new hoodies, t-shirts, and long sleeved shirts with a cool now "We Are Crew" logo, and they are now on sale! (Thanks Jackie and Linda)

In order to minimize the impact on our already busy office, our new swag will be on sale Tuesdays after school and Friday mornings before school. We have lots of product in stock if you want to drop in Tuesday or Friday to buy, or... you can wait two weeks and they will be opening an "online store" where you can place orders and pay online.



The Smarter Balanced (SBAC) assessment results provide us with a tool to evaluate teaching and learning in our schools and to compare our growth against state and national results. We are able to use the data generated from this assessment to improve teaching and learning, and to provide necessary support for students who may need it.

We hope that all REALMS students will take the assessment (Oregon's only statewide assessment) as full participation gives us the best data. In fact, as a school we have already secured permission to "opt out" of the Aspire interim testing twice per year, and instead have advocated for using the Smarter Balanced test as our main benchmark. This way students have fewer hours spent on testing.

At the same time, we support and honor parental choice and the state of Oregon permits parents to annually opt-out of this assessment process (House Bill 2655). Opting out can be done by submitting the Oregon Department of Education's (ODE) annual Opt-Out Form to us here at school. You will find the needed form attached to this email, or you may pick one up in the office. If you choose to opt your child out, a supervised study time will be provided for your child during the testing time.



We have some jobs we could use help on!! Are you interested? Click the link below to see where we need your help, and to sign up or give us feedback!

Parent Action Teams Survey



Do you purchase things on Amazon? If the answer is yes, then try using Amazon Smile instead... it is the exact same site, with the exact same products and prices, only REALMS gets a donation of .5% from EVERY purchase, every time you use THIS AMAZON LINK to shop (hint: bookmark it!)

So far we have 12 "followers" using our Amazon Smile page and in one month they raised $10 in August through their purchases. If we had 150 supporters using our page we could bring in close to $200 per month in "free fundraising"! Let's do it!



Did you know REALMS collects Box Tops for Education? One of our awesome parent volunteers has taken this on, so please clip your box tops and bring them in. Let's see how many we can gather before school gets out!