Realms Middle School


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WE ARE CREW - April 2017

REALMS Newsletter - READ IT!

Article Date: Apr 13, 2017

ROGER'S HIGHLIGHTS... More Than They Thought Possible? YES!

Most students and families are attracted to REALMS because of our approach to learning that weaves together active classroom instruction with compelling, teacher-designed curriculum, authentic fieldwork opportunities and tasks that invite and inspire students to do more than they thought possible.

Right now there are a ton of amazing learning experiences happening at REALMS, many of them in the field. 6th graders just returned from a 3 day food sustainability trip to Portland, 8th graders are overnight somewhere in a canyon preparing for Travel Study, and 7th graders are about to spend a day at Warm Springs interviewing tribal members for their upcoming projects followed by another day at the EartH2O water bottling plant to study the mathematics of packaging in real life. And there is LOTS more to come this Spring for students in all grades. The cover photo for this newsletter is an excellent example of "more than they thought possible"... read more below about the 8th graders' recent accomplishments in collaboration with the Tumalo Irrigation District.

"More than they thought possible" is a tag line that drives our staff here at REALMS. Two things you can do to support us (and your kiddos) in our quest to continue to achieve "more than we they thought possible":

  1. Support our fundraisers by attending, donating, volunteering, and spreading the word!
  2. Stay connected - read this newsletter, cheer on our students and our teachers with words of appreciation, talk to your kids about their learning each day, jump out of your car at the start or end of the day to say hi to a teacher!

With gratitude,

Roger


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UPCOMING DATES - click on our full calendar to stay up to date and PLEASE do recycle any PDF or printed calendars from the start of the school year as they are unlikely to reflect the calendar changes made in February in response to "Snowmageddon"!

Tuesday April 18th - Mountain Air Trampoline Fundraiser (3:30pm - 8:30pm)

Saturday April 21st - Banff Film Festival @ Tower Theater - Join Us and Support REALMS!

Sunday April 22nd - Banff Film Festival @ Tower Theater - Join Us and Support REALMS!

Monday April 24th - 8th Grade Travel Study Departs

Wednesday April 26th - Midterm Progress Reports

Monday May 1st - Friday May 6th - Grade 6 & 7 ELA Smarter Balanced Assessment

Monday May 8th - Friday May 12th - Teacher Appreciation Week at REALMS (we delay it by 1 week!)

Thursday May 11th - 7A & 7B Ryan Ranch Fieldwork

Wednesday May 17th - Screenagaers - A Documentary About Teens & Their Tech (5:30pm)

Friday May 19th - 8th Grade Civil War Reenactment Fieldwork (Camp Sherman)

Weeks of May 22nd & May 29th - All grades Smarter Balanced Assessments (math)

Thursday May 25th - Move Up Day and Student Watershed Summit

Thursday June 8th - Reflections From the Field - A Celebration of Learning by All Grades

Wednesday June 14th - Friday June 16th - 8th Grade Passage Presentations

Wednesday June 21nd - Graduation and Year End Celebration - All Grades Invited

AGAIN, please click on our full online calendar to stay up to date

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COME OUT AND JOIN US AT MOUNTAIN AIR FOR SOME SERIOUS FUN-RAISING

Our 8th grade students are sponsoring this event - our job is to just come out and have some fun together. Bring your kids, your neighbors, your relatives! Lets fill the house. REALMS gets $5.00 for every bouncer who brings this flyer!! You can bounce all the way until 8:30pm! THIS COMING TUESDAY!!

Homework club cancelled on Tuesday to accommodate staff bouncing too!

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BANFF FILM FESTIVAL - OUR NEXT BIG FUNDRAISER COMING SOON!!!


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

Bring your friends, neighbors and relatives to come out and support REALMS. This is a great way to connect with other REALMS families, past and present and to see the same spirit of adventure that drives us at REALMS come alive on the big screen!

This is a GREAT event - get your tickets HERE ASAP

Watch this short trailer...



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8TH GRADERS CULMINATE MAJOR PARTNERSHIP WITH TUMALO IRRIGATION DISTRICT

8th Graders at REALMS recently stuffed and sealed more than 650 calendars to be mailed to every water user in the Tumalo Irrigation District... and it was a calendar they created!

8th grade students summarize the purpose of the collaborative project in their cover letter to the calendar:

"Our underlying purpose behind this project was to help others develop an understanding of the importance of Tumalo Creek and the health of our waterways. In addition, we wish to voice the past and continued importance of agriculture in Central Oregon. We hope to... READ (and see) MORE HERE


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INTENT TO RETURN FOR FOR ALL 6TH AND 7TH GRADE FAMILIES

Every year we ask each 6th and 7th grade family to CONFIRM their intent to return to REALMS. We are lucky to have 95%-100% of our 6th and 7th grade students return and stay with us throughout their middle school career... yahoo! However, we DO ask that each family confirms their intent to return, or lets us know if they pan not to return to REALMS.

The deadline for your intent to return is May 1st, but if you can get it to us sooner it will help. The process takes about 30 seconds... and you can do it right here:

INTENT TO RETURN FORM - 2017


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ORDER YOUR YEARBOOK NOW - DEADLINE FAST APPROACHING!

The yearbook order deadline for the REALMS yearbook is Monday, April 24. Please place your order at ybpay.lifetouch.com using the Yearbook ID Code (12739617) and your student's name.

Order your yearbook before Monday, April 24! Yearbooks are $12 for the basic package.

Click here to order ASAP!


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TEACHER & STAFF APPRECIATION WEEK AT REALMS

Normally, Teacher Appreciation Week is the first week in May, but at REALMS (as usual) we do things a little differently. First, we delay it until the week of May 8th so that our intrepid Travel Study staff can get home and enjoy the love! Second, we appreciate and celebrate ALL our staff during that week... becasue at REALMS, every adult is, truly, a teacher at heart regardless of their job title.

If you want to join me in helping celebrate and appreciate the amazing staff, please email Bernadette Handley, the wonderful parent volunteer who is coordinating the week's festivities!

She can be reached at:

[email protected] gmail.com

(remove the space after @... it's just there to fool our system into allowing that email to be in the newsletter!)


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FORT BUILDING SUPPLIES WANTED!

Two of the favorite past times of kids at recess is to build forts up on our rocky ridges and to work on a student built "pump track" for bikes. Forts are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and the pump track season is coming around again. If you have materials that you can donate to help the cause I am sure kids would love it! Materials we could use include: pallets, old building supplies (2x4's, plywood, other logs/poles), shovels and rakes. Check out the pics below and email Roger or swing by the office if you think you can help out!










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HERE ARE SOME GREAT CONVERSATION STARTERS ABOUT RECENT LEARNING

It is always awesome to inspire a rich conversation about learning with your middle school. Heck, who are we kidding, sometimes ANY conversation about learning is an accomplishment! To that end, here are a few pics that might inspire you to ask fun questions at dinner.


7th graders are working on news broadcasts in tech class - here's one:


A big collection of intrepid 6th graders joined our 7th/8th grade leadership club this trimester... here's what happened on day 1:



8th graders ventured out on a one night Shakedown Bike overnight in the rain and COLD. Here is one of the warmest looking moments!

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6th graders are reading Omnivore's Dilemma in Humanities and are growing their own food on campus...

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7th Graders spent a day up at Warm Springs this week interviewing tribal members and gaining real, in person perspectives "from the source" on topics such as governance, material culture, education, language and more!


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BEND LAPINE SCHOOL BOND - EDUCATE YOURSELF!

On May 20th, voters will be asked to make a decision on a new school bond to support construction and renovation in our rapidly growing school district! The folks at the District have put together a really excellent collection of information that will help you understand the issue, the need, and the plan for ensuring we have space for the new students arriving in our town daily!

Click here to see the school bond web page

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NEW REALMS "SWAG" - AVAILABLE FOR SALE HERE ON FRIDAYS!!

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 Fridays before and 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.




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SMARTER BALANCED ASSESSMENTS - WE ENCOURAGE YOUR PARTICIPATION!

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 downloading this Oregon Department of Education Opt-Out Form , signing it and submitting to us here at school. If you choose to opt your child out, a supervised study time will be provided for your child during the testing time.

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AMAZON SMILE - THE EASIEST WAY TO RAISE $'S FOR REALMS EVER!

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!


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BOXTOPS FOR EDUCATION

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!