It's Adopt A Family time at Ronkonkoma Middle School Nurse's Office! For this 2018 season the RMS Nurse's office is hoping to get the support of all faculty and staff. Donations of cash or theme baskets either individually prepared or a combined departmental offering would be most appreciated in the Nurse's Office before December 7th. Baskets that have been popular in the past include : Mexican, Italian, Games, Bath Products, Baking Goods, Candy, Movie tickets, Sports, and Gift Certificates. Last year the funds raised through the raffle enabled RMS to adopt 12 families and 28 students in the school for the holidays. The baskets will be displayed in the school showcase until the drawing on December 19th. Chances to win may be purchased during lunch periods from the General Office and Nurse's Office for $1.00 each. Good Luck!
Cycle For Survival
Ronkonkoma Middle school ENL teacher Mrs. Weil will once again be cycling and raising money and awareness for a great cause. The event will take place Saturday, March 2nd, 2019 at the Equinox Gym in Woodbury. The event will raise money for research into rare cancers.
"Cycle for Survival's indoor team cycling events raise funds that are critical for rare cancer research. 100% of every donation to Cycle for Survival is directly allocated to research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center within six months of the events. The donations go to pioneering research and clinical trials, and have already led to new and better treatments for cancer patients worldwide. Memorial Sloan Kettering researchers collaborate with institutions around the world, and have led the way in developing new ways to diagnose and treat cancer."
1. Rare cancer research is underfunded, leaving people fighting these cancers with few options — sometimes none. Because of the generosity of people like you, Cycle for Survival is changing that. 2. 100% of your gift (yes, every dollar!) will fund research led by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to advance new and better treatments. All funds will be allocated within six months of the events. Cycle for Survival will share what was funded and continue to keep us updated on progress. 3. Discoveries will benefit cancer patients everywhere. Memorial Sloan Kettering treats over 400 sub-types of cancer each year and collaborates with institutions around the world. Many cancers are considered rare — lymphoma, thyroid, ovarian, brain, pancreatic, all pediatric cancers, and others — and together we can give doctors the resources they need to beat them.
On Friday, November 9th, Ronkonkoma Middle School hosted its annual Veterans Day Ceremony. Local Veterans were invited to attend a breakfast which began at 8:45 AM in the schools cafeteria. RMS band members and Tri-M members performed during the breakfast.
Following the breakfast, Veterans went to a select few classrooms 3rd period to speak to students about their experiences as a Veteran of the US Armed Forces. Mr. Andy Veiga spoke to Mr. Rice's 7th grade Social Studies class about what it was like to serve in the military and to be a part of the Vietnam War. He also spoke about the different Veterans groups today which he is a part of, many of which interact with the community regularly and aid other Veterans when needed.
This holiday started as a day to reflect upon the heroism of those who died in our country's service and was originally called Armistice Day. It fell on Nov. 11 because that is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. However, in 1954, the holiday was changed to Veterans Day in order to account for all veterans in all wars. We celebrate and honor America's Veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. RMS is honored to have local Veterans take the time to attend the ceremony and speak to students.
Drug Free Pledge
During the District Wide intiative "United We Stand for a Drug/Bully free School", Ronkonkoma Middle School showed its commitment to keeping students drug free.
On October 29th, the Guidance Dept. asked students to sign a pledge banner during their lunch periods. The banner, made by art teacher Susan Tomassone, was hung outside the cafeteria and read "Your life is a journey, travel drug free". Students signed their names on the banner, and in doing so they pledged to live a drug free life.
"As a mom, dad, sibling or guardian of a middle schooler, it may be hard to believe that your pre-teen could be using drugs or drinking underage. But data from the last decade shows rates of middle school substance abuse and addiction in kids as young as 11 or 12 years old have swelled across the United States. In 2015, more than 8% of 8th graders reported using illicit drugs. Our kids are using younger and experimenting with harder drugs than ever before, and it’s not likely the trend will slow anytime soon."
Ronkonkoma Middle School is dedicated to teaching students and parents about the dangers of drug use.
On Wednesday, October 31st, Paul Failla spoke to 8th grade students about character education. Mr. Failla has been a part of the anti-violence/drug week at RMS since the beginning. Mr. Failla, a retired twenty-seven year veteran of the Suffolk County Police Department, New York, has developed a unique array of programs relating to Character Education, Violence Reduction, Tolerance, Human Diversity and Driver’s Safety Awareness. Paul is also a seasoned actor having performed in over forty- five regional theater productions, three feature films and is a member of the Screen Actors Guild. Theater has played a large part in the motivation of Paul’s programs, whereas he believes that entertainment is a powerful avenue in which to relay information. Paul’s background includes, but is not limited to, teaching, performing and educational consulting.
During Mr. Failla's presentation he hit upon many important topics, including avoiding destructive decisions, conflict management, personal responsibility, tolerance, shared values, interpersonal relationship skills, and ethical conduct for the betterment of each student, our schools and our society.
Mr. Failla has been a presenter and speaker at numerous schools throughout Long Island and the rest of New York State.
On Thursday, October 25th, RMS hosted speaker Kym Laube in a presentation to all 7th graders. The topic was Reducing high-risk behaviors among our youth while fostering positive attitudes to improve all areas of life.
Kym Laube is the Executive Director of the HUGS organization. Human Understanding & Growth Seminars, Inc. (HUGS, Inc.), is a non-profit alcohol and drug prevention agency that provides high quality education and prevention programs for youth and the communities they serve.
Mrs. Laube spoke about the dangers of alcohol and drug use, and how to make better life choices and avoid those life pitfalls. Long Island has experienced a dramatic increase in Opioid uses among teens, as has most of the country."Teenage opioid addiction is one of the most tragic and deadly aspects of the national opioid epidemic. The many thousands of teenagers battling opioid addiction are at risk of overdose and lifelong substance abuse. Opiods are increasingly abused throughout the United States, a situation widely known as the Opioid Epidemic. Drug overdose is now the leading cause of accidental death among Americans, and opioids are now involved in the majority of fatal overdoses. An especially tragic aspect of the Opioid Epidemic is teenage Opioid addiction. In 2016, 276,000 adolescents between the ages of 12 to 17 used pain relievers (including opioids) for non-medical reasons, and 122,000 were addicted to prescription drugs. 21,000 teenagers used Heroin in 2015, and 6,000 of them had a Heroin use disorder in the previous year. Unfortunately, it appears the problem is getting worse. Teenage opioid addiction rates increased by 19 percent between 2014 and 2015. When asked, 12th-grade students identified the ease of availability of Heroin as a factor in their use."
Officer Wendy Verlotte
As part of The Ronkonkoma Middle Schools annual United We Stand week, Officer Wendy Verlotte spoke to students in 6th grade about the dangers of E-cigs, Vape, and other drugs.
Officer Verlotte explained how even though many people assume E-cigs and vaping are a safe alternative to smoking, it's really not and should be avoided the same as smoking tobacco. "No matter how it's delivered, nicotine is harmful for youth and young adults. E-cigarettes typically contain nicotine as well as other chemicals that are known to damage health. For example, users risk exposing their respiratory systems to potentially harmful chemicals in e-cigarettes."
The use of these devices has been steadily rising among today's youth."The use of electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) by youth and young adults has been rapidly increasing. Recent data has shown that more than 2 million middle school and high school students in the United States have used e-cigarettes in the past 30 days."
Steven Dodge Presentation
On Monday, October 22nd, RMS hosted speaker Steven Dodge as part of the annual Drug and Bully Free week. "Steven takes a passionate approach toward his audiences by sharing with them his personal battle with drugs and alcohol. He offers valuable insight into the growing epidemic of the often misled and misguided youth and their struggle with substance abuse."
Steven is the founder of the Long Island based SLATE project, "Educating our youth is the first and primary goal of the S.L.A.T.E. Project. The S.L.A.T.E. Project was created to reach out to members of our community in a personal manner by providing first hand experiences regarding drugs and alcohol. One of the first priorities is to arm our youth with knowledge, give them tools, and resources so when they are faced with difficult decisions, they will already have the skills necessary to make decisions with confidence. Following this, the S.L.A.T.E. Project aims to supply our community with awareness as an essential part of encouraging healthy living."
For more information visit http://www.theslateproject.org/
United We Stand
During the weeks of October 22nd and October 29th, Ronkonkoma Middle School will be holding its annual district wide initiative, "United We Stand For A Drug and Bully Free Community".
During the 2 week long program, students will attend multiple presentations on the following topics: Drug Addiction/Prevention Education about ecigs, vape, and other drugs Reducing High Risk Behaviors Diversity/Tolerance/Substance Abuse In addition to the assemblies, students are encouraged to participate in theme days. On Tuesday, October 23rd, "Too Bright for Drugs" theme day will ask students to wear bright or neon colored clothing. On Friday, October 26th, "We Dream Too Big For Drugs" theme day encourages students to wear appropriate pjs to school. And Finally, on October 29th, "Respect Yourself, Be Drug Free" theme day will have students signing a pledge banner to be drug free outside the school cafeteria.
# Band Goals
To start off the 2018/19 school year, Band teacher Mrs. Stollberger had her students choose a specific goal they would like to accomplish this year in Band. Each member wrote down their goal on a post it and placed it on the wall outside the band room. All the post its together formed the word #GOALS. Some of the members goals were:
I would like to get way better at bells To play the drum set To play every scale from memory To play the trumpet better I want to play high notes
"Studies show that goal-setting can help kids gain the sense of discipline and that internal drive it takes to stay motivated to complete the tasks they’ve set for themselves. And once they’ve learned how to set their own goal it shows in their performance as well as in their self-esteem!"
7th Grade ELA Acrostic Poems
During our first week of school, English teachers Mrs. Pluth and Mrs. Edmonds had their 7th grade ELA classes working on poetry. These were no ordinary poems though, these were acrostic poems using the students first name. "An acrostic poem is a type of poetry where the first, last or other letters in a line spell out a particular word or phrase. The most common and simple form of an acrostic poem is where the first letters of each line spell out the word or phrase."
Students described themselves with words like; energetic, loyal, loving, awesome, and grouchy. All work was done on white typing paper and students colored their poems and added images. The acrostic poems were not only an introduction to poetry for the students, but also a way for them to get to express themselves and learn about their new classmates.
First Day of School 2018
Ronkonkoma Middle School students started their 2017-18 school year on September 6th this year. Students all hurried to their homerooms after exiting the buses. Students were welcomed by staff including acting Principal Joe Licato and Interim Assistant Principal Wayne Meyers. Teachers were on hand and in the hallways to assist new 6th grade students to their classes and help with locker combinations.
Prior to the first day of school teachers and staff attended a workshop during Superintendent Conference Day. The workshop was a continuation about mindfulness and how to not only use it in everyday lives, but how to incorporate it into education as well. A second presentation by Connetquot Security reviewed some of our lockdown and lockout procedures. Teachers used Teacher orientation Day to set up their classrooms and take care of any last minute details.
RMS went through some changes over the 2018 summer break. All classrooms now have a new phone with the ability to call outside the school, including 911 in the case of an emergency. The main gym was completely redone with new paint, finished floors, and all new banners will be up soon. Most rooms now have updated Smartboards.
On Wednesday, September 12, R.M.S. administration held an assembly for each grade level. Students were reminded of the school rules and the expectations of them for the upcoming school year. So far we've had a great beginning to this year and students seem excited to learn.
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