Dear Falcon Community,
I truly hope all of you have made it home safely and are ready to relax during our winter “snowmageddon”. Since I unexpectedly had a little extra time today, I thought I would take advantage of it and send you our newsletter on a Friday!
This week, we welcomed our 5th-grade elementary students to RSMS. During these visits, our soon to be middle school students had the opportunity to learn about our school and specifically Encore Class choices. Next week, we will host 5th-grade parents and students for our Encore Curriculum Night where they will receive more information on the registration process while having an opportunity to experience the climate and culture we have created at RSMS.
On another note, we also implemented our new car rider pick-up procedure this week. We greatly appreciated your flexibility, support, and patience with this change. Based upon your feedback from this week, it seems like this new process has been helpful in making certain every student leaves our campus safely.
Last but not least, please take an opportunity to check out the next edition of our student-created newsletter, SouthChat.
As always, we greatly appreciate your partnership in supporting the learning and well-being of our kids. By working together, we make a difference! Please do not hesitate to contact me with thoughts or questions at 636-891-6850. Have a safe and restful weekend!
With Falcon Pride,
Laurie Birkenmeier, Ed.D.
Rockwood South Middle School
Discover. Connect. Make a Difference.
Follow Me on Twitter @RSMSPrincipal
See more amazing stories on Twitter using our school hashtag #RSMSrocks
February is National heart healthy month. we are extremely proud to say the Rockwood School District was the #1 district in the state of Missouri last year for donations for this worthy cause.
On Wednesday, February 13th during falcon time, Barb Reyering from The American Heart Association and Kristi Pratt contestant from the American Ninja Warrior show, will be presenting in the main gym to ALL grade levels. It will be a fun and exciting time for all students as they learn about heart disease, staying active and helping people in our community.
Spirit Week will be held the week of February 11th. More information to follow.
Check out the flyer for fundraiser information.
A draft of the 2020-21 school year calendar has been developed. The Rockwood Calendar Committee, which consists of students, parents, staff and administrators, reviewed parameters and options to develop an academic calendar that best meets the needs of Rockwood students and families.
Here are a few noteworthy dates from the 2020-21 school year:
The first day of school is Tuesday, Aug. 11.
Winter break runs from Monday, Dec. 21 through Friday, Jan. 1.
Students return from winter break on Wednesday, Jan. 6.
The last day of school is Thursday, May 27.
The committee would like feedback from Rockwood staff members about the draft calendar. Staff members should submit their comments via the online portal, Thoughtexchange.
Community members are encouraged to contact Kellie Holladay with any feedback.
All submissions must be received by Monday, Jan. 28.
What does the Calendar Committee consider when building a new calendar?
1. The calendar must have 10 teacher works days.
2. The start date for the school year should be mid-week.
3. The first semester should end before winter break.
4. Conference compensations days must occur in certain windows per our teacher agreement.
5. Record days must occur certain days per agreement.
6. Spring break must occur during certain weeks because of the area and state sports schedules.
Learn more about the Calendar Committee on the district website.
Looking for the latest News from our PSO? Click here to see our PSO newsletter for information on the 2020-21 school calendar and more!
Is your child interested in Color Guard? The RSHS Color Guard will offer a clinic on Saturday, January 21st, from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. Please see the flyer, here, for more information.
Starting today, Jan. 2, students, staff and community members have the opportunity to nominate a Rockwood employee or community member for a ROSE Award. Each year, we recognize individuals who have made a significant difference in a child's life, our school community or the Rockwood School District. Nominations will be accepted online through Monday, Jan. 28.
I hope you had a wonderful start to 2019 and our second semester of school. While it is always important to take a break and relax, we certainly were excited for the return of our students last Thursday. Now, we are ready for our first full week of this semester.
At RSMS we are always seeking to improve the work we do with our kids and community. During the first semester, we received feedback from parents regarding our parent pick up procedure at dismissal. While they understand that we must release our buses from our parking lot first, they expressed concerns regarding cars making u-turns in the entrance/exit driveway, cars being lined up on Hawkins, and students trying to get into cars on Hawkins. All of this presents a safety issue for our kids.
Fortunately, we also received suggestions for improvement from these families! We understand that there are some things we can not change. We will always have one way in and out of our parking lot, causing our buses to need to be dismissed prior to car riders. Per the suggestion of our parents, we can improve our car pick up procedure by changing the traffic pattern after our buses dismiss. In listening to their thoughts, beginning on Monday afternoon, we will direct all cars to pull up to the 6th-grade entrance to pick up students. We will have signs posted and staff members there to support you. Drivers will then follow our usual exit signs to leave the school campus. This change will move all of the cars up the driveway, into our parking lot, and off of Hawkins road, which will make dismissal safer for our student car-riders.
We know that even what may seem like a minor change, is never easy. We greatly appreciate your understanding and patience as we make certain every student leaves our campus safely. In the meantime, we will continue to seek and value your feedback.
As always, we greatly appreciate your partnership in supporting the learning and well-being of our kids. By working together, we make a difference! Please do not hesitate to contact me with thoughts or questions at 636-891-6850.
It's hard to believe we have reached the last week before our Winter Break and the end of our first semester of school. We've had a great first semester at Rockwood South!
While the middle school can be a challenging time for kids, I hope that when you reflect upon our first semester the following words and phrases come to mind: caring, student-centered, welcoming, supportive of my child, provides opportunities for my child to explore new interests and a place where my student can make a difference. These words exemplify our mission, and the feeling that comes with them is our ultimate goal. Simply stated, our staff works hard to create an environment where our kids feel supported and loved.
In thinking about this semester, I encourage you to share your thoughts with me on your experience at Rockwood South. What is going well? How can we improve? Your feedback helps us in doing more of what your student needs while continually improving the work we do for every child.
As we head into Winter Break, I wish you happiness during the holiday season with much time to relax and enjoy the company of family and friends. It is truly a pleasure to work with our community and I am proud to be a Falcon!
Please do not hesitate to contact me with thoughts or questions at 636-891-6850. Let's have a great week!
The Rockwood South Honor Choir and Kellison Special Chorus will be caroling on behalf of the St. Louis Christmas Caroling association this Tuesday, December 18th. We will be collecting money for a variety of children's charities in St. Louis. Get ready for some caroling in the Summer Chase neighborhood coming soon!
12/21/18 – 2nd Quarter/1st Semester Ends – 11:32 AM Dismissal
12/24/18 – 1/2/19 – Winter Break
1/3/19 – School Resumes – 2nd Semester Begins
As we continue to forge through the month of December, we can see the conclusion of our first semester quickly approaching. Can you believe it's already time to begin looking at schedules for our second semester? With this in mind, our Student Services Team would like to remind you that second semesterschedules were published, via Infinite Campus, on Monday, December 3rd, 2018.
Please take a moment, with your child, to review his or her second semester schedule, keeping in mind the following important reminders:
On another note, I recently had the opportunity to read an article titled, “Middle School Misfortunes Then and Now, One Teacher’s Take”. If you have a moment, I highly recommend reading it. The article compares the life of a Middle School Student in 2008 to their life in 2018. While we know that technology has had a tremendous impact on our world, it was tough to see the way in which it has dramatically changed the lives of our kids.
Another great resource related to this topic is an interview with Simon Sinek on Millennials in the Workplace. Again, if you have a moment to watch it, I highly recommend it. Both the article and the interview were similar in sharing how technology, and specifically social media, has impacted the way our kids see themselves, deal with stress/anxiety, and learn how to socialize with one another. Both messages also provide suggestions for how to support our kids in navigating challenges, building empathy, building friendships, and how to develop resiliency and patience. All necessary skills, right?
In reflecting on this, I thought about our mission of helping our kids to connect with others and to use their passions to make a positive difference. At our school, we provide our kids with many ways to make an impact, which to do so, takes planning, time, and effort. It requires our kids to work through challenges, with others, to accomplish a goal. I love that we offer these amazing opportunities for our kids! Still, we are always looking to improve the work we do with our kids. Questions such as: How can we continue to help our kids in developing meaningful relationships? How do we help them develop the empathy needed to resist an impulsive unkind post on social media? How do we help kids develop resiliency when times are tough or the challenge is big?
These are the questions we grapple with as educators and as parents. The first step begins with understanding the needs of our kids and the challenges they face. I hope these resources will be of help to you as we continue to work together in support of our kids.
We greatly appreciate your partnership. Please do not hesitate to contact me with thoughts or questions at 636-891-6850.
It is that time of year again when the district begins selecting our ROSE Award Selection Committee. These are the individuals who will be responsible for reading and voting for our ROSE Award winners. To help with this process, they need a diverse group of committee members to help provide different perspectives when reading the nominations. They are looking for parents, support staff, administrator and teacher represented from each quadrant.
If you would be interested in serving on this committee, please contact Missy Miller at email@example.com by December 11th. The following information outlines your commitment.
Key Information for ROSE Selection Committee -
There will be two required meeting dates:
The Rockwood School Board invites our community members to participate in a superintendent search forum and answer the question: What does it take to lead the Rockwood School District?
Many opportunities are available to allow our students, staff, parents and community members to share the qualities, skills, and characteristics they would like to see in the next leader of the Rockwood School District. Join us for superintendent search community forums:
Monday, Dec. 10, from 7-8 p.m. at the Lafayette High School Library located at 17050 Clayton Road in Wildwood
Tuesday, Dec. 11, from 7-8 p.m. at the Rockwood Summit High School Library located at 1780 Hawkins Road in Fenton
12/12/18 – Winter Choir Concert 7:00 PM
We had a great week at RSMS! Thanksgiving has come and gone and now we are forging ahead into the holiday season, which means that the annual RSMS Holiday Assistance program has arrived. At RSMS, we are continually looking for ways to make a difference. During this season of giving, we are helping 11 families, all who have at least one student at RSMS. We’ve organized the needs and wishes into a website called Sign-Up Genius. Please consider purchasing an item or two from the families’ wish list.
DEADLINE TO SIGN UP AND TURN IN GIFTS IS WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 5TH.
Sign-Up Genius links for 2018 Holiday Assistance needs:
Immediate Needs: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0E4EAAA82BA2F94-immediate2
Wish Lists: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0E4EAAA82BA2F94-wish1
Gift Cards: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0E4EAAA82BA2F94-adoptafamily4
The website is designed for your privacy – the only person who will be able to see what you’ve committed to purchasing is the RSMS Student Services Staff.
Sign-Up Genius is divided into three tabs: Immediate Needs, Gift Cards, and Wish Lists. Please notice the three tabs across the top of the webpage.
Items will continue to be posted as we receive the information back from our designated families.
Please ask for gift receipts for actual gift items and attach it to the gift; this would be helpful for gift cards as well.
If you wish to donate cash or check, please designate this for the utilities or lunch account gifts. For all other options, please turn in the actual gift or gift card.
Please have all items purchased and turn in UNWRAPPEDitems to the Rockwood South front office by Monday, December 3. A box will be placed in the front office for actual gifts, but please turn in gifts cards, money (checks should be written to Rockwood South Middle), etc., to a secretary at the front desk.
Please attach a note with your name so we can confirm who has already turned in their donation.
Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask one of us. Thank you so much for your continued support of our program!
We appreciate your generosity!
Ready for an exciting adventure after school on December 6th? Students are invited to participate in the FREE Early Release Day Program offered by the Parkway-Rockwood Community Ed. To participate, you must register through the Parkway-Rockwood Community Ed website at www.prcommunityed.org
Bus transportation will be provided for students to where the program is located. Parents may pick up their child from the location at 2:45 p.m. or students may ride the activity bus to their regular activity bus stop. VTS students will be dropped off at their regular location.
The following link will take you directly to the online registration page. http://bit.ly/rsdearlyrelease
12/6/18 – Staff Development Day – 11:32 AM Dismissal
We had a great week at RSMS and are ready to head into our last couple days before Thanksgiving. Since this is a short week, this newsletter will provide you with the information you need for this week and the following week.
We certainly have much to be thankful for at RSMS. Here are some things I am most thankful for in working with our community:
I feel so fortunate to work with such a dedicated and hardworking school community where the well-being of our kids is always at the forefront. I am proud to be a Falcon!
As we head into our season of giving, remember to take time to reflect, relax, and enjoy the company of family and friends. Please do not hesitate to contact me with thoughts or questions at 636-891-6850.
If you ordered a 2018-19 Buzz Book, it should have been sent home with your child on Friday. Online invitations are being sent out now. You should receive your invitation by Tuesday, November 20. Want to learn about more great news? Please check out our PSO Newsletter, here! Our newsletter is quick and easy to read, and yet filled with great information!
OUR 2018 HOLIDAY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM IS LIVE!
It's beginning to look a lot like...Winter! And winter means that the annual RSMS Holiday Assistance program has arrived. This year, we are helping 11 families, all who have at least one student at RSMS. We’ve organized the needs & wishes into a website called Sign-Up Genius. Please consider purchasing an item or two from the families’ wish list.
DEADLINE TO SIGN UP AND TURN IN GIFTS IS MONDAY DECEMBER 3.
*The website is designed for your privacy – the only person who will be able to see what you’ve committed to purchasing is the RSMS Student Services Staff.
*Sign-Up Genius is divided into three tabs: Immediate Needs, Gift Cards, and Wish Lists. Please notice the three tabs across the top of the webpage.
*Items will continue to be posted as we receive the information back from our designated families.
*Please ask for gift receipts for actual gift items and attach it to the gift; this would be helpful for gift cards as well.
*If you wish to donate cash or check, please designate this for the utilities or lunch account gifts. For all other options, please turn in the actual gift or gift card.
*Please have all items purchased and turn in UNWRAPPEDitems to the Rockwood South front office by Monday, December 3. A box will be placed in the front office for actual gifts, but please turn in gifts cards, money (checks should be written to Rockwood South Middle), etc., to a secretary at the front desk.
*Please attach a note with your name so we can confirm who has already turned in their donation.
Please note: We are no longer accepting applications for the RSMS Holiday Assistance program.
We are excited to incorporate your wonderful sons and daughters into our NJHS fold! Though this last Monday's weather warnings trumped our scheduled Induction Ceremony, our rescheduled ceremony will not be marred in any foreseeable way. Here are the particulars: The NJHS Induction Ceremony will take place on Monday, November 19 in Rockwood Summit's auditorium/theater. It will begin at 8:00 pm (to accommodate the Band schedule for that day/evening): new members report by 7:30 for lining up/preparing. Our keynote speaker is still available to enlighten us!
We hope you all can still attend as this is a special evening for your deserving kids and you, deserving parents!
The dress for the event is dressy casual, and each new member will pose with Dr. Birkenmeier on stage for a picture by an InterState photographer.
11/21/18 – 11/23/18 – No School – Thanksgiving Holiday
11/26/18 – School Resumes
12/6/18 – Staff Development Day – 11:32 AM Dismissal
Happy Veterans Day! To all of you who have dedicated your life to protecting our country, we salute and appreciate you. Tomorrow, RSMS will celebrate our Veterans in our annual Veterans Day Celebration. Please be sure to read this information and RSVP to join in this day of appreciation.Festivities will begin at 7:45 a.m. in our cafeteria.
Recently, our parents and our kids provided us with feedback on our school year through our Fall Parent Survey and our Fall Student Survey. This information is extremely important as it helps us to continually improve the work that we do for our kids and community. A summary of the survey results is as follows:
Fall Parent Survey:
Fall Student Survey:
Based on this feedback, we have much to celebrate as a school community! Overall, the data shows that our parents and our kids are having a positive experience at RSMS. Also important to note is that our students' feedback shows that they feel valued and cared for within our school (If I only knew how to make balloons and confetti appear on your screen now, I would do it!). Together, we are making a difference!
So what's next? As a learning community, we are always looking to get better. Last week, our staff analyzed these results to celebrate and to look for areas where we can improve. It is very important to us that every student has a trusted adult at RSMS and feels connected to our school. As a result, our teachers have looked closely at this information to develop plans to make that goal a reality. We will continue these efforts as part of our school mission.
I am very proud to work with such an amazing school community. Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback with us and for your partnership in supporting the well-being of our kids. Please do not hesitate to contact us with thoughts or questions at 636-891-6850. Let's make this a great week!
The Spirit Store is open but not for long! The Spirit Store will close on November 14th at midnight. Show everyone your Falcon Pride this winter. Click here to order!
Want to learn about more opportunities? Please check out our PSO Newsletter, here! Our newsletter is quick and easy to read, and yet filled with great information!
In an effort to help our students engage and serve the global community, our school has taken on an exciting and meaningful project. Working with an organization called Under the Same Tree, we are sponsoring two students in Nairobi, Kenya to attend school this year. Last year we raised $720 to send Gift and Hope to school; this year we would like to do it again!
The first step toward raising the needed funds involves a “Change War” sponsored by NJHS. They are challenging students in each grade level to bring coins or bills to lunch every day this week. All proceeds will go toward Gift and Hope’s education. A quarter will buy them a pencil; one dollar will pay for one day at school; ten dollars will buy them a required uniform. The winning grade level with will receive Krispy Kreme donuts.
Children don’t always have cash on them, so we ask that you please help your child remember to bring a contribution toward this worthwhile effort. You might take this opportunity to discuss the differences between their world and the world of children living in third world countries. We hope this small opportunity opens our students’ eyes to larger issues at play. We deeply appreciate your support!
Welcome to November and the end of Daylight Savings Time. While it's been a dreary and rainy weekend, it was a great week at Rockwood South. We had many exciting events, including, Red Ribbon Spirit Week, the NJHS Halloween Homeroom Spirit Contest, and the Principal's Day Celebration. You will see pictures of each of these events below, and many more, on our school twitter hashtag, #RSMSrocks.
On behalf of our administrative team, I would like to thank all of our kids and staff for making our Principal's Day so special. Our NJHS invited all students to write a note of appreciation to an administrator. There are so many notes that I am still working on reading all of them! It truly made my week, reading these heartfelt messages from our kids. As educators, we often walk a fine line of supporting our kids in meeting high expectations while ensuring that they feel loved and cared for in every situation. In reading our notes, it is clear that our kids know we truly care about their personal well-being and success. I am grateful to have the privilege to learn with such amazing students!
Speaking of amazing students, our kids are hosting a Veterans Day Celebration on November 12th. Please be sure to read this information and RSVP to join in this day of appreciation.
We greatly appreciate your partnership in supporting the well-being of our kids. Please do not hesitate to contact us with thoughts or questions at 636-891-6850. Let's make this a great week!
The Spirit Store is open! The store will be open for a limited time in order to be here in time for the holiday season. Click here to order!
Our next early release day is on November 8, 2018. We hope you will consider sending your student to the Rockwood Early Release Day program! Programs are FREE but you must register through Parkway-Rockwood Community Ed website at www.prcommunityed.org
Bus transportation will be provided for students to the program location. Parents may pick up their child from the location at 2:45 p.m. or students may ride the activity bus to their regular activity bus stop. VTS students will be dropped off at their regular location.
The following link will take parents directly to the online registration page. http://bit.ly/rsdearlyrelease
6th-grade winner: Chris Moore and Katie Seversen's Spy Kids
7th-grade winner: Laura Ross's Dr. Seuss Characters
8th-grade winner: Amy Krueger's The Giver
Thanks so much to all of our participants!
Ready to give to a great cause? How about the RSMS library! Click here to consider giving to this Donors Choose project to help our librarian bring a makerspace table to our library! Looking for more news? Check out our Library Newsletter, click here.
Special Items of note:
11/7/18 – 11/9/18 – Fall Musical 7 PM
11/4/18 - Cookin’ It Together (Freezer Meal Workshop)
11/8/18 – Staff Development Day – 11:32 AM Dismissal
11/9/18 – Hat Day sponsored by NJHS (benefiting Veteran’s Day)
11/12/18 – Veteran’s Day @ RSMS 7:45 AM – 9:00 AM
11/16/18 – Teacher Braggin’ Rights Game 7PM @ RSHS
Please join us in honoring our Nation’s Veterans on November 12th, 2018. RSMS would like to invite your veteran and family to a Veterans Day celebration! A pre-assembly reception will include snacks and coffee, and student photographers will stand by to take your family’s picture.
We had a great week at Rockwood South! I hope you enjoyed the beautiful weather for our long weekend. It's hard to believe that we are heading into our last few days of October and are more than half-way through our first semester.
As we plan for our week, we invite our students to participate in our Red Ribbon Spirit Week, sponsored by our PASTA student leadership group. Spirit day events will be as follows:
Tuesday 10/30- Two Different Shoes "Take a Step in the Right Direction"
Wednesday 10/31- NJHS Homeroom Halloween Costume Competition "Scare Away Drugs"
Thursday 11/1- P.J. Day "Don't Get Cozy with Drugs"
Friday 11/2- Falcon Spirit Wear- "Falcon Strong Against Drugs"
Also remember to join us for our PSO meeting on Thursday, November 1st this week!
We greatly appreciate your partnership in supporting the well-being of our kids. Please do not hesitate to contact us with thoughts or questions at 636-891-6850.
Help us finish our Falcon Partners Month Strong! Falcon Partners is a tax-deductible, voluntary contribution fundraiser. Funds raised through this initiative allow the RSMS PSO to support on-going RSMS programs and activities including technology, classroom and team events, the WEB program, and Staff appreciation, just to name a few. Want to learn about this and more? Please Check out our PSO Newsletter, here!
Friends of Justin’s Journey invites you to a Trivia Night in support of our student, Justin Poepper. The event will be on Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018. The doors will open at 6:00 p.m. with games starting at 7:00 p.m.
The event will be held at Our Savior Lutheran Church,1500 San Simeon Way, Fenton, Mo 63026. Book a table of 8 for $200. See this link to learn more while supporting Justin!
We will be hosting our first Cookin' It Together event on Sunday, November 4th.
Cookin’ It Together
(A Freezer Meal Workshop)
Sunday, November 4th @ 1:30 pm
Rockwood South Middle School FACS Room 11
1628 Hawkins Road
For additional information please view the flyer.
11/1/18 – PSO Meeting/Café 6:30 PM
11/16/18 - Teacher Braggin’ Rights Game 7PM @ RSHS