Rockwood South Middle
1628 Hawkins Road, Fenton, MO 63026
Phone 636-891-6850 . Fax 636-891-8830
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What's the difference between Middle and Elementary School?


What Students and Parents Want To Know!!!

Similarities/Differences Between Elementary School & the RSMS Experience



School/Grade Size

Elementary school populations are between 300 to over 500 students.

5th grade class sizes range from 50-120 students.

RSMS has about 1,000 students. All 4 Fenton elementary schools come together for middle school. The sixth grade class is approximately 300 students.  This means lots of opportunities to meet new people and make new friends!

Starting/Dismissal  Times & Procedures

Early start elementary buildings 8:33-3:23.

Late start elementary buildings 9:09-3:59.  

Official school times are 7:47-2:39. Students can be dropped off as early as 7:00 am and they will report to the cafeteria for supervision. Homeroom is from 7:25-7:40. Students use this time to get organized for the day or get extra help from the teachers. The official school start time is 7:47. After this time students are marked late/tardy. School ends at 2:39.

Communication Home

Students bring home a Friday Folder containing many pieces of information.

Students do not bring home a Friday Folder.  Communication is mainly sent electronically – most teams, including encore, send a weekly newsletter containing information from each of the core teachers as well as general school information. A message is also sent from the administration each week. Other sources of information are the RSMS website and the Rockwood App.  For example, the Daily Announcements are posted on the RSMS website; these include  announcements for students as well as a parent section.​

# of Teachers/Classes

Generally students have 5-8 teachers: 1 classroom teacher plus PE, Technology, Music, Art, etc.

Seven Teachers – Five Core teachers plus two Encore (Elective).  Students in the gifted program have eight teachers since they also have a class called Academic Stretch.

Where to Keep Supplies, Books, Coats, etc.

Cubbies & hooks within the classroom

Two locks are necessary and should be provided by the student.

Students are assigned their own locker outside of the classrooms, in the general area of most of their core teachers (lock #1). A separate locker in the PE locker room is used during PE/Health (lock #2). This is only used while in PE classes; clothing and lock is to be removed after each class.




Often stay in the same classroom with the same teacher for many core subjects/activities. The times for these subjects can be the same every day or the class teacher can move them around to accommodate various activities, etc. Specials (Art, Music, PE, RI, etc.)  meet at certain times/days during the week.

Classes are a mix of Standard (meet every day) & Blocked (meeting every other day). Language Arts & Encore (Electives) meet every day. The other 4 core classes (Math, Science, PE & Social Studies) are blocked and meet every other day for about 90 minutes. Once a week (typically Wednesdays), there is a Falcon Time schedule. Students attend all regularly scheduled classes for a shorter time period. For Falcon Time, students are divided into small groups to work with teachers for additional support, learn about other topics (such as time management or test taking skills), or work with a group in a Leadership role.

Grade Levels & Teams

Students participate in groups, activities, or classes by grade level.

Students participate in groups, activities, or classes by grade levels and by Team (Red, Yellow, Blue). Core teachers (Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, Math, and PE) are placed on a team.  Students are assigned to a specific Team based on who their teachers are.  Teams plan events for students and monitor student progress through weekly team meetings.

Classes & Levels

Students participate in the same core subjects. At times, students can be grouped by levels or need.

Grade-Level vs Challenge Level Core classes (Language Arts, Science, Social Studies); various levels of Math classes.  In addition, students choose Encore (Elective) classes

CCL/Gifted Classes

Students identified as gifted attend a full day of classes once a week @ the CCL (separate building).

Students identified as gifted can opt to take Academic Stretch and Compacted Challenge Language Arts (CCLA) – both are offered on site. CCLA & Academic Stretch meet every other day, on a block schedule, and take the place of grade-level or Challenge Language Arts.  Students195 may also select various other core classes that best meet their interests and needs.

Physical Education

PE meets 4 days a week. Tennis shoes are required.

PE/Health meets every other day. Activities include some similar  to elementary school with the addition of a Fitness Center, Fitness Trail, Health class, and other activities in the gym and multi-purpose room. Dressing out into a uniform for gym is required and calculated into the participation grade. Clothes are changed in the locker room & kept in a secured locker while in the class (student provides the lock).



Library Usage

Library limited typically to use during school day.

Students are allowed to stay after school to use the library & its computers to study/complete assignments.  Students staying after school must sign up in the front office.

Reading Outside of School / Independent Reading

There are many book choices from both teacher/class libraries as well as the school library. Each student sets goals with teacher and work to reach them using the Accelerated Reader/AR program. This is not calculated into a student’s grade.

There are many book choices from both teacher/class libraries as well as the school library. Each student is required to read a certain number of books/minutes/pages per quarter. This is calculated as part of the student’s grade, usually in the form of a short performance assessment/questions related to book.


Served each morning before school.

Full price is currently $1.70.

Served each morning before school. Full price is currently $1.70. There is also a “Grab & Go” option served after first block (9:05 a.m.) that can be eaten in many of the second block classes.


Usually one main entrée & side that changes daily. Limited alternatives to the hot entrée are given. All students in the same grade level eat together. Typically they sit at tables grouped according to which teacher they have. Full price is currently $2.55/2.70.

One main entrée that changes daily, along with multiple other meal options that are served regularly (ie. hamburger, sandwiches, etc.) Additional choices such as PopTarts, Smoothies, ice cream, etc. are also available for an additional fee.  All students in the same grade level eat together.  Students are allowed to sit with students/friends of their choosing. No more than 8 students at a table. Full price is currently $2.70/3.0​0.


Students typically have a 20 minute recess each day followed by a 20 minute lunch.

Students do not have recess. However, lunch time is extended to 30 minutes.

Moving through the hallways

Walk in lines with teacher

Entire grade level of students walking through the hallway at the same time. There is a 4 minute passing period between classes. This time can be utilized to go to locker, restroom, with priority on making your way to your next class.

Restroom Breaks

Classes usually go together at an assigned time, and students are allowed to go to the restroom most any time during the school day when needed.

Students should take most of their restroom breaks during passing periods/lunch. A limited amount of passes are given in a student’s planner per quarter to leave class for a restroom break. If you have a student with a medical reason for needing extra passes, please contact the nurse and your student’s teachers.




Generally fewer supplies, most are determined by classroom teacher & can be for shared class use. List is on website.

Each grade level has a supply list as well as additional items necessary for individual classes. A general list is on our website & specifics are given during open house at the start of the school year.


Homework daily

Homework daily. Typically more is given as the grade levels progress.  There are consequences for late or incomplete work.


Most work is kept in a central/static location such as a class desk or cubby. Homework is recorded on a take home folder/sheet for parents to sign.

Every 6th grade student will be issued a Chromebook and will utilize online tools to organize their work and track progress.  Additional materials might be kept in locker as well as left in individual classrooms.

Reported Grades

To find out student’s daily grades, the individual teacher must be contacted. Final grades are posted on Infinite Campus and can be viewed at limited times during school year.

All assignments, grades, as well as school-related messages are posted in Infinite Campus which is active and accessible to students and parents all year. Each student is given an account; parents should also sign up for an Infinite Campus account.  Parents can see all of their children’s information through one account.

Extra Academic Help/Assistance

Teachers help during class, usually in small groups or one-on-one.

Teachers help in class and during Homeroom (7:10am-7:25am). Some teachers offer assistance before school (prior to 7:10), during lunch, and/or after school. Falcon Learning Labs meet on specific days after school to assist any student with core classes; typically Math, Language Arts, Science &/or History are offered.


Students are called by class, bus, parent pick up, etc.

When the bell rings, all students are dismissed to their locker at the same time. Students riding the bus leave the building to board the buses. Students who are walking home or being picked up wait in the lobby until the buses pull away, and then are allowed to exit the building.  Students who are being picked up or who are walking should turn in a note with parent signature to the front office, and then they will receive a pass noting how they are going home.

Parents picking up their students either park in an available space or line up behind the buses.



Before/After School Care

Adventure Club is offered at each elementary school site to provide before/after school child care.

There is no Adventure Club. After school activities are offered most days of the week from 2:30-3:25.

Walking home & Riding Another Bus

Students are allowed to walk home or ride another student’s bus if parent permission is provided.

Students are allowed to walk home or ride another student’s  bus if written parent permission is provided.  If going home with another student, both sets of parents must give permission in advance and submit it in writing to the main office.

After School Activities & Signing Up Procedures

Many different clubs, mostly for a fee.

Parents sign students up for after-school activities.

Many teachers sponsor clubs and activities for students to join, as well as plays and a variety show that require an audition. Students can stay after to study in the library or meet with a teacher. Students sign up for activities each day in the front office prior to 1:30. After school activities end at 3:25. Students may walk home or be picked up at that time. There is an activity bus for all students; students will need to check with the driver about stops for the activity bus.

Connections & Relationships with other grades levels.

Buddy classes &/or Multi-age Family Days

6th graders are grouped with a pair of 8th grade WEB (Where Everyone Belongs) Leaders beginning in early August on WEB Day. They help to build relationships and make the transition to middle school a more positive one. Those relationships continue throughout the school year during various planned events/activities.

Leader In Me/7 Habits

Some of the elementary buildings participate in the Leader In Me/7 Habits Program.

RSMS is a Leader In Me School. This program means that we provide students learning opportunities for leadership through the incorporation of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens into their daily lives. This work is done school-wide, by team, and throughout their classes. For more information you can visit the Parent Information Tab on our website.

Leadership Opportunities

Students are assigned leadership opportunities by teachers/ staff.

Leadership opportunities are advertised (morning video announcements, leadership center, classroom teachers), and students volunteer or apply to join.