ROMS Family Newsletter

February, 2016

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Principal's Update

ROMS Families ~

Halfway through the 2015-16 school year. What a great opportunity for ROMS learners to reflect on their accomplishments so far and to plan for their academic success for the rest of the year.

I am energized every day as I visit classrooms and observe students pushing each other to explore, investigate, and inquire. It has become more frequent that I hear students self-assessing their learning progress as opposed to asking teachers about grades. Students are making determinations concerning what they know--more specifically, what they can do with what they know--not asking, “What did I get?”

We are working to adjust and maximize communication with you concerning your children’s progress. By doing this, we are ensuring formative feedback is meaningful and grades, when recorded, are pure and include only academic factors. Our goal is to communicate honestly with you so that our kids can understand where to focus their efforts to grow.

Five months to go. Halfway through the 2015-16 school year. What a great opportunity.


Important Dates

February 1: 7th Grade Locker Clean Out (LEAP)

February 2: 8th Grade Locker Clean Out (LEAP)

February 3: Late start for students (9:00 am)

February 3: 6th Grade Locker Clean Out (LEAP)

February 4: Mental Health Assemblies (Grade level assembly schedule)

February 5: Report cards go live

February 6: MSVMA MS Solo & Ensemble Festival

February 8 - March 25: WIDA testing

February 10: Count day

February 15 & 16: Mid-winter recess - no school

February 24: Late start for students (9:00 am)

March 2: Late start for students (9:00 am)

March 7 & 8: NWEA MAP testing

March 8: All City Band Festival at ROHS (7pm)

March 9: Late start for students (9:00 am)

March 9: All-City Orchestra Festival at ROHS (7pm)

March 10: ROMS Parent-Teacher conferences (4-7 pm)

March 11: ROMS/ROHS Vocal Pre-Festival Concert at TBD (7pm)

March 14 & 15: NWEA MAP testing

March 16: Late start for students (9:00 am)

March 21 & 22: NWEA MAP testing

March 21: PTA Meeting - Learning Commons (7pm)

Learning in Action

Drama Club

Please see the photo gallery below for pictures of the new ROMS Drama Club in action. Interested students should see Mrs. Wilhelmsen for more information and meeting times.

Mrs. Davis's class

6th graders were given a scientific question of "How can you physically change an ice cube without changing its mass?" Students created, implemented, and analyzed their own experiment attempting to answer the question.

Mr. Sebastian's LEAP

On Wednesday, January 27, long-time Royal Oak resident and coach Michael Massucci came to ROMS to speak to Mr. Sebastian's LEAP class about the book he authored, An Elite Journey.

During LEAP, the students read coach's book that focuses on a young man as he transforms himself into an ELITE individual. The acronym "E-L-I-T-E" represents Education, Leadership, Integrity, Teamwork and Excellence. It was a great experience for everyone involved and will be implemented on a larger scale in the future.

Random Acts of Kindness Club

Jimmy's Kids event

Club members helped organize toys and books for children who need them most. Thank you to all students who participated to make a difference. Thank you as well to Mrs. Knapp, Mr. Thoel, Mrs. Michael, Mrs. Hugel, and all the parents who joined in.

Beaumont project

On Thursday, January 28, RAK Club members met after school to tie-dye pillowcases for the young patients in the pediatric unit of Beaumont hospital. This week, they'll be making no tie blankets. If you have any fleece you'd like to donate to the project, please drop it by the 6th grade office in the care of Mrs. Knapp.
Every ROMS teacher maintains his/her own website with valuable class information like assignment calendars, class documents, links to additional resources, class notes, videos, etc. If you haven't checked out your child's teachers' websites, take a look. Better yet, ask your child to give you a guided tour. As they progress into high school and undergraduate study, such resources will be invaluable and there's no time like the present to build the good habit of checking them often.

Washington, D.C.

Final payments for 8th graders going to Washington, D.C. are due February 17. Please see the flyer here for additional information, or visit the trip website.


Informational Meetings

7th and 8th Grade Boys and Girls Track informational meeting will be held on Feb. 18th immediately after school in the cafeteria for any students interested in coming out for the ROMS track team.

Registration for ROMS Track will be held on March 8th and March 10th from 3-4pm in the Cafeteria.

Character Education

Understanding mental health

On February 4th, Tobi Russell, the facilitator of the ROMS Parent Series, will be talking with students about understanding mental health and anxiety/depression. LEAP teachers will begin the conversation the day before and then each grade will meet with Ms. Russell to finalize the discussion on this important topic. Click here for an overview.

Ms. Russell will also be hosting a similar event for parents on April 12, 2016 with a light dinner at 6:00pm and the workshop starting at 6:30pm. Thank you to the Royal Oak and ROMS PTA for their continued support of educational programs like this one for students and parents.

Building an engaged school

How a school engages a student academically in the classroom is vitally important for encouraging achievement and growth. Certainly, our teachers strive to provide research based, best practices in their classrooms, and these types of classroom activities and assessments can enhance student engagement. However, to limit our focus to increase engagement through instructional practices would in turn limit how engaged our learners become. Students must feel cared for as individuals as well. Opportunities to connect with adults and other learners outside of the academic setting is integral to creating truly engaged learners. Whether it be through athletics or one of our many club activities, encourage your child to find something that sparks an interest and get involved!

Our Character Education program has implemented many supportive, relationship-centered activities to enhance the ROMS Way. Dog Days Back to School Activities, Dawg Dollars and the Neon Dawg Store, Restorative Behavior and Discipline supports, Random Acts of Kindness Student Club, Fortis, Genius Hour, and Mindset/Success LEAP Lessons are yielding positive returns for many of our students. Our latest addition, Students of the Month, is a resounding success as well (see Ice Cream Social image below). We have more exciting projects to continue building productive, healthy relationships and keeping ROMS a safe, warm, and welcoming place for our learners .

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Optimist Club Essay Contest

It is time once again for the Optimist Club Essay Contest. Last year, ROMS students took two of the top three places! Please see the informational flyer and application if you'd like to participate. Thank you to Mrs. Brueckman and Mrs. Weathers for their continued sponsorship of this event and their willingness to spend hours with students to help them find success!

ROMS Talent Show

The annual ROMS Talent Show is coming up on February 19, 4-8pm in the ROMS Auditorium. Tryout information below:

Tryouts for 6th grade: 3-5pm in the Auditorium on Tuesday, February 2.

Tryouts for 7th grade: 3-5pm in the Auditorium on Wednesday, February 3.

Tryouts for 8th grade: 3-5pm in the Auditorium on Thursday, February 4.

Royal Oak Youth Assistance Bowl-a-Thon

Royal Oak Youth Assistance Bowl-a-Thon

Sunday, March 6th, 12-3pm

24211 Hughes Avenue

Hazel Park, MI

Royal Oak Youth Assistance (ROYA) provides crucial support to ROMS students in the form of family education, mentorship, and scholarships to summer camps, enrichment classes, and sports. This is their yearly fundraiser and your support makes such support possible. Please see the informational flyer here, and use this form to captain your own team.

Free Study Skills Workshop

Oakland University is hosting a series of free study-skills workshops for elementary, middle, and high school students. Please see the flyer for more information. These workshops are well-received and fill up fast, so respond quickly if you're interested.

Learning Commons

ROMS Royalbery Reading Challenge

ROMS Royalbery Reading Challenge is your student’s chance to get involved in a great reading program where reading, communicating, and creating combine for a one-of-a-kind experience. Students will be challenged to read at least 3 out of the 13 books on the challenge list and to join the club for book chats and to compete in fun book-related contests. The challenge runs from December through May, and the Royalbery Award Celebration will be held in June for all who have participated. Reading Club will meet every Monday from 3-3:30 beginning on January 4. Reading Club meetings are optional but the experience is highly suggested. Additional information will be available on the website.

Here is the list for our 2015-2016 ROMS Royalbery Reading Challenge:

Parent Workshops

Parent series

The Royal Oak PTA Council and Royal Oak Middle School are sponsoring a five part Parent Workshop Series. You are welcome to attend the entire series or simply the sessions that are of interest to you. The workshops are free and dinner and childcare are provided. The next workshop in the series will be held on February 11, 2016, on the topic “Social Media and the Tech Savvy Parent.” Learn about the latest social media trends, how to communicate healthy expectations, and when to be concerned.

All workshops are at Royal Oak Middle School and begin at 6:00 p.m. For more information, including how to register for the workshops, please click here.

MYP Corner

Greetings ROMS families:

Happy New Year 2016!

Last month, I shared information about our the Global Contexts used in IB to help students see the relevance in what they are learning. This month, I’d like to take the opportunity to share with you about Academic Honesty and the IB Learner.

Academic Honesty is a core value of most schools and a cornerstone of the IB as well. Academic Honesty is especially important for a program that prizes inquiry like IB, because so much of the student’s inquiry will involve research and utilizing learning skills to inquire into a variety of source material. Students at ROMS need to begin to understand what academic honesty means both in doing their own original work and in avoiding plagiarism by learning how to recognize valid, reliable and relevant resources and to cite them properly when the work belongs to someone else.

Teachers work in each class to share our academic honesty policy as it relates to their subject, and our Teaching and Learning Specialist, Mrs. Hill, has a number of resources and tutorials for staff and students on Academic Honesty as well. When students leave ROMS and head to the high school, they will have learned a great deal about academic honesty and will be prepared for their coursework there and for work on their Personal Project as 10th graders.

As IB states in Academic Honesty in the Educational Context: “The relationship between the teacher, student achievement and the learning process is a critical part of the MYP, so it is natural to develop academic honesty in positive ways that stress respecting the honesty of all student work and recognizing the shared benefits of properly conducted academic research.”

I wish you all a wonderful new year, and I hope you will take a moment to discuss the importance of Academic Honesty with your child as they complete their schoolwork.

Mia Gutierrez (

IB MYP Coordinator

Royal Oak Schools

Contact us

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