Randall Middle School

Newsletter, January 2022

News From the Principal

Happy New Year! We are very excited to be back in school working toward our social, behavioral, and academic goals. During our first week back, we continue to review routines and expectations. It can be challenging for us to come back after a period of time away from the structure of school. It is important for our students to be prepared for learning each day. Please encourage your student to remember self care (getting enough rest, nutrition, personal hygiene), self control (managing emotions and behavior in a way that positively influences self and others), and to have an other people mindset (OPM).

When we have an other people mindset, we consider various parts of what matters about our impact on others: Being present and giving others our attention, knowing our words and actions affect others, supporting others when they struggle, cheering others’ successes, and identifying and appreciating the good in others.

When we consider how our words and actions impact others, we can be successful learning and growing in collaboration with others.

The majority of our students at Randall Middle School continue to follow our Randall Middle School schoolwide expectations of being Responsible, Respectful, and Safe.

When we have issues with students who aren’t following our expectations, we notice that there is often a correlation with poor self control, frequent unsupervised phone/internet use, and exposure to inappropriate content on TikTok, YouTube, SnapChat, and in various forms of group messaging. Our students receive thousands of messages from various sources. We would all be appalled if a stranger walked up to our student on the street and said some of the inappropriate statements or made some of the noises that we are hearing from some students in school. Yet we allow strangers online to say inappropriate things and expose our students to sexual content. Some students are bringing this inappropriate language and sexual gestures and noises to school. When we speak to them about this, some are not even aware that it is inappropriate because they are so immune to the crude nature of the content. In order to support our students’ social and emotional well being, we must commit to looking at their phones and video games and being more aware of the kind of content they’re accessing. Listen to the conversations they’re having with their friends while playing video games. Are you hearing sexual noises? Are you hearing crude language? If your student is spending time with other students who communicate in this way, please support your student to reinforce that this isn’t appropriate, and it isn’t respectful out in the world. We must work together to support our students to recognize that popular culture isn’t always Respectful, Responsible, or Safe.

Thank you for all you do to support our Randall Middle School students.

With Purple Tiger Pride,

News From the Nurse


All 5th graders and any new admits to the Cortland School District, are required to have a physical examination. If your child has already had one and you have sent a copy to the nurse, you are all set. If your child needs a physical, please make an appointment to get one, then have it faxed to the nurse at (607)-758-4179. If you prefer a school physical, call the nurse. School physicals are scheduled every Tuesday morning. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the nurse at (607) 758-4174 or jneuman@cortlandschools.org

Cortland City Schools have been selected by the state to provide BMI % data within the school district. The information will be taken from the health appraisals of students from the 2020/2021 school year. Each student’s health examination is required to include Body Mass Index (BMI) and weight status category (WSC). If you do not wish your child’s data (no personal identification) to be included in this survey please contact your school health office.


  • Call the Main Office if your child is absent or tardy.

  • Update phone numbers, contacts & health concerns.

  • Check your child's hair daily for any signs of lice/nits.

  • Pack a change of clothes for spills or accidents.

  • If your child needs medication in school, get a Doctor's order, bring in the medication, and sign paperwork.

  • Keep your children home if they are sick.

  • All children who are sent home from the nurse must have a COVID test and/or an alternate diagnosis from a Doctor.

  • COVID testing consent forms available online

  • COVID tests Registration https://app.clarifi-covid-19.com

Music News

In January our music classes will be discussing music genres and will take a close look at the blues. We will work on writing our own blues lyrics. We enjoy sharing our complaints with our peers.

Physical Education News

We have started our Volleyball Sport Education Model in PE. Teams have been formed, student jobs have been chosen, and team names have been created. Each team is working on completing their posters and bringing in their mascots. Some teams even created awesome T-shirts! This unit is great for team building, leadership skills, sportsmanship and cooperation. Not only do students improve on their volleyball skills, they also become better teammates and more respectful participants in sport. Our artists and media specialists have a chance to show off their artistic talent in PE as well!

This unit ended with a school wide tournament. There was a winning team from each class who went on to play against other class winners. We finished with one 5th grade champion, the Blue Bears, and one 6th grade champion, the Feetsicle Footsicles!

There was also a poster competition where the students voted for their favorite posters in the school!

The winning poster was the Supercalifragilisticexpialodosius Axolotls from Mrs. Tellaeche’s 6th grade. Second place went to the Lazy Leopards in Mrs. Updyke’s 6th grade class, and third place went to the Black Flames from Mrs. Ricottilli’s 5th grade class.

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Math News

Students play a football game in the Math Gymnasium that emphasizes use of number lines and fluency with addition. Each team rolls a set of special dice and hopes to earn, “100 yards” after 4 downs. The students use the 100 chart to support and check their own mental math strategies.
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Positivity Project News

As we begin 2022, we will continue to explore how words and actions can affect others. This includes exploring the P2 traits of optimism, prudence and perseverance. Through this, students will also explore the power of “yet” and what it means to believe you can grow.

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.” ~Helen Keller

Spelling Bee

The Randall Middle School Spelling Bee was held on Tuesday, December 21, 2021. Each homeroom took a written spelling test, and the top two winners from each class competed in the Randall Middle School Oral Spelling Bee in the gym on the stage. It went for 9 rounds before our winner was declared. Check out the recording to see the whole thing! Congratulations to sixth grader Aubree Lent, our Randall Middle School Spelling Bee champion. Our second place speller was fifth grader Owen McGraw, third place speller was 6th grader Sophia Ramiza, and fourth place speller was 5th grader Vanessa Feliciano. These four top spellers will now participate in a Regional Written Spelling Bee on January 22, 2022, and the top 20 spellers from the region will participate in the final Oral Spelling Bee on March 5, 2022 in Syracuse.

In the photo below Spelling Bee Champion Aubree Lent on the left and Runner Up Owen McGraw on the right.

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Library News

We continue to do research in the library, learning about databases, people, companies, and much more! As we come back from break, fifth graders will be learning about finding and evaluating good sources, and sixth graders will be learning how to cite their sources during research projects.

We are working hard to make sure that every student has at least one book to read at all times from the library. That being said, if your student has a book that has been out for more than 2-3 weeks, PLEASE have them return it as soon as possible so that others can enjoy it as well.
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