Rio Reporter Winter 2020

WINTER Edition, Qtrs 2 & 3 2020

Welcome to 2020 at Rio Norte!

Greetings Rio Norte Families and Students!

Welcome to spring semester 2020! Thank you for the many ways you have supported Rio Norte, it is an honor to care for and educate your students this year.

We would like to thank our amazing PTSA who supports Rio Norte in so many ways. This fall our PTSA provided funds for teacher grants, created a winter holiday staff breakfast, and supported students with awards and field trips.

Our Valentine's Day dance tickets are on sale now. The dance is on February 13 from 2-4 pm and the tickets are currently $7, and will be $9 at the door.

We are looking forward to a fantastic semester. It takes a village to raise a child and we are honored to partner with you for the success of all of our students.

We are all holding our children closer this week. When tragedy strikes, it reminds us of the gift of a day, the gift of our children, and gift of our loved ones. Our counselors and staff are here for our students for any needs.

Thank you,

Audrey Asplund


Rio Norte Jr. High School


Thank you for your continued support with all of our requests for volunteers and donations!

Together we support the staff and our students at Rio!

  • Thank you for your donations to support field trips, academic awards, SOTM and so much more!
  • Thank you for assisting with the winter dance, x-country field trip, and staff breakfast!
  • The SCV PTSA Reflections Gala is February 13. Congratulations to our finalists!
  • Our PTSA supports the Student of the Month luncheons on 1/24, 2/21, 3/20, 4/24, the Awards Assemblies on Jan 27-31.
  • Our PTSA also provides snacks for the Hart District junior high track meet on May 14.
  • Our PTSA supports team field trips and activities such as Columbia’s trip to the LA Zoo and Shenandoah's trip to the CA Science center.

Thank you,

Christine Davis, PTSA President

PE News-Winter 2020

Our Cross Country team finished in 2nd place at our district cross country meet in November. Congratulations to standout runners Noah Flores (1st place, 7th grade boys) and Victoria Lawrence (2nd place, 7th grade girls).

The Turkey Bowl was an amazing experience for all students. ASB organized and ran a spirited pep rally and cheerleaders entertained the crowd. We had our highest scoring game in the history of the school. Running back Jordan Cardenas led the blue team with some amazing runs, but the red team won a close battle behind the strong running of Aiden Hicks.

Our lunchtime volleyball tournament is starting now and will be followed by our 3 on 3 basketball tournament in the 4th quarter.

Upcoming Events:

Fitness Testing starts 2/12

Riverhawk Walk PE Fundraiser 4/02 & 4/03 (packets will be sent home 3/03 & 3/04)

District Track Meet 5/14

Team Amazon

In English class, team Amazon is focusing on the value of hard work. Students are engaging in lively class discussions where they get to share their outlook on the pros and cons of being a teenager in the workforce. The writing domain we are focusing on is argumentative, which allows students to practice with the use of different rhetorical appeals. Students will be analyzing both sides of an argument, explaining their opinion on the matter, and addressing possible counterarguments. The skills gained during this quarter will be beneficial for students in that they will consider their own viewpoints on the value of hard work in every aspect of life, as well as consider all sides of an argument in order to come to a conclusion about the best possible option.

In Math 8 we are continuing to learn about equations and graphing lines. We are starting Systems of Equations. The students are using Mathia to practice the concepts taught in class. In Algebra we are starting functions including arithmetic and geometric sequences. We will soon go into exponential functions and transforming graphs.

In Eighth Grade History, students are learning about the Early Republic! We began the quarter by examining the advice that President George Washington gave to all Americans in his Farewell Address. Next, we examined the presidencies of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, with a particular focus on American policy toward Britain, France, and the Native American tribes of the western frontier. This is leading us into a more focused study of the War of 1812, which includes one of Mr. Ippolito’s favorite stories, that of the Star-Spangled Banner! Mr. Ippolito will share photos and stories of his visits not only to the Smithsonian American History Museum in Washington, D.C., but also his family’s visit to Fort McHenry in Baltimore, MD, the actual site of the flag that our inspired our National Anthem. It’s a great time to be an American in Eighth Grade History!

Science continues to be very energetic! Our theme for the year is Energy. In December and January we have been investigating magnetism and electricity. Soon we will start waves. The students are tackling engineering challenges too. We are investigating how to transform electrical energy into kinetic energy. Students were asked to make a metal screw spin using a battery, a magnet, and some wire.

It is the last semester of junior high so we are also reminding students of ways to be successful as they get ready for the big transition to high school. Students will see success if they write down homework in binder reminders at the beginning of class, are persistent with tasks, ask questions, and seek help from teachers when needed.

Team Columbia

In Columbia English class this quarter, students will focus on how to form opinions and arguments. They will study methods of persuasion and how to incorporate those into their writing.

Our Columbia scientists are just starting the human body segment of our NGSS curriculum and are excited to present their research to their classmates. Then after our presentations we will be having our frog dissections and finding our future surgeons.

Math 7 is wrapping up our Integer unit and they have become very proficient on all operations with negative and positive . In Accelerated Math 7, we're all excited to dive deep into Simplifying Expressions and Solving Equations! My favorite!

Mrs. Kratofil’s World History students on Team Columbia have been learning about Europe during the Middle Ages. We will build on that and be studying the European Renaissance this quarter. Ms. Kratofil says a big “THANK YOU” to all the families who have been helping their children learn the “100 Terms” throughout the year—keep up the hard work!

Mr. Sheridan's World History classes have learned about feudal system and culture of the island nation of Japan, and will move into Europe during the Middle Ages to become familiar with European Feudalism, the rise of Christianity, the Crusades, the Black Death and so much more! We will round out the quarter with the influential period known as the Renaissance.

The Columbia Games have been a great success so far this year! Our team goal has been MORE than achieved and students have earned a special assembly which they will be attending in mid-February: The Dancing Scientist. He has never made an appearance here at Rio Norte, so we are excited. Want more information, go here:

Keep up the great work, Team Columbia!

Team Nile

Helping your child plan, organize, and prepare for class can reduce a great deal of anxiety. Please check backpacks and make sure they are organized and stocked with supplies (several sharpened pencils, blue or black ink pens, and notebook paper). Please continue to monitor Infinite Campus to check grades. Students should copy down assignments and due dates for each class in the binder reminder. If your child has been absent, please remind them it is their responsibility to check in with the teacher to pick up missed assignments (advisory). Thank you for helping your child have a successful last semester at Rio!

Science agendas and due dates can be checked at . Students will be studying waves and determining if digital or analog waves are a more reliable way to send information. In the next unit on energy transfer, students will design and build an insulator.

In history, students have been analyzing, debating, and using technology to gain a bigger grasp on America’s past and future that history has created. Students will specifically be focusing on the relations with other nations, such as Mexico and Spain. The students will also learn about Andrew Jackson's time in office and the lasting effects he had on the nation.

In English check due dates for all Cultural Terms/definitions and check to see that your child is reading The Giver novel for a test and written response. Please ask your child to show you how Google Classroom works as it has updated information.

In math, students need to be checking the website,, for reminders on the google calendar and information about Mathia daily. Please also make sure that you are checking the Google Classroom for notes and homework help.

Team Nile is looking forward to the Versa-Style dance performance which has been rescheduled for March 13.

Team Rio Verde


Students will start quarter three learning how to solve equations and apply the lessons learned in class outside of the classroom. They will learn how math is used in their everyday life by comparing items and seeing which is a better choice or what is more cost effective.


In Mrs. Bonilla's U.S. History class, students worked hard to establish our country. In Quarter 2 students studied how the Articles of Confederation did not work in guiding our country and so the Constitution was created after many long hours and debates. Once this new plan was ratified by 9 out of the 13 states, the country needed to find its new leader. Our country called on George Washington. Students learned how Washington established a working government. He dealt with issues at home and abroad and was an example for all future presidents. As we enter in Quarter 3, students will take a look at the presidency of John Adams through Andrew Jackson. We have a lot to learn and hopefully have fun doing it!

Perez-St. Antoine

In Mrs. Perez-St. Antoine's English class, students will focus on the Value of Work Unit and Argumentative Writing. Students will read excerpts from Mark Twain's The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Ray Bradbury's The Flying Machine, and Francisco Jimenez's The Circuit, analyzing the multiple perspectives and ethical issues involved with various types of work. Students will write an argumentative essay, participate in a Socratic Seminar, and create a monthly budget based on a career and life situation they randomly select. This unit will provide students insight into the value of work and the value of goal setting.

St. Peter

Happy second semester! In science we are finishing up with Magnetism and Electricity. We will then move onto Waves, Thermal Energy, and Chemical Energy (Chemistry). Students on team Rio Verde have been amazing and hard working. They rise to every challenge we have given them. Here's to a great second semester on Team Rio Verde!

Team Shenandoah

In English class, during the second quarter, we focused on analyzing and summarizing explanatory, informational texts. We did quite a bit of writing, both informal and formal. Students learned how to write a multi-paragraph explanatory essay with the essential components of thesis, evidence, and elaboration. The quarter culminated in a district performance task, in which students used sources provided to them to write an explanatory essay, which demonstrated their understanding of structure, content, and grammar within this genre of writing. In the third quarter, we turn our attention to argumentative texts: how to identify the elements of a good argument in master texts and utilize effective, persuasive argumentation in our own writing.

In Science, students will discover evidence for how the body (of multicellular organisms like us) is a system of interacting subsystems composed of groups of cells. Emphasis is on the conceptual understanding that cells form tissues and tissues form organs specialized for particular body functions.

We will focus our studies on the circulatory, excretory, digestive, respiratory, muscular, and nervous systems. Current unit: Body Systems

With Mrs. Pulaski, Shenandoah students have been learning about various cultures and the history of empires around the world, including the Inca, Aztec and Maya Empires of North and South America. Our big focus for second quarter was ancient philosophies embraced by India, Korea, China, and even Japan. Elements of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism can be found all around us if we pay attention! Currently, we are continuing our study of ancient Asian civilizations and empires such as China, Mongolia, and Japan. This quarter we also begin our study of medieval Europe...the age of kings, queens, knights, castles, and everything else that makes for a great action/drama fairytale! Remember to visit the class website for current standards and skills we are working on.

In Math 7, we wrapped up Quarter 2 learning about everything related to proportional relationships and percents. We are currently learning about all operations related to integers as well as rational numbers.

In Accelerated, we learned about the famous Pythagorean Theorem, as well as proportional relationships and percents. Quarter 3 is leading us into algebraic expressions and equations- preparing students for next year's Algebra!

Team Yukon

Yukon math had a successful first semester. Math 8 will be focusing on equations and systems of equations. Algebra will be working on radicals and sequences. Our students are up to the challenge. Remember to stay on top of your learning by checking your math website where you can find solutions and extra copies. Come by B-13 for extra help or reach out to your study buddy. Let's make 2020 a great year!

Quarter 3 Yukon science is studying Electricity, Magnetism and Waves. We will begin Chemistry around the end of February. Please check your students binder reminder for HW and check it against completed assignments. If there is no homework students should record that message for you to see.

Welcome back and Happy 2020

Happy 2020! Yukon History will continue our studies of the first 7 Presidents and venture out west this quarter. Please check your students supplies, they are in need of college ruled paper, pencils and colored pencils.

Quarter 3 in English is all about the value of work and argumentative writing. Students are sharing their own job skills and will be arguing if teens should work, while utilizing persuasive rhetoric learned from their very own created commercials.

Team Zambezi

It's hard to believe we've arrived at quarter 3 and the end of the year is just around the corner. Team Zambezi has planned a school day with the Dancing Science Guy on February 10th, it's a first for us and we can't wait to see what he'll bring! Mrs.Ratliff's classes are learning about life in Medieval Japan and Europe - castles and knights and plagues, oh my!

By the end of third quarter, we'll be fast-forwarding to Renaissance Italy, the birthplace of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael and Donatello - cowabunga Zambezi dudes!

In English we're learning about the art of writing a convincing argument and using articles about the future of space travel to guide us in learning new skills. We will end quarter three with the novel Stargirl, one of my favorite pieces to share with the kids; a sweet story that highlights themes of individuality and kindness!

In Mrs. Mandel's Math 7 class, we are learning operations with rational numbers and will be tackling expressions, equations, and inequalities next. In accelerated math we are wrapping up equations and will go on to inequalities and our next 8th grade topic, functions.

In Miss Bretthauer's class, we are finishing up our unit on the human body with presentations and activities tailored to each body system. After that, we will be traveling back in time to learn from the earth's past as we learn about fossils and how different organisms are related to one another.

Rio Norte Junior High School

Rio Norte Mission Statement

The Rio Norte Junior High School community is dedicated to providing a safe, flexible, positive, and nurturing learning environment, in which all its members have the opportunity to experience a sense of belonging and personal growth, and all students have the opportunity to develop academic excellence.