RTMS Review

March 2023

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Important Dates

  • March 2 - Chorus, Bucket & Steel Drum Bands Concert
  • March 6, 7, 10 - IAR Testing (Math)
  • March 8 - Orchestra & Alternative Strings Concert
  • March 9 - Fuel Up to Play 60 Day
  • March 10 - Report Cards shared electronically
  • March 12 - Daylight Savings Time Begins
  • March 13 - Band & Jazz Band Concert
  • March 13 - Registration for '23-'24 School Year Opens for Grades 1-8
  • March 14 & 15 - IAR Testing (Reading)
  • March 15 - PTC Meeting at 7:00
  • March 17 - ISA Testing (8th Grade Only)
  • March 21 - Board of Education Meeting at 7:00 (RTMS)
  • March 22 - Fine Arts Production
  • March 23 - Parent/Teacher Conferences & 8th grade Graduation Photos (3:40-7:40)
  • March 24 & 24 - Parent/Teacher Conferences & 8th grade Graduation Photos (7:40-3:00)
  • March 27-31 - Spring Break (No School)

End of Year Dates to Add to Your Calendar:

  • May 23 - 8th Grade Dance
  • May 26 - 8th Grade Graduation (JHHS)

Please click on this link to see the 2022-23 District Calendar.

Dear RTMS Families,

It's hard to believe that we have already started Trimester 3. The next two months will go by quickly, but there is still so much to learn and accomplish! We value this time to support both the academic and social-emotional growth for all students. As you can see from all of the dates listed above, March is a VERY busy month. Please talk to your students about their schedule and commitments, and everything that is coming up this month.

Trimester 2 report cards will be shared electronically on Friday, March 10th. While we can all agree that getting an A or a B is nice, we also want to measure growth and understanding through the application of concepts. Students apply what they learn in a variety of ways; ask your child to give you some examples! February and March can be difficult (it's a weird time of year), and we definitely see this as we are looking at discipline infractions. While we still see genuine acts of respect and kindness from most of our students, we want to inspire ALL students to respect themselves and their school community. Our school community culture must be defined by gratitude, respect, and empathy. We are so proud of our students, especially those we witness making an effort to demonstrate these values every day.

We had a great turn out for last Friday's Pack the Place, and we would like to thank everybody who attended. The students and staff had very close volleyball and basketball competitions, and it was great to see so many future Ravens in attendance to play in the soccer shoot-out, dodgeball, and knockout games that occurred throughout the night. We look forward to the possiblity of having more community events like this!

In partnership,

Mary Krall-Meske


Parent/Teacher Conferences

Spring parent/teacher conferences will be held on March 23rd and March 24th. Students should be attending the conferences with their parents. There will be no school on March 24th due to conferences.

Spring Conferences will be held:

  • Thursday, March 23, 3:40-7:40 p.m. (Normal attendance day for students)
  • Friday, March 24, 7:40 a.m.-3:00 p.m. (Non-attendance day for students)

All conferences will be in-person at River Trails Middle School, and we will once again use the Meet the Teacher platform to schedule. The sign-up link will be shared with families Thursday, March 2, at noon, and will close Wednesday, March 15, at 10:00 PM.

8th Grade Graduation Photos

Inter-State will be offering sessions for graduation (more formal) portraits during Parent/Teacher conferences this year. This will allow our 8th graders to have their photo taken before/after their conferences, or any time during our conference hours, and not have to worry about changing in and out of dress clothes during the school day. More info will be sent to 8th grade families in the coming weeks.

In addition, there will be a photographer at 8th grade graduation, on May 26th, to take photos of students as they are descending the stage after receiveing their certificate of achievement.

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IAR & ISA Testing

Yet again, testing season is upon us. While this is not a preferred activity for most students (or teachers!), it is a great opportunity for students to show us what they have learned this year, where we are seeing strengths, and where we can all make improvements. We will be working with students to get them as prepared as possible for these days, and to make them as comfortable as possible, as well. We realize that testing can be stressful for some students; please encourage your students to do their very best. We have been so impressed by all they have accomplished this year so far.

There are two areas of testing for the Illinois Assessment of Readiness (IAR) - reading/literacy and math. Students will complete three math tests (3/6, 3/7, & 3/10), and two reading/literacy tests (3/14 & 3/15). Our goal is to complete all makeup testing the week prior to Spring Break. Our 8th grade students will also complete the Illinois Science Assessment (ISA) on 3/17, which consists of three sections.

Please remind your students to get plenty of rest during these days, charge Chromebooks overnight, put their headphones/earbuds in their case, and to eat a healthy breakfast. As a reminder, RTMS does have a breakfast program each morning, and the majority of classrooms allow (and encourage!) a healthy snack to be eaten during the day.

5Essentials Survey

We need your help!!

Survey results will help us to better understand the conditions at your child’s school and to guideimprovement. For the 5Essentials survey to be validated, we need at least 20% of our parents to take the survey.

If you have not done so already, please participate in the Illinois 5Essentials Parent and Guardian Survey. Your responses will remain confidential and will not be connected to the identity of you or your child.

Visit https://survey.5-essentials.org/Illinois/ to participate. Thank you for your support!

February Students of the Month

We were very excited to present our February Students of the Month with their medals during lunch times yesterday! Congratulations to:

6th Grade

Academic (Core) - Chloe D.

Academic (Encore) - Jana S.

Character - Brandon C.

School Pride/Spirit - Alexi P.

7th Grade

Academic (Core) - Diego T.

Academic (Encore) - Jacob B.

Character - Addy O.

School Pride/Spirit - Brielle P.

8th Grade

Academic (Core) - Megha B.

Academic (Encore) - Grace J.

Character - Olivia O.

School Pride/Spirit - George P.

Snacks During Class/After School

As a reminder, it is a good idea to send a snack with your student "just in case." Our 6th graders eat lunch around 10:35, and our 8th graders eat at 12:25. Many students get hungry during that long break between meals, and quite a few teachers do allow a healthy snack to be eaten in class if not disruptive or messy. If they are staying after school, a quick snack is a good idea, as well! While we do have a sharing fridge, the contents disappear quickly.

A Note from Our PTC

Our next fundraiser will be the Station 34 Pizza Kits! Please look for info via email for more details. Pizza kits will be available to pick up during Parent/Teacher Conferences.

Also, we are having a Spring Spiritwear Sale! You may access the store by using this link.

Not receiving PTC emails? Fill in this link to be added to our list! The order deadline is 3/28, ad items should be delivered by 4/9.

Fuel Up to Play 60 Day

Fuel Up to Play 60 Day will be on Thursday, March 9th. Make sure students come to school that day dressed in clothes they can exercise in, gym shoes, and a water bottle, as they will be participating in a variety of physical activities that day.

Link Together

Join Dr. Aaron Weiner's virtual presentation about the state of youth mental health, the ongoing pressures of substance use, and how parents & guardians can work with their kids to

build emotional resilience. For those interested, this webinar will take place on Wednesday, March 8th, 2023, from 7:30-8:30 p.m. Please click on this link to learn more about this free event.

Please use the links below to access the February/March newsletter from the Link Together Coalition.

LT Newsletter (English)

LT Newsletter (Spanish)

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News from Food Services

Missed Breakfast?

With permission from your child's teacher, a student may go to the cafeteria to purchase a "grab and go" breakfast bag after first block begins. We encourage all students to eat breakfast either at home or here at school each morning, but understand that sometimes buses do not arrive in time for the normal cafeteria breakfast time. Breakfast bags will be available to purchase, if needed, until 10:30 each morning.
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Entries are due 3/24/23. Good luck!

- - Reminders - -

Miles of Smiles

Coming up in April, the Miles of Smiles, Ltd. dental program will be visiting our district. This is a program that offers free dental exams to students of all grades and also fulfills the mandated dental exam for anyone entering kindergarten, 2nd, 6th and 9th grades.

In order to have your child participate, you will need to fill out a permission form. These forms can be accessed here, but will also be sent home with students last month. Once fully completed, the permission form should be returned to your child’s teacher by March 15.

All children who return a completed permission form will receive a dental exam. Following the exam at school, you will be notified if further dental treatment is needed.

If you have any questions about this program, please contact Dr. Carie Cohen, assistant superintendent for student services, at cohen@rtsd26.org.


El programa dental Miles of Smiles, Ltd. visitará nuestro distrito próximamente. Este programa ofrece exámenes dentales gratuitos para los alumnos de todos los grados y también cubre el examen dental obligatorio para cualquier alumno que vaya a entrar a kindergarten, segundo, sexto y noveno grado.

Para que su hijo(a) pueda participar, se necesita llenar una forma de permiso. Estas formas se pueden acceder aquí, pero también serán enviadas con su hijo(a) a casa el mes pasado. Una vez que complete la forma, se deberá regresar al maestro(a) de su hijo(a) antes del 15 de Marzo.

Todos los niños que regresen la forma de permiso recibirán un examen dental. Después del examen en la escuela, se les informará si su hijo(a) necesita tratamiento dental.

Si usted tiene alguna pregunta sobre éste programa, por favor comuníquese con la Dra.Carie Cohen, asistente superintendente de servicios estudiantiles, a cohen@rtsd26.org.

Erin's Law

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January 2023

Dear Parents/Guardians,

On January 24, 2013, Governor Pat Quinn signed a new law extending sexual abuse education inIllinois schools. The Illinois law went into effect immediately and schools are required to implement Erin’s Law. Erin’s Law requires all schools to provide child sexual abuse prevention educationannually for all students, PK-12. The law also requires educators to take part in trainings that coversexual abuse and how to recognize warning signs.

District social workers will present information regarding Personal Body Safety to all students in grades sixth through eighth grade beginning in February.

If you do NOT want your child to participate, please go to the River Trails School District website (www.rtsd26.org). On the District website, under the Parent section, you will find the link to Erin’s Law opt out form. You can complete this form online, at home or at your child’s school office.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact either the building principals, social workers or Dr. Carie Cohen (Assistant Superintendent for Special Services) at (224 )612-7304 or ccohen@rtsd26.org.


Dr. Carie Cohen

Assistant Superintendent for Special Services


Enero 2023

Estimados padres y guardianes:

El 24 de enero de 2013, el gobernador Pat Quinn firmó una nueva ley extendiendo la educación en abuso sexual a las escuelas de Illinois. La ley fue efectiva, inmediatamente, y es requisito que las escuelas implementen la Ley Erin. Esta ley requiere que todas las escuelas provean, anualmente, educación preventiva en abuso sexual, para todos los estudiantes; desde pre kinder hasta el grado12. A su vez, esta ley requiere que los educadores (maestros) tomen parte activa en adiestramientos que cubren el abuso sexual y cómo reconocer las señales de alerta.

Las trabajadoras sociales del distrito presentarán información referente a la “protección del cuerpo." Todos los estudiantes, desde 6to hasta 8vo grado, recibirán esta información a partir de febrero.

Si usted no desea que su hijo (a) participe, favor de acceder a la página del distrito

(www.rtsd26.org). En la página de la escuela del distrito River Trails, bajo la sección de padres, encontrará un enlace a Erin’s Law opt out form. Si usted tiene alguna pregunta, siéntase en la libertad de comunicarse con los trabajadores sociales o el principal de su escuela. También, puede comunicarse con la asistente del superintendente para servicios especiales, la Dra. Carie Cohen, (224 )612-7304 or ccohen@rtsd26.org.


Dra. Carie Cohen

Asistente del Superintendente para Servicios Especiales

6th Grade Dental Forms

All 6th grade students, and students new to our district, are required to turn in a dental exam form signed by a licensed dentist before May 15, 2023. Dental forms and other health forms can be accessed online by visiting our Nurse page, and going to the District 26 Health Services Information. If you have any questions, please contact the Nurse Veller in our health office at (224) 612-7605.

Attendance Line: 847-298-1750, option 1

Bus Issues: Grand Prairie 847-640-2142

Daily announcements

Our daily student announcements are available for parents/guardians to access on our school website each day. If you scroll to the bottom of the homepage (Family Resources and Information), or if you click on Families at the top of the homepage, you will see a link to "Daily Announcements." If you follow us on Twitter or Facebook, you can also see a Week at a Glance graphic that will give you a quick view of all the weekly activities at RTMS.

How to Contact Us

Our office hours are 7:00-4:00, Monday through Friday.

Our main office number is 847-298-1750.

Main office

Elia Esparza-Viveros: eesparzaviveros@rtsd26.org

Jessica Escutia: jescutia@rtsd26.org

Lindsay Veller (nurse): lveller@rtsd26.org


Principal, Mary Krall-Meske:

mkrall@rtsd26.org or 224-612-7600

Assistant Principal, Kyle Henkel:

khenkel@rtsd26.org or 224-612-7601

RTMS Staff Directory