Main Navigation - Mobile

Principal Update: “Away for the Day”

Decorative image with colored diamonds on gray background
Principal Update: “Away for the Day”

Dear RMS Students and Families,

Richfield Spartans are safe, kind and responsible. These are the districtwide behavior expectations for all RPS students. For students at the secondary level, this includes actions like asking questions when you need help, being on time and ready to learn, doing your best work and turning it in on time, and keeping school areas clean. We will spend more time on this with students once the school year starts and there will be additional communication with families as well.

I mention it now, as it directly relates to two new building policies at RMS. 

In alignment with students demonstrating safety, kindness and responsibility, we are working to address concerns around inappropriate online behavior taking place during the school day by implementing an “Away for the Day” policy. Starting on the first day of school, student cell phones and all personal mobile devices, AirPods and smartwatches need to be tucked away and out of sight during the school day. If a staff member sees or hears a cell phone or any of these other devices, the student will need to turn it in to the staff member or an administrator for the rest of the school day. After repeated offenses, a parent or guardian would need to pick up the phone.

We are also requiring students leave their backpacks, purses, drawstring and crossbody bags in their lockers and only bring the class materials they need with them into the classroom—meaning items like blankets and stuffed animals will need to be left at home or in lockers. All students are provided with a locker and will be expected to keep all non-class materials in their locker during school hours. 

Based on similar policies from other schools in the area, here are the expectations for the 2022-23 school year as well as what parents/guardians can expect if a student fails to meet the expectation.

“Away for the Day”

  • Cell phones and all personal mobile devices, AirPods and smartwatches must be tucked away and out of sight during the school day.
  • Cell phones and all personal mobile devices, AirPods and smartwatches can be turned back on at the end of the school day and used to communicate with family/friends who are assisting in transportation.

Violations of the “Away for the Day” policy will include:

  • Students who have one of these devices out during the school day (including hallways, bathrooms and common areas) will be asked to turn it over to a staff member and the student may pick it up at the end of the school day.
  • Students who violate the expectation a second time will be asked to leave their device in the office and their parent/guardian will need to pick it up at the end of the school day. 
  • Students who violate a third time or more will be asked to leave their device in the office and their parent/guardian will need to pick it up at the end of the school day. A parent/guardian meeting will be held to discuss the expectations and to create a plan for student success.

Safety & Security

  • Students: If you need to make an emergency call during the day, you should come to the main office. 
  • Parents/Guardians: If you need to reach your child during school hours, you can email them or you can call the school office at 612-798-6400 and we will assist you in reaching your child.
  • School Emergencies: In the event of a school emergency, we will communicate with families through text, phone call and/or email with initial information and updates as needed. Please ensure your contact information is up-to-date in ParentVUE.

I know this will be a change for many of our students. Some of them have become dependent on their personal electronics over the past few years and are now having difficulties focusing in class, building meaningful relationships with peers and managing their time. 

Please know that our faculty worked together on this plan and we are confident that it will help to support not only student academic performance but also student mental health and social skills. Every one of our staff members and our administration team supports this plan and will work together to ensure it is followed equitably for all students. 

Students, if you have any questions or concerns, you should speak with your teacher, counselor or school social worker. Parents/guardians, if you have any concerns, you can contact your child’s counselor or the main office. 

We are excited about this upcoming school year and we are grateful for your support as we work together to create and maintain a safe and caring environment at RMS. 


Principal Erica Barlow
Assistant Principal David Freeburg
Assistant Principal Ashley Schaefer
Dean of Students Tara Howard-Felician


Resources for Families

  • Away for the Day website
  • Motivational video on the role of cell phones in our lives (YouTube)
  • Help Kids Balance Their Media Lives from Common Sense Media (English | Spanish)
  • Tips for taking control of your digital well-being from Humane Tech (English)

Read More

School Supply Lists

For easy school shopping, print and download a PDF list of school supplies by grade level.

Student with a modeling pen at Best Buy Teen Tech Center

We are excited to announce the opening of our Best Buy Teen Tech Center at Richfield Middle School! Through our partnership with the Best Buy Foundation and powered by Premium Retail, students at RMS have access to create, learn and explore using the latest technology. 

RMS Hosts Local Ojibwe Artist, Tall Paul

Tall Paul is a local, south Minneapolis hip-hop artist from the Ojibwe tribe. We were excited to host Tall Paul at Richfield Middle School for our sixth graders, where he shared some of his songs and his life story, including teachings from the Ojibwe culture.

Text reads "RMS Update" in white on a blue background with the Spartan logo

This update contains information about excused and unexcused absences. Attendance is an essential part of a student's success, without consistent attendance the chances of students falling behind are substantial.