Incoming 6th-Grade Families

Students in class at Richfield Middle School

On Tuesday, May 12, 2020, we hosted our Incoming Family Orientation. While this is normally an in-person event, due to COVID-19 and the stay-at-home order, we held the event virtually this year. If you were unable to attend the online session, you can watch the recordings here. 

The Incoming Family Orientation provides new Richfield Middle School families with details on student schedules, teaching and support staff, extracurriculars, and much more. 

 

Q & A from the Webinars

During the webinars, families asked the following questions, which we have listed along with the answers or links to additional information. If, after viewing the orientation and reading the questions below, you have additional questions, you can submit them here and we will respond to your inquiry within 48 hours.

Classes & Schedules

  1. When will we get our class schedules? Will they be mailed out?
    • Students will have access to their class schedules through StudentVUE a week before the first day of school.
       
  2. Exploratory Classes:
    1. How do you sign up for the explore classes?
      • Students are assigned an exploratory class. There is no need to sign up.
    2. What are the exploratory classes?
      • Art, PE, Health, World Culture, CCR, STEM, and Media
    3. So they can’t choose their exploratories? They are assigned?
      • Students are assigned an exploratory class.
         
  3. Electives
    1. Is there limited availability in the electives?
      • The only electives we offer are Band and Choir. This are large classes due to the nature of the course.
    2. When do students get to choose elective classes?
      • Students have informed the counselors if they wanted Band or Choir during their tour of the middle school.
    3. It seems as if the electives change each year no matter what. Is this true?
      • We have always offered Band or Choir.
    4. Does the student have the ability to take the same elective two years in a row, and if so what determines that?
      • Yes, students may elect to stay in Band or Choir all three years while at the middle school.
    5. Is the year broken up into semesters? quarters? Do the elective classes change throughout the year for the students?
      • We operate on semesters but final grades are issued every quarter.
      • Electives are year-long classes but exploratory classes are semester-long.
    6. Do the students have to send in their request for gym, band, etc.? I only saw an email about band/ choir not how to fill the electives.
      • Students only have to let us know if they want to take Band or Choir. The other exploratory classes will be assigned to students.
         
  4. How are advanced classes determined?
    • Richfield Public Schools examines multiple points of data, including data from the NWEA Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) in reading and math from grades 4 and 5, for placement in 6th-grade advanced classes. We continue this process annually, identifying additional students as they demonstrate their aptitude for reading and math. Additionally, we gather information from teachers and families about student behaviors and classroom performance.
       
  5. Will there be homerooms?
    • There are no homerooms. Homeroom activities/information are funneled through the College and Career Readiness (CCR) and student’s 7A class.
       
  6. Is "Spartan Time" still a thing?
    • We no longer have Spartan Time.
       
  7. I've heard the chances that fall semester classes are likely to be online and not in person until January. What % confidence do you have that school will be in-person this fall?
    • We will have to wait for guidance from Governor Walz and the Minnesota Department of Education.

Activities and Athletics

  1. Is there a fee for the activities?
    • There are fees for competitive activities and athletics. Families should not let fees discourage them from registering. Fees are based on educational benefits (regular, reduced, or free lunch). If families need additional assistance, the Activities office offers payment plans and reduced fees for families in need.
    • Richfield students at RMS and RHS also have a wide array of co-curricular intramural activities that do not have a fee. The opportunities each year change based on student interest, but in the past have included: soccer, board games, chess, floor hockey, makers space, basketball and anime.
       
  2. What sports are available for 6th graders?
    • The following sports are available for 6th-grade students: Run Club, Tennis, Wrestling, Golf and Track & Field.
       
  3. Why can't 6th graders do swim?
    • The Richfield swim program is sponsored by the Minnesota High School League (MSHSL). The MSHSL provides the rules we are governed by and swimming is a 7th-12th grade program.
    • There are several competitive swimming programs your child can be a part of until they are eligible for the Richfield Program, including the Piranhas Swim Club in Richfield and teams with the YMCA.
       
  4. Are district sports beginning in the fall or are they also happening in the summer?
    • Fall sports typically begin practicing in the summer. With the current COVID-19 situation and social distancing, it is unclear yet when fall sports would begin. We are following guidance from the Minnesota State High School League.
       
  5. In some sports will the middle schoolers be partnered with the high school students?
    • Yes, many sports are combined with students from Richfield High School, although some sports divide the teams based on levels, so younger students are often on a separate team than older students.
       
  6. Is speech/debate offered as an activity?
    • No, speech/debate is not currently offered at RMS.
       
  7. Are there activity buses?
    • Yes, there is an activity bus that runs on Thursday that is available to all students.
    • If students are participating in Beacons (Boys and Girls Club), they will have access to after school transportation Monday through Thursday.

Transportation

  1. If I ride my bike to RMS where do I put it somewhere safe?
    • There is a bike rack near the pool entrance where students can lock their bikes. It is a secured area with a fence.
       
  2. Several questions were asked about pay-to-ride for school bus transportation. Here are the details:
    • Students who live within two miles are considered “walkers.” If families within this zone want their child to ride the school bus, this is available for a fee. You can learn more about pay-per-ride on the transportation website. 
    • Students who live in Richfield and who are more than two miles from the school are eligible for free bus transportation.
       
  3. Will buses only drop students off at a Richfield address, not south Minneapolis correct?
    • Correct. Bus transportation is only provided for students living within the city of Richfield.
       
  4. Are there activity buses and will Beacons drop students off in South Minneapolis?
    • Yes, there is an activity bus that runs on Thursday that is available to all students.
    • If students are participating in Beacons (Boys and Girls Club), they will have access to after school transportation Monday through Thursday.
    • Activity buses do not transport students to addresses outside of Richfield.

DLI Questions

  1. Can a student that didn’t go to RDLS or a Spanish immersion school sign up for DLI.
    • Yes! They will need to take an assessment to show their Spanish reading and writing skills, and if they pass, they will be added to DLI. Many students do this every year and some of them have never attended school in Spanish.
       
  2. Can students participate in DLI and stay in the G&T program?
    • Yes! Students in the Dual Language Immersion program are still able to take advanced language arts and/or accelerated math courses.
       
  3. How many DLI classes take up exploratory classes
    • One exploratory class will be used for DLI Spanish Language Arts.
       
  4. Ay algunas clubs en espanol? O solo en ingles? (Are clubs in Spanish or only English?)
    • Currently, all clubs are in English. If students would like a Spanish club, they would have to find at least five friends and a teacher to be their advisor to get one started.
       
  5. Are the RDLS kids automatically signed up for the DLI program?
    • Yes, RDLS students are automatically signed up for the DLI program.

Eagle Bluff

  1. How much money does the Eagle Bluff trip cost?
    • The final cost has not been determined at this time due to COVID-19. We will inform families as soon as the cost is determined.
       
  2. What happens when a family can’t afford Eagle Bluff?
    • There are scholarship funds available for students who need financial support. Neither the cost of the trip or the lack of warm winter clothing will stop students from attending the trip. Our district is committing to helping ensure ALL 6th-grade students will be able to attend.

Other

  1. Will there be a list of school supplies distributed?
    • School supply lists will be posted on the school website in June.
       
  2. Is there any word on summer school?
    • We are still waiting on guidance from the Minnesota Department of Education on summer school.
       
  3. When do they receive there I.D's? Is there a fee? What is the price?
    • Students have their school pictures at the fall open house. After that, students will receive their school ID within four weeks at no cost.
       
  4. When is the open house in the fall? Is there a scheduled date?
    • Fall Open House is currently scheduled for Thursday, September 3rd, 2020 from 9 a.m.-noon.
       
  5. El personal esta preparado contra el acoso escolar? (Are staff prepared to address bullying?)
    • Students have the option to either complete a bullying/harassment form in the Main Office or with Student Services. They can also verbally make a report to any adult in the building. Either way, those reports go to Assistant Principal Flucas and he meets with the student, investigates the report and contacts the parents/guardians of students in the report. We take bullying and harassment very seriously at RMS.
       
  6. Do STEM students have a program similar to the DLI program?
    • Students from STEM Elementary are placed in exploratory classes such as STEM, media and visual arts. We strive to have them in at least one of these classes each year.
       
  7. Do we need a lock for the lockers?
    • Yes, all students need a lock for their locker. This will be a required item on the school supply list.

School Apps

We use a variety of mobile apps in the District. Here are the top apps that families should consider downloading.

  • MealViewer: Use the MealViewer app to check out the daily breakfast and lunch menus. You can also view nutrition information and set alerts for menu items with ingredients your child is allergic to. (iTunes) (Android)
  • ParentVUE: Stay informed and connected to your child’s academic experience by accessing near real-time information on assignments and scores, attendance and demographic information. (iTunes) (Android)

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