Miller News and Announcements

Miller Family News February 16, 2024
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Dear 5th-Grade Families,

It is hard to believe that the Holliston Public Schools are already making plans for the next school year!  We are so excited for your students to join us at the Robert Adams Middle School this fall. We know that the transition from elementary to middle school can be thrilling, but also confusing and intimidating at times. With that in mind, we want to provide you with an overview of the middle school schedule and course offerings.

A Typical Schedule

First, as an overview, here is a schedule for a typical day in 6th grade.

Homeroom

8:05 - 8:12

  • Homeroom = morning announcements, attendance
  • Sections 1, 2, 3, 4 = “on-team” and include math, science, social studies, and English classes.
  • World Languages (WL) = students attend a World Language class (Spanish, French, or French Immersion) every day.
  • Unified Arts (UA) = students will attend art, music (band, chorus, or general music), computer science, wellness/health, and wellness/physical education; each class meets once per week.
  • RAMS Block = students return to homeroom where they work on homework, projects, and missed work; receive extra help, attend support services, or participate in band and chorus ensemble.
  • Support Services = students who are on IEPs and 504s will be scheduled according to their plans.

Section 1

8:12 - 9:07

Section 2

9:09 - 10:03

Snack Break

10:03 - 10:10

Section 3

10:10 - 11:05

Section 4

11:07 - 12:02

Lunch

12:02 - 12:27

WL / UA 1

12:29 - 1:10

WL / UA 2

1:12 - 1:53

RAMS Block

1:55 - 2:28

 

 

 

On-Team Set-Up

At RAMS, teachers and students are grouped into teams (Teams 1, 2, and 3). All of the sixth grade is housed in one wing where team classrooms are clustered so students do not need to travel far when transitioning between classes.

In all three grades, Teams 1 and 2 are four-person teams, meaning that there are four on-team teachers: a math, a science, a social studies, and an English teacher. These teachers will teach four sections/class periods of their subject over the course of the day.  Team 3, however, is made up of only two on-team teachers: one teacher who teaches both math and science, and another teacher who teaches both English and social studies.  These teachers will have two sections of each subject, still then teaching a total of four sections/classes throughout the school day.  This small team structure exists solely due to student enrollment and class sizes.  In turn, this means that students on Teams 1 and 2 will rotate among four classrooms for their four on-team classes, and Team 3 students will rotate between two classrooms. Each team also includes a special education liaison and/or paraprofessional who attends various classes and sections to meet the needs outlined in IEPs.

All classes and team placements offered are unleveled and provide equal experiences for all students. There is no difference in content or opportunity across the teams. Therefore all students will be placed in their math, science, social studies, and English classes, and students and parents do not need to sign up for any on-team classes.

Off-Team Courses

World Languages and the Unified Arts classes are offered in a student’s schedule as well.  In a student’s schedule, this is when they travel “off-team” to attend classes in other parts of the building.  In this portion of their day, students are not grouped by team and will attend classes with peers from other teams in their grade. Students will need to sign up for specific World Language and Music classes.

 

World Language Options

For World Language, students will choose between Spanish, French, and French Immersion. Please consider the following factors when making your decision:

 

  • Sixth-grade Spanish is a continuation of the curriculum students have been learning at the elementary level. Students who have been taking Spanish and would like to continue with the language and culture should sign up for this class, as well as any student who is new to learning a language!

 

  • Sixth-grade French is an introductory-level course, where students who are newly interested in learning French or starting a language for the first time are welcome! This is also a great opportunity for students who would like to switch from the previously learned Spanish in elementary school to something new, or for students entering a world language class for the first time.
  • Students who are in French Immersion in elementary school will continue their learning in the French Immersion class.  This is a single class period where instruction picks up from where students left off in 5th grade. French content and instruction are not integrated into the on-team classes as experienced at Miller and instead are reserved for this one class period.

 

Music Options

At RAMS we offer five different Unified Arts classes, one for each day of the week. All students will be registered for these four classes: wellness/physical education, wellness/health, art, and computer science.  However, our music department provides three different options from which families must choose.

Please know that students can only register for ONE of these music class options, and their selection is a year-long commitment.

  • General Music provides students with an opportunity to learn performance and literacy skills and work in a keyboard lab to practice and produce music of varying types. This class only meets during a WL/UA block. There are no RAMS block or after-school commitments.
  • Chorus is a great option for students who participated in Miller Chorus, though all students are welcome - even without previous experience.  Chorus will develop a student’s vocal range, technique, and expressive capacity through a wide variety of musical styles, and perform for family and community members at different times throughout the year. This class will meet during a WL/UA block as well as meet once a week during RAMS block to rehearse the multiple chorus sections as a full ensemble.
  • Band is available for any student interested in playing a band instrument (woodwinds, brass, percussion). This includes students who are currently in the 5th-grade band program, as well as anyone looking to start! Band meets once/week during the school day in a WL/UA block, once/week as an ensemble during RAMS block, and once/week after school for ensemble again.
    • Please Note: Costs for instruments should not deter students from signing up for band. We have loaner instruments to ensure any student interested in learning a band instrument is able to do so. Please complete this Loaner Instrument Request form if you are interested in using a loaner instrument. If you have any additional questions, you may contact Matt Grina at grinam@holliston.k12.ma.us.

Please discuss the World Language and Music choices with your student as they will be making their selections during school in the next week or so using the PowerSchool student online portal.

Registering for PowerSchool

Separate from this communication, you will receive a letter providing you with instructions for creating a PowerSchool parent/guardian portal account. PowerSchool is a student information system, which houses contact information, course placements, schedules, and grades.   This letter will provide instructions and specific credentials related to your student to set up the account.  If you have any questions, please contact our Help Desk for assistance.  Once the account is created you will be able to discuss the course options for World Language and Music with your student on the Class Registration screen.

 

Parent Information Night

Additionally, the 5th-to-6th Grade Parent Information Night will be held on April 12 at 6:30 in the RAMS Auditorium. At this time RAMS administration will provide an overview of the middle school and be open to answering questions. Additional assistance with creating a PowerSchool parent/guardian account will be made available at that time. We hope to see you there!

Sincerely,

Your RAMS Administration Team

David Jordan, Principal

Jesse Conant, Interim Assistant Principal

Tessa Piantedosi, Student Services Administrator

 

 


It is the policy of the Holliston Public Schools not to discriminate on the basis of race, sex, gender identity, religion, national origin, color, homelessness, sexual orientation, age or disability in its educational programs, services, activities, or employment practices.


235 WOODLAND STREET
HOLLISTON,MASSACHUSETTS 01746
Immunize MA Logo

FLU MESSAGING AND RESOURCES

 

With influenza (flu) activity increasing nationally, and troubling early data showing drops in flu vaccine uptake this season, CDC has issued an urgent reminder about the importance of vaccinating for flu. Hospitalization rates in kids are among the highest seen at this time in about a decade so far this season.

 

Remember, your strong recommendation is a key factor in whether people get vaccinated.

 

Getting a flu shot is the most important action a person can take to prevent flu and its potentially serious complications. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine as soon as possible. Encourage flu vaccination by sharing the following messages and resources with patients, especially those at higher risk, and those with parents of young children.

 

The flu vaccine:

  • Reduces the risk of flu illness
  • Can make illness less severe among people who get vaccinated, but still get sick with flu, reducing the risk of serious flu complications, such as hospitalization
  • Can be given at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine, for people who are due for both
  • Protects against four different flu viruses - even if a patient has already gotten flu, other flu viruses are circulating and it’s possible to get flu more than once a season

 

Groups at higher risk of serious illness from flu include:

Adults 65 Years and Older

Children under 5

  • Flu is more dangerous than the common cold for children, and healthy children 5 years and older can spread flu to vulnerable family members like infants younger than 6 months and adults over 65

During Pregnancy

  • Due to changes to the immune system, heart, and lungs during pregnancy make people more susceptible to potentially serious flu complications. Flu may also be harmful for a developing baby.

 

 Resources

 

Questions? 

  • For questions about influenza please call the DPH Immunization Division at 617-983-6800 or your local board of health.  
  • For questions about state-supplied influenza vaccine, please call the DPH Vaccine Unit at 617-983-6828.

 

 

 

Have questions about immunizations? Contact us!

Immunization Division | 617-983-6800

Vaccine Unit | 617-983-6828

MIIS Help Desk | 617-983-4335