Week of October 25, 2018:

The Committee held its final meeting on October 25. Important highlights include:

  • After reviewing parent, teacher, Administration and Board feedback, the sub-Committee unanimously agreed to recommend a 3-person teaching team for the 5th Grade School Structure. Staff announcements will be made in February. 
  • Please mark your calendars! The final sub-Committee read-out and panel of the school reconfiguration will take place on November 8, 2018 (see attached flyer). Free childcare will be offered. Parents must register in advance and may do so here. This is an important meeting for all community members and it is suggested that at least one parent/guardian attend.  11-8 poster announcement (4).pdf 

The Committee has officially concluded its work, and this will be the final weekly update. However, we will continue to post updates from the principals regarding continued planning, invitations for open houses, answers to your FAQs and other important information to ensure a smooth transition. Thank you for your support and engaging in this process


Week of October 18, 2018:
Thank you to the approximately 20 parents who attended our working sessions on Thursday, October 18th. Your feedback is appreciated. The outcomes from these sessions will be posted here shortly.

We want your input!! There is still time to weigh in on the middle school teaching models and other important topics for the school reconfiguration. As we have throughout the process, we are seeking input from parents of ALL students in our k-8 school district. ********From now until October 24, please participate in our online feedback system HERE.******** Please be respectful in your comments and posts. Disrespectful or insensitive comments will result in shutting the system down.

All of your input will be discussed at our final sub-committee meeting scheduled for Thursday, Oct 25 @ 7am @ RJH cafeteria. We hope to arrive closer to our preferred configuration during this meeting. Please attend if you are able. Agenda will be posted to this website shortly.

A final readout with take place on Thursday, November 8th@ 6pm @ RJH cafeteria (see attached invitation). Please mark your calendars. We are looking into providing childcare.  11-8 poster announcement (1).pdf

Week of October 11, 2018 

Highlights from the Committee's work this week include:

The Committee held its second meeting on Friday, 10/5. Key discussion points included highlights from visits to Oyster River Middle School & York Middle School and an overview of preliminary configurations for moving the 5th grade to Rye Junior High. In no particular order, they are:

  1. Option A: 5th graders are taught by a 3-person teaching team, similar to current 6th graders (ie.  a core teacher for Math, Science, ELA and each teacher instructs a unit of Social Studies; the cohort moves as a "pod" throughout the day)
  2. Option B: 5th graders are taught by one 2-person teaching team, similar to Oyster River Middle School (ie. teacher 1=Math/Science and teacher 2=Social Studies/ELA; Administration and teachers would decide which teacher instructs which subjects)
  3. Option C: Similar to Option B, 5th graders have one 2-person teaching team AND one self- contained classroom for students who perform better with a single teacher (similar to York Middle School)
  • We want your feedback! Next week you will get to evaluate the pros/cons of these models in our interactive working sessions. Please sign up here. Also, if you have questions or concerns about next fall's transition, please email Paula Tsetsilas at ptsetsilas@sau50.org by Tuesday, 11/16 so we are prepared to answer them. To date, there are approx. 20 parents who will be participating in the two sessions.
  • If you would like to watch video from last Friday's Committee meeting, click here.
  • A group of Committee members will be visiting Berwick Academy's Grades 5-8 Middle School on Tuesday 10/16.
  • Mark your calendars! Our formal committee readout is being held Nov 8 at 6pm. This is an opportunity for all current and former Rye School District parents (the insights of current junior high and high school parents are extremely valuable so please consider attending) and community members to learn about the committee's process, resulting opportunities for students and recommended RJH configuration. See flyer attached.  11-8 poster announcement.pdf 

Week of October 4, 2018:

Highlights from the Committee's work this week include:
  • Several members of the committee toured Oyster River Middle School on Fri, 9/28. The 5th grade enrollment is approx. 160 students. Teachers are paired into two-person teams (one teaches ELA & SS or Science; one teaches Math & SS or Science). Class sizes are approximately 20-25 students.
  • It has been difficult to arrange a visit at Berwick Academy due to some staff changes at Berwick Academy, but we will continue to pursue this.
  • RJH principal and athletic director held an initial meeting to discuss potential impact on sports. At this time, no major changes are expected.
  • Our next meeting is this Fri, 10/5 @ 7a at Rye Junior High School. Please see agenda for details.
  • We are excited for our upcoming interactive working sessions on October 18. These sessions will give parents and community members an opportunity to ask questions and share concerns while also weighing the pros/cons of the various teaching configurations being considered. To help us staff these sessions appropriately, please choose the morning OR evening session here.

Week of September 27, 2018: 

The Committee has been hard at work moving through its task list. Here are this week's highlights:

  • Three committee members toured York Middle School on Fri, 9/21. It was an insightful visit. YMS houses all of their 140 5th graders in one section of the school and their activities are kept separate from 6, 7 and 8 graders. They have one self-contained classroom and two teacher teams for other students. Committee members will share their observations at the next committee meeting and notes will subsequently be posted online. 
  • A visit to Oyster River Middle School is scheduled for this Fri, 9/28.
  • Suzanne Lull and Paula Tsetsilas held an initial meeting with Rye Recreation representatives to discuss leasing the majority of the lower level space at Rye Elementary School to Rye Recreation beginning July 2019. We discussed the benefits for Rye Recreation's existing after-care program and potential positive outcomes for summer camps and adult/senior programming. We also discussed the possibility of in-school cross-generational programming such as reading buddies, lunch buddies, and quilting with seniors. Our next meeting will be Fri, October 26.
  • Marie Soucy is working with Athletic Director, Piper Cronin, to determine if and how sports programming will be affected by the new configuration. An update will be provided at the next committee meeting.
  • We are excited for our upcoming interactive working sessions on October 18. These sessions will give parents and community members an opportunity to ask questions and share concerns while also weighing the pros/cons of the various teaching configurations being considered. To help us staff these sessions appropriately, please choose the morning OR evening session here.

Next committee meeting: Friday Oct 5, 2018 at 7am at Rye Junior High cafeteria. Agenda to be posted soon here.

WEEK OF 9/17/18:

This is the first of weekly announcements to keep the school community updated on weekly progress the Committee is making. These announcements are intended to be high-level so that you may stay informed throughout the process. This week:
  • Documents from the Committee's first meeting as well as relevant research have been posted to a new tab on the Rye Elementary's School website called, "Middle School Transition". Please check this tab periodically for updated information.
  • The Committee has formed three groups to tour Grade 5-8 schools and develop best practices. Group 1 will visit York Middle School on Fri, 9/21. Group 2 will visit Oyster River Cooperative on Fri, 9/28. We are in the process of scheduling Group 3's tour to Berwick Academy's middle school.
  • Principal Lull has been visiting 4th grade classrooms and hearing students' concerns and wishes about the transition first-hand. It's insightful to hear their suggestions for Rye Junior High's playground equipment and ideas for special year-end graduation celebrations. 
  • Co-chairs and junior high guidance have begun developing various middle school models, examining the pros/cons of each potential structure.
A full read-out of the weekly work will be presented at the Committee's next meeting on Fri, Oct 5 at 7am at RES library.
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