Principal's Newsletter

Principal's Newsletter,  2018-2019

October 12, 2018


Check PowerSchool: At this point, we are well into the 1st trimester.  PowerSchool is a useful tool to see how your child is progressing in each of his/her classes.  If you have questions or concerns regarding any of your child's grades, I would encourage you to reach out to your child's teacher as soon as possible

School Dance: Our 1st dance for all students is being held on Friday, October 26th. Just reminder that for a student to attend or participate in an extra-curricular activity, such as dances, he/she must be in school for at least four periods the day of the event.  The cost of admission is $5 and snacks are sold there as well.  All school rules apply at the dance, including cell phone usage, meaning students are not allowed to use cell phones during the dance.

Coaches: We are looking for some basketball coaches. We need the following:

A team girls, B team girls, B team boys, 6th grade girls, 6th grade boys, 5th grade girls , 5th grade boys

Practices typically run between 3:00 - 8:30pm every day and are varied depending on coach availability. Games typically start at 3:30 or 4:00. There are always back to back games - either B then A or Girls then Boys. So the time frame would be about 2 hours and then the trip back. Practices are between and hour to 1.5 hours.. The 5th and 6th graders practice during the week 2-3 times and have games on Saturday. Games and practices for 7/8 are during the week only - no weekends.  


A team - $1500
B team - $900
6th grade - $500
5th grade - $350

If you know of anyone that may be interested please have them call or email the Athletic Director, Piper Cronin at


5th Grade Transition/School Reconfiguration Announcement:

The 5th Grade Transition Committee is hard at work to ensure a smooth transition. Here are this week's updates:

  • The Committee held its second meeting on Fri, 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:
    • 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)
    • 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)
    • 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 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.



Coding opportunity for girls: Girls Who Code:



Wednesday, 10/17: Rye School Board Meeting @ 5pm

10/15 – 10/17: 6th grade to Merrowvista

Thursday 10/18: Working Sessions for 5th grade transition @ 10am and 6pm

Friday, 10/26: School dance

September 28, 2018


Thank you Rye PTA: for funding our field trip to The Music Hall to see “Pick of the Litter”. The students enjoyed the film and it was a great experience for all of us. 

The Music Hall: The Music Hall is offering a 15% discount on adult tickets to The Ogunquit Playhouse at The Music Hall production of Elf The Musical, on stage from November 28-December 16. Use Promo code: 'Litter' when ordering tickets online.

Chromebooks: The registration deadline for Chromebook insurance is 9/30. If you haven’t registered for the Chromebook insurance yet, please do so at your earliest convenience.  All students need to register every year.  If you need financial assistance, please contact me (

See the following link for more information: Optional Home Use of District Owned Chromebooks

To sign up for insurance see here

5th Grade Transition Committee/School Reconfiguration Announcement: 

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.



Grade 5 Transition Meeting: Friday, 10/5 @ 7am in RJH Cafe

Early Release for Students: Friday, 10/5

Columbus Day, No School: Monday, 10/8

September 21, 2018


This week, our devoted physical education teacher, Mrs. Piper Cronin, is certainly deserving of the RJH spotlight. Piper is not a typical physical education teacher, as she gives new meaning to the subject with her out-of-the-box approaches that ensure our students are exposed to modern and innovative ways to stay fit. It is clear with Piper’s lessons, she sees the health of the whole child in order to instill lifelong habits. 

Piper has led a life dedicated to service. Before embarking on her journey as a teacher, Piper served in the armed forces as a translator and interrogator, which surely has equipped her with the skills necessary to handle a middle school population! As a member of the United States Army, Piper has been stationed abroad where she served our country with great honor. After the military, Piper transformed her passion for service by becoming an educator and has been a part of the RJH community for well over a decade.

As a seasoned physical educator, Piper understands the needs of the middle school child and creates meaningful lessons that both engage and excite our RJH students. In Piper’s classroom, students have the opportunity to learn about physical fitness in a unique way. She strengthens students’ understanding of themselves, as well as builds their confidence, by utilizing the rock climbing wall, exploring circus acts, and creating original dances. Piper takes physical education a step further by combining physical awareness with emotional understanding. She works closely with community organizations, such as New Heights, a youth group that offers experiential learning opportunities, to give students the experience of performing routine sports activities through the perspective of those who are physically challenged. Students walk away from her class with both emotionally and physically aware of their community.

With her passion for teaching, coaching, and mentoring, it is no wonder that Piper received the New Hampshire Physical Education Teacher of the Year Award. Her ability to create an environment of structure, wellness, and empathy make her a vital asset to our school.

HOWLs: This year, your child will have a HOWLs (Habits of Work and Learning) grade for each of the following categories: respect, responsibility, and perseverance in every content area. These new categories will be graded on a scale of 1-4, so PowerSchool will reflect that new grading system for HOWLS only.

As a school, we are currently working to have PowerSchool calculate this new grading system properly, so please bear with us. For now, we suggest that you look solely at the numbers in the grade book rather than the calculated percentages or letter grade. Our school-wide expectations are that students earn a 3 or better.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding a specific class, please feel free to reach out to a specific teacher. 

Pick of the Litter: On Wednesday, September 26th, we will all be traveling to the Portsmouth Music Hall to see a showing of the documentary “Pick of the Litter”. RES students in 4th and 5th grade will also be joining us. We are excited to be able to have these students join us as they will be part of our school next year. Please remember to send your child’s permission slip in. Thank you to the PTA for funding this event!

5th Grade Transition/School Reconfiguration Announcement: 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 in the Rye Junior High Cafeteria. Please note change of location in order to record this meeting for those who wish to watch it live or at a later time.

7th grade trip to Browne Center: Friday, 9/28
Grade 5 Transition Meeting: Friday, 10/5 @ 7am in RJH Cafe
Early Release for Students: Friday, 10/5
Columbus Day, No School: Monday, 10/8

September 14, 2018

It was great to see so many of you last night at the open house.  We’ve had a very successful start to our year and look forward to the great things your students will accomplish.  As I mentioned, please feel free to reach out to any of us with questions or concerns as the year progresses. 

Enjoy your weekend!


Marie Soucy



Picture Day: Is Wednesday, September 19th.  School picture forms were sent home with students last week.  Please be sure your child has his/her picture form on the 19th, or place your order online at

Yearbook Orders: When ordering school portraits on, you will be prompted to order a yearbook.  You can also go to and enter your Yearbook ID Code 12642419.

Help Wanted: RJH is currently hiring for a part time kitchen help. Hours 10 AM to 1 PMMonday – Friday. Contact Lisa Furman ( ) for more information.



Picture Day: Wednesday, 9/19

Rye School Board Meeting: Wednesday 9/19 @ 5pm

6th grade trip to Mt. Agamenticus: Friday, 9/21

7th grade trip to Browne Center: Friday, 9/28

September 7, 2018


As a regular addition to my weekly notes, I will be introducing you to our staff in the “staff spotlight”. This week, we are shining the RJH spotlight on a staff member who is an integral part of our community, Sheila Adams, 8th grade science teacher. She has been a part of the RJH family for 30+ years. During her time at RJH, she has taught science at all grade levels and always manages to make lessons engaging and exciting for our students. Sheila’s passion for science and technology extends beyond the classroom, as she travels the country during her personal time to stay up-to-date with the best practices in her field. Most recently, Sheila traveled to Chicago this past June to attend the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) conference. Sheila is a respected member of a variety of local and national science and technology committees where she is able to network with other educators across the country.

In the classroom, Sheila uses hands-on approaches
with the students to enrich learning. Whether she is working with NASA to bring in Moon Rocks, which are considered to be a national treasure, facilitating student participation in University of New Hampshire New England Astronomy Festival, hosting an international Earth Day student webcast, or allowing students to use technology in a meaningful and creative way during after school meetings in Technology Club, Sheila’s expertise and dedication affords students a unique opportunity to grow in the fields of science and technology.

Sheila is a proficient grant writer and is regularly awarded funding for her innovative projects. This past school year, Sheila was a recipient of a grant from The Clipper Foundation for an initiative where students will construct a small-scale sailboat, equipped with a GPS transmitter for tracking, that will be launched into the Atlantic Ocean. Students will observe data from the boat’s journey and learn about ocean waves, currents, and geography.

Her positive disposition towards students, immense knowledge of her content area, and her unwavering commitment to RJH, prove that Sheila Adams is an invaluable educator, and we look forward to her continued years of service.


Picture Day: Is Wednesday, September 19th. School picture forms were sent home with students yesterday. Please be sure your child has his/her picture form on the 19th, or place your order online at

We are also looking for a few volunteers to help facilitate the picture taking on that morning. It typically lasts an hour. If you are willing, please email Elizabeth Figliulo @

Open House: is being held on Thursday, September 13th from 6:00 – 7:30. We will begin in the gym for a short presentation.

PaySchools Central: We are pleased to announce a new online lunch payment system through PaySchools Central. This service, which is entirely optional, allows you to manage your child’s lunch account online. An email was sent out last week which provided the unique student ID and registration instructions. If you did not receive this email, or if you need assistance, please contact Database Administrator Lorraine Curtis at


RJH Open House: Thursday, 9/13 6:00-7:30pm
Picture Day: Wednesday, 9/19
Rye School Board Meeting: Wednesday 9/19 @ 5pm

August 31, 2018
Dear Parents,

Welcome to the 2018 – 2019 school year at Rye Junior High School!
Despite the heat wave that was endured, students and staff had a successful first week of
school. Time was spent over the course of the 3 days building community, setting
expectations and learning new routines. The week ended with a student assembly. Your child(ren) should have come home with the usual start of school paperwork. Please take some time to complete it and return to school on Tuesday. As some of you may have experienced, we are working through some bugs with our new entryway. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work to improve it.
Have a great Labor Day Weekend!
Marie Soucy

Students should keep their laptop chargers at home. There isn’t a need to bring them from
school to home and back. We have extra charged computers in each classroom that students can
use if needed.
6 th grade students should be receiving chromebooks in the next week and will be able to bring
them home once the insurance has been purchased.

If you haven’t registered for the Chromebook insurance yet, please do so at your earliest
convenience. All students need to register every year. If you need financial assistance, please
contact me (
(See the links in your email.)

School House Rock Jr.RJH Play!!!

Auditions for this year’s play, “Schoolhouse Rock, Live”, will be held next Wednesday,
September 5, after school from 3:00-5:00. Online signups are now open. Please visit the
school's website for a link to the Audition information.

Auditions:  Wednesday, Sep 5, 3pm-5pm
Performances:  Nov 15,16, 17, 7:00pm
Below is the link to our Parent Website with all of the information about the play:

Fall sports begin on Tuesday next week. 
Cross country has practice from 3:00 to 4:00.
Field Hockey has practice from 3:15 to 4:30.
Boys Soccer will practice from 3:15 to 4:30 @ Lang field at Rye Elementary School.
Volleyball has practice from 3:15 to 4:30 in the gym. 
Girls Soccer has practice from 3:15 to 4:30.
Labor Day Recess: Friday, 8/31 and Monday, 9/3
RJH Open House: Thursday, 9/13 6:00-7:30pm
Rye School Board Meeting: Wednesday 9/19 @ 5pm

See the Fall Newsletter for fall program.

August 24, 2018

We are ready and eagerly awaiting the arrival of students on Tuesday. There are a few announcements and reminders for you as we begin the year.  Drop off begins at 7:45 am daily.  Students should not arrive prior to that unless they have a scheduled appointment with a staff member.  Students will gather on the playground, or in the café during inclement weather. The bell rings at 8:00 am, at which time students will report to their homeroom. On the first day, staff will be out and about to direct students who need help finding their homeroom. Students are considered tardy if they arrive after 8:10 am.  Please make every effort to have your children here on time as it helps set students up for a successful day. 

The staff and I look forward to working with you and making it a great year for your child(ren).

Please reach out with any questions or concerns you may have as we begin the year.

Have a great weekend,
Marie Soucy ​​​​​​​


Chromebook Insurance: The protocol for Chromebook use is the same as last year.  Parents have the option to purchase insurance for any damage might occur throughout the year.  Students with insurance are also able to bring computers home daily and keep it when they graduate from RJH.  See the following link for more information: Optional Home Use of District Owned Chromebooks

To sign up for insurance see here


Morning Drop Off:  At the request of the Rye PD, parents who are driving east on Washington should not turn left into the school parking lot.  Rather, it is preferred that you drive past the school and loop around in Grange Park, which will allow you to turn right into the parking lot.  This helps reduce the amount of congestion that can occur during this time.



First Day of School: Tuesday, 9/28
No School, Labor Day Recess: Friday, 8/31 and Monday, 9/3
RJH Open House: Thursday, 9/13  6:00 - 7:30 pm
Rye School Board Meeting: Wednesday, 9/19 @ 5 pm


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