Guidance Fast FAQs

 
Have a quick question and looking for a quick answer? Search our Fast FAQs below, but as always do not hesitate to contact the Guidance Department with any question or concern!
 
 

READING YOUR SCHEDULE

 

When and where is my Homeroom?

Homeroom is 7:50 to 8:05 and is in your first period classroom. For example, if you have English first period, you will meet in your English classroom with your English teacher for homeroom.  Homeroom is built into the schedule for you to get organized for the day, listen to the daily announcements, print out an assignment in the library, or talk with your friends before starting the day. If you have elective classes that rotate on A/B days, then your homeroom will also rotate throughout the year.

 

How do A Days and B Days work?

Our elective classes run on what we call an A/B Day cycle. Cycling our classes is a great opportunity for students to experience a variety of courses through out the year. A cycle is three days long rotating between three A Days in a row followed by three B Days in a row throughout the school year (AAA BBB AAA BBB).

 

If the school experiences an emergency closing, we skip that day’s letter in the rotation. A/B Days are announced on morning announcements and are posted outside our main office.

 

Is Period 5/6 or 6/7 a double period?
No. Although your schedule states a Period 5/6 (if you are an 8th grader) or 6/7 (if you are a 7th grader), this does not mean it is two periods long. These periods are listed this way because at some point in between the period a bell rings dismissing one of the grades to lunch (Period 5 lunch for 7th graders and Period 7 lunch for 8th graders).

 

Where can I find my locker number and combination?

When your final schedule is mailed home in August, you will see a three digit number on the top left of your schedule. The three digit number is your locker number. The set of numbers that follow in parenthesis is the combination. Be sure to take a look at our locker tutorial for instructions on how to open your locker on our webpage!

 

How can I tell what team/house I am on?

When you receive your schedule, you will see a column with course numbers. Next to the course number for your core classes (English, Science, and World Civilizations) you will see a letter – A, B, or C. This indicates which team you are on.  Students are randomly selected for teams since we look to mix everyone together each year.

 

How do I make a change to my schedule of classes?

Schedule change requests are due to the Guidance Department by July 15th. If you would like to request a change in your schedule, please contact your Guidance Counselor.

 

Who is my Guidance Counselor?
For the 2016-2017 school year, Ms. Braconi is the Guidance Counselor for 7th Grade and Ms. Ross is the Guidance Counselor for 8th Grade. Your Guidance Counselor will stay your counselor for the two years you are here at RDMS.

  

GETTING READY FOR THE SCHOOL YEAR

 

How will I know what my homework is for each class?

During each class, your teacher will inform you of any homework to complete. We encourage students to write it down in a calendar or planner.  In addition, on each teacher’s School Wires site, they will post important information for class, which includes homework and upcoming projects as well as information about tests and quizzes. We recommend that you check each of your teachers’ School Wires sites every night!

 

When are teachers available for extra help?

Teachers are generally available after school for extra help each day of the week, except Wednesday. If you have a question about a past or upcoming assignment, test, or quiz – simply ask your teacher for help! Be sure to check with your teacher when he or she is available; this information is found on their School Wires website.

 

How can my parents speak with one of my teachers?

Every teacher can be reached directly by telephone or e-mail; contact information is available on each teacher’s School Wires site. If you need assistance getting in touch with a teacher, contact your Guidance Counselor.

 

DURING THE SCHOOL DAY

 

What do I do if I need to call home?

If you need to call home, you may come to the guidance office. The office telephone may ONLY be used for very brief calls of official school business. Students are NOT permitted to use a cell phone. Cell phones must be locked in lockers during the school day. If a student is found using their cell phone, it will be taken away. If a cell phone is taken away on more than one occasion, your parent/guardian must come to the office to reclaim it.

 

What do I do if I forget lunch my lunch/lunch money?

If you find that you forget your lunch and/or lunch money, you can come to the main office to call home. You can also report to the main office during the lunch period to borrow money. Simply fill out a lunch pass/I.O.U. for the amount you need. You must pay the money back the following day.

 

What if I start to not feel well during the school day?

If you are not feeling well, notify your teacher and he/she will give you a pass to the nurse. Under no circumstances can a student take it upon themselves to stay out of class or go home because of illness without permission from the Nurse or Administrator.

 

GENERAL HOUSEKEEPING

 

What are School Wires?

www.riverdell.org is our main district website. From here, you can access district information, High School information, and Middle School information. Each teacher keeps his or her own school website, which we refer to as School Wires. Since teachers are updating their School Wires site daily, it is important you check it each night! Here you can find the course overview, teachers' contact information, grading policy, homework assignments, assessment dates, and long-term projects. To access the teachers' website: visit www.riverdell.org, click MIDDLE SCHOOL tab at the top of the page, click FACULTY/STAFF in the gold bar. This page displays the RDMS faculty directory.  Simply click on the teacher's name to access their School Wires site. 

 

What is Genesis?

Genesis is our student information system. In Genesis, we keep a record of your demographics, contact information, attendance, schedule, and grades. Through the Genesis Parent Portal, parents/guardians have access to their child’s attendance and grades so that they can stay informed. Report Cards will be available through Genesis . All new families will receive Genesis Parent Portal registration information over the summer prior to the start of the new school year. Existing families will continue to use the same account. 

 

What is Community Pass?

Community Pass is our system of collecting important forms and fees. Forms should be completed prior to the start of school. Every family must pay a $75 fee annually per student for laptop insurance coverage. If a student is interested in participating in any of our clubs or sports, an annual $50 fee is required. This one fee allows a student to participate in as many clubs or sports as they would like. All new families will receive Community Pass registration information over the summer prior to the start of the new school year. Existing families will continue to use the same account.

 

What if my contact information changes during the year?

If you have a change in address, telephone number, or email, it is important that you let us know! Please notify the Guidance office so that we can ensure your records are up to date in Genesis and Community Pass.

 

What do I do if I am absent or know that I am going to be absent?

If you know you are going to be absent, a parent/guardian must call the Attendance office (preferably before 7:30 a.m.) at 201-599-7250, ext. 2312, each day you are absent. If you are out due to a communicable illness, you must bring a doctor’s note and report to the Nurse’s office upon entering the building. Please visit the Health Services tab under Quick Links on the Middle School Website for information concerning administering medication in school, health issues, etc. When you are absent, we encourage you to check School Wires for anything you might have missed in class. If you are out for an extended period of time, you may request a packet of work from your teachers. This request maybe made when calling the Attendance line to report your child absent.  The school work may be then picked up prior to 3:00 that day.  When you return to school, it is important to speak with each of your teachers to discuss due dates for homework/assessments you might have missed while you were absent.

 

What do I do if I am going to be late to school?

If you are going to be late to school, a parent/guardian must call the Attendance office to notify the school at 201-599-7250, ext. 2312 as early as possible. Upon arrival to school, you must sign in at the Main office and obtain a late pass for class.

 

What do I do if I have to leave early?

If you are leaving early, you must bring a note to the Main office (preferably during homeroom) indicating the time of your pick-up. You will receive an Early Dismissal Pass. You will then report to the Main office to wait for your parent/guardian to sign you out.


MATH PLACEMENT

My child is entering 7th grade in the fall.  How is his/her Math placement determined for 7th grade? 

If a student satisfies both of the criteria below, the student is placed into Advanced Pre-Algebra 7; otherwise, the student is placed into Pre-Algebra 7.
  • 6th Grade Math Class Test Average > 90% 
  • Placement Test Score > 90%

My child currently is a 7th grader at RDMS.  How is his/her Math placement determined for 8th grade?

  • If a student is currently in Pre-Algebra 7 and has a test average of < 80%, the student is placed in Algebra 8.
  • If a student is currently in Pre-Algebra 7 and has a test average of > 80%, the student is placed in Advanced Algebra 8.
  • If a student is currently in Advanced Pre-Algebra 7 and has a test average of < 85%, the student is placed in Advanced Algebra 8.
  • If a student is currently in Advanced Pre-Algebra 7 and has a test average > 85%, the student is placed in Honors Algebra 1.

My child is in Honors Algebra 1 in 8th grade.  Does he/she take the 8th grade PARCC test or the Algebra 1 PARCC test?

Students enrolled in Honors Algebra 1 are taught both 8th grade Math content and high school Algebra 1 content.  However, the student only takes one PARCC Test—the Algebra 1 PARCC test.

How does a teacher recommendation impact my child’s Math placement?

  • If a student has achieved the average for placement in a level, a recommendation is not needed.  For example, if the test average for placement into the Honors Algebra 1 class is 85 and the student has that test average, he/she is placed in the Honors section.  No teacher recommendation is required.
  • If a student falls short of an Honors cutoff, but the teacher feels that the student is capable of doing the work, the teacher may recommend up.

 

GUIDANCE FAST FAQ'S SUMMARY

We have an Open Door Policy at RDMS, which means you are welcomed and encouraged to visit with your counselor to discuss any issues which may arise. Since you will have the same counselor for both 7th and 8th grades, they will be your main contact at RDMS.

We hope the GUIDANCE FAST FAQS have answered many of your questions.  Please feel free to contact us with any other questions that may arise at 201-599-7250, ext. 2304.

 

 

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