Middle school letter to parents: January news

Dear RCS Families,

I am pleased to share news of two important happenings here are RCS Middle School.  First, I am happy to inform you that the district has hired Nancy Noonan, an experienced educator and administrator, as interim assistant principal at the middle school.  Mrs. Noonan will be taking over for Cynthia Herron, who resigned the position in December to accept a director position.

Mrs. Noonan has worked in schools for more than 40 years. She has a Master of Science degree in Educational Administration and has specialized in interim principal and assistant principal positions for the past eight years. In her role, she bridges the gap between permanent leaders by continuing their important work and to ensure a smooth transition for students and staff. She is expected to fill this role through Feb. 15.

A hiring committee interviewed candidates for the position of assistant principal over the past two weeks.  We expect to have a permanent assistant principal in place by Feb. 15. We appreciate Mrs. Noonan filling in at this very important time. Mrs. Herron developed quality relationships with students, staff, and the community and we want to continue this work through Mrs. Noonan and our future assistant principal.  

I am also pleased to inform you of an upcoming event on Tuesday, January 22nd.  Mary Miller, Education Services Director, of the New York State News Publishers Association will be presenting to all students on the topic of News Media Literacy.  The social studies department, after attending Ms. Miller’s workshop, facilitated this opportunity. http://www.nynpa.com/nie.html

Ms. Miller provided the following brief description of the presentation:  Do your students know the difference between real and fake news? (Are you sure you always know the difference?) This interactive session will touch on strategies to help increase proficiency in reading complex informational text independently, how to identify sources, verify news content, and gain a deeper understanding of how news professionals gather and disseminate credible and actionable information. We will also touch on information bias, propaganda, hoaxes, rumors, satire, and advertising as well as the importance of understanding one’s own digital footprint and what it means to practice good digital citizenship.

Practicing strong digital citizenship is a timely topic.  We look forward to building the home/school connection and hope that you will engage in rich conversations with your children about what they learned and how they may view media with a new lens.  The key questions include: who made the message, who is the target audience (how do you know), who paid for this or who gets paid if you respond, who might benefit or be harmed by this, what important information is left out or missing, and is this credible/verifiable by evidence?

The social studies department has previewed the content and are confident that the presentation will both engage and change the way our students view media.  We look forward to sharing this experience with your children.

Regards,

Laura Buzas, Middle School Principal