Beware the Fidget Spinner Take Over!

by Shannon C. and Saylor K., 6th Graders, Ruggles Lane School, Barre, MA

Spinners (1)

Fidget Spinners are becoming the new thing in all the school districts. We interviewed students and teachers about the Fidget Spinners. We chose three teachers and a group of boys and girls from each teacher’s homeroom. We asked Mr.Nosek and Mrs. Olson, two sixth grade teachers, who have kids with spinners. Afterwards we asked a fifth grade teacher named Mrs. Hughes and some of her students. We interviewed these teachers and asked, “Do you want your own spinner? If so what color?” 3/3 teachers said they wanted one.

Our next question was, “Do you like the kids having spinners?” These three teachers said that the fidget spinners can be very annoying but can work when used the right way. We talked to some other teachers to get their opinions too. Mrs. Cranston, a first grade teacher, said that the seven of her kids pictured above had fidget spinners and she didn’t even know it because they were so respectful with them. In addition, in Mr. Nosek’s the five students pictured above also were being respectful with their spinners during WINN class. On the other hand, Mrs. Ricchiazzi, a third grade teacher has created a spinner jail for those students who don’t use them appropriately. When that happens the spinner goes to jail for twenty-four hours.

Our third question was, “Do you think that the spinners should be allowed in school?” 2/3 said yes but one said no because people fight over borrowing them and using them the right way. The fourth question was “Do you ever get annoyed?” 3/3 said yes they do, but only when they make noise. The last question was “Do you know anyone out of school with a spinner.” One out of three teachers know people out of school.

Next, we interviewed the kids. We asked them similar questions.  The kids said that they actual make them focus. In addition, the teachers barely take them away. A friend asks them a lot if they can borrow the spinner. The average cost of their spinners are about five dollars.

In conclusion, the spinners are a good idea because they help you focus. However, they can get students off task so make sure you use them respectfully!

05/02/17 Barre Blast

Dear Parents/Guardians of Kindergarten through 5th Grade,

As the weather turns warmer, while students’ thoughts turn towards the longer days of spring time, our thoughts turn to planning for the 2017-2018 school year. One of the major components of our planning process is the creation of classes. Our overarching goal is to create balanced communities of learners that are ready and primed to meet with success. We approach this responsibility carefully and thoughtfully.

To best meet the needs of each child, we take into account many factors when making this important decision: input from staff, a student’s academic, social and emotional profile as well as past school experiences. Please know that the placement team works very hard to meet the needs of all of our learners – a challenge in a school community of close to 400!

If you feel there is something about your child’s profile that needs to be shared with the placement team, or you have concerns regarding placement, I encourage you to write a letter/email to my attention. All letters need to be returned by Friday, May 19th. It is not recommended that you write a letter unless there are significant concerns.

If you are the parent/guardian of twins or triplets, I encourage you to write a letter as to whether you would like your children placed separately or in the same class. If you need help making that decision please feel free to call me or your children’s classroom teacher as we are here to assist you.

Please note that the parent placement letter is not a forum to request a specific teacher. Should a request like this be made, the letter will not be forwarded to the placement team. Though I know that, in most cases, these requests are made because families had positive experiences with other siblings, I have great confidence in and respect for each member of our faculty as each teacher works tirelessly to help all students be successful, confident learners.

During the placement process the staff work to create balanced, heterogeneous groups across each small learning community in a grade. Ruggles teachers work hard each and every day to meet the needs of all learners so that each child can progress in his/her learning.

Should you have any questions or concerns about anything in this newsletter, or any other aspect of your child’s RLS experience, please let me know. Do not hesitate to give me a call, to send an email or to stop by the office!



May/June At-A-Glance

*At the top of this post, on the left hand side are a series of links to different pages of our blog. Click on the RLS 2016-2017 Calendar Link for a year long Google calendar. Some events only pertain to staff, but this calendar will be used to post all school events as well. Events are also posted to our Facebook page so that is a good resource to stay connected too! If you subscribe to the Facebook calendar you will get notifications which are helpful reminders!

  • Week of May 1st: ELA MCAS for 4th & 6th (see schedule below)
  • Wednesday, May 3rd: Walking Wednesday
  • Wednesday, May 3rd: PTO Meeting, 7:00
  • Thursday, May 4th: Cake Raffle to benefit RLS Basketball (click here for more information)
  • Friday, May 5th: Spelling Bee, 1:30
  • Tuesday, May 9th: 4th grade Wind Energy ‘Field Trip’ @ RLS
  • Wednesday, May 10th: Walking Wednesday
  • Wednesday, May 10th: Consolidation Task Force Meeeting, 6:00 pm, QRHS Auditorium
  • Friday, May 12th: Progress Reports home
  • Friday, May 12th: 5th Grade Walk-a-Thon
  • Week of May 15th: Math MCAS Grades 3-6 (see below schedule)
  • Wednesday, May 17th: Walking Wednesday
  • Friday, May 19th: Placement letters due (see above letter)
  • Friday, May 19th: Daddy/Daughter Dance sponsored by the PTO
  • Week of May 22nd: Science MCAS, Grade 5 only (see below schedule)
  • Tuesday, May 23rd: Shining Stars Auditions
  • Wednesday, May 24th: Early Release, Professional Development
  • Wednesday, May 24th: Walking Wednesday
  • Thursday, May 25th: Grade 1 Field Trip
  • Thursday, May 25th: Shining Stars Auditions
  • Friday, May 26th: Memorial Day Concert, 9:00
  • Monday, May 29th: No School, Memorial Day Observance
  • Tuesday, May 30th-Friday, June 2: Nature’s Classroom Field Trip, Grade 5
  • Wednesday, May 31st: Walking Wednesday
  • Tuesday, May 30th & Wednesday, May 31st: Kindergarten Screening – No school for kindergarten
  • Week of June 5th: Book Fair
  • Tuesday, June 6th: Art Show
  • Wednesday, June 7th: Grade 2 Field Trip
  • Thursday, June 8th: Band/Chorus/Orchestra Concerts
  • Thursday, June 8th: Shining Stars Rehearsal
  • Friday, June 9th: Grade 6 Step Up Day
  • Wednesday, June 14th: Historical Barre Tour, Grade 3
  • Wednesday, June 14th: MCAS Ice Cream Party
  • Thursday, June 15th: K-3 Music Concerts
  • Thursday, June 15th: Shining Stars Rehearsal
  • Friday, June 16: Grades 3-5 Field Day
  • Friday, June 16: Grade 2 Walking Tour
  • Monday, June 19th: Grade 6 Field Trip
  • Monday, June 19th: Grade 4 Field Trip
  • Monday, June 19th: Shining Stars Performance, 6:30-8:00
  • Wednesday, June 21: Grade 3 Field Trip
  • Thursday, June 22nd: K-2 Field Day
  • Thursday, June 22nd: 6th Grade Recognition Night, 6:00
  • Friday, June 23rd: Last Day, Early Release, 11:45 (No school for 6th grade)


Recently, the QRSD Consolidation Task Force has been meeting with representatives from the Collins Center. At the last meeting on April 27th, the Collins Center reported on best practice recommendations as well as consolidation alternatives for the district to consider. The presentation and final report can be found by clicking here. I was also present at the meeting and a copy of my notes can be found by clicking here. Should you have any questions, I would be happy to discuss this with you. You can also direct questions to . The next meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 10, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. in the QRHS Auditorium.


The Cake raffle is coming!!!!! On Thursday, May 4th students in all grades will have the opportunity to participate in the Cake Raffle, a fundraiser to support the RLS Basketball Program. Click here for more information!


A group of 5th grade students have been hard at work to create Ruggles Got Talent 2.0. A flyer for Ruggles Lane Shining Stars is coming today! The girls are very excited to get this project up off the ground and hope to see many students at the auditions. Click here for the flyer that was sent home in backpacks on Tuesday, May 2nd.


By now, I would bet that most of you have heard of the latest and greatest ‘fidget’ pictured above! These spinners are very popular right now and are currently the in vogue toy of choice. When used as a true fidget for a child who needs help focusing, they are valuable learning tools. However, when they are overused, or used in a way that distracts the user or others, it becomes a toy. Individual classroom teachers will be making decisions regarding use in classrooms. Should your child bring one to school, please review the use of the spinner as learning tool vs. toy. Your assistance in appreciated!


Below you will find the MCAS assessment schedule for Ruggles Lane. All students will be taking this year’s assessment online. Should you have any questions regarding these assessments, please do not hesitate to reach out to me and/or your child’s teachers.

3rd Grade Math: Tuesday May 16th & Wednesday May 17th

4th GradeMath: Thursday May 18th & Friday May 19th

5th Grade Math: Tuesday May 16th & Wednesday May 17th

5th Grade Science: Monday, May 22nd & Tuesday, May 23rd

6th GradeMath: Thursday May 18th & Friday May 19th


1_school calendar 


The School Committee recently approved the calendar for next year. Click here for more information.


Walking Wednesdays Resume After April Vacation!!!

Those students and families who join us are having a blast with our weekly Walking Wednesdays. If you would like to join us, meet us on the front lawn of the Barre Police Department for an 8:00 departure. Parents do not have to join us; we just ask that you check in with a staff member prior to leaving. When possible, an email will be sent out the night before if we need to cancel. Otherwise, look to Facebook, Instagram and/or email for cancellation notices in the morning.
6thWINNTopIn a continued effort to have our students use an authentic purpose for writing and to have them connect with students around the world, one of our 6th grade WINN groups is blogging with students in Bogota, Colombia through a Global Pen Pals Project. Their project was recently highlighted in a blog post for the Massachusetts Elementary Principals Association. Click here to learn more about this project and to access their blog. I am sure they would love to see your comments!


Recently we have had an increase in bus referrals. Because of this, I would ask, if your child rides the bus to and from school, that you review the rules of bus safety. The driver’s primary goal and focus needs to be on driving the children safely home. When time is spent on redirecting student behavior, safety is compromised. Please remind students to stay in their assigned seat, to use quiet voices, not to eat on the bus and to always be respectful of the driver and his/her requests.


I am hopeful that our snow days are over – everyone should collectively knock on wood! With the six snow days we have had this year, our last day of school is projected to be Friday, June 23rd. This will be an early release day with dismissal at 11:45.


Fun Frontier

This year QRSD will continue to run Fun Frontier, a before and after school program. Click here for their flyer and click here for their brochure. Should you need information, feel free to reach out to the director, Kari Sacramone, at


Office Hours

With the revised start and end times, our new office hours will be 8:00-3:45. During these times, if we do not answer the phone we are helping another family and ask that you leave us a voice mail. We can also be reached via email at