RMS Exploratories

Digital Citizenship/Literacy   

Course Description: This course teaches vocabulary regarding the individual and global human use of technology. For example, the term digital citizen is defined, reviewed and applied to real life use as Rifle Middle School (RMS) students interact with Google platforms available to them through school coursework. The intention of the course is to define, understand, apply, analyze, and evaluate terms that students need to help them make judicious choices and create solutions in a world of technology use. This is a course that extends a nine week quarter with class attendance two times per week with a total of 20 hours. Students work in a physical classroom collaborating in person and through Google platforms with their peers at RMS. The course is taught in three units: Data Collection Technologies, Social Media, and Cyberbullying. All aspects relate and help define what a modern digital citizen is.


Physical Education (P.E.)

Course Description: Rifle Middle School PE students will be able to make connections about how to improve their health, fitness and quality of life through daily physical activities. 

Colorado State Physical Education standards:

1. Movement and Competence Understanding 

2. Physical and Personal Wellness
3. Social and Emotional Wellness
4. Prevention and Risk Management

6th Grade PE Students will participate successfully and demonstrate beginning strategies in a variety of activities, games, and sports. Students will understand the benefits of regular physical activity.

7th Grade PE Students will demonstrate competency in motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities. Students will understand the importance of creating personal fitness and physical fitness goals.

8th Grade PE Students will demonstrate competency in motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities. Students will understand and apply game strategies to physical activities and sports. Students will participate in and understand the benefits of regular physical activity.

Students will explore:

Personal Fitness

Diamond Sports

Field Sports



Table Tennis


Invasion Games

“Simply put, physical activity will help kids learn better. There’s nothing magical going on. Physical activity causes changes in the brain. As a result, we’re seeing changes in behavior.”— Charles Hillman Ph.D 

Ms. Valencia - Girls 970-665-7682 kvalencia@garfieldre2.net 

Mr. Wisniewski - Boys P.E.
970-665-7903 jwisniewski@garfieldre2.net
Mr. W


Eric Caro  970-665-7921 ecaro@garfieldre2.net

In 6th grade health topics include learning about how to access valid and reliable information to enhance healthy eating behaviors. This allows students the opportunity to learn how to read food labels, understand nutritional information, and learn what kinds of foods their bodies need. Students also take a dive into learning about the five aspects of health that allow an individual to be a well person. Students also look at understanding and analyzing the causes, symptoms, and effects of anxiety and depression. One of our bigger units is Draw The Line, which focuses on students being able to set limits, resist peer pressure, and practice refusal skills in a nonsexual context. 


In 7th grade health our students build off of what they have learned as 6th graders. These topics include being able to analyze factors that influence our eating behaviors. This allows students to analyze internal and external factors in their lives that contribute to their eating habits. Students also seek to develop and understand strategies to help them become socially and emotionally healthy. This can include identifying strategies to communicate feelings, the use of "I" statements, and identifying ways to tackle and manage stress. In 7th grade our students also participate in Draw The Line, where they explore the short term consequences of having sex, refusal skills, and information about STD's. 


In 8th grade, we continue to build off of all of our previous topics in health. Our 8th graders focus on disease prevention. In our disease prevention unit, we focus on how disuse of the body, obesity, alcohol and tobacco contribute to our health status.  We also take a look at how the immune system functions and how we combat disease. Students also look at being able to explain how to get help for mental and emotional issues and who it is that is contributing to those feelings. In our Draw The Line unit we take a deeper dive into setting limits, refusal skills, information about STD's and HIV.

Algebra/ + Math 
 Dennis Braspenninx 970-665-7684 dbraspenninx@garfieldre2.net

A rigorous, fast paced, and challenging track for high achieving math students. An invitation is made to students scoring in the highest levels of the Maps and CMAS assessments. Daily homework is a requirement for these classes as well as maintaining a high grade in math.  6+ Math Students will complete the 6th grade curriculum as well as half of the 7th grade course work. Students on this track will be ready for Algebra as 8th graders. 7+ Math Students will finish the second half of the 7th grade curriculum and the 8th grade as well. Students will then be ready for Algebra as 8th graders. 8th Grade Algebra Students will complete freshman Algebra, here, at the middle school. Successful completion will provide an elective credit for high school. Students will still need to complete 3 years of Math at the high school.

Music As Life
Jacob Mahowald 970-665-7663 jmahowald@garfieldre2.net

Music is an important part of our lives, whether we realize it or not.  To many people these days, “music” is something that is passively listened to while doing something else, or something that is listened to for simple pleasure.  But upon closer inspection, music is at the core of our society in many ways. In this course, we delve deeply into the concept of music and the many ways in which it touches our lives.  We start by addressing the seemingly simple question, “What is music?” Then we continue our examination by considering all the different roles music can fill in our lives: it can shape our identity, it can lead revolutions, it can heal the sick, it can enhance movies, and so much more.  Students who take this course will leave with an expanded knowledge of important music history, a new perspective of what music means to people around the world, and a better appreciation of all types of music.

Jacob Mahowald 970-665-7663 jmahowald@garfieldre2.net

“Learning” is a topic often misunderstood by young students.  For many, “learning” refers to the state-mandated subjects of math, science, social studies, and literacy that students must master as part of their required school work.  These subjects are, without question, crucial for students to become productive and successful members of our society once they are finished with school. And although these subjects may not feel worthwhile at the time, it is important knowledge that will come in handy someday.

But…. what if I told you that not all knowledge was “important?”  What if I told you that some skills, talents, and random tidbits of information are, in fact, useless?  The Society for the Promotion of Un-Necessary Knowledge, or SPUNK, encourages learning for the sake of learning.  No one will ever require you to know how to solve a Rubik’s Cube or fold origami---but SPUNK believes that knowing how to do these things, and much more, will enrich your life by teaching you problem-solving skills, boosting your confidence, inspiring creativity, and much more.  SPUNK wants you to learn to love learning, not because the topics are important, but because learning is fun! AND you will be amazed at how you find applications for this thinking in your life! Are you in?

Computer Class Science

Mike Hindes   970-665-6759   mhindes@garfieldre2.net

In Computer Science students harness their creativity and problem solving skills to begin their transition from consumers of technology to creators and innovators of it. Topics include basic computing concepts, computer programming, electronics, digital art and design, and in the future  game design and robotics.