Mission Statement

The mission of R.C. LaPerche Elementary School, as an inclusive learning community devoted to high standards and best teaching practices for all students, is to inspire life-long learning and to develop responsible, self-confident children capable of effective communication and problem solving, through a collaboration of parents, teachers, students, and the community, which fosters a safe, respectful environment, recognizing diversity and individuality.

Principal Blog

LaPerche Spelling Bee Winners! 1-14-2013

Congratulations to our 4th and 5th grade spelling bee winners:
                4th grade: Nicholas Albert, Brooke Basile, Victoria Richard and Jack Sacco
                5th grade: Noah Anderson, Caitlin Bessette, Kyle Chelo and Haley Martin
 These 8 students will compete against each other for the opportunity to represent LaPerche in the district spelling bee. Our school spelling bee will be held on Wednesday, January 30th at 9:30 am. Families, and siblings, of the spelling bee contestants are welcome to attend.

12.20 Town Meeting Video

Thank you to all the parents and friends of R.C. LaPerche School who attended the December 20th Town Meeting.  During the meeting, a video was shared that captured the students hard at work.  For those who could not attend the meeting, you are invited to watch the video below. 


Snow Gear! 1/1/2013

I wanted to send a quick reminder to all families that the students will go outside each day for recess even when there is snow on the ground. Please send your child to school with proper snow gear including gloves, hat, snow pants and boots. Please label all items so when they are misplaced they can be returned to the proper owner! Please send an additional pair of shoes so we can keep the wet traffic to a minimum. Thanks for your help ensuring that all of our students get outside to enjoy some fresh air.

Response to events in Newtown, CT

December 15, 2012


Dear LaPerche School Families,

I wanted to reach out to you tonight in the wake of the news of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. I have thought about all of you a lot since I left school yesterday. As educators and parents and people who love and nurture children, I know our hearts are broken and we are incredibly thankful that all of our children are safe tonight.   

I want to let you know that the principals in Smithfield have a previously scheduled meeting this Thursday with Assistant Superintendent Bridget Morriseau to review safety procedures. At LaPerche, we have and we will continue to review safety procedures and our crisis response. LaPerche School has a specific emergency plan that staff and students are very familiar with. Our students’ safety is on our minds at all times and we take appropriate measures to keep our children as safe as possible.

We limit access to LaPerche School by locking all doors and requiring that all who enter be buzzed into the building after identifying themselves. Any person who is entering the building can be seen by our security camera. Also, we ask that all visitors check in, sign in, and wear a visitor pass during their stay.

Our social worker, Lisa Sparks, and I met on Friday afternoon. We encourage you to talk to your child and to listen actively in hearing your child’s concerns. This is a good time to remind your child that LaPerche is very prepared for emergencies and that there are people at school whose job it is to keep our children safe. Please remind them that this kind of violence, while very sad and frightening, is a rare event.

According to the American Psychological Association, “Few events hit home for children and families like a school shooting. When children see such an event on television or on Web-based news flashes, it is natural for them to worry about their own school and their own safety, particularly if the violence occurred nearby or in a neighboring city or state.” They advise that you:

"Talk to your children – Psychologists who work in the area of trauma and recovery advise parents to use the troubling news of school shootings as an opportunity to talk and listen to their children. It is important, say these psychologists, to be honest. Parents should acknowledge to children that bad things do happen, but also reassure them with the information that many people are working to keep them safe, including their parents, teachers, and local police.

Limit exposure to news coverage – Parents should monitor how much exposure a child has to news reports of traumatic events, including these recent school shootings. Research has shown that some young children believe that the events are reoccurring each time they see a television replay of the news footage.

Know the warning signs – Most children are quite resilient and will return to their normal activities and personality relatively quickly, but parents should be alert to any signs of anxiety that might suggest that a child or teenager might need more assistance.”[i]

If you have any questions or concerns that we can address over the weekend or at any time, please feel free to be in touch with me (jdorsey [at] smithfield-ps [dot] org) or our social worker, Lisa Sparks (lsparks [at] smithfield-ps [dot] org) I look forward to seeing you at LaPerche in the coming weeks. In the meantime, hug your family and keep Sandy Hook Elementary School community in your thoughts. 

Julie Dorsey


Weekly Update for 12/10/2012

Family Photos:

We would like to fill our board across from the office with family photos!  If you happen to send out a holiday card, could you share one with the school?  And if you don’t, we would love to have a photo of your family to display.

Early Dismissal:

If you need to pick your child up early from school, please plan to send a note ahead of time.  That way the teacher will have any classroom/homework prepared.  Also, if you are picking your child up early and forgot to send a note, please call us on your way.  Thank you for your help making the dismissal a smooth and interruption free process.

5th Grade Committee Meeting:

Please join us on Monday, December 17th at 6:00 for our monthly 5th grade committee meeting.  Hope to see you then!

2nd Annual Variety Show—DATE CHANGE:

On Friday, March 8th at 6:00pm LaPerche students are invited to participate in a variety show.  Come on out and show us your talent!!  A flyer was attached to the last update.  Please have your child complete the flyer and submit if she/he would like to participate. 

Polar Express and PJ Day:

On Friday, December 14th, students are welcome to wear their pajamas to school for our spirit day!  Also, friends in first and second grade will be riding the Polar Express to the world famous cafeteria J

Town Meeting:

Our next Town meeting is scheduled for Thursday, December 20th at 2:15.  November and December student council will be presenting and Mrs. Claprood’s class will be singing a song. We look forward to seeing you then!

SurveyWorks Opt-Out Form for 4th and 5th Grade Students 12/10/2012

Our school will be beginning the annual SurveyWorks Student Survey on January 10th. All Rhode Island public school students in grades 4 through 12 are being asked to participate in this online survey at their school. An important notice was sent home from the school last week about the survey and your child’s participation. Only if you do not want your child to participate, you need to sign and return the opt-out form to the school by December 17th. Otherwise, if you are comfortable with your child taking the survey, you do not need to do anything.

The survey will take a student about 25 minutes to complete. Your child’s participation in the survey is voluntary and anonymous; no names will be collected or reported.

The surveys are available for you to review at http://www.surveyworks.ride.ri.gov and in the school office. Please contact the main office if you need a new copy of the opt-out form. If you have any additional questions about this survey please contact the SurveyWorks Help Desk between 8am and 4pm at 1-877-787-5725 or surveyworks [at] wested [dot] org.

Will you write a letter to a soldier? Letters are due 11-30-2012

Pack It Up-Letters to Soldiers:
In 2004, my family started an organization called Pack It UP. At Pack It Up, our mission is to make sure our troops who are stationed overseas know without a doubt that those of us back home are thinking of them, hoping for their safe return. We send over care packages to our contacts who distribute what we send to all the troops. We are getting ready to pack up our stockings on December 1st and we need your help to fill them with letters! We send about 1000 stockings---red paper bags---filled with all sorts of goodies but we always hear that the best part is the letters that are placed in each stocking. We like to send each soldier about 4-5 letters so we need 4000-5000!! 
I am asking each family to write some letters to go into the stockings! A great time to spend a few minutes writing letters is at Thanksgiving. As we all share what we are thankful for I am sure many of you think about the soldiers who are far from family. Please take a few minutes to write some letters! Below is the letter my sister sent out last week to rally everyone for this year’s letter writing campaign. When you have a minute check out the website so you can find out more information and learn about our past and current contacts! http://packitup.org/
Please have your child bring the letters into school by Friday, November 30th!! Thanks for your help!
Hi Supporters,
We are getting ready for our annual holiday packaging frenzy! Every year for the past 8 years, Pack It Up has sent out 1,000 Holiday Stockings full of candy, trinkets and most importantly letters from you (about 4 letters per stocking).
We are planning the same thing this year and we are packaging up on December 1st. This gives you about 3 weeks to write some letters and get them in the mail to us to make sure they arrive by Friday, November 30th. We hope you are up to the task! Many folks do their letters around Thanksgiving which this year is on the 22nd.
Letters should be from your heart, non political and full of gratitude for their sacrifice and service. We need about 4000 letters. You can write multiple letters - they will go to different people. We love getting the kids letters and pictures, but ask that you give clear direction on what should be written - for example: drawing a flag and writing "thank you" for our littlest supporters. We find that giving an outline and a focus of what school age kids should write works very well. Thank you for ________________. I appreciate you because ___________________. I think you're brave because ________________________.
Most of all, we need letters written from you to them so they know they are not forgotten and their sacrifice is appreciated.

Flu Clinic on 11-20-2012

Flu Clinic on Tuesday:
On Tuesday, LaPerche Elementary will be hosting a flu clinic at the school from 4-6:30.   You may register online at www.thewellcomp.com/school and the form will be sent directly to the clinic or you can simply fill out the consent when you arrive at the clinic.
The Rhode Island Department of Health encourages your entire family to get vaccinated against seasonal influenza. Your family will have the choice to receive the FluMist or the injectable vaccine. Although insurance information will be collected, there is no out of pocket cost for ANY child regardless of whether or not they have health insurance.
For more information visit www.health.ri.gov or call the health department information line at 401-222-5920

Weekly Update 11-14-12

 Thanksgiving Feast for LaPerche Students – Responses due November 16

Our Thanksgiving Feast is scheduled for Monday, November 19th during lunch times.  Please complete the return slip indicating your child’s preference and return it by Friday, November 16th! The PTA will purchase lunch for each student as indicated on that form. Morning Kindergarten will participate in a special snack.  For parents who have participated in the Thanksgiving Feast in past years, this is a change from tradition. Due to district changes, the PTA must partner with Aramark to provide the food for this type of event during school hours. Therefore, the donations that were requested for this dinner and much appreciated in the past, may now be donated to the Thanksgiving Food Drive going on now at LaPerche. Parents are welcome, as always, to continue to participate in this event to assist with serving food to the children. The Feast has always been a great way to build a sense of community in the school, and we look to continue that tradition for years to come! Please contact Ruth Semerjian at ruthsimon1 [at] cox [dot] net if you would like to volunteer!
Thanksgiving Food Drive – Deadline Extension until Friday, November 16th
The Feinstein food drive has been extended!! When we give, Mr. Feinstein gives back.  He will donate one dollar to LaPerche for every food item we collect.  Last year we collected over 2000 items.  As of this morning we had collected 642.  Please send in your donations by Friday, November 16th!!  Thanks for all you do to support the Smithfield Food Bank and in turn, LaPerche School!
Please visit http://rclaperchepta.org/2012/11/food-drive-for-local-families-in-need/ for more information about the food drive.
Report Cards Come Home Wednesday, November 14th!
Tomorrow, Wednesday, November 14th, your child will come home from school with her/his report card.  Please spend a few minutes sitting and reflecting with your child.  Always start with the positives and celebrate the successes, and then discuss any areas of concern.  Perhaps you could have your child set a personal goal for the next quarter.  I would suggest recording and displaying that goal in a prominent place to facilitate ongoing discussions and periodic check- ins.
I had the opportunity to read the report cards and I am quite proud of your children!!  My goal was to include a personal comment on each report card but I only made it through half.  Next quarter, I plan to comment on the other half.  Please explain that to your child if she/he shares that friends or siblings received a comment from me.  I will do the same at Morning Meeting.  I look forward to seeing everyone at conference night which is Thursday, November 15th.  If you have not scheduled a time with your child’s teacher, please call the school at 231-6652 to do so. 

PTA Meeting tonight with Mr. O'Brien and Mrs. Morisseau 11-13-2012

Where will you be tonight? Hopefully with us at LaPerche as we welcome Mr. O’Brien, Superintendent of Smithfield, and Mrs. Morisseau, Assistant Superintendent, to our PTA meeting. The meeting begins at 6:30 in the library! Hope to see you there!!
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Raymond C. LaPerche Elementary School is one of four elementary schools in the Smithfield Public School system. Our school is dedicated to Raymond C. LaPerche, a former teacher, principal and superintendent in the Smithfield Public Schools for 41 years. LaPerche first opened its doors in 1968 and presently serves students in kindergarten to grade five.