11/18/21 FRAUC in Pandemic Times (DC Trip, and How to Use FRAUC $)

Yesterday’s Families of RAUC (FRAUC) meeting took place outside in chilly Bergin Park, across Haskell Street from the School. Head of School Julie Craven spoke to us about school activities for the 2021-2022 school year. 

As part of that, we discussed the future of the traditional RAUC 8th grade trip to Washington, D.C. This trip is popular with students and staff, a culmination of the 8th grade civics curriculum and a capstone of the middle school experience. FRAUC raises about $25,000–mostly through an annual gala and silent auction–to help fund the trip, with the goal that every student should be able to attend if they choose.

Although RAUC has been the only middle school in the city to continue the tradition in recent years, plans were interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Now, in our third school year affected by the pandemic, and with CPS field trips currently limited to one hour away from the school, the trip seems unlikely to happen in Spring 2022. FRAUC members remain hopeful about reviving it for Spring 2023 8th graders.

With funds raised for the trip, we discussed alternative ways to support the school. Ms. Craven asked FRAUC for support of a principal’s discretionary fund for expenses that come up that are not covered by the school budget: enrichment activities, family needs and other expenses that come up. FRAUC voted to allocate $1,000 to that purpose in the coming months. We had already allocated $500 for the snack cupboard at our October 2021 meeting, but it is not currently needed now that the cupboard is full. Those snack funds stand at the ready for future needs.


11/10/21 FRAUC Purchases New Drums for Percussion Program

Urban Legends is a popular RAUC class, and the percussion program was in high demand this fall. RAUC needed additional drums to accommodate as many students as possible. FRAUC found a 15% off deal, spending about $1,400 to purchase 3 marching snare drums and 4 concert snare drums for the school. One alert FRAUC caregiver even scoured the internet for local giveaways and found an additional snare on their local BuyNothing page.

 Most drums have come in, although some are still on backorder. Along with harnesses and a pile of new drumsticks purchased by the school, RAUC now has 8 new drums!  


11/1/21 FRAUC Meetings: How and When?

Here is are meeting dates for the rest of the 2021-2022 school year. Meetings are in-person and on Zoom, depending on the weather and the season.

How to access Zoom meetings: When meetings are held on Zoom, Julia Ho, RAUC Family Partnership Coordinator, sends out the Zoom link to all RAUC families and caregivers. To get additional updates from FRAUC co-chairs, write to and ask to be on our email list.


All meetings are 8am- 8:45am. 9am if discussion is robust. 😉

Thursday Dec 16 on Zoom.

Wednesday January 19th on Zoom.

Thursday February 17th on Zoom.

Wednesday March 16th in person at Bergin Park if weather permits; on Zoom if not.

Thursday April 29th in person at Bergin Park if weather permits; on Zoom if not.

Wednesday May 18th in person at Bergin Park if weather permits; on Zoom if not.

Thursday Jun 16th in person at Bergin Park if weather permits; on Zoom if not. This is the final meeting of the school year.

We toggle between Wednesday and Thursday mornings to accommodate as many people as possible.

How to find out about the meeting? All meetings are announced in the Tuesday weekly RAUC newsletter. Zoom links are not available there due to security reasons, but Julia Ho sends out the link to all RAUC households a few hours or a day before each meeting.


10/15/21 Important Updates at FRAUC Meeting

FRAUC met on Zoom yesterday, with updates on several key matters.

Treasury report. Sean Peirce, FRAUC Treasurer, reported little in and out of the bank account but that the balance was $32,000 plus. 

FRAUC Website. Aran Nathanson, who collaborated with a CRLS student to update the website to WordPress this year, reported that they are working on improving the site for mobile users. He suggested that FRAUC could include minutes of meetings as PDFs on the site, and that new content should be added as we haven’t added news for a few months during pandemic times. 

School dances. FRAUC typically helps organize school dances–3 per year, each sponsored by one grade. There is an extensive step-by-step guide on the FRAUC google drive for caregivers planning the dances. The Fall dance is organized by 7th graders, Winter by 6th graders, and Spring by 6th graders. Tickets are sold and FRAUC sets up a concession stand. This year, as has been since March 2020, school dances are on hold. We discussed other possible outdoor school gatherings such as ice skating, an outdoor dance, a music festival in one of the fields, and other ideas. 

Friday Night Hype for Upper School Students. 

There is another option organized by the district once per month for middle-schoolers: Friday Night Hype. It typically takes place outside or in the CRLS Field House, and fun activities are organized by grade. A hot meal is served and mentorship, guest speakers, and games are played. We discussed the idea of FRAUC organizing a supervised trip to Friday Night Hype and foot the bill for the T. 

Snack Cupboard. We talked about the need to stock the snack cupboard at RAUC, so students have access to healthy snacks during the day when needed. Julia Ho agreed to supply a list of snacks ordered through the school nutrition department. FRAUC voted to allot $500 to the Snack Cupboard when needed. 

DC Trip. Julia Ho spoke about the difficulties planning a DC trip for 8th graders this year. Travel, logistics, COVID precautions, and the current district requirement that field trips be no more than an hour’s drive from the school will likely prohibit a Spring 2022 trip. We might want to think about funding shorter trips for each grade that could meet some of the pedagogical goals of the traditional DC trip, or just provide fun, outdoor days away from the school. Head of School Julie Craven will talk with FRAUC next meeting about the trip.

Next meeting is Wednesday, November 17 at 8 am at Bergin Park, weather permitting.


9/16/21 FRAUC Holds 1st In-Person Meeting of the School Year

FRAUC Meets at Bergin Park, September 2021.

Our first meeting of the year was held at Bergin Park on Haskell Street, across from the school. It was great to meet again in person: A dozen people and even a couple of dogs attended! At this meeting we  discussed the need for drums and supplies for Urban Legends. About 7-8 snare drums (concert and marching) are needed.  We voted to allot up to $2,000 for purchases, but also to fan out and seek donations from musician friends, BuyNothing, NextDoor, and even drum shops for discounts. 

We discussed our hopes that a Washington DC trip might go forward in the Spring for our 8th graders. In 2019 we fundraised sufficiently to support such a trip, then 2020 and 2021 trips were cancelled due to the pandemic. Current district policy is limiting field trips to just one hour driving distance, and would prohibit driving/flying to DC. 

We also asked about whether the school needed a second tent for outdoor study/eating. We found that the existing tent is sufficient, there are restrictions on how many tents can be put up on school grounds and the field, and that weather that is uncomfortable enough to require a tent is typically uncomfortable enough to drive everyone inside. 

To accommodate various schedules, we will follow a pattern of meeting the second week of each month, alternating Wednesdays and Thursdays. FRAUC families in attendance expressed the hope that we can meet again in person before the snow flies. We will try that for November, weather permitting. 

Next meeting is 8 am on Thursday, October 14 via ZOOM.


9/3/21 FRAUC Feeds Welcome-Back-to-School Gatherers

The RAUC Welcome Back to School Gathering yesterday was a great success! A large crowd of students, staff, and caregivers turned out in front of the school for a welcome from Head of School Julie Craven. FRAUC Co-chair Deirdre Logan gave a quick presentation about FRAUC activities and invited all caregivers to upcoming meetings. RAUC provided snacks, sides, and beverages for students, and caregivers brought fruit. The food disappeared quickly, but the crowd lingered long after the event.


6/10/21 FRAUC Gathers IRT

Families of RAUC gathered for the final meeting of the year, and for the first time in person since the pandemic began.
It was John O’Neil’s last meeting after 5 years as Co-Chair of FRAUC.

Well, it was quite a school year! On June 9, FRAUC gathered in Bergen Park to celebrate that we, our children, and the RAUC staff somehow made it this far. To regroup after this long year, we held a FRAUC coffee/pastry morning gathering and reassured ourselves that we all do still exist in 3-dimensional space. We handed out free RAUC car magnets to anyone who wanted one.

We also said goodbye to John O’Neil, who has worked hard on many a FRAUC fundraising effort, and has capably co-chaired FRAUC for 5 years. Thank you for your dedication, John!


3/12/21 FRAUC Organizes Staff Appreciation Day 2021

On Wednesday, February 10, Families of RAUC (FRAUC) delivered cards, appreciation signs, and goodies for RAUC staff as they prepared to resume in-person instruction. Many families pitched in with creative signs, beautiful cards, and tokens of appreciation! Fabulous food came from the Revival Café and Kitchen.

Most staff were returning to work in the building for the first time since March 2020, while custodial, kitchen, and some administrative staff had been in the building over the past year. We wanted all of them to feel loved and cared for as they navigated the dual responsibilities of in-person and continued remote instruction. Thank you to all who put colorful, encouraging words to paper!

Out of respect for pandemic precautions, we made everything grab-and-go. There were home baked goods, store-bought pastries, beverages, cards, and signs. One family even provided jewelry to grab and go!We hope it inspired our staff.


1/5/21 FRAUC Supports Scholarships for Students Remote Learning in Community Sites

Families of RAUC has generously provided funds to support scholarships for a limited number of our students to attend in-person community sites for remote learning. Money for these scholarships came from the unused funds that FRAUC raised for the 8th grade DC trip that was cancelled last year. These scholarships would not have been available without the extreme generosity of our community and all who gave and worked so hard last year–your efforts made a difference! We’re incredibly grateful!


10/1/20 FRAUC Leads Outdoor Meetups

After months of remote-only interactions, RAUC students had a chance to meet up at the school, in-person, on Rindge Field! In late September, FRAUC organized supervised, masked, distanced gatherings by grade. These reunions were a great success, and families asked FRAUC to make them recurring events.

FRAUC then set weekly meetings for all three grades. For as long as the weather holds, Sixth graders have a weekly spot on Sundays, Seventh graders on Saturdays, and Eighth graders on Tuesdays during DHSP’s “Fall on the Field” programs at Rindge Field, as long as the weather holds.