August 7, 2013



Good morning everyone. 

     I hope you are doing well.  I wanted to take a few moments to send out some reminders and updates regarding the beginning of school.  This is another lengthy update, so please bear with me.

You can also view this update on lmsprincipalsupdate.blogspot.com

Upcoming Calendar Events:
Thursday, August 8
Ladue District Opening Day for Staff
LMS Offices will be closed 8 to 11 a.m.
Friday, August 9
LMS Opening Staff Meeting
LMS Offices will be closed 7:30 to 9:00 a.m.
LMS Community Night
4 to 7 p.m. (more information below)
Wednesday, August 14
Opening Day for Students
8:15 a.m. to 3:05 p.m.
Wednesday, August 21
Apogee Parent Meeting
6 to 6:30 p.m./LMS Library
Meet The Teacher Night
            Parent Meeting at 6:30 p.m./LMS Gym
Parents follow student schedules 6:55 to 8:30 p.m.
8th Grade Sports Parent Meeting
8:30 to 9 p.m./LMS Cafeteria
Tuesday, August 27
After School Activities begin
3:10 to 4:10 p.m. (more information below)
Wednesday, August 28
School Pictures (information to follow)

Community Night
     You are welcome to bring your student to our annual Community Night on August 9, from 4 to 7 p.m.  This is a great opportunity to walk the building with your child, stock their locker for the first day of school, and turn in forms from Packet Pickup days to our office staff.  We will also have someone available to sign you up for the Infinite Campus Parent Portal, if needed.  If you are putting items in a locker that evening, please be aware that we do not provide locks for hallway lockers.  Please bring yours with you so that your child’s belongings and supplies are secured before the end of the evening. 
     Our Dads Club will be providing barbeque as well, in our Cafeteria beginning around 5 p.m., and our Parent Association (LMSPA) will also have important information.  Speaking of the LMSPA, Nnena Achilefu (Chair of the New Family Committee) will have a booth for “veteran” families to provide tours, help new students meet with LMS Ambassadors, and provide answers to any questions new families might have.  This booth will be set up an hour before Community Night begins so that new families can explore the building in “relative” calm and quiet. 
     This evening is always well-attended and parking is limited.  We will have our back doors (on either side of the Gym) unlocked for those who park in our back lot.  If you park at the front of the building, please keep the handicapped accessible cutouts open – we will have cones outside to designate those areas.

Parent Conference Sign Up
     You may sign up for your Parent Conferences at Community Night, beginning at 4 p.m.  Another option is to sign up online, through our LMS school website.  This should also be available Friday, beginning at 4 p.m.  A link will be posted on the site.

School Supplies
     If you haven’t completed your purchase of school supplies yet, this information is posted on our school website, about half-way down on the right-hand side.  If you try to access our website and see my ugly mug, please click on the “Visit School Website” button above and to the left of my gray hair. 

After School Activities
     These are scheduled to begin on August 27.  If your student will ride an Activity Bus home, please be aware that they may be running a little later than last year.  With the addition of the Fifth Grade Center, our transportation configuration has been adjusted.  Last year, buses typically left our campus near 4:30 p.m.  I imagine that this will be closer to 4:40/4:45 this year, so wanted you to be aware.

Transfer Students
     In addition to the usual number of students transferring into our district each year, we are also welcoming eighteen students and families from Normandy and Riverview Gardens this week.  Each student and parent I have had the pleasure of meeting has been very happy for the opportunity to attend LMS. 
     As I will reinforce with our staff on Friday morning, every new student that enters our doors, regardless of where they come from, are Ladue students.  We will make every effort to make each student feel welcome, acclimate them to our procedures and traditions, while also honoring their backgrounds and points of origin.  We are fortunate to have a diverse LMS family here, and hopefully do a good job of celebrating and honoring the individuality of each and every student.

Traffic (mornings)
     I provided information regarding our revised morning car and bus drop off procedures in a previous email/posting.  Hopefully it made sense and the maps on the school website helped.
     Please be patient with us as we try to work through any kinks in the plan that may develop.  At the risk of being repetitive, it would really help everyone if cars can exit our campus by making right-hand turns. 
     If you are a returning parent, you probably already know the Ski Trip Fridays are a totally different matter.  We will try to look at these and hopefully come up with a plan that helps on those mornings. 

Fundraiser Information
     Our annual fundraiser will kick off this fall.  We are still working on dates and will communicate these as soon as they are finalized.  In addition to our usual magazine subscriptions, we are working with the company to also offer cookie dough.  If you wish to shop online in the meantime, please visit www.gafundraising.com and click on “Just Shopping.”  Our school code is 2652758

Personal Introduction
     I have been remiss in letting you know a little about myself.  I do not normally seek attention and prefer to recognize the accomplishments of our wonderful staff, but thought it might be a good idea to share some personal information.
     My lovely (and patient) wife is a health care administrator, specializing in developing and managing out patient surgery centers.  We have two wonderful “children” – our daughter lives in the area and manages a local business, and our son is beginning his junior year at Webster University.
     I come from a family of teachers, including my mother, grandmother, uncle and cousins.  I earned my BSEd from the University of Missouri – Columbia in Science Education.  Since then, I have also earned my MA in Education Administration from Lindenwood University and my SPEd in Educational Leadership from William Woods University.
     My teaching career spans sixteen years, in the areas of science and mathematics, at the middle and high school levels in Missouri and Colorado.  While teaching, I also coached basketball, football, track and field, and softball.  My administrative experience totals fourteen years to date, at both middle and high schools.  I have been a member of the district administrative staff here for the past six years, beginning with four years at LHWHS before transferring to LMS two years ago. 
     If you have done the quick math, this begins my thirtieth year in the business.  Over this period of time, I have realized some “truths” that reinforce my daily activities and outlook:
·      The older I get, the more I realize I don’t know.
·      I am inept in regard to technology.  I rely on the expertise of others and greatly appreciate their patience with me as I attempt to expand my level of knowledge and continue to avoid pushing the hidden self-destruct button on my keyboard.
·      Middle level students, by their nature and personal level of development, will make mistakes.  It is our job, in concert with you, to help them grow and hopefully not continue to make those same mistakes.  We use situations that involve discipline infractions as teachable moments.  We use consequences, as part of our discipline plan, to get a student’s attention much as you and I have done with our own children at home.  None of our administrators assign a consequence without careful thought and consideration for the student’s overall well being.
·      Although I would like to, I realize that I can’t please everyone.  If you contact me with a concern, I cannot in good faith make any promises without careful consideration.  I can promise, in all situations, that I will listen and take your concerns or input seriously and thoughtfully.    
·      The truly important people in any school are those that are severely missed if they are absent on any particular day.  In addition to teachers, I am thinking of school office staff, custodians, maintenance personnel and cafeteria workers.  If I am gone for some reason, my absence might be noted by a small portion of the school population.  If one of our wonderful office staff or custodians is gone, we notice this immediately.  In light of this, I want to publicly recognize the efforts of Nancy Edwards (Principal Secretary), Peggy Breidenbach (Registrar), Carol Stephens (Scheduling/Counselor Secretary), Danna Anderson (Receptionist), Mary Lobosco (Assistant Principal Secretary), Ann Mohrmann (Library Secretary), Milan Rakic (Lead Custodian), JB Tate (Custodian), Steve Bell (Custodian) and Ray Schaefer (Maintenance) for all they do. 

Please let me know if I have forgotten to share any vital information prior to the first day of school.  If you are a new parent to our building, and have any questions, please contact me by email or phone (983-5501) and I will try to provide a timely response.

     Sorry again for the pontification above.  As always, my apologies if I have made a mistake in the information above, or have omitted something important. 

     I look forward to serving you and your children this year and hope it is happy and successful for all. 

Have a great day,

Greg

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