November 15, 2013


Good morning, everyone.  I hope your week has gone well.

Professional Development days are welcomed around here, although I know it must provide challenges for at least some of you who must coordinate work schedules with kids being home.  I’ve had the pleasure of sitting in on some of our vertical team meetings this morning and have witnessed some very productive work. 
If you are not familiar with the format of such days, teachers who work in the same subject areas/grade levels K-12 meet in the mornings to align our district curriculum, discuss common questions/issues, and receive professional development pertaining to their subject areas.  The afternoons typically allow them to sign up from a list of multiple learning sessions that pertain to their unique needs.  This afternoon will address the use of technology.
Although they don’t occur often during the school year, PD days are very beneficial and serve to keep us growing in our skills and abilities.  We hope that the results of such efforts benefit you and your children. 

CALENDAR ITEMS

Monday, November 18
LMS Canned Food Drive (through November 25)
Wednesday, November 20
ELL Pie Night – 6:30 pm
Thursday, November 21
Anticipated delivery of fundraiser cookie dough (see below)
Tuesday, November 26
LMS Turkey Trot
All School Celebration Assembly
Wednesday, November 27 through Friday, November 29
No School
Monday, December 2 through Thursday, December 5
Discovery Education testing – Block Day schedules (Odd, Even, Odd, Even).
Monday, December 9 through Thursday, December 12
SRI (Reading) testing for students below grade level – Regular schedules.
Wednesday, December 11
LMS Orchestra Concert, LHWHS Auditorium – 7:00 pm
Thursday, December 12
LMS Band Concert, LHWHS Auditorium – 7:00 pm
Friday, December 13
Early Release Day (Professional Development)
I AM LMS Day Activities
Friday, December 20
End of Quarter 2
Monday, December 23 through Friday, January 3
Winter Break for Students
Monday, January 6
School Resumes

NEW ITEMS

National Junior Honor Society
Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Parc Provence service project field trip scheduled for Tuesday 11/19 has been cancelled.  Students will meet Wednesday during lunch in room 133 to plan a fundraiser for Typhoon Haiyan victims.
Students who think they will qualify for an NJHS application in January 
(they can check webpage for details on qualifications) should be working on community service hours now. Check our webpage for service work suggestions.
In addition, eighth graders and their parents need to be aware that becoming a member in the spring does NOT carry over to the HS. Students will be required to begin the process, service hours etc. all over again!
For questions, please email Mrs. Crabtree at lcrabtee@ladueschools.net or Mrs. Lambie at llambie@ladueschools.net

Late Start/Snow Day procedure
I have attached information that was recently provided by our Administrative Center in my Blackboard Connect email sent out a few moments ago.  It will also be sent out by the district to all parents via Peachjar.
Important Notes regarding Late Starts!
    The school Late Start times have changed!  Late Start times on the attached flyer may be different than what has been previously communicated.  Our Administrative Center will be making these changes to the district website.

UPDATED ITEMS

Ski and Snowboard Club
Parents, is your child wanting to join our LMS Ski/Snowboarding Club?  So far we have 352 kids who have signed up.  Our last official sign-up is Monday morning (November 18) between 7:30 and 8:15 for those kids who did not make it on their assigned day.  After that, we will evaluate our bus situation.  If there is a bus that is not full we will make an announcement at the end of the day on Monday letting the students know how many spots (if any) are left.  We would then take additional students beginning Tuesday on a first come first served basis.  However, Monday is the last day to guarantee your child a spot. 
Paperwork is available on the front of the LMS homepage.  The link to the paperwork is under "Ski Club Information".
If you have questions, email Mark Biernbaum at: mbiernbaum@ladueschools.net

Fundraiser/Cookie Dough Delivery
We anticipate that the fundraiser cookie dough will be delivered to LMS on Thursday, November 21.  We will send orders of 4 cookie items or less home with your student on the bus or in carpool.  Orders of 5 or more cookie items will need to be picked up at LMS on November 21 between 3:15 and 6:00 pm.  Since a movie is scheduled in our Cafeteria after school, large orders can be picked up in the hallway near our Gymnasium entrance (right off the Circle Drive and close to our back parking lot).  Please make arrangements now to pick up your orders since cookie dough requires refrigeration.  Please email Elizabeth Cobin at Cobin@att.net if you have questions.  Thanks.

REPEAT ITEMS

Penny War/Canned Food Drive/Turkey Trot
For those of you new to LMS, these coordinated activities raise money and food donations for Gateway 180, an area shelter that distributes food and funds to many area homeless shelters.  These annual events are a great way for students and staff to serve others as we lead up to the Thanksgiving holiday and break.  A brief summary of each activity follows:
·      Penny Wars:  November 11 – 15.  Each grade level will have a jug placed in the Lobby for donation collection.  All pennies and checks (made out to Ladue Middle School) placed into a jug count as a positive amount for that grade level.  All silver coins and paper money counts as a negative amount equivalent to that donation for that grade level.  As you can imagine, the strategy is to load your grade level jug with the most positive points while adding donations to the other grade level jugs that result in negative points (okay, Mr. Obvious).  The grade level with the greatest positive amount at the end of the week wins.
·      Canned Food Drive:  November 18 – 25.  There will be a competition to see which class at each grade level brings in the most canned goods.  The class with the best overall donations will earn a pizza party.  Students/parents may choose to bring in money instead of cans.  One can equals $0.50.  Checks should be made payable to Ladue Middle School.  All cans will be collected in the “before school waiting area each morning (i.e. Cafeteria or Gym).  All students bringing in 100 or more cans will receive a 100 Can Club Certificate.  This will be displayed in the hallway and their name will be read on the afternoon announcements.  Members of the 100 Can Club will also have an opportunity to throw a pie at, or shave the hair of, their favorite teacher at an assembly before Thanksgiving break.
·      Turkey Trot: November 26.  We invite all parents to join their child in the running of this year’s 16th annual Turkey trot (you can choose to run or walk our one mile course).  The top make and female finisher at each grade level will receive a special trophy.  The top ten male and female finishers at each grade level will receive a Turkey Trot t-shirt.  Parents who plan on running/walking with their students should meet them on the upper soccer field behind our Administrative Center.  Times will be subject to weather conditions:
6th Grade: 1:01 – 1:39 pm
7th Grade:  11:07 – 11:45 am
8th Grade:  11:49 – 12:27 pm
·      You may purchase a Turkey Trot t-shirt for your student at http://www.laduespiritstore.com/Turkey-Trot_c27.htm
·      All School Celebration Assembly: November 26.  This will occur in our Gym at 2:25 pm.  The following groups will be recognized: Winning grade level of the Penny War, Winning class of the Canned Food Drive, 100 Can Club members, and Turkey Trot winners.

Discovery Education (DE) Testing
DE exams are given to all students three times during the school year.  These serve a bench marking assessments to track student progress and growth, in addition to helping us make appropriate placements in some classes for the following year.  Our next round of DE testing will occur Monday, December 2 through Thursday, December 5.  In order to provide enough time for this, we will be on a Block Day schedule during these four days.

Girls On Track
The following is from Lisa Witzofsky:
Girls On Track, an after school program for LMS girls, will return next semester.  Lisa Witzofsky, one of the parent volunteers, is currently looking for six parents to commit to one practice day per week – either Tuesday or Thursday.  Time frame February 17th - May 10th. 3:05pm until 4:20pm  If you are interested and/or need additional information, please contact Lisa at blwitz@charter.net or at 314-989-1993.  The more coaches we have, the more girls can participate.

Mothers’ Coffee
Are you an LMS mother interested in exploring other cultures?  Would you be interested in sharing your culture, your experiences with other mothers?  LMS and the ESL Department is planning a “Mother’s Coffee”.  The “coffee” will be a chance for LMS mothers from various cultures to informally meet and share their differences and commonalities.  The tentative date for the actual coffee is Monday, December 2.  A planning meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 11 at 10:00 am at the Middle School.  If you are interested in attending either the planning meeting or the actual “coffee”, or have questions, please contact Lou Galloway-Zapiain  lgallowayz@ladueschools.net , Marie Keath Mkeath@ladueschools.net , or Dr. Taylor-Johnson ttaylor@ladueschools.net

Dine to Donate - Restaurant FUNdraiser for LMSPA
Enjoy lunch out, a night off from cooking, or buy your office lunch and earn money to fund events and supplies for our kids’ school at the same time!
Bring in the attached flyer and 20% of purchases will be donated to LMSPA by California Pizza Kitchen in Creve Coeur on Wednesday, November 20 or Thursday, November 21.  Purchases include CARRY-OUT, DINE IN or CATERING, any time of the day, lunch or dinner.  Flyer MUST be presented at time of purchase (this has been attached to the Blackboard Connect update sent out a few moments ago).  Thank you for your continued support! 

Inclusive Schools Week
Special School District of St. Louis County has designated the week of December 2nd as Inclusive Schools Week.  To support the campaign, Ladue Middle School will participate in several school-wide activities throughout the week. The first of which will be "Spread the Word to End the Word". This is an international campaign to stop the use of the word "retarded".  Students will be asked to sign a pledge committing to stop their use of the "r" word.  Pledge forms will be available to complete before school and during all lunch periods.  The grade level that completes the most pledges will be recognized. Additionally, students will participate in a disability awareness discussion during social studies classes on Monday, December 2nd and Tuesday, December 3rd using resources and materials provided by Special Olympics and Best Buddies International. Ladue art students will create art work depicting reasons why they like being part of an inclusive school.  The artwork will be turned into a slide show that will be shown school-wide during lunch.  Sixth grade middle school skills classes will participate in a disability awareness activity to promote understanding of our increasing diverse student population.  Finally, students with disabilities will be asked to take part in our school wide "I Am LMS" days.  Willing students will create a presentation or video to share with the student body explaining who they are, what makes them special, and why they like being part of an inclusive school. For more information regarding the "Spread the Word to End the Word" campaign please visit www.r-word.org

Thanks for your time.  I hope you have a great Friday and weekend.

Best,

Greg

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