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Friday, March 28, 2014

March 28, 2014


Happy Friday afternoon.  It is so nice to see some sunshine today.

CALENDAR ITEMS

Tuesday, April 1
SRI Reading testing; Grade 7; regular schedule
Wednesday, April 2
SRI Reading testing; Grades 6 and 8; regular schedule
Thursday, April 3
LMS Spring Play; 4:30 – 6:00 pm; LHWHS
Friday, April 4
LMS Spring Play; 7:00 – 8:30 pm; LHWHS
Monday, April 7 through Thursday, April 10
MAP Testing
Tuesday, April 8
Voting in LMS Library; General Election
Wednesday, April 9
LMSPA Lunchtime Lecture; Library, 12:00 (See below)
LMSPA Meeting; 1:00 pm
Friday, April 11
Science Olympiad; State Competition at University of Missouri
Thursday, April 17
Percussion Concert; Grades 6 – 12; 7:00 – 8:30 pm; LHWHS
Friday, April 18
Early Release Day; 12:40 pm (Professional Development)
Wednesday, April 23
LMS Vocal Concert; 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Wednesday, April 30
LMS Band Concert; 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Friday, May 2
Early Release Day; 12:40 pm
8th Grade Dance; 7:30 – 10:00 pm
Wednesday, May 7
LMS Orchestra Concert; 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Friday, May 9
Citizenship Ceremony; times TBA
Tuesday, May 13
LMSPA Meeting; 1:00 pm
LMS Choir Concert; 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Wednesday, May 14
Science Olympiad to national competition
Friday, May 16
Band field trip; 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Thursday, May 22
8th grade Six Flags trip
Friday, May 23
8th grade Farewell Assembly; 12:00
End of 4th Quarter

CONGRATULATIONS and THANKS

Congratulations to Mrs. Heckendorn (Grade 6 Orion Math) and Mrs. Chambers (Grade 7 Titan Math) and members of our Math competition team for their outstanding performance at the 36th Annual Math Educators of Greater St. Louis (MEGSL) math competition.  The exciting part was that all of the students won awards either individually or as part of a team.
Team Awards
6th grade: 2nd Place (Anna Zhong, Simerjeet Singh, Katie  Shaw, Jeremy Ouyang)
7th grade: 4th Place (Seema Patel, Manav Patel, Sam Shoykhet 3-person team)
8th grade: 2nd Place (Justin Chen, Ben Phung, Julia Wang, Albert Liu)
Individual Awards
6th: Anna Zhong - 1st, Jeremy Ouyang - 4th
7th: Seema Patil - 1st
8th: Justin Chen - 4th, Albert Liu - 5th, Ben Phung - 6th
Estimation Golf
6th: 1st Place     Jeremy Ouyang, Katie Shaw, Simerjeet Singh
8th: 2nd Place    Justin Chen, Ben Phung, Julia Wang

Congratulations to Mr. Joe Kleine, Computer Technology teacher, for being selected the 2013-2014 LMS Teacher Of The Year by his colleagues.

CORRECTION(S)

NEW ITEMS

MAP Testing
In order to gear up for MAP testing in two weeks, two of our more creative staff members have put together a MAP Spirit Week, beginning next Monday.  The schedule is:
·      Monday, 3/31 – Hit the MAP test out of the park (wear Cardinals or favorite baseball team gear).  Cardinals opening day as well.
·      Tuesday, 4/1 – Tackle the MAP (wear Rams or favorite football team gear).
·      Wednesday, 4/2 – Jog your memory . . the MAP is no sweat (wear sweats).
·      Thursday, 4/3 – Skate to success and score the goal on the MAP (wear Blues or favorite hockey team gear).  Blues play that evening.
·      Friday, 4/4 – MAP your way to college (wear your favorite college logo wear).
My message, to those who ask, is that test scores do not singularly define us as a school.  We are blessed to serve well-rounded, talented students who have a multitude of interests and make contributions to our building community in a number of manners.  That is not to say that standardized test scores and performance is not important.  Results of such testing efforts help us in a number of ways, particularly measuring growth and serving as a factor in making course placements for the coming year.  I am also competitive enough to want us to do our very best, in comparison to other area middle schools.  With that in mind, it would help a great deal to:
·      Talk about MAP testing with your student and encourage them to do their best.
·      Make sure that they plenty of sleep leading up to, and during, the week of MAP testing.
·      Ensure that they get a sufficient breakfast each morning to feed their brains.
·      Since testing will begin each morning, at the beginning of the school day, it would be very helpful to have all students present and ready to go before 8:15 am.
Thank you for your help in this effort.

General Elections April 8
The LMS Library has been designated as a polling place for the April 8 General Elections.  Voters will be provided access through the Library door closest to the Circle Drive, as opposed to our main entrance or other entrances.  This may cause some traffic and parking issues on that day.  I am considering reserving some spaces closest to the Library for voter use. 

Spring Parent Conference feedback
Thank you for attending Spring Portfolio Conferences. Please take a moment to complete this survey to give us your feedback at:

LMSPA Lunchtime Lecture and Public Meeting
The LMSPA invites you to bring your lunch and join us on Wednesday, April 9th from 12:00 - 1:00 PM for one more Lunchtime Lecture in the LMS Library where we will hear about "Social Media Safety and Responsibility".  Our speaker, Tony Tramelli, M.A., from the West County Psychological Associates, will help us understand how to keep our children safe in this world of constantly changing social media.
Please visit http://mylmspa.com/lms-lunchtime-lecture-series/ for more information about our speaker and the lecture topic.
Immediately following, we will hold our annual LMSPA meeting from 1:00 - 2:30 in the LMS Library.

UPDATED ITEMS

REPEAT ITEMS

La'Due It 5K
On Sunday, March 30, 2014
Ladue walks, runs, and cares! 
This event is brought to you by the Ladue Schools Physical Education Department and District Wellness Committee.  Proceeds will support Due Care, an organization which provides financial assistance to district families and students in need.  Bring your old shoes to donate to Shoeman Water Projects, helping bring clean water to communities around the world.  A T-shirt is guaranteed with pre-registration by March 15th.  To pre-register, go to:  www.ladueschools.net

LMSPA Fundraiser/California Pizza Kitchen
New and Improved! California Pizza Kitchen will once again donate 20% of all purchases to the LMSPA…this time at TWO locations: Galleria Mall and Creve Coeur.  So on Tuesday, APRIL 8, 2014, dine in, carry out or even cater that company lunch knowing you are benefitting your child’s school.  Valid any time of day – lunch, snack or dinner!  Please see the attached flyer on the Blackboard Connect email.

Costa Rica trip 2015
Attention 7th grade parents! The 8th grade Costa Rica trip is currently being organized for next year. All Spanish students  are invited to travel to Costa Rica during Spring Break 2015. Parents are welcome to travel with their children, but it is not required. Siblings may be considered as well. Practice your language skills, learn about the culture and see some of the magnificent beauty that is found in Costa Rica. The program next year will be led by a bilingual naturalist guide and Sarah Schwartz, 8th grade administrative intern (and former Spanish teacher). Mrs. Schwartz presented to Spanish classes on Thursday, March 13 and will be holding an informational meeting for parents at 7:30am on Tuesday, April 1st from 7:30-8:15am in Mrs. Berrios' classroom (205). If you can't make it or have any questions, feel free to call Sarah at 983-5529 or email saschwartz@ladueschools.net

LMSPA eBlasts
If you are not currently receiving LMSPA email news blasts but would like to, please click on the following link to subscribe:

Board Briefs
Information regarding Ladue Board of Education meetings and work sessions can be found on boardbriefs.blogspot.com

Thanks for your time.  If I have forgotten anything, I will try to put out an update over the weekend.  Have a good one.

Greg

PS:  Just remembered that could use some boxes of tissues, if you can help.

Friday, March 14, 2014

March 14, 2014



Good afternoon, Happy Friday and Happy Spring Break.

My office and desk are a mess at the conclusion of this week.  If I was more conscientious, I would stay around after everyone leaves to clean it up before heading home.  Not going to happen.  We have three days of trout fishing planned, beginning this weekend.  At least the mess here won’t get any worse until next Saturday or Sunday.

Happy Pi Day, as well (May 14 or 3.14 for you non-Mathy folks).  I have sampled the pumpkin and chocolate varieties today, which were delicious.

CALENDAR ITEMS

Monday, March 17 through Friday, March 21
No School: Spring Break
Tuesday, April 1
SRI Reading testing; Grade 7; regular schedule
Wednesday, April 2
SRI Reading testing; Grades 6 and 8; regular schedule
Thursday, April 3
LMS Spring Play; 4:30 – 6:00 pm; LHWHS
Friday, April 4
LMS Spring Play; 7:00 – 8:30 pm; LHWHS
Monday, April 7 through Thursday, April 10
MAP Testing
Tuesday, April 8
LMSPA Meeting; 1:00 pm
Friday, April 11
Science Olympiad; State Competition at University of Missouri
Thursday, April 17
Percussion Concert; Grades 6 – 12; 7:00 – 8:30 pm; LHWHS
Friday, April 18
Early Release Day; 12:40 pm (Professional Development)
Wednesday, April 23
LMS Vocal Concert; 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Wednesday, April 30
LMS Band Concert; 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Friday, May 2
Early Release Day; 12:40 pm
8th Grade Dance; 7:30 – 10:00 pm
Wednesday, May 7
LMS Orchestra Concert; 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Friday, May 9
Citizenship Ceremony; times TBA
Tuesday, May 13
LMSPA Meeting; 1:00 pm
LMS Choir Concert; 7:00 – 8:30 pm
Wednesday, May 14
Science Olympiad to national competition
Friday, May 16
Band field trip; 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Thursday, May 22
8th grade Six Flags trip
Friday, May 23
8th grade Farewell Assembly; 12:00
End of 4th Quarter

CONGRATULATIONS and THANKS

Thank you to Dr. Tiffany Taylor-Johnson and AP Secretary Mary LoBosco for organizing our Spring Portfolio Conferences.  This takes a great deal of time and effort to make conference run smoothly.  A big thank you, as well, to Jennifer Parish and the LMSPA for providing supper on both nights.

The National Junior Honor Society would like to thank all parents and students for their participation in this year's Pennies for Patients campaign to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Between the hat day, candy grams and penny boxes we raised over $1,500 dollars. Thank you for your support.

LMS Character Council participated in the annual Fill The Bus food drive to benefit the Jewish Food Pantry and Operation Food Search.  Totals for donated canned goods and food items for the district totaled 9,274.  Thank you to LMS students, parents and staff.

CORRECTION(S)

This will take a little setting up –
Our staff has been involved in an ongoing process this year to identify our collective purpose and identity.  This effort is based on a book study by the district administrative team to determine, as the author calls it, our “WHY.”  We recently got staff t-shirts with our identified WHY’s on the back, as a form of celebration and unity.  Many of us took the opportunity today to wear them to work.
Several of the kids today have assumed that our WHY t-shirts have been worn to question why we are in school today.  That is not the case, and I wanted to clear that one up before it gained a lot of traction.

NEW ITEMS

School of Character announcement
As you may know, Ladue Middle School was selected as a Missouri School of Character in 2012.  We were just informed that LMS is one of 50 finalists in the National Schools of Character program.  There is still an intensive screening process to go through before the actual National Schools of Character recognitions are announced.  However, I think you will agree that being a finalist is a great honor in itself.  There are nearly 100,000 public schools in the U.S. and LMS is one of 50 being considered for this honor.  Congratulations to our staff, students and their families for making this possible.  The 2014 National Schools of Character will be announced in mid-May.  I will keep you posted!

LMSPA Fundraiser/California Pizza Kitchen
New and Improved! California Pizza Kitchen will once again donate 20% of all purchases to the LMSPA…this time at TWO locations: Galleria Mall and Creve Coeur.  So on Tuesday, APRIL 8, 2014, dine in, carry out or even cater that company lunch knowing you are benefitting your child’s school.  Valid any time of day – lunch, snack or dinner!  Please see the attached flyer on the Blackboard Connect email.

Costa Rica trip 2015
Attention 7th grade parents! The 8th grade Costa Rica trip is currently being organized for next year. All Spanish students  are invited to travel to Costa Rica during Spring Break 2015. Parents are welcome to travel with their children, but it is not required. Siblings may be considered as well. Practice your language skills, learn about the culture and see some of the magnificent beauty that is found in Costa Rica. The program next year will be led by a bilingual naturalist guide and Sarah Schwartz, 8th grade administrative intern (and former Spanish teacher). Mrs. Schwartz presented to Spanish classes on Thursday, March 13 and will be holding an informational meeting for parents at 7:30am on Tuesday, April 1st from 7:30-8:15am in Mrs. Berrios' classroom (205). If you can't make it or have any questions, feel free to call Sarah at 983-5529 or email saschwartz@ladueschools.net

UPDATED ITEMS

REPEAT ITEMS

LMSPA Nominations for 2014-2015
The Ladue Middle School Parent Association is beginning to plan for the 2014-15 school year.  If you would like to nominate yourself or another person for a position on the LMSPA Executive Board, please print out and complete the attached Nomination Form and return it to the LMS Welcome Center by Monday, March 24th.

La'Due It 5K
On Sunday, March 30, 2014
Ladue walks, runs, and cares! 
This event is brought to you by the Ladue Schools Physical Education Department and District Wellness Committee.  Proceeds will support Due Care, an organization which provides financial assistance to district families and students in need.  Bring your old shoes to donate to Shoeman Water Projects, helping bring clean water to communities around the world.  A T-shirt is guaranteed with pre-registration by March 15th.  To pre-register, go to:  www.ladueschools.net

LMSPA eBlasts
If you are not currently receiving LMSPA email news blasts but would like to, please click on the following link to subscribe:

Board Briefs
Information regarding Ladue Board of Education meetings and work sessions can be found on boardbriefs.blogspot.com

I hope you and your families have a great Spring Break.  If you are traveling, please be safe.

Thanks for your time,

Greg

Friday, March 7, 2014

My Sincere Apologies



Dear Parents,

Earlier today I sent out my weekly newsletter.  I had just received information about a blog that contained resources for parents about cyberbullying apps, namely a new app called Yik Yak that is prime for bullying. In my haste to quickly get this resource in your hands, I did not review it as carefully as I now wish I had.  It contains some very explicit language which some may find offensive. The value was not in the blog itself, but in the identification of an app that is inappropriate for students. My intent was simply to share information with you about the multiple social media apps available to children of all ages, many of which can be used anonymously to bully without the sender being traced. Again, my apologies if the content of the blog was offensive to you.

Here at school we do everything in our power to ensure students are not using these applications.  However, once they leave our premises, most students still have access to multiple devices that we cannot control.   My goal is to arm you with the information you need to help teach your child good digital citizenship.  Please know this was my only intent as you review the information provided.

The bottom line is that the content sent out through the weekly Principal Update is my responsibility, alone.  I am sincerely sorry.

Greg