April 4, 2014


Good afternoon, everyone.

Some of you may have wondered why I cancelled activities (including the 4:15 performance at the High School) yesterday afternoon.  As I gazed at partially clearing skies on the way home, I was wondering the same thing.  I thought it might be beneficial to run you through how decisions of this nature are made for future reference.
On days such as yesterday, with apparent weather factors, we monitor both local radar and our NOAA weather alert radio throughout the day.  We want to keep abreast of current conditions that may require us to implement severe weather procedures, in addition to looking ahead regarding conditions at dismissal and any activities planned after the conclusion of the school day.
As we approached 2:00 yesterday afternoon, radar indicated the following that lead me to make the cancellations: 1) the southern portion of the state was in a tornado watch; 2) multiple storms cells were located to our southwest and moving toward us, some with hail noted; and 3) radar indicated a tornadic cell to our southwest, with projected movement to the northeast. 
In my mind, 2:00 is about the latest we can make the call to cancel activities and still allow folks to make alternate arrangements, if needed.  We made an all-call announcement on our PA system, asking teachers to allow students to use their cell phones to call or text parents.  I then sent out the BlackBoard Connect email.  At the risk of overkill, I also then asked our Communications Office to send out the Blackboard Connect phone message, in case you missed the email.
In hindsight, we could have gotten our activities and the performance in before the next wave of weather hit our area later Thursday evening.  It is sometimes a guessing game when making this call, but once made, I don’t want to go back and forth second guessing the decision and causing confusion for everyone involved.  The bottom line is that I would rather err on the side of caution.  I am sorry if this caused any missed plans, particularly regarding the performance (Please see Calendar Items below).

CALENDAR ITEMS

Friday, April 4
LMS Spring Play;
Performance 1:  4:30 – 6:00 pm; LHWHS Performing Arts Center
Performance 2:  7:00 – 8:30 pm; LHWHS Performing Arts Center

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
LMS Diversity Cadre's African American Student Recognition Night; 6:00 pm;     
     LMS Cafeteria
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 Rebecca Cunningham (Grade 7), who participated in the Duke University Talent Identification Program (TIP) this past winter.  She has qualified for Missouri State Recognition and will attend a ceremony at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri in May.  Rebecca has also qualified for a national Grand Recognition and will attend a ceremony at Duke University in May, as well.  Great job, Rebecca!

Congratulations to Mrs. Lisa Kovarik (Grade 8 Trailblazer Social Studies Teacher), who was selected to be part of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) summer institute on Abraham Lincoln and the Forging of Modern America. NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture workshops provide the opportunity for K-12 educators to engage in intensive study and discussion of important topics in American history and culture. Lisa will spend a week at Southern Illinois University- Edwardsville this summer with 40 other educators hearing from outstanding Lincoln scholars drawn from universities in the St. Louis area.  

CORRECTION(S)

NEW ITEMS

Dogwood Parade
Please reference the attached flyer on the BlackBoard Connect Parent Update email.

Public Meetings/Strategic Plan
The Ladue School District will hold two upcoming public meetings to present our district Strategic Plan.  These meetings will take place on:
April 21;  LHWHS Library, 7:00 pm
May 1;  Reed Elementary Library, 7:00 pm

UPDATED ITEMS

MAP Testing
As previously communicated, we will be engaged in school-wide MAP testing next Monday through Thursday.  In order to provide enough uninterrupted time for testing each day, we will test from 8:15 until around 10:00.  Class periods for the remainder of these days will be adjusted so that students don’t miss the same class period during the four-day time period.  Friday will be an 8 period day, but we will begin with periods 7 and 8, followed by 1 through 6. 
Testing until 10:30 Monday through Thursday.
Since Monday is the Cardinal’s Opening Day, it would be much appreciated if you can wait to check students out from school (if going to the game) until the testing session is over.  Since some students may need extended time to complete their exam, it would probably be safe to assume that all would be done by 11:00.

REPEAT ITEMS

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. 

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.

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.

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 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 have a great remainder of your Friday and weekend.

Greg

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