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Thursday, May 29, 2014

May 29, 2014

Good afternoon, everyone.  I have not forgotten you, but time has been taken this week with meetings and other demands.  With a two-hour window before the next meeting, I wanted to use this opportunity to wrap up the school year and include any relevant informational items.

CALENDAR ITEMS

Saturday, May 31
Sports Physicals; LHWHS, 8:00 am to Noon
For next year’s 8th grade sports and for incoming high school students who wish to participate in sports.  Sponsored by the Ladue Schools Family Assistance Program.  Fee is $15.
Physical forms can be printed from the following website: 

Thursday, June 5
Final grades should be mailed by this target date.  You may already be aware that grades can also be viewed through the Infinite Campus parent portal.

CONGRATULATIONS and THANKS

Congratulations to our 2014 Greenwood Award winners, 8th graders Fatima Sheriff and Charlie Loitman.  Fatima and Charlie were announced at our Farewell Assembly last Friday.  Congratulations as well to our other Greenwood Award Finalists: Allison Harpole, Lily Hauptman, Megan Present, Grace Wallace, Alex Kemppainen, Albert Liu, Glen Morgenstern and Eric Yang.  As announced at the assembly, the Greenwood Award is a tribute to the late Dr. Ed Greenwood, a former teacher and principal in Ladue.  The award is presented at the end of each school year to an outstanding 8th grade boy and girl, based upon recognition of their exemplary scholarship, citizenship, and service.  LMS faculty members nominate students for consideration and make the final vote to determine the two ultimate winners.  Congratulations, again, to this year’s Finalists and Award winners for their exemplary performance and service to our school!  

We were recently informed that our 6th grade camp program will receive "Promising Practices" recognition from the Character Education Partnership, the same group that recognizes National Schools of Character.  The purpose of Promising Practices is to share good character education initiatives with schools across the country.  Our application was called "Mihaska - Once We Were Five, Now We Are One! - 6th Grade Camp."    

I want to extend a sincere, heartfelt thank you to all of our LMS parents, students, and staff for making this a great school year.  I often state that I am blessed to be associated with great people.  That includes you and your children.   

CORRECTION(S)

I hope there are no mistakes or omissions, but have been wrong in the past.  If I have botched anything up in this message, or left anything out that needed to be communicated, I will send out an update to the Update.

NEW ITEMS

Summer Schedule
I believe that I already shared information about our summer schedule and office hours.  If I am only imagining this, then here it is:
Beginning Monday, June 2, the LMS Office will begin a four-day work week (Mondays through Thursdays), from 7:45 am to 5:00 pm.  This will last through the week of July 21.  Our Office will also be closed on Thursday, July 3.  Beginning the week of July 28, we will resume our normal schedule (Mondays through Fridays), 7:30 am to 3:15 pm.
Two summer programs will be running in our building on some Fridays during our summer four-day schedule.  These programs will be supervised by designated district personnel.  Please be aware that LMS secretaries and administrators will not be present on those Fridays.
Also, all district and building administrators are scheduled for our yearly summer retreat, which will occur on June 10 and 11.

UPDATED ITEMS

My office is still a disaster area (no great surprise).

REPEAT ITEMS

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

For those of you who have returning 7th and 8th grade students, I will be sending out messages over the summer months regarding the coming school year.

Take care.  I hope you and your families have a great summer.  Best wishes to our outgoing 8th graders for great success in high school!

Greg


Sunday, May 18, 2014

Science Olympiad National Competition


Congratulations to the Ladue Middle School Science Olympiad team for a great showing at the National Science Olympiad Competition, held on May 17 in Orlando, FL at the University of Central Florida. The students competed against the top 60 teams from across the country. Our students placed in two events, Sounds of Music (6th), Simple Machines (6th) and the trial event Bridge Building (6th).
Overall, the team earned 8th place in the country!  We are very proud of the dedication and hard work of the following students: 
Biernbaum, Luke (Sounds of Music); Chan, Hans; Chen, Justin; Cochran, Ethan (Bridge Building); Giuliani, Nevan; Hsieh, Joel; Jiang, Kevin; Liu, Albert; Liu, Annie; Loitman, Charlie (Simple Machines); Naughton, Patrick; Paul, Raj (Bridge Building); Prablek, Kate; Shaw, Katie; Subramanian, Karthik; Wang, Audrey; Wang, Cindy; Wang, Ethan; Wang, Jeffrey (Simple Machines); Ye, Christopher; Zhong, Anna; and Zhong, Stephanie (Sounds of Music). 

Friday, May 16, 2014

May 16, 2014



Friday afternoon, the sun is shining, and we have five days left in the school year.  It can’t get much better than this.

CALENDAR ITEMS

Monday, May 19
8th grade Boat Building
Grade 6 locker cleanout
Tuesday, May 20
8th grade Boat Building
Grade 7 locker cleanout
Wednesday, May 21
8th grade Boat Races; LHWHS Pool
Grade 8 locker cleanout
LMS Variety Show; Gym; 1:00 – 3:00 pm
Thursday, May 22
8th grade Six Flags trip
Friday, May 23
7th graders to Swing Around Fun Town
6th graders to St. Peters Rec Plex
8th grade Farewell Assembly; 12:00
End of 4th Quarter

CONGRATULATIONS and THANKS

Congratulations, again, to the LMS staff and students for our 2014 recognition as a National School Of Character.  This also includes very special thanks to all former LMS who contributed to the growth of our Character Education program over the years, culminating in us achieving this recognition.  Thank you, so much!

Congratulations to the student members and coaches/sponsors of Girls On Track.  The LMS team recently received an Honorable Mention for their service project; the equipment swap.  The team, comprised of seventeen young ladies ranging from 6th - 8th grade, competed in their 5K race May 10th.  As a result, several great accomplishments occurred:  14 girls ran their FASTEST time ever
10 girls ran the 5K race under 30 minutes, 7 girls finished in the top ten time for their age group, 2 girls placed 3rd (bronze medal) in their age group, and 1 girl placed 2nd (silver medal) for her age group.

Best wishes to the student members and coaches/sponsors of our LMS Science Olympiad team, who are currently participating in the National Competition in Florida.  This is a historic year for our LMS team, marking their 20th appearance at the National Competition.  That is the 7th most appearances by any middle school in the country in Science Olympiad's 30 year program history.  For those of you who are interested, for the past few years the National Coordinator has streamed the award ceremonies. It is my understanding that you can watch the live stream of this on Saturday, beginning at 6:30 pm, at: http://www.scienceolympiad2014.com/media.html

CORRECTION(S)

NEW ITEMS

LMS Sports/Physicals for next year
Did you know that LMS has a thriving 8th grade sports program? Sports offered are: cross country (co-ed) and volleyball (girls) in the fall; basketball for boys and girls in the winter; and track & field (co-ed) and field hockey (girls) in the spring. Parents of current 7th graders who are interested in participating in the 8th grade sports program for next year can print forms out from the website below or get them from the front office. Students must have a physical dated February 1, 2014 or later. The Ladue Schools Family Assistance Program is sponsoring physicals on Saturday, May 31 from 8-12 at Ladue High School for a $15 fee. Students who plan on participating in 8th grade sports may get a physical there if needed.  Find the sports forms here: http://teachersites.ladue.k12.mo.us/lms/jtheodosiou/8th_grade_sports/welcome.html
If you have questions, email Sarah Schwartz (8th grade AP) saschwartz@ladueschools.net or Coach Jason Theodosiou (8th Grade Sports Coordinator) jtheodosiou@ladueschools.net 

Math/Communication Arts recommendations for next year
If you have a current 6th or 7th grade student, you should have recently received mailings regarding their recommended placements in Mathematics and Communication Arts for the 2014-2015 school year.  If you have questions regarding either of these placements, please access and complete a Request for Placement Review form located on our school website.  Forms regarding Mathematics should be sent to myself, while forms pertaining to Communication Arts should be sent to Dr. Tiffany Taylor-Johnson, LMS Associate Principal.  Deadlines for receipt of these forms at the LMS Office for review is May 30, 2014.
If you wish to have your current 6th or 7th grader considered for Math Acceleration (i.e. “skipping over” the next course in the sequence), please access the Secondary Mathematics Acceleration Request form located on our school website.  Once completed, please send this form to the LMS Office, to my attention.  Once received, I will review your student’s past performance and standardized testing results.  If your request for review is approved, then we will schedule testing in early August, 2014.  In order to “skip over” the next Mathematics class in the sequence, students must score 90% or better on EACH chapter/unit exam of the course they wish to “skip” in order to exhibit mastery of the concepts.  Should a student score less than 90% on each of these exams, we will then halt the testing process at that time and keep the student in the recommended Math class.  The date for receipt of these forms is stated as July 31, but I would like these as soon as possible to make plans for any August testing.

UPDATED ITEMS

8th Grade Information/Graduation
Schedule for May 23
8:10 – 8:20
·      Students report to their Team classrooms.  Students will be divided alphabetically and assigned to a specific teacher.
8:20 – 9:20
·      Graduation rehearsal in the Gym.  Students can bring yearbooks to sign afterward.
9:20 – 10:30
·      Yearbook signing in the Cafeteria.  Near the end of this time, students will lead students back to their lockers to drop off their yearbooks and retrieve sack lunches.
10:35 – 11:05
·      8th grade Lunch in the Cafeteria.  Serving lines will be open for students who do not bring sack lunches.
11:05 – 11:55
·      Students will return to designated Team classrooms.
12:00 – around 1:30? (I am not sure how long this will take.)
·      8th Grade Graduation ceremony.  Students may leave with parents once concluded.
After ceremony – 3:05
·      Remaining students will report to their Team’s Science classrooms.
Parking
·      Due to limited parking, I have reserved a shuttle from Ladue Chapel, which should run from 11:30 am until around 3:00 pm.  The shuttle will pick up passengers at the back, right-hand corner of their parking lot.

REPEAT ITEMS

School Climate Survey
I think I posted a past message regarding valuing your input regarding school climate at LMS.  If I failed to do so, my apologies.
In either event, if you could please complete the survey at the link below, we would appreciate it.  The survey link will remain open until the end of next week.

LHWHS Sports Physicals for next year (for current 8th graders)
Attention all 2014-2015 LHWHS incoming freshmen!  Are you planning on participating in a high school sport next school year?  If so, the Ladue Horton Watkins High School Athletics Department must have a current physical and parent permission on file. Students are not eligible to try out for a sport without these documents on file. These forms must be dated on or AFTER February 1, 2014 to be valid for the 2014-2015 school year.  Completed forms can be turned into the Athletics office now through August 4, 2014 for fall sports. Please visit the Athletics tab on the Ladue Horton Watkins High School website to download the needed forms. 
For the fourth year in a row, DUE CARE will sponsor physicals provided by Logan College of Chiropractic to all Ladue Horton Watkins High School students.  Physicals will only be $15 per student on Saturday, May 31 from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. in the LHWHS Cafeteria. Appointments are not needed!  However, parents must be present to sign all forms at the completion of the physical examination.  If you haven't made arrangements for getting a sports physical for the 2014-2015 school year, we encourage you to take advantage of this special opportunity. If you have any questions, please call the LHWHS Athletics and Activities Office at (314) 983-5421.

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 afternoon and weekend.

Thank you, one week early, for a great school year. 

Greg


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

NSOC Announcement


Good afternoon, LMS Parents and Families. 
I am VERY PLEASED to be able to share the official notification that Ladue Middle School has been named a 2014 National School of Character!
This recognition is given by the Character Education Partnership (CEP), a national advocate and leader for the Character Education movement.  The National School of Character (NSOC) program recognizes schools that have demonstrated the use of character education and development to make a positive impact on academics, student behavior, and school climate.
This is an incredible honor and well earned by our staff and our students.  This year, along with Ladue Middle School, only 41 other schools and 3 districts were named across the United States for such a recognition.  Since its inception, CEP has awarded over 250 schools with the distinction of a National School of Character
The National Schools of Character program is not a competition—but rather an opportunity to go through a rigorous process of feedback and coaching, as well as recognition for growth and excellence in the area of character development through CEP’s 11 Principles of Effective Character Education framework. Ladue Middle School will hold its designation as a National School of Character for five years and be showcased in an annual publication, as well as on CEP’s website.
Character education is the proactive effort by schools, districts, communities and states to help students develop important core ethical (recognizing what’s right) and performance (doing what’s right) values such as caring, honesty, diligence, fairness, fortitude, responsibility, grit, creativity, critical thinking, and respect for self and others. Through character education, students learn how to be their best selves and how to do their best work while making school a place where students and educators feel comfortable and able to work.
While I am incredibly grateful for the contributions of the LMS staff and our students, I also recognize we could not have achieved this recognition without your support at home.  You send great, caring kids to us every day and it is our privilege to help them to learn and to grow as individuals and as a school community.  Thank you, for all you do, to support our efforts here at LMS.
Ladue Middle School will be honored by CEP at the 21st National Forum on Character Education, to be held the weekend of October 30, 2014 in Washington, DC.  Visit http://www.character.org to learn more about the National Forum, the NSOC program and the other 2014 national finalists. To find out more about this program in general, visit http://character.org/2014NSOC
We plan to do some celebrating here at LMS this week and it begins with me being able to share this news with you today.
Sincerely,

Greg