August 12, 2014

Good morning.

For some parents of recent enrollees, this may be the first Parent Update you have received.  With that in mind, I am including information sent out previously, over the past week or so, in order to communicate what has already been shared (please see the section titled “Repeat Items”).  My Updates, once the school year begins, should not be as lengthy as this. 

CONGRATULATIONS and THANKS

Congratulations to Elizabeth Petersen, 7th Grade Science, who has been asked to present at the Science Teachers of Missouri fall convention.  This will be held on September 26 at Washington University.

CALENDAR ITEMS

Wednesday, 8/13
Opening Day of School
Friday, 8/15
Parent Coffee (all grades), 8:30 – 9:30 am, LMS Cafeteria

Wednesday, 8/20
Meet The Teacher Night, 6:30 – 8:30 pm (more information to follow)

Tuesday, 8/26
After School Activities begin (Tuesdays and Thursdays)
Wednesday, 8/27
School Picture Day (more information to follow)
6th Grade Camp Parent meeting, 7 – 8 pm

Monday, 9/1
Labor Day: NO SCHOOL
Tuesday, 9/2
SRI Reading assessments; Grades 7 and 8
Wednesday, 9/3
SRI Reading assessments; Grade 6

Monday, 9/8
Discovery Education (DE) assessments; through Thursday, 9/11
     Block Day schedules
Friday, 9/12
Early Release day; 12:40 pm


CORRECTION/ADDITION(S)

NEW ITEMS

Fall Parent Conferences
Parent Conferences are scheduled for Wednesday, October 22 (3:50 to 7:30 pm) and Thursday, October 23 (1:20 to 6:40 pm). 
Sign ups are now available online at:
You may also the website by going to the LMS webpage using the following link:
Prior to completing your sign up, please carefully review the instructions that are provided.  Do not delay in signing up as appointment slots fill up very quickly.



UPDATED ITEMS

Student Handbooks
As previously communicated, teachers will review the Student Handbook with students during the first days of school.  Please pay particular attention to the sections on Dress Code and Electronic Devices.  Hard copies of our Student Handbook should be coming home with your kids no later than next Friday (August 22).

Electronic Devices
After sending out previous information regarding our expectations and practices regarding student possession and use of electronic devices, a parent inquiry made up think about e-readers (Kindles and Nooks).  The consensus of the staff and administration is that student possession and use of e-readers is acceptable during the school day (using the same parameters for use of traditional books).  For those e-reader devices that have game capability, it is stressed that they only be used for reading purposes during approved class time.
Students who wish to carry e-readers with them during the day should keep them in their possession at all times.  Please understand that student possession of a personal electronic device at school is at the parent’s discretion.  The school cannot be liable for damage or loss during personal use, improper/unapproved use, or use by another student.  

REPEAT ITEMS

8TH GRADE SPECIFIC INFORMATION

Packet Pickup/8th Grade Tdap Immunization
If you have a student who is entering 8th Grade this fall, a Tdap vaccination is required.  It is a tetanus booster shot with pertussis (for whooping cough).  Most children have had this vaccine somewhere around their 11th or 12th birthday.  The nurse will need an updated vaccination record to verify that your student has had this immunization prior to the release of your child’s registration packet.  According to State law, your child may not begin the school year until we have received the appropriate documentation.  If you need to check to see if your child has a current record on file, you may contact the LMS Office at 314-993-3900.  If we do not have a record on file, you may have your child’s doctor fax a current record to LMS at 314-997-8736 or it can be dropped off at our Office prior to packet pick on August 4 and 5.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Lockers/Decorations
Historically, we have allowed students to decorate the outside of their lockers.  This year, we are asking that the outside of lockers remain free of pictures, decorations, stickers, etc.  This will include decorations placed on lockers by other students to celebrate birthdays.  We are working on an alternative to allow students to help their friends celebrate, possibly using notecards which can be deposited into the locker interiors through vents in the locker door.  Our goal is to keep lockers and hallways clean and clutter-free, and we thank you for your cooperation on this.

Fundraiser Update
We have typically based our yearly fundraising efforts on magazine sales.  We will continue to offer this option, as well as provide new choices like photo books, photo cards, memory books, photo gifts and photo calendars.  You should be able to view sample products at tonight’s Community Night at the LMSPA table.

Technology Forms
Parent/Guardian Technology Agreement and Student User Agreement forms will need to be completed by all 6th grade parents and students.  These forms will be included in 7th and 8th grade packets and will need to be completed if they do not currently have one on file.  Please return these forms by Monday, August 18.

Contact Information
It is important for the middle school to have the correct contact information, address, and phone numbers for your child in case of an emergency.  Address changes must be done by contacting our registrar and providing appropriate documentation.  Please take a few minutes to make sure your child’s contact information is correct by logging on to the Parent Portal.  If you have not signed up to access the Parent Portal, please stop by the middle school with a picture ID and see our registrar, Ms. Breidenbach.  You can also update your information by contacting our registrar, Ms. Breidenbach at 983-5511.

Lunch Pricing
Our district uses Chartwells School Dining Services for our school meals program.  Information regarding our meal program, as well as a menu for the month of August, will be available on packet pick up days.  Also included in this information will be forms for our Free/Reduced meal program for qualifying families. 
Meals prices for the coming year are as follows for LMS students:
Breakfast - $1.55, ($0.30 for Reduced price)
Lunch - $2.65, ($0.40 for Reduced price)
Milk - $0.55
Chartwells uses Ladue’s meal accounting system to record student payments and purchases throughout the school year.  A few reminders:
·      Establish your student’s meal account before the school year begins.
·      Checks should be made payable to the Ladue Schools Foodservice, with the student’s name and amount enclosed in an envelope.
·      Pre-payments can also be made through myschoolbucks.com.  Please note that it takes 24 to 48 hours for these payments to show on the student account.
·      Pre-payment deposits are recommended weekly or monthly to avoid negative student account balances.
Balances from the previous school year are carried forward to the new school year, and from school to school.  For balance information, you may call the LMS Office or check myschoolbucks.com.

Phone Routing System
We will be implementing a phone routing system here soon.  Although it is great to be answered by a real person, this comes as a result of the numerous calls we receive on our main line during a normal school day.  We have worked to keep the number of options down to a minimum, to better meet your needs and respect your time.  Once implemented, calls to the 993-3900 number will offer the following options:
·      Clinic
·      Attendance
·      Assistant Principals’ Office
·      Counselors
·      Registrar
·      All Others
If the extension your are attempting to reach is busy, my understanding is that your call will be re-routed to our main Reception desk.  Should this line be busy, it will go directly to our Receptionist’s voicemail.

School Times
Our school day begins with 1st period at 8:15 am.  Our school day ends with the conclusion of 8th period at 3:05 pm. Students arriving by car in the morning can access our Lobby by 7:30 am (prior to that time, we do not have staff on duty for supervision).  Students arriving on campus between 7:30 am and 7:50 am will be supervised in the Lobby.  After 7:50 am, students will be directed to the following areas, by grade level, before dismissal to the lockers: 
·      6th Grade – Cafeteria
·      7th Grade – Gymnasium, Boys side
·      8th Grade – Gymnasium, Girls side
Staff will be assigned to each area for supervision.  More information regarding traffic practices is below.

Traffic/AM and PM
Since most of you are returning parents, I have save this for last.  Nothing much in terms of procedure has changed over the last two years.
If you are a parent new to our building, or if it has been several years since you have had a student at LMS, you might wish to review the following.  Please bear with me, since this is easier to explain in person than to type out. 
Morning Traffic
We will have personnel outside to monitor and direct traffic each morning by 7:40 am at the latest.  I usually am located at the Clayton Road entrance, while a second staff member will be located at the back entrance to our Circle Drive.
·      Prior to the arrival of buses at around 7:50 am, all students transported by car can proceed to the back entrance to the Circle Drive, enter the Circle Drive, and enter our building through our Main Entrance.  After dropping off students, cars can then exit the Circle Drive onto Conway Road.
·      Once buses begin to arrive, cars entering campus will be re-routed to our back Blacktop.  Cars should proceed down the Maintenance Drive, turn left, and approach our building through the Blacktop.  Students can exit cars at the rear door to the Gymnasium and enter there, under the supervision of a staff member.  Depending on time, students will then be directed to their grade level areas listed above or to their lockers to prepare for 1st period.
·      After dropping off students, cars will then exit our campus onto Clayton Road (if buses are still in the Circle Drive).  We ask that each exiting car PLEASE turn right onto Clayton Road to expedite traffic flow.  Cars waiting to turn left onto Clayton impede traffic exiting our campus a great deal.
·      Once all buses have arrived and dropped riders off, cars can then return to drop off and exit through the Circle Drive (the staff member and I remain outside on traffic duty until 8:05 am).
·      In order to avoid the bulk of our traffic issues each morning, it is suggested that students arrive by car between 7:30 and 7:50 am.
·      We ask that you not drop off your child in the bank parking lot (causing traffic stoppages as students must cross Conway Road) and definitely not have students exit cars while on Conway Road.
Afternoon Traffic
Buses begin lining up in our Circle Drive around 2:50 pm.  This blocks the Circle Drive from car access and exiting onto Conway Road.  At the 3:05 pm dismissal, bus riders are released from the building first, while car riders are held in the Lobby until buses exit the campus at around 3:15 pm (we get faster after the first few weeks).
·      Cars entering our campus are directed to proceed through the Blacktop at the rear of the building.
·      Cars then line up in the Maintenance Drive and wait for the release of buses.
·      Once buses have cleared the Circle Drive, cars can then proceed to the front of the building to pick up students.
·      If you will be consistently picking up your student by car in the afternoon, I would suggest that you not arrive until between 3:15 pm and 3:30 pm.
·      If you have a need to pick up your student prior to the 3:05 pm dismissal, please park in our parking lot (rather than the Circle Drive) anytime after 2:45 to 2:50 pm to avoid being blocked by arriving buses.

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


Thank you.  Please wish your kids a great last day of summer break and let them know we look forward to seeing them on Wednesday.


Greg

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