August 16, 2014



Good afternoon.  I hope you are enjoying this rainy Saturday.

We seem to have had a good start to the school year, thanks to you, your kids, and our staff.  The 6th graders went through a day of orientation activities on Wednesday and seemed to handle it well.  Staff members were “on call” all day to help all students find their classrooms, provide help with lockers, and answer questions that came up. 

I will assume that issues with bus routes and arrival/departure times will be sorted out soon.  We have had a few late-arriving morning buses, with no penalty to students in terms of tardies.  We have also had some buses arrive on campus in the afternoon later than normal.  Once we get routes ironed out, we should be dismissing buses in about 7 minutes after dismissal.   

CONGRATULATIONS and THANKS

Thank you to Jodi Blucher and Jodi Minkler (Co-Presidents) and members of the LMSPA Executive Board for hosting our first Parent Coffee this morning in the Cafeteria.  The turnout was much larger than in years past, which is a great indicator of our overall level of parent involvement and support here.  We are blessed to have the support of an outstanding Parent Association. 

Thank you, as well, to everyone who has made a right turn onto Clayton Road in the mornings.  This may seem like a minor item, but it makes a HUGE difference in getting cars out of the lot in a timely manner.

CALENDAR ITEMS

Monday, 8/18
Parent/Guardian Technology Agreement and Student User Agreement forms due   
     to the Office
Wednesday, 8/20
Meet The Teacher Night, 6:30 – 8:30 pm (see below)

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

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

Monday, 9/15
6th Grade Camp Session 1; through Wednesday, 9/17
Wednesday, 9/17
6th Grade Camp Session 2; through Friday, 9/19

Wednesday, 9/24
Fundraiser Kickoff assemblies; Periods 1, 2, 3
Friday, 9/26
Fundraiser Postcard turn in; during Lunch periods

Thursday, 10/2
Fundraiser Turn In day 1; during Lunch periods
7th Grade Party; 3:10 – 4:10 pm
Friday, 10/3
Ram Award Pizza day; during Lunch periods

CORRECTION/ADDITION(S)

NEW ITEMS

School Pictures
Picture packets should be distributed to your children today to bring home for your information.  Picture day is scheduled for Wednesday, August 27.  If you wish to order a picture packet, there are two choices:
·      Have your child return the completed picture form back to school, with payment, on August 27.  When their class or group is called to the Gym, they can give this directly to the photographers.
·      Order online prior to picture day at www.WagnerPortraitGoup.com and use the password LMS.
All students, regardless of whether you wish to purchase a packet or not, should be photographed on August 27 for two reasons: yearbook and updated our student database system.  For those students who are absent on August 27, or have problems with their photo from that day, a Picture Retake Day is scheduled for Wednesday, October 8.

6th Grade Camp Information
Information about 6th grade camp will be sent home this evening (Friday).  Paperwork can be turned in to your child's 8th period teacher anytime, but no later than August 29.  Additional camp information and copies of what is sent home today can also be found on the middle school website at:
http://www.ladue.k12.mo.us/lms/ExtraStuff/6thGradeCamp.html

Meet The Teacher Night
Meet The Teacher Night is Wednesday, August 20, from 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Student schedules will be going home on Tuesday.  Please bring this schedule with you on Wednesday evening as you will be following your child's schedule during the program.  More information about the evening can be found at:
http://www.ladue.k12.mo.us/lms/pdfs/MeetTheTeacherNightFlyer2014.pdf
Due to limited parking on our campus, a shuttle bus will be available and will be running between Ladue Chapel (9450 Clayton Road) and LMS from 6 – 9 pm.

Spring Break Opportunity
Visit Costa Rica during Spring Break! There will be an informational meeting for 8th grade Spanish students and parents interested in going to Costa Rica during Spring Break on Thursday, August 28 at 6pm in the library. This information is the same that was given during the informational meeting last year. Parents are invited to accompany their children, but it is not required. The deadline for signing up is November 1. If you have any questions or cannot attend, please email Sarah Schwartz (8th grade AP) at saschwartz@ladueschools.net or call 983-5529.

8th Grade Sports
Is your 8th grader interested in running cross country (co-ed) or playing volleyball (girls) this fall? 8th grade sports are starting soon. Next week, students will have the opportunity to sign up for fall sports during lunch. The sports program is a free, no cut, all play program the focuses on positive sportsmanship and character development. Practices are Tuesdays and Thursdays after school from 3:10-4:10. There is a late bus available after practice. The first practice is Tuesday, September 2. In order to participate, students must turn in required forms and have a physical on file dated on or after February 1. The forms can be found here: http://teachersites.ladue.k12.mo.us/lms/jtheodosiou/8th_Grade_Sports/Welcome.html Paper copies are available in the office. Forms can be turned in to the office or Coach Theodosiou. If you have questions, please email Sarah Schwartz (saschwartz@ladueschools.net) or Coach Theodosiou (jtheodosiou@ladueschools.net).

UPDATED 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:
http://www.myconferencetime.com/laduems
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.

REPEAT ITEMS

GENERAL INFORMATION

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. 

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.

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.

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 you 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.

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 weekend.

Best,


Greg

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