August 24, 2014


Good afternoon.  I hope your weekend has gone well, and that you have been able to stay cool over the last few days.  This would have gone out yesterday, but we got tied up with a birthday celebration during the day and had family over last night.

I would like to bring up two items at the beginning of this message, rather than list them down below in the body of the email.

Item 1
It came to my attention on Friday, as I was leaving for home, that several of our students were crossing Clayton Road (some of whom were outside marked crossing zones).  Please be aware that we have an ABBCO employee (contracted by the district) that serves as a crossing guard (with stop sign and vest) on Clayton Road, near Sportman’s Park, on a daily basis in the afternoons.  A Ladue PD officer is normally located at the intersection of Clayton and Conway Roads at dismissal to help release buses and cover that crosswalk for those students who live to the south of our campus.  The officer was not present on Friday afternoon. 
I contacted not only our Admin Center on the way home, but was also contacted by our Director of Maintenance.  It is my understanding that Ladue PD has an officer present in the afternoons when they are not involved in other emergency calls.  We cannot anticipate when this may occur.  Please be assured that the topic of the crosswalk and intersection at Clayton and Conway in the afternoons will be a topic of conversation and study this week.  We will also increase our communication to students to make sure they are aware of the daily crossing supervision at/near Sportman’s Park, on Clayton Road.

Item 2
Prior to the beginning of school, Leah Scheidt (LMS Drama teacher) approached Dr. Taylor-Johnson and me with an idea for our fall production.  Leah shared that the students she worked with last year, who are returning, were exceptionally talented for middle school students and she wished to challenge them with something not ordinarily attempted by our students.
Leah proposed that we produce the play “And a Child Shall Lead”, a drama written for middle level students based upon true stories and poems of children who were interred at the Terezin Nazi concentration camp, near Prague, during World War 2.  To be honest, I have struggled with this.  On one hand, light-hearted productions 1) are greatly entertaining and 2) appeal to our audiences (mainly composed of family members).  On the other hand, if we truly wish to challenge our students, help them make connections to “real world” events and multi-cultural and multi-ethnic issues, then an undertaking of this kind should be considered.
Last week, I was able to read the script of this play, almost in its entirety (the last ten pages or so were not available through the special preview process – copyright provisions and we have not purchased scripts as yet).  I have little knowledge of the fine arts, being an old Science and mathematics teacher.  With that in mind, I can honestly share that I was deeply, deeply moved by the stories of these poor children, who exhibited more courage and strength than I can ever imagine in myself.  I proceeded to walk to Leah’s classroom, suggested a few modifications that she had already considered, and let her know that I approved of her selection.
Should you wish to look at a preview of “And a Child Shall Lead”, particularly if you have a student interested in auditioning for or working on this production, please use the following link:  http://www.playscripts.com/play/1242
 
CONGRATULATIONS and THANKS

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend our Meet The Teacher Night on Wednesday, August 20.

Thank you to Scott Lackey, 6th Grade Assistant Principal for coordinating the event and to all the staff members who helped make it happen.  Particular thanks go out to our LMS Custodians for the set up in the Gym.

CALENDAR ITEMS

Tuesday, 8/26
After School Activities begin (Tuesdays and Thursdays)
Wednesday, 8/27
School Picture Day
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

After School Activities/Quarter 1
We offer after school activities each quarter, based upon student interest and staff availability.  These occur on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, from dismissal until 4:10 pm.  Quarter 1 activities will begin this Tuesday.  I will make it a priority to communicate activity choices through our website and through a corresponding email on Monday/tomorrow.  My apologies for getting this information out later than anticipated.

Access to Google Drive documents/forms
Please be aware that in order to access documents or forms that teachers have posted via Google Drive, you must be logged into your child’s ladueschools.net account.  Mr. Kindt, our LMS Technology Coordinator, has posted a “how to” link on the LMS website that should help:
http://kkindt-ladueschools.blogspot.com/p/parent-help.html

Vision Screening Volunteer Request
If any parent is a nurse and would like to volunteer to assist with our vision screening on Monday, October 27, please contact Ann Body at annbody@ladueschools.net or leave a message in the clinic at 983-5516.  

Girls Scouts
7th grade girls: there is a Girl Scout troop for you.  Parents and all interested girls are welcome to come to an organizational meeting on Wednesday, August 27th, after school in the LMS library. Our meetings are once per month, on the first Wednesday, from 3:15 to 5pm.  If there are any questions, please contact Sarah Martin via email at goodmartin2u@sbcglobal.net.

Lunches/Going Outside
We try to provide students the choice of going outside at the back of our building during lunches.  This is usually the last ten minutes or so of the lunch period.  Please know that we monitor this in terms of weather (extreme heat and extreme cold) and reinforce that this is based upon choice – students may remain in the Cafeteria until the conclusion of the lunch period.

MTN Survey
If you have a moment, we could use your feedback on Meet The Teacher Night.  There is a very brief survey available for you input at:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/lmsmtn2014

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

6th Grade Camp Information
Information about 6th grade camp should have arrived to you.  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

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 October 1 (Please note, last week's email said November 1 in error). 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).

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.

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 afternoon and evening.

My best,


Greg

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