August 8, 2014

Good afternoon.

We held our opening meeting for LMS building staff this morning.  I think it went very well.  We had an opportunity to catch up with everyone’s summer activities, helped celebrate two recent marriages, and welcomed new staff to the school family.

We look forward to seeing you later today, if you have a chance to come by for Community Night.  As previously communicated, we typically get a great turnout, which causes traffic and parking issues.  To try to address this, we highly recommend that:
·      6th grade students/parents come between 4 and 5 pm 
·      7th grade students/parents come between 5 and 6 pm
·      8th grade students/parents come between 6 and 7 pm

You will have a chance at Community Night to:
·      Connect with our Office staff regarding information, forms, contact updates, locker combinations and schedule questions.  They will be located in the Library.
·      Sign up for the LMS Parent Association.  They will be in the Lobby.
·      Purchase LMS attire (shirts and shorts can be used for PE wear).  They will be in the Lobby.
·      Get information regarding the Ladue Youth Baseball program.  They will either be in the Lobby or the Cafeteria.
·      Get some dinner provided by the LMS Dads Club, who will begin serving around 5 pm in the Cafeteria.
·      Drop off donated supplies (through the LMSPA) in Room 105, which is located between the Lobby and the Library.
·      Locate and stock your student’s locker.  PLEASE ENSURE THAT YOUR STUDENT IS USING THEIR ASSIGNED LOCKER, INDICATED ON THEIR SCHEDULE.  Also please be aware that outside decorations on lockers will be prohibited this year (I will explain more fully below).  Any inside decorations should be of such nature that they can be easily removed at the end of the school year.
If you and your family are not able to come this evening, please be aware that our offices and building are open next Monday and Tuesday from 8 am to 3:15 pm.
Please be aware that classroom teachers will not be on duty this evening.

CONGRATULATIONS and THANKS

Congratulations to Counselor Janey Worthington (grade 8 for 2014-2015).  Janey was surprised at this morning’s staff meeting with the announcement that she has been named Missouri Counselor of the Year by the Missouri School Counselor Association (MSCA).  She will be honored at the MSCA statewide convention in early November.

CALENDAR ITEMS

Friday, 8/8
Community Night
   6th Grade, 4 – 5 pm
   7th Grade, 5 – 6 pm
   8th Grade, 6 – 7 pm

Tuesday, 8/12
New 7th and 8th Grade Student Orientation, 8:30 – 10 am
   (All 6th Grade Students will have orientation on the first day of school.)
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

CORRECTION/ADDITION(S)

As indicated in a supplemental message to my previous update, we ask that all cars exiting our campus in the mornings onto Clayton Road turn RIGHT to keep traffic on our lot moving.  Thank you, so much.

NEW ITEMS

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.

UPDATED ITEMS

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

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
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Board Briefs
Information regarding Ladue Board of Education meetings and work sessions can be found on boardbriefs.blogspot.com


Thank you.


Greg

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