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Friday, November 28, 2014

November 28, 2014




Good afternoon. 

I hope you and your families have been able to have a joyous and safe Thanksgiving holiday.

CONGRATULATIONS and THANKS

In regard to the above, I would like to share my heartfelt thanks and appreciation to you all.  I am blessed to be able to work in a great school, with great colleagues, outstanding students, and parents who are supportive and value our educational programs. 

CALENDAR ITEMS

Monday, 12/1
Discovery Education (DE) testing (through 12/4); Block Day schedules
·      12/1 – White day/Periods 1, 3, 5, 7
·      12/2 – White day/Periods 2, 4, 6, 8
·      12/3 – Blue day/Periods 1, 3, 5, 7
·      12/4 – Blue day/Periods 2, 4, 6, 8
Friday, 12/5
Regular schedule – periods 1 through 8
Hearing screenings
DE test make up day
Ram Award Pizza day; all lunch shifts

Monday, 12/8
Scholastic Reading Inventory testing for those students below grade level (through Friday, 12/12)
Wednesday, 12/10
LMS Orchestra concert, Grade 6; 7 pm; LMS (see below)
Thursday, 12/11
LMS Band concert; 7 pm; LMS (see below)
Friday, 12/12
Early Release day; Dismissal at 12:40 pm

Friday, 12/19
End of Semester 2

Monday, 12/22 through Friday, January 2
Winter Break

Monday, 1/5
School resumes

CORRECTION/ADDITION(S)

The Orchestra and Band concerts scheduled for December 10 and 11 will occur at LMS.  I incorrectly listed these earlier as occurring at the HS Performing Arts Center.

NEW ITEMS

LMSPA/Gift & Project
The following is from the LMSPA Co-Presidents: Jodi Blucher and Jodi Minkler.
WHAT IS GIFT & PROJECT?
If you are new to LMS or if you have ever asked yourself that question, the information below will help to answer this.
The Gift and Project (lovingly called G & P) Fundraiser is the LMSPA's biggest fundraiser.  It takes place two times per year: Winter (around the holidays) and Spring (near the end of the school year).  Through this fundraiser, families donate to the LMSPA in honor of our wonderful Ladue Middle School Faculty and Staff.  As a family you decide whom you wish to honor with your donation.  Each staff member then receives a letter informing them of who has honored them by donating to the LMSPA (donation amounts are not disclosed).  The money raised then goes to gifts and projects that the LMSPA funds for our school community each year.
In a few days, you will be receiving a letter describing some of the many things that the Gift & Project Fundraiser has helped to do for our school. We hope you will consider honoring your teachers and others with a donation.

UPDATED ITEMS

Canned Food Drive and Assembly
We concluded a very successful Canned Food Drive this past Monday.  Our Canned Food Assembly, as previously communicated, was scheduled to occur on Tuesday afternoon.  With the cancellation of school on that day, we were not able to communicate school/grade level/classroom totals and celebrate the efforts of everyone who participated. 
I do not wish to complicate our Discovery Ed testing schedule that will occur this coming Monday through Thursday.  I also want to get a feel for where we are as a staff, and get a sense of where our students are, following the events in our area over the past several days before scheduling a school-wide celebration.  I will confer with our admin team on Monday, if not before, and will communicate revised plans if/when they are finalized.

Mural
One side of the mural I have referenced earlier was completed by Mr. Fishbone and our Art students this past Monday.  I am including a picture with the Blackboard Connect email for your reference. 

REPEAT ITEMS

Yearbooks On Sale 
Yearbooks are on sale now. 
Orders can be placed by going to www.yearbookordercenter.com
and entering #8647 to order (or there is a link under the Activities tab on the LMS webpage).  Phone orders can also be made by calling 1-866-287-3096.  Please email any questions to Sharrie Cognac, one of our yearbook sponsors.  She can be contacted at scognac@ladueschools.net

Magazines/Fundraiser
I have fielded a few recent questions asking when magazines from our yearly fundraiser will begin arriving.  I checked with John Buchanan, who runs our fundraiser through Great American.  He says that most people should be receiving their magazines now or very soon.  Publishers send them out at all different times of the month.  Great American has a 100% satisfaction guarantee on everything.  If you need more information, please contact the company at (877) 289-6247 and they will be able to pull up your order and let you know when it will arrive. 

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


Take care and be safe (if you are traveling) over the remainder of this week and weekend.


Greg

Friday, November 21, 2014

November 21, 2014

Good afternoon.

I will do my best to get a message out prior to the beginning of Thanksgiving break next week.

CONGRATULATIONS and THANKS

Thank you to everyone who responded to my recent email regarding traffic/student drop off and pick up concerns.  The number of folks who continue to double park in our parking lot between the two entrances in the mornings and afternoons has decreased. 

CALENDAR ITEMS

Tuesday, 11/25
LMS Turkey Trot and Assembly (see below)
No after school activities/No activity buses (see below)
Wednesday, 11/26 through Friday, 11/28
Thanksgiving Break; No School

Monday, 12/1
Discovery Education (DE) testing (through 12/4); Block Day schedules
·      12/1 – White day/Periods 1, 3, 5, 7
·      12/2 – White day/Periods 2, 4, 6, 8
·      12/3 – Blue day/Periods 1, 3, 5, 7
·      12/4 – Blue day/Periods 2, 4, 6, 8
Friday, 12/5
Regular schedule – periods 1 through 8
Hearing screenings
DE test make up day
Ram Award Pizza day; all lunch shifts

Monday, 12/8
Scholastic Reading Inventory testing for those students below grade level (through Friday, 12/12)
Wednesday, 12/10
LMS Orchestra concert, Grade 6; 7 pm; LHWHS Performing Arts Center
Thursday, 12/11
LMS Band concert; 7 pm; LHWHS Performing Arts Center
Friday, 12/12
Early Release day; Dismissal at 12:40 pm

Friday, 12/19
End of Semester 2

Monday, 12/22 through Friday, January 2
Winter Break

Monday, 1/5
School resumes

CORRECTION/ADDITION(S)

NEW ITEMS

After School Activities next Tuesday
Please be aware that all regularly-scheduled after school activities will NOT be held next Tuesday (November 25), nor will there be after school activity buses running that day.  This will include any Science Olympiad practices that are normally held on Tuesdays from 4 to 5 pm.
This cancellation is NOT related to the recent issues in the courts and media in our area, but rather a yearly practice on a school day leading up to a holiday.

Yearbooks On Sale 
Yearbooks are on sale now. 
Orders can be placed by going to www.yearbookordercenter.com
and entering #8647 to order (or there is a link under the Activities tab on the LMS webpage).  Phone orders can also be made by calling 1-866-287-3096.  Please email any questions to Sharrie Cognac, one of our yearbook sponsors.  She can be contacted at scognac@ladueschools.net

Magazines/Fundraiser
I have fielded a few recent questions asking when magazines from our yearly fundraiser will begin arriving.  I checked with John Buchanan, who runs our fundraiser through Great American.  He says that most people should be receiving their magazines now or very soon.  Publishers send them out at all different times of the month.  Great American has a 100% satisfaction guarantee on everything.  If you need more information, please contact the company at (877) 289-6247 and they will be able to pull up your order and let you know when it will arrive. 

Mural Update
As previously shared, the LMSPA has commissioned local artist Robert Fishbone to work with our Art classes in producing a mural for one of our hallway areas.  I check it daily, with the intent of documenting their progress.  I am attaching a photo to the Blackboard Connect email to keep you updated.  Mr. Fishbone informs me that the anticipated completion could be as early as next week.

UPDATED ITEMS

REPEAT ITEMS

Ladue Middle School 17th Annual Turkey Trot, Penny War and Canned Food Drive
Canned Food Drive:  November 17 – 24
LMS is collecting can and money donations for Gateway 180, an area shelter that distributes food and funds to many area homeless shelters.  There will be a competition to see which class at each grade level can bring in the most cans.  The class with the best overall per student donation average will win a pizza party.  The winning class at each grade level will receive a soda and chip party.  You may choose to bring in money instead of cans.  One can equals $.50 (make checks out to Ladue Middle School).  All cans will be turned into the before school grade level waiting area (cafeteria or gym) and collected by parent volunteers as well as members of the Social Justice Club and National Junior Honor Society.
100 Can Club – All students bringing in 100 cans will receive a 100 Can Club Certificate hung in the hall with their name on it and their name read on the afternoon announcements.  Members of the 100 Can Club will have the opportunity to throw a pie in one of their favorite faculty member’s face!
Turkey Trot:  November 25
A special Turkey Trot schedule will be created with shortened periods that will allow for the running of three separate one-mile races, one for each grade level, as well as an all school celebration at the end of the school day. 
All School Celebration Assembly:  November 25; 2:25 – 3:05 pm
We will recognize the winning grade level of penny war, the winning classes of canned food drive, 100 can club members and turkey trot winners. 100 can club members will be selected at this time to throw a pie in the face of some of their favorite faculty members!

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


Good luck (again) to the LHWHS Rams Varsity Football players and coaches in tonight’s state playoff game versus Battle High School in Columbia, MO (the address is 7575 East St. Charles Road; Columbia, MO), with game time scheduled for 7 pm.
Should our Rams prevail this evening, they would then play either Nixa or Park Hill in the state championship game on Friday, November 28 at 7:30 pm at the Edward Jones Dome.

Best wishes to you all,


Greg

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

LMS Traffic Procedures

Good morning.

I just sent out a Blackboard Connect email regarding some concerns I have regarding morning and afternoon traffic and student drop off/pick up.

Please reference this email when you can, including the attached map.

Thank you,

Greg

Friday, November 14, 2014

November 14, 2014

Good afternoon. 

I have had the opportunity to sit in on, or walk through, several of the sessions scheduled for today’s district-wide professional development day.  Please know that these days are scheduled and planned carefully and deliberately to positively impact our level of service to you and your children.  Knowing that a day off for students can cause challenges for work and family schedules, we do not take these days lightly.

CONGRATULATIONS and THANKS

Congratulations to Leah Scheidt and cast/crew of “The Southfield Stories” for two great performances last Friday night at the LHWHS Black Box Theater.

Congratulations to Leah Alrutz and members of the 6th, 7th and 8th grade Choirs and Chamber Singers for an outstanding concert this past Wednesday evening at the LHWHS Performing Arts Center.

Thank you to Laila Crabtree for organizing yesterday’s 7th grade class trip to Trout Lodge and City Museum.  Thank you as well to all staff members and parent chaperones who made this happen.

CALENDAR ITEMS

Monday, 11/17
LMS Canned Food Drive begins (see below)
Last day for LMS Penny War

Tuesday, 11/25
LMS Turkey Trot and Assembly (see below)
Wednesday, 11/26 through Friday, 11/28
Thanksgiving Break; No School

Monday, 12/1
Discovery Education (DE) testing (through 12/4); Block Day schedules
·      12/1 – White day/Periods 1, 3, 5, 7
·      12/2 – White day/Periods 2, 4, 6, 8
·      12/3 – Blue day/Periods 1, 3, 5, 7
·      12/4 – Blue day/Periods 2, 4, 6, 8
Friday, 12/5
Hearing screenings
Ram Award Pizza day; all lunch shifts

Monday, 12/8
Scholastic Reading Inventory testing for those students below grade level (through Friday, 12/12)
Wednesday, 12/10
LMS Orchestra concert, Grade 6; 7 pm; LHWHS Performing Arts Center
Thursday, 12/11
LMS Band concert; 7 pm; LHWHS Performing Arts Center
Friday, 12/12
Early Release day; Dismissal at 12:40 pm

Friday, 12/19
End of Semester 2

Monday, 12/22 through Friday, January 2
Winter Break

Monday, 1/5
School resumes

CORRECTION/ADDITION(S)

NEW ITEMS

TED Talk
Tiffany, Janey, Roger and I had the opportunity to view a TED Talk regarding “grit” at the recent National Forum on Character Education and thought it should be shared.  This may also be included in the next LMSPA communication.  Want to know more?  
Enter 
http://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_the_key_to_success_grit
into your search engine to view the less than seven-minute presentation on YouTube. 

Student Fundraiser for Food Outreach
Matthew Butz, LMS 8th grader, would like to hold a Hat Day to raise funds for Food Outreach on Friday, November 21, in honor of his uncle. 
This non-profit organization is a nutrition resource for men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS or undergoing treatment for cancer in 174 zip codes throughout the metro St. Louis area, including various counties in Illinois.  Many of these clients are too weak to prepare meals, much less shop for food. Others experience changes in appetite due to the treatment side effects. Still others are undernourished because they are poor or because their disease has made them poor.
For a $1 donation, students will be able to wear hats in school that day.  Matthew will provide each with a sticker to designate that they have made a contribution.  Donations can be made on the morning of November 21, before the beginning of school, in the LMS lobby. 

Hidden Valley ski pass information
LMS Parents, are you interested in purchasing a discounted Hidden Valley season pass for yourself or others?  This pass is available for anyone.  See the link below for more information:
http://bit.ly/LadueHV2014
If you have questions, please email Mark Biernbaum @ mbiernbaum@ladueschools.net

Additional Ski Trip information
Ski Trip dates:
·      Friday, January 9
·      Friday, January 23
·      Friday, January 30
·      Friday, February 6
·      Friday, February 20
·      Friday, February 27 (makeup date)
The following information was provided by LMS teacher and Ski Trip coordinator Mark Biernbaum at meetings following Parents to Lunch this past week:
·      Students will get changed here at LMS in different areas of the school prior to leaving for Hidden Valley.
·      Buses will leave LMS right after school.
·      Please have your child bring all his/her ski clothing with him to school.
·      Put names on all clothes and equipment.  Gloves are a must (especially for beginners) with toe rope.
·      If your child is taking their own skis/snowboard, it will sit in the front lobby.  If you are delivering it to school please do so before 2 pm on the date of their trip.
·      Please have your child take at least 4 quarters for one time use lockers – sometimes change is a problem (their change machine often runs out of quarters with the large number of students we take).  Remind kids not to lock up all their money or they will have to pay again to open lockers when getting ready to purchase dinner.
·      We strongly recommend helmets.  Mr. Biernbaum suggests purchasing one, rather than renting each day.
·      Kids who have never skied MUST take a lesson at least the first day (January 9).  Make sure you tell your kids they must.  Do not let other kids tell them they do not need it.
·      Buses return to LMS at 9:30 pm.  Please try to carpool (450+ cars in our parking lot can cause a major problem).  Please do not show up at 10 pm, as we have teachers waiting until all kids have been picked up to leave.
·      Your child will NOT receive an actual ski pass card, unless he/she goes to Hidden Valley on a day that our school does not provide transportation.  If or when kids do go on a Friday we are not there, they will need to be with a parent or have some sort of picture I.D to prove they are who they say they are.  Then they will have their picture taken and be given their actual card.
·      Send no less than $10 with your child for dinner.  For example, chicken strips, fries and a drink costs $10.25 (last year).  Prices are comparable to those at 6 Flags or the St. Louis Zoo. 
·      Kids may go back to their lockers after returning to LMS at 9:30 pm.
·      If your child is planning to stay late at Hidden Valley after the LMS buses leave, he/she MUST have a note (signed by a parent/guardian) and it needs to be given to the teacher/bus chaperone here at LMS when getting on the bus.  We cannot accept phone calls as permission.
Ski trip morning traffic tips from Greg:
·      Morning car traffic on Ski Trip Friday mornings is heavier than normal.
·      Students take longer to unload from cars if they are bringing equipment to school.
·      Students should carry their equipment to be stored in the LMS Lobby during the day.  Areas will be designated by grade level.
·      It is highly encouraged that parents arrange car pools, thereby reducing the overall number of cars on those mornings.
·      It is recommended that cars deliver students between 7:15 and 7:45 on those mornings, prior to the arrival of buses around 7:50 am. 

UPDATED ITEMS

REPEAT ITEMS

Ladue Middle School 17th Annual Turkey Trot, Penny War and Canned Food Drive
Penny Wars:  November 10 – 17
Show that your grade level is the most caring and has the most spirit.  Each grade level will have a jug placed in the lobby all week for donation collection.  All pennies and checks (made out to Ladue Middle School) placed into a jug count as a positive amount.  All silver coins and paper money counts as a negative dollar amount equivalent to their denomination.  The grade level with the greatest positive (or least negative) amount at the end of the week wins!  All donations will go to Free the Children Create Change program to help children and families in impoverished countries.
Canned Food Drive:  November 17 – 24
LMS is collecting can and money donations for Gateway 180, an area shelter that distributes food and funds to many area homeless shelters.  There will be a competition to see which class at each grade level can bring in the most cans.  The class with the best overall per student donation average will win a pizza party.  The winning class at each grade level will receive a soda and chip party.  You may choose to bring in money instead of cans.  One can equals $.50 (make checks out to Ladue Middle School).  All cans will be turned into the before school grade level waiting area (cafeteria or gym) and collected by parent volunteers as well as members of the Social Justice Club and National Junior Honor Society.
100 Can Club – All students bringing in 100 cans will receive a 100 Can Club Certificate hung in the hall with their name on it and their name read on the afternoon announcements.  Members of the 100 Can Club will have the opportunity to throw a pie in one of their favorite faculty member’s face!
Turkey Trot:  November 25
A special Turkey Trot schedule will be created with shortened periods that will allow for the running of three separate one-mile races, one for each grade level, as well as an all school celebration at the end of the school day. 
All School Celebration Assembly:  November 25; 2:25 – 3:05 pm
We will recognize the winning grade level of penny war, the winning classes of canned food drive, 100 can club members and turkey trot winners. 100 can club members will be selected at this time to throw a pie in the face of some of their favorite faculty members!

Canned Food Drive
Parent volunteers are needed for the LMS Canned Food Drive.  This will occur Monday, November 17 through Monday, November 24 (7:15 to 8:20 am).  Please contact Nancy Edwards (my Secretary) at nedwards@ladueschools.net or call (314) 983-5502 if you are able to volunteer for this great event.  We need one volunteer for each grade per day.  You do not have to work every day.  Working even one morning would be a tremendous help.

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


Best wishes to the LHWHS Rams Varsity Football players and coaches in tomorrow’s state playoff game versus Jackson.  The game is scheduled to be played at St. Louis University High School (4970 Oakland Avenue), beginning at 1 pm.

Have a great weekend and stay warm.


Greg