January 11, 2015



Good morning.  I hope your weekend is going well.  I am in the office for a few hours, attempting to catch up on tasks (fewer distractions than at home) and wanted to get this out before the day transitioned to football playoff games.

CONGRATULATIONS and THANKS

Congratulations to LMS Science teacher, Harold Webb, for the recent release of his first podcast (entitled “The Chalkboard Podcast”).  I had the chance to listen last Friday and enjoyed hearing the views of his colleagues and students about what makes teaching and learning so magical.  Soon after its release, a person who reviews podcasts (with 22,000 followers) picked it up and gave it a great review. 
direct website: thechalkboardpodcast.libsyn.com
Twitter search for @Chalkboardpod
Facebook search for The Chalkboard Podcast

CALENDAR ITEMS

Tuesday, 1/13
Official start date for 3rd Quarter After School Activities (some began last week due to unique circumstances)
Thursday, 1/15
8th Grade Parents To Lunch and Principal Meeting (Library)
Friday, 1/16
Early Release Day at 12:40 pm/Professional Development sessions

Monday, 1/19
No School; Dr. Martin Luther King Day holiday
Friday, 1/23
6th Grade Parents To Lunch and Principal Meeting (Library)
Hidden Valley Ski Trip
LHWHS Community Basketball Chili Supper; 5 – 7 pm; HS Cafeteria (see below)

Thursday, 1/29
7th Grade Parents To Lunch and Principal Meeting (Library) – originally scheduled for 1/22
Friday, 1/30
Hidden Valley Ski Trip

Monday, 2/2
Discovery Education (DE) testing, round 3 (through Thursday, 2/5).  Block Day schedules.
·      2/2: Blue/Odd
·      2/3: Blue/Even
·      2/4: White/Odd
·      2/5: White/Even
High School counselors begin meeting with current grade 8 students regarding registration for next year.
Friday, 2/6
Hidden Valley Ski Trip

CORRECTIONS/ADDITIONS

In my 12/29 message, I incorrectly listed the Friday, January 30 Ski Trip as occurring on Thursday, January 29.  I have corrected this in the Calendar Items above.

NEW ITEMS

Basketball Chili Supper
The Ladue School District’s Annual Chili Supper and Basketball night will occur on Friday, January 23, from 5 – 7 pm, in the LHWHS Cafeteria.  All LECC, Elementary, Middle and High School families are encouraged to attend.  Costs are $6 per person in advance and $8 at the door that evening.  Ticket purchases include: 1) Chili and BBQ dinner; 2) entrance to the Ladue girls JV and Varsity games; and 3) related activities, entertainment and fun.  You are asked to rsvp by January 16 to Committee Chair Audrey Mack at 314-997-5039 or to aemack@swbell.net
Payment and registration may also be made online at www.laduehighpa.com

Community Service Project
Please help Social Justice Club and Character Council with their collection of new socks to help keep the homeless of St. Louis warm.  Bring a package or two of new, warm socks and place them in the box in the front lobby.  The drive begins on Monday, Jan. 12 and ends on Jan. 16.  The socks will be sent to Old Bonhomme and included in their annual "Socks and Sandwiches" service project.  Thanks in advance!

NAEP Exam (Grade 8)
For the past several years, LMS has been selected to participate in the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) exam.  First administered in 1969, NAEP is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what students know and can do in various subject areas. It is administered by the National Center for Education Statistics, within the U.S. Department of Education. NAEP is different from state assessments because it provides a common measure of student achievement across the country. The results of NAEP are released as The Nation's Report Card, which provides information about student achievement to educators, parents, policymakers, and the public.
Approximately ninety current 8th grade students have been randomly selected by NAEP to take this exam on February 11.  Parents of selected students should have already received a letter from me last week, included in our report card mailing.

I Am LMS Day
On February 12, we will conduct our annual I Am LMS Day, which celebrates and raises awareness of our rich, diverse student, staff, and community population.  Sessions developed by our Diversity Committee and student Diversity Council will be held on that day, at each grade level.
 
LMS Master Schedule
Since the beginning of this school year, we have been evaluating our current eight-period master schedule to see if it meets our needs in terms of instruction, learning, and achievement.  This study has been conducted by a representative group of administrators, counselors and building teachers.
One of the advantages of our current schedule is that it offers more opportunities for student choice in terms of electives than that found in other middle schools.  One of the disadvantages is that it requires us to hold class periods on an average of about forty-three minutes each – not considered sufficient by myself and other members of our committee.  
The committee has examined many alternate schedule formats, looking closely at the potential advantages and disadvantages of each.  In an attempt to extend the duration of class periods, we worked with the knowledge that 1) we have only so much time available in our school day and 2) when you add something in one area, you will more than likely need to take something away in another.  With time running very short in order to begin preparing for the 2015-2016 registration process, it was determined that we would continue with our eight-period day for the coming school year.  We may make some “tweaks” in terms of our current format to better meet our needs, but will maintain our basic format rather than implement something quickly without figuring out all the angles and impacts fully.
Our committee will continue to study possibilities this spring and next fall for a master schedule adjustment for the 2016-2017 school year.  I will do my best to keep you updated on this process.

Recycling Drive
Midwest Recycling Center will be holding a free community-wide electronic recycling drive at LMS on Saturday, April 25, from 10 am to 1 pm (rain or shine).  Please reference their website at www.midwrc.net under the Public Recycling Events tab for more information as the date approaches.  Information should be available in terms of acceptable and restricted items.

UPDATED ITEMS

REPEAT ITEMS

Parking at dismissal/First National Bank
A business in that building is having issues with parents parking in our customer and employee lot during pickup hours.   This creates issues for their customers coming to transact business and employees returning to work and trying to find a parking place. 

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

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 for your time on this rather lengthy message.  Please take care this afternoon with the anticipated winter weather moving into our area.

Greg



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