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Sunday, February 22, 2015

February 22, 2015




Good afternoon.  I am having issues with posting my Update email through Blackboard Connect.  A copy of my text has just been sent to Dr. Taylor-Johnson, Mrs. Schwartz and Mr. Lackey to see if one of them have any more luck.  

I hope you didn’t have any difficulties if you had to be out this past Friday evening. 

As mentioned in my messages on Friday afternoon, we have a built-in Ski Trip make up day this coming Friday.  I hope we can get this trip in.  The long-range forecast doesn’t indicate any potential issues, but we all know how things can change weather-wise around here.  If, for some reason, we need to cancel the trip for Friday, please be aware that purchased passes can be used for any Friday at Hidden Valley during the current season. 

On a related note, there were about four backpacks/bags remaining in the Welcome Center Lobby at 4 pm on Friday.  I moved these to an office across from Counselor Beth Mothersbaugh and locked the door.  I thought you should know in case one belongs to your child and you want to pick it up on Monday or have them take it home after school.  

I will be away from work tomorrow/Monday to work a Teacher Job Fair at Mizzou.

CONGRATULATIONS and THANKS

Continuing on the Ski Trip theme, thanks go out to Mark Biernbaum (LMS Industrial Arts and Ski Trip Coordinator) and Scott Lackey (LMS Assistant Principal, Grade 6) for monitoring the weather forecast and having a recommended plan in place prior to my arrival at school on Friday at 7 am.  They got on top of the situation in a very timely manner.

Congratulations to the LMS Science Bowl Team, comprised of Seema Patil, Moses Schindler, Felix Hu, and Nevin Giuliani.  They took first place in the Science Bowl Competition held at Washington University yesterday.  This victory sends them on an all expense paid trip to Washington D.C. this May for the National Finals.  The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science sponsors the event.  According to Coach Martin Long (LMS Grade 8 Science), these four students “were truly amazing and left the audience stunned more than once with their brilliance, ability to reason, content knowledge and sportsmanship.” 

CALENDAR ITEMS

Friday, 2/27
Hidden Valley Ski Trip (makeup date)

Thursday, 3/5
End of After School Activities for Quarter 3 (3/10 Activities at the option of sponsors)
Friday, 3/6
Early Release Day; 12:40 pm

Tuesday, 3/10
LMSPA Board meeting; 1 pm
Wednesday, 3/11
Student-Led Portfolio Conferences; Please see below
Thursday, 3/12
Last day of Quarter 3
Student-Led Portfolio Conferences; Please see below
Friday, 3/13
No School; Conference Compensation Day for staff

Monday, 3/16 through Friday, 3/20
No School; Spring Break

CORRECTIONS/ADDITIONS

NEW ITEMS

NJHS Fundraiser Reminder
A reminder from National Junior Honor Society that if your child has a penny box to turn in for the Pennies for Patients Fundraiser, this coming Monday will be the final day to turn one in. Thank you for all your support!  

Grade 8 Spring Sports
Grade 8 students who are interested in participating in track and field (co-ed) or field hockey (girls only) will be able to sign up to participate on Friday, March 6 during lunch.  This program is free and no-cut.  The first track practice will be Tuesday, March 10 and the first field hockey practice is to be determined. Students who participate must have all forms turned in before practice in order to participate.  Forms are available in the Welcome Center or can be printed from the LMS web page under the “Activities” tab.  Students who want to participate must meet academic eligibility requirements for Quarter 3.

Tissues
I have been informed that we are running low on tissues.  If you can help, students can bring boxes to the Welcome Center.  Thank you.

UPDATED ITEMS


REPEAT ITEMS

Spring Student-Led Portfolio Conferences
Spring Portfolio Conferences are scheduled for March 11 (3:50 – 7:10 pm) and March 12 (1:20 – 7 pm).  A handout with specifics is attached to the Blackboard Connect update email and will be sent home with students on Tuesday of next week.  Information will also be posted on our school website. 
Sign ups are online and can be accessed through the following website:  https://www.myconferencetime.com/laduems/ 
Please sign up ASAP as appointments fill up fast.  The deadline for signing up is March 6, 2015
To ensure your conference runs smoothly here are a few reminders:
1.  Plan to be at conferences for at least an hour.  Your child will review his/her portfolio for a total of 20 minutes with a brief check-in provided by the team teachers. The other time will be spent meeting with the elective and/or off team teachers following a similar format.  Plan to arrive on time. If you arrive late, we may not be able to accommodate you.  
2. Please bring your child with you, as he/she will be leading the conference.   Teachers do not facilitate the conference as in the fall. 
3. Upon arrival, please stop at the table in the lobby to pick up a Conference Room Location sheet. This will help you know where you are going.
4. Note the meal break for teachers/staff and plan accordingly. All teachers will have a 40-minute dinner break on 3/12 from 2:40 - 3:20 pm. 

MAP testing
All MAP testing will be completed online, using laptops in our building this spring.  A portion of the exam will utilize audio files/components.  As such, all students will be encouraged to bring their personal headphones or ear buds to school on their assigned testing date(s), if possible.  If this is not possible, we will have a supply of headphones available for student use.
Just as a reminder, our scheduled testing dates for MAP are:
8th Grade: April 22, 23, and 24
6th Grade: April 27
7th Grade: April 30

LMSPA Nominations For 2015-2016
The Parent Association is beginning to plan for 2015-16.  If you would like to nominate yourself or another person for a position on the LMSPA Executive Board, please print out and complete a nomination form and return it to the LMS Welcome Center by Friday, March 6th.  Paper copies are also available in the LMS Welcome Center.  Board position descriptions are also included on the Nomination Form, which can be accessed through the LMSPA website at
http://mylmspa.com/online-forms/
(Jodi Blucher will provide updated/correct form link.)

Current 7th grade students/Immunizations for next year
Students entering 8th grade in the state of Missouri are required to receive the TDaP (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) immunization.  This is usually given by a doctor at age 11 or 12.  If your child has not received this immunization, please consult your physician.  If you have records showing that your child has received it, please provide them to the nurse's office.

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 enjoy the remainder of your weekend.


Greg

Friday, February 20, 2015

LMS Ski Trip February 20 Update

Good morning, again.

This message is STILL intended for parents of those LMS students scheduled to participate in our Hidden Valley Ski Trip this afternoon/evening.

We have been in touch with our chartered bus company and with Hidden Valley.  Based upon the very unpredictable nature of this afternoon’s weather forecast, including the possibility of freezing rain/sleet/wintery mix, we have decided to cancel today’s Ski Trip.  Buses and slick/icy conditions are not a good combination.

As previously communicated earlier this morning, a make up date is built into our yearly schedule.  This will be next Friday, February 27.  For those students who cannot make the trip next Friday, passes can also be used for any Friday that Hidden Valley is open this season.

Student ski equipment is located in our Welcome Center Lobby, by grade level.  If you have the opportunity, items may be picked up during the school day.  Students may also take equipment home this afternoon, but please keep in mind that such items may take up a fair amount of space on our district (yellow) school buses.  If equipment cannot be taken home this afternoon, it will be relocated to a secure area of our offices over the weekend.  I will be around today until 4 pm, keeping an eye on the front entrance and Lobby, in case you can come by.

We fully understand that cancellation of today’s ski trip can cause a complication in your day, but feel that we must err on the side of caution and safety (as soon as I post this, it probably won’t do anything weather-wise today and I will look foolish – I can live with that).

An announcement will be made to students and staff at the end of the current class period, around 10:30 am.

I will follow with a Friday Update later today or over this weekend.


Greg 

LMS Ski Trip February 20

Good morning.

This message is intended for parents of those LMS students scheduled to participate in our Hidden Valley Ski Trip this afternoon/evening.

Weather forecasts call for precipitation coming into our area today, into this evening.  This “wintry mix” could include freezing rain, but anticipated arrival times vary based upon which outlet you access (local media says it may arrive this afternoon, while our school’s Weather Bug system has it arriving later this evening around 8 pm).

We will monitor forecasts during the morning, consult with personnel at Hidden Valley, and make contact with our chartered bus company.  If a decision is made to cancel today’s Hidden Valley trip, a follow up Blackboard Connect and Blog message will be sent out before 11 am today.  If your child has signed up for this evening’s trip, please monitor your email periodically this morning.

If the trip should be cancelled, 1) we do have a scheduled make up date on February 27, and 2) any equipment already at school today that cannot be taken home this evening will be secured in our office area over the weekend.

If at all possible, we will hold our trip to Hidden Valley this evening, but our overall concern is the safety of our students and staff/chaperones, particularly as they travel to home or back to school this evening.

Thanks for your time,


Greg 

Friday, February 13, 2015

February 13, 2015




Good afternoon. 

I hope our scheduled district-wide professional development day today did not cause too many complications in your day related to making provisions for your kids.  I attended some fantastic sessions this morning related to integrating technology into instruction, as well as some vertical teaming meetings that provided teachers extended periods of time to collaborate on curricular items.

CONGRATULATIONS and THANKS

Fresh off their tremendous win at last Saturday's regional competition, the LMS Science Olympiad teams traveled to the Chicago area to compete in an invitational that included several top teams from IL. Every student who participated in the competition medaled in at least one event. The JV team earned a 4th place overall, while the varsity team placed first.
JV Team
Fazyan Ali: Bottle Rockets 1; Akshay Govindan: Anatomy 1, Crave the Wave 2, Experimental Design 1; Felix Hu: Meteorology 1, Green Generation 1, Road Scholar 3; Boran Li: Road Scholar 3; Kevin Li: Crime Busters 4, Crave the Wave 2; Louis Li: Bottle Rockets 1, Can't Judge a Powder 3; Jack Madden: Experimental Design 1, Fossils 1; Joji Sherman: Solar System 2, Experimental Design 1, Entomology 4; Michael Wayne: Can't Judge a Powder 3; Alexander Ye: Anatomy 1, Crime Busters 4, Green Generation 1, Fossils 1
V Team
Justin Chen: Green Generation 2, Simple Machines 1; Gavin Giuliani: Elastic Launch Glider 1, Bottle Rockets 1, Green Generation 2; Nevan Giuliani: Meteorology 1, Crave the Wave 2, RoboCross 2, Elastic Launch 1, Dynamic Planet 4; Max Kornfeld: Air Trajectory 2, Simple Machines 1
Albert Liu: Dynamic Planet 4; Annie Liu: Disease Detectives 3, Can't Judge a Powder 2, Entomology 3, Meteorology 1; Raj Paul: Bridge Building 3, Bottle Rockets 1, Air Trajectory 2, Anatomy 1; Kate Prablek: Can't Judge a Powder 2, Crime Busters 2, Entomology 3; Katie Shaw: Picture This 1, Experimental Design 1; Cindy Wang: Experimental Design 1, Picture This 1, Fossil 2; Ethan Wang: Anatomy 1, Crave the Wave 2, Bridge Building 3, RoboCross 2; Christopher Ye: Fossils 2, Crime Busters 2, Disease Detectives 3

On Saturday, ten LMS students participated in the MathCounts St. Louis Chapter competition at Florissant Valley Community College.  Those students were Moses Schindler, Akhil Kondepudi, Seema Patil, Kevin Jiang, Jackie Zeng, Anna Zhong, Jeremy Ouyang, Stephen Jiang, Michael Tu, and Jason Ding.  The LMS team of Moses Schindler, Seema Patil, Akhil Kondepudi, and Kevin Jiang scored 1st in the  team competition.  In the individual contest, Moses Schindler - 1st, Seema Patil - 3rd, Akhil Kondepudi - 4th, Jason Ding - 5th, and Kevin Jiang - 11th.  In addition, Akhil finished 2nd in the Countdown competition.  All of these students will move on to the state competition in Columbia, MO on March 14th.
Congratulations to Liz Petersen (Science, grade 7) for her recently-published article entitled “My Secret Weapon: How I Use the 5E Inquiry Model with Multiple Intelligences to Motivate Students in Science.”  This article appears in the February 2015 issue of the online newsletter Multiple Intelligences Network: Intelligence Connections (ASCD), volume 21, number 5.

CALENDAR ITEMS

Monday, 2/16
No School; Presidents Day
Friday, 2/20
Hidden Valley Ski Trip

Friday, 2/27
Hidden Valley Ski Trip (makeup date)

Thursday, 3/5
End of After School Activities for Quarter 3 (3/10 Activities at the option of sponsors)
Friday, 3/6
Early Release Day; 12:40 pm

Tuesday, 3/10
LMSPA Board meeting; 1 pm
Wednesday, 3/11
Student-Led Portfolio Conferences; Please see below
Thursday, 3/12
Last day of Quarter 3
Student-Led Portfolio Conferences; Please see below
Friday, 3/13
No School; Conference Compensation Day for staff

Monday, 3/16 through Friday, 3/20
No School; Spring Break

CORRECTIONS/ADDITIONS

NEW ITEMS

Spring Student-Led Portfolio Conferences
Spring Portfolio Conferences are scheduled for March 11 (3:50 – 7:10 pm) and March 12 (1:20 – 7 pm).  A handout with specifics is attached to the Blackboard Connect update email and will be sent home with students on Tuesday of next week.  Information will also be posted on our school website. 
Sign ups are online and can be accessed through the following website:  https://www.myconferencetime.com/laduems/ 
Please sign up ASAP as appointments fill up fast.  The deadline for signing up is March 6, 2015
To ensure your conference runs smoothly here are a few reminders:
1.  Plan to be at conferences for at least an hour.  Your child will review his/her portfolio for a total of 20 minutes with a brief check-in provided by the team teachers. The other time will be spent meeting with the elective and/or off team teachers following a similar format.  Plan to arrive on time. If you arrive late, we may not be able to accommodate you.  
2. Please bring your child with you, as he/she will be leading the conference.   Teachers do not facilitate the conference as in the fall. 
3. Upon arrival, please stop at the table in the lobby to pick up a Conference Room Location sheet. This will help you know where you are going.
4. Note the meal break for teachers/staff and plan accordingly. All teachers will have a 40-minute dinner break on 3/12 from 2:40 - 3:20 pm. 

Ladue Athletic Booster Club
A new group has been launched to raise funds for the athletic programs at all Ladue schools.  Fundraising efforts have begun, via the sale of t-shirts and other logoed merchandise, half court shots at the basketball games and an upcoming party where all parents, teachers and coaches are invited to mingle while watching the Final Four basketball games.
In order to generate awareness (and funding) for the club, organizers have created a document, which can be found on the PeachJar website. 

UPDATED ITEMS

MAP testing
All MAP testing will be completed online, using laptops in our building this spring.  A portion of the exam will utilize audio files/components.  As such, all students will be encouraged to bring their personal headphones or ear buds to school on their assigned testing date(s), if possible.  If this is not possible, we will have a supply of headphones available for student use.
Just as a reminder, our scheduled testing dates for MAP are:
8th Grade: April 22, 23, and 24
6th Grade: April 27
7th Grade: April 30

REPEAT ITEMS

LMSPA Nominations For 2015-2016
The Parent Association is beginning to plan for 2015-16.  If you would like to nominate yourself or another person for a position on the LMSPA Executive Board, please print out and complete a nomination form and return it to the LMS Welcome Center by Friday, March 6th.  Paper copies are also available in the LMS Welcome Center.  Board position descriptions are also included on the Nomination Form, which can be accessed through the LMSPA website at
http://mylmspa.com/online-forms/
(Jodi Blucher will provide updated/correct form link.)

LMSPA/California Pizza Kitchen
LMSPA is holding a “California Pizza Kitchen Dine to Donate Week Long Event.”
From Monday, February 9 through Monday, February 16 treat yourself to a meal out and contribute to the LMSPA at the same time.  Simply bring in the LMSPA flyer, present it to your server, and California Pizza Kitchen in Creve Coeur will donate 20% of your check to the LMSPA.   Qualifying purchases include dine-in, take-out, catering or beverages.  A PDF of the flyer was attached to the previous LMS Principal Update email sent through Blackboard Connect.  Please share with your friends and family!  The LMSPA uses all funds raised to support the education and community of LMS students, staff, parents/guardians. Thank you and ENJOY!

Girl Scout Community Take Action Projects
     One of our students has started a middle school kids book blog as part of her Silver Award project.  Book reviews will be posted each week, along with information about new books by favorite authors, author visits to the St. Louis area, and guest posts from other middle school kids.  There is a place on the blog to subscribe to updates by email.  Here's the link to the blog:
http://www.thereadingramsbookblog.blogspot.com/
     A second Take Action project is entitled “Kids Knitting It Forward.”  This project involves knitting items like baby socks, hats, and scarves for charities such as Newborns in Need of Eastern Missouri and HavenHouse St. Louis. Knitters of any age and skill level are welcome.  More information can be found at kidsknittingitforward@gmail.com and meeting dates/times can be accessed at http://kidsknittingitforward.blogspot.com/
Current 7th grade students/Immunizations for next year
Students entering 8th grade in the state of Missouri are required to receive the TDaP (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) immunization.  This is usually given by a doctor at age 11 or 12.  If your child has not received this immunization, please consult your physician.  If you have records showing that your child has received it, please provide them to the nurse's office.

8th Grade Video
An 8th grade video will be shown at the Semi-Formal on May 1 and at the Farewell Assembly on May 22.  The parents making it (Amy Walker, Amy Hobbs, Ben Schilders) need photos from elementary and middle school.  They may be uploaded to the site below, emailed to the address below or hard copies may be labeled and sent to Mrs. Worthington in the LMS Welcome Center.
To access the gallery and upload photos:
http://dropevent.com/gallery/lmsphotos
Please put your child’s name as the caption after upload.
To email photos:
lmsphotos@dropevent.com
Please put your child’s name in the subject line of the email.

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

I hope you enjoy your weekend and Happy Valentine’s Day tomorrow.

All my best,


Greg