July 14, 2015

Good afternoon. 

I wanted to get some information out to you before leaving on vacation for the next ten days.  Dr. Taylor-Johnson and Mr. Lackey will be the administrators on-site at LMS during this time. 

Late Work/Grading Policy
I failed to include the following in my previous message.  After lengthy consideration this past spring, we have determined that our Late Work practice regarding grading should be adjusted for 2015-16.  We do this with the intent of finding the best means of 1) encouraging all students to complete work, while also 2) providing an incentive to develop positive work habits, support the development of organizational skills, and reinforce the importance of meeting deadlines.  As a result, the following section will be included in our 2015-16 Student Handbook:
“Students are expected to complete all assigned work by the due date, but will have an opportunity to submit work within a reasonable time after the due date and earn at least 70% of the score they would have earned if it had been submitted on time.  Students should submit work within two weeks of the due date before the assignment is assigned a grade of zero.  Some work requires timely submission for learning to occur and is subject to exception.”

8th Grade Students and Tdap Immunizations
This immunization is required for each student at Ladue Middle School prior to starting 8th grade.  Letters Christina Patrick, LMS School Nurse, were included in your child’s 3rd quarter report card of 7th grade with details of the requirement.  An email regarding this requirement was also sent at the end of May, 2015.
In order to pick up your 8th grader’s packet on August 3 and August 4, a copy of your child's immunization record indicating that the Tdap immunization was received must be provided to our Nurse.  Students will not be permitted, by State law, to attend school until this immunization requirement is met.  Updated records regarding the Tdap immunization can be scanned and emailed to Nurse Patrick at cpatrick@ladueschools.net, can be faxed to our office at 314-997-8736, or paper copies can be brought in to our office.

Community Night
I include this to remind everyone that Community Night is scheduled to occur on Thursday, August 6, from 4 – 7 pm.  This yearly event is sponsored by the LMSPA.
The original date was posted as Friday, August 7.  We are in the process of getting this information changed on our LMS website.

Meet The Teacher Night
This event, scheduled for Wednesday, August 19, is an opportunity to touch base with your child’s LMS teachers.  It will begin at 6:30 pm and should conclude by 8:30 pm.  We will begin the evening with a parent meeting in the LMS Gymnasium.  You will then follow a shortened version of your child’s schedule and will be provided with information regarding each of their classes.  Since parking on our campus is limited, we have made arrangements to secure the services of a shuttle bus, which will run between LMS and Ladue Chapel from 6 to 9 pm. 

Fall Parent Conferences
Our tentative dates for Fall Conferences are October 21 and 22.  Our format in recent years has been for core teams (composed of four teachers) to schedule conferences in 20-minute time blocks.  Four sets of parents then meet with each teacher, who then rotate around the room every 5 minutes.
This structure has caused us some challenges: 1) We cannot always offer enough times slots for every parent during our scheduled conference times.  This results in alternate dates and times being scheduled during our core teams’ conference/plan times.  2) Five minute conversations are very hurried and don’t offer opportunities for many questions or in-depth conversations.  Some times, these conversations go over the allotted 5 minutes, which then causes us to be late with the next group of parents.
As a result, we are looking at the possibility of changing our format for this fall.  Both options involve meeting with one member of the core team, for an extended period of time (either 10 or 15 minutes).  Teachers would provide that selected team member with information regarding the student, which would then be shared in a more extended conversation.  Based upon parent sign ups, teams would be offered the flexibility of meeting with certain parents during the time slot if that child is struggling in their class. 
I want to emphasize that we are looking at options at this time.  A factor in selecting a format is trying to ensure that we are able to offer parents opportunities to meet with teachers during the established conference time periods.  We will discuss this with staff upon their return and will communicate our decision at the earliest opportunity.  We will also publicize when on-line sign ups are available, likely in early September.

LMSPA Fundraiser
The LMSPA Fall Fundraiser begins on September 3.  This year the fundraiser will offer many new options: 1) A personal savings App for discounts in the area right on your phone; 2) Gourmet food items - candy, nuts, baked good, cheese and sausage, and gift items; 3) Digital photo gift items, and of course 4) The opportunity to renew and purchase new magazines.
The Parent Association is excited to offer so many fresh, new ways to support LMS.  Remember, funds are used by the Parent Association to provide additional technology, support for teachers, and enrich LMS for all students.
Please watch for information to come home in September.  Don't forget you can renew subscriptions today at gafundraising.com, school id # 2652758.  Contact Elizabeth Cobin at cobin@att.net should you have any questions.

Thank you for your time.


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