July 31, 2015

To all LMS Parents and Students:

Good afternoon on this glorious Friday.

     In an effort to ensure that I have covered at least the essential items of information leading up to our students’ arrival on August 11, I am sending this out.  Many of the items below have been communicated previously.  I hope this message answers any remaining questions that you may have before the beginning of school.  If not, please email me at gbaber@ladueschools.net.

Staffing for 2015-2016
At last count, we will have sixteen new faces serving our students at LMS this year due to retirement, relocation, and/or professional advancement.  They are:
·      Mr. Quentin Alimayu – Grade 7 Social Studies
·      Ms. Megan Brendel – Teaching Assistant
·      Ms. Sonja Brewer – Apogee/Gifted
·      Mr. Adam Durham – Grade 7 Science
·      Ms. Christine Earnhart – Grade 7 Science
·      Ms. Shaina Fall – FACS
·      Ms. Nikki Foristel-Weiss – Grade 6 Communication Arts
·      Ms. Megan Grossbauer – Grade 7 Mathematics
·      Ms. Courtney Hanstein – Special School District
·      Ms. Melshonda Lowe-Dobbins – Art
·      Ms. Tara Matthews – Teaching Assistant
·      Mr. Curtis Nguyen – Technology Support
·      Ms. Rachel Renna – Grade 8 Communication Arts
·      Ms. Lisa Stein – Grade 6 Science
·      Ms. Yvette Sykes – Counselor
·      Ms. Jessica Young – Teaching Assistant (Physical Education)
In addition, the following returning staff members will be filling new roles for the coming year:
·      Ms. Marion Allen – Reading Intervention
·      Ms. Amy Bullman – FACS
·      Ms. Suzanne Costanza – Grade 6 Mathematics
·      Ms. Melody Frese – Library Media Specialist
·      Ms. Jennifer Gardner – Math Intervention
·      Ms. Erin Heckendorn – Math Intervention
·      Mr. Matt Strayhorn – Grade 8 Mathematics
·      Ms. Velma Valadez – Grade 8 Communication Arts

Packet Pickup
     Student packets, including schedules, locker assignments, and forms, can be acquired from LMS on:
·      Monday, August 3 from 7 am to noon, and
·      Tuesday, August 4 from noon to 5 pm.  
     Please be aware that:
·      A parent of each student must be present for the packet to be released.  Packets may be issued to a student’s older sibling, neighbor and/or family friend if we are provided with a hand-written, signed note by a parent specifying the student name, the parent designee name/relationship, and the reason for the request.
·      Information regarding Proof of Residency must be current before packets can be released.
·      Incoming or returning 8th grade students are required by State law to have their required Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis) immunization on file with our School Nurse before they can receive their packets and begin the school year.  Immunization information can be brought to school during packet pickup times, can be faxed to LMS at 314-997-8736 or can be emailed to Nurse Patrick at cpatrick@ladueschools.net
·      New enrollees who have not met with their Counselor by next Monday or Tuesday will not be issued their schedule, team assignment and locker assignment until they do so.
     If for some reason, parents are unable to acquire their student’s packet on the dates and times listed above, alternate times will be provided as follows:
·      Wednesday, August 5; 12:30 – 3 pm.
·      Thursday, August 6; 12:30 – 3 pm.
·      Friday, August 7; 9 am – 2 pm.

Community Night: Thursday, August 6; 4 – 7 pm
     As previously communicated, Community Night is a yearly event sponsored by the Ladue Middle School Parent Association.  This evening provides students and parents opportunities to stock lockers, tour the building and locate classrooms, turn in Parent Association forms, make connections and get information from the LMSPA, and enjoy dinner provided by the LMS Dads Club.  Community Night will occur on a Thursday this year to accommodate end-of-summer family trips prior to the first day of school.  
     For more information regarding Community Night, please check out the LMSPA website at http://mylmspa.com/.  The LMS Dad's Club could use additional volunteers to help with set-up starting at 3 pm.  Whether you can help out for just an hour or a few hours, interested parties can sign up by contacting      
the LMS Dad’s Club President , Joe Mulligan, at 314.503.4384 or email at joemulligan910@gmail.com.

     Each student at LMS is provided with their own locker for use during the school year.  Please be aware that the school does NOT provide locks.  These can be of any type, as long as we have a record of the combination (in case we need to open the locker, without cutting off the lock).
     A locker assignment will be provided in each student’s packet (subject to the above requirements).  I encourage each student and parent to bring a lock to school on either Monday or Tuesday, so that we can record the combination and the lock can be placed on the correct locker prior to Community Night.  If you have materials with you, they may be placed in the locked locker at that time. 
     If you are new to our building, please be aware that lockers may be decorated on the inside (no permanent decorations or marks), but we do not allow decorations or other items to be attached to the outside for any reason.
     One last note regarding lockers: We face a yearly challenge when students do not use their assigned lockers, but rather place their items and their lock on any that appear “better” (i.e. closer to a friend, etc.).  Please help us make sure that your student uses only their assigned locker and prevent unnecessary confusion.

Schedule Changes
     As communicated previously, a massive amount of schedule changes have been requested in the last few days leading up to the first day of school in past years.  The large majority of these requested schedule changes have resulted from children comparing their schedules and wishing to be in class _____ with a friend.
     We have been working on the master schedule, and scheduling, since registration forms were completed and returned this past spring.  We have been able to make team placements based upon parent input regarding their student’s learning styles and needs, we have determined the best placement of core and elective classes to meet the majority of course needs and requests, and we have worked diligently to balance our class section sizes as much as is possible.       With this in mind, I will take on the role of “bad guy” and have instructed Mrs. Stephens to NOT make schedule changes based upon the desire to be in the same class section with a friend.
     If a schedule is incorrect, we will certainly do our best to correct it.  Should an incorrect schedule require our attention, Mrs. Stephens will be available on the following dates and times:
·      August 3; 7 am – noon
·      August 4; noon – 5 pm
·      Wednesday, August 5; 11 am – 3 pm
·      Thursday, August 6; 11 am – 3 pm
·      Friday, August 7; 8 am – 2 pm
·      Please be aware that no schedule changes can be made on Monday, August 10.  Schedules of all students will be printed that day in preparation for the beginning of school on Tuesday.  Schedule changes that meet the criteria outlined above that arise on or after Tuesday, August 11 should be made through the student’s grade level counselor.
     There may also be instances in which your child did not get their first Elective class choice.  We do our best to meet these requests, but with limitations in class sections and class sizes, we may need to look at a student’s second or third choices (that is why our Registration form asks for a listing of prioritized choices).          

Office Closures
     As a result of our district-level Opening Meeting and our LMS Staff Meetings next week, our office will only be open 11 am until 3 pm on:
·      Wednesday, August 5 and
·      Thursday, August 6.

Thank you for your time regarding this rather lengthy message.  I hope you and your families have a great weekend.


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