September 2, 2016

Good afternoon and Happy Friday.

As a working parent, I understand that early release days can cause challenges for child care.  Please know that we use such time as wisely as possible to work more effectively with your kids.  Today, teachers had the option of attending one of three presentations by LMS faculty members, all targeted at increasing levels of student engagement and success.
  • Lou Galloway-Zapiain and Jody Rozbicki targeted engagement of English Language Learners.
  • Kathleen Mercury, Kelly Arl and Leah Scheidt provided examples of engaging students with novelty and choice.
  • Quentin Alimayu provided strategies pertaining to Universal Design for learning.
These are the types of professional development activities that provide teachers with strategies and tools to use directly in their classrooms, while further developing our staff as a collaborative learning community.
The latter half of the afternoon provided teachers with two other options:
  • Working with their teacher partners in finalizing plans for peer classroom observations that will be conducted this year.
  • Collaborating with colleagues in content area groups to align lessons and curriculum.
It was a very productive afternoon.

My apologies for any confusion you may have experienced during our first week of after school activities.  We had some internal communication issues that I think have been addressed.  I try to keep the activity listings on our website as current as possible, so if you have any doubts, please consult that as activity days approach for the coming week.  Please keep in mind that after school activities begin at 3:15 and end at 4:15 pm.  All students should then proceed to either the Lobby or the front of the building.
One issue experienced by some students who ride activity buses home is “what bus do I get on?”  We have five activity bus routes, designed as:
  • 1 East
  • 2 East
  • 3 East
  • 1 West
  • 2 West
Activity bus assignments for each student have been shared with the building staff and are posted as well in our Lobby.  Students should consult these lists, or ask their activity sponsors and/or administrators/office staff, if they are unsure of what bus to board.  We also announce the arrival of each bus as it parks at the front of the building.  Please be aware, and make sure your children know, that the actual bus numbers may change based on availability, so they should always listen for the activity bus route designation (i.e. 1 East, 2 West, . . . etc).


Thank you to the male PE coaches, who have recently completed a hand-built Ga-ga pit, which is located on the back blacktop.  Ga-ga is a fun, easy game to play and accommodates up to 20 students at a time.
Ga-ga is a game believed to have been brought to the United States by Israeli counselors working at Jewish summer camps.  The game is a variant of dodgeball that is played with one ball and combines dodging, striking, running, and jumping, with the object of being the last person standing.  Ga-ga is played in a large fenced-in area (usually an octagon or hexagon) called a ga-ga pit.  The ga-ga pit generally consists of flat walls atop a smooth dirt, turf, or sand surface.    
Players hit the ball at each other with their hands, and are eliminated if the ball strikes them on or below the knee. The game can be played by a group of individual players or with teams, as well as in one-on-one matches.

Thank you to Leah Scheidt and the students in Video Journalism for creation of a segment promoting our upcoming LMSPA fundraiser.  The segment will be shown in the upcoming Friday Ram Rundown (school-wide announcements/new/features).


Labor Day: No School
Picture Day
Intruder Drill; period 6
6th Grade Camp, Session 1 (through Wednesday, 9/14)
LMSPA Fundraiser begins
LMS Parent Association Board meeting, 1 pm
6th Grade Camp, Session 2 (through Friday, 9/16)

Fire Drill; period 7

Last day for LMSPA Fundraiser
Fire Drill; period 3
Severe Weather Drill; period 7

Custodian Appreciation Day


Service Project
One of our LMS alumna is coordinating a Girl Scout Gold Award Take Action Project entitled “Kids Knitting It Forward.”  This project involves learning to knit and then knitting items like baby socks, hats, and scarves for local charities such as Newborns in Need of Eastern Missouri and HavenHouse St. Louis. Students 4th grade and older of any skill level are welcome. Time spent attending meetings and knitting items can be counted towards community service hours.  More information can be obtained by emailing and meeting dates/times can be accessed at


Calendar Item
The March Early Release Day is March 3, not March 10 (that may have been shared on previous calendars).


8th Grade Sports
8th graders signed up to participate in cross country or volleyball at lunch this week.  If students missed the sign ups, they can still participate by showing up to the first practice - September 6 for cross country and September 8 for volleyball.  Students must turn in forms by the first practice in order to participate, which includes a physical dated after February 1, 2016.  You can find the guidelines, contact information and forms here:

LMS Dad’s Club Meeting
The LMS Dad’s Club will have its first meeting of the year on Wednesday, September 7 at 7 p.m. in the LMS Library.  The purpose of the meeting is to meet existing and new members and to discuss the upcoming activities contemplated for the 2016-17 school year.  For questions, please contact Dad’s Club President Joe Mulligan at or at 314-503-4384.  

Picture Day
LMS Picture Day is scheduled for Tuesday, September 6.  Packets should have come home with students last Friday.  Even if you decide not to purchase a picture package, we ask that all students have their pictures taken so that we may update our student database system.

Early Dismissals
We understand that unanticipated events may result in your child being picked up from school prior to our 3:10 pm dismissal time.  For those planned instances, please call our main office at 993-3900 that morning, email Danna Anderson at or send a note to school with your son or daughter.  Please also remember that if you park in our Circle Drive, buses begin arriving and parking there at about 2:45 pm.  We don’t want you to get blocked in.

Fall Parent Conferences
Parent Teacher Conferences for semester 1 are Wednesday, October 26, 2016 (4:00 - 8:00 p.m.) and Thursday, October 27, 2016 (1:00 - 7:00 p.m.).  To sign up, please visit the following website:
You may also access the website by going to our school's web page using the following link:
Prior to signing up, please carefully review the instructions that are provided on the first page of the website.  The online scheduler went live at 4:00 pm on Friday, August 12.  Slots fill up very quickly, so please sign up ASAP.

LMS Fundraiser for 2016-17
This year’s LMS Fundraiser will offer two items:  Mixed Bags and Cookie Dough.  Students will be provided with information to take home on Friday, September 9.  The fundraiser will extend through Monday, September 26.  Orders will be ready for pickup during our Fall Parent Conferences on Wednesday, October 26 and Thursday, October 27.  More information to follow.

LMSPA Buzz Book
Each year the Parent Association provides student and parent contact information.  This information is voluntarily provided to the PA by families.  If you wish to be listed in the Buzz Book, please email Dawn Trautmann at and provide the following:
  • Student Last Name
  • Student First Name
  • Parent(s) Names
  • Address
  • Phone
  • Parent(s) Email



You can subscribe to email blasts from the Ladue Middle School Parent Association at

Information regarding Ladue Board of Education meetings and work sessions can be found at

Have a great rest of your Friday and a wonderful Labor Day weekend.


Gregory Baber  B.S.Ed., M.Ed., Ed.S.

Principal, Ladue Middle School

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