TJs Tidbits



Greetings LMS Families,

We had a fantastic first two days of school at LMS. Our team was pumped and eager to welcome the students and the students appeared just as excited as we were to start a new school year. I shared a few pictures on Thursday that highlight how we kicked off the day. I will share a few more through Parent Link.

I would be remiss if I didn't take a moment to personally thank the LMSPA for their generosity. If you had a chance to look at the pictures from the first day, you may have noticed that everyone is wearing a blue shirt that says "Team LMS." This year, we are focusing on enhancing our school culture and climate, working as a team, and building leadership capacity in our school. We spent a great deal of time in our Back to School Opening Meeting learning and discussing things that we can do as a staff to grow in these areas. The theme for the meeting was,"TEAM LMS: Building a Culture of Learning, Leading, Caring and Success!" As you can see, the shirts tie in very nicely with the theme and were a great way to symbolize to our students and parents that we are all collectively on the same page. The shirts also generated "spirit" for the first day. Thanks so much LMSPA for helping us fund the shirts by splitting the cost.

Speaking of teamwork, I want to thank all of the parents that discussed and reinforced the school expectations that were shared in the last update at home with your student. Secondly, I want to express TREMENDOUS gratitude to those that are adhering to the morning/afternoon traffic and drop off/pick up procedures that have been communicated. I know it can be frustrating and sometimes challenging, but in the end, what you are doing is putting the safety of our students first. WE APPRECIATE YOU! The first few days are bound to have a few kinks. We are working through them and trying to get it all flowing smoothly out there, so please bear with us. May I also ask that you please refrain from telling your student to do anything other than what's been communicated. Asking students to meet you in the parking lot or in the back or side of the building is asking them to not follow what's been communicated as a building expectation. It's puts them in jeopardy of getting into trouble if observed not following procedures. PLEASE if you have an extenuating circumstance, let us know and we will try to accommodate you. PLEASE also be kind to the staff outside (in the heat) doing their very best to move traffic along and get everyone in and out as best as possible. It can be quite upsetting to have someone snap at you or make hurtful remark. TEAM WORK makes the dream work! Please feel free to share any concerns or ideas that you have. A few parents shared feedback with us last week and we made adjustments.
NEW INFORMATION

PRINCIPAL VIDEO
To help kick off the year and support our dedication to the importance of consistency, and to familiarize the students with all of the principals, we made a video that was shown to all of our LMS students on the first day of school. Take a moment and check out the LMS Administrative Team and some of the expectations we want all our students to be familiar with as we move into this new year.  Thank your for your support as we work to maintain and cultivate an environment where students are considerate of each other and make school a safe and friendly place to learn.


SOLAR ECLIPSE
A flyer about the district’s general plans for the Total Solar Eclipse was sent home in the district Back-to-School packets, and is also attached here.  The following points address the questions we are hearing most often from parents.
  • Solar glasses, purchased directly from the manufacturer and approved by NASA, are being provided to all staff and students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. (Amazon.com is recalling counterfeit solar glasses bearing the names of actual manufacturers.)
  • Early childhood students will not be participating in outdoor activities.
  • Students and staff will be required to wear the glasses during the entire event. No exceptions will be made.  (Any “safe” period for viewing without the glasses will be too brief to safely supervise.)
  • Teachers and administrators at every level will have been trained on safe viewing and supervision of the event.
  • If you prefer that your child not participate in outdoor Solar Eclipse viewing activities, please complete the opt-out form linked to the article on the homepage of the district website entitled Solar Eclipse Information no later than Thursday, Aug. 17. Your child may be given the opportunity to view the eclipse on television.
  • While we believe the Solar Eclipse provides an outstanding educational opportunity for students which can be safely enjoyed and supervised, your child is not required to participate in the related activities. Please also remember that the decision of whether or not to send your child to school on any given day is yours.
  • Finally, traffic in the area on Monday afternoon could be heavy.  We will do our best to alert parents of any delays in bus transportation.  However, please consider the possibility of delays when making plans for your child’s arrival at home.
This is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity to view a Total Solar Eclipse in St. Louis.  Thank you for your support in making this a safe and memorable day for your child.


Due to space and parking limitations, we are asking parents not to come to LMS to view the eclipse.  The fact that it will be dark during the eclipse makes it vital that we reduce the number of people and chaos on campus.  If you need to check your child out that day, please call the main office first thing in the morning and let us know so that we can have an early dismissal slip ready to issue the student. We ask that all students be checked out no later than 12:45 if at all possible. PLEASE NOTE: In an effort to allow all our staff to view the eclipse, we will be closing our office for approximately 30 minutes (1:00-1:30).


As stated in the district letter, your child should bring a towel to sit on and may wear a hat that day.  


SRI
Students will take the Scholastic Reading Inventory (SRI) on Tuesday, August 22 in their social studies class. The SRI is a reading assessment that helps us make informed decisions about students and their growth, it helps us goal set, and most importantly, it ensures that we get the right book in the right hands. We will encourage students to do their best so we have accurate and reliable data to help us work with students to build an appropriate literacy rich learning environment.


SIXTH GRADE CAMP MEETING
Please mark your calendars for August 23 for a parent meeting about Sixth Grade Camp at 7:00 p.m. in the middle school cafeteria.  Information about camp will be shared and an opportunity for you to ask questions will be provided.  Please plan to attend.Camp this year will be the week of September 11.  Students will either go to camp Monday – Wednesday of that week or Wednesday – Friday.  For more information about camp, please visit the camp website at: https://sites.google.com/a/ladueschools.net/biernbaum/6th-grade-camp

GIRLS IN THE KNOW
Girls in the know is coming soon to Ladue Middle School on Mondays, October 2 - 30 (skipping the 23rd), from 6:30 -7:30 pm in the LMS Library.  Girls in the Know is a non-profit working to educate and inspire young women. Girls in the Know connects leading female experts with pre-teen girls, and their trusted adult who also attends, together, so both parties know the vital information necessary for a healthy life. Doctors, police officers, dietitians and counselors present four different workshops to empower young girls. GITK is a catalyst for meaningful conversation, community, and thriving relationships through the teen years. Space is limited to 20 pairs. Register today at https://girlsintheknow.opendonorcrm.com/st-louis-registration-form . Should you have questions please call (314)-277-5312.

IMPORTANT REMINDERS


MEET THE TEACHER NIGHT
This is a reminder that the LMS Meet The Teacher Night (MTN) will occur on Wednesday, August 30, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm.

MTN is an opportunity for parents to follow their child’s schedule, meet their teachers, and learn about course information and expectations.  Your child will be given a highlighted copy of his/her schedule to bring home to help parents attend the right class at the right time.  Please bring this schedule with you to follow that evening.


We will begin the evening with a brief opening meeting in our Gym.  Parents will then be dismissed by grade level to locate their first class.  Time in each class will be 7 minutes.  This short period of time does not allow for extended “Parent Conference” conversations.  Should you need to meet with a specific teacher or teachers, please call, email, or schedule an alternative time to meet.


With so many people attending MTN, parking is an issue.  As a result, we will be providing a shuttle bus that will travel between LMS and Ladue Chapel from 6 to 9 pm.  The address of Ladue Chapel is 9450 Clayton Road (just to the east of our campus).  Please use the western portion of their lot.  Please also be aware that parking in the bank lot across Conway Road is not permitted.


A copy of the MTN schedule is available here for your reference.  Thank you for your time and we look forward to seeing everyone soon!

CLASS MEETINGS
Something new that families will notice on student schedules this year is a period designated as a "class meeting." Class meetings are small, multiage classes that meet approximately once every two weeks throughout the school year for 38 minutes on Wednesdays. The first class meeting was held on Friday, August 18. Feedback from students and teachers has been positive.

The benefits of class meeting are many. We believe that class meetings will enhance LMS school culture by:
...fostering a greater sense of belonging in our students

...building connections between students and staff from all grade levels and content areas

...providing ongoing discussions about character education, diversity, and bullying prevention
The district has adopted the Olweus bullying-prevention program this year, and class meetings will be the forum for lessons specifically designed to make LMS a safe and bully-free community.

KIDS KNITTING IT FORWARD
One of our very own LMS alumna started a club several years ago called Kids Knitting It Forward. This group teaches kids and teens how to knit and members knit items including baby blankets, hats, and scarves for local charities such as Newborns in Need of Eastern Missouri and HavenHouse St. Louis. Students fourth 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 kidsknittingitforward@gmail.com and meeting dates/times are listed at http://kidsknittingitforward.blogspot.com/. This will also be offered as an LMS After School Activity on Tuesdays from 3:15 to 4:15 pm during Quarter 2 this school year.


SEVENTH GRADE MEMPHIS TRIP
The dates for the Memphis trip are March 8-9 and the cost per family is $200.00. More information will be shared later. If you are interested in serving as a chaperone, please contact Mr. Brian Beracha at bberacha@ladueschools.net. PLEASE NOTE: Parents who chaperone will have to pay the fees to attend the trip. Parents may also have to get a background check per district guidelines.

8th GRADE SPORTS PHYSICALS

Eighth graders have the opportunity to play sports with other local middle schools this year in a play, no cut, free program. The sports offered are: volleyball (girls) and cross country (co-ed) in the fall; basketball (boys and girls) in the winter;  and field hockey (girls) and track (co-ed) in the spring. All students who would like to participate must turn in a physical that is dated on or after February 1, 2017. Fall sports start a few weeks after school begins, so please schedule your child's physical if he or she needs one and would like to participate. More information about sign-ups will come out when school begins.

ONLINE PARENT PORTAL SIGN UPS
You should have received an email from our district Technology Department on or around August 12. This email provided an activation link that allows you to set up an account for our Infinite Campus Parent Portal if you do not already have one.  The link will be active for a period of two to three weeks.  Once the link expires, please contact Carol Stephens in the LMS office to establish your account.  As a reminder, access to the portal and all forms and information are available on the district website: http://www.ladueschools.net/district/content/ourdistrict/departments/technology/infinite-campus.shtml

BOARD BRIEFS

Information regarding Ladue Board of Education meetings and work sessions can be found at http://boardbriefs.blogspot.com

BUILDING EXPECTATIONS REMINDERS

Please take a minute to review the building expectations and procedures that are listed below. It is my hope that by periodically sharing a few expectations in my Family Update, families will become aware and can work in partnership with us to establish an optimal learning environment and ensure the safety and well being of students while at school.

BEFORE SCHOOL EXPECTATIONS
For safety reasons, when students arrive to school at 7:30 in the morning, we ask that they enter the building at 7:30 and remain in the lobby until dismissed to their grade level assigned area at 7:50 (Cafe-6th, Boys' side of the gym-7th, girls' side of the gym-8th). Students should NOT go to their lockers or other areas of the building unless prearranged with a staff member. While in their assigned grade level area, students should sit and remain seated until the supervisor dismisses them to class.  


AFTERNOON DISMISSAL PROCEDURES
Did you know that there is a method to the madness for how we dismiss students at the end of the day? Please take a minute to review the Afternoon Dismissal Procedures that we will be sharing with students. It is extremely important that all students follow these procedures. Doing so allows us to get everyone (bus riders, carpool, and walkers) home safely and in a timely manner.


BREAKFAST PROCEDURES
We are fortunate to serve breakfast in the mornings for LMS students. Students wanting to purchase breakfast should report to the cafeteria immediately upon arrival to school (do not go to lockers or class first). If arriving before 8:02, regular breakfast will be provided. Students arriving after 8:02, will be served “grab and go” items. Breakfast is not considered “social time.” Students participating in the breakfast program are expected to eat as quickly as possible and head to class.    

ELECTRONICS AT SCHOOL
Please remind your student that electronics, including cell phones, headphones/earbuds, speakers, etc. should remain out of sight for the duration of the school day from 8:10-3:10. This includes lunch. If these items are seen, they will be confiscated as noted in our LMS Student Handbook. We strongly encourage families not to send personal technology devices to school unless requested by the classroom teacher for educational purposes. Note: If there is an urgent message that your child needs to have, please contact the office and we will get the message delivered as soon as possible.  Thank you for your help with this matter.

MORNING DROP OFF/AFTERNOON PICK UP
For safety reasons, students should not be dropped off prior to 7:30 a.m. We do not have any adult supervision prior to 7:30 and our building is locked. Students who arrive prior to this time will have to remain outside. Parents/guardians of students consistently on campus in the mornings without supervision will be contacted by administration.

At the end of the school day (3:10), students should either ride the bus home, walk, get picked up, or participate in the TAS (Teens After School) Program. On Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, after school supervision is unavailable after 3:30 unless special arrangements have been made with a staff member to supervise in their classroom. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, after school activities are provided from 3:10-4:10.  Students who stay after for activities should be picked up at 4:10, no later than 4:30. As in the morning, parents/guardians of students consistently on campus in the afternoons without supervision will be contacted by administration and may also be taken to TAS and charged a fee.

In previous years, we have been able to be a little more flexible with this. Unfortunately, we are unable to do so this year due to staffing. PLEASE MAKE NOTE OF THIS CHANGE as we would want to avoid having students sitting outside in extreme hot and cold weather conditions.

TRAFFIC REMINDERS
The following is a reminder to some, and new information for others, regarding our morning and afternoon traffic patterns and drop off/pick up procedures.

Our school day for 2017-2018 will be 8:10 am to 3:10 pm.  

If you plan to transport your child to school by car in the morning:
  • Please be aware that students cannot enter our building until 7:30 am when someone on duty to monitor the front doors and lobby.
  • Students may be dropped off at the front of the building prior to bus arrival (they typically begin appearing around 7:45 am).  Please follow the designated traffic flow arrows as you enter our campus from either Conway or Clayton roads.  
  • There will be staff members at locations 1, 2 and 3 to help with traffic flow and supervision.  Please follow their directions.  
  • After buses begin arriving, car traffic will be routed to the rear of the building.  The person at location 2 will notify drivers.
  • Please proceed down the right-hand drive all the way to the Maintenance Building (end of fencing), then circle back to the rear of the building through the parking lot, staying to the right.  Students will be dropped off at the designed area (ONLY along the sidewalk) and enter the building through the east back door to the Gym.
  • Cars will then exit the campus using the lower drive (two-way traffic) onto Clayton Road.  Please, please, (and please) turn right onto Clayton Road.  A left-hand turn onto Clayton, at this time of morning, is potentially dangerous and causes a backup for cars attempting to exit our campus.  


If you plan to pick up your child from school by car in the afternoon:
  • Please be aware that buses begin lining up in our front Circle Drive around 2:45 pm.  Cars parked in the Circle Drive have the very good chance of getting blocked in as more buses arrive.  If you have the need to pick up your child before dismissal, I would highly suggest parking in one of the marked parking spaces in the lower drive.
  • Cars will be directed to the back of our building to form a “carpool line” as indicated in the second photo.  NOTICE: This year the carpool line will begin lining up backwards to previous years.  Please drive all the way down the right drive to the Maintenance Building.  If there are students on the parking lot (fenced in area), please wait at the gated entrance until students leave.  Then, pull into the lot on the LEFT side and begin a line at the recycling bins (along the fence INSIDE the parking lot).  When the line reaches the gate at the back, begin a new line just to the right of the existing line.  This should keep the lower drive from backing up and blocking cars wanting to leave. A staff person will be located at area A to assist with this.
  • At dismissal, students who rides buses will be dismissed first, while students who are picked up by car and those that walk will be held in the lobby (until about 3:20 pm).
  • Please do not instruct your child to leave the lobby with bus riders and walk through our lots to meet you at your car.  This is potentially dangerous as students do not always watch for traffic. It also puts the child in an awkward position as he/she is not following school rules and can be assigned a consequence for not doing so.  If you need to pick your child up before buses leave, please notify your student’s grade level administrator and meet your child at the front of the building so that he/she is accompanied while walking through our parking lot.  Students are NOT to exit through the doors near the Gym or in the 6th and 8th grade halls.
  • Buses are typically loaded within 10 minutes of the 3:10 pm dismissal.  Once buses are released, then the staff member at location A will signal cars to approach the front of the building.  Students waiting in the lobby will then be released to be picked up by car.  Most students are gone by 3:30 pm.


If your student will ride a bus to and from school:
  • Please make sure your student knows his/her assigned bus number.
  • Bus riders will have a maximum of 10 minutes after the 3:10 pm dismissal to gather their belongings and exit the front of the building.
  • Students must check the “bus board” located near the Circle Drive at the end of the sidewalk leading from the Main Lobby doors to determine the location of their assigned bus.
  • Students should board the bus quickly, rather than loiter in the front of the building.

Bus passes:
A temporary bus pass may be used for a student to ride home on a different bus.  Passes are available on the district website and the Welcome Center and must be completed and approved BEFORE the date of use.  Drivers should be given a copy of the completed and approved bus pass as the student boards the bus.

Thanks for your patience with all of this.  It is much easier to verbalize than to communicate in writing.  Everyone typically gets the hang of this within the first fews days of school.  Our goal is to get students delivered and picked up safely, while also trying to keep traffic flow moving.

STUDENTS/PARENTS CUTTING THROUGH PICARDY LANE
When school is in session a number of cars have been cutting through Picardy Lane (northeast corner of Conway/Warson) causing traffic to back up at this intersection. We are asking families for assistance as a courtesy to the residents in this neighborhood. Please do not use Picardy Lane as a cut through to get to the school in the mornings. We have been advised that there will be police presence in that neighborhood to deter those who use it as a means of avoiding the intersection at Warson and Conway Roads.  

SPECIAL TREATS FROM CHARTWELLS
Our building policy does not allow consumption of food by others for safety reasons and to promote healthy living. Chartwells Food Service is offering treats for purchase to families that want to do something special for a birthday or other milestone.  We appreciate Chartwells for providing alternative options to families that want to have celebrations at school during lunch shifts. Check out the flyer that is attached to this update.

LMSPA INFO (FROM THE LMSPA NEWSLETTER)

RING-A-RAM DIRECTORY UPDATE

The Ring-A-Ram is the student/parent phone directory (also known as the buzz book) created and published by the LMSPA.  If your contact information has changed since the last school year, please let us know! Ring-A-Ram directory entries will be included only if we have your contact information.
Please email Marianna Tripp chayka@sbcglobal.net with any updates or changes.

LMSPA MEETINGS

The LMSPA will have both day and evening meetings to accommodate varying schedules -- all are encouraged to attend! Meetings will be held on the following dates at LMS (room TBD):

Wed. September 27, 2017 from 7-8 p.m.
Tues. October 17, 2017 from 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Wed. November 15, 2017 from 7-8 p.m.
Tues. December 12, 2017 from 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Wed. January 10, 2018 from 7-8 p.m.
Tues. February 13, 2018 from 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Tues. March 13, 2018 from 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Wed. April 11, 2018 from 7-8 p.m.
Tues. May 8, 2018 from 12-2 p.m.
You can subscribe to email blasts from the Ladue Middle School Parent Association at http://www.mylmspa.com/eblast-newsletter/  
The LMSPA can also be followed on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LadueMiddleSchoolParentAssociation/ and on Twitter @mylmspa
CALENDAR ITEMS
8/23/17
Sixth Grade Camp Parent Meeting; 7:00 pm
8/29/17
Start of After School Activities
8/30/17
Meet The Teacher Night; 6:30 - 8:30 pm
9/1/17
Early Release; 12:40 Dismissal
9/5/17
School Picture Day

That’s all for now. Take Care!

Dr. T-J
Principal, Ladue Middle School

Popular posts from this blog