TJs Tidbits



Hello Everyone,


The summer is winding down to just a couple of weeks. It’s a bittersweet time. I am anxious to get back to a normal routine and looking forward to seeing the students and staff as we begin a new school year. At the same time, I will miss spending uninterrupted quality time with family and friends, particularly my son, “Tristen.”  That little guy has kept me on my toes all summer. Another thing that I don’t want to let go of, is sleeping in a little later than usual. The extra shut eye is the absolute BEST! I hope everyone is able to get in one last hurrah. It’s so important to take full advantage of the down time because once we get back, it’s quite busy for us all.


We are gearing up for the start of the school. Our custodians and office staff have spent many hours preparing for students, staff, and families to walk through these doors. The building is impeccable. Schedules are done, materials ordered, and documents prepared. New Teacher Orientation began on 8/2 and will continue throughout this week. Our admin team spent time today getting to know our new staff and sharing essential school information. We welcome returning staff next week. Although teachers are technically off, you’d be surprised by all of the work that occurs over the summer. An educator’s job is never done. Many teachers attend workshops, trainings, meetings, planning sessions, etc. I’m so grateful for the dedicated staff that we have in our building. We are blessed!


Below are a few updates for you as you head into next week. I know this is a lengthy one, but it's better to err on providing too much information than not enough. If you have gone through the middle school before with another child, please take time to read this update thoroughly as there are a few changes in procedures/practices.


NEW ITEMS


SOLAR ECLIPSE

As many of you already know, a total solar eclipse will occur on the third day of school (Monday, Aug 21).  The partial eclipse will begin at 11:49 a.m. and totality will occur at 1:17 p.m.  Thanks to our science department and the Ladue Education Foundation, LMS students will be able to join in this historic event. Viewing glasses have been ordered for everyone in the building and we are planning to dismiss the entire school to the upper field and blacktop for viewing. Science teachers will be teaching lessons on the first and/or second day of school to prepare the students to view the eclipse safely. Be sure to read the flyer in district Back to School Packets for more specific information.

DISTRICT BACK TO SCHOOL PACKETS COMING SOON
The 2017-18 school year will begin for students on Thursday, Aug. 17.  The beginning of every school year brings with it a great deal of information families need to make sure students get off to a great start.  During the week of August 1, an information packet will be mailed to all district households that contains items for which each family needs only one copy.  This is in addition to important information you will receive from LMS.

This packet will include: bus information (routes will be available on the district website after Aug. 1); food service (including the free and reduced lunch application), the district’s mobile app, Peachjar electronic flyers, the district calendar, the Ladue Education Foundation and the Solar Eclipse. Please watch for it in your mailbox!


ONLINE PARENT PORTAL SIGN UPS
You should be receiving an email from our district Technology Department on or around August 12. This email will provide an activation link that will allow you to set up an account for our Infinite Campus Parent Portal if you do not already have one.  The link will be active from that point forward 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/our-district/departments/technology/infinite-campus.shtml



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.

BUILDING HOURS
We are now on our regular five-day work week schedule.  Our office is open 7:45 am to 3:15 pm Monday through Friday.


SCHEDULE CHANGES
I want to take a moment to emphasize my previous message regarding student schedule changes for 2017-18.  This message has also been communicated to our grade level administrators, counselors, and scheduler.


We began the scheduling process in the spring.  Since that time, work has been invested in making team placements based upon parent and staff input and information.  Team compositions are balanced and extensive time has been dedicated to grant top choices for elective course requests as they were received in our office. Please keep in mind that we do this while working within class size requirements.


Student packets are ready for pick up on August 7 and student schedules are finalized.  We are unable to address scenarios that have arisen in the past as we approach the first day of school such as:
  • “I have changed my mind about my elective choice(s).”
  • “I want to be with my friend(s) in _________ class or on _________ team.”


In order for us to maximize our efforts and time in preparation for the beginning of school and given the parameters of our new master schedule, it is imperative that we hold firm to “no schedule changes.” We thank you in advance for partnering with us on this decision and understanding the need for this practice.


6TH GRADE ORIENTATION/ 7TH AND 8TH GRADE “NEW TO LADUE” ORIENTATION
All sixth grade students will be involved in an orientation with their grade level principal, counselor, and team teachers on the first day of school. “New to Ladue” seventh and eighth grade students will also participate in an orientation, scheduled on Wednesday, August 16 (8:30 a.m.-10:00 a.m.) This orientation is facilitated by the grade level counselors and is only for students that have transferred into Ladue School District.  


6TH 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.  Camp this year will be the week of September 11.  Students will either go to camp Monday – Wednesday of that week or Wednesday – Friday.  If your child needs a specific session for camp, please notify Mark Biernbaum before August 11th at mbiernbaum@ladueschools.net  For more information about camp, please visit the camp website at: https://sites.google.com/a/ladueschools.net/biernbaum/6th-grade-camp

MEET THE TEACHER NIGHT
Parents/Guardians please plan to attend Meet the Teacher Night on August 30th at 6:30 p.m.  This will be an opportunity for you to follow your child’s schedule and meet the teachers. A general meeting will be held that evening with information about the LMSPA, Dad’s Club, Ladue Education Foundation, and much more. We hope you can join us.


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.


SEVENTH GRADE MEMPHIS TRIP
Seventh grade families, please remember to pick up a flyer about the 7th Grade Trip to Memphis at Packet Pick Up on August 7. The dates for the trip are March 8-9 and the cost per family is $200.00. More information will be shared later.


IMMUNIZATION INFO (8th GRADE)

As a result of immunization changes required by the State of Missouri, students entering 8th grade for the 2017-2018 school year will now be required to have a meningitis immunization and a Tdap immunization prior to beginning school.  Your child may have already had both of these immunizations.  Please check with your child’s pediatrician to see if these have been completed and, if not, get an appointment scheduled.  Updated records from your pediatrician that reflect that your child has received these immunizations may be faxed to (314) 983-5965 or mailed to the LMS School Nurse at 9701 Conway Road; St Louis, MO; 63124-1646.  Information regarding the immunization requirements for 8th grade can be found at: http://health.mo.gov/living/wellness/immunizations/pdf/1617schoolrequirements.pdf



Please note that we are prohibited from allowing any 8th grade student from beginning classes until the necessary immunization information is provided.

 

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.



LMSPA INFO (FROM THE LMSPA NEWSLETTER)


SCHOOL SUPPLY PICK UP/LOCKS
Members of the Ladue Middle School Parent Association will be on hand to distribute school supply orders on the days of packet pickup.  They will also have a limited supply of locks for purchase should your child need one during Community Night, as well as offering LMS logo wear for purchase.


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.


SPIRIT WEAR

Spirit wear and gym clothes will be sold at Packet Pick Up on August 7 and on Community Night, August 14, as well as at Parent Teacher Conferences. Order P.E. t-shirts and shorts or get a jump start on hoodies for the fall! Cash or check only, please. And remember you can also get LMS logo items online laduespiritstore.com.


FALL FUNDRAISING HEADS UP!
This year we will have our Mixed Bags sale. Mixed Bags offer a variety of totes, duffles and bags, as well as many kitchen/household items. There will be more information at Packet Pick-Up! Thank you for supporting our school.


LMSPA WEEKLY COMMUNICATION
The LMSPA will be sending out a newsletter every other week early on Monday mornings. In between, we will send e-blasts for urgent/time sensitive info. We will be highlighting activities, staff, and grade-level activities as well as forwarding information from our Principal and Ladue School District. This is one of your most important Monday morning emails, so be sure to read it! We will do our best to keep you informed, and sometimes entertained, as we go through this school year together.


LMSPA PARENT COFFEE
Join fellow parents as we celebrate another school year starting at the annual LMSPA Parent Coffee on Friday, August 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. in the Ladue Middle School Cafeteria
Enjoy refreshments, meet other parents, ask questions and talk with the LMS principals and counselors!


Hosted by The LMSPA Executive Board
We hope to see you there!


Co-Presidents:  Marissa Rosen & Jocelyn Fundoukos
Treasurers: Aletta Martin & Peggy Fiala
Secretary: Reann Ratterman
PDC Reps: Jill Settler & Amy Fischer
6th Grade VP's: Jill Crane & Melissa Garza
7th Grade VP's: Stephanie Walker & Angela Rhone
8th Grade VP's: Elizabeth Lochmoeller & Jennifer Hardester
Fundraising VP: Julie Stappenbeck
Electronic Communications: Audra Harrold
Website Coordinator: Jodi Blucher

IMPORTANT REMINDERS  

PACKET PICK UP

Back to School Packets (including student schedules and locker assignments) may be picked up in the LMS Lobby on Monday, August 7, from 7 a.m.- 5 p.m. Families that are unable to pick up their packets on this day, may come during regular office hours in the Welcome Center.  If you have an 8th grade student for the coming school year, please take special note of the item below regarding immunizations.  Please note that we are prohibited from allowing any 8th grade student from beginning classes until the necessary immunization information is provided.  As a result, 8th grade student schedules will be held until we receive that information from your child’s doctor. Packets will not be released to anyone other than a parent/guardian unless a written note with a signature is provided.


LOCKER INFO


We highly suggest that families bring a lock with you (students supply their own) when picking up "Back to School" packets at Packet Pick-Up.  This allows families to locate the correct locker and secure it before having to battle the crowd during Community Night. Most lock types will work on our lockers, but please try to select one that does not an exceptionally thick hasp (or whatever the curved metal thing is named that goes through the hole in the locker handle).  Signs will be posted throughout the building to help in locating your student’s assigned locker.

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

 

COMMUNITY NIGHT

The LMS Parent Association invites all students and families to celebrate the beginning of a new school year on Friday, August 11 from 4:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. This is an opportunity for parents and students together to:



  • · Bring schedule and walk your classes

  • · Bring a combination lock for your assigned locker

  • · Decorate the inside of your locker  

  • · Fill your locker with school supplies

  • · Remove some of the first day jitters

  • · Turn in all School and Parent Association paperwork

  • · Buy school logo clothing  

  • · Visit with all of your friends



Past large turnouts result in some crowding, so we ask that the following schedule be followed if at all possible: Sixth Grade (4-5 pm), Seventh Grade (5-6 pm), Eighth Grade (6-7pm)

 

Refreshments will be provided by the Dad’s Club and served in the LMS cafeteria (more information regarding menu items will be forthcoming).

Please be aware that teachers will not be in classrooms during Community Night.

 

BOARD BRIEFS



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

Have a great rest of your summer and stay cool!



CORRECTIONS



PLEASE NOTE: The time of the New 7th and 8th Grade Student Orientation was incorrectly listed as 8:30-10:30 am in my last Family Update. The correction has been made below:


8/16/17
New 7th and 8th Grade Student Orientation; 8:30-10:00 am


CALENDAR ITEMS


8/7/17
Packet pick up; 7 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
8/11/17
Community Night; 4 - 7 pm
8/9/17
District Opening Meeting (LMS office will be closed that morning)
8/10/17
LMS Breakfast and Staff Mtg (LMS office will be closed 7:30 am - approximately 9:30 am)
8/16/17
New 7th and 8th Grade Student Orientation; 8:30-10:00 am
8/17/17
First Day of School
8/18/17
Parent Coffee; 8:30 - 9:30 am (LMS Cafe)
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. Looking forward to seeing everyone soon.


Take Care!


Dr. T-J


Principal, Ladue Middle School

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