TJs Tidbits


Greetings LMS Families,

Thank you for coming to “Meet the Teacher Night” last week.The evening was quite successful and well attended. Many families shared that they appreciated being able to experience what a typical day is like for their student. Feedback about teacher presentations was positive as well. Teachers were excited to meet parents and share information about the curriculum that they teach and class expectations and I topped my high score of being able to “guess the parent.” It's always fun saying hello and making connections with families. I want to send a special “thank you” to Mr. Scott Lackey who organized the event and to the many students who volunteered their evening to help direct families. A few pics from the evening were shared through Parent Link. Enjoy!

Congratulations to Mr. Roger Scherck who was chosen as our 2017-2018 LMS Excellence in Education awardee. Mr. Scherck has worked in Ladue School District for over twenty years, most of which has been at the middle school. He is currently the seventh grade guidance counselor. There are few people on staff who contribute to LMS more than Mr. Scherck. He is a leader in Character Education and Diversity at the building and district level. In addition to counseling students on a daily basis and supporting teachers with meeting individual student needs, Mr. Scherck also finds time to coach track and sponsor our school's Middle School Milers club. We are so very fortunate to have him on our staff. We celebrated Mr. Scherck last week with a cake and he was all smiles (see picture shared through Parent Link). He will be officially honored at the School Board meeting on Monday, September 25 at 6:00 p.m. Job well done Roger!

NEW INFORMATION

WAGNER PICTURE INFORMATION- PICTURE DAY IS TOMORROW!
Students were issued a flyer with information about school pictures last Wednesday, 8/30 during 3rd period classes. Fall School Pictures will be photographed at Ladue Middle School on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 (TOMORROW). Order forms must be turned in to the photographer on picture day! Parents may either fill out the order form OR they may order online at www.WagnerPortraitGroup.com and use the password:   LMS
GO ONLINE TO ORDER NOW!     http://bit.ly/2us0kyN

Please remind students to wear clothing that aligns with the school's dress code. Please direct all questions, concerns, or special requests directly to Wagner Portrait Group at (314) 567-5900.
If your student is unable to attend school on 9/5, the make-up date is October, 17.

MIXED BAGS FALL FUNDRAISING PACKET
Students were issued a flyer with information about our school's Mixed Bags Fundraiser on Wednesday, 8/30 during 3rd period classes.The LMSPA is sponsoring the sale as it's fundraiser this school year. Mixed Bags offer a variety of totes, duffles and bags, as well as many kitchen/household items. The fundraiser will run from 9/1 through 9/22 and items will be issued during Parent Teacher Conferences in October. Please encourage your student to participate as money generated supports many LMS programs and activities. Thank you for supporting our school and the LMSPA!  

LUNCH SHIFTS    
Due to changes in our Master Schedule this year, lunch shifts are 25 minutes. This is a change from previous years, although we have successfully run a 25 minute lunch shift on Early Release days for many years. I would like to address a few questions and clarify a few misconceptions about lunch.

Do students have enough time outside? We allow students 8-10 minutes outside every day, which is the same as what we have allowed in the past.

Do students have access to any equipment during their lunch shifts?  We provide equipment outside every day and every lunch shift, including soccer balls, footballs, and basketballs, etc. The GAGA pit will be available soon as well.  Students can access the blacktop and basketball goals the same as what we have allowed in the past.

Is there enough time for students to eat during their lunch shifts?  Students are seated and eating within the first five minutes of the lunch period and have until the end of the period to eat. We do remind students to start cleaning about 5 minutes before the lunch shift ends, which is consistent with procedures in the past and have been telling students that they may continue eating if they are not finished.  

Can students sit with friends?  Sixth grade students were asked to sit with their 3rd period class for the first week or so of school.  This has been done in the past as an orientation to lunch as well as a means to reduce anxiety for students who may not know others well enough to sit with at the beginning of the year.  At this point in the year, students can sit where they want.  We have an 8 students per table limitation due to space, but other than that, students can sit where they please- unless they have been asked to move for disciplinary reasons.

Do students who eat a hot lunch have enough time to eat, especially if their section is called last? Sections are called really quickly. We try to rotate who's called first so that the same section is not called each day first. As noted earlier, students are seated and eating within the first five minutes of the lunch period.

Are many announcements made and do these announcements cut into time to socialize with friends? We do not make announcements during lunch shifts this year. We give a daily reminder to clean up and we dismiss over the microphone. We have students come in and dismiss them by section to the line, which takes about 1-2 minutes using the microphone.
Are students required to spend excessive time cleaning at the end of their lunch period and does this limit time to eat? We have not changed the cleaning procedures that we've had in place for many years. Our custodians and cafe supervisors do the heavy cleaning after each lunch shift. We ask students to wipe the table and sweep large items that have fallen to the ground.   

ONLINE PORTAL MANDATORY UPDATE REMINDER- DEADLINE EXTENDED TO 9/15
If you’ve already completed the mandatory annual update, thank you, and please disregard this information. If not, it is important that we have up-to-date contact information, as well as health information, for your child. This update includes the annual Consent to Treat from the nurse’s office. Without your consent on file, the nurse will not be able to treat your student in the case that he or she requires care.

The update requires that every family has an Infinite Campus parent portal account to review, update and confirm contact information. You will not be able to log in to the portal using your student’s credentials to complete this process; at least one parent or guardian from the student’s primary household will need his or her own parent portal account. If you don’t already have a portal account, please email us at campus@ladueschools.net or call 314-983-5318.

The Annual Update is mandatory for all families in the Ladue School District. The deadline to update your information in Infinite Campus has been extended until Sept. 15, 2017. Click here to view a short video tutorial explaining more about how to complete each step.

Although the Infinite Campus app is available on phones and tablets, this process is best completed on a desktop or laptop computer. If you do not have access to a computer at home or work, you can complete this update at the public library or go to your child's school where there is a dedicated laptop for parents to use in the office to complete this information.

Any questions? Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 314-983-5318.

LMS STUDENT HANDBOOK
The district is required by state and federal government to provide certain information to our parents on an annual basis. In the past, this information has been sent by mail to every family in the district. Beginning in the 2017-18 school year, this information is being provided online in the (elementary/middle school/high school) handbook which can be accessed by going to the district’s website at www.ladueschools.com > for Parents > Handbooks. 6th graders were also issued a personal copy of the Student Handbook to take home to their families during their orientation. In case you are wondering what it looks like. The cover is green.

NWEA ASSESSMENT
Last week LMS students took a MAP® Growth™ test from NWEA® on a computer or tablet. NWEA® takes the place of Discovery Education, our previous benchmark assessment, which was discontinued.  Students are given benchmark assessments to determine their instructional level and to measure academic growth throughout the school year (and from year to year) in Reading and Math.

MAP Growth tests are unique in that they adapt to your child’s level of learning. If your child answers a question correctly, the next question is more challenging. If they answer incorrectly, the next one is easier. This results in a detailed picture of what your child knows and is ready to learn—whether it is on, above, or below their grade level. This first assessment takes longer than subsequent assessments, since subsequent tests start at the level of difficulty where the student finished the previous assessment.

Since MAP Growth tests provide immediate and accurate information about your child’s learning, they help teachers to quickly and easily identify students with similar abilities who are ready for instruction in similar skills and topics, and then plan instruction accordingly.

We will not be sending home assessment results from the first round of testing, as we are still in the process of learning about the reporting features.  However, reports will be sent home after the next round of testing in December/January.

We are truly excited to focus on your child’s individual growth and achievement. For more information about the MAP Growth test, visit: NWEA.org/Parent-Toolkit.

DADS CLUB
"The LMS Dad's Club will hold their first meeting of the school year on Monday September 11th at 7:00 p.m. in the LMS Library. The meeting objectives are to meet other LMS Dads and discuss activities planned for the year, including the Trivia Night on February 10th. If you have questions or would like additional information, please contact the LMS Dad's Club President Joe Mulligan at 314-503-4384 or at joemulligan910@gmail.com."

FRONT CIRCLE PARKING AND CROSSWALK
Over the summer, we made some changes to our front circle.  The changes were made to provide better access to our building for individuals with disabilities and to help alleviate the congestion in the morning especially on Conway Road. This will only work if families park and walk in.  For the safety of our students and families, we ask that families no longer pull over to let students out of the car in the morning or afternoon or pull into a parking spot to let them out. The only time the crosswalk should be used in the morning is if a parent needs to come into the building with their student(s). Thank you for helping keep our community safe.

USE OF HIGH DOWNS LANE AND THE BANK PARKING LOT
We have been asked to remind families not to drive around the Admin Center and go in or out of High Downs Lane (the lane on the east side of the MS) during morning drop off or afternoon pick up. This is very dangerous and can lead to accidents and collisions with residents and employees who work at the Admin Center. We also have students walkers and athletes utilizing that area. Along the same lines, please do not park at the bank and let your student out on Conway Road. We understand the challenges that come as a result of the morning and afternoon rush. Again, your student’s safety, along with the other 1000 students in attendance, is our number-one priority. We appreciate your assistance in reinforcing this critical message.

EARLY DISMISSALS
We recognize that there are occasions that parents will need to pick up students early from school. Should you need to arrange this, please contact Ms. Danna Anderson at 983-5513 or by email at danderson@ladueschools.net. Following this procedure, will ensure that your student is waiting for you in the main office and prevents phone interruptions into the classroom. We also ask parents to please consider no early dismissals between 3:00-3:10 if at all possible.


AFTER SCHOOL ACTIVITIES
LMS provides a range of social and academic activities for students. Some of the benefits of after school activities/programs include:  

  • Low Student-to-Adult Ratio...students may get more personal attention such as tutoring/help with homework or an opportunity to get to know staff outside of class and build relationships around a common area of interest.
  • Reliability...parents can feel good knowing their student will be in a consistent setting under adult supervision for an extended period of time (most often between 1-4 quarters of school).
  • Transportation... activities most often start immediately at the end of the school day, thus eliminating the concern about getting the child to the program.
  • Cost...activities are provided at little to no cost, which allows students to experiment with a variety of options  
  • Social Interaction...students get to spend more time with friends and focus on non academic interactions at a time that is crucial to their developmental needs.
  • Physical Activity...students get to step away from technology and social media and engage in structured, physical activities like sports.

According to a news report published in 2014 by the U.S. Census Bureau, fifty-seven percent of children between 6 and 17 years old participate in at least one after-school extracurricular activity. Our goal at LMS is to beat the national average. We've always told students, if you can think it and can find a teacher to sponsor it, we will try to make it happen. Many activities have come from student ideas. We are very fortunate to have a variety of activities at LMS and staff committed to using this time to build relationships and enrich our students' school experience. Please take a look at the list and consider having your student participate.  



IMPORTANT REMINDERS

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.


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.


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

9/5/17
School Picture Day
9/11-9/13
6th Grade Camp Session 1
9/13-9/15
6th Grade Camp Session 2
9/23/17
Eighth Grade Car Wash Fundraiser
9/27/17
LMSPA Meeting 7:00 p.m.
That’s all for now. Take Care!

Dr. T-J
Principal, Ladue Middle School

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