TJs Tidbits

Greetings LMS Families,

Now that we are underway with school, I want to take a little time to talk about "family engagement." According to the Harvard Family Research Project, family engagement increases the likelihood that a child is ready for school and will experience social/academic success. Furthermore family engagement is:

  • A shared responsibility among families, community organizations ,and schools
  • Continuous throughout a child's life, from birth through adolescence
  • Occurs across multiple settings and contexts

It is the responsibility of our LMS Team to provide traditional and non traditional opportunities for families to work in partnership with us. As the new principal of LMS, a personal goal of mine is to increase family engagement by exploring new methods and fostering inclusiveness for all. I am fortunate to work with an AMAZING Parent Association Executive Board that has a similar goal. To support our common goal, we have decided to alternate LMSPA meetings by having every other meeting in the evening to accommodate working families. We met last Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. and had a great turnout! On the alternating month, we will meet during the day at LMS from 12:30-1:30. We hope you can join us!

I hope you will consider attending a new series of Quarterly Parent Engagement Meetings sponsored by our LMS Administrative Team. The goal of these meetings is to educate families on school initiatives, programs, and curriculum changes as well as provide opportunities for dialogue and sharing of feedback that our LMS Team can use to inform our practice and get better. PLEASE NOTE: due to a scheduling conflict, we had to change our first meeting date, which was originally scheduled on Wednesday, October 11 at 6:00 p.m. We will be setting a new date this week and will share that info as soon as it is determined. The topic will be "Cultivating the Home/School Partnership."  More information will be shared later as we are in the planning stages. Topics for future meetings will center on Building Initiatives (Character Education, OLWEUS Bully Prevention, Diversity and Inclusion, and Restorative Practices.), Curriculum/Programming (STEM, ELA Workshop Model, etc.), and Technology/Social Media Safety.  

As you know, PT Conferences is another way to stay informed and engaged with your student's teachers about academic and behavioral progress. The link to schedule your conference was shared last week. If you have not scheduled your appointment, I STRONGLY encourage you to click on this link PT Conference Sign Ups and schedule ASAP. Slots fill very quickly.



Monday, October 2 is National Custodian Appreciation Day. THANK YOU to the wonderful people who keep this building in tip top shape for us: Mr. Milan Rakic, Mr. JB Tate, and Mr. Steve Bell as well as our ABBCO employees who take it over in the evening. They most certainly deserve a special day because their work often goes unnoticed, but the results of their work, namely a clean and cozy surrounding is important and indeed recognizable. Please remind your student(s) to take a little time say "thank you" to them this week to show their gratitude.

We have discovered a glitch in Infinite Campus that is preventing us from sending the automatic weekly “missing assignment notifier.” A fix should be in place within a couple of weeks. The glitch is not something any of us in Ladue can address directly--the program itself is the issue, and the company has assured us that they will fix this issue. In the meantime, you can check Infinite Campus portal for updated grades and assignments.

The "Hats for Hurricanes" fundraiser at LMS collected $540.  A check was sent to the American Red Cross. Thank you to our fantastic NJHS students leaders, sponsors (Lisa Kovarik and Kevin Kearns) and Miranda Jumper (7th), who first suggested a service project. Most importantly, thank you parents for your donations. What a blessing to be able to be of service to others in this way.

LMS is holding auditions for our annual musical, Dear Edwina Jr.  on October 24th. If your student would like to audition, he/she can come get an audition packet from Mrs. Alrutz in Room 229.  There will be an audition workshop held on October 10th after school for anyone wanting a little extra help before the audition on October 24th.  Any further questions you may e-mail

The Ladue School District Diversity Committee is proud to kick off “Fearless Focus: Moving from Perception to Reality.Please consider attending to listen to the questions and conversations of our families and community. Please see the flyer sent through Parent Link for more information.

For safety reasons, if picking up your student from an after school activity prior to the 4:15 bell, please stop by the Welcome Center so that he/she can be checked out of the building. Once you notify the office that you are here to pick up your student, the Activity Coordinator will have the student sent down ASAP. We appreciate your assistance with this as it helps us tremendously with attendance monitoring and reporting.



Sign ups are now open for our Fall Parent Teacher Conferences, which are on Wednesday, October 25 and Thursday, October 26. More information on conferences and how to sign up can be found here.


If your student was unable to take a school picture on 9/5, the make-up date is October, 17.

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 > 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.

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 . Should you have questions please call (314)-277-5312.


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 and meeting dates/times are listed at 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.

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 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.


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


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.


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 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.

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.  

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.


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.    

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.  

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.


Parents Lunch & Learn Series Presents Dr. Tim Jordan, International Speaker and Author, on Parenting Tween/Teen Girls Oct 11 at 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.LMS Library
On October 11, we welcome any parents who are interested in hearing Dr. Tim Jordan, international speaker and author, at our first Lunch & Learn presentation of the year. He will speak about pressures on girls today, essential friendship skills, mindfulness and becoming inner-directed, handling emotions effectively, and helping girls focus on what's really important. Dr. Jordan is a developmental and behavioral pediatrician. He has more than 30 years experience in his private counseling practice. He is a local and national media consultant.

Our Lunch & Learn Series is held in the LMS library from noon until 1:00pm on October 11. Please join us. You are welcome to bring a nut-free lunch to the library to dine while hearing the presentation.

We are currently considering options for future speakers on topics of interests to middle school parents and would definitely consider speakers focused on dynamics involved in parenting boys as a balance to Dr. Tim Jordan's presentation on parenting tween/teen girls. If you have any ideas for speakers, please email Stephanie Walker at

Volunteers are needed to go to classrooms to bring the students from Social Studies or search for the student in various rooms around the building.  Also, several parents are needed in the library to keep the line moving and one to cover the door to keep the students quiet when entering the library and moving through the building. If you are available, please feel free to sign up for more than one shift. Online Sign up HERE
On behalf of Ladue Middle School and the LMS Parent Association, we would like to thank you for contributing to our Fall Fundraiser. Although our catalog sale has ended, you can still support us with online orders through December 31. Just remember to include our LMS Fundraiser ID, which is 316863 when you place your order. Mixed Bag ships directly to the purchaser anywhere in the USA (shipping is free on orders $75 and up) so feel free to share the link and/or Fundraiser ID with family and friends. Here is the online sales link: Mixed Bag Fundraiser Link
For those who have already turned in your catalog order at the school's Welcome Center, your goodies will be available for pick up during Parent Teacher Conferences in October. We’ll provide more details closer to date, so please keep an eye out for emails and updates on Facebook & Twitter. Please keep those online orders coming. Again, a big "THANK YOU" for your support and contribution.
Please contact Usha Kesavan at if you have any questions.
LEF COMMUNITY BREAKFAST Friday, Oct. 6, 2017 — 7 to 9am at the Hilton St. Louis Frontenac
Join us for the 11th annual Community Breakfast as we come together as a community to celebrate our successes, learn about current initiatives, and support our future programs.
The LEF will be honoring Coach Phil Brusca at the Breakfast! Coach Brusca, 90, spent 25 years as Track and Field Coach at LHWHS. He also has a citywide track and field event in his name, has coached an Olympic Medal winner, and has been inducted into the Missouri Coaches Hall of Fame and the U.S. Track and Field Masters Hall of Fame. If you’d like to include a quote about Phil in a book that will be presented to him, please email Photos for a slideshow and/or collage are also being collected and can be sent to . Register Here

The LMSPA relies on your support to fund teacher grants, field trips, student parties, equipment and supplies, and much more! If you haven't paid your dues yet, you can drop off a check in the front office or pay online. Just click the link below and select LMSPA from the pull-down menu.
It's super easy... click here!

The Ladue Middle School Parent Association (LMSPA) is almost finished compiling our 2017-2018 Ladue Middle School Buzz Book information.This is the Last Call to submit information or to make any changes to your LMS Buzz Book listing from last school year.
We plan to go to print by the end of the week. Please send any information or changes to Denise Christen at PLEASE NOTE:  Due to a computer glitch, if you sent any changes in the last couple of weeks to the email address formerly listed, please resend it right away to Thank you, and look for your LMS Ring-a-Ram Buzz Book to be sent home with your student soon!

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):
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  
The LMSPA can also be followed on Facebook at and on Twitter @mylmspa

National Custodian Appreciation Day
School Pictures Distributed
Hearing Screenings
Fearless Focus: St. Louis & Race - LHWHS 6-8 pm

LEF Community Breakfast 7-9 a.m. Hilton at Plaza Frontenac
Due Run 4 Education
Bagels and Bach - 7:45am
End of 1st Quarter / Early Release Day
Picture Retakes
10/23 - 26    
LMS Scholastic Book Fair
10/25 & 26   
Parent / Teacher Conferences
Early Release Day
No School for Students or Staff

That’s all for now. Take Care!

Dr. T-J
Principal, Ladue Middle School

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