Dear LCMS Bobcat Family and Friends:
On behalf of my staff and me, we wish you and your families a wonderful holiday break. I am excited that I will have the opportunity to spend more time with my mom and dad, my sister Cathy, my brother-in-law Michael, and of course, my nephew Toshi, and my niece Emiko. I am truly blessed to work in this community with you and your children, and I wish you much peace, relaxation, and joy!
As always, please feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions, concerns, or any feedback that you would like to share.
The following are some important updates and announcements.
Thank you to Morning Announcers – Danielle Perry and Kenya Sacra
Thank you to Danielle Perry and Kenya Sacra for their assistance with morning announcements. You helped to deliver important information to all students and staff. On January 6, we will have two new announcers, Logan Self and Ashley Shifflett to start off our new year!
A Big Thanks to our PTA – Tuesday, December 16
On Tuesday, December 16, our PTA and parents treated my staff and me to delicious chili and desserts. We cannot thank you enough for your continual support of us and our work! You made our day. There was vegetarian chili and even bear chili! Thank you to Tanya Knighton and Amy Froschauer for hosting and organizing such an event!
LCMS PTA Holiday Raffle – Monday, December 8
The LCMS PTA sponsored a holiday raffle to help support the various clubs and organizations at LCMS and LCHS. The drawing was held in the LCMS Main Office on Monday, December 8. There were two drawings. The first drawing was the big prize, and the winner had a choice from the following prizes: $300.00 Visa card, $300.00 Best Buy card, or an xbox bundle sponsored by LCMS PTA. The winning ticket for this drawing was sold by a student from the LCMS Chorus headed by Sharon Wills. Karen Hicks was the very happy winner, and she chose the $300 Visa prize. The second drawing was for a $100 home improvement gift card, of which $25.00 was denoted by Home Depot of Short Pump, and the rest was sponsored by the LCMS PTA. Home Depot of Glen Allen donated three tool bags and a screw driver set. These items were given to the second drawing winner as well. The winning ticket for the second drawing was sold by a student of the LCHS Speech and Debate team headed by Donna Love. Olga Washington was the very happy winner. All prizes have been picked up. The LCMS PTA appreciates all of the continued support from LCMS and LCHS, members of the community, as well as local businesses for their support. Thank you again to Tanya Knighton and the LCMS PTA Board!
LCMS All District Chorus
On Thursday, December 11, more than fifty students stayed after school to audition for All-District Chorus. Each student sang a solo part from one of their chorus pieces for the judges. Students were graded on five different categories by the judges. The top scores in each section will attend the All-District Chorus on Friday, February 13 and Saturday, February 14 at Monticello High School. LCMS will be taking four sopranos, five altos, and four baritones. Alternates are listed in case someone is unable to attend. Congratulations to the following sopranos: Earica Benton, Moriah Moss, Taylor Seay, Ali Van Luven, and alternate Coty Baker. Altos include Abby Alpern, Emily Phelps, Annemarie Sewell, Marilyn Van Luven, Diamond Walker, and alternate Alyssa Choquet. Baritones include De'Twan Barber, Jamori Harris, Karsten Thompson, and Ryan Wheeler. Congratulations to all who tried out! It was the largest group to audition for this honor. Thank you for the good work of Sharon Wills, LCMS Chorus Teacher!
LCMS All District Band
All District Band is an all-star ensemble composed of students from the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors' Association's 13th District. Over 260 students from counties within our district, including Amherst, Nelson, Charlottesville, Albemarle, Culpepper, Madison, Orange, Spotsylvania, and more, gathered to audition for a few select spots within the band. Preparation for the audition required the memorization of eight major scales, plus the chromatic scale, and the ability to sight-read difficult music with only thirty seconds of study time. Students participated in after school rehearsals and many hours of home practice to be ready for the audition. LCMS was pleased to send three students to try-outs and were thrilled that Victoria Moore beat the competition to secure fourth chair French horn. She will rehearse with the other students honored to gain entrance into this year's All District Band on Friday, February 6 and will present at a concert on Saturday, February 7 in Charlottesville, VA. Please join me in congratulating VictoriaMoore! This was a hard-won honor. We appreciate the good work of Kathy Allen, LCMS Band Teacher!
Congratulations to Alex Waleski (Grade 6 Science Teacher)
Alex Waleski of LCMS shared insights into student-centered, inquiry-based science teaching in a presentation at the annual Virginia Association of Science Teachers (VAST) Professional Development Institute in late November. The presentation was part of the Virginia Initiative for Science Teaching and Achievement (VISTA), a groundbreaking program that promotes problem-based science learning. Funded by a $34 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, VISTA provides free professional development intended to shift science instruction from the traditional teacher-led classroom to active instruction that is more aligned with real-world, professional science practices. Alex Waleski is part of a teacher cohort selected to participate in VISTA’s program for early career secondary science teachers in Fall 2013. They are now well into the last phase of the two-year program.
At the conference, teachers engaged conference attendees in an inquiry-based learning activity, sharing their lesson plans and showing samples of student work. Part of that community-building is bringing teachers together to share the lessons they have created according to the VISTA method – interactive lessons that get students engaged and actively learning science in the classroom. Participants in the VISTA secondary teacher program (STP) received two graduate-level courses designed specifically for early career science teachers, resulting in six graduate credits; $1,000 stipend per year for two years; up to $1,000 in classroom resources; a master science teacher/coach who assisted in ways such as co-teaching and planning for a total of 15 days over the two years; and a trip to the VAST conference. Congratulations to Alex Waleski who was selected to participate in this program. We look forward to all of the learning experiences and knowledge that Alex Waleski will share with his colleagues and bring to our students!
Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Patriot’s Pen Competition
For the Patriot’s Pen Competition, students were asked to analyze America’s history, along with their own experiences in modern American society and draft a 300 to 400 word essay expressing their views based on a patriotic theme chosen by the VFW Commander-in-Chief. Knowledge of the theme was worth thirty-five points. Students needed to demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the theme based on researching the issue. Theme development was worth another thirty-five points, and students needed to relay facts about the theme, such as the who, what, where, when, and why, and to apply these facts to their own experiences. Clarity of ideas was worth thirty-five points and asked students to ensure that theaudience had a clear understanding of what they were expressing. Each year, more than 100,000 students in Grades 6, 7, and 8 enter the VFW’s Patriot’s Pen youth essay contest. The first-place winner from each state competes to win one of forty-six national awards totaling $46,000. The national first-place winner wins $5,000 and an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in March 2015.We are happy to announce that two of LCMS students won second and third place awards in this local competition. Ethan LaBelle (second place winner) and Zachary Heidel (third place winner) were presented their awards by Beth Rowley, LTC, USA, Retired Commander of VFW Post 8947. Congratulations to Ethan LaBelle and Zachary Heidel!
Student Schedule for Tuesday, January 6 to Friday, January 9
On Tuesday, January 6 (A): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 2 (This is a “A” day for electives. Students go to Period 1, Period 2, Period 3, Period 4, Period 5, and then for the last period of the day, students return back to their Period 2 class.)
On Monday, January 5: Teacher workday. No students in school.
On Tuesday, January 6: (A): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 2
On Wednesday, January 7: (B): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 3
On Thursday, January 8: (A): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 4
On Friday, January 9: (B): 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 5
PowerSchool Access – Parent Portal
In order for teachers to input comments and grades, the grade portion of PowerSchool will be temporarily turned off from Friday, December 19 to Tuesday, January 13. Reports cards for Marking Period 2 will be sent home to parents via students on Tuesday, January 13. For questions regarding grades on PowerSchool, please contact Joel Rupert email@example.com
Student Schedules for January 2015
When students return back to school on Tuesday, January 6, they should report to their fourth period class, which is their homeroom, to pick up their new schedules. Not all students will have a change in their schedules due to their exploratory arts rotation. All students whether or not they have a change in their schedules will receive a new schedule. After Morning Announcements, students will return to their first period class and follow their normal schedule for the entire day. For those students who are absent on Tuesday, January 6, they should go the Main Office to pick up their new schedule. On Wednesday, January 7 students will report to their first period class and follow the normal schedule.
Snow and Snow days at LCMS
Should school be closed due to inclement weather, you will receive an all call from the district. The A/B rotation for electives will remain the same regardless if school is closed due to snow. Thus, if school is closed on an A day, then when students return the next day, it will be a B day for electives.
Important Upcoming Dates – Added information and dates are marked in purple.
Monday, December 22 – Monday, January 5: Winter Break for students
Tuesday, January 6: Classes resume for students. LCMS doors open at 7:40 a.m.
Tuesday, January 13: Report cards for Marking Period 2 are sent home with students.
Tuesday, January 13: LCMS Parent Advisory Meeting at 6:30 p.m. in the LCMS Main Office Conference Room with Dr. Chen
Tuesday, January 13: PTA meeting at 7:00 p.m. in LCMS Main Office Conference Room
Friday, January 16: LCMS Dance 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Monday, January 19: Martin Luther King Jr. Day No School for students and staff
Tuesday, January 20: Classes resume for students LCMS doors open at 7:40 a.m.
Monday, February 9: Interim reports for Marking Period 3 are sent home with students.
Monday, February 16: Staff Development Day No school for students
Tuesday, February 17: School resumes for students. LCMS doors open at 7:40 a.m.
Wednesday, February 11: LCMS Science Fair Awards @ LCMS Forum at 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 21: Battle of the Books Competition for LCMS Students @ Cedar Lee Middle School
Tuesday, February 24: Grade 8 students take the English Writing Multiple Choice benchmark tests.
Wednesday, February 25: Picture Day for students
Thursday, February 26: Grade 8 students take the English Writing Prompt benchmark tests.
Saturday, April 25: Battle of the Books Competition for LCMS Students @ Culpeper Middle School
Tuesday, May 19 – All A Banquet at LCMS Cafeteria at 6:00 p.m.
Thank you for taking the time to read these updates. As I will say to my students each day, “This is important. You belong here. Effort makes a difference.”
With warm regards,
Lisa C. Chen