Dr. Lisa Chen, Principal, Louisa County Middle School, Mineral, VA

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

LCMS Principal Update: July 8, 2015

Dear LCMS Bobcat Family and Friends:

It is hard to believe that in a couple of weeks, new teachers will be arriving to attend the New Teacher Training Camp starting on Wednesday, July 29. Soon afterwards, all staff will be back Monday, August 3 to prepare for a great school year, and our students will be with us on Wednesday, August 12. How awesome!

I hope that all of you have had the opportunity to relax, rejuvenate, and to spend time with family and friends. I have had the chance to spend more time with my mom and dad in Chesapeake, which means a great deal to me!

If your child attended Summer School, then he or she will be bringing home a progress report on how he or she did. Please be sure to ask him or her for that report. Questions pertaining to summer school should be directed to Assistant Principal Joel Rupert. He can be reached at (540) 894-5457 or at rupertjd@lcps.k12.va.us.

Until school begins, LCMS remains open during the summer. Summer hours are as follows: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. During this time, someone will always be available to answer the phones and to address questions that you may have. As always, please feel free to contact me at chenlc@lcps.k12.va.us if you have questions, concerns, or any feedback that you would like to share.

The following are some important updates and announcements.

Summer Stem Academy – A Huge Success!
We blinked, and the two week summer STEM academy was over! All the students worked cooperatively as they moved from one project onto the next. Students started with air rockets and predicted their rocket's landing spot by controlling the thrust and launch angle. Data from all of the rocket launches were collected, graphed, and analyzed. Building and programming robots was the next activity. Working in groups, our young engineers were all successful in programming and designing their robots to do all the tasks for the given problem. Energy was our next adventure as pairs of students designed, constructed, and raced solar powered cars. The velocity of each solar car was calculated at the end of race day. Each student had the task of constructing his or her solar cooker. Students followed instructions to cut, score, fold, and assembly a complex, shaped solar collector. Students then tested their systems using thermometers. The LCMS STEM Academy ended with an educational field trip to the North Anna Power Information Center. All students listened attentively to the presenters at the North Anna Power Information Center and explored the center's hands-on learning activities.

Our exit survey showed that the solar cooker activity was among the students' favorite activity. Every activity in the Academy was chosen by at least one student as his or her favorite project. Student input for activities for next year include: making STEM T-shirts, adding more computer programming classes, infusing more components of chemistry or biology to the curriculum, building a real model rocket, designing a bridge, working with wood, developing egg crash cars, constructing Lego towers, and creating catapults, researching static electricity, and being involved with 3D printing.

None of this could have occurred without the leadership and vision of Richard Dye (Technology teacher) and Sally Agee (Grade 8 Science teacher). I appreciate the support further from Central Office and from Louisa Education Foundation for making this idea a reality for our students! Our goal next year is to extend the STEM Academy and to run more sessions for interested students, who wish to learn and explore more about science and technology. All students shared with me that they had an incredible time!

Congratulations Mary Eden (Grade 8 English teacher)
Recently, Mary Eden's abstract was accepted by the South Atlantic Modern Language Association. The theme of the panel is "Mark Twain's Engagement with the Arts." Mary Eden's paper is an authoritative restoration of Mark Twain's essay, "Instruction in Art." Mary Eden will present her paper at the conference in Durham, North Carolina, in November. Way to go!  Your effort made a difference!

Change of Address
If you and your child have changed your address from where you once lived, then please come into the Main Office to fill out "LCPS Change of Address" form by Monday, August 10. You will be required to bring proof of residence and a utility bill. For assistance, please contact (540) 894-5457 and ask to speak to Barbie Banning (Lead secretary).

LCPS Transportation Registration Form
If you and your child have not changed your address, but instead have changed your child's pick up or drop off location, then you will need to fill out "LCPS Transportation Registration Form" by Monday, August 10 You do not need to come into the Main Office to fill out this form. This form can be faxed to you and then faxed back to the school. For more information, please contact (540) 894-5457 and ask to speak to Barbie Banning (Lead secretary).

Taken off Principal Update
If you no longer wish to subscribe to the LCMS Principal Update, please email Barbie Banning at banninbd@lcps.k12.va.us As a header, please put: "Remove Me." Please include your name and email address in the body of the email.

LCMS Sports Tryouts
A reminder that students must have VHSL physical dated after May 1, 2015 to tryout as well as passed the fourth marking period in their core subject areas. Please see Terry Marks, the Athletic Director of Middle School Sports, at markstl@lcps.k12.va.us for questions.

Information for Incoming LCMS Students
By early next week, you and your child will receive a mailing from me that includes important updates, announcements, and reminders as well as a list of student supplies. Soon afterwards, you will receive a second mailing with your child's academic schedule. For more information, please see the attachments, "Open Letter Students July 8," "Important Information July 8", and "2015-16 Supply List July 8."

Important Upcoming Dates Added information and dates are marked in purple.

Tuesday, July 21 and Thursday, July 23: (10:00 a.m. -12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ) Self-guided building tours and locker practice

Monday, August 3: Cross Country Practice/Tryouts 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Monday, August 10: 3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. LCMS Open House
Monday, August 10: Bus transportation information will be given on Open House.

Wednesday, August 12: School begins at 7:40 a.m. Information including lunch, clinic card, pick-up card, code of conduct signature sheets.

Thursday, August 13: Tentatively scheduled for Football tryouts for Grades 7 and 8 ONLY
Friday, August 14: Student forms need to be completed and turned into students' Period 4 teachers.

Monday, August 17: Girls' Basketball tryouts from 3:20 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.
Friday, August 28: LCMS Dance and Football Game @ LCMS Cafeteria from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Monday, September 7: Labor Day. No school for students and staff.
Tuesday, September 8: School begins at 7:40 a.m. LCMS Parent Advisory Council @ LCMS Main Office Conference Room from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and PTA Board Meeting @ LCMS Main Office Conference Room from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Friday, September 11: Interim report cards for the first nine weeks are sent home with students.

Friday, September 18: LCMS Dance @ LCMS Cafeteria from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Friday, October 9: First nine weeks end. LCMS Dance and Football Game @ LCMS Cafeteria from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. 

Friday, October 16: Report cards for the first nine weeks are sent home with students.
Tuesday, October 20: Tentatively scheduled for Parent/Teacher Conference (3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. appointment only) and (5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. walk-ins)

Friday, October 23: LCMS Dance and Football Game @ LCMS Cafeteria from 3:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 29: Student picture day

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
Lisa C. Chen, Ph.D.
Louisa County Middle School