Lansing Middle School
Parent Newsletter - August/September 2023
A Note From Mr. Jenkins
The 2023-2024 school year is off to a great start! The beginning of the school year always includes information about what to expect during the upcoming school year as well as a strong effort to establish relationships between students and adults. Some highlights of the first few days and how we tried to accomplish these things --
- First Day of School - Thursday, August 10th --- This was only for new students to the building, which included all 6th grade students and students that are new to LMS in 7th and 8th grade. The main focus for this day was to get students familiar with their schedule, the building, the adults, and to make a connection with other students.
- Friday, August 11th - Tuesday, August 16th - We ran a modified schedule so we could include grade level assemblies and an Advisory class period on these days. The topics covered during grade level assemblies included --- information about staff, positives regarding behavior and grades, expectations for respect at LMS (everyone gets treated respectfully), LMS dress code, LMS cell phone policy, counseling availability at LMS, the impact of attendance on success, using study halls advantageously, getting involved at LMS through athletics and clubs, viewing athletics, honesty, anti-bullying, and requirements for grade level reward field trips.
- During Advisory on those days, all staff reviewed the BIST (Behavior Intervention Support Team) model. Students also had a chance to go through role-playing examples with behavior expectations. We also stressed the importance of communication with a lesson on, "How to Email Teachers".
During the 2023-2024 school year, Lansing Middle School looks to expand on successes and address past challenges.
1. Guaranteed Viable Curriculum (GVC) –
Under the direction of Miles Azzeh, Director of Teaching and Learning, we continued to prioritize the development and enhancement of our curriculum last year to ensure it remained aligned with current educational standards and best practices. Our core teachers dedicated a great deal of time putting their GVC together to reflect current practices and create a roadmap for future professional practice. As a result, a GVC was completed for the core areas and is available on the USD 469 website --
A final step in the completion of the GVC is that our exploratory teachers will complete their GVCs this school year.
2. Academic Achievement from 2022-2023 –
I am including the academic accomplishments of our students and staff from last year as it is an excellent starting point.
- Statistically significant growth (+4% and +5%) in the advanced category for aReading at 6th and 7th grade.
- 8th grade aReading score of 79%.
- Decrease at all grade levels from fall to spring in the “high risk” category for aReading.
- 6th grade aMath score of 79% with statistically significant growth (+4%) overall.
- Statistically significant growth (+5%) in the advanced category for aMath at 7th grade.
- Statistically significant growth (+7%) in the overall score for aMath at 7th grade.
- Statistically significant decline (-5%) in the “high risk” category for aMath at 8th grade.
- Decrease at all grade levels from fall to spring in the “high risk” category for aMath.
- Increases in overall Fastbridge scores for aMath and aReading in four out of six areas/grade levels; no decreases in overall scores from fall to spring.
- All tested areas at all grade levels were above the state average for the Kansas State Assessment (6th, 7th, 8th grade – ELA; 6th, 7th, 8th grade – Math; 8th grade science).
- All cohort groups except one*, for both ELA and Math increased their difference in median score compared to the state average. Example – 2022 – 5th Grade ELA was 5 points above the state average; 2023 – 6th Grade ELA was 8 points above the state average. This is a really good indicator to look at because the test changes from year-to-year and the cut scores also change. * The only exception to this was 8th grade math, which had a slight decrease from 7th to 8th grade in this area.
- During the 3rd quarter, the 6th grade had zero students with multiple failing grades. This is the first time this has happened in the ten years we have kept data. Quite an accomplishment!
- Honor Roll Recipients for 2nd Semester – Lion Honor Roll (4.0 GPA/All A’s) --- 25% of 6th grade students, 23% of 7th grade students, and 17% of 8th grade students. Overall honor roll recipients (3.0 GPA or higher) --- 77% of 6th grade students, 71% of 7th grade students, and 64% of 8th grade students.
3. Student Attendance and Student Behavior -
- Student attendance has declined in the past several years since the start of COVID. This is not unique to Lansing Middle School. However, it is an area we are greatly concerned about because of the direct correlation between attendance and academic success. We are hoping that increased parental support will be a piece in helping us to alleviate this problem.
- Our biggest overall need over the past two school years has been in the area of behavior. A lot of this has come from a small portion of our students exhibiting more chronic and large-scale behavior. Behavior has shown up in our building climate survey as one of the most concerning areas from staff.
- Our plans for addressing attendance and behavior this school year included the following measures - 1) we added a counselor position this school year and we are pleased that Becky Lowery, former LMS 7th grade teacher was able to move into this role. This will help us to be able to address both attendance and behavior through increased BSEL (behavior-social/emotional) support for students; 2) we added a behavior intervention aide position. We are excited to welcome Alexis Shepherd into this role. She will focus on reflection and restorative practices for students with discipline infractions. Our goal is to see less repeated behaviors as a result; 3) we have reorganized other staffing roles to support our behavior classroom and our SBS (social-behvioral skills) room, which also acts as a recovery room; 4) all LMS staff received training from Marty Huitt, Director of BIST before the school year. This will help with consistency in our building and has given staff a renewed spirit with BIST; 5) a focus on re-entry after behavior incidents, specifically for those warranting out-of-school suspension (OSS). This will allow planning to take place as well as an accountability discussion. Again, the goal is to lessen the likelihood of behavior reoccurrences.
To end, I would like to reiterate my excitement for the upcoming school year. It is truly a unique opportunity with education to have a new start each year. I look forward to working with you and your child!
Parent Information - Provided at New Parent Orientation
New Assistant Principal at LMS - Kerry Wixon
BIST (Behavior Intervention Support Team)
- I can be OK even when others are not OK
- I can make good choices even if I am mad
- I can do something even though I don’t want to
Through this model, staff try to ensure that students are offered grace and accountability, which simply means it’s OK to make mistakes but there is a need to take responsibility for choices.
Terms you might hear with BIST include
- Safe Seat and Buddy Room – these are alternate locations intended to provide another opportunity for student to change behavior
- Processing – this entails talking through what happened with the teacher or adult
As I mentioned previously, all LMS staff received professional development in BIST before school started. Almost all LMS staff had been trained at some point but this was a great refresher for our staff. Furthermore, BIST is now a K-5 initiative as well, so the training was given to all K-8 personnel.
This link gives more information about BIST -
The following article is from the USD469 website on the BIST training in August -
Advisory and Second Step
As mentioned before, LMS students had Advisory the first three days of school. Normally, Advisory meets every Thursday for a 45 minute block -- from 12:27-1:12. All LMS teachers have an Advisory class. This allows us to keep Advisory classes small -- around 13-17 students.
Advisory is a crucial component to Lansing Middle School and student success.
- At the start of each Advisory period, students work on GBA, which entails looking at grades, behavior, and attendance. Students use Skyward to track their current grades and attendance and teachers provide behavior information. Students then use this to write and monitor goals for improvement. Students also counsel with their classroom teacher to assess their goals.
- Advisory is also used to provide lessons from our Tier 1 behavior program, Second Step. A Tier 1 program means that all students are provided with it. "Second Step® Middle School helps early adolescents learn to cope with challenges, create and maintain positive relationships, and develop the mindset necessary for success in school and life." We will begin our first Second Step lesson this Thursday, August 31st.
- There are four units of study for Second Step. The first unit of study for all grades is titled - "Mindsets and Goals". The scope and sequence for Second Step is linked here -- https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hsDDKW9sNKkGlV_FuHKJNRrMuG7wVtfk/view?usp=share_link
Additional information for parents on Second Step is provided with the following links -
- Course components and outcomes - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1mVTSWdApXUTfVH4OVgP2S_OHMKsaRinV/view?usp=share_link
- Initial parental information letter - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rEzDs4TIaiaOApbJmnni2jnyt1xfgsBR/view?usp=sharing
- Slideshow of Information about Second Step - https://drive.google.com/file/d/1varmKoHWOxJG0T3mDcw3W-vFBoI-0UNM/view?usp=sharing
Finally, if for any reason a parent would like to opt their child out from Second Step lessons, please e-mail me at - email@example.com
Additional Components of Advisory include -
- During January, students have dedicated time in Advisory over three sessions to work on the software program, Xello. Xello is an interactive program that allows students to better assess themselves in terms of current interests and helps them to better prepared to make future choices. From the Xello website, "students complete interactive career, personality, and learning style assessments to help them better understand their unique interests, skills, and strengths. Each engaging assessment encourages reflection, helping students connect who they are with relevant career options." https://xello.world/en/middle-and-high-school/
- Student-Led Conferences and preparation take place during Advisory and with the student's Advisory teacher. Student-led conferences are held in February.
Student Accolades and Classroom Spotlights
- Lansing Middle School is pleased to announce honor roll recipients for the second semester of the 2022-2023 school year. There are three honor rolls at LMS -- Lion's Honor Roll recognizes students with a 4.0 GPA (all A's), Red Honor Roll recognizes students with a GPA between 3.50 to 3.99, White Honor Roll recognizes students with a GPA between 3.0 and 3.49. Congratulations to these students!
LION'S HONOR ROLL
RED HONOR ROLL
WHITE HONOR ROLL
"On Friday, August 18th, 7th and 8th-grade students in Mr. Josh Yoakam's Advanced Studies classes completed a STEM lesson with a "Ping Pong Ball Challenge." The lesson allowed students to utilize creative problem-solving skills with limited resources to accomplish a task." https://www.usd469.net/vnews/display.v/ART/64e3b0dd4dcca?in_archive=1
Josiah Ketterman, LMS Vocal Music Director, was chosen for the first USD 469 Employee Spotlight -- https://www.usd469.net/vnews/display.v/ART/64e7878623ef6?in_archive=1
- "Lansing USD469 is incredibly thankful to a group of high school students who took the initiative to give the Lansing Middle School athletics shed a much-needed facelift this month. Under the leadership and organization of Anna Yedlinsky, the crew of hardworking students transformed the shed into a vibrant space." https://www.usd469.net/vnews/display.v/ART/64dd160f04dd6?in_archive=1
Substitute Teachers and Paraeducators Needed at LMS
Additionally, Lansing Middle School has several paraeducator vacancies. Paraeducators work with students that receive special education services.
Lansing Middle School is a great place to work. These positions are an integral part of LMS. We are looking for dedicated individuals that would like to make a difference in the lives of adolescents.
The link below has information about employment, including how to apply.
Upcoming Events for LMS
August 31st - LMS Volleyball vs Basehor-Linwood - 7th @ Home, 8th @ Basehor-Linwood
August 31st - LMS Cross-Country @ Wyandotte County Park
September 5th - LMS Volleyball vs Trailridge - 7th @ Trailridge, 8th @ Home
September 6th - LMS Football vs Mill Creek - 7th @ Home, 8th @ Mill Creek
September 9th - LMS Volleyball - 8th Grade Tournament @ Mill Valley High School
September 12th - LMS Football vs Monticello - 7th @ Monticello, 8th @ Home
September 12th - LMS Volleyball vs Monticello - 7th @ Home, 8th @ Monticello
September 14th - LMS Volleyball vs Mill Creek - 7th @ Mill Creek, 8th @ Home
September 14th - LMS Cross-Country @ Wellsville
September 19th - LMS Football vs Basehor-Linwood - 7th @ Home, 8th @ Basehor-Linwood
September 19th - LMS Volleyball vs Pioneer Ridge - 7th @ Pioneer Ridge, 8th @ Home
September 20th - LMS Cross-Country @ Tonganoxie Middle School
September 21st - LMS Volleyball vs Leavenworth Warren - 7th @ Home, 8th @ Warren
September 25th - LMS Volleyball vs Lexington Trails - 7th @ Lexington, 8th @ Home
September 26th - LMS Volleyball vs Turner - 7th @ Turner, 8th @ Home
September 26th - LMS Football vs Leavenworth Warren - 7th @ Warren, 8th @ Home
September 28th - LMS Volleyball vs Piper - 7th @ Home, 8th @ Piper
September 28th - LMS Cross-Country @ Zarda Farm
Lansing High School - Spectator Information
"We're excited for the community to come out and support our band, cheerleaders, and athletes. We have a few reminders for Lansing High School events:
- Student performances are the focus of the event. No one should be on the practice football field, soccer fields, or other areas away from the stadium
- All elementary, intermediate, and middle school aged students attending this season's high school home sporting events and activities must have a parent or guardian with them for the entirety of the event.
- The middle school cheering section is on the south side of the stadium near the concession stand
- Students cannot enter the stadium from the tailgate area
- Please do not bring balls, frisbees, or other items to the game
- Spectators who are disruptive will be asked to leave.
Thank you, and we look forward to a fantastic year!"
Lansing USD 469 Strategic Plan for 2023-2028
"Lansing USD469 is thrilled to announce that our 2023-2028 Strategic Plan was passed unanimously during the April 10th board meeting. Thank you to our volunteers made of community members, staff, and students who served on this important committee and provided feedback to form this plan. Thank you also to our Lansing USD469 board members who served on the committee and voted to make it a reality. The Strategic Plan aims to achieve action steps that ensure our district can meet the needs of its students, staff, and community for years to come.
Our administrators and district leadership staff are excited to start on action items this plan sets forth. We will provide monthly updates about our progress and look forward to embarking on this journey together to make Lansing the best district in Kansas."
About Lansing Middle School
Kerry Wixon, Vice Principal
Becky Lowery, Counselor
Maggie Peterson, Social Worker