Academic Services Newsletter
November - December 2014
It’s been less than a month since the report cards were mailed out for the first grading period, and it really isn’t much longer until the final grades are mailed out in December. November has a long break in the middle, and once that break is over, the rest of the semester moves at lightning speed.
Ro Myers, the Assistant Director of Academic Services, has been keeping close tabs on all the students in trouble, running frequent reports to see who is falling into trouble and who is climbing out of it. She has been aided by the faculty, who send her frequent updates and reports. We want all the kids to succeed, and she’s doing her best to make sure it happens.
Thanksgiving Will Be Here Before You Know it.
Friday, November 21 is the last day of class before a weeklong Thanksgiving break. We will have an abbreviated schedule that day, so classes will be dismissed at 1:00, and the residence halls will close by 4:00, hopefully giving all the students a chance to get home at a decent hour.
The break will run through Sunday, November 30. The residence halls will open back up at 3:00 that afternoon for the last couple of weeks of the semester.
Natchitoches is famous for its Christmas celebration, especially the Christmas lights, which are already going up, and which will be turned on every night from Thanksgiving through the beginning of the new year.
The focal point of the celebration is the Christmas festival, which will be Saturday, December 6, less than a week after students return from Thanksgiving. With food, musicians, a crafts fair, a parade, and a fireworks celebration, it is always a lot of fun.
We encourage our students to enjoy the festival, but we encourage them to do it safely. All the regular rules apply. Faculty and staff will be participating in the festival as well (it’s the biggest event of the year), and we will have our eyes open.
Just as the Christmas Festival follows close behind the Thanksgiving break, final exams follow close behind the Christmas Festival. The last day of classes will be Tuesday, December 9. Wednesday, December 10, is “Dead Day.” There will be no classes, but faculty will be available in their offices to give students one last chance to see them before exams begin.
Exams themselves will run Thursday, December 11, through Wednesday, December 17. Click here for the final exam schedule. Students are required to check out of the residence halls within two hours of finishing their last final exam. Teachers are required to have grades submitted on Thursday, September 18. Report cards will be printed and mailed out soon afterward.
End- of-Semester Assessment
When the semester is over, an assessment team will meet to look at student performance and determine what course of action weaker students should take. For the majority of students (and their parents), there will be nothing to worry about, because all indicators will be fine. For students with D grades (or multiple C’s), we may be making recommendations about Academic Probation, requiring Evening Study, or restricting privileges. For a few students who have multiple D’s, or for seniors who are in danger of not meeting graduation requirements, we may have to advise or require withdrawal. This part isn’t fun for anybody, but the decisions are made with the long-term interests of the students in mind. Fortunately (as I noted earlier), these are decisions that most students and their parents won’t have to worry about.
The LSMSA curriculum is designed to make sure that all students qualify for the TOPS award and college admissions. However, before your children can receive TOPS, the state first needs to know that they qualify. When we prepare the mailings with the end-of-semester grade reports, we will be including a consent form for ALL parents to sign that will allow us to release certain transcript and grade information to LOSFA for TOPS and institutions for admissions. This will help insure that your kids will get the financial rewards that they have earned. Please complete the consent form and return back to LSMSA as soon as you can. Thank you.
Special Projects week is a tradition of LSMSA, and participation is a graduation requirement. The week will run Monday, January 5 through Friday, January 9. Most students will be involved in on-campus projects involving topics as diverse as genealogy, slapstick comedy Wagnerian opera, video editing, and electronics. Students will be allowed to choose which project they want to participate in, and most involve either no fees at all, or only very limited fees.
A few projects involve travel off campus, out of state, or even out of the country, and if your child is participating in one of those, you probably already know about it, because you’ve been paying for the travel costs.
For the students staying on campus, registration will begin Monday, November 10, and will continue through Monday, November 17.
Remember—participation in Special Projects week is a graduation requirement for LSMSA, and the week is January 5-9.
Starting off the Spring Semester
On Monday, January 12 we will have a day for students to meet with their advisors in order to make any necessary changes to the spring schedule. Classes will begin on Tuesday, January 13, with the first extended weekend coming on Thursday, January 22.