The Cat's Connection

October 1, 2014

Happy Fall!

We have had a good amount of sunshine this summer, and now we are starting to welcome back some of our familiar weather indicating the change of the season. As I write this, our school year is well under way and our kids are now adapting to their routines. I have had a chance to talk with many staff members this past couple of weeks, and our conversations typically revolve around how this year is different from past years. The additions we have made to our elective programs complement a strong academic focus and provide students opportunities for classes we know are important at this stage of their lives, such as health, technology, STEM, and exploratory. We are liking what we see. Our kids are smiling and, as I walk around and visit classrooms, they are thinking critically, and their classes are giving them opportunity to communicate their ideas. We have slowly but surely been able to weave technology into most settings. Though we struggle at times with the challenge of learning new skills ourselves, the students have been great to work with, and patience has been practiced many times as things don't always work the way we want. I am very encouraged by the start of the school year and know that we have a lot of work to do to get ourselves and our kids to where we want to be, but I know our staff is ready for the challenge. This edition of the Cat's Connection has a few new items. Along with good news and upcoming events, from time to time I want to take the opportunity to introduce people and programs that our families may not know about. Please feel free to contact us anytime if you have questions.

Great Things Are Happening at LaCreole

Homework Club Begins Oct. 7th

We are pleased to announce that we will again be offering Homework Club at LaCreole Middle School. This opportunity will be available every Tuesday and Thursday afternoon from 3:30 - 4:15 p.m. in the library, with the first session beginning Tuesday, October 7. The previous success of this venture has been attributed to the generous support of the teachers assisting, as well as the focus of the students who acknowledge the reward of completing and accomplishing their work in a quality manner. In addition, a free meal will be offered for students who attend. Transportation home is not provided, however, and must be arranged independently. Students are encouraged to participate on their own initiative. Teachers are also in the process of coordinating through families the option of having certain students make this a priority routine. If you have any questions, please contact your student’s teacher or the Homework Club coordinator, Michele Schilling.

(503) 623-6662 ext.344

What is STEM?

You may have heard the term STEM and wondered what it is. STEM is teaching problem solving through the combination of use of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Over the past couple of years, we have made it a point to incorporate STEM activities because it gets our students to think critically, problem solve collaboratively, and create solutions -- all higher order thinking skills. STEM is a fun way to allow our students to develop these skills through hands on activities, thus many have defined STEM as applied curiosity, an insatiable desire to know, and a drive to create. Dallas has joined with the South Metro-Salem STEM Hub, which is a group of 15 other school districts to help bring more of these type of activities to our students and get them thinking of career opportunities. Check out their website for more information

Technology at LaCreole

Whether we like it or not, the technology age impacts how we access information as adults, and this holds even more true for our students in their futures. As a school, we are trying to help our students understand how technology can help them learn and communicate in positive ways. Our district has made a major investment in wifi service in order to enable use of mobile devices by staff and students. This was a top priority of our past facility committee as they looked at future learning needs of our students. This school year we will be introducing more technology into lessons we teach in hopes of helping our students develop skills to navigate the vast expanse of the information age. In order to facilitate this, we will be allowing students to access their own devices for learning activities during class time and under the direction of their teacher. We utilize Google Apps for Education as a tool for our students to store their work, share and collaborate on projects with others, and take assessments. You may also be seeing other tools our teachers are utilizing, such as Edmodo, Showbie, and Google Classroom. These applications allow students to turn in assignments and receive feedback via electronic documents. You may also see some students creating blogs to assist writing across curriculum, giving students a true audience for their work. In all technology use, we emphasize digital citizenship, helping our students learn to access information in useful and safe manner.

Staff Spotlight

Meet Our Mrs. Haerer

Inside the Counseling Center of LaCreole is the office of our amazing guidance counselor, Mrs. Pamela Haerer. Mrs. Haerer values children and their well-being, and academic success is a priority to her. You’ll often find her in the hallways during passing time giving high-fives, encouraging students to do their best by yelling, “Y’all better be nice to each other.” Mrs. Haerer is loved and admired by students and staff, and once you meet her you’ll understand why. She is witty, kind, compassionate, and loves to have fun.

Mrs. Haerer is not only LaCreole’s one and only counselor, but she is also wife to Cameron and mom to Madeline, Hannah, Katherine, and Allison. Mrs. Haerer loves spending time with her family, riding horses, showing sheep at the county fair, and cheering on her girls as they compete in sports activities.

So next time you’re in LaCreole, please stop by the Counseling Center and say hello to the fabulous Mrs. Haerer.

Class Updates

6th Grade Leadership

Our elective class of 6th Grade Leadership has been hard at work promoting school spirit, supporting our teachers, carrying out service projects, and learning and demonstrating how to be examples and leaders for our school. Their enthusiasm and energy is inspiring and contagious.

Making Music in Band!


The Beginning Band students have learned their first five notes and are improving their air stream daily as they play "Hot Cross Buns." The Advanced Band members are making some spirited sounds to the tune of “Onward, Dallas!”

Literary Concepts in 8th Grade Language Arts

8th grade is reading the novel Stargirl and exploring the themes of conformity and individuality, making connections to life as a middle school student. The next novel on the list is The Giver.

Upcoming Events

LimeBerry Night for Wildcats

Thursday, Oct. 2nd, 12-9pm

Dallas Limeberry

Come down and support Wildcat student activities and get a wonderful yogurt treat!

LaCreole PTC Meeting

Thursday, Oct. 2nd, 7-8pm

LaCreole Library

Come join in on the fun at our first PTC meeting of the year.

Magazine Drive Kickoff

Tuesday, Oct. 7th, 9pm

LaCreole Gym

We will kick off our annual Magazine Drive October 7. Students will be introduced to the different prize levels and awards they can earn. This is our big fundraiser for the year, which helps provide support for our various school activities throughout the year.

We are LaCreole! Stay Connected!

There are many ways to stay in touch with your school! We like to celebrate our great kids and all the great things going on at our school.