The Cat's Connection

April 2016

Spring into change!

It's Spring! What a welcome change! Speaking of change, we as a staff have been looking into changing things up a bit, kicking around new ways of doing things here at LaCreole Middle School. In all we do here at school, our focus is always on our kids. Our desire is to ensure they are prepared for their futures. As parents and educators, we are becoming increasingly aware that their careers will more than likely look much different than what we as adults experience. Our kids will need to be highly skilled at critically thinking, collaborating with others, communicating their ideas, and creating things that have never been created before! With that in mind, we are working on preparing them better for their futures, not ours; hence the need to constantly rethink this thing we call "school." As a staff we accept the challenge and are excited about the possibilities!

As parents and educators, we are all familiar with the question, "When am I ever going to use this?!" This is an age-old question -- one we sometimes ask right alongside our kids. Our mission is to change that! We want our kids to be interested and engaged in learning. So, we look closely at what we do; we take risks and try new things; we make changes, and more changes. We are not implementing some new-fangled educational philosophy; rather, we are simply examining how we get students to learn deeper so they can apply what they learn to real-world situations. We want them to be curious, to think, and to create, so what they learn today is authentic and really readies them for their ever-changing future.

Here's to a new season!

Cool Things Going on at School!

Battle of the Books!

This year's Battle of the Books consisted of five 6th grade teams, two 7th grade teams, and one 8th grade team. The preliminary rounds were held in February, and the final battle was March 1 between 6th Grade Riddle Readers and 7th grade Wizards of Knowledge. The final round ended in a tie, and after 10 sizzling, tie-breaker questions, the Wizards of Knowledge won by two points. It was definitely a fun, fierce, neck-to-neck, edge-of-your-seat final battle to end this year's competition. All our students did a great job!

Saxophone Quartet "Best Middle School Group of the Day"

Congratulations to the LaCreole Saxophone Quartet for performing at the OMEA District Solo and Ensemble Festival and earning a superior rating! They were chosen as the best middle school group of the day, and each earned a gift certificate to Willamette Valley Music Company. The members of the quartet are Bryce Hayes, Ethan Largent, Bianca Parsons, and Chase Rutan. Way to go!

Photo credit: Rebecca Rutan

Cats of the Month

Robotics headed to the VEX IQ World Competition!

Our robotics team, Shift, which includes Kahl Murdock, Gavin Boyson, and Ryan Nguyen, is headed to Kentucky to participate in the VEX IQ World competition! The team will be judged on building, programming, and STEM knowledge through competition. If you would like to see more about this year's competition, click the attached link and watch the video. Good luck, Shift!

THANK YOU to all those in our community who have made donations to help get our team to Kentucky: Barb and Jim Chaney, Robert Weir, Sandy and Dick Prater, Angie Romero, Kathy Voves, Linda Lesh, Lisa Mance, Shana Lavier, Jana Fogg, Sally Avera, Cory Turner, Ernest Murdock, Darla and Rodger Teal, Sean and Trina Comerford, Bill and Jolee Crites, Patricia Peterson, the Roth family, West Salem Dutch Bros., Capitol Ford, Dynamic Controls Solutions, Inc., and all of you in our community who put money in the collection jar.

Wildcat Olympics!

PE has started the Olympics unit. Because this is an Olympic year, teams are divided by countries: USA, China, Japan, Russia, Germany, Canada, the Netherlands, Jamaica, Uganda, and Australia. Go Wildcats!

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Distinguished Educator Award

This past week, Julie Janssen, our behavior specialist, was presented with the March Distinguished Educator Award.

Here's what our kids and staff had to say about our awesome Mrs. Janssen:

  • She is really nice and helpful to everyone.
  • She is a considerate person and does her best to take care of people.
  • She helps everyone with their problems.
  • She is kind.

  • She is nothing short of exceptional at whatever she does.
  • She goes above and beyond to support staff, students, and parents daily.
  • Staff love and admire her.
  • She is always patient and kind.
  • She works hard to redirect students towards better behavior, and they love her for it.
  • She advocates for students and thinks outside the box as to how to best support them in whatever they may be going through.
  • There are no limits to Julie’s creativity as she finds ways to offer support to our students.
  • She’s an excellent thinker.
  • She’s amazing!

Please join me in congratulating Mrs. Janssen!

Thank you, Mr. Lalack!

This past week was National Assistant Principals Week. Thank you, Mr. Lalack, for being our awesome and amazing assistant principal!

Upcoming Events

April 15 - Band Field Trip to Whitworth

April 15 - Activity Night

April 22 - 8th Grade Oregon Trail Field Trip

April 27 - 6th Grade Choir Festival

May 5 - PTC Meeting at LaCreole

May 6 - 7th/8th Grade Choir Field Trip

May 6 - Annual Book Fest

May 10-11 - 6th Grade Science Camp

May 12-13 - 6th Grade Science Camp

May 13 - Annual 8th Grade Civil War Reenactment

May 17 - Exhibition Night

May 25 - 6th Grade STEM OSU Field Trip

May 27 - Activity Night

May 30 - Memorial Day - No School

June 3 - 8th Grade Portland Prowl

June 7 - Choir Concert

June 10 - 7th Grade Zoo Trip

June 13 - 8th Grade Last Day of School & Yearbook Signing

June 13 - 8th Grade Recognition Night

June 14 - 6th/7th Grade Last Day School - Half-Day

Spring Exhibition Night

The great things our kids do are worth showing off! Giving students opportunity to show their work to authentic audiences is a big part of what makes learning meaningful. This past year we had our first ever STEM Night here at LaCreole, highlighting what STEM is and the kinds of learning experiences our students are participating in here at school. On May 17 from 6 - 8 p.m., we invite our parents and community on our next adventure, which we call Exhibition Night. This will include student projects from all content areas, which we are excited to showcase. From robots to book clubs to art on display, this is hopefully going to start a tradition of students exhibiting their work in meaningful ways.

Get Ready for 6th Grade Wildcat Science Camp!

Mark your Calendars for 6th Grade Wildcat Science Camp!

Wildcat Science Camp is designed for 6th grade students at LaCreole who want to experience learning in the outdoor classroom. Activities are planned and coordinated to align with the core curriculum goals for sixth grade, as well as experiencing outdoor fun!


Location: Camp Tapawingo in Falls City

Session #1 May 10-11

Session #2 May 12-13

8th Grade Recognition

8th Grade Recognition, for 8th graders who have a cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above, will be held in the Dallas High School main gym Monday, June 13, from 6 - 7 p.m. While this is an exciting time of transition, we want to remind parents and students that it is not necessary to go to any expense to prepare for the evening. Appropriate attire for students should be nice school clothes. Please follow the LaCreole dress code, which means no spaghetti straps or dresses shorter than finger-tip length, no sagging pants, etc. We strongly discourage extravagant fanfare as it detracts from the school focus of recognizing the academic achievement of our students. Seating is limited, so we ask that only immediate family members be invited. LaCreole students who do not have siblings participating are asked not to attend as they can send the 8th graders off during the school day as part of yearbook signing. Students not accompanied by an adult will not be admitted. We thank you for supporting our efforts to focus our attention on academic achievements. If you have questions, please call the LaCreole Counseling Center at 503-623-6663.

Reminder: All school fees must be paid by Friday, June 10.

2nd Annual LaCreole Bookfest!

A great kickoff to summer reading!

Event: May 6th from 6 - 7:30 p.m.

Featuring: William Ritter, author of Jackaby, The Map, and Beastly Bones

Activity stations to include book trailers, bookmark creating, Kahoot literacy knowledge, give-a-book/get-a-book, public library info, and much more!


Portland Prowl

Friday, June 3rd, 8am

Portland, OR, United States

Portland, OR

As a wrap up to the year, our 8th grade students will have the option of going on the Portland Prowl on Friday, June 3.

There are a few parameters:

  • Students must be passing all classes with at least a C at the end of the year.
  • Students must not have received a major behavioral offense.

Cost of trip is $5, with an optional purchase of a commemorative t-shirt for $10.

Parent volunteers are needed; more information about meeting to be announced.

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