The Cat's Connection

January 2017

Great things are going on at LaCreole!

I am so pleased with the learning that is going on here at our awesome middle school! It is fun, it is creative, and it makes us think until our brains hurt -- but that's a good thing! Our focus for the past couple years has been on engagement, helping students take ownership of what they learn and connect their learning to real life. We have developed some interesting learning experiences and wonderful ways to showcase what our kids are doing. Even the small steps we have taken have made a big difference, creating a positive learning culture in our school.

Our Fall Open House & Exhibition Night is a great example of our efforts to highlight our students' work and provide an authentic audience for our kids. This kind of program is important for many reasons, one being that our kids' motivation and pride in their work is elevated when they know so many people will see their work. Secondly, our kids learn to appreciate others' work as they see projects displayed throughout the building. Thirdly, learning becomes authentic for our kids when they are able to create their own projects that require real-world skills and build confidence as they persevere and conquer challenges. We will have another one of these nights this spring, so be looking for more information to come.

I am proud of the positive learning culture we are building here at LaCreole. Thank you to all those who work hard to make LaCreole a great place to learn.

21st Century Skill Building - Struggle Is Good

At LaCreole, our goal is ensuring our kids have real world learning experiences. With that in mind, we are implementing more activities that involve communication and collaboration and show what our kids can create when presented with a clear problem or challenge. As parents you might have heard about particular projects or group assignments -- some met with excitement, some met with dread and dismay. We know this type of work is difficult for our kids and, to tell the truth, often tests our adult thinking skills, too, as it takes a lot of work to provide this kind of learning environment. We don't pretend to expect our students will complete these activities perfectly. In fact, we know they will struggle, but that struggle and perseverance are desired outcomes as we allow our students to take risks and learn from failure as well as success. We know our kids need these skills to be successful and, I am proud of the work our staff does to create the type of environment that allows for learning both content and, perhaps more importantly, skills that will lead to future success for our kids.

Great Things Going On At LaCreole!

Our Mini-Rube DeSTEMber Challenge

Recently we wrapped up our DeSTEMber challenge, which was designed to encourage creativity, teamwork and problem solving in a fun and competitive way. Teams of makers designed their award-winning contraptions within a two-week period prior to winter break. The goal was to accomplish the task - raise a flag. That was it! All submissions were reviewed and evaluated by a group of judges from the community and beyond. Teams were judged on creativity, humor, and overall project design, and prizes were awarded to the top teams. Below you can view our top machines in action!
Mini-Rube Awards

Shadow a Student Challenge

This past year, I took the challenge of walking in the shoes of one of our students. I had many volunteers and ultimately had to pick from a hat. The day was fun and enlightening for me and I learned much about our building that I may not have otherwise. This experience has positively impacted our work with kids. Once again I will take to halls in early February, and I am looking forward to it. Below I have linked last year's reflection.

STEM Activity - Afternoon at the Movies

This coming Tuesday, January 31, we are planning an adventure to the movies in Independence to see Hidden Figures, which documents the experiences of a group of women in the race to space!

The cost is $5, and snacks can be purchased at a discounted rate.

A bus will be provided for the first 40 students who sign up and have a signed permission slip. The bus will leave school at 3 p.m. and return students by 7 p.m. Please arrange to have students picked up at school.

Families are welcome to join in on the fun! The movie begins at 4:05 p.m. If parents would like to attend and prefer to bring their students, just meet us there.

Community Support!

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Thank you Farmer's Insurance!

Zach Steele from Farmers Insurance delivered classroom materials to Mrs. McFarland and Mrs. Garland. Both teachers were nominated by families as a part of a local Farmers Insurance grant recognizing the awesome work going on in our schools. The kids were as excited as the teachers! Congratulations!

Thank you Fellas!

We are very thankful for our custodial staff! These gentlemen are truly dedicated to our school, both the facility and our kids. Their mission helps to ensure we all can take pride in our school and have a clean and safe environment to learn. Thank you for all that you do!

Winter Art Contest

Congratulations to the winners of the Winter Art Contest!


1st Place - Emmilee Hudnall

2nd Place - Samantha Smith

3rd Place - Morgan Helfrich


1st Place - Izabelle Blodgett

2nd Place - Sofia Poston

3rd Place - Abigial Sambuceto


1st Place - Prommisse Thornley

2nd Place - Courtney Alvis

3rd Place - Tim Burke

Thanks to Ms. Shook for providing students with this opportunity!

6th Grade

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7th Grade

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8th Grade

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Cats of the Month

Congratulations to our November and December Cats of the Month

6th grade

Easton Barcroft

Azriel Trullinger

7th grade

Ainsley Cornman

Ariel Thiel

8th grade

Luke Hess

Katie Shinkle

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Upcoming Events - Mark your calendar!

1/30 - Teacher Planning Day (no students)

1/31 - STEM Movie Field Trip

2/20 - Presidents' Day (no school)

2/23 - Spring Picture Day

2/23 - 8th Grade Panoramic Picture

3/2 - PTC Meeting

3/3 - Inservice Day (no students)

3/3 - Aristocats Drama Production

3/4 - Aristocats Drama Production

3/7 - DC Trip Pizza Night Fundraiser

3/10 - Activity Night

3/21 - Band Concert

3/22 & 3/23 - Parent-Teacher Conferences 4 pm to 8 pm

3/24 - Parent-Teacher Conferences (no students)

3/27-31 - Spring Break

Report cards coming out next week!

The second quarter of school has come to a close, so be looking for report cards in the mail next week. As always, feel free to connect with teachers if you have questions about your child's progress.

The Aristocats

Come see The Aristocats. Opening night is March 3 at 7 p.m. There will be a matinee Saturday, March 4, at 2 p.m., and the last showing is Saturday, March 4, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 general admission and $3 for students with ID, veterans, and senior citizens. Prices for the matinee are $1 less!

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 with teachers in order to align with the core curriculum goals for 6th grade, as well as experiencing outdoor fun!

An informational meeting will be held in March, and more information will be coming home in February.


Location: Camp Tapawingo in Falls City

Dates: Session 1 May 16-17 or Session 2 May 18-19

Cost: $60 (payment plan is optional) due by April 14


Come get your Wildcat T-shirt while they are still available! T-shirts are $8 each -- such a deal!

Emergency Preparedness

This year a focus of our district will be emergency preparedness. It is our hope to communicate a clear message to all involved of how to respond if and when we are faced with emergencies of any kind. Attached is a letter from our superintendent explaining our district's strategy, which will be communicated frequently in the coming months. As a school, LaCreole is currently not scheduled this year to participate in an evacuation simulation, but plans for future exercises are underway.

Ways to Stay Connected