Spartan Gazette

Indian Mound Middle School

Greetings From Brett Jondle

‘Things Kids Want!”

Throughout the years, for some reason, students, particularly middle level adolescents, have been labeled as “challenging, lazy, unmotivated, and loud” by much of society. What I have found is that working with middle school students involves the implementation of the simple “Golden Rule” of treating these youth how we, as adults, would want to be treated. For May’s newsletter [as has been my tradition in previous years], I wanted to share twelve simple ideas to live by when working with your child as well as share with all of you what we are doing this month at Indian Mound Middle School that connects with Angela Maiers, an Educational Consultant who has written two books, The Passion Driven Classroom and Classroom Habitudes.

1. Greet me each day: “Wish me good morning, and send me off with a “See ya tomorrow.” This month, as with every month at Indian Mound Middle School [IMMS], our staff will continue to be in the hallways, at lunch/recess, and in other locations to greet our students. Mr. Tarnutzer and I continue to remind staff the importance of making those priceless connections with students each and every day. In addition, I have made the conscious effort to be out and about in the IMMS parking lot as well as on the bike path at the end of the day [as often as my schedule allows!] to send off the students to their next activity, and to also greet each of you!

2. Smile: “When you look at me, let me see happiness in your eyes.” This month, we have a number of opportunities for staff to interact with students in and out of the classroom.

  • This month, we will have a “Staff vs. Student” basketball game on Friday, May 12 starting at 2:30pm. In addition, we will also begin signing up for the End of the Year Trip, planning will continue for Eighth Grade Recognition Night, and a number of concerts, performance assessment activities, and recognitions of positive interactions displayed by students will all be happening this lively month of May. Specific dates include:

  • May 1-End of the Year Trip Permission Slips are sent out.

  • May 3-4-Eighth Grade Ropes Course

  • May 5-IMMS Student of the Month Assembly starting at 8:15am at IMMS.

  • May 5-Sixth Grade Market Day at 2:35pm

  • May 9-End of the Year Trip Permission Slips and money are due.

  • May 11-Seventh and Eighth Grade Band Concerts at 7:00pm at the MHS Auditorium.

  • May 12: Seventh Grade Students to Aztalan

  • May 12-“Staff vs. Students” Basketball Game at 2:30pm.

  • May 15-Sixth and Seventh Grade [including Fifth Grade] Orchestra Concert at 7:00pm at the MHS Auditorium

  • May 16-Choir Concert at 7:00pm at the MHS Auditorium.

  • May 18-Eighth Grade [including High School Orchestra] Strings Concert at 7:00pm at the MHS Auditorium

  • May 19-Sixth Grade Market Day at 2:35pm.

  • May 19: Eighth Grade to Civil War Re-Enactment

  • May 20-Blues in the Night at 6:30pm at the IMMS Cafetorium

  • May 23-Sixth Grade Band Concert-7:00pm at the MHS Auditorium.

  • May 29: Memorial Day Parade at 12:00pm.

3. Give me your attention: “Sit and talk with me privately; even if only for a second.” As part of our continued “Positive Behavior Intervention and Support” implementation, we have continued to implement a second tier of interventions for students. We have implemented, tracked, and continue to assess the effectiveness of a “Check-In, Check-Out” system as well as our formal mentor program for students who may exhibit a need for extra support and care. This intervention will continue to grow in its effectiveness as we continue to work through this process and analyze the data associated with this intervention.

4. Imagine with me. “Help me dream of things I might be able to do; not just the things I need to do now.” Throughout the year, eighth grade students have met with Mrs. Jill Runde, the Eighth Grade Guidance Counselor, to complete a career plan as well as a four-year plan for high school. This continues to serve as a valuable avenue for students to begin to think about their future and the pathway to get to that point.

5. Give me challenging content and assignments. “Show me how to handle it. Teach me what to do.” We continue to strive towards creating learning environments that challenge students and provide relevant learning to occur. Specifically, the McFarland Learning Community, will continue our professional growth as we continually are working on the alignment of our curriculums both vertically [grade level to grade level] and horizontally [from teacher to teacher in the same grade level], assessing the quality and effectiveness of our classroom assessments [tests, quizzes, projects, etc.] and reflecting on how these may be improved with a common structure across grade levels. Staff will also be reviewing their professional goals for the year as well as the growth students have made throughout the year. Finally, not only do we teach content, we also teach behavior at IMMS. I have had the opportunity to work with students everyday helping them reflect on, and learn from, their decisions that may have been made. During these discussions, I work with students to understand how their choices affected others, and also how they can “make things right” with those who were affected. In addition, the PBIS [Positive Behavior Intervention and Support] Team has begun planning for next year’s school year about ways that we can continue to teach and assess the IMMS expectations to our students as they return to school for the 2017-2018 school year!

6. Ask about me. “Inquire about my weekend, the game I played, the places I go. It shows you care about my life.” I am pleased to say that, as mentioned earlier, we at IMMS, continue to engage in conversations with students in the hallway, checking in with students in the morning and afternoon, interact with them at lunch and recess, and are visible in the hallways before, during, and after school. This will continue as we move throughout May and June!

7. Let me have time. “Time to let things sink in. Time to think. Time to reflect, process, and play.” As you know, this year, we are in our fifth year of using a modified block schedule in which students have had the opportunity to have extended time for math and language arts. We will continue to assess this fifth year of using this schedule with the longer math block, seeing what went well, assessing how this has increased student achievement [which it has!], and looking for ways to continue to improve. On another note, students will have time to “play” as we have the PE track meets occurring at the end of the month on the following days:

  • May 16-Sixth Grade

  • May 17-Seventh Grade

  • May 18-Eighth Grade

8. Demand of me. “Hold me accountable to high standards. Don’t let me get away with what you know I am capable of doing better.” We as an IMMS Staff, continue to assess the current “Conduct and Effort Rubric” that we use to assess student behavior and effort each quarter. We continue to discuss as a staff, ways to improve this rubric, increase its clarity, as well as ways to provide more timely feedback to students and families regarding student conduct and effort.

9. Notice Me. “Leave special messages in my desk or locker. Just a quick note that says you notice something right.” Our Student of the Month [SOM] assembly will occur on Friday, May 5, starting at 8:15am to recognize students who consistently live out the “We ARRE Spartans” motto. As always, we continue to take pride in also recognizing students who exhibit positive behavior through our “scratch-offs” given out to students as well as “Positive Behavior Referrals” which are also sent out by IMMS Staff to students who have exhibited positive behavior through their achievement, respect, responsibility, or empathy. During the Second Semester, IMMS Staff have written 245 Positive Behavior Referrals [that’s 101 more than at this time last year!]!!

10. Let me ask the questions. “Even if they are off topic. It will show that I am thinking about new perspectives, curious, and willing to learn more. Let me have the chance to show what I am wondering about, not just what I know.” This month, there are a number of interesting projects and performance assessments occurring in your child’s classroom. In addition, we continue to work on curriculum that encourages student questioning [inquiry] as well as effective questioning provided by staff to engage students.

11. Engage me. “I came to you in love with learning, keep me excited, keep me wanting more.”

12. Trust me. “Believe that I can do it. Allow me the chance. I promise to show you I can.”

The last two statements I felt were ones that we have done all year long and will continue to do. I know that we remain committed to improving, but I am confident that at IMMS, we offer to our students [and your children] the support, opportunities, and reinforcement that they need and desire. The month of May will be an exciting month and a month that will be one to remember. I am confident that while we strive for continuous growth, our heart lies in the right spot and that we continue to succeed in offering to students “what they want”!

Thank you so much for sharing your child with us this year!


Brett Jondle


Click here to view daily assignments for students at IMMS.

Destination Imagination Team Qualifies for Global Finals

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On 4/8/2017 the Destination Imagination team at Indian Mound Middle School qualified to compete at the Global Finals to be held May 24-27 in Knoxville, TN. This is an exciting opportunity for these students to put their quick, creative and critical thinking skills to the test against the best in the world! These seven students will have less than 6 weeks to raise funds for the team to attend the global competition. The amount needed will cover registration, meals, lodging, and transportation of students and props.

The 7 students on the team are: Evan Byers, Alex Daspit, Sophie Heckel, Lily Innes, Will Karls, Cole Weaver and Christy Zheng. The team is VERY excited to have the opportunity to compete at this level, but as you can imagine, the opportunity does come at a cost. While the students are committed to participating in "on the ground" fundraising, we also know we have a short window of time to raise all of our funds! There is a link to our online fundraising page below. Thanks for your support!

2017-18 Wisconsin Middle School Teacher of the Year - Jill Runde!

McFarland's very own Jill Runde, school counselor at Indian Mound Middle School, has been named the 2017-18 Wisconsin Middle School Teacher of the Year!

Ms. Runde was presented with the Teacher of the Year honors by Wisconsin State Superintendent Dr. Tony Evers in a surprise assembly at Indian Mound Middle School on Tuesday, May 2nd. In recognizing Jill, Dr. Evers noted that we have over 60,000 teachers in Wisconsin, and many, many outstanding educators right here at Indian Mound. “Jill is one of our very best, and a great representative of the McFarland School District,” he said.

The Wisconsin teacher of the year is selected each year as part of the Herb Kohl Teacher Fellowship program. Earlier this year Jill was named a 2017-18 Herb Kohl Teacher Fellowship Recipient in recognition of her outstanding work with our middle school students and families.

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2017 Fuel Up to Play Student Ambassador Named

Congratulations go to 7th grade student, Aaron Landphier who was named the regional 2017 Fuel Up to Play Student Ambassador. This is a HUGE honor and Aaron’s participation in this summer’s Student Ambassador Summit really raises the bar for the physical & nutritional activities available at Indian Mound Middle School. Check out the video ( ) from last summer’s summit to get inspired. Let’s help support Aaron and his family with a small donation to cover a partial summit scholarship. Donations of any amount can be sent to Mr. Kramer in the IMMS Guidance office.

Track Meet Volunteers Needed

IMMS Track Meets will be held on May 16 (6th grade), May 17 (7th grade), and May 18 (8th grade). This event will run from 8:30AM through 12:30PM. We need volunteer timers and field event workers. Volunteers will need to meet on the track at 8:30AM. If you are interested in volunteering please sign up by filling out the following links...

6th Grade Track Meet - Tuesday, May 16 ( click here for sign-up)

7th Grade Track Meet - Wednesday, May 17 ( click here for sign-up)

8th Grade Track Meet - Thursday, May 18 ( click here for sign-up)

Library Matters

May is a busy time in the IMMS library. Students are researching and reading nonfiction. Here are a few things to remember:

  • All books are due on Thursday, May 25.
  • In order to participate in the end of the year field trips, all fines and lost library materials must be cleared from your child’s library record by May 25. These include library materials still checked out from WIS.
  • Please pay fines and lost materials with cash. The library is not able to cash checks.
  • Please help your child keep track of their library books at this time of the year.
  • You may ask your student to log into their Destiny account to see what they need to return. This can be done from their iPad through the Discover app. This can also be done from any computer with Internet access.

To encourage our students to keep reading great books over the summer months, we will again be offering a summer check out program. We will offer current sixth and seventh grade students the opportunity to check out a bag of books for the summer. Please see the explanation and permission slip for information. Permission slips are due May 22.

Our eBooks and Audiobooks will also be available all summer through Destiny Discover. You can access them through any mobile device or computer.

Please direct any questions to Ms. Neal at 838-4575. Information is also available on the library website.

Whipping Up Wellness Contest Update

The results are in! Team Kitty's recipe, Vegetarian Lentil Soup will be featured in the cookbook this fall! We are happy to have one of our recipes make the cut. Next year's Cooking Club will meet November through February. I hope that some of your students will apply for the team!

Here is the recipe!​​

Vegetarian Lentil Soup

A tasty vegetable broth soup, with the sweetness of carrots and parsnips, and added fiber from lentils. Yield-5 servings. Serving Size-2.5 cups, Preparation time-30 minutes, Cooking time-30 minutes

AmountUnit/Measure/Ingredient Name

2.00Tbl Vegetable Oil

1.00 MedOnion, diced

1.00 StalkCelery, sliced thinly

1.00 largeCarrot, diced

1.00 cloveGarlic,

1.00Tbl Tomato Paste

6.00 Cups Vegetable Stock

1.00 Cup Lentils

1/2tsp Salt

1/2tsp Pepper

Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium high heat and add the onion, celery,

carrots, and garlic. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper.

Cook until the vegetables have softened, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato

paste and stir to coat the vegetables. Cook until the tomato paste darkens and

sticks a bit to the bottom of the pot, about 2 more minutes.

Add the vegetable broth and lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to

maintain a very gentle simmer. Cover and cook for approximately 30 minutes,

or until the lentils are soft.

Serve the soup as it is, or use a blender to blend about half of the soup until it's

creamy. Add it to the rest of the soup and serve.

Calories per serving-145

Percent Calories from Fat-28%

Sodium per serving-941 mg


Click here to view the IMMS lunch menu for May

Leadership Camp 2017

The WASC (Wisconsin Association of School Councils) offers an unbelievable summer camp experience that ALL IMMS students (not just Student Council) are encouraged to attend: Whether students are involved in Student Council, school clubs, sports teams, the school musical, dance, cheerleading, or Scouts, WASC ( camp is for you! In fact, the camp programs are for anyone who wants to improve their leadership skills!

  • Middle School Camps: Levels 1, 2 & 3 — July 9-13, 2017 (

    • LEVEL 1: LEARN – During the Level 1 experience, students will participate in fun activities focused on skills essential for the middle level including: building self-esteem & self-advocacy skills, learning what it means to be a leader, & ways to create exciting & interesting student activities. This level is for “first-timers”.

    • LEVEL 2: ENGAGE – Been to Level 1? Try Level 2! Team building, goal setting, communication, & organization are key components to being an engaged leader. Participants at this level will have the opportunity to explore concepts of leadership, improve their leadership skills in a creative, engaged way, & gain a better understanding of self & sensitivity to others.

    • LEVEL 3: ADVOCACY – Entering high school confident & ready is essential to student success. The Level 3 curriculum combines experiential learning with essential skill development to ensure this success. Students will learn valuable skills like self-advocacy, effective communication, & goal setting – in a creative and engaging way.

All IMMS students will receive $50 scholarships to attend camp. Please contact Mr. Kramer for details.

Greetings from the Orchestra Room

The McFarland Orchestras are preparing for two upcoming concerts in May. May 15 will be the 5th - 7th grade orchestra concert at 7:00 in the MHS Auditorium. May 18 will be the 8th grade and high school orchestra concert at 7:30 pm in the MHS Auditorium.

The students will also have the opportunity to perform Fiddle tunes at the Wisconsin State Fair this summer in August. This is a great event for our students to share their music to people across the state.

May 4 is our SEE - Strings Exploratory Evening - at WIS from 5:30 - 7:30. If you are not currently in orchestra but are interested, please come try out a string instrument to SEE which one is for you. We hope to SEE you there.

MATC Youth Career Discovery Boot Camps

Click here to view information for summer camps for children 11-15 years old

Volunteer Opportunity

Who: Middle or High School Students who are responsible and can work carefully

What: Helping unbox some materials and put dividers in the proper places in binders

When: Wednesday, May 24th from 3:30-5:30 (if you can’t arrive until 4:00, that’s OK too)

Where: MHS Cafeteria

Why: Because you like helping. You can earn volunteer hours AND pizza and sodas will arrive at 5:30 as a thank you for your help!

Questions? Contact Melissa Pfohl
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Indian Mound Middle School

The mission of Indian Mound Middle School is to develop globally engaged and resilient citizens who are critical thinkers, collaborators, and curious learners.