Spartan Gazette

January 2020

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The “New Year” at IMMS

The concept of the “New Year” is an odd one for school staff as we really have two “New Year’s.” Our first New Year happened in August as we excitedly prepared to start at the new school year. Of course, we recognize the second New Year with our family and non-educator friends. Both are a time for reflection and renewal. Frankly, I am completely amazed that it is almost halfway through the school year. It is my daughter’s senior year so I have been trying to make time stop, but seem to have only sped up time.

We try to pack a lot of activities into December and this year was no different. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • On December 2nd some of our students participated in the “Art of Writing” day long workshop in Milwaukee where our student artists and writers worked with other students and created pieces of art and writing. It is an amazing event that results in an impressive book of student writing and art.

  • On December 5th we held a school safety drill (a lockout). The students and staff were amazing (as always) as they knew just what to do.

  • On December 6th our staff mentors and their student mentees had breakfast together (“Breakfast Club”) as a great way to end the week and ensure our students feel connected to adults at school. It is a good example of what makes IMMS a special place.

  • On December 11th our middle school Orchestra students provided an amazing concert showcasing their talents in our new Performing Arts Center. What an amazing space (thank you taxpayers).

  • On December 20th we held our Student of the Month Assembly featuring a musical performance by our Middle School Choir and the High School Blue Notes. We celebrated the accomplishments of our students and had a bit of fun as well.

  • As a staff we continued to explore our grading practices including changes we have made in the last few years and next steps for the future. As part of this work, our Math, English/Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies teams continued their work on identifying clear learning targets and designing assessments to measure student performance. We have been experimenting with new ways for students to own their learning, including students self-assessing their work. In terms of behavior, we have been focusing on hallway behavior (especially speeding) and keeping the bathrooms clean (I will spare you the details but I am sure you see similar things at home).

There are many things to look forward to in January including:

  • We get to come back to school on January 2nd for a short week.

  • We will hold our monthly mentor/mentee breakfast (“Breakfast Club”) on January 10.

  • On January 16th our 7th and 8th grade bands will be performing a concert at 7 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center at the high school. Admission is free!

  • We do not have school on January 20th and 27th.

  • On January 22nd we will have a presentation about autism for our students and staff.

  • January 23-25 is the IMMS Drama performance of Frozen Jr. in the Performing Arts Center.

  • January 24th marks the end of the 2nd quarter and January 28th is the start of the 3rd quarter.

  • The winter Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing begins for students who are new to IMMS or receive additional support for math.

  • And much more!

It has been a great start to the school year. Thank you for your involvement in your child’s education and for making this such a wonderful community to serve.

WOW! Alliance of Allies (AoA) had a busy month!

We spent time painting kindness rocks & then placing them around the school. This was an excellent reminder for us to be kind to all to whomever we meet.

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The 100 Black Men of Madison African American History Bowl Challenge

IMMS is excited to announce that we will again be participating in The 100 Black Men of Madison African American History Challenge Bowl (AAHCB). The AAHCB is an educational program designed for 6th through 8th grade students to enhance the appreciation and study of African American history. In its 26th consecutive year of operation, the bowl is a challenging and fun way for students to expand their knowledge of African American History in highly competitive local and national competitions.

The annual contest is in a quiz show format where students are quizzed on questions from the book "100 Amazing Facts About The Negro" by Henry Louis Gates Jr. A book is provided to each student and students will complete in teams of two. The first week in April our IMMS teams will compete against each other. The winning team will represent our school and compete for a chance to represent the Madison chapter at the national conference in Atlanta, GA in June.

If you or your student have any questions or would like more information please contact Mrs. Branch through email at or by phone 838-4819. We are still welcoming any student who would like to participate!

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Orchestra String Fling

Mark your calendars. All orchestra students will be participating in the String Fling held on Saturday, February 29th starting at 2:30 pm. Concert at 5:45 pm.

Message from the Kitchen

We do our best to accommodate every student’s first choice for lunch each day. That’s not always possible; sometimes it’s because our lunch counts are off. Please remind your student to raise their hand when the lunch count is being taken. We have also decided to offer a la carte items and Supers (a second entrée) only after all students have been through the lunch line once. Students may come back to the line afterwards to make these extra purchases. We hope these efforts will help us to serve everyone the items they wanted for lunch.

If you’re running short on time in the morning, we offer a great breakfast program at all of the McFarland Schools. A different breakfast entrée is offered daily and we have other options as well, including muffins, cereals, quick bread slices and more. All breakfasts include a main entrée, juice, fruit and milk - only $1.75! If your family qualifies for free or reduced lunch, you also qualify for free or reduced breakfast.

Menus are posted on our website at . Be sure to like our Facebook page and look for additional announcements at Please feel free to call me with any questions you may have. Barb Waara, 838-4549

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The following flyers are NOT all school-sponsored activities and the McFarland School District does not provide support or endorsement of the program/flyer. It has neither reviewed nor approved the program, personnel, or activities announced in the brochure/flyer. Permission to distribute this material must not be considered a recommendation or endorsement by the School District.
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McFarland Youth Center - January Newsletter

The start of the 2020 calendar year is here and The McFarland Youth Center continues to provide daily activities, a daily snack, a homework space, homework help, a recreational space and more.

Our after school program will continue to run from 3-6 Monday to Friday (Tentative: check calendar or monthly emails for any closings). During this time youth are welcome to use the space for recreational activities or to participate in a group activity. They are also welcome to use our homework room for a quiet and calm place to read or do homework, adults will be available to help if needed. McFarland Youth Center has many recreational options this year! An outside and indoor basketball hoop, air hockey table, pool table, a Xbox 1 & other video game systems, foosball, shuffle board, darts, ping pong, board games and more!

Girls Group will continue to run from 5:30 to 7:30 on Mondays in January, we have once again partnered with girls scouts to offer the youth developmentally enriching projects and programs. Additionally, youth will have opportunities to earn girls scout swag and exciting MYC incentives! This opportunity will be open to the first 10 girls to sign on; email for more information or to add your kiddo to the list! (Youth will be fed dinner on Girls Group days due to extended hours)

Boys Group will continue to run on Thursdays from 6 to 7:30 pm, we will offer group games and identity building projects during this time. Boys will also earn incentive awards through MYC for attendance and participation. (Youth will be fed dinner on Boys Group days due to extended hours)

See below for Key Dates:

Key Dates and Closings:

  • January 2nd: Closed for Winter Break
  • Monday, January 20th: Open 1-5 pm
  • Monday, January 27th: Open 1-5 pm

If your youth is new to MYC please fill out the needed pledge form found on our website

Once this form is completed and submitted youth are welcome to drop in any time from 3-6 (M-F) for any after-school programming and to sign up for any extended programming.

Thank you and as always, please don't hesitate to email or call with any questions or concerns.

Megan Beckler

Managing Director

McFarland Youth Center

5114 Farwell St

PO Box 362

McFarland, WI 53558

Office: (608) 838-3839

Cell: (608) 395-8617

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