Jaguar Junction *March 2023*

Jardine Middle School

A note from your Principal - Mr. Haire

Just a reminder that with the Spring Break coming, this also means the end of the third quarter. The school year is going by so fast and even though the temps are starting to warm up, we still have a full quarter of school left for learning. With the last quarter comes the state assessments in math, reading, and 8th grade Science. Although a state assessment doesn't define your student's identity, it is very very important to take it seriously and for all students to do their best. State testing as well as any assessment a student does is like going to the doctor. At a doctor's office, you talk to the doctor about what's going on with you and they examine you to best "treat" your symptoms. Testing in schools is similar. Students need to do their absolute best and to try hard. By doing those two things, teachers can help identify the symptoms of learning and work to "treat" your students' individual needs to push them along in their learning. Teaching students to persevere is so important to their present and their future.

We have brought back the Worlds of Fun trip for 8th graders. 8th graders are currently earning their way to take a day off of school and head to Worlds of Fun in May to celebrate the end of their middle school years. We are looking forward to this wonderful trip. For questions, email Brandy Morelli at

A note from your Assistant Principal - Mr. Haag


Parents and Students -

With the Kansas Math, Reading, and Science Assessments right around the corner, there are some preparations that students can do to help their minds and bodies be prepared for the rigorous assessments that they are about to take. Outside of their studies, here are a few things students can do to make sure they are best prepared for these assessments:

∙ Get plenty of sleep!! Students need at least 7 to 8 hours of good sleep to have enough energy to focus during a school day.

∙ Eat a good breakfast every day! A good breakfast with all of the appropriate food groups help students maintain the energy level they need to stay focused.

∙ BE AT SCHOOL ON TIME! Coming in late could affect the amount of time students have to work on the assessments. Being late places a level of stress on students that interferes with their thought process.


  • Students may NOT use any wireless additions (wireless mouse/earbuds)

By doing some of the above items can help your students be successful.

Counselor Corner - Mr. Falk & Ms. Waldy

We would like to thank all the parents of 8th grade students that participated in the Parent/Teacher Conferences on February 16th and 17th. It was great to be able to visit with you regarding your student’s 9th grade course requests. We would also like to applaud all the 8th grade students that put in the time to complete their 4-Year Plan for high school. They completed this while keeping in mind what their current plans are after high school. This plan can be accessed in Naviance. Parents, if you did not attend conferences, please ask your student to show you the work they did and share their plans for the future.

Mr. Falk and Ms. Waldy will now begin working with 6th and 7th grade students on plans for next year. Related Arts classes available include the following:

7th Grade

Band (Year)

Orchestra (Year)

Full Year Choir (Year)

PE (Semester)

FACS (Semester)

Art (Semester)

Computers (Semester)

8th Grade

Band (Year)

Orchestra (Year)

Full Year Choir (Year)

PE (Semester)

Career & Life Planning (Semester of High School credit)

Design (Semester of HS credit)

Computers (Semester of HS credit)

At this time in the year, we feel it is a good time to review our attendance policy. All contacts to excuse absences must be made within 24 hours of the absence. Please refer to the state and school policies below in regards to student attendance.


Regular attendance is required by law. Please refer to the District Student Handbook for further guidelines. It is necessary that a parent/guardian notify the school within 24 hours whenever a student is absent.

Truancy is defined by Kansas state statute (K.S. 72-1106) as a student under age 18 who has been absent unexcused from school on three (3) consecutive days or five (5) days absent within a semester or seven (7) days within a school year.

Parents will be notified for the following attendance issues:

  • Multiple unexcused absences

  • Excessive lateness to school

  • Excessive (10 or more) absences

  • At truant status: Home visits are made by our counselors prior to truancy being filed.

Additional Jardine Middle School policies regarding attendance:

  • After 10 absences, doctor’s documentation will be required for any further absences.

  • Family vacations or family trips will need prior administrative approval. If approved, the absence will only be excused up to 3 school days.

Nurse News - Ms. Bailey


GraceMed forms went home with students, please fill out and send back in if you want your student to be seen.GraceMed will be at the school March 28th and 29th. Forms need to be back into school by March 13th.

A note from our Social Worker - Ms. Sparks

Nature is Good for your Mental Health!

The following article is taken from the Live Works Live Well website. Reported by AgeEnvy. June 2020.

We understand that during this age of social distancing and self-isolation, it’s difficult to do anything outside of your home without fear of contracting COVID-19. To protect themselves from the coronavirus, thousands of people have isolated themselves indoors, avoiding leaving their homes unless for essential work or errands, like visiting the doctor or going to the grocery store. While staying indoors does keep you away from those infected with the coronavirus, it also has quite an impact on your mental health.


While we all feel comfortable in our homes, it’s not particularly healthy to remain indoors all the time. Your mind and body need to be outside to encounter certain nutrients the outdoors provides. Countless benefits of the outdoors can improve your mental state. One in five U.S. adults struggle with a mental illness each year, and one in 25 experiences serious mental illness. Spending some quality time outdoors can help relieve their mental illness symptoms.


The world is full of stress, no matter where you go. While there are plenty of healthy stressors in the world, like the ones that keep you out of danger, there are also a host of bad ones. America is one of the most stressed countries in the world, with 55% of Americans reporting feelings of stress daily. Many different factors can lead to increased levels of stress, and this stress can impact both your physical and mental health.

However, spending just 20-30 minutes outside has proven to reduce stress levels. Even gardening has shown to improve your symptoms of stress. A Japanese study that focused on the effects of Shinrin-yoku (taking in the forest atmosphere or forest bathing) found that just a short period outdoors can reduce cortisol levels, the natural chemical found in your body that causes stress. Being outside relieves muscle tension and helps reduce stress.


There are elements of the outdoors that you cannot find nor replicate inside. Direct sunlight and fresh air are two things you cannot find while indoors, and both offer numerous benefits for your mind and body. Natural sunlight exposure can improve your mood and overall self-esteem. Studies have shown that people’s brains have higher levels of serotonin on bright and sunny days, regardless if it was warm or cold out. Serotonin is your body’s natural mood stabilizer, and it helps reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety while boosting your mood. More studies suggest that UV light encourages melanocytes, the cell that produces dark skin pigment, to release endorphins, the body’s feel-good chemical.


Spending time outdoors reduces your symptoms of anxiety and depression. An analysis of ten studies found that spending time in a green environment improved mood and self-esteem. Those struggling with mental illness saw significant increases in their self-esteem and saw a reduction in their depression symptoms.

Ecotherapy is a type of formal treatment that supplements other treatments. It involves exercising or doing regular activities outside in nature. It has proven on several occasions to help with mild cases of depression.


Spending time in nature also helps your mind rest. The world is full of stressors, whether they be from work, personal relationships, or financial issues. Sometimes, you need to escape from these stressors to rest your mind. Being outdoors allows your mind to decompress and normalize. Spending time in nature is also a great way to practice mindfulness, as it allows you to be present in the moment and clear your mind. The daily stress of life can weigh on you and lead to mental fatigue. Studies have found that restorative environments, like nature, have been useful in getting your mind back on track and energized.


We have spoken time and time again about the impact exercising has on your mental health. Much of spending time outdoors does involve some form of exercise, whether it involves gardening, going for a walk, or hiking. Exercise helps reduce your blood pressure, which is a common symptom of stress. It also releases endorphins, which boosts your mood. If you have a routine that you do from home, take it outside and see how much of a difference that makes. Outdoor exercises often leave individuals feeling rejuvenated, both mentally and physically.


There is no right or wrong way to spend time outdoors. After all, each activity provides you with all the benefits of the outdoors. However, if you don’t know where to start, we have provided some easy activities to get you outside.

Go for a walk or run.

Take a bike ride along a trail.

Go camping.

Take a hike.


Move your workout outside.

Meditate or do yoga outside.

Have a picnic in the park.

Go for a swim.


These are just a handful of activities you can do to reap the mental health benefits of the outdoors. While we all enjoy the comfort of our homes, the indoors do not present the same health benefits as being outside. You can improve your mental health by spending just 20-30 minutes a day in nature.

Jardine Activities - Mr. Snyder

John Wooden once said, “Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out.”

Our spring sports season will begin after spring break. I will have a form out during lunch to see who is interested in boys/girls track, boys tennis and girls soccer. You must have a physical on file in order to participate. We will also follow the KSHSAA guidelines for eligibility. We plan to begin on March 20th. There will be a parent zoom meeting on March 22nd at 5:30pm. More information will be sent out.

Mrs. Rowe will have auditions for a spring musical revue presentation on February 27th. The musical will be presented on May 3rd, 4th and 5th.

I would like to remind all students that want to participate in athletics that KSHSAA has a rule that you must pass five of your six classes before you can participate. This rule applies to the quarter before the season begins. For example, the boy’s basketball season will be based on the 2nd quarter grades. For the sixth graders who want to participate next year, your eligibility will be based on your fourth quarter grades. The district has an eligibility rule that you must pass all classes in order to play during your season. We run weekly grade checks and if you are failing a class you have until the day of the game to pass that class. This does not mean waiting until 1pm that day of the game to turn in late work. Please be a student first and the rest will take care of its self.

KSHSAA also has a rule on physicals, if you want to participate for the 2023-2024 season. You must have a physical on file dated after May 01, 2023.

Chromebook Information & Library News - Ms. Gilliland

  • Students have been researching a middle school author and designing a bookmark in a program called Canva. I am excited to share these next month.

  • Our next lesson will be a video and discussion about Cyberbullying and teaching Empathy.

  • The library will be helping out during state testing by providing a room to spread students out and a quiet space for the best testing environment.

  • BOOK FAIR!! May 1-5, Start saving your pennies now!!!

  • If your student is having chromebook issues, please tell them to visit the library to talk to Ms. Gilliland.

  • Each student at Jardine is allowed to check out up to 3 library books at a time. The students are allowed to checkout anytime they have permission from their teachers.

  • I am hearing that many students do NOT have a proper chromebook charger. You can purchase one from A office for $25 or follow these links at or Amazon. Please do not continue to charge your chromebook with a phone charger as this will destroy the chromebook battery due to the different watts.

Band Notes - Ms. Rowe

March 2—7th and 8th Grade Band will perform for the Boys Basketball Classic at HPHS. Time: TBA.

Ian Martin (8th, trombone), Shondel Watson (7th, trumpet), Rogan Oller (8th, tenor saxophone) and Lorenzo Soto Perez (8th, alto saxophone) participated in the Topeka Youth Jazz Workshop Middle School Band at Washburn University for five Thursday evenings and concluded with an afternoon concert on Saturday, February 11. The jazz band sounded awesome!

Noah Babiera (8th, percussion), Stuart McClelland (8th, alto saxophone), Sevin Davis (8th, trumpet), Ian Martin (8th, trombone) and Chloe Fox (8th, clarinet) were selected to perform with the Washburn University Middle School Honor Band last month. There were over 100 middle school musicians from the area who learned several songs in one day and presented an afternoon concert on Friday, February 3, 2023. It was an amazing day for everyone involved!

“Like” our Jardine Middle School Band Facebook page to keep up with our activities!

JMS Spring Musical - Ms. Rowe

Based on the smash DreamWorks animated motion picture, “Madagascar - A Musical Adventure JR.” follows all of your favorite crack-a-lackin' friends as they escape from their home in New York's Central Park Zoo and find themselves on an unexpected journey to the madcap world of King Julien's Madagascar.

Auditions are complete and parts have been assigned. Practice begins March 6.

Jardine Elementary and Jardine Middle School students will present Madagascar Jr. on May 4-5.

Contact Mrs. Rowe for information. or 785-730-8125

“Like” our Jardine Middle School Drama Department Facebook page to keep up with our activities!

Orchestra News- Mr. Oathout

Students from 6th hour Advanced Orchestra have been invited to perform along with students from Topeka High School String Orchestra, in addition to some students from other Topeka Middle schools at the Topeka High March Concert.

It will be at Topeka High School Auditorium on Monday March 6th. Rehearsal will be at 5:30 p.m. and the concert is under way at 6. The two combined songs are:

Highland Cathedral

Two Celtic Dances

Students will commit to perform, or decline the opportunity by submitting a Google Form on my Google Classroom the week of Feb. 13th.

Those who commit to this performance will need to be at T-High no later than 5:15 that evening ready to rehearse.

Dress code for this is Concert Black/White and Jardine Accent Colors (Red/Black).

Both Jardine String Orchestra classes will present their March Concert here at Jardine Lunchroom Stage on March 27th at 6:30 (7th hour) and 7:15 (6th hour).

Students need to arrive 15 minutes before their concert time. Dress is Black/White.

PE Happenings - Ms. Remer & Mr. Coffman

It was good to see everyone at parent teacher conferences, even if it was via Zoom! The 3rd quarter is drawing to a close soon and grades will be wrapping up! Let’s finish this quarter off strong and move into the final part of the year with our grades moving in the right direction! Boys basketball is also coming to an end soon and that means that Track and Tennis are also coming up! If you are interested in these two sports be on the lookout for the team meetings held by Mr. Daniels (tennis), and Mr. Taylor (Track).

As we usually do we also want to take this opportunity to remind you all of our PE rules:

Prompt Prepared Participate Pleasant


  • Tennis shoes - No Crocs, boots, slides, sandals, etc.

  • Clothing you can comfortably participate in. No hoodies, coats, tight pants, shirts that dip down in the front, midriffs, tank tops etc.

  • No jewelry. Watches included.

  • Deodorant should be kept in bookbags.

  • If a student utilizes an inhaler, the necessary paperwork must be on file with the school nurse. Please mark inhalers with names.

*We will meet in the gym and place belongings against the walls. Each grade will have a designated spot to put their belongings every day.


  • A student is tardy to class if they are not in the gym when the bell rings.

  • Points will be deducted if you are not in your assigned squad spot when daily roll is being taken.


  • If a student is to be excused from participation for an extended period of time because of health or physical problems, a note from a medical doctor to the teacher will be necessary.


All grading will be done daily and meeting our district P.E. Standards.

Ways to earn daily points:

  1. Prompt - be on time to class…………………………... ..(1 point)

  2. Prepared - correct clothing/shoes worn for class ……….(1 point)

  3. Participate - participate in class activities ……………….(1 point)

  4. Pleasant - have a good positive attitude ………………...(1 point)

Each weekly assignment will be worth 20 points (4 points per day)


  • Students are to enter the far east door of the gym at the beginning of class. Girls will exit through the south gym doors. Boys will exit into the hallway from the boys’ locker room.

  • All students will go to the locker room at the end of class to use the restroom, put on deodorant, get drinks etc. You will be verbally dismissed from the locker rooms.

  • Do not handle any piece of equipment unless under direct supervision of the teacher.

  • HORSEPLAY will NOT be tolerated.

  • NO food including gum and candy. Water ONLY!

  • Last hour and bus riders.

  • Noise level in the locker room is 0-1.

  • CELLPHONES are to be kept in your bags at all times.

  • Teachers need to know immediately if there are ISSUES in class.

  • DRILLS: Secure campus, lockdown, fire drill and tornado drill procedures.

  • Talk through a day in PE. Roll, warm-ups, universal signal, explanation of activity, 10-minute bell, locker rooms, dismiss form locker rooms and exit out the designated doors.

  • Practice universal P.E. signal.

  • Daily class leaders.

Have a great end of the year!


Language Arts - The Language Arts Team

One of the best ways to improve your writing and reading skills is to build your vocabulary.

Here are some ways to help your child build his/her vocabulary while outside of school:

 Read, read, read!! Read anything: novels, newspapers, magazines, even the back of a

cereal box!

 Keep a dictionary and thesaurus handy in your house where your child has access to it.

 Using a journal is a great way to build vocabulary by keeping a list of new words and

their meaning.

 Learn a new word each day or week – such as perhaps a “Family Word of the Week”

 Go back to your “roots” by learning new prefixes and suffixes and the origin of specific


 Play word games such as Scrabble, Words with Friends, Scattergories etc…

 Engage in conversations at home instead of “tuning out” to the TV, cell phones, or


What’s Happening in Language Arts

6th Grade: Ms.Appelhanz, Ms.du Bois, Ms. Wooten: We are wrapping up Unit 3: cause/effect, context clues, main idea, and vocabulary. When we return from Spring Break we will be focusing on test prep and strategies to prepare for State Assessments as well as continuing with vocabulary and reviewing all standards previously taught.

7th Grade: Ms. Bisconer, Ms. Morlock, Ms. Wooten: March begins with the final power standard (text structure) of unit 3 and the unit 3 post test. Leading into spring break, all classes will be preparing students for our next class novel: The Outsiders! This fan favorite will help students engage with the author's purpose, theme, and character analysis as we prepare for the State Assessment.

8th Grade: Ms. Bisconer, Ms. Pumford, Ms. Watson: For the month of March, the 8th grade Language Arts classes will be diving into the topic of what it means to be an adult. We'll explore milestones used to define adulthood and discuss how they can prepare for the future they want. To wrap up the month, we will be beginning to discuss Anne Frank and her harrowing experience during the Holocaust in hopes to relate to the struggles of

historical figures like her.

Newcomer EL:

Newcomer 1: We will be learning the parts of the body, physical feelings,emotions, and we will describe ourselves and others.

Recién llegado 1: Estaremos aprendiendo las partes del cuerpo, los sentimientos físicos, las emociones y nos describiremos a nosotros mismos ya los demás.

Новачок 1: Ми будемо вивчати частини тіла, фізичні відчуття, емоції, описуватимемо себе та інших.

Newcomer 2: We will learn about families, rooms of the house, household items, present tense verbs: has and have, spelling words with long vowel sounds, and plural nouns.

Novato 2: Aprenderemos sobre familias, habitaciones de la casa, artículos del hogar, verbos en tiempo presente: has y have, ortografía de palabras con sonidos de vocales largas y sustantivos en plural.

ESOL Elective:

Students will wrap up their Quarter 3 “More than a Game” projects before they leave for Spring Break. When they return, students will explore how Earth’s natural resources are used and how humans can lower their impact on the environment. Students will focus on producing well-developed arguments and analyzing sources for credibility and relevance. Later, they will set out to complete their independent projects, which should be starting to take shape right around Earth Day!

Science - Ms. Abellon, Mr. Lobatos, Mr. Jennings & Mr. Morris

6th Grade Science- 6th graders are finishing Magnetism and Electricity this month. They should have Identified types of electric and magnetic interactions. Investigated and compared the effects of magnetic, electric, and gravitational fields on objects. They will build an electromagnet and determine the factors that affect its strength. After Spring break, we are learning how water cycles through Earth’s systems so that we can describe the effects of energy on water. We will answer these questions: What is the effect of sunlight and gravity on water cycles in Earth systems? What are the variables that create different types of weather and how do they work? What are regional climates and what interactions form them?

7th Grade Science- The end of our third quarter is quickly ending and we are on our way to finishing up our chemistry unit. We will be starting Geologic Processes and Earth History. Our main focus will be on chemical and physical weathering, Rock Cycle and plate tectonics. Then we will conclude with relative/absolute dating and geologic time scale. The end of our school year we will conclude with Ecology and the Environment.

8th Grade Science- Finishing up chemistry will actually lead the 8th graders into our next unit about human impact on the environment. Chemistry ends with talking about how synthetic materials are made and used in everyday life. That will lead us into talking about how they affect our environment. Although we will talk about several different types of materials, the focus will be on plastics. How plastics are made, what we use them for, how they can be recycled, the dangers they present to the environment, and looking at plastic alternatives.

History Happenings - Mr. Jennings, Mr. Barrett, Ms. Miner & Ms. Morelli

6th Grade In Ancient World History, we are finishing up our unit on ancient Greece. We will then be starting a short unit on Ancient China. We will look at the geography, early peoples, and four major ruling dynasties. The Gobi desert to the Himalayan Mountains, we look at one of the world's longest lasting cultures. Watch out for that TerraCotta Army!

7th grade Kansas History classes are deep into discovering all that lead to the Bleeding Kansas era and the events that took place in our state prior to the Civil War. As we delve into the legislation, and the issue of slavery, students will discover the issues on both sides of the debate. We will learn about the Kansas' role in the Civil War, the Underground Railroad, and the people who impacted the decision to let Kansas be free.

The year is moving quickly, before we know it, we will learn all about the Pioneers and Settlers in our state.

In 8th grade U.S. History the students just completed the American Civil War Unit. We are moving onto the unit about Reconstruction and African American Struggles in the late 1800s. Once we are done with this unit our next unit will be about the Native American Wars.

Math - The Mighty Math Team

In 7th grade math, we are now starting our 5th Module, “Statistics and Probability”. In this module, students begin their study of probability, learning how to interpret probabilities and how to compute probabilities in simple settings. They also learn how to estimate probabilities empirically. The concept of probability provides a foundation for the thinking required to make inferential reasoning that is developed in the second half of this module.

Please encourage your child to complete any incomplete work that is in the gradebook (Tyler SIS). As we look to the 4th quarter, we will be working hard to cover our last two modules. Module 5 is “Statistics and Probability” and Module 6 is “Geometry”

8th Grade: This week students are introduced to scientific notation, which is a convenient way to write numbers that are very large or very small. Students learn to convert standard numbers to scientific notation and perform operations on numbers in many forms. Finally, students compare numbers written in various forms to put them in order or to determine which number has the greatest or least value.

After your child has completed Lesson 11, LEARN MORE by viewing a video called “Powers of Ten,” which demonstrates positive and negative powers of 10. Visit:

You can expect to see homework that asks your child to do the following:

  • Use the order of magnitude of a number to determine the next greatest power of ten, and put numbers in order according to their value. The larger the magnitude, the larger the number’s value.

  • Solve real-life problems using numbers written in scientific notation.

  • Convert numbers written in standard form to scientific notation, and vice versa. Represent those numbers on a calculator.

  • Determine whether a number represented in scientific notation is very large or very small in value.

  • Perform calculations on numbers represented in scientific notation.

  • Change a given unit of measure to a different unit of measure.


  • Order of magnitude: The exponent of the power of 10 when a decimal is expressed in scientific notation. For example, in scientific notation, the decimal 192.7 is represented as 1.927 × 10², so its order of magnitude is 2 (the exponent in 10²).

  • Power of ten: A term with the number 10 as its base. For example, 10³ is a power of 10 that equals 1,000.

  • Product: The answer to a multiplication problem.

  • Product of a decimal: The result of multiplying any number and a decimal.

  • Scientific notation: The representation of a very large or very small number as the product of a decimal and a power of 10. The decimal must have a value greater than or equal to 1 and less than 10. For example, 2.41 × 105 is in scientific notation, while 24.1 × 104 is not because the decimal value, 24.1, is greater than 10. Scientific notation is used when the number is too big or too small to be conveniently written in standard form.