Indian Mound Middle School
Greetings From Aaron Tarnutzer
Staying Involved by Staying Informed
Thank you for taking the time to read our first newsletter of the school year. If your life is anything like mine, you are constantly running from one event or “to do” to another and rarely have time to go searching for information unless it is vital to your survival. For some reason, when our children are younger it seemed easier to stay informed on the other part of their lives when they are not with us. At IMMS we recognize this challenge and want to make it as easy as possible to be involved at IMMS by first being informed of what is happening. To that end, we have several tools at your disposal:
Phone calls: Staff members will call you to share positive things about your child, and, if necessary, some areas in which they can improve. We will ask, “Is now an okay time?” when we call to honor your time. We will return your phone calls promptly (our goal is 24 hours).
Email: We try to make it clear in the first sentence or two the purpose of the email. Is this a “nice to know” or a “need to know?” We will get to the point, but, when possible, we will make it engaging to read. We will not send you an email for something that applies only to your child and should be discussed in person or during a phone call.
Newsletters: We will put the need to know information first and the nice to know information later.
Web page http://www.mcfarland.k12.wi.us/schools/middle/ : We are continuing to develop new structures to make sure our web page is an up to date and useful resource for families. Our webpage also includes the daily announcements in an effort to directly address your child’s response that “Nothing is going on at school.” We are working hard to put extra copies of forms and handouts on the page as well, in case they don’t make it home (i.e. field trip permission slips). All teachers have webpages and many keep them updated with current units, including important resources.
Assignment Task List: This resource, which you can access from our webpage in the news section, lists the current daily assignments and long range assignments for all classes. It is updated each day by 1:00 p.m.
Infinite Campus: We will update grades on Infinite Campus within two weeks of an assignment being due.
Letters: We will only mail home information that is important for you to read.
Facebook: We are in our fourth year of the IMMS Facebook page. We use this page to share interesting stories and events, as well as reminders. If you are on Facebook, I encourage you to “like” the IMMS page.
We hope that these commitments honor your time and provide meaningful ways for you to stay informed and involved at IMMS. If you have any other suggestions or comments, please stop by, give me a call at 838-8980, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your involvement in your child’s education!
October is National Bullying Prevention Month (a.k.a. Empathy Month)
At IMMS we are committed to a comprehensive approach to helping our students display empathy (the E in "We ARRE Spartans,"), and preventing and addressing bullying. While students learned about bullying prevention and intervention beginning on the first day of school throughout the year, during October we add some additional activities including grade level presentations, in class lessons, a survey, staff training, a courage retreat, and stating our commitment to keeping students safe. You can learn more about each of these activities below.
An important part of this process is sharing with you all of the things we are doing, stating our commitment to keeping your child safe, and asking for your help. Bullying is not a rite of passage. It is not something we tolerate or expect to go away if not addressed. It is also something that we, as staff members of IMMS, cannot always see. You, as parents/guardians, are often the first line of defense when dealing with bullying behavior. Your child may share things with you that no one at school knows. We ask that you please share this information with us so that we can work together to keep your children, our students, safe. You can call, stop by, or go to the IMMS website to report online.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, regarding our efforts to eliminate bullying at IMMS, please contact us or any staff member. Thank you for taking the time to read this lengthy article and for your support to make IMMS Bully Free!
1. Grade level presentations: Administration and student services (Counselors and Psychologists) will present information to students as a grade level including that they deserve to go to a school that is free from bullying and harassment and what to do when they see or experience bullying (i.e. being an ally not a bystander, reporting using the report form or online at Sprigeo.com). We also re-teach the "Name it, Claim it, Stop it" strategy that involves naming the behavior ("I just heard you say..."), stating that the behavior is not okay ("I don't like that.."), and telling the person to stop ("It's not funny and you need to stop it). We reference important parts of our School Board Bullying Policy, which is included in our family handbook and can be found on the district website by searching for "bullying" at this address: http://www.neola.com/mcfarland-wi/
2. Lessons: All students participated in a lesson on bullying prevention and intervention on the first day of school. Students in 6th grade are involved in an entire unit centered on bullying prevention and intervention. Students in 7th and 8th grade also participate in similar lessons. For example, all students will participate in a "Use Another Word" lesson regarding how to address inappropriate language (i.e. "that is so gay," "you're a retard") and bullying when it is observed. A special emphasis is placed on how to be an assertive ally and not aggressive by retaliating. Additional lessons occur on an ongoing basis throughout the year, with an emphasis on integrating the lessons into existing content area units (i.e. Language Arts).
3. Survey: Each October students complete an anonymous online survey regarding their experiences with bullying. We use this information to help us better prevent bullying and intervene if it does occur.
4. Staff training: Each October we provide training to staff focusing on preventing, identifying, and addressing bullying (i.e. being present and visible during unstructured times in the hallways and recess). We reinforce these skills throughout the year.
5. Staff statement to students: On a designated day in October each teacher shares with their students in each period their commitment to keeping them safe and their right to be free from bullying and harassment. It is powerful for students to hear this same message throughout the day.
6. Courage Retreat: On October 6 our 7th grade students and staff will participate in a “Courage Retreat” that is facilitated by a group called Youth Frontiers with help from high school mentors. During this day long activity students will work in small and large groups to empower students to face their fears and create a positive school community. You can learn more about the Courage Retreat here: http://www.youthfrontiers.org/courage-retreat/
Meet the Guidance Counselors
Jill Runde begins her 10th year as Guidance Counselor at Indian Mound Middle School bringing her unique brand of enthusiasm and style to assist the growth and well being of this year’s 6th and 8th grade students. Jim Kramer begins his 25th year at IMMS, working with the 7th grade class and the 8th grade Tech Tools related arts class. In an effort to get to know the students better and be of the greatest resource to students, Jill and Jim move along with their student groups each year. Please feel free to contact them at 838-8980 with any questions or concerns.
8th Grade Conferences
Banner Day 2016
7th Grade Courage Retreat - October 6th
At Indian Mound Middle School we believe that to do well in school, students need to be comfortable with who they are and feel physically and emotionally safe. In this effort to create a safe and caring culture, we are bringing in Youth Frontiers (http://www.youthfrontiers.org/) to facilitate a Courage Retreat for our 7th grade students on Thursday, October 6, 2016.
Since 1987 Youth Frontiers, a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in Minneapolis, has been delivering programs to build positive school communities that help young people realize the importance of respecting themselves and others. Their vision is to change the way young people treat each other in every hallway, lunch line, and classroom of every school in America so that today's young people make tomorrow's world better. Last year, Youth Frontiers worked with more than 110,000 students and educators throughout the country.
On the Courage Retreat, the Youth Frontiers retreat staff will focus on creating a more positive school community by engaging students in a variety of activities that build students' empathy skills and teach safe ways to help prevent bullying.
This high-energy, interactive retreat is scheduled for Thursday, October 6 for the 7th grade class and will be held at McFarland High School. On that day, students are asked to bring a pack lunch. A snack will be provided.
To continue the positive effects of the experience, we believe it is important for the entire community to be involved in supporting and communicating the messages delivered on the retreat. Because of this, we encourage parents and caregivers to ask about the retreat experience once your child returns home by asking the following questions:
1. What activities did you find fun?
2. What were the small group leaders like?
3. What were some of the fears that you discussed with your classmates during the small-group discussions?
4. What is a fear you really struggle with?
5. What do you think is the most common fear in your class or school?
6. What is one thing you can do tomorrow at school to show more courage?
Visit youthfrontiers.org/courage-retreat for more information on Youth Frontiers, access great parent resources, and watch a video about the Courage Retreat.
Important Reminders From the Attendance Office
Please be sure to call in before 8:10am if your child will be absent for the day. You may leave a message or talk to the front office staff for absences at 838-8980.
As noted in the family handbook, if your child has been absent for two or more days, you may request homework for pick up by 8:10am. Please plan to pick it up in the office by 3:34pm that day. If your child has been absent for only one day, we respectfully ask that your child collects their homework when they return to school. You may also look at the Assignment Task List on our website for assignments.
If there is an anticipated absence and you would like to collect homework in advance, please inform the front office at least one week prior to the absence.
If your child has an appointment during the school day, please send a note with them in the morning. Have your child go to the front office, where they will receive a pass and instructions on leaving class.
If you have any questions or concerns please contact the attendance line at 838-8980.
Wacky Olympics 2016
Camp Timber-lee 2016
Unit VI students recently returned from their outdoor education experience. They spent three days and two nights at Timber-lee Center located in East Troy, Wisconsin. They had 11 different classes; studying everything from canoeing and geology to leaf classification. They also square danced and played capture the flag. In addition to 189 sixth grade students, many IMMS staff went along on the adventure and we had more than 60 parents who were able to attend camp with their children. All people involved had a remarkable time! The parent volunteers were wonderful, and truly made a positive impact on the success of our outdoor education experience. Our sixth graders were very motivated and well behaved. They represented IMMS with the highest of standards and they made us all very proud to say we are from McFarland. This is a wonderful experience for our sixth graders, and we hope to be able to continue with outdoor education for many more years to come.
Indian Mound Middle School to Host State Leadership Conference
The Wisconsin Association of School Councils (www.WASC.org ) is a statewide organization of public, private, and parochial elementary, middle, junior and senior high school student councils and/or student leadership groups dedicated to the continuation and expansion of leadership development and student responsibilities in Wisconsin.The WASC is an AMAZING organization that provides a wide variety of leadership development opportunities for students with depth, warmth, and authenticity.. The main middle school conference of the year is the State JAM (Junior high And Middle School) in Madison on May 7-8, 2017 attended by 1500 middle school students from all across the state. The Indian Mound Middle School Student Council is organizing this experience, which is an enormous honor and responsibility. In order to make this conference a success we will need energetic, light-hearted, and dedicated students and parents to pitch in with their time and talents. Please contact Jim Kramer (advisor) at IMMS (838-4576 or email@example.com) if you are interested in helping, have questions, or want to share your ideas.
eBooks can lighten your student’s load!
Follett eBooks and Audiobooks have been added to our school’s library collection and are ready for your student to use.
There are three ways for you or your student to access them:
From within Follett Destiny® – search for them just like other books
By visiting GoFollett.com and searching for our school
From your tablet or device, using the FREE Discover™ K12 Edition app
Follett eBooks give your student the ability to read, take and save notes, highlight text and more, from school or from home. Get more information on how to access and use Follett eBooks.
All School Dance & Open Gym on Friday, October 21
All 6th, 7th, & 8th grade IMMS students are invited to participate in our first all-school dance & open gym on Thursday, 10/21/16 from 3:45 - 5:35pm. Tickets will be sold before school, during lunch, & after school on 10/21 at a cost of $4.00. Pizza ($1.00) and treats ($.50) will be on sale and there will be free milk (sponsored by Fuel Up to Play 60 & the WI Milk Marketing Board) and water too. Parent helpers are welcome to join staff chaperones at the dance/gym and are invited to contact Jim Kramer (838-4576 or firstname.lastname@example.org) to coordinate. Join the fun!
E.D. Locke Library News
Teen Advisory Board: This fall the library created its first Teen Advisory Board. This is a great opportunity for teens (grades 6-12) to have their voices heard. Teens are encouraged to be part of this team that will give input and help with youth programming at the library. Our second meeting will be on Saturday, October 15 at 3:00 p.m. Interested teens can contact Heather (Youth Services Librarian) for more information. You can reach her by phone 838-2343 or by email email@example.com – or just stop in.
Afternoon Movie Thursday, October 27th at 2:00 p.m. : Throw Back Thursday with Ghostbusters (1989). Come enjoy a “throwback Thursday” movie and popcorn on your day off from school. We’ll be showing the 1989 version of Ghostbusters. Rated PG—parental discretion is advised with language and content.
Volunteers needed for weekend and after school programming. The library is holding a lot of extra programming this fall and would love to have some teen help with craft preparation, set up, and clean up for these programs. If you are interested please contact Heather (Youth Services Librarian) for more information. You can reach her by phone 838-2343 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org – or just stop in.
Help Support McFarland High School Hockey
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8
(1:00pm - 5:00pm)
McFARLAND HIGH SCHOOL PARKING LOT
5103 Farwell Street
McFarland, WI 53558
The McFarland High School Hockey Team has joined forces with Dodge to raise money for our high school hockey team!
Please arrive between 1:00pm - 5:00pm and take a short 5 minute test drive in a new Dodge Caravan, Journey, Durango or Dart. For your time and input, Dodge will donate $20 to the McFarland High School Hockey Program. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BUY ANYTHING OR GIVE ANY MONEY! There's no sales pressure and the whole process will only take 5-10 minutes of your time. Anyone age 18 or older with a valid driver's license can drive one of the cars.
PLEASE BRING YOUR RELATIVES, FRIENDS, NEIGHBORS AND ANYONE 18 YEARS OR OLDER TO HELP US RAISE MONEY FOR THE HIGH SCHOOL HOCKEY PROGRAM.
CHILD CARE WILL BE PROVIDED.
SAVE THE DATE: SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8 (1:00pm-5:00pm) MCFARLAND HIGH SCHOOL
HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!