Everything in the Middle School that matters

Volume 6

March 4, 2019


Can you believe it's March already?

We just passed the midpoint of third-quarter and spring break is just around the corner. At our M&M grade level meetings last week I reminded students of the challenge we have to prepare them for next fall. Our eighth graders have registered for high school already. I'm very proud of the progress students have made so far. I shared if they are not satisfied with their progress they can still access help this quarter to improve their standing. They just have to ask.

In this edition...

  • The 3rd quarter report card
  • Pennies for Patients campaign
  • 14 Apps parents should know about
  • March calendar
  • Students of the Month
  • And much more

End of 3rd quarter report cards

Thursday, March 21, 2019, marks the end of the Third Quarter. We are entering our final quarter of the school year. Our focus will quickly turn to wrapping up the school year and plans for next year will be finalized. Before that, we must tend to the task currently before us.

Report Cards should be online after 4:00 p.m. on March 22nd. Parents should take a good look and check for any incompletes (I’s) or (F’s) on the report card. These grades must be at passing status before students can be promoted to the next grade level. According to school board policy, no students will be allowed to register for the next year until this takes place.

"Do you have a minute"

Those students wishing to get some additional help in any area are asked to check with their teachers. Teachers are available to help students with any struggles they're having in the classroom or with homework. Simply asking: ”Do you have a minute?” lets the teachers know to make the time for any student who asks. I have had students approach me during lunch and passing times asking that question. If I don't have the time—I make sure I find time later in the day. Parents should go over their child’s grade book with them and ask how things are going in class, lunch, recess, and before and after school. If you get the feeling they could use some additional support in a class or that they need some help with unresolved conflict, have them approach anyone of their teachers. We are here to help.

Please consider helping children in need

Wright County has a pressing and continuous need for foster families.

All children need a safe home where people will nurture and respect them. Children enter foster care due to significant life factors, often including abuse or neglect. This is an extremely difficult time for children. They are struggling and need extra support. The overall goal of foster care is to provide children with a temporary, stable, and caring family setting until they are reunited with their family or until a permanency plan is established for them.

Wright County is seeking families who live in Wright County and are willing to welcome children into their home. If you would like more information about becoming a foster parent, please contact Marisa Ferguson at 763-682-7484 or marisa.ferguson@co.wright.mn.us.

Those interested in learning more about foster care are invited to attend one of the upcoming orientations on April 9th, May 14th, July 9th, or August 13th from 6:30 pm to 9:00 pm at the Wright County Law Enforcement Center located at 3800 Braddock Ave. NE, Buffalo, MN 55313 in room S2021A.

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MMS Celebrates 16 Years of Pennies for Patients with Family Feud Assembly

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Our annual Pennies for Patients campaign will run March 4th through March 15th and will culminate with a school-wide celebration assembly on March 22nd.

There is a lot to celebrate on this 16th consecutive year of raising awareness and funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, especially the knowledge that MMS has donated nearly $80,000 toward the cure of blood cancers. Last year, Monticello Middle School’s campaign was so successful we were the third largest donator in the state!

One of the events that make our campaign so successful (and fun) is our much anticipated, school-wide celebration assembly. Last year, students nominated a staff member with each donation to participate in The Dating Game with special guest, Lambie. Four staff members answered Lambie’s questions culminating in a kiss. In the end, former sixth-grade teacher Mr. Munneke was awarded the prestigious “Baa Baa of Fame” award.

This year, we’re working hard to create even more fun and laughs in our first ever Family Feud-style assembly. Twelve MMS staff members will team up to guess the top answers to questions voted on by an all-student survey. Shhh. . . there may even be a top-secret surprise at the end! Which Family Feud team will best predict the students’ answers and be crowned our 2019 Family of the Year? Let the predictions begin!

The Pennies for Patients committee would like to thank MMS students, staff, and parents for your continued support for 16 years!

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Parent Information

Internet Safety

Here are 14 apps that could put your children in danger! As children get older and become more independent, there are a variety of apps that parents should be aware of when deciding what to allow a child to install on their devices. There are apps that can be dangerous and can expose your children to a range of bullying and unwanted inappropriate messages. Some apps can even give strangers your child's location. Protect your children by checking what apps they have downloaded.
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8th Grade Purpose Project partnered with Bounce Back

For the 2nd year in a row, our 8th graders are partnering with the local Bounce Back project to promote mental health and awareness. One component that leads to strong mental health and happiness is in identifying a personal purpose.

8th graders will complete an individual "Purpose Project" in the next couple of weeks. They will be asked to complete an action with someone, or do a project for someone, that relates to the purpose they have identified for themselves.

Students will complete their action or project on their own time but will be given time in school on Friday, March 22nd to pull together their final presentation (Google Slides, Podcast, Flipgrid, WE Video, song, etc). Presentations will be submitted to M&M teachers.

Look for your 8th-grade student to be completing a purposeful and meaningful action/project in the next couple of weeks!


Reading MCA - Grades 6-8: April 15, 16, 17

Math MCA - Grades 6-8: April 24, 25, 26

Science MCA - 8th-Grade: May 7, 8, & 9

ATTENDANCE LINE - 763-272-2110

Please use “763-272-2110” to call in late or absent students. Please call the attendance line or send a note if your student needs to leave early. Prior notice expedites the process, avoids interruptions into classrooms to have students dismissed, and eliminates difficulty reaching students during Phy-ed, music, lunch and special events. You may also use the attendance line to request homework if students are gone two or more consecutive days.
Thank you!

March Calendar

Monday, March 11

Parent Involvement Meeting 6 p.m.

Tuesday, March 19

District Art Show

Thursday, March 21

End of 3rd Quarter

Thursday, March 21

Snow day makeup - Full day of school

Friday, March 22

Snow day makeup - Early Dismissal

Spring Break: March 25-29


Please call the District Office at 763-272-2000.


Do you know that March is Art Month?! To celebrate, we will be hosting our annual District Art Show on Tuesday, March 19th from 5-7pm. This year's show is at Pinewood Elementary in the Media Center. A selection of work from students K-12 will be on display that evening and the following day during school hours. This is a community event with great art, contests, and face painting! We are looking forward to showcasing our talented students!
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Our next FRIDAY FOCUS session will be on Friday, April 5th from 2:30—5:00 p.m. The Friday Focus session will be supervised by teachers and administration.

We at the middle school see this as a great opportunity to give extra help to those students who have fallen behind. It also gives students help who need to complete work in order to be promoted to the next grade and avoid retention. We will be contacting the parents of students who need the extra time to get caught up. We expect those students with failing grades from any of our first three quarters to attend the Friday Focus session. If you receive an email or call from administration or staff members, we strongly suggest that your student attends.

You must RSVP to Ms. Bekius, Targeted Services Coordinator @ 763-272-2208 by Wednesday, April 5th. Teachers need time to prepare lists and resources for missing work.

All students who RSVP will be expected to be at the Friday Focus School on April 5th.

6-8 Grade Cantar Fundraiser begins March 5th and ends on March 18th!

This is to raise funds for transportation, music, and props as we sing for our community.

Congratulations to those 6th grade singers who will be representing MMS at this year’s CYM Music Festival at Rockford HS on Saturday, April 13th!

MMEA’s celebration of Young Musician’s Festival gathers area singers in a day of singing, bucket drumming, folk dance and acting. Rehearsals are after school every Monday until 3:15 through April 8th!

Way to go Nayomee, Aurorah, Brookelynn, Deb, Hannah and Sydney!

DO YOU HAVE PHOTOS from school sports, activities, or student involvement that we can use in the yearbook?

Be sure to upload them on our yearbook website at www.replayit.com You will be able to share, view and save photos with our school!

Students of the Month

Photo Use Authorization

If you DO NOT WANT your child's photo/video/podcast used, please contact Chris at chris.schyma@monticello.k12.mn.us


Monica Schwickerath, RN, LSN

Please call the health office with any questions or concerns.

Middle School Health Office Phone: (763) 272-2120 or Fax (763)272-2109

If your child is going to be absent, please call our 24/7 MS Attendance Line: (763) 272-2110. Thank you, Monica Schwickerath, Licensed School Nurse


Social media is constantly running in the background of life.

Social media is constantly running in the background of life. We can share, snap, tweet, like and reblog at all hours of the day. According to a British Psychological Society, approximately 90 percent of teenagers are on social media. Constantly seeing what their peers are doing on a day-to-day basis can be damaging to their mental health.

Some of the effects that social media can have on teenagers’ mental health:

  • Increased time, increased risk. The more time adolescents are engaged with social media outlets, the higher the risk there is for poor sleep, low self-esteem, and increases in depression or anxiety. The more emotionally invested they are in one site in particular, the more pressure and anxiety they may experience to be available and up-to-date at all times.

  • Poorly advised. It’s nothing new; teens have always been wary of asking parents or other adults for advice. With hundreds of friends on social media in the palm of their hands, teenagers often turn to social networks to seek advice that is often misguided.

  • Instigated fights. Cyberbullying has become a concern for parents of adolescents. Strangers, even friends, are able to hide behind the screen and say things they often wouldn’t be able to face-to-face. Teens often encounter fights on Facebook, subtweeting on Twitter and hurtful comments on Instagram – tactics often used just for the purpose of putting down others.

  • Skewed perceptions and social comparison. It is common for teens, especially girls, to experience pressure to appear “perfect” online. The need to appear to have perfect hair, to look skinny or fit, to have the perfect group of friends or the need to get the right amount of likes can consume teens. Not meeting these invisible standards can cause self-loathing and self-doubt. Social comparison, loneliness and jealousy can result when friends on social media “appear” more popular and attractive or on a glamorous vacation, which can trigger depressive feelings.

With social media a simple click away, how can parents help their teens?

  • Education. It is beneficial for parents to understand what social media is being used for by their teen and how. Being educated in how they use it will help parents understand the risks involved.

  • Communication. Parents should have frequent conversations with their teens about the safety of social media, how much personal information should and shouldn’t be shared and about cyberbullying. Studies show that teenagers who had their parents talk to them often, engaged in less risky behaviors.

  • Monitor time. Enforce rules to limit excessive use of social media. Examples of limiting time may include no phones at the table, no phone in car rides during errands or turning off WiFi at bedtime.

  • Healthy attitudes. To minimize social comparison and envy, parents and teens should talk about the distorted views of friends’ lives that are presented on social media. Teens should feel confident, not more depressed, after viewing social media. Encourage using social media not only to post about our best moments but our quieter ones.

How often do you talk to your teens about social media? Do you keep an eye on your teen’s online behavior?


Another Great Season for MMS Speech Team

By Abbey Veldhuizen—Speech Coach

In February, the Monticello Middle School Speech Team ended another great season! The team, consisting of 19 students from the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades, and offers students the chance to express themselves creatively and develop their speaking skills. Many students enjoy the creative aspect of Speech Team, frequently using accents during their speeches or brainstorming how they can incorporate more gestures and movement to enhance their speeches. The season kicked off in December with students drafting and practicing their speeches. The speeches chosen this year were in the Duet Acting and Interpretation of Poetry and Prose categories. Some of the topics chosen for this year’s speeches included: fractured fairy tales, a duet with a humorous take on friendship, excerpts from popular novels for kids, and a serious story about life as a middle schooler.

The team attended a total of 4 meets including Rocori, Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted, Buffalo, and a home meet at Monticello Middle School. The students worked hard this season and the entire team received a high number of superior ribbons based on their fantastic performances. Great job to the MMS Speech Team for another fantastic season!!
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2018 Middle School Spring Sports Information

Believe it or not, spring is coming and that means spring sports will be starting at the Monticello Middle School. This is a great opportunity for that student who is curious about being a first-time athlete and participating on a team, as well as for those students that have been involved in athletics for a number of years and want to continue to develop their skills.

MS Spring Sports Offered: 7 & 8 Boys Baseball, 7 & 8 Girls Softball, 7/8 Boys & Girls Golf, 7/8 Boys Tennis, 7/8 Boys & Girls Track.

Grades 7 & 8 Boys Baseball - Practice will begin Monday, April 1st at MHS Fields

Grades 7 & 8 Girls Softball - Practice will begin Monday, April 1st at MHS Fields

Grades 7 & 8 Boys and Girls Golf - Practice will begin Monday, April 1st at Vintage Golf Course

Grades 7 & 8 Boys Tennis - Practice will begin Monday, April 1st at MMS Courts

Grades 7 & 8 Boys and Girls Track - Practice will begin Monday, April 1st at MMS Track

Middle School activities run Monday through Thursday with practice times from 2:40-4:30 pm.

For information on game times and locations, please visit the Mississippi 8 website at www.mississippi8.org.

Spring weather can be unpredictable in MN. This may result in postponed or canceled events for MS spring sports. Did you know Mississippi 8 website has a feature that will NOTIFY REGISTERED MEMBERS of schedule changes to events immediately?

Follow these simple steps to receive notifications from Mississippi 8:

Go to www.mississippi8.org

Select Monticello High School

Click on Notify Me from the Menu on the right side of the home page (under the calendar)

Complete Step 1 - enter Mississippi 8 login or create a login

Complete Step 2: Choose Activities - select school and events you wish to be notified of schedule changes and Continue to Next Step

Complete Step 3: Set Up Notifications Preferences - select Reminders and or Schedule Change Notifications and Save My Settings

You will now receive notifications as they are updated on Mississippi 8!

As always, if you have questions, stop in the Middle School office or call 763.272.2111 to speak with Lori Hanson, Activities Director, or Lori Pippert, Activities Secretary.

Viewing the Middle School Sports Schedules

Have you accessed the Mississippi8 website yet? There is a lot of valuable information on this website. You will find up-to-date schedules for Middle School and High School sports and activities.

Up-to-date information on this website includes game times, which team plays first, and bus departure times. You can also sign-up to receive emails regarding any schedule changes, which become a common occurrence in the spring.

  1. Go to www.mississippi8.org

  2. Select Monticello High School on the right.

  3. Find the section titled, View Schedules under the calendar. Click on the sport of your choice and click on view.

To receive emails for any schedule changes or event reminders, follow these directions:

  1. Go to www.mississippi8.org

  2. Select Monticello High School on the right.

  3. Find the section titled, Notify Me under the calendar. Follow the instructions provided.

Make sure that your computer does not have a SPAM blocker or you will not be able to receive the email.

Parent Involvement

Thank you for participating in our Box Top Contest

Congratulations to Mrs. Campina's M&M for collecting the most box tops with 182 - They will be getting donuts during M&M.

2nd place was Mrs. Skuza's M&M with 143.

Thanks to General Mills for supporting our schools.

Parent Involvement Meeting

Monday, March 11th, 6pm

800 Broadway Street East

Monticello, MN

Located in the front office conference room.

Transportation Changes

Please remember Hoglund transportation needs any transportation changes submitted 24 hours before any anticipated changes. This will help ensure all students have a seat on the bus. Last minute requests to have your child ride a different bus home cannot be honored.