a message from Mr. tarnutzer
Welcome to the First Newsletter of 2019-20!
Thank you for taking the time to read our first newsletter of the school year. We have had an absolutely amazing start to the school year. We have been very busy in September with highlights including our 6th graders going to Camp Timber-lee and our school participating in the fun community building event of Banner Day. October brings a focus on bullying prevention and intervention (see more information later in the newsletter) as well as the following events:
Oct. 4: Student of the Month Assembly
Oct. 9: Winter Sports Registration night
Oct. 14-18: Book Fair
Oct. 16: K-8 PTO meeting at CEPS, 6:30 p.m.
Oct. 17: Family Teacher Conferences 4:00 - 7:00 pm
Oct. 22: Family Teacher Conferences 4:00 - 7:00 pm
Oct. 22: Mix it Up at Lunch Day
Oct. 24: No School - Staff Development Day
Oct. 25: No School - Conference Release Day
Nov. 1: Student of the Month Assembly
Nov. 6: 7th grade Courage Retreat
We look forward to seeing you at IMMS many times throughout the month of October!
Staying Involved by Staying Informed
I may sound a bit repetitive, but I wanted to reiterate something I shared in the parent tip a couple of weeks ago about staying involved in your child’s education by staying informed. 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. .
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 quick links 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. If you have questions about an assignment start by talking to your child and encouraging them to talk to their teacher with any questions. If that isn’t successful, feel free to contact the teacher directly.
Letters: We will only mail home information that is important for you to read.
Facebook: We use the IMMS Facebook 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 email@example.com
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, during October and November we add some additional activities including grade level presentations, in class lessons, a survey, staff training, a courage retreat for 7th grade, and stating our commitment to keeping students safe. You can learn more about each of these activities below.
Before we get into these details, it is important to understand the extent of bullying at IMMS. Anecdotally, students who come to IMMS from other middle schools often speak to how much safer it feels at IMMS and that there is less bullying here, but we can’t pretend that bullying does not occur at IMMS. An excellent source of information to answer the question of bullying at IMMS is the Dane County Youth Assessment that was completed in December of 2017 by McFarland students in grades 7 through 12. The survey, which is given every 3 years, asked students questions on a variety of topics such as drug and alcohol use, school climate, and sexual behavior. Here are some highlights from what we learned:
63% of students reported seeing students being bullied at IMMS during the school year, with 39% reporting seeing bullying occur 1 or 2 times.
33% of students reported being picked on in the last 30 days, while 12% stated they had upset other students for the fun of it.
60% reported telling someone to stop harassing another student in the last 30 days.
12% of students admitted to excluding other students from their group of friends.
86% of students reported feeling safe at school.
25% reported being bullied through the internet or text messages in the last year.
15% reported being bullied by others thinking they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender in the past year.
We clearly have work to do. 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: Aaron Tarnutzer (Principal) and Brett Jondle (Associate Principal) 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 each grade level participate in bullying prevention lessons throughout the year during ARRE Time. 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 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 fall 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 November 6th 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/
Bowls For Hunger
Monday, November 25th 5:00-7:00 pm
Throwing and Glazing nights 3:15-4:30PM
MHS Room 201 (later by appointment firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tuesday, October 1:
Friday, October 4:
Tuesday, October 8:
Friday, October 11:
Tuesday, October 15:
Tuesday, October 22:
Tuesday, October 29:
MHS Art Club & MHS Throwing and glazing (everyone welcome to glaze, experienced throwers invited)
Tuesday, November 5:
Tuesday, November 12:
Friday, November 15:
Tuesday, November 19:
MHS Art Club & community members glazing
The Scholastic Book Fair is coming to Indian Mound Middle School during the third week in October. Your student will have an opportunity to visit the Fair during the week, and your family are invited to enjoy the Fair during conferences on Thursday, October 17 from 4:00 until 7:00 PM.*
There will be a wonderful selection books kids want to read. Giving kids access to and choice of good books will motivate them to read more. Like most acquired skills, the more kids practice reading, the better they’ll get.
Besides bringing affordable, engaging books to our school, a goal of our Book Fair is to build classroom library collections and our bookroom. One way is with the Classroom Wish List, which allows you to donate books to your child’s classroom in your student’s or family’s name. Be sure to look for the Classroom Wish List display when you arrive.
We look forward to seeing you at the Book Fair. Watch for more information regarding a new way to pay and a volunteer signup. We will send out that information in the coming weeks. We couldn’t do the book fair without parent volunteers.
Melanie Neal and Erin Fischer
Book Fair Coordinators
McFarland School District
*Please note that the Book Fair will not be open on Tuesday, October 22, the second evening of IMMS conferences.
Students of the Month - October
MYC Youth of the month ren gletty-syoen
With great appreciation,
-IMMS Student Services Team
alliance of allies
We would like to introduce you to a club at IMMS, ALLiance of ALLies.
- Mission: ALLiance of ALLies is a group dedicated to helping & including ALL at IMMS. This group includes 6th, 7th & 8th graders whose mission is to promote & celebrate the uniqueness of ALL. This group recognizes & supports classmates of varying abilities.
- Weekly Meetings: Thursday 7:30 AM in room 120
- Goal: To foster relationships between all students... click here to get a better idea of what we are trying to accomplish.
We are looking for students that let differences be a doorway to new opportunities. Please talk with your child about joining a great group of kids that want to make a real difference in the lives of others. Please let us know if you have any questions.
IMMS solo night
Wednesday, November 13 from 4:15 - 8:15 PM.
IMMS band and choir students in 7th and 8th grade.
IMMS orchestra students in 6th, 7th and 8th grade.
More information will be coming soon from your music teacher.
Message from the kitchen
From the IMMS Kitchen:
We are on a mission to help reduce the amount of garbage we create in our cafeteria, so we started our milk carton recycling program recently. This was an idea that came about from an IMMS student and his family. Students are reminded to dump any leftover milk out in the bucket provided first then place empty milk cartons into the special recycling bin. Do not to put trash into the milk carton recycling bin - only empty milk cartons go there. Thank you for helping us make a difference.
All menus are posted on our website at https://mcfarland.nutrislice.com/menu/indian-mound-middle. Be sure to like our Facebook page and look for additional announcements at https://www.facebook.com/McFarlandSchoolMeals/
We will be offering some a la carte options each day after lunch service has been completed. Students can choose from yogurt, cookies, string cheese, granola bars, goldfish and water. These items range in price from $0.40 to $1.00. Students can use their meal accounts to pay for these purchases. If you do not wish for your student to purchase extras, we can block that option in the food service office.
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 - all for only $1.75! If your family qualifies for free or reduced lunches, you also qualify for free or reduced breakfasts.
Please feel free to call me with any questions you may have. Barb Waara, 838-4549
Or you can email me at email@example.com
All attendance requests/issues at IMMS should go through the main office.
Phone number 608-838-8980
You do not need to contact the teacher. The students attendance will appear in Infinite
Campus - which the teacher has access to.
messages should include the student name, reason for absence, time of dismissal or
arrival (for partial days), parent name and call back number.
It is best to give the departure time as early in the day as possible. A pass will be
issued to the student for dismissal. This way the student is ready to leave at the scheduled time vs. trying to find them in a hurry.
**Any time a student sees a medical professional, a note from the provider will allow us
to change the attendance status from Appointment to Medical, which will not count
toward the students 10 day allotment of days missed for the year.The same applies to illness.
If a student is going to be gone for an extended period of time (ie vacation), please let us know approximately a week ahead of time. An absence form will be given to the student to collect any homework that will be missed.
We will facilitate homework collection for students who are out unexpectedly
for 2 full days or more. If you’re calling a student in for a 2nd day, please indicate on
your message if you would like homework collected. Homework is usually in the office
**Reminder-students can access the Assignment Task List on the MSD Website to see homework missed as well.
Do not hesitate to contact us with questions/or concerns.
LEARN HOW TO WORK IN OUR SCHOOL DISTRICT
The McFarland Community Food Pantry is hosting a Thanksgiving Food Drive with IMMS
Currently there are over 150 Families within McFarland that need our support.
With your help, the Students & Staff at IMMS
can really make a difference!
We are asking that IMMS can donate ONE to TWO ITEMS for this year’s Thanksgiving Food Drive.
1 BOX OF STUFFING MIX
1 CAN OF CRISPY FRIED ONIONS
A collection box will be in the IMMS Main Office.
Please drop off items NO LATER THAN November 13th.
Thank you for making a difference in our community!
For questions, please contact Cyndy White at firstname.lastname@example.org
free sales for families - donations and volunteers needed
Free Sales for Families (McFarland-based nonprofit) is LOOKING FOR DONATIONS AND VOLUNTEERS for our upcoming FREE SALE! We provide community members with children’s items (regardless of income level or location of residence) in exchange for freewill monetary donations, which go to local nonprofits.
Since fall 2016, thousands of people have been served and nearly $12,000 has been raised for local nonprofits including:
-McFarland Food Pantry
-McFarland Youth Center
-McFarland High School Pride Pantry
Our NEXT FREE SALE is March 15 & 16 and we need your help to make our efforts go even further!
*Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/freesalesforfamilies
*Call or Text (608) 579-3226
McFarland Youth Center - October
Hello Parents and Guardians.
School is off to a great start and McFarland Youth Center has enjoyed providing daily activities, a daily snack, a homework space, homework help, a recreational space and more.
Our after school program runs 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 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 run from 5:30 to 7:00 on Mondays for the month of October, 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 McFarlandyouthcenter@gmail.com 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 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:
- Thursday, October 24th: MYC CLOSED
- Friday, October 25th: MYC CLOSED
If your youth is new to MYC please fill out the needed pledge form found on our website https://www.mcfarlandyouthcenter.org/
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.
McFarland Youth Center
5114 Farwell St
PO Box 362
McFarland, WI 53558
Office: (608) 838-3839
Cell: (608) 395-8617