Indian Mound Middle School
Greetings From Aaron Tarnutzer
The Perfect Family Teacher Conference
Every time I walk into another school I am looking for something I can learn to make IMMS better. I recently had the opportunity to attend Family Teacher Conferences for my 11-year-old son who is in 6th grade. The experience served as good reminders for me as a Principal and a parent.
As is the case at IMMS, the expectation at my son’s school is that students attend conferences with their parents. Prior to the conference I did my homework as I went online and received an up to date listing of his grades. To be honest, I was not 100% confident about what I was going to hear. Many of you probably share my fear of the unknown. It only takes a few seconds for me to begin to worry and think to myself, “What if he is having problems that I didn’t know about?” “What if he is not as responsible as he wants me to think he is?” As I have shared with many of you before, my approach to being a Principal and a parent is to always prepare for the worst. Thankfully, it wasn’t necessary to prepare for the worst as I left the conference feeling truly grateful for the educators with whom my son gets to spend his weekdays. Here are three quick “take-aways” that worth sharing:
1. His teachers care about him. They are very concerned about his transition to middle school and want him to feel safe, confident, and comfortable.
2. His teachers love to teach middle students.
3. His teachers want him to be independent and responsible for his part of the learning.
At IMMS, we are busily preparing for our first Family Teacher Conferences of the school year (November 10 and 15, from 4-7). Our conferences are held using an arena style drop-in format with teachers stationed in a common area, such as the gym and cafeteria, and they meet with parents/guardians on a first come first serve basis. Conferences are limited to approximately five minutes per class to avoid parents/guardians from having to wait in line for an extended period of time. Clearly this structure is not perfect. Five minutes his hardly enough time to say, “Hello,” and you can spend a lot of time waiting for those precious five minutes. There are many advantages to this format as well, with the main benefit being that you can meet with all of your child’s teachers. There are a variety of other conference formats that are used in middle schools, such as scheduling conferences with the “homeroom” teacher, student led conferences, and only holding conferences for students identified by teachers. I have been a part of each of these structures as an educator and/or as a parent. I can tell you each of them has benefits and challenges. When I ask my middle school Principal colleagues what they do for conferences I often hear that they are looking to change their structure and often back to something they use to do. Everyone is looking for the structure that will lead to the “Perfect Family Teacher Conference,” but it does not exist. I would love to hear any suggestions you have for a different format you would prefer as you may just find the perfect solution.
Ultimately, it is not about the structure of the conferences, it is the interaction among adults and students that makes for the perfect conference. As we prepare for the privilege to sit down with you and your child face to face for only a few minutes on November 10 and 15, our goals are to leave you feeling the same things I felt:
· They care about our children.
· They love to teach middle school students.
· They want our children to be independent.
I would love it if you take them time after conferences to let me know how we did in pursuit of these goals. Thank you for your involvement in your child’s education!
Books, Books, Books...Everyone loves BOOKS!!
The Book Fair is coming to IMMS, and you won't want to miss it. The Fair will be set up in the library from November 7-11. Ms. Neal, Ms. Michels, and Ms. Breezee will be in the library to assist students who want to find great books. Students will have the opportunity to visit the fair and buy books during the school day. The book fair will be open for Thursday's evening conferences on November 10. (We will not be open for Tuesday's evening conferences on November 15.) Come in and browse through the great books.
Get the Book Fair app to preview book details, including age, grade, and reading levels!
Volunteers are needed to cover shifts during the school days, as well as during Thursday's evening conference. Please call Melanie Neal at 838-4575 if you are interested in volunteering or click on the URL below to sign up. It is a fun and easy way to help your school!
Proceeds from the Book Fair go to purchasing books for our classroom libraries.
Student of the Month
Congratulations to all of our Student of the Month winners!
7th Grade won the Spartan Trophy!
Wacky Olympic Winners
8th Grade ARRE Times swept the Wacky Olympics.
Gold Medal - Mr. Martina
Silver Medal - Mrs. Schreiner
Bronze Medal - Mrs. Halverson
Local Solo/Ensemble Festival will be here at Indian Mound Middle School on November 16th, 2016 from 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm.
IMMS music students have a long history of participation in the Solo/Ensemble Festival, and this year will be no exception. All students in performing music classes (Band & Choir [7th and 8th Grade only] Orchestra [6th-8th Grade]) will participate in the Local Solo/Ensemble Festival. For specific classroom expectations and requirements, please don't hesitate to contact the teacher for your son/daughter’s class.
Some things to know about Solo/Ensemble
Accompanists are used for all woodwind, brass and string solos; as well as vocal ensembles. Percussion solos do not require accompaniment. The cost for accompaniment is $15.00 per event. Students are encouraged to use their “Music Booster Account” to cover this cost – if the student has at least $15.00 of fund raising money in the account. Payment by check (McFarland Schools) should be given to your child’s teacher no later than November 16th.
All events will happen in various classrooms in Indian Mound Middle School between 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm. Each solo or ensemble will be scheduled an 8 minute time slot for performance and clinic session with the teacher we’ve hired to adjudicate the Festival. Teachers will be making the schedule soon, so if your son or daughter has a scheduling need (early, middle, late, etc.), please have all requests to his/her teacher no later than November 4, 2016.
This is a performance; students should prepare (practice at home) their music, dress appropriately, and perform their very best. Also, parents, families and friends are encouraged to attend and hear the student performances. (no matter what your son or daughter might tell you…)
If you have any questions not addressed above (or maybe not addressed clearly enough), please contact your son/daughter’s music teacher as soon as possible.
Joe Hartson, HartsoJ@mcfsd.org (8th Grade Band)
Leanna Hershey, HersheL@mcfsd.org (6-8 Orchestra)
Katrina Lemens, LemenK@mcfsd.org (7-8 Choir)
Brian Vanderbloemen, VanderB@mcfsd.org (7th Grade Band)
Free Immunization Clinics
Free Immunization Clinics for Children under the age of 18.
Appointments are needed. Contact 608-266-4821
Forms can be completed before coming to appointment at www.publichealthmdc.com
Location and times as follows:
2nd Wednesdays of Month 2705 East. Washington Ave. 2nd floor.
Next dates, November 6 and December 14th.