In the Middle

February Newsletter for Dakota Meadows Middle School

Dear Dakota Meadows Middle School Families and Staff:

A school should be a place of safety and refuge for teachers and administrators to practice their passion and profession and for students to grow and develop into productive, caring members of our society. Unfortunately, in this day and time, schools are facing heartbreaking and tragic events. Throughout the week, we are learning of potential student walkouts to honor lives lost. As partners in your child’s education, we recognize the importance of sharing this information with you.

Over the next couple of weeks, you may hear your child speak about the two National School Walkout Protests for the Florida victims.

Here are the event details that we have thus far:

  • The National School Walkout, planned by Women’s March organizers, will be on Wednesday, March 14 at 10 am in each time zone. It calls for students, faculty, parents, and others to walk out of school for 17 minutes — one minute for each person who was killed in the Florida school shooting.

  • The March for Our Lives is scheduled for Saturday, March 24. The details are not specific, but students and activists plan to march on Washington, DC, and other US cities.

We will continue to listen and support our students and their questions at school, while you listen and support them at home. We also realize this is an opportunity for learning so please utilize the resource link we sent last week in our letter to help facilitate conversations about this difficult topic.

If your son/daughter gains your permission and decides to participate in the National Walkout Day, DMMS will follow our attendance policy which is attached for your review (DMMS Student Handbook Attendance Policy - see Section Two: Attendance). Participating students are asked to remain in the building, use PRIDE expectations and gather in the cafeteria for 17 minutes of silence. Students do not have to participate and teaching and learning will continue in the classrooms. Thank you for your continued partnership in providing an informed, safe, learning environment for all of our students and staff.


Carmen Strahan



Builder's Club Giving Back to DMMS and the Community

Ms. Strahan with Builder's Club members.

One of the projects completed by the Builder's Club group was Project Holiday. The main purpose of Project Holiday was to spread holiday joy to elders in our community! Builder's Club members printed off different holiday card templates and distributed them for the Advisory classes to color. Over 450 cards were created and our goal was 200 per grade. The finished holiday cards were given to 5 different nursing homes in the Mankato area.

The next project that Builder's Club members worked on was the frozen yogurt sale - there biggest fundraiser this year. Yogurt cups were sold at all 3 lunches and a profit of $337.50 was made. After discussing ways to donate the money, the group decided to give the money back to the DMMS students by purchasing footballs, basketballs, soccer balls, volleyballs and kickballs to be added to the ball cart for all 3 lunches. Congratulations to these students and all of their hard work!

DMMS Student Semifinalist in Minnesota National Geographic State Bee

Theo Coyle is one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2018 Minnesota National Geographic State Bee. The contest will be held at Minnesota State University- Mankato on Friday, April 6, 2018.

This is the second level of the National Geographic Bee competition, which is now in its 30th year. School Bees were held in schools with fourth- through eighth-grade students throughout the state to determine each school champion. School champions then took a qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. The National Geographic Society has invited up to 100 of the top-scoring students in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools and U.S. territories to compete in the State Bees.

To celebrate the 30th annual National Geographic Bee, the cash prize for the top three students in each state has doubled. Each state champion will receive $200, the National Geographic Visual Atlas of the World, 2nd Edition and a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent their state in the National Geographic Bee Championship to be held at National Geographic Society headquarters, May 20-23, 2018. Students that come in second place will receive $150 and those that come in third will receive $100. The first-place national champion will receive a $50,000 college scholarship, a lifetime membership in the Society, including a subscription to National Geographic magazine, and an all-expenses-paid Lindblad expedition to the Galápagos Islands aboard the new National Geographic Endeavour ll. Travel for the trip is provided by Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic. Second- and third-place finishers will receive $25,000 and $10,000 college scholarships, respectively. Visit for more information on the National Geographic Bee.

National Geographic will stream the final round of the National Geographic Bee Championship starting May 24, 2018, at

Good Luck to Theo as he participates in the April!

Students in archery area.

7th and 8th Grade AVID Field Trip to

DMMS Spirit Wear

Be sure to check out our NEW Dakota Meadows Spirit Wear!

20% of all proceeds will go directly back to our school to support our students/kids education.

DMMS spirit clothing options to purchase

SCMBDA (South Central Minnesota Band Directors Association) Honor band was held on February 10, at Mankato West High School.

The following DMMS students participated:

Max Willemsen, baritone

Toby Essay, tuba

Ian Heath, bass clarinet

Jessica Dinh, alto saxophone

Maren Kenward, trombone

Olivia Ceminsky, baritone

Schools from all over southern Minnesota participated in the festival.

Students getting ski lessons at Mount Kato

Sixth Grade Students at Mount Kato

Career and Technical Education building skills for life infographic

DMMS Yearbooks On Sale Now!

Don’t wait to reserve a copy of the Dakota Meadows Middle School 2017-2018 Yearbook! It is filled with great photos and memories of your student’s friends, classmates, teachers, clubs, and activities! Yearbooks are on sale for only $20.00. Order deadline is March 30, 2018. For your convenience, you can buy online now at

If you have already ordered your yearbook, thank you! We appreciate your support. Your student will want to keep the memories of this school year forever! If you haven’t purchased, there is still time. Don’t miss out, buy today!

Dakota Meadows Yearbook Staff

Mass Band picture of all groups

The Dakota Meadows and West High bands opened "Music In Our Schools Month" with a concert on Thursday, March 1. This concert has been a March tradition, with all bands from grades 6-12 performing together. A mass band finale featuring an arrangement of "America, the Beautiful" was also performed by the 400 band students from both schools.

Music In Our Schools Month is a national celebration of school music programs. The DMMS orchestras and choirs will also be presenting MIOSM concerts in the next couple weeks. The DMMS choirs will be performing with the West choirs on Thursday, March 8 at West High School, and the Westside orchestras will be performing in the annual East-West String Festival on Tuesday, March 13 at East High School.

Follow DMMS on Twitter

We have started a Twitter account that you can follow to see what is happening at DMMS. Follow us @DakotaMeadowsMS

Upcoming Events

March 6 - PTA Meeting at 6:00 PM

March 8 - 7th Grade Career Pathway Day at MSU-M

March 8 - West Side Choir Concert at 7:00 PM

March 13 - Two- Hour Late Start

March 13 - West and East String Festival at East Auditorium

March 14 - Spring Pictures

March 16 - No School

March 28 - End of 3rd Quarter

March 29 - No School

March 30 - No School

Dakota Meadows Middle School


Preparedness - BE READY!

Respect - BE KIND!

Integrity - BE HONEST!

Determination - BE BRAVE!

Excellence - BE YOU!