Spartan Gazette

Indian Mound Middle School

Greetings From Aaron Tarnutzer

Looking Back and Looking Ahead

As hard as it is to believe, another school year is coming to a close. There are so many wonderful memories to share from the school year and also a few things to look forward to next year. Here are a few of the highlights:

Parents of 5th grade students: Welcome to your first IMMS newsletter. We hope you find our newsletter to be informative and interesting. It was wonderful to see so many of you on May 1st at the 5th grade parent night. If you were unable to attend, you may find the information on our website in the quick links section at We have heard so many wonderful things about the class of 2023 and we can’t wait to have them join us. While our next formal meeting will not be until the orientation sessions during the evening of August 30, please feel free to contact IMMS at 838-8980 with your questions. In the meantime, please order your child’s P.E. uniform online. You may find the flyer on our website.

Parents of 6th grade students: What a wonderful start to their middle school careers. It has been exciting to watch this class change from shy and rather nervous students in September to the confident students they are today. The class of 2022 has already made IMMS a better place through their initiative, enthusiasm, and commitment to our school. I can’t wait to see what they can do in 7th grade. I also want to acknowledge how impressed with have been with how involved you have been in their education. It has been an honor to partner with you.

There will be a few changes for them next year, including longer math and reading/language arts classes (86 minutes instead of 77), having ARRE time 1 to 2 times a week instead of everyday, and having different teachers for Social Studies, Science, Math, and Reading/Language Arts. The students in their classrooms typically change each period as they no longer travel as a homeroom as they did for 6th grade.

Parents of 7th grade students: They have reached the end of the middle of the middle. There are so many amazing students in this class who are ready to be leaders. We will count on these students to serve as excellent role models for our incoming 6th graders next year. Many of these students will be taking a summer school leadership course to serve as “Ambassadors” for the upcoming year.

In 8th grade they can expect more freedom and independence, accompanied with higher expectations and responsibility. There are many “perks” to being in 8th grade including extra field trips (i.e. civil war, ropes course), being able to stay inside during the winter months, and more. Before you know it, we will find ourselves in January where your child will begin choosing classes for the high school based on the career conversations they have with their School Counselor, Ms. Jill Runde.

Parents of 8th grade students: This is your last issue of our newsletter. Your children have made our school better with their great ideas, by modeling empathy for our younger students, and by “jumping the hurdles of life” on a daily basis. I can’t believe 3 years has passed. You will be amazed by how much they have changed when you see the slide show during 8th grade recognition! It is hard for us to see this class move on, but it will be fun to watch them at the high school. Before you know it, we will be at their graduation! I suppose I should slow down a little bit, but time does fly. We are looking forward to celebrating this milestone at 8th grade recognition on June 1st, followed by the end of the year trips on June 2nd, and the 10:00 dismissal on June 3rd. It has been an honor to serve as their Principal for the past three years.

Next Year: IMMS will look a little bit different next year. Unfortunately, we are saying goodbye to four of our staff members. Mr. Pete Shaw, Ms. Nancy Miller, and Ms. Jamie Peck are moving out of the area. Our amazing 6th grade teacher, Ms. Melissa Shanks, is retiring after 32 years as an educator. We will miss her wisdom, commitment to our students, and her sense of humor. We wish her the best in her retirement. We are excited to welcome two new 6th grade teachers, Ms. Molly Sanders and Ms. Tessica Barnett, two 7th grade math teachers, Ms. Garvey and Ms. Winters, and an 8th grade math teacher, Ms. Elizabeth Briski. All of our new staff members are talented and experienced educators who were drawn to McFarland for our reputation as a great community and school district. In addition to the new staff members, another change for next year is that 8th grade will be “one to one” with iPads being used to enhance instruction resulting in all 3 grades using this tool. Also, our enrollment for next year will increase slightly, which means our space issues will continue to pose challenges. We are fortunate to have flexible students and staff who are willing to share space as we teach and learn in every available space in this well maintained building.

We welcome your thoughts on the school year and questions about next year. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call, stop in, or send an email. Thank you for making this year so amazing. Now, it is time to start counting down the days until the 2016-17 school year!


Click here to view daily assignments for students at IMMS.

Congratulations to all of our Student of the Month winners!

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IMMS will start at 8:10am and will end at 3:34pm

IMMS will open doors at 7:30am every morning

IMMS students will ride their own bus, separate from students in other grades (please note some households that are on our country routes will continue to ride together in the AM).

Student vs. Staff Basketball Game

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2016 Summer Library Program

“On Your Mark, Get Set…READ!” is the theme for the 2016 Summer Library Program. The program sponsored by the E.D. Locke Public Library encourages recreational reading and library usage by the McFarland area children during the summer. The library offers four program levels: Little Readers ages Birth – 4 years old, K-5 Readers, 6-12 Teen Readers, and Adult Readers. Online registration begins June 1 and continues throughout the summer.

For 2016 we have packed this program with fantastic programming, awesome performers, and thrilling activities not to be missed. Our family fun performers start on June 17th when we will hold our Kick Off Celebration. There will be crafts, snacks, activities, and performances by the ever popular Soda Pups! For a full list of performers and activities please check out our website at

One of the big events this summer for teens ages 12-17 is our Teen Book Trailer workshop. The Teen Book Trailer Contest challenges teens to create a trailer for a book that has made an impact on their lives and contributed to the growth and influence of teen literature on society. As part of Teen Read Week in October, each partner library will host a Book Trailer Fest to show trailers from their library along with the other libraries. The community is welcome to the Fests to celebrate the creativity of teens and the books that inspired them.

On June 13 at 4:00pm our library will host stop-motion animation workshop led by local filmmaker Frank Caruso. Mr. Caruso will instruct participants in the art of creating stop-motion animation using ipads, the art of storyboarding, storytelling, and set creation. Registration is required and will be available on the library website later in May.

In addition to all the different programming the library is also looking for teen volunteers to help out with our programming. Opportunities include helping out during large programs, prep for projects, and assisting people in registration for the program. This year we have made it easier to register to help through online registration via our website or the direct link (

8th Grade Ambassadors: Thanks for all your hard work and dedication to IMMS

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Fall Supply Drop-off: 2016-2017 School Year

  • Monday, August 29th: 7th and 8th Grade families can drop in between 5:30-7:30pm
  • Tuesday, August 30th: 6th Grade families have a choice between two orientation times of 5:00-6:30pm OR 7:00-8:30pm

Health Service Summer Safety Tips

Prescription Drugs such as sedatives, pain relievers, stimulants, cough/cold medicine and allergy medications taken by anyone other than for whom the drugs were prescribed, can be addictive and even deadly. Here are some tips for keeping your children safe:

Properly dispose of all prescription drugs if they are no longer in use. Also dispose of non-prescription medication containing the following ingredients: dextromethorphan, dimenhydrinate and diphenhydramine hydrochloride. Lock up all prescription and non-prescription medications. Don’t leave them unlocked or out in the open. Remove them from kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets, bedrooms, linen closets, pantries etc. Explain the dangers of prescription drugs, or using non-prescription drugs incorrectly. Talk to your child care provider about keeping their medications locked.

Poison Control- Poison Help for accidental ingestions: 1-800-222-1222.

Sun Safety Limit outdoor activities between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Apply sunscreen properly- apply a generous amount 30 minutes before going outside. Use an SPF of 15 or higher. Reapply every 2-3 hours, or after sweating or swimming.

Bike Safety Wear a helmet at all times. It should cover your forehead, and all straps fit firmly around your chin and neck. Wear bright or light colored clothing. Wear sneakers, with laces tied tightly. Make sure all loose items are secured: Ride in the same direction as traffic is going

Lawn Mower Safety Children under age 6 should be kept inside during mowing. Children should be at least 12 years old to operate a walking mower, and 16 years to operate a riding mower. Eye protection, gloves, and sturdy shoes should be worn while mowing. Check lawn for debris, and other objects that may hit person when mowing. Never fill the tank with gasoline when the lawn mower is hot, or engine is running.

Dental Clinics for patients with Badger Care

  • Childrens Dental Center - 5116 American Family Parkway 608-8257500 Only Children age 10 and under
  • Childrens Dental Center- 5544 E. Cheryl Parkway 608-288-1543 Only children age 5 and under
  • Madison College (MATC) - 1705 Hoffman Street 608-258-2400 All ages/ Use Badgercare or small fee
  • Salvation Army Dental Clinic- 630 E. Washington 608-665-2752 Services by appointment only
  • Access Community Health - 3434 E. Washington 608-443-5482 Mon- Thurs 7a- to 5p Friday 7a-4pm
  • Access Community Health- 1270 Main St, Sun Prairie 608-825-7703 M/T/W/F 7a to 4p Thurs. 8a-4p
  • Access Community Health- 2202 S. Park St, Madison 608-443-5480 M/T/W/F 7:30a-5p Thurs. 7:30a-7p


Badger Care-Children under age 19 with no health insurance may be eligible under this program for services. Application can be completed at

Pediatric Orthopedic Care-Children under the age of 18 regardless of income or insurance coverage may receive specialist care at Shriners Hospital: 1-612-596-6105.

Student Council News

WASC State Leadership Conference

On April 24-25, twenty-nine members of Indian Mound Middle School Student Council participated in the 25th Annual State Leadership Conference in Madison, a two-day event sponsored by the Wisconsin Association of School Councils (WASC). It was an inspirational experience for the thousand (+) students, staff, parent volunteers, and presentors from all around Wisconsin. The WASC has invited Indian Mound to to host the 2017 State Conference in Madison (at the Capital & Marriott West) on May 6-8, 2017. While this is a huge honor, it also requires a tremendous amount of teamwork and support of students, parents, and administrators. Essentially, before we meet with the WASC conference planning committee we need to determine if we have the necessary support to plan and facilitate such a comprehensive state-wide conference. If you think you (and your middle school student) would like to help coordinate the WASC 2017 State Leadership Conference, please contact Jim Kramer (phone 608-838-4576) ( by May 20.

Leadership Camp

WASC SUMMER CAMP - The WASC offers an unbelievable summer camp experience that ALL IMMS students (not just Student Council) are encouraged to attend: Whether you’re involved in student council, the national honor society, the drama club, a sports team, the school musical, cheerleading, or your local FFA — WASC camp is for you! In fact, the camp programs are for anyone who wants to improve their leadership skills!

Middle School Camps: Levels 1, 2 & 3 — July 10-14, 2016 (

LEVEL 1: LEARN – July 10-14, 2016 During the Level 1 experience, students will participate in fun activities focused on skills essential for the middle level including: building self-esteem and self-advocacy skills, learning what it means to be a leader, and ways to create exciting and interesting student activities.

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Meet Megan Beckler: The new Director of the McFarland Youth Center

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Wisconsin Soccer Academy

Click here for more information about the McFarland Soccer Camp on August 1st-5th.

Indian Mound Middle School

The mission of Indian Mound Middle School is to develop globally engaged and resilient citizens who are critical thinkers, collaborators, and curious learners.