Jaguar Junction-December/January

Jardine Middle School

A note from your Principal - Mr. Haire

This year seems to be flying by as we are already reaching the halfway point. As we approach winter vacation, we just want to wish everyone a relaxing break. When we return, staff will have professional development on the 4th where we will be taking a deep dive into the December Scantron testing and FastBridge testing to determine next steps in providing our students academic supports. We will also be reviewing data with you at the February conferences with both math and reading teachers so make sure you have conferences on your schedules for Feb. 16th and 17th. Have an amazing two week break with your students and let's get reenergized and ready to finish the year strong.

A note from your Assistant Principal - Mr. Haag

After School Program -

Just a reminder that we have an after school program from 3:00 - 4:30 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Third quarter will see the addition of a new round of cooking club participants (selected from students in our second lunch period) and a chess club. We will still have tutoring/homework help available. There is no transportation so students must be picked up at 4:30 pm. Those staying for tutoring MUST have something to work on or they will be sent to call someone to pick them up. For more information, please contact Mr. Haag, Assistant Principal,

After School -

Parents - students who are not involved in an after school activity (sports, tutoring, etc), must be picked up or off school grounds by 3:10 pm We have seen an upswing in horseplay from students who have not been picked up or have not left school property resulting in physical altercations, etc. There is NO supervision outside after 3:00 pm as teachers have after school meetings and other responsibilities. Please remind your students (as we do here every day) that when school is over, if they are not involved in an after school activity, they must leave school property by 3:10.

Counselor Corner - Mr. Falk

During December and January, Mr. Falk and Ms. Waldy will be reviewing requirements for high school graduation with 8th grade students and preparing them for high school enrollment. During this process, students will be completing their 9th grade course requests and drafting their 4-Year Plan for their high school career. Results from Naviance assessments will help guide them through this process. Please contact Mr. Falk at (last name A-M) or Ms. Waldy at (last name N-Z) if you have any questions.

Each high school will also be hosting a meeting for parents and students to attend during the month of January. Specific dates, times, and whether it will be on virtual or in person will be announced soon. Please take advantage of this great opportunity for parents and students to meet the high school counselors and other staff members. It will provide information about the enrollment process and class offerings at each high school.

High school counselors will be at Jardine on Wednesday, February 2nd to meet with the 8th grade students. This gives 8th graders a chance to meet one-on-one with a counselor from their assigned high school. The counselors will look over the students’ 4-Year Plan, help them enter their course requests online, and answer any questions the students have regarding high school. This is a great opportunity for students to begin building a relationship with a counselor at their future school.

If your student is planning on requesting a transfer to a different high school, it is important that they complete a transfer application online on the Topeka Public Schools website. Please submit it online as soon as possible after January 1. If transfers are not approved prior to the February 2nd counselor visit to Jardine, students will only be allowed to pre-enroll with the high school they are assigned to, based on their attendance area.

Student enrollment information will be shared with parents during Parent/Teacher Conferences on February 16th and 17th. Make sure to meet with Mr. Falk at this time to review the information and make changes as needed.

At this point, students will be visiting their future high school in May. Students going to Topeka West will visit on Tuesday, May 3rd. Students going to Highland Park or Topeka High will visit on Wednesday, May 4th.

Naviance News

During the first nine weeks Mr. Falk and Ms. Waldy worked with students to complete assessments, tasks, surveys, and/or lessons. To help parents stay involved, we will be listing them in each newsletter. An email was sent out to each parent with a URL to Naviance. This allows parents to view assessment results and preview lessons that their student(s) will be completing. If you have any questions please contact Mr. Falk or Ms. Waldy for assistance.

2nd Quarter

6th Grade

Explore Careers with Career Cluster Task

My Foundation Lesson

Self-Confidence Lesson

Using My Strengths Lesson

7th Grade

Add Careers to My List Task

How I Learn Lesson

Habits for Success Lesson

Getting Involved Lesson

8th Grade

Career Key Assessment

Add Careers to My List Task

Connecting Interests and Careers Lesson

My Personal Support Network Lesson

Talking with My Family Lesson

3rd Quarter

6th Grade

Complete 7th Grade Course Plan

My Study Plan lesson

Goal Setting lesson

My Study Skills lesson

What is College lesson

College Myths lesson

Income and Expenses lesson

7th Grade

Complete 8th Grade Course Plan

Career Scavenger Hunt lesson

Getting Ready for College lesson

What College Costs lesson

Create a Personal/Social SMART Goal

8th Grade

Complete Freshman Year Course Requests

Create 4-Year Course Plan

What’s Your Road lesson

My Career Path lesson

Facing Fears about College lesson

What do Colleges require?

My Financial Aid Options lesson

Create Career SMART Goal

A note from our Social Worker - Ms. Sparks

While Winter break is fast approaching please remember to ask your student to talk to support staff if necessary. You may also call support staff if you would like us to visit with your student. Breaks from school can be stressful even if your student is happy for the days off of school. They may enjoy the break from the school routine but really struggle with the return to school; 7:50 start times are quite early when you get to sleep in for two weeks.

Another situation that many of our students face is having different holiday experiences than their peers. These differences may elicit emotions in students that they have a hard time processing. Discussing thoughts and feelings surrounding holiday/break time may be beneficial to your student prior to going home. Strategies can be developed with support staff to help them process and navigate their extended stay at home. Once students return to school in January they have staff available to them on the very first day of school.

We do hope that our students find rest and relaxation during winter break but please remember we staff at Jardine want to do our part to make these experiences enjoyable for our students.

Please do not hesitate to contact us: Social worker: Ronda Sparks, LMSW 235-7189

Jardine Activities - Mr. Snyder

JC Watts once said, “Everyone tried to define this thing called Character. It is not hard. Character is doing what’s right when nobody’s looking.”

Our girl’s basketball team has continued to perform on the court to remain undefeated in league play. The junior varsity and B team are improving each game they play. The city championship will be December 15th at Highland Park High School.

Reminder that all students must have a parent stay with them at all events.

With the semester ending, the boys basketball season will begin soon. I have visited with students concerning eligibility that KSHSAA has a rule that students must pass five of the six classes in order to be eligible for the season. We also require our student athletes to pass all classes in order to play during the week. A check on progress happens each Friday and the student/athlete has until the day of the game to improve grades. This does not mean turning in late work at 2:00 the day of the game will allow the student/athlete the opportunity to play. If you have questions please give me a call.

Boy’s basketball will start January 5th; you must have a physical on file and be eligible under KSHSAA guidelines. I plan to have a boy’s basketball parent zoom meeting on January 6th at 6pm, zoom code and more information will be sent on the first day of practice.

We do have a new covid policy called test to play. Either show that you have been vaccinated or before each game, you may be tested, then you do not have to wear a mask while you play on the court. You still must wear a mask on the bench.

Chromebook Information & Library News - Ms. Gilliland

  • If your student is having chromebook issues, please tell them to visit the library to talk to Ms. Gilliland

  • Recently in library class students have been reviewing several resources they can use to assist them with their District Writing Assessment. World Book Online, Kansas State Library, and mybib were all resources that can help with research and citations.

  • Each student at Jardine is allowed to check out up to 3 library books at a time. The students are allowed to checkout anytime they have permission from their teachers.

  • I have 2 students who come to Book Club on Tuesdays after school. We are reading Middle School the Worst Years of My Life. We will watch the movie and compare in the next few weeks.

  • This year’s William Allen Whit e List can be accessed here. We discussed several of the book on the lists during the past couple weeks in library classes.

  • We will be doing a Chromebook Check the week of December 6-10. This will allow us to touch base with students about anything that might not be working correctly, needing chargers, and checked out the correct device. If students need a charger, you can purchase one in the front office for $20.

Band Notes - Ms. Rowe ~~~ Choir - Ms. Rowe & Ms. Goodrich

December is a busy month for Jardine musicians!

6th Grade Chorus classes, 7th and 8th Grade Choir will perform their Winter Concert on Tuesday, December 7th at 6:30 pm in the JMS Commons. The concert is free!

All JMS Band students will be featured at the Winter Band Concert on Monday, December 13th at 6:30 pm. The free concert is in the gym.

The 7th and 8th Grade Band will support the 8th Grade Girls Basketball team at the City Classic on Wednesday, December 15 at Highland Park High School. The time will be announced

JMS Choir - Ms. Goodrich

The Jardine Choir Concert, featuring the 6th grade chorus and the 7th/8th grade chorus, will be on Tuesday, Dec. 7th at 6:30p.m. Please wear a mask and come listen!

Language Arts - The Language Arts Team

Winter break is fast approaching and there is no better time than to catch up on some good reading! I know what you’re thinking….if I’m not in school, why should I read? Here are a few reasons why it’s important to read EVERY DAY.

  1. Reading keeps your mind active. Reading helps keep your brain engaged and prevents it from losing its “power.” Just like any other muscle in your body, the brain needs exercise to keep it strong and healthy. So, if you don’t use it, you lose it – and we want you to remember everything you’ve learned in school so far!

  2. Knowledge. Everything you read fills your head with new information, and you never know when it might come in handy.

  3. Improved Focus and Concentration. Our internet-crazed world draws our attention in a million different directions: checking our email, sending a text message, skyping, gaming, etc...It can lead to high levels of stress and reduce productivity. When you read a book, all of your attention is focused on the story – the rest of the world just falls away and you become absorbed with every detail.

  4. FREE Entertainment. Libraries have books on every subject you can think of. They constantly get in new books so you’ll never run out of reading material. There are also many sources online where you can download free e-books, so go hunting for a new book to read!

So, grab a hot cup of cocoa, put on your favorite pajamas and fuzzy slippers and get lost in a book over the break. Your brain will thank you for it later!

Here's what's happening in Language Arts ---------

6th Grade: Ms. Appelhanz, Ms. duBois, Ms. Wooten: In December, we’ll be wrapping up Unit 2 prior to Winter Break. We have a week of District Writing Assessment, Scantron, and FastBridge testing as well. When we return, we’ll be starting Unit 3 with more figurative language, cause/effect, fact/opinion, and starting new novels while sprinkling some spelling review in as well.

7th Grade: Ms. Bisconer, Ms. Morlock, Ms. Wooten: December culminates in the District Writing Assessment focusing on informational writing on a natural phenomenon. We will finish out the semester with an emphasis on defining the meanings of similes and metaphors. In January we will start fresh and begin the novel A Girl Named Disaster. Our standards for the 3rd quarter include more elements of figurative language, word parts, and point of view.

8th Grade: Ms. Bisconer, Ms. Pumford, Ms. Watson: December will see us working on the District Writing Assessment and gearing up for our mid-year Scantron. We’ll be starting off the year with a bang as we cover our Collection on “A March Toward Freedom” where we’ll discuss the Civil Rights Movement and Post-Civil War America.

ESOL Elective: Ms. Scott: For the month of December, students will be finishing up their "Drive to Discover" PBL. They have been busy this quarter learning how discoveries change the world and will present their projects before Winter Break. When we return from break, we will start a new PBL and begin preparing for the Kansas English Language Proficiency Assessment (KELPA), which will take place in February.

Newcomer 1: Ms. Shelton: Students will be learning about action verbs in December, and Foods in January.

Newcomer 2: Ms. Shelton: Students will finish the district writing assessment in December as well as learn about very large numbers, conflict and resolution, spell words with blends and digraphs, and write a fact sheet. In January they will learn about cities, read realistic fiction, spell multisyllabic words, and write a journal.

Science - Ms. Abellon, Mr. Lobatos, Mr. Jennings & Mr. Morris

For the months of December and January, 6th grade students will apply their Chemical processes concepts to analyze the relationship between forces and their effects on matter. We will also learn that magnets exert forces at a distance, and attract or repel each other depending on the orientation of their magnetic poles.


Seventh grade is finishing off Waves and Its Properties and moving on to learning all about “Matter and its Interactions”- chemistry units. We will be learning about The Periodic Table of Elements, states of matter, changes of state and their physical and chemical properties. We will also be doing some experiments to observe and learn about chemical reactions.


The 8th graders have already moved into space for science. We have already learned about the Moon and how our seasons are created. As we head towards the end of the semester, we will be learning how gravity has shaped our solar system. Just as we get to the winter break, we will use our knowledge of gravity to learn about the life cycle or stars, including our Sun. After the break, we will continue learning about stars and learn how much time we have left with our star and what will become of it in the end.

History Happenings - Mr. Jennings, Mr. Schawo, Ms. Miner & Ms. Morelli


7th grade Social Studies classes will be finishing up World Geography in December with a look into the rainforests of the world, but specifically the Amazon. They will explore the varying groups interested in the rainforest, their goals, and what each use means for the future of the rainforest. We will learn how the rainforests of the world benefit us all. We will also get a look at all the species of plants and animals who claim the rainforests as their homes, some are endangered, and yet new discoveries are made every day.

In January we will switch gears and begin Kansas History. Kansas has a very rich and important history that played a role in the destiny of our country. We will be learning about the Earliest People to our state, the Native Americans, early explorers, abolitionists, The Civil War, the cowboys and cattle towns, and even famous people from Kansas. It is always an exciting journey into the past.


8th Grade U.S. History-

It always amazes me how fast the school year can go. We are almost done with the second semester! A few things to remind parents of. First, keep asking your children what they are learning about in all classes. Second, check the lesson plans on the Jardine Website to stay up to date with what your children are learning about in all their classes. Finally, buy them more pencils. Trust me, they are running out.

In history class, we are moving our focus to the westward expansion of the United States. We will be discussing Jackson's Presidency and then how the United States acquired all that makes up the 50 states in our great nation.

Math - The Mighty Math Team

6th Grade Math- In December students are starting a new unit on rational numbers. They will begin by being introduced to integers (positive and negative whole numbers and zero), comparing and ordering integers and learning about absolute value (the distance from a number to zero). In January when we return from break they will be working on rational numbers and the coordinate grid where they will use all four quadrants to graph ordered pairs. This will be a lot of new concepts and skills for the students!


7th Grade Math- We are starting our third Module “Expressions and Equations.” This module consolidates and expands students’ previous work with generating equivalent expressions and solving equations. Students solve real-life and mathematical problems using numerical and algebraic expressions and equations. Their work with expressions and equations is applied to finding unknown angles and problems involving area, volume, and surface area. Your child will be successful if they can:

▪ Determine whether a given value is the solution to an equation.

▪ Write, solve, and interpret equations and inequalities given various contexts.

▪ Use angle relationships, write an equation to solve for the value of a variable and/or determine the measure of an unknown angle.

▪ Use the properties of inequalities to write a true inequality statement.

▪ Determine when an inequality statement will be true and when the same statement will be false.

▪ Graph the solution of an inequality on a number line.

If your child needs additional support in math, please consider after school tutoring.


8th Grade Math- We begin to look forward to unit 4. In this unit, we will begin to make connections between proportional relationships from 7th grade, y=kx, and linear equations, y=mx+b. Both of these relationships are linear (make a straight line when graphed, degree of 1), and both have a constant rate of change. In proportional relationships the constant rate of change is called the constant of proportionality, k, and represents a constant change over time.In linear equations, the constant rate of change is referred to as the slope of the line, m. The big difference between these two linear relationships is that proportional relationships MUST go through the origin (0,0), while linear relationships can go through the origin, but don’t HAVE to. In that manner, all proportional relationships are linear relationships, but not all linear relationships are proportional.

Students will also be working on literal translations...transcribing word problems into algebraic expressions and equations and then evaluating or solving them. This is most likely the first time your student will be exposed to an equation having different numbers of solutions. They will discover that an equation can have one solution, no solution, or infinitely many solutions (this is called an Identity).

Art - Ms. Latham

Jardine 7th grade is wrapping up their semester with glazing their ceramic coil pots and food sculpture with hidden compartments. Once we have completed our last step of the ceramics unit, students will transition into painting and then end the semester by way of putting together an electronic portfolio. Each student will have an electronic portfolio that will serve as a semester final. This method of assessment allows students to track true artistic growth while developing 21st century skills. Each student will build their own website that is expected to showcase their artwork they have created over the semester, an artist statement reflecting upon their favorite project, and an introductory page. Make sure to ask your student to share their website link so you can see what they have created in art during their 7th grade year. In January, 8th graders will begin Design One for high school school credit. Our focus will be on the elements of art and design principles. This foundational course is a prerequisite for all high school art classes and will give each passing student a half credit towards their high school graduation requirements.

PE Happenings - Ms. Remer & Mr. Coffman

MS PE, as we start to wind down with the first semester of PE here at JMS it is a good time to revisit what it takes to get an A in PE. There is still a lot of time to raise our grades or maintain that A that many of us have right now. Classes are going great! Let's all close out the first semester with our best efforts. As a reminder we will post the rules and regulations below.



Prompt Prepared Participate Pleasant


  • Tennis shoes - No Crocs, boots, slides, sandals, etc.

  • Clothing you can comfortably participate in. No hoodies, coats, tight pants, shirts that dip down in the front, midriffs, tank tops etc.

  • No jewelry. Watches included.

  • Deodorant should be kept in bookbags.

  • If a student utilizes an inhaler, the necessary paperwork must be on file with the school nurse. Please mark inhalers with names.

*We will meet in the gym and place belongings against the walls. Each grade will have a designated spot to put their belongings every day.


  • A student is tardy to class if they are not in the gym when the bell rings.

  • Points will be deducted if you are not in your assigned squad spot when daily roll is being taken.


  • If a student is to be excused from participation for an extended period of time because of health or physical problems, a note from a medical doctor to the teacher will be necessary.


All grading will be done daily and meeting our district P.E. Standards.

Ways to earn daily points:

  1. Prompt - be on time to class…………………………... ..(1 point)

  2. Prepared - correct clothing/shoes worn for class ……….(1 point)

  3. Participate - participate in class activities ……………….(1 point)

  4. Pleasant - have a good positive attitude ………………...(1 point)

Each weekly assignment will be worth 20 points (4 points per day)


  • Students are to enter the far east door of the gym at the beginning of class. Girls will exit through the south gym doors. Boys will exit into the hallway from the boys’ locker room.

  • All students will go to the locker room at the end of class to use the restroom, put on deodorant, get drinks etc. You will be verbally dismissed from the locker rooms.

  • Do not handle any piece of equipment unless under direct supervision of the teacher.

  • HORSEPLAY will NOT be tolerated.

  • NO food including gum and candy. Water ONLY!

  • Last hour and bus riders.

  • Noise level in the locker room is 0-1.

  • CELLPHONES are to be kept in your bags at all times.

  • Teachers need to know immediately if there are ISSUES in class.

  • DRILLS: Secure campus, lockdown, fire drill and tornado drill procedures.

  • Talk through a day in PE. Roll, warm-ups, universal signal, explanation of activity, 10-minute bell, locker rooms, dismiss form locker rooms and exit out the designated doors.

  • Practice universal P.E. signal.

  • Daily class leaders.