Spartan Gazette

Indian Mound Middle School

Greetings From Brett Jondle

“Being Present!”

It’s difficult to believe that yet another year has come and gone, and that we find ourselves looking ahead to another calendar year. This time of the year is always bittersweet as I am one who enjoys routine and often struggles with change. The older I get, however, the more I understand that with change comes new opportunities and growth. It is that outlook that has helped me to look forward to the New Year and understand the importance of reflecting on the past.

The Holiday Season is often a time of reflection, a time for change, a time to set new goals, as well as a time to celebrate and look ahead. The same holds true for each of us here at IMMS. This “half-way point” of the school year allows each of us to look back at what has gone well so far, what changes are on the horizons, and also a time to celebrate our work! With this theme in mind, I find myself guilty of always looking ahead to the future and forgetting to truly “be present” and living in the moment. One of my favorite quotes that I’ve always tried to live out is, “Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present.”

That being said, I would like to provide a few reminders about one aspect of this school year that has been a focal point for our students, staff, and families regarding students truly “being present”.

This year, the School District of McFarland adopted a new attendance policy. The McFarland School District policy allows for ten (10) excused absences in a school year. Beyond ten days, we ask that absences be verified by a doctor’s excuse, appointment card, or be approved by the Principal or Associate Principal.

We realize that some absences are unavoidable. At the same time, we know that when students miss too much school they can fall behind academically. We don’t want your child to fall behind and get discouraged. Here are some things you can do to keep your child on track:

  • Make daily, on-time attendance the expectation in your household

  • Establish regular routines, such as finishing homework and getting a good night’s sleep

  • When possible, avoid scheduling dental and medical appointments during the school day

  • Avoid extended vacations that require your child to miss school

  • Don’t let your child stay home unless he or she is truly sick

  • Ask for help from school officials if you’re having trouble getting your child to school

If your child is sick or there is a legitimate reason for keeping your child home, we ask that you please contact the Indian Mound Middle School Office at (608) 838-8980 before 8:10 A.M. If your child does see a doctor or is in the care of a medical professional, kindly provide the school with a note from the doctor or clinic.

Additionally, I thought I would share some statistics that have surfaced in direct correlation with student achievement and attendance.

  • Half the students who miss two-four days in September go on to miss nearly one month of school.

  • An estimated 5 million to 7.5 million U.S. students miss nearly one month of school each year (approximately 20 days).

  • Absenteeism and its ill effects start early. One in 10 kindergarten and first grade students are chronically absent. Poor attendance can influence whether children read proficiently by the end of third grade or repeat a grade.

  • By Sixth Grade, chronic absence becomes a leading indicator that a student may drop out of high school.

  • Research shows that missing 10 percent of the school year [or about 18 days in most school districts], negatively affects a student’s academic performance. That’s just two days a month and that’s known as chronic absence.

  • The academic impact of missing that much school is the same whether the absences are excused or unexcused.

  • When students improve their attendance rates, they improve their academic prospects and chances for graduating.

  • Attendance improves when schools engage students and parents.

  • Most school districts and states don’t look at all the right data to improve school attendance. They track how many students show up every day and how many are skipping school without an excuse, but not how many are missing so many days in excused and unexcused absence that they are headed off track academically.

It is my goal this year and each year forward, to do everything I can to help provide support and understanding for families and students regarding attendance. It is also my hope that we continue to create a school environment where students want to be at school and truly be present!

New Year

Finally and most importantly, this Holiday season is a time to give thanks for all that we have and what we have to look ahead to for 2017. I invite you to look back on all that your 2016 has been, and to what 2017 can be. While change is scary for many of us, it always brings substance and opportunities to each of our lives. Let’s embrace the unknown and celebrate all that 2016 was for us while remembering to truly “be present” living in the moment, and making the most of our time together here at IMMS!

From our IMMS family to yours, may 2017 bring each of you peace, prosperity, and happiness.


Brett Jondle, IMMS Associate Principal

Resource Used: Ten Facts About School Attendance: Click here.

IMMS Assignment Task List

Click here to view the Task List page

Guidance News: 8th Grade Students Register for High School

With the start of the New Year comes the impending transition to High School for our IMMS 8th graders. This is a very exciting time full of choices and uncertainties. These decisions can be supported and anxious times alleviated through active involvement for students and their parents in the decision making process. Therefore, it will be crucial to keep in mind some important dates when looking to allow for an efficient and successful transition:

Wednesday, February 1st: MHS counselors will present important High School registration information to 8th graders in their Social Studies class.

Monday, February 6th: Parent (of 8th grade students) Orientation meeting & tour at MHS from 6:00pm - 8:00pm. ALL PARENTS/GUARDIANS OF 8TH GRADERS AND 8TH GRADE STUDENTS ARE URGED TO ATTEND.

Thursday, February 23rd: Registration for high school classes must be complete on Career Cruising and a printout is due to the student’s Social Studies teacher.

If you have any questions, please call Jill Runde at 838-4577 – she will be most happy to help!

November Student of the Month Winners

Student Council News

  • The Indian Mound Middle School Student Council meets every Thursday at 7:30am on the stage and has had a busy semester with projects that focus on the 5 S’s of Leadership (Students, Service, Staff, Senior Citizens, & Student Council). Let’s recap as we look forward to second semester…A big THANKS goes out to our officers, Will Karls, Emma Swaney, & Luke Mandli for being such great leaders & helpers.

  • We had a very successful all-school dance & open gym thanks to everyone’s positive energy, parent & staff volunteer chaperones, & Student Council workers. We’ll have another dance in March.

  • Our Fuel Up to Play 60 committee sponsored a Green Bay Packers Milk Mustache Picture Party and all those dairy smiles fueled a lot of laughs as well as a Packers’ win. Two tickets to the Thursday Night Football game vs. the Bears were awarded to Aaron Landphier by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board for his dedicated participation in Fuel Up to Play 60. Visit the FUTP 60 website for lots of great ideas.

  • The IMMS Student Council started a food drive before Thanksgiving and it’s being extended through December. Please help us donate record pounds of food to the McFarland Food Pantry. Which grade level will bring the most? Thank you for caring!

  • On Friday, Dec. 16th, Student Council reps are helping serve the holiday lunch at the McFarland Senior Center & making holiday cards for the Meals on Wheels program.

  • The Indian Mound Student Council is hosting the State Leadership Conference sponsored by the Wisconsin Association of School Councils (WASC) on May 7-8, 2017 and will need LOTS of help welcoming over 1200 middle schoolers from all over Wisconsin to the Marriott West in Madison. Student Council reps planning to attend the state conference are required to participate in the January 16th (teacher work-day) work party at IMMS. Please contact Jim Kramer at 838-4576 if you are interested in helping too.

  • The WASC offers an unbelievable summer camp experience that ALL IMMS students (not just Student Council) are encouraged to attend: Whether students are involved in Student Council, the National Honor Society, school clubs, sports teams, the school musical, dance, cheerleading, Scouts, 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 9-13, 2017 (

LEVEL 1: LEARN – 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. LEVEL 2: ENGAGE – Team building, goal setting, communication, and organization are key components to being an engaged leader. Participants at this level will have the opportunity to explore concepts of leadership, improve their leadership skills in a creative, engaged way, and gain a better understanding of self and sensitivity to others. LEVEL 3: ADVOCACY – Entering high school confident and ready is essential to student success. The Level 3 curriculum combines experiential learning with essential skill development to ensure this success. Students will learn valuable skills like self-advocacy, effective communication, and goal setting – in a creative and engaging way. These skills will serve as a strong foundation as they enter high school. All IMMS students will receive $50 scholarships to attend camp. Please contact Mr. Kramer for details.

Comrades of the Community: New Club at IMMS Focuses on Helping the Community

A group of enthusiastic 7th grade students at IMMS have been working on starting a new club that is focused on helping the community. This month they have set up a book drive to collect books for a non-profit called The Madison Reading Project. This organization will distribute all of the donated books to at-risk youth in the area. In addition to the book drive, this group of students (who have named themselves “Comrades of the Community”), spent some time volunteering at the McFarland Community Food Pantry. They were able to stock shelves and prepare items to be given out for Thanksgiving meals. Their passion for giving is admirable and they are excited to see what other impacts they can make in the community. Any students interested in joining the club should contact Ms. Weishan.

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IMMS Talent Show – March 23, 2017

"Overture, Cue the Lights, This Is It, The Night of Nights..." Who has talent? The students & staff of IMMS have talent! All are welcome to come join the fun on Thursday, March 23, 2017 as Indian Mound students perform, sing, dance…and entertain! Will there be some staff surprises again this year? Performance application forms are due Friday, February 24th and auditions are scheduled in the lunchroom after school on Tuesday, February 28th. The mandatory dress rehearsal is right after school on Tuesday, March 21st. Please direct your questions to Mr. Kramer at 838-4576.

Library Matters

Thank you to all who supported IMMS through the Book Fair this year. A percentage of the sales is used for stocking classroom libraries and the bookroom. Your support is always appreciated.


Students should keep their library privileges current by making sure to return books on time. Students are responsible for lost or damaged books. Parents can help their students keep their library record up to date by reminding their child to login to Destiny often and check their due dates. This can be done easily on the iPad through the Destiny Discover app.

Help your child remember: Their student ID everyday! It is needed for using the library and the lunch line. A quick reminder in the morning would really help. Lost an ID? Students can order a new ID in the library at any time.

Did you know?

The library has a website full of online resources and reading suggestions. Check here for information regarding the library and classes at IMMS. On the iPads, all students have a shortcut on their home screen to the library’s website. Check it out!!

The IMMS Library is mobile!!

You can have access to electronic books (eBooks), audiobooks, and the library’s catalog, all from your mobile device. Read on…….

It’s the Discover mobile app. This app lets you use your mobile device to search the library – anytime, anywhere. Available for Apple iOS and Android mobile devices, this app puts all the power of Destiny in the palm of your hand.

That’s why, we are happy to let you know that you can now use this app, to browse your library’s eBook collection, check out an eBook and read it for free on the Discover App – with a tablet device.

To get started, you will need to download the Destiny Discover app from the App Store or Android Google Play– to your mobile device.


The IMMS library has a new library assistant. Her name is Stefanie Feralin. She has replaced Ms. Michels, who decided to retire after 14 years in the IMMS Library. We are excited to welcome Stefanie to our amazing library.

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"Dining In" for Healthy Families

This Saturday, December 3rd, is Family Consumer Sciences "Dining In" Day. We ask families to make and eat a healthy meal together on December 3rd. December 3rd was chosen to recognize AAFCS Founder Ellen Swallow Richards, first woman graduate of MIT, whose birthday was December 3rd.

Here is a link for some fun ways you can promote Dining In with your family.

Congratulations to 6th grade for winning the Spartan Trophy

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Food Waste Reduction

Did you know that the US Food and Drug Administration has a food waste goal? They have set a goal to reduce the amount of food waste by 50% by the year 2030. This is a subject that is near to my heart. Every year I make a New Year's Resolution to reduce my food waste at home. As the year is winding down, perhaps you can find some ways to reduce your food waste. Here are some ideas from the FDA. Next month I will give you the rest.

I hope your holidays are happy and healthy!

Vicki Colle

Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher

At the Grocery Store or When Eating Out

  • Pre-plan and write your shopping list before going to the grocery store. As you write your list, think about what meals you will be preparing the following week, and check your fridge to see what items you already have.
  • When at the store, buy only what you need and stick to your shopping list. Be careful when buying in bulk, especially with items that have a limited shelf life.
  • If available, purchase “ugly” fruits or vegetables that often get left behind at the grocery store but are safe to eat. “Ugly” produce has physical imperfections but are not damaged or rotten. “Ugly” fruits and vegetables are safe and nutritious and can sometimes be found at discounted prices.
  • When eating out, ask for smaller portions to prevent plate waste and keep you from overeating. You can also request a take-away box to take leftovers home instead of leaving food on your plate.

In the Kitchen - Storage and Prep

  • Check the temperature setting of your fridge. Keep the temperature at 40° F or below to keep foods safe. The temperature of your freezer should be 0° F.
  • Use the FoodKeeper App for information on how to safely store different foods to maintain freshness and quality.
  • Refrigerate peeled or cut veggies for freshness and to keep them from going bad.
  • Use your freezer! Freezing is a great way to store most foods to keep them from going bad until you are ready to eat them. Check the FoodKeeper App for information on how long different items can be stored in the freezer.
  • Create a designated space in your fridge for foods that you think will be going bad within a few days.
  • Check your fridge often to keep track of what you have and what needs to be used. Eat or freeze items before you need to throw them away.
  • If you have more food on hand than you can use or you need, consider donating your extra supply of packaged foods to a local food pantry or a food drive.
  • Learn about food product date labels – not all dates refer to the safety of the item! Date labels such as Use by or Best by often refer to the best quality of an item. Just because the date on a package has passed does not mean the food is unsafe. However, if an item is soft, discolored, moldy, or has a strong unpleasant smell,
    it is probably not safe to eat and you should throw it away.
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Volunteer opportunities at E. D. Locke Public Library

The library has a LOT of upcoming programs that could use helpers. From STEAM Saturdays to our Third Thursday Storytimes – we can always use the help. Please see Heather, the youth services librarian, for more information.

Upcoming Teen Programming:

  • Christmas Craftapalooza - Saturday, December 3 @ 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. As part of Christmas in the Village, the library will be holding a “craftapalooza” featuring holiday crafts for the whole family. Come decorate gift bags, create owl ornaments, design cards, and more.

  • Teen Advisory Board – Sunday, December 4 @ 1:00. This board was created to give teens a voice in what programming we offer at the library. Open to students in grades 6-12. We will be planning our upcoming December and January programs as well as discussing volunteer opportunities in the library.

  • Teen After Hours Program: Nerf Capture the Flag – Friday, December 9 @ 5:30 – 7:30. Join us for our first Teen After Hours Program. We will be playing capture the flag in the library with a literary twist. Four teams will compete to find clues and flags within the library while trying to avoid the other teams. Participants bring their own Nerf guns and darts – no more than 2. Pizza and snacks will be provided. Registration for this event is open now at the library. You can register at the desk or by calling 608-838-9030. Please register so we have an idea of how much food to order and staff needs.

  • Afternoon Movie: Secret Life of Pets - Wednesday, December 28 @ 2:00 p.m. Join us for a fun afternoon enjoying one of this year’s most popular movies—The Secret Life of Pets.
IMMS Lunch Menu

Click here to view the lunch menu for December


The Optimist Club of McFarland has a direct phone line to the North Pole and would like to arrange a call between your child and Old Saint Nick himself!

All telephone calls will be made between 6:30 and 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 11th. It is your responsibility to ensure that your child is available between those hours on that evening when Santa calls from the North Pole.

Simply fill out the form HERE and return it with a check to the address below -- $10.00 for the first child, then $5.00 for each additional child -- Make checks payable to the Optimist Club of McFarland. Please do not send cash in the mail. If you have any questions, please contact Katie Miller at 608-239-3689 or

All proceeds will be donated to the Weekend Snack Sack Program for Mcfarland students in need (used in grades k-8 to provide weekend meals to children in need)

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