Office: 643-5500

Attendance: 649-5580

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Dear SPMS Learning Community Member,

Hello, and welcome to October! We’ve had a great start to the . . . Wait. What?! November?! Wow! We are moving right along now! First quarter is almost finished, and we are moving on to bigger and better things, always focused on growth!

Thanks to all the parents, guardians, and students who attended parent/teacher conferences this quarter! It was great to see everyone putting their heads together to maximize learning for our students. Grades for first quarter will be posted in the middle of November. Please, if you were not able to make it to conferences, or if you still have questions about your child’s learning, call or e-mail your child’s teachers.

As you review your child’s grades, you may want to also read our Grading Guidelines that can be found on our school website. The purpose of these guidelines is to ensure that teachers use grading practices that communicate achievement as accurately as possible and encourage learning, and relearning if necessary. If you have questions about these guidelines, do not hesitate to contact me at 643-5505.

Your child will also receive an Employability Grade for each class (except for classes that meet every other day which will give the grade at semester). The grade is based on four criteria: preparedness and organization, quality work completion by deadline, communication and collaboration with others, and ability to work independently. These four criteria were taken from a number for resources including 21st Century Skills Standards and a survey of what local employers are looking for in their employees. We are calling it an Employability Grade to help students understand that the skills that will help them be outstanding learners now are the foundation of the career and work habits they will need to establish successful careers in the future. A chart explaining the Employability Grade criteria can be found in the Grading Guidelines.

We have had a great fall with a record number of students walking and biking to school! As the weather becomes cooler and more students get a ride to school, please make sure you are driving safely and following our drop-off and pick-up procedures. One hint that makes drop-off easier for everyone is don’t wait until you are right in front of the school for your child to exit the car. If cars pull up to the curb and several let their students off at the same time to walk to the front, the line moves much faster! And remember that if the line on Oak Street is backed up to the Maple Street intersection, please turn left and drop your child off on the school-side of Maple. This prevents the long line-up down Oak Street!

Alright, enough of me! The school year is moving so fast; don’t miss a second of it! Stay informed by reading this newsletter every month, liking us on Facebook, and checking out the daily announcements on our website. And, as always, thanks for the opportunity to work with your kids!

Yours in education,


From the Counselors

The school counselors along with Mr. Erlandson & Officer Ludowitz, Police Resource Officer, have been presenting to the 6th, 7th, & 8th grade students through classroom presentations.

In Grade 6 we reviewed what bullying looks like, sounds like and feels like and what to do if we are experiencing or witnessing bullying here at school. We discussed the different types of bullying, physical, verbal, social/emotional and cyber.

In Grade 7 the presentation focused on bullying through social media/cyber bullying. With students having increased access to their own mobile devices in 7th grade, we stressed the importance of safety when using the internet. We strongly encouraged students to make sure their settings are marked as private on all social networking sites, that they never reveal personal information suchy as their location or address and that they log off of their devices/apps when they have completed their session. We discussed the danger in accepting friend requests from complete stragers and the legal consequences of cyberbullying and sexting. The moral of the story here was THINK BEFORE YOU POST!

In Grade 8 the presentation focused on the role of the bystander and encouraging our 8th grade leaders to be helpful bystanders, not hurtful bystanders. As the leaders at SPMS we encouraged our students to step up and stop bullying. Mr. Erlandson and Officer Ludowitz shared the consequences of bullying at SPMS and int he community. Bullying through the use of social media is the most common form of bullying here at SPMS and at SPHS. Officer Ludowitz shared the serious consequences both in school and in the community for engaging in this type of harassment.

Bystanders...Become Upstanders!

Bystanders are kids and teens who witness bullying and cyberbullying in action, who stand by and watch, who videotape it and make it viral...and WHO DO AND SAY NOTHING.

Very often they don't know what to do. They're afraid of retaliation or fear that their own group will exclude them for helping an outsider.

When you're a bystander it's important to know that by doing nothing you are sending a message to the bully that their behavior is acceptable.

It isn't!

And that's not a message you want to send, not is it a message you would want someone to send if you were a victim.

Yes, it is scary to directly confront a bully and sometimes it can mean taking a big risk.


Whether you know the victim or not, there are things that you as a bystander can safely do to support the vicitm:

  • Don't laugh
  • Don't encourage the bully in any way
  • Stay at a safe distance and help the target get away
  • Don't become an "audience" for the bully
  • Reach out in friendship
  • Help the victim in any way you can
  • Support the victim in private
  • If you notice someone being isolated from others, invite them to join you
  • Include the victim in some of your activities
  • Tell an adult

There is strength in numbers. Every school and every community has more caring kids than bullies.

If you are NOT part of the solution, you ARE part of the problem!

Unite, be empowered and speak out against bullying and cyberbullying!

Together, you can STOMP Out Bullying - but only if you do something!

When you se someone being bullied and/or cyberbullied and you help them--you stop being a bystander and become an upstander!

STAND UP for others! Be a Hero! Be a leader and STOMP Out Bullying!

It's up to you...It's up to all of us! You can change anything you want--Why not STAND UP and change the way bullies treat their targets!


Each month SPMS recognizes Leaders (grade 8), Role Models (grade 7) and Good Citizens (grade 6). These students are nominated by their teachers. In addition, our Sauk Prairie Area Optimist Club honors one of our leaders with the Optimist Middle Level Leader Award.

6th Grade Good Citizens:

Ella Yanke

Kaden Stracke

Abby Ballweg

Landen Ballweg

7th Grade Role Models:

Emma Kinnamon

Brandon Mittelstaedt

Lucy Sistek

Luke Sprecher

8th Grade Leaders:

Maddie Ganshert

Bailey Magnuson

Anna Ballweg

Nic Grinstead


The Sauk Prairie Optimists Club and Sauk Prairie Middle School honored Shelbi Endres as the Middle Level Leader for the month of October at their October 19th meeting! The daughter of Lester and Diane Endres, Shelbi was nominated by her chorus teacher, David Sweeney.

Sweeney shared, “Within the choral department, Shelbi is seen as a leader among her peers. She is a student who always models exemplary behavior and participation. Not only is she gifted with a wonderful singing voice, but she has been blessed with a wonderful personality, and outstanding work ethic. Shelbi is active in other activities as well, participating in the musical, forensics, and show choir. She also serves the school in the Sixth Grade Mentor Program. Outside of school, Shelbi likes to play piano, draw, and sing in her church’s choir.

Shelbi is excited to go on to high school and then eventually pursue a career in engineering or education! Mr. Sweeney, on behalf of the rest of the SPMS staff, stated that “she is truly an invaluable asset to Sauk Prairie Middle School, the Sauk Prairie community, and our world.”


Team S: During the month of November, Team S science students will be studying Chapter three of our Cells and Heredity unit. The majority of our time will be spent looking at the sequence of events that occur as a cell grows and divides. They will also be learning about photosynthesis & respiration and what happens during these processes.

Team P: Science students are continuing their study of cell biology after a brief detour into chemistry during the annual Halloween Chemistry Fest. Students will learn how the cell membrane is able to “self-recognize” and transport essential molecules into and out of the cell to maintain life. Next, they will explore how cells acquire and use energy. Students will also be learning about cell division – mitosis. Throughout the year, students will be asked to examine science problems and solve them logically using claim/evidence-based based reasoning. They will also be honing study skills as students are encouraged to engage in active learning.


Students in Math 7 have just completed Chapter 1, which was on Ratios and Proportional Reasoning. We will continue to build on the concepts in Chapter 1 and shift our focus to Percent. We will learn how to use a bar model and other methods to find percent of a number. We will discover strategies for estimating percent of a number when appropriate. Students will solve many real-world percent problems that involve:

  • Calculating taxes or tips

  • Finding amounts of discounts

  • Calculating Simple Interest

  • Finding percent of increase or decrease

You can help your child with these concepts at home by asking them to calculate tips or taxes. They could also help you determine how much money you are going to save on an item that is on sale in a store.

Students in Math 7+ just finished Chapter 2: Operations with Integers. The next few weeks, they will review how to add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions and extend their understanding by adding positive and negative fractions and decimals (rational numbers) to the mix. They will also be writing fractions as decimals and decimals as fractions.

ALL 7th GRADE MATH STUDENTS received login information for their textbook. By visiting, students will be able to access an online version of their textbook, as well as a variety of resources (videos, tutorials, sample solutions, etc.) to help them as they are working through their assignments. There are also MANY additional practice problems that are not assigned in class. These problems make great review problems for assessments. If you haven’t had a chance to explore the site with your student, please take some time to see what this site has to offer!!

7th Grade English

In 7th grade English this month, students will be finishing their first literature unit, where they worked in small groups to study a Historical Fiction novel of their choice. This will lead directly into students' second writing unit: Writing About Reading, in which students will learn how to write critically about their books, looking for deeper meaning. At the end of Writing About Reading, students will be producing a companion book that looks closely at a novel of their choice.


In 7th grade social studies, we are learning about different types of maps and map projections. At the start of quarter 2, we'll begin examining the physical geography of earth.

8th Grade Science

In eighth grade science classes, students are studying Plate Tectonics. This is an in-depth study of how the crust is broken into plates and how those plates are moving around creating earthquakes, volcanoes and mountain ranges. Your children should understand how many of the world's mountain ranges have been formed, so ask them about it! Students will be doing many hands on activities in class. Students may also make volcanoes at home to share with the class.


Math 8 will be working on Chapter 2: Equations in One Variable. In this chapter, students will be solving equations algebraically and learing that equations with one variable can have one solution, infinitely many solutions, or no solutions. We will also be using mathematical properties such as distributive property to simplify expressions and collect like terms before solving. Remember that all 8th grade math students have access to the on-line resources provided by the publisher; including the book pages, tutorials, and practice assignments. Students have received their login and password from their math teacher.

SM 1 is working on the Chapter 3 - Solving Inequalities. In this chapter we will be solving and graphing inequalities, solving and graphing compound inequalities and working with simple absolute value equations.


We completed our unit on Investigative journalism. Almost all students improved their writing skills-- they are better at writing introductions that grab the reader, knowing where to start new paragraphs, using transitions effectively and organizing their writing.

We will be reading The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton during November, with a focus on bullying, stereotypes, and loyalty.

Focus on Fiction:

We finished our unit on the Hero’s journey with presentations about the book each group chose to read. We will finish out first quarter by studying the legends of King Arthur and his Knights.

Students each had one part of the legend to read, and shared it by doing a skit or writing a poem.


Team L Social Studies is working on the American Revolution. We have covered the causes of the American Revolution. Our next task is taking a closer look at Paul Revere's ride through a study of primary sources including art work, letters and Revere's family history. Our exploration of the American Revolution will include discussion of the ideas behind the revolution and some of the key battles in the fight for independence.

After the American Revolution, we move on to writing the Constitution and the first years of the United States under the new government.

Team M Social Studies (Ch. 4 - 5)

In November, we will continue to study the Thirteen Colonies. We will learn about life in the colonies and how the American Colonists began to see themselves as a separate society from England. Students will study early ideas of self-government, developing roles for women, and the growth of slavery in the colonies. Conflicts between France and England lead to new taxes in the colonies. Protests, boycotts, and violence lead some colonists to seek independence from England.

Forensics Club

Wondering what Forensics is all about? We’re not talking about the CSI kind, but the “Get Up and Talk” kind. Sauk Prairie Middle School’s Not-Quite-World-Famous Forensics Team had informational meetings for students on October 11 and 12. Students in all grades are welcome to participate. Categories include everything from writing and giving an original speech to play acting or reading from a favorite book or poem.

Information and permission forms can be picked up in the G/T Office from Mrs. Breunig or Mrs. Bruno. Permission forms are due November 3rd.

Students who choose to join Forensics will go to two festivals and perform for the parents at Parent Night on December 20.

No matter what your preference, there’s a niche for you! We are looking forward to an outstanding Forensics Season!


6th grade artists are busy completing their paintings. This is the first project of the year and is their Square 1 Art piece. They were able to choose the subject they wanted to draw, practiced mixing a variety of colors from the primary colors as well as tints and shades, then worked on painting their final copy.

On Oct. 25 and Nov. 1, students were able to visit the Hamilton Exhibit at the River Arts Center Gallery. This is a representation of one of the largest collections of wood type in the world and the museum is in Two Rivers, Wisconsin! We were fortunate enough to have a demonstration by a former intern at the museum. Students gained an appreciation for how difficult and time consuming it was to create type.


Students in PE have been learning how to workout at home without dumbbells or other pieces of equipment. Thanks to all the parents who donated pumpkins, students were able to use pumpkins for weights! Yes, it's true... I did tell students I use my own children at home for weights on the exercises we learned!! (Squats, sit-ups, lunges, bench, bicep curls, flamingo, jumps, twists, flyes, overhead press, airplane, over/under exchanges).

Wow - What an great production by our Drama Department!

“That’s Princess...With a Pea” was performed October 21,22,and 23 at the River Arts Center. The cast did a fantastic job. After the show, people were saying things like: “It was the best Middle School show ever,” and “ I can’t believe the amount of talent those kids have,” and “The singing was amazing.” Thanks to all who came to watch.

Youth Conservation Day at Devil's Lake!

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