Prairie Winds PRIDE Update


Prairie Winds PRIDE Update #3 - December 16, 2016

December PRIDE Update

December is a great time for reflection on the year. As I reflect, I can identify many things that I am thankful for at Prairie Winds. I am thankful for all the great students that come to school here everyday, the families that send them, and staff that works with them. I am thankful for the amazing learning environment at Prairie Winds and the opportunities that come from it. We have students and staff that show their Prairie Winds PRIDE everyday.

I also reflect on the great work that our student support professionals do for our students and families. At PWMS, our students have access to fantastic supports such as our great school counseling team, health office staff, school social worker, and school psychologist. Middle school students have unique social and emotional needs and we have an amazing team that is highly trained to support our students.

At the beginning of 2016, PWMS was a school in progress - walls were going up, concrete was being laid and bricks were being placed. Nearly one year later, Prairie Winds Middle School is a hub of academic excitement, social development, and memory making. It is an exciting time to be a Cougar!

I am very proud to say that I am the principal at Prairie Winds Middle School because of the amazing students, families, and staff members that are here everyday.

2016 has been great and I am looking forward to an incredible 2017 at PWMS. Enjoy the upcoming winter break with your family!

Steve Rustad



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Veterans Day at PWMS

Veteran's Day was celebrated at Prairie Winds on November 10. This years celebration included the presentation of color by the Post #11 Color Guard, speeches from two veterans, music from the orchestra and choir, and a performance of the Star Spangled Banner by PWMS student Isabella Owens. The entire student body, along with about 200 community members, attended the event.

Stuff-a-Truck Food Drive at Prairie Winds

Students at Prairie Winds Middle School participated in the Stuff-a-Truck food drive in November. PWMS students donated well over 1,000 pounds of non-perishable food items to the ECHO Food Shelf to support local families in need. Way to go PWMS!

Parents: Stay Up-to-Date on Student Assignments and Assessments!

Grade level teams (Gophers, Badgers, Bulldogs, Huskies, Mustangs, and Mavericks) each have a homework/assignment/assessment Google calendar available. All parents and guardians are invited to check out the calendar for their student's team. CLICK HERE FOR THE LINK TO THE CALENDARS. The links can also be found on the PWMS website under "Quick Links" and under the "Academics" tab. Teachers update the calendars regularly making them very useful for staying connected with your student's assignments. Parents are encouraged to subscribe to the calendar so that it will sync with your personal Google calendar. You can subscribe by clicking on the + sign in the bottom right corner next to "GoogleCalendar".

Prairie Winds Students Compete in Robotics Tournament at East Senior High

PWMS Robotics is enjoying its first year of competition as a stand alone program in the new school. 35 students are divided into five teams with each team building their own robot to compete in the 2016-2017 VEX Robotics Competition. Tournaments are typically held from Mid-November through January. Teams work to design, build, and program a robot to compete in a challenge that is new to teams each season.

The PWMS Robotics teams have competed in two tournaments this year with the first held in Mankato on November 19th. Robotics students enjoyed a long day of competition and learned a great deal about VEX Robotics, how to compete, and how to make quick revisions to their robots to improve their designs and become more competitive. All five PWMS Robotics teams participated in eight qualifying matches used to determine ranking for the elimination bracket tournament that is held at the end of the day. Four PWMS Robotics teams (10001P, 10001M, 10001S, and 10001C) ranked highly enough to participate in eliminations with 10001P going the furthest with a loss in the semifinal round.

The second tournament was held in St. Cloud at Apollo High School on December 3rd. Again, PWMS Robotics teams participated in qualifying rounds to determine rankings. Four PWMS Robotics teams (10001P, 10001M, 10001S, and 10001C) ranked highly enough to participate in eliminations. 10001M lost in the quarterfinal round, 10001P and 10001S lost in the semifinal round. 10001C progressed to the finals an won the tournament together with teams from Austin MN, and Cold Spring, MN. Team 10001P won the design award because of their engineering documentation and overall robot design. Both 10001C and 10001P qualified for the Minnesota State VEX Robotics Tournament which will be held in St. Cloud on Feb, 3-4, 2017.

The PWMS Robotics teams will continue work on their robots, refining their designs for a competition in mid January with the hopes of qualifying all PWMS teams for the state tournament.

Contributed by Coach Mike Shores


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  • Bring Warm Clothes: Winter is here! Please make sure that your student is wearing clothing that can keep them warm if they choose to go outside during lunch.
  • Charge the Chromebooks: Parents and guardians, please remind your student to plug in their Chromebook every night so that it is fully charged for school. Students are using the Chromebooks throughout the day and it is important that they are charged and ready to go.
  • Pick Up and Drop Off- Now that the snow and cold weather is here. please remember that the building is not open for students until 7:30 AM. If a student is dropped off earlier than 7:30 AM, they will be expected to wait outside. All students should be picked up by 3:25 PM. If your student needs to be at school later than this, please sign them up for the after school program Connections. Click here for more information about Connections.
  • "Like" Us on Facebook! - Click here to visit the Prairie Winds Facebook page.

Upcoming Events

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Celebrate the Holidays with the Prairie Winds Music Department!

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Prairie Winds Family Engagement Event - January 9, 2017

The Prairie Winds Middle School Family Engagement team is planning their first event for January 9, 2017. All parents and guardians are welcomed to attend. The event runs from 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM with food being served from 6:00-6:30. Look for future emails with more information about this event.

The PWMS Family Engagement Group is open to all parents, students, teachers and staff connected to Prairie Winds. The purpose is to promote communication among Prairie Winds families as a way to support a healthy school community.

To learn more about the group and their vision, join their Facebook group. It is a closed group, so please do a search for Prairie Winds Middle School Family Engagement.

Also, all PWMS families with students enrolled at East Senior are invited to attend the East Family Engagement Meeting on December 19, 2016 at East High School.

Winter Break is Coming!

The last day of school for 2016 is Thursday, December 22. School begins again on January 3, 2017.

Enjoy the time off!

Prairie Winds Middle School

Assuring Learning Excellence and Readiness for a Changing World

Steve Rustad - Principal

Monde Schwartz - Assistant Principal