Howards Grove Middle School

November Parent Newsletter, Volume II


November 8- PTO Log Cabin Family Night 4-8 PM

November 9- HS Play @ Auditorium for MS Students 12:30 PM

November 9- PTO Log Cabin Family Night 4-8 PM

November 9- MS Girls 7/8 Basketball Games 4 PM vs Oostburg

November 10- Artist Michael Albert @ MS AM

November 10- PTO Log Cabin Family Night 4-8 PM

November 11- Veteran's Day Program 8 AM

November 11- MS Girls 7/8 Basketball Games 4 PM vs Kohler

November 11- HS Play @ the Howards Grove Center for the Arts 7 PM

November 12- HS Play @ the Howards Grove Center for the Arts 7 PM

November 13- HS Play @ the Howards Grove Center for the Arts 7 PM

November 15- School Board Meeting, HS Library 7 PM

November 16- MS Girls 7/8 Basketball Games 4 PM vs Ozaukee

November 18- MS Girls 7/8 Basketball Games 4 PM vs Cedar Grove

November 25- NO SCHOOL, Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26- NO SCHOOL

Principal's Message

Dear Families,

I hope this Newsletter greets you all well. As the first term comes to an end, it is an opportunity for reflection. Students are able to reflect on things that went well and things that present a fantastic opportunity for change and growth. Part of growing as a person and student is learning from our mistakes and making a change. The end of the term is also time for celebration as a milestone passes. It is a celebration of new opportunities that are in front of us and a fresh new start. Report cards are being sent home electronically by the end of the day this Thursday, November 11th.

I'd like to extend a special Thank You to All Veterans as this Veteran's Day approaches us. We thank you for your service and all that you have done for our country. Thank you. If you are a Veteran and would like to attend our ceremony on Thursday morning, please contact the Middle School Office @ (920) 565--4452. We would love to have you join us. Parents/Families are also welcome.

As the weather begins to get colder outside, please remind your students to dress appropriately. Students still go outside for recess and warm clothes are needed. The only time students do not go outside for recess is if it rains outside or if the temperatures fall below zero.

Please feel free to contact me at any time if you have questions or concerns. Together we achieve more.

Angie Houston

Counselor's Corner

In 5th/6th grade Life Skills class we are working on our new unit which focuses on the topics of diversity and inclusion, as well as our unit on bullying. We spend a great deal of time in our diversity unit talking about bias, labels, and stereotypes. We then take that knowledge and focus on celebrating our differences and what respect looks like towards one another even if we don't understand or if we don't agree with someone's viewpoint. The discussion digs into what this looks like across the world, in the United States, and all the way down to right here at the middle school in Howards Grove, WI. After that we transition into our unit on unkindness and bullying. It is important that we spend time clearly defining various vocabulary terms that come with the unit, as well as clearly defining what bullying truly is compared to unkindness. The classes use various platforms in this unit to read about, understand, and practice what they learn. This unit also includes a specific lesson relating to social media safety, uses, and effects.

Student Council

Howards Grove Middle School Student Council is in full swing for the 2021-2022 school year. President Emily Nelson, Vice President Brianne Vandoske, Secretary John Athorp, Treasurer Jack Bartz, and the 30 plus other representatives have planned and implemented many schoolwide activities. September started off with the first school dance since 2019. Whether it was the result of the new time, 7:00 - 9:00 PM, the pumping DJ, Mark Schorer, or it simply was the first time to get together as a group at school, the September dance had the largest turnout the student council has ever hosted. The student council continued schoolwide fun by planning dress-up days for Homecoming Week.

One of the core values of the Howards Grove Middle School student council is servant leadership. As a result, they planned two events that gave back to the community. One in particular is Heavenly Hats. Heavenly Hat is an organization that collects and distributes hats to individuals that experience hair loss as a result of cancer or other medical treatments. To support this organization, the student council planned a “Hat Day” and a Bake Sale. Hats usually are not allowed during the school day, but the student council gained permission from Ms. Houston to allow students to wear hats at school for a suggested donation of $1.00. To further round up donations, the student council hosted a bake sale at both parent teacher conferences. They then extended their services to local households. After a Wednesday meeting, students took their rakes from home and knocked on doors around the school neighborhood offering to rake the leaves to the curb.

Some upcoming events the student council is working on include: World Diabetes Awareness Week, a Veteran’s Day celebration, and a schoolwide drive to help out local community organizations that help families during the upcoming holiday season.

Exploring Foreign Language

7th grade students in Mrs. Parnitzke's homeroom are learning about the calendar, seasons, and weather in Spanish class. They studied weather patterns that are common in some Spanish-speaking countries and how to communicate the temperature in Celsius while speaking Spanish. Then they role played and created a skit as weather newscasters presenting in small groups to classmates all in Spanish while audience provided constructive feedback. What growth in language learning these students have shown in such a short amount of time!

What’s up next in Spanish class?! Students are learning about colors and how to use them to describe clothing. They will create and perform a mini-fashion show with a theme of their choice while speaking in our target language of Spanish.

Below are some examples of fictional Weather skits created by students.

8th Grade

Jessica Luecke, the Middle School Guidance Counselor, brought in Mental Health America from Sheboygan last year. Mental Health America shared with the middle school staff the benefits of mindfulness in schools. Oftentimes, mindfulness can help individuals reduce stress, gain more focus, and pause before reacting to the world around them. Seeing the benefits of mindfulness, the 8th grade team has taken some time to research and implement mindfulness strategies within our classrooms. While mindfulness is always optional, the teachers hope that the variety of strategies offered will engage each student at some point. Mr. Kalk, Mrs. Plocar, and Mrs. Athorp have used some of the following strategies with their students: breathing, listening to music and noticing things around the classroom or nature, coloring, stretching, mindful walks, and journaling. Mindfulness will not change people overnight, but the teachers and students are enjoying the mindfulness process. Each day that the teachers and students practice mindfulness, the stronger their brains get at pausing, thinking, and observing.

7th Grade

Social Studies

In social studies the students are learning about the events that led up to the beginning of the American Civil War. We have been discussing the social dynamics of slavery, the establishment of States in the USA, and questioning what influence the Constitution on mid-1800s America. The students are excited to get to “warfare”... and we will get there soon enough. They have also been using inquiry to independently research their own topics related to American History. Ask them “what are you researching”?


7th Grade Math is studying integers. Students will be able to add, subtract, multiply, and divide integers by the holiday break! We are using integer language such as gain, loss, deposit, withdrawal, below and above sea level to name a few to solve word problems.

Algebra is solving 1-step, 2-step, and now multi-step equations. They are becoming equation masters!

So proud of 7th grade students and their efforts in Math!

Readers Writers

Hello all! We are just finishing up Quarter 1 which means we are just finishing up our first writing unit. Students wrote memoirs on all kinds of topics: death of family, pets, winning games, events, and so much more. They have been enjoyable to read. Ask your kids if they will share with you, they are a talented group. We are starting our new unit soon and will be switching back to reading. Our new unit is Investigating Characterization. We will be looking into Realistic Fiction and the various characters in different short stories.


Science/SS: We just wrapped up our unit on the American Revolution and are swinging back to science. Our topic will be physics, with a focus on energy, forces and motion. We will study Newton’s Laws of Motion and put them to practical use. We will be constructing (actual or virtual) roller coasters as our culminating activity. Please encourage your student to explore the physical world around them as we move through this unit.

Readers’ & Writers’ Workshop: We are busy growing our reading and discussion skills in readers’ workshop. We are reading a shared novel titled The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis. We are discussing the role of setting on characters and plot and working to identify strong theme statements. In addition, we are learning and growing through this cultural experience as the novel is set in the Middle East. As writers, we are continuing to grow our knowledge and expertise in various parts of speech as well as developing our writing skills in an upcoming literary essay unit.

Math: We just finished up a unit on the coordinate plane. The students learned how to graph coordinates within the 4 quadrants of a coordinate plane since they now are familiar with negative and positive integers. Our final activity was to graph a set of coordinates that made a Halloween picture. Ask your child to show you his/her picture!

We are now moving into a unit on fraction operations, mainly focusing on the division of fractions. A great way to practice using fractions in real life is by baking! With the holidays soon approaching, doubling or tripling a recipe could prove to be fun and helpful.

5th Grade

Fifth graders enjoying dressing up for Halloween!