Spartan Gazette

January 2018

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Indian Mound Middle School

Building Administrative Assistant: Gina Pili /

Attendance Line: 608-838-8980

Fax: 608-838-4588

The “New Year” at IMMS

I am completely amazed that it is the end of December and almost halfway through the school year. We try to pack a lot of activities into December and this year was no different. Here are a few of the highlights:

  • On December 4th some of our students participated in the “Art of Writing” day long workshop in Milwaukee where our student artists and writers worked with other students and created pieces of art and writing.

  • On December 6th our 8th grade students participated in the Future Quest Career Fair at the Alliant Energy Center. Our students were able to meet with business leaders as they explore their future career possibilities.

  • On December 8th we held a school safety drill that involved a random Canine Search of lockers for controlled substances with nothing being found.

  • On December 11th our middle school Orchestra students provided an amazing concert showcasing their talents.

  • On December 15th our staff mentors and their student mentees had breakfast together as a great way to end the week and ensure our students feel connected to adults at school.

  • On December 21st we held our Student of the Month Assembly featuring a musical performance by our Middle School Choir and the High School Blue Notes. The day also included an independent reading time that is always very popular with our students as they love to read.

  • Our school continued to learn more about Trauma Sensitive School practices. The focus of this professional development is to learn how childhood trauma impacts our students and how we can create a more supportive environment for all students, including those who have been exposed to trauma.

  • Our staff spent their lunch time learning about Mindfulness practices for themselves and for their students.

  • Our English/Language Arts Team continued their work to review and revise our reading curriculum.

  • As a staff we explored our grading practices including changes we have made in the last few years and next steps for the future. As part of this work, our Math, English/Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies teams continued their work on defining the Essential Learning Outcomes for their courses.

  • We started a new monthly practice called “Teacher Visit Day” where teachers learn by watching their colleagues teach.

There are many things to look forward to in January including:

  • We get to come back to school on January 2nd.

  • We do not have school on January 15th and January 26th. On January 26th we will continue our work to create a Trauma Sensitive School, revise the reading curriculum, and analyze student learning related to our critical thinking goal.

  • On January 18th our 7th and 8th grade bands will be performing a concert at 7 p.m. at the high school. Admission is free!

  • January 26th marks the end of the 2nd quarter.

  • Mr. Kinnaman’s 6th and 7th grade classes will be taking tours of the construction areas.

  • The winter Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) testing begins for students who are new to IMMS or receive additional support for math.

  • A group of staff members will be visiting Middleton to learn about their Math and English/Language Arts instruction.

  • And much more!

It has been a great start to the school year. Thank you for your involvement in your child’s education and for making this such a wonderful community to serve.

Aaron Tarnutzer, Principal

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Featured in the McFarland Thistle - Students bring 12 days of positive actions to IMMS

Posted: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 6:00 am

By Amber Gerber

The sixth-grade hallway at Indian Mound Middle School looked like a frosty wonderland last week with paper snowflakes posted on the lockers. Just a few days earlier, the building was bustling with students giving out high fives and fist bumps.

Those were just two of the activities that are part of the 12 Days of Jolly Goodness Challenge, which began Dec. 1. For a dozen consecutive school days, IMMS students and staff are encouraged to partake in a daily activity that will have a positive impact on the school.

The 12 days challenge is from the minds of three eighth-grade girls, Mara Freeman, Natalie Branch and Sammi Heckel. As they were brainstorming on how to make the school a better place, Branch suggested doing something similar to an advent calendar where a new challenge would be revealed daily.

Initially, the girls, who are all part of the IMMS Ambassadors club, thought of calling the challenge 12 Days of Building a Better School; it was guidance counselor Jill Runde who suggested a more festive sounding name.

“It’s really about making your environment happier and then some of it is about making you happier,” Freeman said. “And each month we have a challenge so we wanted to have something that each grade could work towards.”

Branch said students may have been a bit reluctant to take part, but as the 12 Days Challenge has progressed, more are getting involved. School staff members are also taking part in the challenge.

While the challenge is new, it’s part of the IMMS eighth-grade Ambassadors group’s tasks to decorate the hallway bulletin boards and post information on how to make school life a bit more enjoyable.

“We’re just going off of that and making it a bit more interactive,” Heckel said, adding they chose not to connect the challenge with any specific winter holiday, yet wanted to have it somewhat in line with the theme of the season. “We thought if we made it fun, more people would get involved.”

The challenges, determined by the girls, range from sending a friend a motivational or funny YouTube video to writing a thank you card to the food service or custodial staff, and will conclude Dec. 18 with students decorating the door of their ARRE Time teacher.

The girls are already seeing how their challenge is impacting the school. Branch said during December students seem to not have as much energy and may not concentrate as much because they are looking forward to winter break.

“But now, they have some fun activities to do at school,” Heckel said.

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Adding to the positive atmosphere

Three eighth graders have created a 12 Days of Jolly Goodness Challenge at Indian Mound Middle School. Students and staff are taking part in activities that contribute to making the school a more positive place. From left, are Mara Freeman, Natalie Branch and Sammi Heckel. The challenge is part of the monthly Ambassadors club bulletin board.

NOVEMBER Student of the Month Recognition

Each month we recognize students for their hard work, dedication, leadership and character. Students should exemplify the A.R.R.E. (Achievement, Respect, Responsibility and Empathy) model in addition to showing compassion, being loyal and trustworthy.

The Students recognized for the month of November are as follows:

6th Grade: Victor McCollough, Izzie Tobin, Kylie Meinholdt, Tyler Rowland, Ella Gotcher, Caden Komro, Ellie Johnson, Jessica Neild, Pheobe Yeun and Nora Wrobleski.

7th Grade: Lola Barelmann, Tegan O'Brien, Hailey Brodowsky, Jaden White,

Paige Ceelen, Karma Wangdue, Jaya Deckard, Travis Zadra, Diego Herrera and

Charlotte Prosser.

8th Grade: Riley O'Leary, Megan Gates, Emily Roe, Greta Blau, Catherine Briddell,

Daniel Zeier, Melanie Manson, Elijah Templeton, Keyla Granados and Finley Cremeens.

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Upcoming Swim Classes in February

Swimming is part of the physical education classes here at IMMS. Ms. Stokes students will begin February 4th - 22nd. Mr. Kubiceks students start February 26th - March 15th. Swimsuits for physical education and on-campus activities must be one-piece or tankini-style swimsuits suitable for rigorous, physical activity.
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For the last 30 years Lions clubs around the world have proudly sponsored the Lions International Peace Poster Contest in local schools and youth groups. This art contest for kids encourages young people worldwide to express their visions of peace.

The theme of the 2017-2018 Peace Poster Contest was "The Future of Peace." Each poster is judged on originality, artistic merit and expression of the theme. Posters advance through several judging levels: local, district, multiple district and international. At the international level, judges from the art, peace, youth, education and media communities select one grand prize winner and 23 merit award winners.

This year, IMMS had 19 participants, including Jaden White featured below as the winner this year. Jaden was also voted the winner in last years contest. Congratulations to all participants!


We know that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Our children need to receive nutritionally adequate meals in order to learn and grow properly. We also know that mornings can be hectic trying to get everyone off to school and work on time. If there isn’t time at your house to make breakfast or, if you child isn’t yet hunger before you leave, The School Nutrition Department offers a healthy, well balanced meal to start your child’s day off right.

We offer one hot entrée every day and there will be at least three cold entrees every day to choose from. Low sugar cereal will also be available daily. Mini bagels and lowfat, whole grain blueberry muffins are just a couple examples of what we offer. Check out our website for the menu of hot items at

The cost of breakfast is $1.75 or $0.30 for students who qualify for reduced lunch. Families who qualify for free lunch are also able to receive a free breakfast. If you have any questions about breakfast or anything about our program, please contact me, Barb Waara, Student Nutrition Director, at or 838-4549.

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First Bell - 8:03pm

Tardy Bell - 8:10pm

Dismissal Bell: 3:34pm

January Dates At-A-Glance...

January 2 - Return to school

January 15 - No School

January 26 - No School

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The following flyers are NOT all school-sponsored activities and the McFarland School District does not provide support or endorsement of the program/flyer. It has neither reviewed nor approved the program, personnel, or activities announced in the brochure/flyer. Permission to distribute this material must not be considered a recommendation or endorsement by the School District.

McFarland E.D. Public Library

All readers aged birth-18 is encouraged to participate in the annual Winter Reading program "Booked for Reading" through January 31st. Each participant who completes the reading program will have a library "Wanted" poster made and readers in grades K-12 will be eligible to enter for the grand prize: a ride home from school in a police car on February 9th! Stop by the circulation desk at the public library to pick up a reading log to get started.
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Stay Warm and Exercise Indoors at Madison Turners

OPEN GYM - Saturdays

Tots 6 months - 6 years: 11:00 am - 12:00 pm, cost $5

Kids Ages 7 & up: 12:00 pm - 1:45 pm, cost $8

All ages require parent supervision

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