Thursday, March 30, 2017

Dear Families in the Middle,

We so appreciated the presence of many of our middle school parents at the meeting last Monday evening. I overlooked sharing the slides for the Seminar held immediately before the meeting.
Spring Parent Seminar. If the topic was of significant interest to you, you might also value an upcoming event just shared with me by one of our HMS parents:
St. Croix Valley Foundation and the Jacob Wetterling Foundation are sponsoring a public affairs special event some of our community may be interested in attending: 
April 19, 2017, 11:30 AM - 1 PM, Lowell Inn Center 
How do I talk to children about personal safety without scaring them to death? This presentation provides current information about various safety concerns children and teens are facing today, both in-person and online, and how to educate youth on those concerns in a positive way. For more information, use this link

Next week, our state assessment, the Forward Exam, will be administered to students in all three grade levels. The exam is a tool our state uses to determine the effectiveness of our Wisconsin Schools. Additionally, each district uses the information to determine where we might need to make program changes to support student learning. The Forward Exam also provides students and parents with an indication of achievement level compared to other Wisconsin students. We anticipate results in the fall.

Looking ahead...please mark your calendars for our second annual HMS Learner Showcase! This year we are planning an added component - The Maker Fair - to honor the creativity and capabilities of our middle school students. The Maker Fair is open to HMS students and their families on May 4 during HMS Learner Showcase night. This is an opportunity for students to show their hobbies and activities of interest outside of school. Please contact Sara Ellstrom (ext. 4244 or 4242) with questions. 

Many of you know this year all HMS students participated in a One Book One School initiative by reading Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. Boys in the Boat depicts the struggles and hardships of the 1936 Olympic Men's rowing team.  As part of our culminating activity, our BITB committee is requesting your help in finding people who would be willing to visit HMS and/or participate in a Skype/ Google Hangout, or video recording on Friday, May 12, 2017 to talk about a connection or passion they have related to The Boys in the Boat.  If you are interested in this opportunity or know someone who may be, please contact Kari Halstead ( or 715-377-3820, ext 4008).  We are looking for people who have any of the following qualities or any other connections to Boys In the Boat that may not be listed:
  • Participated in the Olympics
  • Tried out for the Olympics
  • Rowed in high school, college, professionally or just for fun
  • Experience building boats (specifically rowing boats would be great, but not necessary)
  • Coaches
  • College level athletes
  • Professional athletes
  • Someone with "Rags to riches" story
  • Someone who grew up in the Great Depression
  • Someone who was an orphan growing up
  • Accomplished musicians
  • Other connections

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Dear Families in the Middle,

During our March Parent Group Meeting Monday evening, some folks suggested ways to involve parents in providing a safe, positive and welcoming learning environment. Please use this Lunch & Recess Volunteer link to indicate your interest in coming to HMS during any of our lunch and recess times to visit with students and offer support. You'll note the only requirement is to complete the district background check form (link also included). Many thanks to the group Monday evening for their positive and proactive response to our recent challenges.

Have you heard about a partnership between a group of 7th grade students and their teacher, Ms. Rolstad, and our HMS Parent Group? It's a Doggity Fun Run scheduled for Saturday, April 22. Use the links to learn more, contribute, and join this healthy community event!

More GOOD NEWS about Hudson students! Thanks to a message from Liz Malanaphy...

We're VERY proud of 24 amazing Hudson Destination Imagination teams from across the district, who performed at the St. Croix Valley Regional Tournament March 18-19.  Of those 24 teams, 12 qualified for the state tournament, April 8 in Stevens Point!  Included in those 12 teams are three Willow River teams, an EP Rock fourth grade team, five HMS teams and three HHS teams.  Congratulations!

According to Liz, it was consistently evident through the tournament that our students are innovative, curious, creative and well rounded!  It is clear that they understand the power of collaboration, and have learned to celebrate the unique talents of each and every team member.  Destination Imagination honors the goals of the district as set forth by HSD 2025, and provides opportunities for our students to realize those goals! 

Thank you to the many, many DI coaches who give generously of their time to support these students and teams in their innovative thinking and creative pursuits!

More opportunities to encourage healthy practices...

Allina Health recognizes good health habits, including being active, start early. This is why we partner with Free Bikes 4 Kidz, a non-profit organization geared toward helping all kids experience the joy of riding a bike, by providing bikes to those most in need. Since 2011, this annual event has provided free bikes (and helmets) to tens of thousands of children, including hundreds right here in western Wisconsin.

This year, in response to feedback from families participating in the event, we moved the bike giveaway to the spring. Our hope is that this will not only provide an opportunity for kids to ride their bikes immediately after receiving them, but that it will also help ensure that bikes and helmets are sized appropriately and that kids remember some of the safety tips being taught at the event.

If you know of a child in need of a free bike, please encourage their parents or guardians to bring them to River Falls Area Hospital the morning of Saturday, April 22, right after the Doggity Fun Run at HMS!  Please note:
·         Bikes will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
·         Because the bikes and helmets are sized to fit the child, children must be present to receive a bike.
·         A parent or guardian must be present to sign a waiver. 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Dear Families in the Middle,

WE HAVE A (another) WINNER!  Hudson Middle School students - Audrey MacMenamin, Cade Paradowski and Peyton Knefelkamp - created the winning recipe for the Fuel Up To Play 60 sponsored Super Bowl Breakfast Recipe contest!

The Super Bowl Breakfast Recipe contest is part of Fuel Up to Play 60 program to highlight healthy breakfast foods. Entries had to include a dairy product to provide protein and calcium. Breakfast is often described as the most important meal of the day. Research shows children who eat breakfast show an increased ability to learn, better academic performance, and may have a decreased risk of developing illness, including complications associated with being overweight.

Mrs. Deb Gangnon, Family & Consumer Science Teacher, challenged students in the [course] to take the contest one step further and develop a recipe that meets Smart Snack Guidelines.

"I'm super proud of these students as they chose to take a non-traditional approach to their breakfast bowl and instead of a smoothie or yogurt bowl, they made an egg scramble with mozzarella cheese," said Mrs. Gangnon. We think you might want to give this recipe a try! March is National Nutrition Month.  Happy healthy eating!

We honored our March Raider Pride Students during a breakfast Tuesday morning for their Positive sense and use of HUMOR in their learning. What an enjoyable group of students who know how to find joy, ease tension, and think creatively about situations!

Our Spring Parent Seminar is Monday, March 20 at 5:30 PM in the Multi-Purpose Room. Our March Parent Group meeting follows this seminar at 6:30 PM. You'll hear from our National Junior Honor Society student leaders and STATeam (Student Tech Assistants) during the Parent Group meeting. TWO parent networking events in the same evening. What a deal! Hope to see you Monday!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Dear Families in the Middle,

We hope your family enjoys time together during spring break - whether you're traveling, staying home, visiting family and friends, or cleaning closets...

Spring break at HMS will bring even more visible construction progress in our Student Support Services and Office areas. To reach out to a counselor or anyone in our office, please call any of our administrative assistants and they will locate the staff member you are seeking: 715-377-3820
Katie Bergdahl - ext. 4021
Kelly Schroeder - ext. 4023
Cheryl Engnes - ext. 4022
Terri Ostertag - ext. 4020

Franklin Xiao, from Hudson Middle School, has qualified to compete in the State level competition of the National Geography Bee! We are so proud of Franklin! This is the second level of the National Geographic Bee competition, which is now in its 29th year. School Bees were held in schools with fourth through eighth grade students throughout the state. School champions then took a qualifying test, which they submitted to the National Geographic Society. The National Geographic Society has invited up to 100 of the top-scoring students in each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Department of Defense Dependents Schools and U.S. territories to compete in the State Bees.

We are anticipating our Spring Parent Seminar, Monday, March 20 at 5:30 PM, just before the HMS Parent Group meeting (6:30 PM). Recognizing the challenges of the middle years, social media, and responding to conflict respectfully, we are hopeful we can work together to help our middle level learners make positive decisions.

Speaking of making positive decisions, special thanks to several parents who have taken time to share and report specific information related to conflicts among students - whether on the bus, in the lunchroom, at recess, or on social media. We are grappling with negative student choices during particularly the 7th grade lunch (11:30 - Noon). We are taking steps to address these choices and we are in the process of planning for specific changes to begin after spring break. We will be sharing details so we can partner with you in communicating with our students to create a more positive learning environment here at HMS.

Thanks to our Parent group for organizing and our NJHS students for counting the box tops collected earlier in February! The winning house for the box tops collection competition was 8th grade WINDSOR! They collected over 1600 box tops to win an ice cream sandwich party during Advisory Thursday, March 2. Second place House was Raider Blue with 1091 box tops.  Thanks to the efforts of many, we anticipate receiving a check for $799.40 for the box tops! Please continue saving and adding to the box top collection box in the school office.