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Information for New Families

Teaching the whole child in an attentive, supportive environment.

What can you expect from us beyond a rigorous and affordable Catholic education? That we accept and nurture the best in every child, preparing them to walk with Christ along life’s path with a firm foundation to freely make good choices.

Our 230-plus pre-K through 8 students enjoy ideal class sizes with a curriculum that exceeds Wisconsin state standards and includes world languages. Our graduates routinely place in advanced classes upon entering high school and have gone on to Harvard, West Point, Notre Dame, Franciscan University, Air Force Academy, University of Wisconsin and other fine colleges and universities, as well as the Army and Navy.

Our students enjoy the full-time attention of 28 educators and staff, including Sister Sue Keim and Father Chad Droessler.

Children learn best by doing. Here, our kids start doing from day one. They read the morning announcements, use our smart boards to broadcast the morning news and speak at Mass—just to name a few activities.

Christ is always present in our hearts and teaching. Students attend age-appropriate Mass weekly and speak at services. Father Chad leads a religion class every week. Our kids learn early on the value of service and faith-based community in a supportive “home away from home” atmosphere.

Our kids live an active lifestyle on our six-acre campus, with two large, secure playgrounds in a quiet neighborhood. We also offer after-school sports for upper grades and wrap-around care for all students to accommodate busy parent schedules.

The best way to experience us is to see for yourself. We encourage you to call (608) 222-9181 or email  tour@ihm-school.org to schedule a tour!

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you accredited?
What kind of religious instruction is offered by IHM School?
How are IHM students involved in service?
What kind of Sacrament Preparation can I expect?
How often do the students attend mass?
Do you offer extended care?
What kind of technologies will my student be using?
What does your daily schedule look like?
What “special classes” do you have at IHM?
What are your class sizes like?
Do you offer hot lunch?
Do you have a school counselor?
Do you have uniforms or a dress code?
Do I have to be a member of IHM parish in order to attend this school?
Do I have to be Catholic to attend this school?
What High School do IHM graduates attend?
What kind of extra-cirricular activities are available?
How do your current students feel about their school?
Do you offer any services for students with disabilities?
What is the cost of attending Immaculate Heart of Mary School? Do you offer any tuition assistance?
Does the school provide transportation?
What dates are students in attendance?
What types of fundraising activities do you do?
How can parents be involved at IHM school?

Are you accredited?
IHM is fully Accredited by the Wisconsin Religious and Independent Schools Association. We go through a very intensive self-study every 7 years, and develop a continual School Improvement Plan that is updated every year in order to maintain that accreditation.

What kind of religious instruction is offered by IHM School?
Immaculate Heart of Mary defines itself as a Catholic school, first and foremost. Our students in preschool thru 8th grade have religion class daily, and attend Mass once a week. Grades 3-8 also plan and participate in those weekly masses. Father Chad Droessler teaches in the classrooms on Wednesdays and Fridays. Our preschool classes also have an age-appropriate religion curriculum.  4K classes are run in collaboration with the Monona Grove School District, and religion curriculum is offered before or after the instructional class. In 2014 a 4k section separate from Monona Grove School District began. The whole school also practices Liturgical singing with the music teacher once a month, and participates in prayer services weekly during Advent and Lent. The Catholic faith and values affect every class and interaction at IHM School, as we see Jesus in each child.

How are IHM students involved in service?
Immaculate Heart of Mary School applies Catholic social teaching as the basis of our service learning. Students participate in activities throughout the year involving dignity of the poor, respect for human life, respect for the environment, and knowledge of social justice. Some of these activities in the past have included clothing and food drives, “Cans for Critters,” raking leaves for the elderly, working in the food pantry, “Pennies for Peace,” and many more.

What kind of Sacrament Preparation can I expect?
Immaculate Heart of Mary School prepares students for the sacraments of 1st Reconciliation and 1st Communion in 2nd grade – although if a child needs to be prepared for these sacraments at a later time in their life, that is possible in cooperation with our Religious Education program through the parish.

How often do the students attend Mass?
The Preschool through 8th grades at IHM School attend Mass weekly, usually on Thursday mornings. The weekly Masses are planned by an individual class each week, and the students participate in the Mass by proclaiming the 1st reading and petitions, taking up the offertory gifts and serving Mass. Other devotions are practiced throughout the year such as the rosary, Eucharistic adoration, and Stations of the Cross. During Lent and Advent, the school has a weekly prayer service as well as individual classroom activities.

Do you offer extended care?
Before school supervision is available for all of our 4K through 8th grade students for 30 minutes before classrooms open. After school, IHM offers 4K Bunch (for our 4K students, from 11:00 until 5:30), our Afterschool program (for grades K-4, until 5:30), and Homework Club and Art Studio (for grades 5-8 until 5:00). Our Extended Care page offers more complete details.

What kind of technologies will my student be using?
We are excited to have an interactive white board in every class room! There are also computers available in every classroom for student use. All students from grade Kindergarten through 8 attend weekly computer classes. The Math curriculum for grade 5-8 includes an online component with student accounts that can be accessed from home. Students from 2nd through 8th grade are given an email account and many of our classes have on-line assignments. Beginning in the spring of 2013 our students have begun using personal Chromebooks and Nexus tablets.

What does your daily schedule look like?
Our day begins at 8:10 AM, and students are released at 3:05 PM. Preschool takes place from 8:15 until 11:15. Kindergarten through 3rd grade students have three recesses and a snack each day, while 4th & 5th grades have two recesses, and 6th through 8th grades have one recess at lunch time. Library, Physical Education, Music, Computer, and Foreign Language classes are held at various times throughout the week, while Reading, Math, Social Studies, and Science occur daily/at more regularly scheduled times.

What “special classes” do you have at IHM?
Music, Library, Art, and Physical Education classes are all included in our curriculum for each grade. Computer classes are also part of the curriculum – for all but the 4K and Preschool classes. We offer a World Language Program for all students. Three languages are taught at IHM school: Spanish is introduced in Grades Preschool-2, French is introduced in Grades 3- 5, and German is taught in Grades 6, 7 and 8. All grades also participate in several educational field trips throughout the school year.

What are your class sizes like?
Although we have many different size classes, there are class limits for each level. The limits are: no more than 18 students in each 4K class, no more than 25 in a Kindergarten class (above 20 would mean a Kindergarten Aide would be employed in the classroom), and no more than 25 per classroom in Grades K- 2nd. Class size depends on the needs of each class of students and may change at the discretion of administration.

Do you offer hot lunch?
Delicious, nutritious food is prepared on-site daily. Children enjoy access to a salad bar with fresh fruit and vegetables every day as well. Monthly menus are sent home in the Eagle Express and are posted on the website. There is also a morning milk snack program for grades 4K – 5.

Do you have a school counselor?
Immaculate Heart of Mary School has a school counselor on staff. He is in the school for a full day once a week, and teaches lessons to classrooms on bullying, conflict resolution, and other topics. He also counsels individual students and is available for parent consultations as well.

Do you have uniforms or a dress code?
IHM has a uniform on the days that the whole school attends Mass and on field trip days in order to promote a sense of our community. There is a dress code for all other days. Please see page 40 of the Handbook for a thorough description.

Do I have to be a member of IHM parish in order to attend this school?
No. There are many students at Immaculate Heart of Mary School that attend other Catholic parishes. The tuition rate is the same for all Catholic students, regardless of the parish they attend.

Do I have to be Catholic to attend this school?
No. Immaculate Heart of Mary School has students from many different faith traditions. The Tuition rate for non-Catholic families is our base-tuition rate, plus the average giving amount to our parish.

What High School do IHM graduates attend?
Our graduates attend many different high schools, including St. Ambrose Academy and Edgewood, LaFollette, Monona Grove, East, West, Memorial, and McFarland High Schools. IHM prepares our students very well for any high school, preparing them to succeed academically, socially, and to make good life decisions.

What kind of extra-curricular activities are available?
Immaculate Heart of Mary School has a lot of fun extra-curricular activities available, including:

  •  Instrumental Band (Grades 4-8) and Honors Band
  •  Children’s Choir
  •  Interscholastic Sports (Grades 5-8) – volleyball (boys & girls) , basketball (boys & girls), softball (girls) and football (boys).
  •  Art Studio and Homework Club available for Grades 5-8 after school
  •  7th and 8th grade parent-sponsored Washington DC learning experience
  •  Prairie Fire Children’s Theater experience for grades 2-8
  •  Boys Scout and Girl Scout troops
  •  Student Council

How do your current students feel about their school?
Our school students have lots of great things to say about their school! See this page for a list of quotes from our students!

Do you offer any services for students with disabilities?
Special Education, Title 1, and ELL services are available through the resident school district. IHM School has reading teachers, OT consultants, and other special education professionals in the building every day. We also service Speech and Language needs in our building.

What is the cost of attending Immaculate Heart of Mary School?  Do you offer any tuition assistance?
Due to the generous underwriting of the IHM parish, for the 2014-15 school year, tuition for Catholic students starts at $3,220, plus fees. Non-Catholic student tuition starts at $4,420. Detailed information can be found on our Tuition page. Tuition assistance may be possible, providing the family has filled out a scholarship application form, available here or in the school office.

Does the school provide transportation?
Monona and Cottage Grove residents can be transported to and from home by bus if they live within the allotted boundaries. Families living in the Monona Grove School District wishing to obtain more information regarding school bus routes should please contact the Monona Grove School District. Students living outside of the Monona Grove School district should contact their school district of residence, as some (Madison and McFarland, for example) provide transportation reimbursements under certain conditions. Please see the Family Handbook for further information.

What dates are students in attendance?
Please click here for the complete school calendar.

What types of fundraising activities do you do?
IHM is proud to be a “no-sell” school. We raise funds through community-building activities, instead; such as the Fabulous Friday Fish Fry, Soup-R-Raffle, and Spaghetti Dinner. Families are required to participate in supporting these functions, by working three shifts per parent. Our fundraising efforts have been extremely successful in the past, allowing us to purchase interactive white boards, renovate our gymnasium, and complete many other projects!

How can parents be involved at IHM school?
Parents are involved in many ways at IHM. Through the Home & School Association, School Advisory Commission, volunteering in the classrooms, helping in the lunch room, serving on committees, and helping with special events. Every day our cafeteria is open to parents who would like to share lunch with their child. Contact IHM’s School Development Coordinator, Sandy Bakk, to learn more about the many ways you can be involved with IHM; phone: 608-222-9181 or  email.