Friday, November 11, 2011

Warrior Waves

The Sioux Center Community School District Board of Education believes in accountability for excellence at all levels.
Monday, Nov 14
Boys Basketball/Wrestling practice begins
7th/8th Boys Basketball vs Central Lyon, here, 4:15 & 5:15 pm

Tuesday, Nov 15
PLAN, EXPLORE, ITED testing – High School
NISO Children’s Concert @ Dordt, 1:30 pm
7th/8th Boys Basketball vs Rock Valley, 4:15 pm
            7th-here, 8th-there
Jr Dinner & Auction, HS Commons & Gym
            Dinner 5-7, Auction begins @ 7 pm

Wednesday, Nov 16
Early Release/Power Hour, 2:05/2:18 pm

Thursday, Nov 17
7th/8th Boys Basketball vs Hinton, 4:15 pm
            7th-here, 8th-there
IASB Convention @ Des Moines

Friday, Nov 18
No school events

Saturday, Nov 19
Girls Basketball @ Lawton-Bronson Jamboree
Hall of Pride scrimmage JV/V Boys Basketball @ LeMars, 5:30 & 7 pm
State Bowling Competition @ Des Moines

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Innocence lost

I am wondering if supporters of Joe Paterno who were at his home last night are considering innocence lost and the damaged lives of young boys.

Warrior Waves

The Sioux Center School Board believes in the value of each employee.

Monday, Nov 7
High school girls basketball practice begins

Tuesday, Nov 8
Parent/Teacher Conferences, 4:30-8:30 pm

Wednesday, Nov 9
Early Release/Power Hour, 2:05/2:18 pm

Thursday, Nov 10
Parent/Teacher Conferences, 4:30-8:30 pm

Friday, Nov 11
No school

Fall Play, Greater Tuna, TePaske Theater, 7 pm

            General admission, tickets available @ the door or @ the High School office

Saturday, Nov 12
No school activities

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Having Fun with Learning

PIRC recognizes there are many types of family engagement, and research reveals that learning at

home seems to have the biggest impact on student learning. Positive learning at home, beyond homework,

strengthens connections between academic skills and life skills, builds background knowledge,

and promotes discovery and exploration. The following article honors families for supporting important

learning at home.
It has been said in a variety of ways that “Families are a child’s first and most influential

teacher.” Our children learn important skills and knowledge both at school and at home.

How can we partner with schools so children can achieve their goals, develop to their potential and participate fully in their community?

Family routines and special events provide a rich backdrop for important and meaningful learning. Children need many meaningful experiences

to develop background knowledge. Through “hands on, minds on” experiences we develop important knowledge about how the

world works. We continue to develop background knowledge throughout our lives. We know children who have had rich experiences have

an easier time learning to read, developing math skills and understanding science concepts. Making learning a part of your family routine

can help your child develop important background knowledge for life-long learning.

Family routines that support learning include:

Talking with your child may be one of the most important things you can do to support learning. Giving your child many opportunities

to talk with you will develop vocabulary, social skills and reflective thinking. Talk with your child about things he or she is interested

in (e.g, make comments about your child’s interests and ask open-ended questions to find out what your child is thinking.) Follow

your child’s lead. Listen carefully for opportunities to start conversations: sports, friends, food, a special TV program may all offer a

starting point for conversation. Have fun! We all learn best when we are engaged in activities that we enjoy.
Meal preparation

In addition to conversations during family meals, cooking together can provide valuable learning experiences. Children practice literacy

skills when they read recipes, information on food packages and learn new ingredient vocabulary. They learn math skills while measuring

and selecting appropriate cooking utensils. They learn science when observing the changes that occur during the cooking process.

All this while having great fun!
Leisure time

We all enjoy our leisure time. This is a special time families can spend with their children. Surround your child with books and magazines.

Read with and to your child. Select reading material together. Younger children may be interested for shorter periods of time. If

your child sees that you value and have fun reading, they will too!

All children have creative tendencies. What activities do you have at home that allow for creative learning? Buttons, fabric, construction

paper, wrapping paper and ribbon can provide for crafts that allow for creativity. It is not the product that is important, but the

process. Children learn problem solving, hand-eye coordination, and perseverance during the creative process. An inexpensive digital

camera can provide endless hours of experimentation and creativity for older children.

Your child will enjoy these activities even more, if he or she has the opportunity to experience

them with a family member.

Families can use the time they have with their children having fun exploring their world

while, at the same time, supporting learning. This valuable time together will help ensure

our children will develop the critical social-emotional, physical, language and thinking

skills necessary to be an active participant in their community.

~ Alison Bell
Iowa Statewide Parent Information Resource Center (PIRC)

Parent Involvement
with Iowa PIRC

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Teacher Channel

I am amazed at the infinite ways that professionals can connect with each other.  In the opening session of the ASCD conference the following website was shared, the Teacher Channel.  This channel provides resources on every subject area and grade level.  Teachers can become members and connect with other teacher members to share and network.

Warrior Waves

The Sioux Center Community School's Board of Education believe parents and the community are essential partners with the schools.

Monday, Oct 31
2nd Quarter begins

Fall HS Vocal Concert, Te Paske Theater,

Tuesday, Nov 1
Northwest Iowa Junior High Choral Festival @ Le Mars High School,

Regional Volleyball Finals, here,

Wednesday, Nov 2
Early Release/Power Hour, 2:05/2:18 pm

Thursday, Nov 3
7th/8th Boys Basketball vs. MOC-FV,
            7th-here, 8th-there

MS mtg,

Friday, Nov 4
7th/8th Boys Basketball vs. Sheldon,
            7th-there, 8th – here

Saturday, Nov 5
Northwest Iowa Band Association HS Honor Band Auditions & MS Honor Band Festival @ Storm Lake

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Good Articles on Social Networking


Here are two articles worth reading regarding social networking.  These might be good starting points for you to discuss these issues with your child.

“Dangers of Social Networking Sites”   
Anonymous Bullying on Social Networks Seeps Into Schools”

"A Parent's Guide to Facebook" can be found in the parent section of the school website or by clicking here.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Warrior Waves

We believe in strong, focused leadership at all levels of the district.

National School Hot Lunch Week                 
Fire Prevention Week
FFA members continue with Fall Fruit Sales this week.  Fruit can be ordered through November 4th.

Monday, Oct 10
7th/8th Volleyball vs Rock Valley,
            7th-here, 8th-there
9th/JV Football @ West Lyon,

Tuesday, Oct 11
7th/8th Football vs Sheldon,
            7th-there, 8th-here
JV/Varsity Siouxland Conference Cross Country @ Okoboji,
9th/JV/Varsity Volleyball @ Okoboji,

Wednesday, Oct 12
Early Release/Power Hour, 2:05/2:18 pm
PSAT Testing @ the High School

Thursday, Oct 13
Kiwanis Pancake Supper Fundraiser for the 8th Grade Des Moines Field Trip – Centre Mall, 5-7 pm
9th/JV/Varsity Volleyball vs West Lyon, here, - Parents Night

Friday, Oct 14
HS Individual Pictures
Cross Country @ Unity,
Varsity Football vs Estherville, here, - Parents Night

Saturday, Oct 15
Freshman Volleyball @ Le Mars Tournament, 8 am
Varsity Volleyball @ Heelan Tournament,
Helping Hands Craft Fair,
NWIBA MS Honor Band Auditions @ Storm Lake

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

"Getting Connected"

Parents are our partners in education, and the Sioux Center Community Schools strives to give parents the tools they need to assist their children as they learn and grow. For the first time ever, the Sioux Center Middle School is offering an exciting program, the Parents' Academy, which will provide parents with free informational workshops.
Research shows that the more parents are involved, the better their children do in school, and we are always working toward academic success for all our students. The workshop series is designed to help parents and school professionals become full partners in the education of all students.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Warrior Waves

Monday, Sept 26
7th/8th Volleyball vs Sheldon,
            7th @ Sheldon, 8th here

9th/JV Football @ Sheldon,

Middle School Parent Academy, 6-8 pm

Tuesday, Sept 27
7th/8th Football vs MOC-FV,
            7th here, 8th @ Orange City

Cross Country @ Western,

9th/JV/Varsity Volleyball @ GLR,

Wednesday, Sept 28
Early Release/Power Hour, 2:05/2:18 pm

Thursday, Sept 29
7th/8th Volleyball @ GLR,

9th/JV/Varsity Volleyball @ Sheldon,

Friday, Sept 30
6th Grade & 7th/8th Grade Band Pregame Show,
“Spy Themes” featuring the themes from James Bond and Mission Impossible. The 6th grade band and 7/8th band will be presenting the show. The show will also feature the middle school’s drumline and color guard

Varsity Football vs Central Lyon, here,
  First National Bank is sponsoring the tailgate prior to the football game, serving pulled pork, chips, cookies/bars, and soft drinks. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Warrior Waves - GO WARRIORS

Monday, Sept 12

Fall MAPs Testing @ Kinsey & MS

7th/8th Volleyball @ Central Lyon, 4:15 pm

9th Volleyball @ LeMars Gehlen, 4:30 pm

9th/JV Football vs Central Lyon, here, 5 pm

Cross Country @ West Lyon, 5 pm

Tuesday, Sept 13

Fall MAPs Testing @ Kinsey & MS

7th/8th Football vs Boyden-Hull/Rock Valley, 4:15 pm
            7th – Hull, 8th here

Wednesday, Sept 14

Early Release/Power Hour 2:05/2:18 pm

Fall MAPs Testing @ Kinsey & MS

Thursday, Sept 15

Fall MAPs Testing @ Kinsey & MS

7th/8th Volleyball vs Hinton, 4:15 pm
            7th – here, 8th @ Hinton

9th/JV/Varsity Volleyball vs Boyden-Hull, here, 5:30 pm

Homecoming Bonfire, east of high school – following volleyball match

Friday, Sept 16


Fall MAPs Testing @ Kinsey & MS

Homecoming Coronation, HS gym, 12:30

Homecoming Parade, circling the blocks around the school, 1:30 pm

Varsity Football vs Western, here 7 pm

Homecoming Dance, MS commons, following football game - midnight

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Iowa officals unveil ideas for education reform

The Des Moines Register, September 6, 2011

Iowa education leaders unveiled a framework Tuesday for overhauling Iowa’s education system that calls for high school exit exams, doing away with an almost century-old teacher pay system and expanding charter schools.

Also included in the framework is the development of assessments that measure whether students have mastered their subject matter and the creation of an innovation fund that would provide districts with the money to try new things in the classroom. Additionally, Iowa would begin requiring ninth-graders take an international academic exam every three years and 11th-graders take the ACT.

Jason Glass, director of the Iowa Department of Education, and Linda Fandel, Gov. Terry Branstad’s special assistant for education, offered the first glimpse into Branstad’s blueprint for reform, which will be unveiled Oct. 3. Officials, until now, have only said their efforts would focus on three key areas: setting clear and rigorous standards with fair measures for results, improving principal and teacher effectiveness and increasing innovation in the classroom.

Specifically, the current plans include:

  • Doing away with the current teacher pay system that bases salaries on experience and college credits earned. Instead, the state would adopt a four-tiered system that would include apprentice, career, mentor and master teachers. Starting salaries for apprentice teachers would be around $40,000. Teachers would receive large bumps in pay each time they advanced to a different tier, with the maximum earnings around $80,000, Glass said.

  • Eliminating districts’ “last in and first out” layoff procedures, based soley on laying off teachers with the least amount of seniority. Instead, district officials when considering lay offs would recognize teacher credentials and the needs of individual schools.

  • Continuing to refine the Iowa Core, which outlines expectations for what students should know at each grade level. Officials will develop a test that better reflects whether students are meeting those expectations.
  • Expanding the presence of charter schools, although officials are still exploring whether to allow private companies to run them. Operators would have to demonstrate a need for the school and its feasibility, Glass said. If they failed to meet state expectations, they would be closed.

  • Requiring all 11th graders take the ACT college entrance exam. Also, students would have to take a high school exit exam, although it has yet to be determined whether they would have to pass it in order to graduate, Glass said. Schools would start giving the exam to 10th-grade students in hopes of catching those who are struggling early and providing them with extra help before they graduate, he said.

Glass and Fandel did not detail planned improvements to teacher preparation programs and teacher evaluations. They also didn’t discuss how the state would pay for the proposed changes.

State lawmakers will take up the final recommendations during the next Legislative session. They have said there is a momentum for change, but both parties will have to make concessions for the proposal to move forward. It’s unclear how much the reforms will cost and where the money will come.

At stake is the state’s ability to produce the educated and highly skilled workers needed to attract and keep businesses that bolster its economy. Without a qualified workforce, Iowa faces losing businesses to other states and nations, leaders have said.

Branstad made restoring the Iowa’s No.1 standing in education his top priority earlier this year when he took office. He has since traveled the state, meeting with residents and educators to garner input. Education experts from around the country gathered in Des Moines in July for an education summit meant to make the case and spark the conversation for a statewide overhaul.

Iowa has slipped in recent years from topping the nation in education. In 2009, 13 states scored significantly higher than Iowa in fourth-grade reading, while 15 outperformed it in eighth-grade math. Iowa leads the nation in its achievement gap between students with disabilities and their peers and enrolls the fourth-lowest percentage of students in the nation in Algebra I or other higher-level math courses.

Leaders in the state’s reform efforts have said they support measures including teacher evaluations based on student performance and peer review, performance-based pay, high school exit exams, raising teachers’ base pay from $28,000 to $31,500, and requiring all 11th-graders take the ACT college entrance exam. Additionally, they want to strengthen teacher preparation programs. For example, some want colleges to be more selective in who is allowed into their programs and require more clinical time.

The Urban Education Network, which represents the state’s largest eight districts, has also laid out its top three priorities for reform: changing the way schools are financed to allow for more money to flow to the state’s neediest students, developing tests that measure whether students grasp grade-level work, and teacher evaluations that reflect student performance.

Officials from the districts, which include Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Sioux City, Dubuque, Iowa City, Waterloo and Council Bluffs, have worked with state leaders in crafting the blueprint. Those conversations have also included representatives from the Iowa State Education Association, Iowa Association of School Boards and School Administrators of Iowa.

State education leaders will meet with those groups, as well as lawmakers and business officials, Wednesday to further discuss reform plans, Glass said. They also plan to continue traveling the state to gain ideas and feedback before releasing the final blueprint, he said.

Friday, September 2, 2011

What our kids are taught by merchandise

I found this video commentary very interesting.  What messages are we sending to our children?

Warrior Waves

School Events for Week of September 5 - 10
For Radio Show & Info Line 

Monday, Sept 5
Labor Day, no school

Tuesday, Sept 6
7th/8th Volleyball vs MOC-FV,
            7th – here, 8th @ Alton

9th/JV Football vs Unity, here,

Cross Country @ Sibley-Ocheyedan,

Wednesday, Sept 7
Early Release/Power Hour 2:05/2:18 pm

Kinsey Individual Pictures

Thursday, Sept 8
Kinsey Individual Pictures

9th/JV/Varsity Volleyball @ Central Lyon

7th/8th Volleyball vs Boyden-Hull,
            7th @ Boyden, 8th here          

Friday, Sept 9
Kinsey Individual Pictures

Varsity Football @ Unity,

Saturday, Sept 10
JV Volleyball @ Sioux City North,

Pizza Ranch Volleyball Tournament, here,

Northwest Iowa Pre-All-State Vocal Rehearsal, here,

Thursday, September 1, 2011

MAP testing will provide greater information to parents and teachers

Dear Parent:

During the week of September 12th, If your child is in grades 2nd through 11th, he/she will take tests called Measures of Academic Progress™ (MAP). We give students MAP tests to determine your child’s instructional level and to measure academic growth throughout the school year, and from year to year in the areas of math, reading, science, and language usage. Your child will take the tests on a computer.
MAP tests are unique in that they adapt to be appropriate for your child’s level of learning. As a result, each student has the same opportunity to succeed and maintain a positive attitude toward testing.  And with MAP tests, we can administer shorter tests and use less class time while still receiving detailed, accurate information about your child’s growth. Over the course of our testing week, your child will spend a total of about three hours completing these tests.
Each school year, students in grades 2nd through 11th will take the tests in September and May. Following each testing period, you will receive a report showing your child’s growth. Some of our students might experience an additional testing period in late January.

The NWEA Parent Toolkit was created as a resource and guide for parents. It includes Frequently Asked Questions, Tips for Parents, and a list of web sites for parents and kids. We hope you find this toolkit helpful and invite you to have conversations with your school district personnel about NWEA's assessment tools.  You will be invited to access this document by clicking here.  The document fully explains the purpose of the tests and how we will use the information obtained to promote your child's learning.

We are truly excited to begin a new era that focuses on every child’s individual growth and achievement. Partnering to help all kids learn, parents and teachers can have a profound positive effect on the lives of our children.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

KTIV’s Alert 4 School closing system

August 22, 2011

Patrick O’Donnell
Sioux Center

Dear Mr. O’Donnell,

We are writing you to give you the information you’ll need to access KTIV’s Alert 4 School closing system with the most advanced technology available today. Alert 4 features are designed to give you maximum flexibility while using as little of your time as necessary, and this service is free of charge. Alert 4 is optimized for speed, accuracy and security.

In addition, free mobile alerts are available for your Alert 4 announcements. People who sign up can receive a text message on their cell phones alerting them to your school announcements.  This can be especially important during weather that might cause power outages. This is a free service; although the user’s standard message and data rates will apply.

To begin using our service, people must first sign up at This requires a person to fill out brief form and provide their cell phone number. If anyone has questions about our service, you may direct them to a new mobile page we’ve built that answers frequently asked questions about mobile devices and services we provide. That page can be accessed by visiting, and clicking on the mobile tab on our site’s navigation bar.

Alert 4 allows you to enter your information, which immediately goes on-air and on-line, and sends a text message.  But, if you use the “Snowcap” system, your late-start or early-out information may not be getting to us at KTIV in a timely manner since that information must be manually entered.  By choosing KTIV for your announcements, you will reach the largest audience possible.

We appreciate and encourage you to use our Alert 4 System.  Let your parents, teachers, staff and students know that they can access the information several ways. They can watch KTIV News 4, go on-line to  and or sign up to receive alerts on their mobile device.

All of the information you need to begin using the new system is provided in this letter.  If the options provided don’t cover what you need to communicate, you can still call in your closings.  The direct number to the KTIV newsroom is (712)-239-4100 ext.245.  We take great pride in providing this information as a public service to the community, and look forward to working with you.

The First Day of School is in the Books

And what great day it was.  As I walked through some of the classrooms I was impressed by the staff and students alike.  The enthusiasm was outstanding.  I feel we are blessed to have quality professional people in our system. 

On Monday of this week we looked at what are the characteristics for excellence in eduction.  These characteristics are:

Key Feature 1: High Universal Standards
  • Raise aspirations and define educational excellence,
  • Make educational objectives transparent to students, and
  • Provide a framework for teachers
Key Feature 2: Accountability and Autonomy
  • Move responsibility to the front line,
  • Encouraging responsiveness to local needs and
  • Strengthening accountability systems.
Key Feature 3: Strengthened Teacher Professionalism
·         Recruit strong teacher candidates,
·         Promote sound subject-matter preparation,
·         Offer induction programs that support new teachers during their first few years of teaching, and offer
·         Ongoing professional development.
“Teachers are on a par with other professionals in terms of diagnosing problems and applying evidence-based practices and strategies to address the diversity in students' interests and abilities.”

Key Feature 4: Personalized Learning
“In world class schools, teachers are responsible for engaging constructively with the diversity of student interests, capacities, and socioeconomic contexts.”

Reflecting upon the Sioux Center District and the work that has been the focus for several years, the pieces of the puzzle are in place for us to take the education of our students to another level.  I believe that the leadership at all levels of the district is ready to accept the challenge.

It is going to be a great year. 

I want to thank you for your support of the Sioux Center CSD!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Summer Learning Tips for Parents

Summer months are often filled with sports clinics, camps, library reading clubs, trips to the swimming pool and family vacations for many school-age children. But for some children, summer break means extra time in front of the television or computer screen with little parental supervision. 
And there are other children whose parents would like to help, but they don’t know how or don’t realize the importance of staying academically stimulated.

Why does it matter?
Students who do little during the summer months to stimulate their minds experience what is known as “summer slide.” This is when they lose academic skills, mostly in the areas of math and reading, and then experience setbacks when they return to school in the fall.
The setbacks force teachers to spend about four to six weeks at the beginning of the school year refreshing students and bringing them back to where they were at the end of the previous academic year.  For example, students in the Grand Rapids (Michigan) school district were found to have lost about 40 percent of what they learned from the previous school year, according to a study done between 2003 and 2004.
And the U.S. Department of Education has reported that students’ reading skills fall behind about 25 percent each summer. The average student also loses about 2.6 months of grade-level equivalency in math computation skills during the summer.
In addition to brain activity, children also need to participate in physical and social activities during the summer to keep their bodies strong. Much of a child’s social stimulation can be received through interaction and activities with family members.
Also, parents need to help their children prepare for the next grade level during the summer months. This is increasingly important for those children who will enter kindergarten or the next academic stage such as middle or high school.

What the research shows
Most children experience a slight academic setback during the summer months, according to studies by Johns Hopkins University’s School of Education. The effect varies widely and is most apparent between low-income students and their middle-class peers.
The university’s National Center for Summer Learning has reported the following:
·         Most students lose two months of math skills during the summer. This mostly occurs because parents are able to keep their children reading during summer months but pay less attention to math, according to Harris Cooper, an education professor at Duke University.
·          Low-income students lose reading skills, while middle-class students mostly make slight gains.
·         Most of the loss occurs in elementary school, so that by the time some students reach fifth grade, they are academically 2 ½ years behind their peers.

Other studies have found:
·         Students usually score lower on standardized tests at the beginning of the new school year than they did at the end of the previous school year.
·         Many low-income youth who fell behind during the summer months eventually drop out or do not attend college.
·         Children also gain weight more rapidly during summer break.
·         Parents have reported they have difficulty finding productive activities for their children to do during the summer.

What can parents do?
Arne Duncan, secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, said families need to use the summer months to spend time with their children. They need to turn off the television and instead visit museums, parks and libraries. Each child should have a library card, and families should “find ways to continue to learn and to learn as a family all summer,” he said.
Research has shown that summer reading offers one of the greatest benefits because it improves comprehension and vocabulary regardless of the subject. Reading is most effective when a parent is involved, according to a Harvard University study.
There are numerous activities parents and other adults can do with children regardless of financial status. These ideas include:
·         Read: Parents should read to their child every day. Children improve more quickly when an adult asks questions about the material and makes the child re-read difficult passages. Books are too difficult for a child if he or she does not understand five or more words in a 100- word section. Also, set an example and make sure the child sees you reading.
·         On the road: Play “I Spy” with road signs for numbers, colors and shapes. Ask older children to estimate and calculate the travel time to a destination.
·         Get outdoors: Take children to parks and trails for walks or to ride bicycles, or plant a garden or flowers together. Spend time before the outing to gather information and ask children about the plants and wildlife they encounter.
·         In your city: Take trips to the museum or other cultural amenities during free admission days. Find free or inexpensive camps through your city’s parks and recreation department, school or other groups.
·         At the ballpark: Teach young fans how to calculate statistics such as RBIs or ERA. Suggest that they read a book about baseball before the game to teach kids more about the sport and to brush up on reading skills.
·         Volunteer: Ask a friend or relative to host a child at his or her workplace for a day, or take your child to pick up litter or volunteer at soup kitchen or senior center.
·         In the kitchen: Allow a child to help out by measuring ingredients and reading recipes. Ask more challenging questions such as how many pints are in a quart and how to divide ingredients.
·         Online: Numerous universities and community colleges offer free online courses, some of which can be downloaded to portable devices.  Websites such as can give parents reading tips to help their child at various ages.
·         Move it: Attend summer music festivals with your children and dance together. Sign up your child for summer swimming lessons or other athletic events.
·         Get prepared: Establish a school-night routine a couple of weeks before school starts that includes earlier bedtimes.
·         Be involved: Attend back-to-school and orientation nights to meet teachers, and learn about school and classroom expectations.
·         As a family: Plan and cook meals together, share family traditions/customs, or tell stories and reflect upon fun times.
·         Play games: Tell jokes and riddles and share trivia; also, play board games or other games together. Another way to get the brain working is to play thinking games such as categorizing items such as animals or foods, and doing word clusters.
·         Pen pals: Work as a family to write a letter to another family member or a friend. Everyone should contribute ideas.
·         Turn it off: Have at least one full week with no television or video games.

Ideas by grade level to prepare your child for school:
Kindergarten –
1.     Help children develop their language skills by teaching them to use adjectives and follow simple directions.
2.     Read to your child every day.
3.     Sing songs and listen to music.
4.     Practice matching letters, rhyming words and organizing things by size, color, shape, etc.
5.     Teach your child to do things by themselves such as get dressed, eat, clean up and use the restroom.

Middle school –
1.     Show your child how to become organized such as using a different folder for each subject and teach them how to record assignments.
2.     Help your child keep track of their activities by having a calendar at home on which events and homework assignments can be written.
3.     Create a homework schedule and set aside time each night for reading and writing.

High school –
1.     Encourage your child to get a job in order to make him or her more responsible and help understand what it’s like to have a job.
2.     Help children prepare for their

Iowa Parent Information Resource Center,