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.