Life in the WDMCS 9/9/13
Life in the WDMCS is a weekly feature that highlights what is happening at each of our buildings. If a school is not listed, there was no submission from that building this week.
It’s that time of year again! Returning to school. Filling out forms. Providing information. One place that collects a lot of your child’s information is the nurse’s office. Each school in the WDMCS has one. Two of the most important pieces of information collected are your child’s immunization record and a yearly health update. The immunization record is required for school and helps keep your child up to date with their immunizations. If your child is new to the district, if your child has received new immunizations over the summer or does so in the next few weeks, please provide your school nurse with a copy of their record. The health update form informs your school’s nurse of important updates to your child’s health such as recent surgery, new allergies, new medications and more. If you haven’t filled one out this year, please ask for one or find it under Forms on the WDMCS Back to School Toolkit – http://toolkit.wdmcs.org. Your school nurse is brought to you by the WDMCS and we’re here for you! Please stop in and get to know us!
The Fairmeadows Elementary Music Room has really been rockin’ to the beat with a unit on African drumming circles. This is a hands-on activity made possible by the WDMCS’ purchase of 17 African drums plus additional auxiliary percussion instruments. These drums are being used for approximately three weeks at Fairmeadows Elementary and then travel throughout the district for use by each of our elementary schools. The students experience playing polyrhythms as well as demonstrating rhythmic knowledge and abilities while having a great cooperative musical experience.
Registration is now available for the Belin-Blank Exceptional Student Talent Search (BESTS) test. BESTS students in grades 4-6 take Explore®, which is designed for eighth graders. It is recommended that students have at least one score in the 95th percentile or above on a core subject of a grade-level test, such as the Iowa Assessments. Each of the four sections (English, math, reading and science) takes 30 minutes to complete. The total testing time is approximately two hours. Students in grades 4-9 are eligible for BESTS if they score at the 95th percentile or above on any subtest of a grade-level standardized test such as the Iowa Assessments. To register online, visit: http://www2.education.uiowa.edu/belinblank/students/bests/
Jordan Creek Elementary
Jordan Creek third graders volunteered to help package food for Meals From the Heartland at the downtown Hy-Vee Hall. Students had to watch a training video about how to package before putting a vitamin into the bag. Then they had to put the correct amount of rice, soy and vegetables on top. The bag was then weighed and rice was either removed or added to make it the correct weight. Then the bag was sealed and packaged. Students had a great time working in an assembly line and working as a team. It was a wonderful experience for all.
- Jordan Creek fifth grader Jonah Cutler runs around the track while Neal Marlett jumps rope and teammate Sejal Jain puts letters together to spell the words for the ABC Cardio game. In the background Ellie Burke, who was unable to run or jump because of an injury, was provided with an Air Dyne back where she could use her arms and still be part of her team.
For years now it has been shown through scientific research that we cannot maximize brain function without physical activity. Researchers at the University of Iowa indicated many years ago that the only way to build brain cells (axons, dendrites and the myelination of motor pathways) was the combination of activity and active thinking. At Jordan Creek Elementary, Lu Suarez’s physical education students play a game called ABC Cardio where students are given a word list relating to the unit of study and then accumulate letters to spell the words by choosing a type of activity. Students were learning about muscles in the body and had a list of 18 different muscles to try to spell. Fifth grade students will also study muscles in science to go deeper into the knowledge of how the body works. ABC Cardio was invented and copyrighted by Rob Chapman, Westridge Elementary physical education teacher and Valley girls soccer coach, and is now played in all WDMCS elementary schools as well as all across the country. Today’s physical education students will learn about muscles, bones and some basic physiology along with motor skills.
Students in physical education classes at Phenix Elementary will begin assessing their fitness levels during the month of September, along with learning how to set goals for themselves for the school year. The assessments included: cardiovascular endurance, speed, agility, upper body strength, abdominal strength and flexibility. They will be learning about the components of fitness while taking turns leading their classmates through various exercises and activities to develop these fitness components. The students have just completed the Tiger Paw jog in which students can earn tiger coupons for each “heart work” lap completed. Students can jog or power walk during the class period. Phenix kids are on the road to healthy bodies and healthy choices!
Phenix Early Childhood Center uses a system called PBIS, which stands for Positive Behavior Intervention Supports. The PBIS mission for Phenix is to develop an environment of dignity and respect in which students will succeed academically and socially. The PBIS philosophy for Phenix will focus on celebrating positive behaviors using corrective teaching when students make inappropriate choices. We believe our purpose is to help students positively fulfill their needs and develop into happy and productive adults. We strive to be consistent in dealing with all children. All adults will teach, model, and reinforce good choices and social skills. Last week, all students rotated through centers in which behavior expectations were taught for common areas of the building. Expectations may be rewarded by giving a student a paper Tiger Paw which is deposited in a bucket in the area. Every Wednesday there is a drawing from each bucket with a list of activities for the winners to chose.
Third graders at Westridge Elementary are busy learning the routines of reading workshop. They are learning how to “turn and talk” about books they listen to during read-aloud. In addition, they are learning the procedures for independent reading, partner reading, reading response, word study, and listen to reading. Some read-aloud book favorites include “The Day the Crayons Quit;” “Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon;” and “A Bad Case of Stripes.”
Indian Hills Junior High
The Indian Hills Magazine Fundraiser is almost here. Magazine sales begin Sept. 18 and run through Oct. 1. All seventh and eighth grade students will be involved. This is the school’s one and only fundraiser for the year with proceeds going to support clubs, activities, student entry fees, band, orchestra, vocal, the weight room, the gym area, the library, drama, school play, mimes, field trips and other special projects such as art murals and after the bell throughout the year. The fundraiser also totally supports the athletic program including uniforms, officials, workers, supplies, equipment, and transportation. Please support our students by purchasing a magazine, electronic magazine, or CD. You may also order or have a friend or family member order any time throughout the year at the Indian Hills website. Prices are the same but 45 percent of the cost goes to Indian Hills. If you would rather, you may also make a straight donation. We will count every $10 donation as a magazine order. Thank you for your support!
Valley High School
The Valley High School Club and Activity Fair will be Friday, Sept. 13 from 10:45 a.m.-1 p.m. in the VHS cafeteria commons. Representatives from the wide range of clubs and activities at Valley will be providing students information and recruiting new members. Students are encouraged to join in the fun and join a club! VHS club and activity representatives will be showcasing themselves at the Homecoming Carnival Thursday Sept. 19 at 6 p.m. at Valley Stadium. The public is invited to see what the clubs and activities at Valley have to offer!