Life in the WDMCS 4/29/13

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.

Stilwell Junior High
The eighth grade T team at Stilwell Junior High spent their homeroom working out to an exercise program called Boot Camp Calorie Burn on Fit and Fabulous TV, which is available for download on iTunes. Students agree that if they got into the moves, they worked up a sweat. “It was a great way to start the morning and I hope we do it again soon,” said one student participant. The team will get moving again next Friday morning with an all-school walk.

Students in seventh grade ELP at Stilwell Junior High took a trip to Colby Park on Earth Day. They spent an hour and a half exploring the Walnut Creek, making observations about the creek’s ecosystem and how the creek is used for recreation. This trip is part of a flood unit that was designed in conjunction with the Iowa: Living With Floods initiative. Students will be learning about what it means to live with flooding, they will be interviewing several member of the community about the 1993/2008 floods and making terrariums based on what they observed at the creek.

Valley High School
Valley senior Michelle Rose was selected from a nation-wide pool as one of five United Bowling Congress Youth members to receive the Earl Anthony Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship is in recognition of her community involvement and academic achievement. The scholarships are presented in honor of the late Earl Anthony, the legendary bowling professional who was dedicated to helping youth bowlers. The USBC Youth committee selects the scholarship winners and each will be awarded a $5,000 scholarship. An honors program student and National Merit Semifinalist, Rose
is an accomplished cellist in the school’s orchestra, an ambassador for the school and a member of the bowling team. She has volunteered with Meals from the Heartland, packing meals for countries in need, and worked at the Red Rock Wildlife Education Center. She also has served as a camp counselor at the Living History Farms Day Camp and at her church.

Valley senior Abigail Pepin is among 22 students across the country to earn an internship with the World Food Prize Borlaug-Ruan International Internships. She will travel to México this summer to work at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in El Batán. The interns are involved in global projects dedicated to reducing poverty and hunger such as: fisheries and aquaculture studies; biotechnology; micro-credit and the women’s self-help concept; the influence of education on household food security; and the calculation of Vitamin C concentration in numerous potato varieties.

Clive Elementary
Author/illustrator Tracy Lovett and the band BETWIXT visited Clive Elementary April 18 to share songs, art, literature, writing and music. Lovett shared with the students her experiences as a writer, artist and professional photographer. She showed them how she uses both traditional and digital art techniques to bring her tales to life. They got to see and hear some of Lovett’s books read by the author herself. Students also participated in a musical experience with the children’s folk rock band, BETWIXT. Students will be singing their favorite BETWIXT tunes for many weeks to come!

Crestview Elementary
Third graders from Crestview Elementary School had the opportunity this past month to participate in the Read to Me Program. Each classroom visited a different nursing home in the community, and students read their favorite picture books to their senior friends there. Some students also sang a song from their recent music concert, as well as performed a reader’s theater. Students loved learning from their senior friend about what school was like when they were kids, and students and seniors alike enjoyed this great outreach opportunity.

Crestview second graders have had a busy April. They visited the Iowa Historical Museum for the Extraordinary Ordinary workshop and had a guest speaker who shared about Japanese origami come to school. Students will wrap up the month performing a music program for parents, as well as eating a Japanese lunch, complete with chopsticks and kimonos that students decorated!

Crossroads Park Elementary
The halls at Crossroads Park Elementary have been filled with music as students prepare for upcoming spring concerts, including the sixth grade Honor Music Concert May 7 at 7 p.m. at the Valley Auditorium. Many Crossroads students will be involved in this concert due to their hard work and commitment to their various ensembles. Congratulations to the following students on a job well done and being chosen to be a part of these honor ensembles: Honor Band – Greta Stewart, Maddie Pautvein, Olivia Allard, Julia Tighe, John Lim, Tyler Utter, Carrie Abeling, Evan Paine, Grace Johnson, Kate Anderson and Sam Onsrud; Honor Choir – Alysa Batterson, Liz Dunagan, Maddie Eakins, Riley Heil, Meredith Johnson, Hanna Marcus, Camryn Mears, Samantha Morris, Maddie Pautvein, Hannah Ross, Brie Salloum, Greta Stewart, Morgan Theisen, Julia Tighe and Ronin Welch; Honor Hand Bells – Sam Onsrud, Emily Anders and Evan Paine; Honor Orchestra – Maddie Pautvein, Julie Tighe, Lucas Bryant, Deaven Nguyen, Carrie Abeling, Riley Heil.

Jordan Creek Elementary
The Jordan Creek Circle of Friends program will be wrapping up the year with a school “lock in” in May. The kids will be engaged in fun activities, food, and a dance party! This year there will be several sixth graders moving on to junior high, but the group looks forward to adding new circles next year and continuing the program for a fifth year.

Jordan Creek first graders did some Earth Day activities at school to learn about how important each person’s role is to help keep our Earth live a long and healthy life. Teachers read an article about the possibility of our children reaching 150 healthy years. Keeping a healthy planet for them is a job for everyone. As many of the students know “Every day is Earth Day!” Students and teachers also welcomed a Polk County Conservationist Hooked on Bugs. This was in preparation for their science unit, Insects and Spiders. They will be learning how to tell if a critter is an insect or a spider or something else. Entering the world of entomology will be fun and interesting. In math, teachers are introducing adding two-digit numbers, fractions and equivalent fractions, graphing including finding the range and median or middle value and making symmetrical shapes. Students will also learn that most of the insects they study are symmetrical! Fun connection to science!

Phenix Elementary
Phenix Elementary second and third grade classes participated in VIP day April 18, inviting someone they consider to be a very important person to spend the afternoon at school. The second grade class presented their ocean animal reports with art work, while the third grade class shared their Australian animal reports and played a math card game. Thank you to all the VIPs for making it a special day!

Western Hills Elementary
The House of My Dreams has been a popular topic lately all across America. In fourth grade at Western Hills, the students are describing and designing their dream homes – in Spanish! The students can tell you the specifics from the exterior color, shape and size, right down to the specifics of the interior decorating. Using traditional Hispanic designs and vibrant colors, these houses are sure to be all the rage in the future.

Westridge Elementary
You can teach an old dog new tricks – or at least that is what four Westridge students believe. Fifth grade ELP students Chloe Edwards, Lauren Gilbert, Allie Melhorn and Meredith Neal, under the direction of ELP teacher Nancy Foley, wrote and illustrated a book about idioms for the Scholastic Kids are Authors contest. Students saw a poster advertising the contest at the Westridge Book Fair in November and decided to enter the contest. They spent weeks analyzing children’s books and discovering what made a good picture book. Next, students brainstormed ideas and researched idioms. With the help of art teacher Deb Leventhal, students learned about water color and other techniques for their illustrations. Finally, the girls wrote and illustrated their story. The book is 28 pages and contains hours and hours of work! The winning book will be published and sold at book fairs across the country. Scholastic will announce the winners by May 31. The girls recently shared their book with the public at Learnapalooza.