Congratulations to our Boy’s Cross Country team on qualifying for the 2018 State Cross Country Meet! The state meet will be held at Lakeside Municipal Golf Course in Fort Dodge on Saturday, October 27th. More information can be found on the Iowa High School Athletic Association website. Congrats and best of luck!
Now that school is in full swing I wanted to reach out and let you know HOW important school attendance is for the success of your child. Research continues to shows that when kids are absent for an average of just two days of school per month—even when the absences are excused – it can have a negative impact that can be seen as early as kindergarten.
Encouraging regular school attendance with your children is one of the most powerful ways you can prepare your child for success—both in school and in life. Research also shows that when our students attend school regularly, they often do better academically (lessons include activities and discussions to develop understanding that simply cannot be recreated when done later with an absent student), feel more connected to their community, develop important social skills and friendships, develop healthy life habits, are more likely to avoid dangerous behavior, and are more likely to graduate from high school, setting them up for a strong future.
As a parent, you can prepare your child for a lifetime of success by making regular school attendance a priority. We understand that when you child is running a temperature or a life event does require your child to be absent from school, they need to be absent. But as a district we want and need your child in school to help them succeed. If there are conflicts, please know we are happy to work with you if there is anything we can do to help with reasons for your child’s absences — whether they are physical or emotional — and offer support. Again, we want to help you set your child on the path to success!
Eating breakfast can help your child concentrate, give them strength and even help them maintain a healthy weight.
Your mother was right: Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Not only does it give you energy to start a new day, but breakfast is linked to many health benefits, including weight control and improved performance.
Studies show that eating a healthy breakfast (as opposed to the kind containing doughnuts and soda) can help give you:
* A more nutritionally complete diet, higher in nutrients, vitamins and minerals
* Improved concentration and performance in the classroom or the boardroom
* More strength and endurance to engage in physical activity
* Lower cholesterol levels
Eating breakfast is important for everyone, but is especially true for children and adolescents. According to the American Dietetic Association, children who eat breakfast perform better in the classroom and on the playground, with better concentration, problem-solving skills, and eye-hand coordination.
Maquoketa Valley provides daily breakfast, for your child, at a nominal fee or through the free and reduced program, to assist you in providing this essential meal of the day. Options for all students include menu items such as: cereal, yogurt, bagels, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, a cheese stick or a hot entre. Also, fruit juice or a piece of fruit, white milk (for students PS-8) or white/chocolate milk (for students 9-12). More menu options, for our HS students, are being looked at for our 2018/19 school year.
The End is Near!!
The school year is rapidly coming to a close. It has been a fantastic school year but as our weather has finally the turned the corner it is evident that all of our students want to be outside. At the time of this writing track and golf is wrapping up and our baseball and softball programs are now in full swing. Summer is approaching fast. This article will highlight a few of our end of year events and discuss the remaining projects that will occur at the high school as we wrap up our remodeling project at the High School.
Let’s begin with our building project. As the punch-list for the project winds down, there are a few remaining items that will need to be completed to finish the Phase I process. A number of our room ventilators throughout the High School will need to be re-plumbed. The initial set-up was done incorrectly. A decision was made this past winter to have this work completed this summer when our students were out of the building. When this is completed, additional technical modifications and recalibrations to the heating units will also need to be programmed to ensure peak performance. Landscaping to the front of the facility will be occurring during the month of May. The cement stain at the High School entrance has not adhered to the concrete as expected so this will need to be addressed. The staining process will need to be completely redone or the cement will need to be removed and the stain will have to be mixed into the concrete. Once these items are addressed, Phase I will be complete.
Phase II of our work will begin immediately after graduation. Beginning on May 17th, the high school gymnasium bleachers will be removed. As soon as the bleachers are removed, gym floor removal will begin. Some members of our Booster Club, members from our community as well as some of our students have graciously volunteered to help in this process. Once the old bleachers and floor are removed, the flooring company will arrive to determine how level the floor is. If the floor does not meet installation specifications, liquid cement may need to be poured to level the floor. We are all hoping this does not need to occur. Once the floor is prepped, the raw floor boards will be delivered and have to “rest” in the gym for 4 to 7 days to acclimate to the weather and humidity. Once acclimated, installation can begin. When the floor is installed, painting will begin and the finish and seal will be applied. This whole process will take approximately 6 to 8 weeks. Bleacher installation will begin the first of August and that will be a 3 to 5-day process.
A colossal thank you goes to our Booster Club and Delhi Little League for the work that they have done to the baseball and softball facilities. The Booster Club replaced all of our old wooden bleachers with new aluminum bleachers and Little League updated the concession stand and locker rooms and batting cage area. Because of their donations and community contributions to these organization, our facilities look fantastic.
As our gymnasium work continues the High School gym roof will be replaced. This roof is over 20 years old and is in need of updating. In the month of June, the high school classrooms will be painted and then prepped for carpet installation. This means there will be a large amount of moving desks, chairs, cabinets, books, shelving, teacher materials, etc., in and out of classrooms. The Science and Consumer Science classrooms as well as the junior and senior hallways will have the floor tile removed. Since the tile does contain asbestos, the building will have to be vacated during the removal process. Once the tile in extracted, in July it will be replaced with an epoxy floor. During this process, some ceiling tile, electrical work and light fixture replacement will also be occurring. As usual, the campus at Delhi will be hectic. Once this work is done, Phase II of our High School renovation will be completed.
On May 6th, Baccalaureate was held in the High School Auditorium and our Dollars for Scholars Senior Awards Ceremony immediately followed Baccalaureate. The work that our Dollars for Scholars Board does for our kids to reduce post-secondary education costs for our families is unheard of. This is something that truly makes Maquoketa Valley so unique and special. It appears that over $75,000 was distributed to our seniors. It is mind-boggling what the Dollars for Scholars members continue to do each and every year for our graduating seniors.
May 9th was our Academic Excellence and National Honor Society Banquet. Dr. Jeffrey Butikofer from Upper Iowa University was our guest of honor. Dr. Butikofer is a 1996 graduate of Maquoketa Valley and currently is Professor of Chemistry at Upper Iowa University. Those student’s that qualified for this year’s Academic Excellence Banquet included our seniors of Amanda Engelken, Heath Gibbs and Brittany Sabers. Juniors students are Olivia Hoeger, Hannah Lahr, Emma McDowell, Megan Rausch, Chloe Roling, Sam Wall, Brooke Wilson and Norman Wilson. Those Sophomores that qualified include Chance Downs, Amber Engelken, Lydia Helle, Carter Hildebrand, Kailyn Hogan, Jordyn Kemp, Mason Lubben, Shelby March and Summer Schmuecker. Our Freshman AE students are Olivia Hanken-Arlen, Paige Panosh and Kim Sellner. Those students newly inducted into National Society include Hannah Lahr, Chloe Roling, Chance Downs, Lydia Helle, Carter Hildebrand, Mason Lubben, Shelby March and Summer Schmuecker.
Finally, I wanted to take this opportunity to give a HUGE shout out to Jane Huber, Kathy Jurgens, Karen Siebert and Vicki Spellerberg. These four individuals will be retiring at the end of this school year. Between all of them they have given over 135 years of service to our kids. They all have made a lasting impact on the hundreds and hundreds of children that have been part of our district. I am extremely thankful for what they have given and they will be missed deeply. I want to wish them the best as they begin their next chapter of their lives. If you happen to run into Jane, Kathy, Karen or Vicki please take the time to thank them for their service to our kids and community.
I hope everyone has a great summer.
Being physically active is essential to a healthy lifestyle. Just 30 minutes per day for adults and 60 minutes per day for children is all it takes. Does that sound too difficult? Well, it’s easier than you may think. Here is how I got started and have stayed committed for over three years.
When I turned in my resignation for coaching Speech, Mr. Tuetken came and asked if I would be willing to organize something, fitness related, for our staff. I had recently been to a boot-camp workout session. I began to wonder, could I continue to do this type of workout with staff? Where would we have it, what would be the hours, who would come, how would I promote it, and how would I figure out the routines to do every day?
I knew that another coworker attended this type of workout in Manchester. I had many questions, so of course I sought out information from her and others who were actively doing this kind of workout plan as well as from the internet. I had yet to publicize that we’d be starting this when a couple of staff came to me and said they would be interested, and so our story began September 2015.
Since that time, 7 people have been dedicated to weekly attendance since that first early September morning. Along the way, some have come and gone and come back again. Others have just come and gone. There is always room for newcomers, no matter their current fitness level. This is open to any and all staff at Maquoketa Valley.
The group that I lead meets M-W in Delhi, T-Th in Hopkinton, and we rotate every other Friday. Each class is from 5:30-6:30 AM. Not a morning person? No problem. Another teacher leads a class in Hopkinton M-Th afternoons from 4-5. Also, Erika Imler has a store front fitness establishment called HIKE. This is in Delhi and she has AM and PM class times.
Another great feature at Maquoketa Valley is the new fitness room, located on the northeast corner of the high school’s new addition. Treadmills, elliptical, a punching bag, free weights and open space to do yoga are available. The fitness room is open weekdays 5-7:30 AM and 4-9 PM to the public and staff. If you are interested in gaining access to fitness room, please contact Pam Overman via e-mail or phone (email@example.com/ 563-922-2091) and set up a time to do this. There is a $10 fee. So, there really is no reason for you to not get active. There’s so many options.
Fitness is so important for heart health, positive mental outlook, disease prevention, and general well-being. If you have questions, please feel free to check in with me: office # 563-922-9411 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s never too late to start taking care of yourself.
By Brenda Becker
One word. Can you really say anything in just one word? One word is brief and concise, yet powerful. I recently reread the book, One Word That Will Change Your Life by Dan Britton, Jimmy Page, and Jon Gordon. This book challenges the reader to simplify his or her life and work by focusing on just one word for the entire year. After thinking about this, I decided to poll some of our Maquoketa Valley students, parents, and staff to find the one word they would use to describe Maquoketa Valley. It was refreshing! It was motivating! It was amazing! One word can be incredibly gratifying.
The most common word chosen to describe Maquoketa Valley was family. Even more interesting though, is the word family was used multiple times when speaking with parents, students, AND staff. This word speaks volumes for the people who dedicate their lives to supporting our families and helping our children become the best they can be. These people include not only the teachers and support staff, but also the bus drivers, custodians, cooks, school board members, coaches, office assistants, volunteers, and administrators. Maquoketa Valley could not be the place it is without all of these people working together toward a common goal – to ensure high levels of learning to empower all students for lifelong success.
The students had a plethora of adjectives to describe Maquoketa Valley in addition to family. They used words such as awesome, fun, great, cool, and amazing. They told me Maquoketa Valley was safe, respectful, friendly, and helpful. They used the words educational, creative, and smart. Students even used the word home to describe Maquoketa Valley. I am so proud to be a Wildcat!
The parents described Maquoketa Valley using words similar to the words used by our students – excellent and wonderful. They also described Maquoketa Valley as strong, involved, connected, and clean. Parents used the word quality and community. I am honored to work with families that value our school district and characterize it in this way.
The Maquoketa Valley staff eagerly shared their thoughts on this topic. Not only did they use the word family as the number one way to describe the district, they called it home. They used the words welcoming, genuine, focused, dedicated, and team. Words such as talent, pride, and support were shared to depict Maquoketa Valley. It is a privilege to be part of the Maquoketa Valley Community School district.
One word is brief and concise, yet powerful. One word – sometimes that is all you need because one word CAN speak volumes!
Maquoketa Valley is now in the third year of the Teacher Leadership and Compensation program in which teachers assume leadership roles and spend part of their day working with other teachers to improve student achievement. As coaches in these leadership roles, two days never look the same for us! Here’s a brief summary of what we do in our roles:
PK-5 MTSS (Tiersa Frasher)
My name is Tiersa Frasher, and I have been a member of the Maquoketa Valley team since 2003! I work half time as an Elementary Special Education teacher in Delhi and half time as the Elementary (PK-5) Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) coach for our district. I am kept very busy in this role collaborating with teachers and principals to set up appropriate response plans for students with academic or behavior concerns. The multi-tiered system of support refers to a three-layered support system simply referred to as Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3. Tier 1 refers to universal instruction that is provided to ALL students every day. It includes the adopted curriculum of our district and is taught by our general education teachers. If students begin to struggle with skills at the Tier 1 level, a more targeted or strategic intervention may be needed to support learning difficulties. This is where a Tier 2 intervention could be developed for an individual or small groups of students. If a learning or behavior problem becomes more significant, an intensive individual student intervention plan is created at the Tier 3 level. My role as the MTSS Instructional Coach is to collaborate with teachers to implement student specific plans at the Tier 2 and Tier 3 level. I enjoy splitting my time among each of our three elementary centers and being a resource available to fulfill our district mission to respond to all student needs in a timely manner.
6-12 MTSS (Jackie Moorman)
As an educator at Maquoketa Valley since 2006, I spend my day working with middle school students who have IEPs and as the 6-12 MTSS Instructional Strategist. At the middle school level, we use our WIN time at the end of the day to provide systematic interventions to teach and practice academic skills in the areas of reading, writing, and math. Students are pre- assessed on specific content skills and then student groups are developed to work with the teacher on those skills. Students are progress monitored along the way, and for those students who continue to need additional practice, they are moved into a Tier 3 support where a more intensive practice is completed. Additionally, I provide two MTSS structured study halls, both at the middle school and high school level. During this time we continue to build organization, time management and advocacy skills that can be generalized to the students’ other classes. In both of my roles, I enjoy collaborating and problem-solving with teachers to find the most effective strategies to help our students be successful.
PK-12 Technology (Ali Scherrman)
I’m Ali Scherrman, and I’ve been working at Maquoketa Valley since 2006, and we have seen many changes in regards to technology just in my 11+ years here. My role as technology coach is to help both teachers and students learn new technology. The goal is for the technology that we use to impact student achievement by making students think in a different way or produce a product they wouldn’t be able to do without the technology with an overall goal of the 4 Cs: creativity, communication, collaboration, and critical thinking. With the ever changing technology in our society today, there is a constant need for learning and adapting with new technology, and Maquoketa Valley teachers are brave in their ability to try new technology because we all know that sometimes technology just doesn’t like to cooperate. But with our students’ capabilities to help the teachers problem-solve, Maquoketa Valley teachers are willing to try a lot of new technology.
One of the other projects as Technology Coach that I’m working on now is to help put Maquoketa Valley on the map in the social media world. A Facebook page titled Maquoketa Valley Community School District has been created for staff members to post pictures, videos, and reminders. Our goal is to share what is happening at Maquoketa Valley with parents, family, and friends. Feel free to tag yourself so other family members can see your student. We want to make sure that this is a positive Facebook page, so if a problem arises, please contact the school directly. Maquoketa Valley also has a Twitter account, so if you’re on Twitter, our handle is @MaquoketaValley.
6-12 Universal Instruction (Diane Temple)
My goal as a universal instruction coach is to improve student achievement by helping teachers in various ways: planning, teaching, assessing, and managing the classroom. MV is blessed with thoughtful, hard-working teachers who truly care about their students’ academic achievements and personal growth. I work with reflective teachers who continually look at what they want students to do, what students do, and what teachers and students need to do next to improve. These teachers realize that collaborating with someone while reflecting leads to better teaching and student success. I have helped teachers with creating strong unit plans, by modeling teaching techniques, by finding or creating quality resources, with goal-setting and follow-up, and with problem-solving.
Authentic Intellectual Work (Jackie Moorman, Jennifer Ries, Christina Rudd, and Diane Temple)
We lead weekly learning opportunities for middle school and high school teachers. Teachers share various tasks, student work samples, or videos of their instruction and receive feedback about relevance, rigor, and evidence of learning. As AIW coaches, we also facilitate professional learning opportunities for our peers. This year our focus is on questioning skills and student conversations.
As coaches, we continue to receive feedback from teachers and evidence from student work to measure our effectiveness in improving student achievement. We can all agree that by working with other talented teachers we have improved our instructional practices.
First of all, I’d like to say thank you to the staff, students, parents, community members, and board of education for their support in my new role as 6-12 principal. It has been a smooth transition for me, and this is a direct result of the great people in our community and the staff who make up our tremendous school system.
Our mission at Maquoketa Valley is to ensure high levels of learning to empower our students for lifelong success. This is based upon the following vision:
A. Learning that is engaging, challenging, and focused.
B. Frequent feedback and purposeful assessment.
C. Timely response to student needs.
D. Shared responsibility for learning in a safe, respectful environment. E. Promotion of strong character and productive citizenship.
In this letter I’m going to focus on the promotion of strong character and productive citizenship. As a staff we work to teach students life-long skills that will lead them to be successful beyond the walls of our school. Please understand these characteristics are important inside and outside the classroom and are critical to becoming a productive citizen. We are currently collaborating as a staff to improve how we teach our students to develop the following characteristics:
Perseverance / Work Ethic:
Persevering is refusing to give up in the face of adversity, no matter how difficult the task. This characteristic is mentioned most frequently by the business world. Employers, for obvious reasons, are looking for people with a strong work ethic and who can persevere and problem solve when times get tough. At Maquoketa Valley our staff sets high expectations, and students are taught how to persevere and develop a work ethic in the classroom as well as through our extra-curricular offerings.
Responsibility is keeping promises, meeting obligations, and being accountable for your actions. This characteristic is critical to develop in all aspects of life. We expect our students to come prepared and complete work on time, ask for help when needed, take care of their property as well as others’, and accept their mistakes. Our staff does a great job of setting high expectations and teaching students how to be responsible.
Respect is being courteous to others through actions and words and treating others the way you want to be treated. At Maquoketa Valley our staff teaches students to accept decisions of those in authority, calmy share disagreements, thoughtfully look at and listen to others, use appropriate language, greet others, and take pride in themselves.
Players, Coaches and Fans,
You hear our announcer say it before every home event, “as a guest of the Maquoketa Valley Community School District good sportsmanship is expected from all who attend the game. Please show respect to the players, coaches, officials, and other fans by exhibiting good sportsmanship and appropriate behaviors while cheering. Poor sportsmanship or inappropriate behaviors will result in removal from the event or exclusion from all activities at the Maquoketa Valley Community School District. Enjoy the game and take pride in displaying good sportsmanship!
This message that is read before every home event is a reminder to you of what is expected of you while in attendance of a Maquoketa Valley event. Your actions are a direct reflection of our school, whether they be good or bad. We should take pride in having a good reputation during events. Even though our event season is a quarter done, there are plenty of opportunities left to show your Wildcat Pride by displaying proper sportsmanship. Please keep this in mind as we go forward with our activities seasons.
We firmly believe that we have great kids here at Maquoketa Valley, supported by caring and concerned parents and other people in the community. We believe that the sportsmanship that is displayed by the majority of our fans, players and coaches is something that we should take pride in. There are some certain instances that may arise where we will not tolerate here at Maquoketa Valley. If you talk to officials, they will tell you that they are not perfect when making calls. A very small few of people in attendance seem to want to ride the officials about every single call that they make. Some people even go as far as using foul or abusive language towards officials. Please keep in mind that you are setting an example for the younger generation of Maquoketa Valley athletes and fans. Fans, coaches and players should serve as role models showing young people how to act appropriately.
If we can focus on the fact that each official is human, and that their call that they made probably won’t get changed regardless of what a fan, coach or player says, then we can give more attention to the more important matter at hand, and that is the great experiences that people are getting and life lessons that they are learning as they get a chance to participate in activities at Maquoketa Valley. Thank you for your consideration on this topic, and always GO CATS!!!!!
Mr. Conner and Mr. Kudrna
Last year I was asked the question, if money wasn’t an issue, what would you do at Maquoketa Valley with technology? “Start a Makerspace,” was my response. A Makerspace is a common area where children are able to engineer, explore, tinker and discover through creative building opportunities. It is a DIY (Do it Yourself) space where kids create, learn, and invent, and it is the newest form of technology being utilized at MV.
I was introduced to the idea of a Makerspace during my first year as MV’s technology coach, and last year spent time researching and grant writing. Last spring, we graciously received two grants. The Foundation for the Future of Delaware County awarded MV $2,500 to purchase Makerspace materials, and The Dubuque Racing Association awarded MV $2,800 to purchase a 3D printer.
Both of these grants are giving MV the opportunity to work towards our technology vision:
Our vision at Maquoketa Valley is to ensure learning that is engaging, challenging, and focused. This includes integration of technology into classroom learning in meaningful ways that promote development of collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking skills. We will encourage problem-solving and build perseverance; promote ethical, safe, and respectful online use and behavior; and provide critical technology skills to be successful and productive 21st century citizens. In the Makerspace specifically, students are learning that failure the first time is okay because they learn from their mistakes, and then tweak and adjust to improve their designs. I’m excited to see all the projects throughout the year!
During their next Makerspace lesson, K-5th grade students will be completing Halloween themed projects including building: jack-o-lanterns out of cardboard; bone bridges using Q-tips, popsicle sticks and pipe cleaners; The Tower of Terror out of marshmallows and toothpicks; monsters out of styrofoam cups, noodles, and more. All of these projects allow students to engineer a creative project. Along with Makerspace, there is a lot of other technology being used in our elementary schools. At our elementary schools, we have enough ipads, chromebooks, and macbook airs so each student could work on a machine at the same time. Teachers use online resources and apps almost daily to enhance the students’ learning. Students in grades 3 through 5 are also using a new keyboarding program from Learning.com to increase speed and accuracy in typing.
The 7th and 8th graders (and Mr. Moenck) are using study hall time to utilize the Makerspace. The first challenge they are working on is creating a working drawbridge that holds the weight of 25 pennies, using only 10 pencils, 3 feet of tape, 3 feet of string, 4 rubber bands, 2 straws, 2 pipe cleaners, and 1 piece of cardboard cut to 3” x 14”. It amazes me that with the same materials, the projects can look so different. Middle school students will have a chance to share their projects during WIN time.
In addition to the Makerspace and the computers at Maquoketa Valley, 5th and 6th graders each have a technology class that introduces them to a lot of different technology. 5th graders use Code.org to learn computer programming skills. 6th grade just finished their first Makerspace project using cardboard and other raw materials to build keyboard covers so other students in the district can practice keyboarding without seeing the keys. 6th graders will also be introduced to iMovie and making movies with green screen technology, Sphero robots and programming, 3D designing and printing, coding, and much more. 7th and 8th grade students participate in a pre Engineering course where students learn robotics.
The High School has a variety of new technology initiatives going on this year as well. All 9-12th grade students are 1:1. Students are assigned a laptop and pick this machine up in the morning and return it at the end of the day. Students also have the opportunity in the high school to take some new technology courses including a web design course and a computer programming course.
All in all, Maquoketa Valley is doing great things in regards to technology to get students ready for the world around us.