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MVCSD News Wildcat Report – February



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February 2024

A Note from Mr. Osterhaus

How does a Students Involvement in Extracurricular Activities Lead to Academic Success and a Gain in Employability Skills?

Much has been made in recent years over what can be done at the local, state, and national levels to increase the performance of our students in the classroom. Make no mistake about it, there have been, are currently, and will continue to be many strategies implemented in an attempt to boost classroom performance.  

At Maquoketa Valley we continue to work to make the curriculum and content taught relevant and engaging to students. We have developed a High School course catalog with career pathways and links to post-secondary education & training, as well as links to employer information in this course catalog. Governor Reynolds Future Ready Iowa Initiative focuses on providing students the opportunity to receive education and training in career pathways in their interest area. At Maquoketa Valley we are currently providing students these opportunities through job shadows and the NICC career learning link, partnerships with local community colleges where students can get training and earn certificates that can be presented to employers, our CTE programs taught within our district where students learn employability skills in the areas of Business, Industrial Technology, Family & Consumer Science, and Agricultural Education, we include an employability skills report as part of the students report card at the end of each quarter, and our school to work program that provides students the opportunity to experience real-world experiences through visits to a variety of businesses, career fairs, and speakers in the area. However, one strategy often overlooked is the connection between academic success, and a student’s involvement in extracurricular activities.  

Studies at the state and national level are indicating there is indeed a strong correlation between the grade point average and student involvement in extracurricular activities. Studies show that those students who are in extracurricular activities, do the best in school and learn valuable life-long lessons.

There are several reasons why students involved in extracurricular activities perform better academically, and gain valuable employability skills, including:

  • Students are better “connected” to schoolThese students often take great pride in their school and their performance in the classroom as well as on the athletic field or stage.
  • Students are put in other situations where they are with and taught by caring, supporting educators. Coaches and sponsors make strong connections with students – they help monitor attendance, behavior, grades and serve as additional mentors that often help students with personal skills, employability skills, as well as academic issues. 
  • Students involved in activities show a much higher record of attendance than those who do not participate. When students have more connections at school they will attend more frequently
  • Activities teach and stress to students a number of life long skills such as a strong work ethic, responsibility to teammates or others, goal setting, time management and prioritizing, and how to deal with adversity. These are skills that are unquestionably vital to the success of any person in the real world.
  • Leadership Roles. Students are asked to take on leadership roles in their extracurricular activities. The learning that occurs in these roles is critical to success beyond High School.  

Finally, this information does not just speak to the importance of student involvement in activities at the high school level. Rather, it is important to understand that involvement in school activities must be fostered and encouraged throughout a student’s K-12 education. If we wait until the start of high school to stress the importance of involvement in extracurricular activities the opportunity might well be lost. I encourage all of us, parents, educators, and community members to continue to impress on our students the importance of becoming and staying involved in extracurricular activities.

A Note from Mrs. Frasher

This year we adopted a new social emotional curriculum called Character Strong in grades junior kindergarten through fifth. You may also recognize the Character Strong logo and its reference in teacher communication and Facebook posts. This has been an exciting transition full of resources and common language for staff and students. The Character Strong theme for February is “Honesty”. Lessons, activities, announcements, and assemblies will be focused around honesty. At Delhi Elementary staff and students are focused on connecting old and new learning to streamline our problem solving process. Below is a visual that acts as our guide to assist students when solving small, medium, and big problems. It is our goal to give students these tools for conflict resolution and assist them in applying them in their everyday lives. Be sure to ask your child about the lifelong skills targeted on the “Tree of Choices” and use these tools at home to reinforce what is being practiced here at school. Reach out to myself or your child’s teacher for more resources!

From the desk of Mrs. Fellinger

From the desk of Mrs. Anderegg

Kindergarten, 3rd & 4th Grade Title Reading News

You might wonder how does a Kindergarten Title reading teacher help my student?

For starters, there is a great deal of communication between the classroom teachers and myself. We look at lots of different types of data, including observations made within the classroom. We collaborate as a team and look for skill patterns our students are struggling with and intervene with research-based activities to improve the skill deficit. 

The literacy skills we have focused on since the beginning of the year are: letter recognition and letter sounds, rhyming words and now our focus is CVC words and nonsense words.

Recently our kindergarteners have begun segmenting sounds within words to blend together and READ!! It is simply amazing how these Wildcats have learned and caught onto the skills of reading and are truly enjoying their new adventures as kindergarteners! 

**One way to help your kindergartener at home is to read out loud to your child and continue to expose them to concepts of print and the idea that sentences are made up of words, words are made up of letters, and that letter make sounds. 

Our 3rd & 4th grade Wildcats came back from winter break eager to set some reading goals for 2024! The goals we came up with together are:

*Tracking where I’m reading with my eyes, finger, or a bookmark. 

*Reading through the whole word. Does it look right, sound right, or make sense?

*Pay attention to punctuation as I read!

*Stay focused…TUNE-IN to reading!

*Smooth reading…Not too fast, Not too slow, Just right!

*Be a careful & quick reader!

*Re-Read if the text does not make sense!

*STOP, THINK, & WONDER before turning the page! 

The week of January 8th began our winter FAST screening. The students have shown growth in the areas of fluency, accuracy, and comprehension since their previous screening last fall. All their hard work in the classroom and reading at home has shown positive growth in all 3 of these areas. Your parents, teachers, and myself are very proud of your hard work, dedication, and perseverance the 1st semester of school. Keep up the GREAT work Wildcats!

From the desk of Mrs. Palmersheim

In Preschool we have been talking about snow and arctic animals. Very similar to the fine Iowa weather we have been having here. It’s been a good real world connection. 🙂 As our studies show, our little kids learn best with hands-on activities and through playing. The kids have all enjoyed the changing of our dramatic play center. We have had an Arctic Cave, Ice Skating Rink, and Hockey Rink this month. We are looking forward to our friendship unit coming up in February, as well as our dental unit. 

I can’t believe we are already halfway through this year. I am excited for our littles to go experience Kindergarten, during the Kindergarten Round-up on February 16th. And for our new little Preschool Friends to come check us out, for the Preschool Round-up on April 17th. 

From the desk of Mrs. Olson

6th grade students have been working hard on staying current with their homework, keeping their materials organized and being on time to class. Employability skills are a big part of being successful throughout the school year and each student has shown improvement. We have been brushing up on our basic math facts, comprehension skills, and paragraph writing. Before break we celebrated our hard work with a pizza party and enjoyed watching Home Alone 2.

My associate Ms. Kerch and I got into the holiday spirit and had matching outfits for the last 2 weeks before break. A couple of our students also tried to match us.

An announcement from Mrs. Becker


 We ask your assistance in compiling our list of children that will be entering kindergarten in the fall of 2024. Remember a child must be five years old on/before September 15, 2024 in order to be eligible to attend Kindergarten or Junior Kindergarten next fall. All of our Kindergarten and Junior Kindergarten students attend school at Earlville Elementary. Please list your own youngster and those of any of your friends or neighbors you believe may have not received this newsletter form. Please complete the form and drop it off or mail it to Maquoketa Valley Schools, 226 Prospect Street Earlville, IA 52041. Thank you!

Child’s first name________________Middle______________Last_________________ Boy or Girl ( circle one)

Date of Birth ________________________________

Daycare provider_________________________________

Mother’s Name ______________________________ Mother’s Phone ___________

Mother’s Address __________________________________________

Mother’s Email _____________________________________

Father’s Name_______________________________Father’s Phone _____________

Father’s Address ____________________________________

Father’s Email______________________________________

LOOKING for 4-Year Olds

We also need your assistance in compiling a list of children that will be FOUR years old on/before September 15, 2024 in order to be eligible for Maquoketa Valley’s PreSchool program to start next fall. All of our PreSchool students attend school at Earlville Elementary. Please list your own youngster and if you know of any other families that have a 4-year-old, please contact them. Simply complete this form and drop it off or mail it to Maquoketa Valley Schools, 226 Prospect Street, Earlville, IA 52041. Thank you!

Child’s first name________________Middle______________Last_________________ Boy or Girl ( circle one)

Date of Birth ________________________________

Daycare provider_________________________________

Mother’s Name ______________________________ Mother’s Phone ___________

Mother’s Address __________________________________________

Mother’s Email _____________________________________

Father’s Name_______________________________Father’s Phone _____________

Father’s Address ____________________________________

Father’s Email______________________________________

From the desk of Mr. DeVore

No matter what concept we are working on in my mathematics classroom, I hope to provide students with multiple representations of problems, providing them with different paths to take to find solutions. Although it is sometimes difficult, I want my students to have knowledge of the “why” and the “how” behind the topics we discuss. Here are some of the many concepts we have been working on over the course of the school year:

     In Precalculus, we have focused much attention on the inner workings of different types of functions. We began with the twelve basic functions in mathematics and then applied transformations to them. The students have done an excellent job of analyzing some interesting functions, as pictured below. Many of the functions we work with have connections to the real world dealing with topics like economics, construction and design, population growth, and sound waves, just to name a few.

     I have four different Algebra classes working on three different concepts each day. Throughout the first half of the year, we have focused our attention on solving linear equations and inequalities, graphing and writing linear equations, solving systems of linear equations, rules of exponents, and factoring. Solving systems of linear equations has allowed us to combine nearly all of the previous concepts we have been working on. These allow us to set up and solve situations where we have two unknowns. The factoring work we have been doing has helped us look at certain expressions in different ways, which is a vital skill in mathematics when it comes to incorporating given information into a different problem.

     The fundamental idea of Calculus is to study change by studying “instantaneous” change over tiny intervals of time. In our Advanced Placement Calculus class, we have been working on two major concepts: limits and derivatives. These two topics are deeply connected and allow us to find out how functions are changing over time, including the effect one item has on another. This can be used in many different areas…everything from how effective a dose of medicine can be to the body to assisting with safety protocol involving certain agricultural structures.

From the desk of Mrs. Lewin

Juniors and Seniors at Maquoketa Valley are given the opportunity in their financial literacy class to earn three UNI college credits for FIN1040, which is an introductory finance course. Students learn about goal setting, budgeting, savings, investing, insurance, college planning, credit, loans, making home and automobile purchases, retirement planning, and estate planning. Students may earn the three credit hours from the University of Northern Iowa by passing the for-credit final exam at the end of the semester.

Students who took the exam in January.

From the desk of Mrs. Rudd

In middle school science we are curious about our world and strive to explore it using actual scientific processes, such as asking questions, planning and carrying out experiments, and analyzing data. In our first units of the year we took on the roles of Geologists in 6th grade, Meteorologists in 7th grade, and Astronomers in 8th grade. In our current unit we are using the tools of Chemists in 6th grade, Physicists in 7th grade, and Biologists in 8th grade.  

6th Grade was given the challenge to determine which combination of substances was in a Mystery Mixture. They observed eight different substances and eight combinations that led to chemical reactions when combined with water. Did it fizz? Did it get cold? Did it dry clear? We discovered the combination was Sodium Bicarbonate and Citric Acid!

7th Grade is exploring solutions to shattered phones due to collisions with the floor. We have been colliding a lot of things with the floor in an effort to study Newton’s 3 Laws!  

8th Grade students dissected owl pellets to find and assemble the “One bone, two bone, many bones, digits” pattern that we see in many organisms that are related to each other. We are exploring the big question of “How is there so much diversity of life on Earth”?  


Fine Arts Booster Meeting

Our next meeting is February 4th at 6:30 in the commons. This will be your last chance to turn in your fundraiser packers for Bundt cakes!

Food Service Need to Know

Check your current lunch account balance: Log into your online account or call/email Morgan Nefzger to get your current lunch account balance. You can make deposits at any time.

Free/Reduced Applications: These forms must be filled out as soon as possible so we have enough time to process your application and correct your registration fees. Free/Reduced applications can be found online, or there are copies in the Delhi Middle School/Elementary Office.

Salad Bar: This year, there will be a salad bar offered to 7th-12th grade students and all adult employees Monday-Friday. The salad bar will be an alternate meal choice. You will not be able to get the salad bar in addition to the main meal being offered. The salad bar will be located in the High School cafeteria area.

Snack Items: Students in Junior Kindergarten-Fourth Grade have the option of taking a snack item each day. Depending on the week Junior Kindergarten-second grade will have the option of cheese stick, goldfish crackers, single serve honey nut cheerios, nature valley oats and honey granola bar, teddy grahams, or single serve kix Cereal. Third-fourth grade can choose between a granola bar or a cheese stick. Regardless if you qualify for Free/Reduced benefits, you will still be charged the full $0.35 per snack item. Snack items are charged to your account every Friday for the entire week.

Meal Pricing for the 23/24 school year:

Student breakfast: $1.85

Earlville & Johnston & Delhi Elementary Student Lunch: $2.55

Middle School & High School Student Lunch $2.80

Snack Item: $0.35

Extra Entree: $2.00

Extra Milk: $0.65

Extra Juice: $0.70

Charging on negative Accounts: Be sure to watch your lunch account balance. If your family lunch account reaches an amount of Negative $50.00 or more, students will be given an alternate meal until the account balance is improved. An alternate meal due to low account balance will still be a full meal however the entree will be a deli sandwich with and no additional seconds or ala carte items. Starting on September 6th invoices will be sent out to families with negative balances and your student(s) will receive a deli sandwich until your account has been replenished. Invoices will be sent out every Tuesday via email.

Alternate main course meal option: This year, we will have an alternate main course substitute at each meal. This substitute will consist of, a deli sandwich. Students may choose this instead of the main course any given day.

How and where to deposit lunch money: You can always send lunch money with your students to turn in to the secretary at their building, or you can go online and make deposits into your account.

Link to useful forms:

Food Service Information

Free & Reduced Meal Program Information

RevTrak Online Payments

Total Access Lunch

August Lunch Menu

If you have any questions pertaining to the Free and Reduced Meals, you can contact Morgan Nefzger at morgannefzger@maquoketa-v.k12.ia.us

Maquoketa Valley Activity Calendar

This can be found on the website. Please check that for all activities.

Cancellations will be updated on the Maquoketa Valley Website.

Text Alert System

We will be using your information in Power School to alert you. It is important to have your current phone number and email updated. If you have any questions or issues, please call Sarah Lown in the high school office at 563-922-2091.

Maquoketa Valley 2023-2024 School Calendar

Ticket Information on Bound

Starting January 1st we will be going cashless for all school events. Follow the step by step instructions to purchase tickets on bound for school events.

Step 1: go to the school website

Step 2: Click on Event Tickets

Step 3: choose which event you are buying tickets for

Step 4: select if you are paying for an adult or a student

Step 5: Enter in your card information

Step 5: complete your payment.


Annual Notice of Nondiscrimination

The Maquoketa Valley High School offers career and technical programs in the following areas of study:

Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources

Applied Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Manufacturing

Business, Finance, Marketing and Management

Human Services

It is the policy of the Maquoketa Valley Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age (for employment), marital status (for programs), sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status (for programs) in its educational programs and its employment practices. There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination. If you have questions or a grievance related to this policy please contact Dave Hoeger, 107 South Street, Delhi, Iowa 52223; 563-922-2091; davehoeger@maquoketa-v.k12.ia.us  

2023-2024 Forms

2023-2024 Backpack Program form

2023-2024 Maquoketa Valley Athletic forms

2023-2024 Wildcat Athletic Pass

Athletic booster memberships

Objection to instruction and library materials

Regular Board Meeting

January Board Meeting Minutes – Held January 22, 2024

Lunch Menu

February Lunch Menu

Maquoketa Valley Community School District 

Ensures High Levels of Learning to Empower All Students For Lifelong Success.