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Newspaper Archive of
N. Warren Town and County News
Norwalk, Iowa
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January 10, 2013     N. Warren Town and County News
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January 10, 2013
 

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Thursday, January 10, 2013 N/Warren Town and County News Page Nine DENNY WULF Concluded from p. 1 ably become more intense with the new state proposal which requires 36 hours of peer-r~!ated professional development beginning in the 2013-14 school year. In response to this data, a question was posed in our 2011 parent survey. The survey found a n~ ajority of par- ents supported more time for professional development at early outs. The board then requested a SIAC (School Improvement Advisory Committee) focus group led by Curriculum Director Mark Crady. SIAC recommended that we add more early outs to our calendar for next year. Putting this recommendation in perspective, I will use my own life as an educator. The amount of time allocated for professional development is unchanged since I arrived in Norwalk as a teacher in 1979. How- ever, teachers face many more state and federal man- dates than I did in 1979. The following was cut and pasted from the research of Jamie Vollmer, Executive Director of the Iowa Business and Education Roundtable and former President of Great Midwestern Ice Cream Company. It simply lists the "required schoolwork" added over the decades (in addition to the traditional three R's, fine arts and related arts), since I started teach- ing: 1980s initiatives added to teachers: Keyboarding and computer education, global education, multicultural/ ethnic education, nonsexist education, English-as-a-sec- ond-language and bilingual education, teen pregnancy awareness, Hispanic heritage education, early childhood education, Jump Start, Early Start, Even Start and Prime Start, full-day kindergarten, preschool programs for children at risk, after-school progi ~ns for children of working parents, alternative ed, uca ion in all its forms, stranger/danger education, antismoking education, sexual abuse prevention education, expanded health and psychological services and child abuse monitoring (a legal requirement for all teachers). 1990s initiatives added to teach rs: Conflict resolu- tion and peer mediation, HIV/AIi ~S ~' ,cation, CPR training, death education, America 200i ~itiatives, in- clusion programming for special ~ ~uc ~n students, expanded computer and internet iuc ~on, distance learning Tech Prep and School to ~ ~rk p Grams, tech- nical adequacy assessment, post-se ond ~-ry enrollment options, concurrent enrolment opti ,ns, ~ }als 2000 ini- tiatives (Norwalk's focused on men~ rin? ewteachers), expanded Talented and Gifted oppo:tun s, ,~t risk and dropout prevention and homeless c iuc~ ~n (including causes and effects on children). 2000s initiatives added to teachers: :~ervice learn- ing, bus safety, bicycle safety, gun sa~ .ty a d water safety education, No Child Left Behind, b~ ty p~ ,vention, anti- harassment policies (gender, race, ~ ~ligi n, or national origin), expanded early childcare and wr, '~ around pro- grams, elevator and escalator safew inF "uction, body mass index evaluation (obesity ,itori g), organ do- nor education and awareness prog- ~ns, rsonal finan- cial literacy, entrepreneurial and b. now~tion skills de- velopment, media literacy devek pmc ~t, contextual learning skill development, healti and wellness pro- grams Race to the Top, artifact coli, ctior ~. for the Iowa teaching standards portfolios, required tr, ning in safety and "Right to Know" laws and chiid ab se training. 2010-12 initiatives enacted or p~:,posed: Legislation requiring the "Iowa Core" (a huge content and peda- gogy change for Iowa schools), Governor's Taskforce recommendations proposing changes t ~ teacher and administrator evaluation and standar, s, the role of teacher leadership and compensation ~:xpansion, in- creased accountability reporting to the state of Iowa in all areas, lengthy "equity accountability" to the federal government, college and career readiness requirements, moving from ITBS testing to a much more comprehen- sive and "international style" testing called Smarter Balance, third grade retention requirements, enhanced student safety requirements and many o hers. Despite this lengthy list of additional requirements, Norwalk has not added any early out time in response to these mandates since I started ~chir !~ in 1979. The state of Iowa also requires teache to, ntinually ac- quire credits for recertification of their t, aching license (just like nurses, doctors, lawyers and other profession- als). These continuing education courses are taken on their own time and at their own expense, just like other state-certified professions. Teachers also work toward advanced degrees to deepen their knowledge of subject material content, acquire more effective teaching peda- gogy designed to move student achievement, which increases their salaries. They also accrue these advanced degrees on their own time and at their own expense. The new mandates from the state and federal gov- ernment are clear and non-negotiable. These are not "choices" left to the discretion of teachers or schools. These mandates require the implementation of new equipment and technolog35 require complex and re- search-based practices in response to data, add multiple layers of standardized testing and mandate teacher col- laboration for our state-required District Professional Development Plans, Building Professional Development Plans and Individual Teacher Professional Development Plans. The state mandates that professional development be done as teams, not in isolation. It also requires that much of the work must be done while classes are in ses- sion. The data is collected from student assessments, midcourse adjustments to teaching are made based on this data and students are re-tested to monitor continu- ous improvement. So, this work cannot be done during the summer or times that school is not in session. Norwalk has delayed this professional development study to fully understand the nature and longevity of the new state and federal mandates before we ask for additional time. The direction from government is now clear. These mandates will not go away and will prob- ably expand as society becomes more complex. We have a great staff and all of Iowa knows it! You have seen Norwalk teachers win more awards per capita than any other school in Iowa. Norwalk is proud of our staff and their professionalism. Multiple studies reveal that they use existing professional development time wisely:Simply, there is just not enough time available to manage these new mandates. I realize there will be people who disagree with this assessment or argue with the conclusions. I anticipate that changing to a profes- sional development schedule that is similar to Des Moines, Indianola, Anken35 Waukee, Johnston, Dallas Center-Grimes and others will create the same incon- veniences for our families that occur in those school dis- tricts. As superintendent, I must address this academic issue in the same direct fashion that we addressed our facilities issues. We will try to creatively work with schedules to maintain the amount of student/teacher contact that we have traditionally enjoyed. As you might expect, it will be a challenge. We invite your input at our website at www.Norwalk.k12.ia.us. I ask for your understanding and support as we .move through this process. Go Warriors! OVIATT Concluded from p. 8 last for weeks, months, or even longer. In addition, when children are sad, they can usually tell you why; how- ever, children who are depressed typically cannot ex- press why they are feeling so low. Some of the symp- toms of depression in children include problems with sleeping, nightmares and unusual anger. Schoclwork often suffers, as children who are depresseddo mt feel motivated to try or participate. Depressed children also pull away from their friends and family membe:s and become increasingly alone. It is absolutely vital hat, if you sense your child is suffering from depressiol, you have him or her seen and evaluated. You can begil with the school nurse or social worker, but you willprob- ably be referred to a child psychologist. DepreMon is treatable and often curable. The important thin; is to get hellS. I (NAPS)--State depart- merits of transportation and related industries applauded recent congressional adop- tion of a 27-month trans- portation authorization, says Pete K. Rahn, of the HNTB Corporation. For more about infrastructure investment, contact the state department of transportation or visit www.hntb.com. When employees have peace of mind at home, they will be more productive and engaged when at work. That's the opinion of Chrysler Group, which was recently named one of the "100 Best Companies" for working women. To learn nfore, visit www.chryslergroupllc.com. Puffs tissues are not just for runny noses--they're great for applying and remov- ing makeup, too. They come in Ultra Soft & Strong Plus Lotion, Basic, Plus ~otion with the Scent of Vicl~, and To Go. Learn more atwww. Facebook.com/Puffs. Tim Sullivan, the presi- dent and CEO of Ancestry. corn, the world's largest online family history re- source, says his company has made the 1940 Census free to search at www.ancestry. com]1940. It could help you understand who you are and where you came from. LEISURE LINE Concluded from p. 3 technique/form practice, workout, finisher and cool down. You win need to bring the following to class: 5'- 1" PVC pipe (for stretching and teaching tool) one base- ball, jump rope and water/towel. Instructor: Angie Starmer is original founder of CrossFit Iowa, Certified Level I CF Instructor, 2010 Sectional and Regional CrossFit Competitor, Olympic Weightlifting Certified and DMPD PT Consultant. Registration: Through Janu- ary 18; Dates: February 5, 7, 12, 14, 26, 28, March 5, 7, 12, 14; Days: Tuesdays and Thursdays; Cost: $47.50 Norwalk residents, $54.50 non-residents (prorated this session only); Class Time: 7:30 p.m.-8:30 p:m.; Location: Oviatt Multi-purpose room (door 16); Minimum/ Maximum: 10/20. CRAFT CLUB This program is for children in 3rd through 4th grades at Lakewood Elementary. The children meet once a month after school to make special arts and crafts projects. Registration: January 17 through January 25. Time: 3:15-4:15 p.m.; Lakewood-Dates: January 11, Feb- ruary 11; Location: Art Room at Lakewood, Cost per class: Norwalk residents $11,50, non-residents #13.25; Minimum/Maximum: 6/20. NORWALK FAMILY TAE KWON DO Michael Wagenknecht is the head instructor of the school and offers programs for ages five through adults. The classes are separated by rank (beginners and ad- vanced) and students meet twice a week. Class meets Tuesdays and Thursdays, in the Oviatt gym or multi- purpose room. Beginners meet from 6-6:30 p.m. and advanced students meet from 6:30-7:30 p.m. (Times can vary.) We also offer a Little Dragon program designed for children ages five to seven. Little Dragons meet twice a week. This program is run concurrently with the begin- ning class. All programs consist of hand and foot techniques, forms, self-defense, lessons and instructions on topics such as respect, self-discipline and perseverance. Competition is also available for those students who are interested. Competition teaches sportsmanship, gives confidence and allows the students to use the skills they have learned in class. Families are strongly encouraged to join and train together. We found that the kids learn better when one or both of their parents/guardians are learning along- side of them in class. Cost per session: (1st family mem- ber): Norwalk residents, $57.50; Non-residents, $66.25; 2nd and 3rd Family Member: Norwalk residents, $28.75 Non-residents, $33.25 each, Maximum Family Fee: Norwalk residents, $115, Non-residents, $132.50; Cost of testing for belts and competition is extra. Anyone registering for Tae Kwon Do after the registration deadline has passed will be required to pay a $15 late fee in addition to the cost of the program. Registration Dates: January 21 through February 1; Session Dates: February 5, 7, 12, 14, 26, 28, March 5, 7, 12, 14, 26, 28, April 2, 4, 9, 11; Days: Tuesday/Thursday; Location: Oviatt Multi-purpose room (door #16). (Dates could vary due to school functions/concerts). OPALS- SENIOR CITIZEN PROGRAMS (Older People with Active Life Styles) SENIOR CITIZEN EXERCISE Everyone ages 55 and older is invited to attend a free exercise program that will include stretching and ton- ing. We will meet at the Norwalk Christian Church lo-" cated at 701 Main St. This program will run until the end of May. Days: Monday and Thursday; Time: 10- 10:30 a.m. SENIOR CITIZEN WII BOWLING Do you miss the game of bowling? Not quite as spry as you used to be? We invite you to try the gameof Wii bowling. This game mimics actions performed in real life bowling without having to travel to a bowling alley. Each week teams will be assigned for those who show up and we will have a little competition. This program will continue until March. (Will take off during the holi- days). Place: Norwalk Public Safety Bldg; Time: Thurs- days, 1:30-3 p.m. WELL-SEASONED POTLUCK (The meat as well as the people) All are invited, age 55 or older, to attend a potluck dinner to enjoy and socialize with the Parks and Recre- ation staff. Meat, tableware and coffee/beverage are pro- vided. Dust off the cookbooks and be creative to bring a side dish and/or dessert to share with everyone. After the meal we will have some form of entertainment from local talent. Let us know your email address and we will send out reminders with what meat we plan to have on that day. Call the office to register two days before the event. Dates: February 1, March 1; Time: 11:30 a.m.- 1 p.m.; Place: Norwalk Public Safety Building.