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N. Warren Town and County News
Norwalk, Iowa
March 11, 2010     N. Warren Town and County News
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March 11, 2010

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SCHOOL and SPORTI3 Official Publication for the Norwalk Community School District ] Norwalk Warriors Page Eight SUPERINTENDENT Concluded from p. 1 penny would not be scooped, legal and financial advi- sors continue to advise Iowa schools to move forward with construction and renovation projects or "risk los- ing the money to general governmental spending" as Rep. Chambers and Rants warned. Norwalk is follow- ing the advice of our legal and financial planners; we are moving forward with construction. Adding an additional sense of urgencY to the work is that this is the most favorable bidding climate of our lifetime. Simply put, this is a good time to build. The difficult economic times have produced a hungry and aggressive construction workforce. Our construction specialists predict that companies will respond very competitively to this project. A quote from one profes- sional is "you will never again get more value from your construction dollar. Not only do you get competitive pricing, but you have access to the best crews in the business. Everyone is trying to keep their best people busy." Norwalk's School Improvement Advisory Commit- tee (SIAC) created a 20-year plan several years ago and has continually updated the plan. Parent surveys have prioritized disict needs on a yearly basis and revealed community pferences regarding the ordering of fu- ture projects. The needs have overwhelmingly revealed classrooms, an auditorium, stadium renovation and paved parking at the top of the list (usually in that or- der). Losing the practice courts at Echo Valley also cata- pulted tennis toward the top of the list. Without court renovation, we would lose the entire tennis program. With the prioritized list from our public surveys and SIAC and the threat of "scooping the penny", Norwalk moved forward with construction planning. Dozens of interested citizens, staff and students have been involved in the secondary campus planning process since then. I believe this product will address many of the unmet needs of the district for many years into the future. The stadium will serve our students well as we enter 4A competition. Its all-weather turf will become the anchor for our physical education programs and wellness efforts. The auditorium project also provides greater classroom and performance space for one of the outstanding music departments in the state. The project saves the tennis program and creates an eight-lane track for a successful and growing track and PE programs. The vision for this project came from our citizens on SIAC, your responses to parent surveys, interactions with our coaches, directors, graduates, students, spon- sors, and a responsive and proactive school board. The plan addresses the needs of Norwalk students for de- cades to come. As I watch our fast ascent to 4A, I wish it were completed right now! Tiered Diploma System: After three years of study, the administration and SIAC presented a recommen- dation to the Norwalk School Board focusing on increas- ing the academic rigor for Norwalk students. Begin- ning with this year's eighth grade class, Norwalk will be offering a "Distinguished Achievement Diploma". In other schools, this is sometimes called an honors di- ploma. Our high level of accomplishment is acknowl- edged by the Belin-Blank Center for gifted programming as "one of the top twenty advanced placement programs in Iowa". Over twenty percent of our students are pres- ently meeting the rigor of this proposal. Norwalk stu- dents are ready for this challenge and deserve the op- portunity to qualify for this honor! In addition to the increased rigor for the Distin- guished Diploma, the "regular diploma" will also un- dergo changes to align itself with the mandated Iowa Core. Electronic student portfolios will be used to dem- onstrate 21 st Century Skills (as defined by the Iowa Core), to colleges and employers. In his most recent visit to .... N/Warren Town and County News I !!iJiii!i!iiiiiii00 !00i!iTiTiii i Tom Wollan, architect from FRK, describes the new stadium renovations. Photo submitted. Central Iowa, Tony Wagner, author of the Global Achievement Gap was asked, if you could only do one thing to improve education in Iowa, what would it be? His answer was, "Ask students to create electronic port- folios. These portfolios would not simply focus on what students know, they would focus on what students can do with the knowledge." Ankeny and Norwalk are both working toward a similar system and will work together. Initial conversations with the Iowa Department of Education indicate support for "the obvious focus on the required Iowa Core while incentivizing performance evaluation through electronic diplomas". It is exciting work. Keep an eye on our website to learn more. Go Warriors! Thursday, March 11, 2010 Norwalk Schools Nutrition Dept. To parents of eighth and ninth grade students: In our continuing effort to "go green" and find cost savings where possible, the Nutrition department will be phasing out the printing of monthly balance sheets for lunch accounts for eighth and ninth grade students starting in April. As you are aware, these paper account updates have been provided to students monthly to help students monitor their accounts. With the addition of the lunch account update on parent portal and an in- creased need to respond to the challenges of the recent economic downturn, we believe this is an opportunity to pilot this concept. Lunch account balance information is available on Parent Portal. If you are not currently registered with Parent Portal, you may go to the school website and click on Parent Portal and sign up. If you have questions re= garding the registration process, contact Linda Bussanmas at 981-4201 ext. 3028. You may also call Nutrition directly at 981-9876 and.request account bal- ance information for your child. clip and save Norwalk Schools Phone Directory Central OfficeAdministration High School (Grades 10-12) High School Activities Eastview 8/9 School Middle 6/7 School Lakewood Elementary (Grades 4-5) Oviatt Elementary (Grades PreK-3) Transportation Office (Bus Barn) Food Service/Nutrition Office Building & Grounds Office 981-0676 981-4201 981-4204 981-9655 981-0435 981-1850 981-1005 981-0016 981-9876 981-0917 NHS BOYS AT 3A DISTRICT BASKETBALL GAME Jared Stogdill Marcus Littleton. Photos by Dave Smith Photography.