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Newspaper Archive of
N. Warren Town and County News
Norwalk, Iowa
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March 21, 2013     N. Warren Town and County News
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March 21, 2013
 

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Norwalk Warriors I Official Publication for the Norwalk Community School District I Page Eight N/Warren Town and County News . Thursday, March 21, 2013 I ....notes from I Superintendent of Norwalk Schools. Dear PK-12 Staff and Parents, The Norwalk School Board approved Sheila Taylor as the next Oviatt principal. After a very intensive search, consensus was found by all four Oviatt interview teams. Sheila is a principal in the Morton School District in Illinois. Sheila has a wide range of experiences in education. She taught for five years in Adair Casey at the elementary level and coached. She served 16 years as an administrator in Boone, Knoxville, IL and Morton, IL. Her present district is comparable to Norwalk and she works at the largest neighborhood school in Morton. She has 66 staff members (certified and classified) and 455 students. Her school was recently an Illinois nominee for the National Blue Ribbon Schools Award. Lincoln has been honored with the Illinois" Academic Excellence Award eight years in a row. Lincoln hosts the district's only early childhood program and the only primary and interme- diate programs for challenged learners. A recent work transfer for her spouse made it possible for Sheila to return to her home state, Iowa. Background: Sheila was the district leader in: elementary math and reading textbook selection and alignment to the Illinois State Standards and the Common Core; 6 Traits trainer; Response to Instruction (RTI) trainer; teacher evaluation planner; curriculum mapping and master mapping; oversaw the district at-risk program in Knoxville; wrote and implemented the Knoxville, IL technology plan; implemented an all-day kindergarten program, among other duties, This hire is the result of weeks of work by many people. My thanks to: an outstanding group of candidates! our Oviatt teacher leadership team that studied the Iowa Administrative Standards and created a selection rubric based on Oviatt's needs and those standards; our "first cut" team that narrowed 41 candidates to 14 with a rubric; our second cut team used a more extensive rubric to narrow from 14 to the final eight; our parent team, teacher team, classified team and administrative team for their unanimous selection over a period of two days of interviews (during an unexpected snowstorm). But more than anyone else, I want to thank Laura Sivadge for providing a high bar for leadership at Oviatt. Additionally, her early announcement provided time to select the most qualified candidates for interview. Go Warriors! LAKEWOOD ELEMENTARY By Jill Anderson, Principal Technology This month, I have tried to give you some information that I found about the technology our kids are using. My job is not to parent, but to give you the needed information so you can make some decisions as a parent. There were some interesting facts with girls versus boys in regard to using technology. Girls seem to be more vulnerable online than boys, perhaps because communicating and sharing information are more typical behaviors for them. For instance, girls are more likely than boys to have a social networking account (72% versus 66%) and to say they always or often update their status (42% versus 29%). While girls' openness may help them communicate better, it can also put them at higher risk. One quarter (25%) of girls including 43% of girls ages 16 to 17-- admit to chatfin$ online with people they do not know. Girls are also more likely than boys to get harassed online, share their passwords with friends, give a description of what they look like to strangers and share photos of themselves. Meanwhile, boys are more likely to download programs without their parents' knowledge or those of "adult" content (35%), especially boys ages 16 to 17 (45%). It is obvious to me that our kids today live rich, active online lives that come with many benefits and some drawbacks. That's why it's important for you to talk to your kids about potential dangers and how to avoid them. During the student technology classes, the teachers really try to give the students some safety tips in regard to using the Internet. We can safely assume that kids will continue to spend a large amount of time online and that new technologies, such as location-based services, will give them even greater opportunities to share personal information about themselves. The article suggested that as parents, you should try to make sure you have very clear conversations with your children about the kind of information that is safe to share and whom they should share it with. It is also critical that your kids understand that the information they put online could be there forever. Before posting sensitive information, they need to ask themselves whether they would want their grandmother or a future employer to see it because there's no guarantee that "deleted" online content is permanently.deleted. I thought that this is a great "rule of thumb." PTO Fun Night: Go to the Norwalk School Website to the PTO link and take some time to Upcoming Events April 1-5 Iowa Assessments April 6 PTO Fun Night: At Lakewood 5-8 p.m. April 17 12:00 p.m. Early Out April 29-May 17 May Term: Three weeks of a middle school transition to sixth grade. April 30 ; 5th Grade Parent Orientation: At the Middle School volunteer for Fun Night! simulation as a part of the at 5:30 p.m. NOTES FROM MARK CRADY Norwalk Schools Curriculum Director New PD structure in 2013-14 Over the past several months, I have written a num- ber of articles about the changes taking place in Iowa education and how Norwalk and many school districts in Iowa are working to address these new mandates. While Norwalk has made great strides in improving student achievement over the past 10 years, data indi- cates other metro area schools have also done so at a slightly quicker pace. Furthermore, as we look beyond our state borders, it becomes apparent that many states are improving student achievement at a faster rate than Iowa. To address these more rigorous expectations a new professional development structure has been proposed and accepted by the school board for the 2013-14 school year. Notable changes include weekly, Wednesda early dismissals (1:30 Elementary/2:00 Secondary), an addi- tional ten minutes added to the elementary schedule, an additional three minutes added to the secondary cam- pus schedule, and the redistribution of two full profes- sional developme!3t days spread th 6 g dffu f the early dismissal Wednesdays. Through these changes, the additional instructional time and additional professional development time will help Norwalk align to state re- quirements and provide teachers and students needed resources to ensure increased student achievement. tl roughout this process we have attempted to make changes that have the greatest impact on student achievement and the least amount of disruption on our parents and families. Your comments have been help- ful and we have utilized themes from the feedback to make decisions. We understand it is impossible to make everyone happy, but we believe we have found a "win- win" solution that will move our district forward. If you have not done so already, please visit our website and review the new 2013-14 school year calendar. Have a great Spring! SUBSCRIBE TODAY! Send $18 check or money order for a one year subscription to PO Box 325, Norwalk, IA 50211 Our Services Include: Tires (Sales & Repair) Car, Truck, Lawn, Ag, Commerical & RV Lube/Oil Filter Shocks/Struts Exhaust Allignment Electrical & Diagnostic Work Flushes A/C Checks & Repairs And Much, Much MORE! Mort- Fri (7:30am--6pm) Sat. (7:30am-lpm) :Ss 6FI :-elm- i I AirOR I I l~_. ,. i Cabin Filter.e----al~lil~ll wi. Pu. ~l 4 I I I With an ii .~[~ ilbrW~7~omm~SneU~ts I Oil Change . ~& build estimate if I | OffcrExpirers3/31/13 II~ ~ 9 needed. | I -- ------ ---- E p 3/31/13 I [I Stop by [I x ,r~ I Anytime! I | We check air pressure and air I I .p. 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