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N. Warren Town and County News
Norwalk, Iowa
April 1, 2010     N. Warren Town and County News
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April 1, 2010

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OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER FOR AND NORWALK COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT Warren Town and County ws 50 Vol. 41 No. 45 Norwalk, Iowa 50211 USPS No. 395-120 Phone 981-0406 Thursday, April 1, 2010 .... notes from Dr. Denny Wulf Superintendent of Norwalk Schools Changes Considered for 2-3 Looping. Norwalk has been conducting an ongoing study to determine the ef- fectiveness of the looping and classic programs at Oviatt. The results we have found are: There is no statistically significaflt difference be- tween classic and looping achievement. A study of DIBELs results (often viewed as the "gold standard" of elementary assessment) reveals a fluctuation of 2% or less, Some years classic leads, some years looping leads. Our fluctuating numbers of incoming kindergarteners often result in uneven loops. Some years we have three sections of looping, other years we have two. Next year, the 2-3 loop was projected to popu- late four sections in one grade level and two in the other. This uneven distribution can cause teachers to "churn" back and forth between teaching looping and teaching classic. Additionall when we need to move teachers back and forth between grade levels to balance class sizes, we do not break a loop. Therefore, classic teach- ers would be asked to move. So the system disrupts classic teachers, also. Continuityof the looping staff is at the heart of looping. During our last several years, the teacher turn- over in looping has far exceeded the turnover of classic teachers. In fact, 67?(o of the 2-3 looping teachers have moved or transferred. Loops are being disrupted from year to year. New teachers can be hired in the middle of the loop, destroying the looping effect. Finally, and most significantl the upward pres- sure on achievement created by the newly-mandated Iowa Core Curriculum requires elementary teachers to become content experts in "gradebands" of curriculum. The Iowa Core now creates a "dividing line" in elemen- tary education. The bands include "K-2 content in all core areas" and "3-5 content in all core areas." The 2-3 looping program forces looping teachers to know both gradebands. Due to this change, the 2-3 looping teach- ers would need to know double the content of classic teachers. And the 2-3 looping teachers would flip back and forth between these bands on a yearly basis. This is an unrealistic expectation of our 2-3 looping teachers. In conclusion, I support the Iowa Core. As many of Concluded p. 7 GROUNDBREAKING CELEBRATION APRIL 14 The Norwalk Community School District will host a Groundbreaking Celebration at 4 p.m. Wednesday, April 14, at the Secondary Campus to formally kick off the new Auditorium, Stadium and Parking Lot Construc- tion Project. The public is invited to attend this event. The activities will start on the west side of the High School where the new Stadium will be located and then move to the east side of the High School/Eastview 8/9 where the new Auditorium and Music Classrooms will be constructed. The celebration will conclude in the Eastview 8/9 Cafeteria with a short program. Construction operations are expected to begin dur- ing the week of April 19. The project is scheduled to be complete in August 2011. Work on the project will in- clude the construction of a new 925-seat auditorium, two new instrumental band classrooms, new outdoor athletic stadium for football, soccer and track, new ten- nis courts and paving parking lot improvements at the Secondary Campus. Easter Services in Norwalk Several area churches have announced special ser- vices the Easter weekend. Crossroads Church, 2601 Border St. (formerly Beardsley St.) will offer two identical services to cel- ebrate the great news of Jesus Christ. Service times are 9 a.m. and 10:45 a.m. Sunday, April 4. Each family celebrating Easter with Crossroads Church congregation will be gifted with a free family portrait. Fellowship Community Church, 225 North Ave., will hold three identical services to celebrate the Easter holiday. Service times are Frida April 2, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 4, at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Each service will feature an Easter message, adult choir, live artwork and Easter egg hunts for elementary and preschool chil- dren. Each family will receive a free 5x7 photo taken by a professional photographer, who will be available at all three services. Quality childcare is available for children five years and younger during all three services. A free continental breakfast will be served before both Sunday morning services. Linn Grove United Methodist, 7483 50th Ave., serves breakfast every Sunday from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m., followed by Worship at 11 a.m. A Good Friday worship will be at 5:30 p.m. with Easter Sunday celebration on April 4. A cantata, "Have You Seen My Lord?" will be presented April 11. New Life Lutheran Church, 4380 Wakonda Dr., will have Maundy Thursda April 1. Service will be held at 7 p.m. and Good Friday, April 2, there will be a service at 7 p.m. Easter Sunday, April 4, services will be held at 8:15 and 10:30 a.m. Norwalk Christian Church, 701 Main St., will par- ticipate in Maundy Thursday, April 1, at 7 p.m. with a joint worship service with members of the Norwalk United Methodist Church at the Christian Church. A Prayer Vigil will be held from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, April 3. Easter Sunday, April 4, there will be a Sunrise Ser- vice with members of the Norwalk United Methodist Church and the Methodist Church at 6:30 a.m. Worship at 8:30 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. will be held at the Christian Church. Norwalk United Methodist Church, 1801 Sunset Dr., will participate with the Norwalk Christian Church Thursday, April 1, for a joint Maundy Thursday service at the Christian Church. Good Friday, there will be a 7 p.m. worship service at the Methodist Church. Easter Sunday, April 4, there will be a joint Sunrise Service at 6:30 a.m. with the members of the Norwalk Christian Church at the Methodist Church. At 7 a.m., United Methodist Youth Fellowship (UMYF) will serve Easter breakfast. Regular worship services also will be held at 8:15 and 10:45 a.m. St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, 720 Orchard Hills Dr., will observe Holy Thursday, April 1, with Mass of the Lord's Supper at 7 p.m. Good Friday, April 2, there will be Celebration of the Lord's Passion at 7 p.m. An Easter Vigil begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 3, with no 5 p.m. Mass. Easter Sunday, April 4, Masses will be held at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Agenda for April 1st Norwalk City Council Meeting is on page 14 SCHOOL UPDATES By Kate Baldwin Business Manager Norwalk Community School District Norwalk School Board Approves 2010-2011 Budget and Reduces Property Tax Levy by $.38 The Board of Directors of the Norwalk Community School District received a presentation at the Monda) March 22 board meeting, summarizing the 2010-2011 school year proposed budget. The Board will vote on final approval of the proposed budget at the 6 p.m. April 12 th regular meeting. This meeting will be held at Eastview 8/9 School. The Board is pleased to announce that property owners will see a $.38 per $1,000 decrease in the total levy. This will be the fifth year in a row the District has been able to lower the total property tax levy. The annual levy will drop from $20.56 per $1,000 to $20.18 per $1,000, effective July 1, 2010. Given the current economic status of the national and state economy, the Board of Directors has made a decision to utilize reserve funds to backfill state aid cuts and avoid raising taxes to cover on-going operational expenses. At some point the School Board may need to impose a cash reserve levy to replace reserve funds, but it is our intent to defer this action until the economy becomes more stable. Concluded p. 7 Firefighters Pancake Breakfast Norwalk Firefighters' Association will host their an- nual Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser Saturday, April 3, from 6 to 11 a.m. at the Fire Station, 1100 Chatham Ave. Cost for the all-you-can-eat breakfast is $5 per per- son. In an effort to preserve the historical heritage of fire fighting, the Norwalk Firefighters Association has un- dertaken the restoration of a 1951 Ford Pumper. Engine Co. #81, also known as "Old Red" was one of the first piece of apparatus that the city purchased. Proceeds from this year's pancake breakfast will be used to fund this project. Informational Budget Meeting for Norwalk Schools The Norwalk Community School District will hold a public informational meeting at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 8, at Eastview 8/9 School Cafeteria. Members of the public are invited to attend this meet- ing if they desire to learn about how the school district is funded and general operating expenditures, as well as facility maintenance and construction-related expen- ditures. The meeting will also provide a time for citizens to ask questions regarding the budget. City-Wide Clean-Up Days in May The annual Norwalk City-Wide Clean-Up Days be- gin Saturday, May 1. The service is provided for City of Norwalk residential garbage customers only. All items must be placed at the curb before 7 a.m. Monday, May 3. Saturday, May 1, Hazardous Household Waste and Tire Drop-off will take place from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Cherry Street Garage, comer of Cherry Street and North Avenue. More information on clean-up day collection will be announced in a future issue of this newspaper.