Newspaper Archive of
N. Warren Town and County News
Norwalk, Iowa
July 18, 2013     N. Warren Town and County News
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July 18, 2013

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OFFICIAL NEWSPAPER FOR F-'00wQlh Nor NORWALK COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT SM#,LL TOVViq F, ApERS. 2,7 WEST ,L:C, TA ST \\;\ S " [: L  C-::N W,, .9,2,554-2263 \\;, t,i!i,, ,i:,,J!J,!,i!!i,i!!!i,,i!!!!i!,,r,jli!j,l,i,jl!lt,i!tj I Norwalk Warriors Vol. 45 No. 9 Norwalk, Iowa 50211 USPS No. 395-120 Phone 981-0406 emaih news@norwalknewspaper.com Thursday, July 18, 2013 SCHOOL UPDATES By Kate Baldwin Business Manager Norwalk Community School District Future of the Old School Building, Maintenance Buildings, McLaughlin Building and Property Located at 906 School Avenue: You may have read some of the articles posted to the website and in the local newspaper explaining the pro- cess the Board has followed to determine the future of the current Central Office property. In early May the Board published a 45-day notice of sale to purchase the property "as is" with proposals due by July 1. They held a public hearing at the July 8 meeting to receive the pro- posals. The Board received one proposal from the City of Norwalk. The property has several limitations that would include any development or improvements that would involve use of the current buildings. The two- story brick building has served the community well for over 80 years but offers limited options for future use. The Board is committed to protecting the integrity of the community and does not want to abandon the old school to slowly decay over time. The Board has been advised by several professionals and local dtizens that it is time to move forward with demolishing the build- ing if no acceptable offers were received to purchase the property with the existing buildings. The proposal submitted by the City of Norwalk out- lined a plan for future development of the property into recreational and park space, with soccer fields for small children. The City offered to purchase the property for $1 with the understanding that the District would de- molish the old school building and north metal build- ing and the City would then provide the necessary fund- ing over a four-year period to develop the property into a community park and recreational area for soccer, play- ground equipment, public restroom facilities and park- ing. The City would continue to maintain the McLaughlin Building (one-story wooden building) as a community room that could be used by community members for family events, reunions or other small com- munity activities. The City's plan also included future development to add a shelter house and above-ground water activity (splash pad). The property is zoned for single-family residential use. Based on a professional appraisal of the property comlleted in April, the property could support 4-6 building lots. The appraisal report indicated that the property would have the highest market value if it were to be sold as a vacant lot. The Board has decided to move forward with plans to demolish or "raze" the old school building and list the property for a 60-day period with realtors to see if someone has an interest to purchase the property for a residential housing development. The board will consider any development offers that are re- ceived by September 16, 2013 along with the City's of- fer at a meeting to be held in September. Norwalk Citizen Committee Norwalk's motto states, "Noticeably Norwalk." In line with that motto, a citizen committee of 6-8 people is being formed to help develop a limited beautifica- tion/streetscape plan for the main entrance into Nor- walk, Highway 28, north of Beardsley. Citizens who want to share ideas on how it can be improved are encouraged to complete a form on the city website. The committee will only meet a couple times in person and do the majority of work in their free time. For more information, email Community Develop- ment Director Josh Heggen. Linn Grove Ice Cream Social July 20 Members of Linn Grove United Methodist Church, 7483 50th, Prole, will host their annual Ice Cream So- cial from 4 to 7 p.m. Satur- day, July 20, at the church. The menu includes beefburgers, salads, pie and homemade ice cream. A free-will offering will be accepted. For more information, go to www.gbgm-u.mc.org flinngrove. Welfare Lodge Dinner This Sunday Members of Welfare Lodge #628 will host the "monthly dinner Sunday, July 21, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Masonic Hall on Main Street. The meal is open to the public. The menu includes spa- ghetti with meat sauce or meatless sauce, salad, gar- lic bread and homemade pie or cake. The cost is $6 for adults and $3 for chil- dren 10 and under. All proceeds will be used towards the Lodge's scholarship fund for local students. Open House For New Storage Facility Is Today Area residents are in- vited to attend an Open House from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday, July 18, at The Wright Storage, 150 W. Wright Road in Norwalk and tour the new facility and register for a $50 gift card from Scott's Foods. The Wright Storage of- fers units from 5' x 10' up to 14' x 50'. The new self- storage is able to meet your storage needs. Motto for the new busi- ness is "Store it the WRIGHT way." Farmer's Market This Friday Area residents are re- minded that the Norwalk Area Chamber of Com- merce hosts a Farmer's Market each Friday from 4 to 7 p.m. in the parking lot in front of the Dollar Gen- eral Store in Sunset Plaza. A variety of venders are available with their prod- ucts. Anyone interested in participating may contact the Chamber Office at 981- 0619 or norwalkchamber @msn.com. Fundraiser for Community Center By Mitchell Phipps A few weeks ago, I at- tended the High School Leadership Institute pro- gram at Wartburg College in Waverly. The program is a college level course that I will receive credit for, as well as a scholarship upon completion. As a part of the course, my job is to cre- ate a service project that fits a need of my commu- nity. My original idea for the project was to start funds toward a recreation center here in Norwalk, but the problem was how. Also, I think Norwalk is a great place to grow up and I wanted to show appre- ciation to my community, especially the Fire and Po- lice departments for their service to all of us. So I came up with the idea to host a community cook out to say thanks and also to use as an opportunity to Mitchell Phipps raise funds for the future recreation center. With the help of city, fire, police and school officials, my family and friends and local busi- nesses, we have come up with a great plan. We are going to hold a commu- nity grill out at Norwalk Pool Wednesday, Aug. 14, from 5-8 p.m. The pool will be open for anyone to swim free, so bring your Concluded p. 4 .... notes from Dr. Denny Wulf Superintendent of Norwalk Schools Calendar Change for 2013: If you have not done so, please examine the calendar for next year. You will no- tice that Norwalk has joined our neighboring districts ,r,,. and districts across Iowa by greatly expanding the num- ber of "early out professional development times" for teachers. The Iowa legislature has enacted new require- ments for teachers in Iowa. So, Norwalk's tradition of "one early out per month" must expand next year. We will begin weekly early outs instead of monthly. I real- ize this change will inconvenience many families. How- ever, our School Improvement Advisory Committee (SIAC) studied the new state requirements, parent sur- veys, staff requests and student achievement records. Those requirements and results Were compared to the existing times available for professional development. After the study was complete, there was a realization that Norwalk teachers could not keep our status of strong student achievement with the existing profes- sional development schedule. The result was a recom- mendation to the school board to increase the present system to weekly early outs. Adding my recommenda- tion, the gool board voted for the present calendar and expanded the number of early outs. You will see this change demonstrated in our new calendar. Our cal- endar now looks very similar to Indianola, Carlisle and other schools in Iowa. The many new state and national requirements have increased over the last five years. The Iowa Core, teacher peer coaching, new standardized testing called "smarter balance" more requirements for bullying, mandatory reporting and a myriad of other requirements simply require more time. Most of these increases came with- out additional funding for these initiatives. So, districts must look to their present schedules to find answers for these requirements. Norwalk will be joining its neigh- bors and districts across Iowa by adding time. Different than most Iowa districts, the Norwalk SIAC committee found a way to expand the professional development time while actually ADDING student contact time at the elementary and the secondary levels. This innova- tion should multiply achievement gains. The new re- search-based strategies being developed are multiplied by additional minutes of student teacher contact time. This SIAC strategy should work to improve Norwalk student achievement results. My personal thanks to the SIAC committee for their hours of diligent research on this topic. Strong achievement overall in Norwalk: The achievement results for Norwalk are good. But good can be the enemy of great. A composite of all Norwalk high "' school students appears in the table below. The scores represent the averages of all students on the Iowa Tests over the last four years. As you can see, we have gained over six percentage points in math, seven points in read- ing, eight in science and nine points in social studies. We are progressing toward 100% student proficiency. An outstanding record! Concluded p. 11 Norwalk All-School Reunion The annual Norwalk All-School Reunion will be held Sunda Aug. 11, in the Eastview School cafeteria, 1600 North Ave. Open House will be from I to 4 p.m. with a program q at 2 p.m. The cost is $2 per person payable at the door. For more information, call Becky Barkley, 244-8046.