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Newspaper Archive of
N. Warren Town and County News
Norwalk, Iowa
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December 20, 2012     N. Warren Town and County News
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December 20, 2012
 

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Thursday, December 20, 2012 N/Warren Town and County News Page Nine MARK CRADY Concluded from p. 8 Iowa Assessment Reading 11-12 (Percent of Students Proficient) 3rd 4th Norwalk 81.63 86.43 Norwalk is: 8th of 6th of 11 11 5th 6th 7th 8th 11th Average 75.66 76.7 80,86 75 88.66 80.71 11th of 8th of 11 6th of 11 8th of 8th of 8th of 11 11 11 11 State 75.78 73.36 73.42 63.4 66.41 64.92 82.57 71.41 Heartland 77.56 76.13 75.05 66.79 69.49 67.66 82.07 73.54 Other Districts" PD data- Indianola - Sixty minute early dismissal every Wednes- day; Pella - 90 minute weekly early dismissals, plus one full day each semester; Perry - 60 minute early dismissal every Wednesday afternoon; Bondurant - Farrar - early dismissal every Monday at 2:00; Boone - 1:30 early dismissal monthly on the first Wednesday and a 2:30 release each Wednesday; Dallas Center-Grimes - 11 early dismissals at 1 p.m. and three full staff development days per year; Saydel - 60 minute late start every Wednesday of the school year; Woodward-Granger- weekly early dismissals at 2:15; Johnston- 2013-14 looking at a common release time weekly; Waukee - 2x/month early dismissals - Elementary 1:40 - Middle School 1:05 - High School 12:50; Ankeny- 60 minute late start each Wednesday; Urbandale - 2x month / 60 minute late start; DSM / WDM - 90 min. weekly early dismissal; Carlisle - lx/ month early dismissal. After reviewing this data, a recommendation to consider increasing professional development time for teachers to was made by the SIAC. Several options were then crafted and discussed with two options garnering the most attention. Option I cre- ates a weekly early dismissal opportunity with the elementary students being re- leased at 1:30 p.m. and the secondary students being released at 2 p.m. Option 2 is also weekly early dismissals with the elementary students being released at 1:45 p.m. and the secondary students being released at 2:15 p.m. Most of the lost student instructional time is offset by the proposed addition of ten minutes to the elemen- tary schedule. The addition of this time also brings our elementary student instruc- tional time in line with Department of Education's Instructional Time Task Force recommendation of 1,080 hours per year. The change in professional development time also brings us in line with other Warren County and Metro area schools whose student achievement is outpacing Norwalk. Throughout the process, many factors have been considered and details discussed to enhance student learning with a mini- mal disruption to adult schedules. We understand that change comes with a price. However, we believe this investment in the future of Norwalk students is both a necessary and worthy endeavor. As the world changes, so too must our learning organizations. At this time, we encourage you to visit the Norwalk Community School website q SCHOOL AND SPORTS PAGES b SPONSORED BY: *WENDY BORST MASSAGE, LMT 240-1075 *COMMUNITY BANK 285-4900 *FOUR SEASONS AUTO WASH 981-4454 *DR. DONNA GRANT FAMILY DENTISTRY 256-9000 *HASKIN CHIROPRACTIC CLINIC 981-0556 *EDWARD JONES INVESTMENTS Kevin Pearson - 285-1838 *NORWALK INSURANCE SERVICES 981-0434 or 981-4293 *NORWALK LIONS CLUB 981-0432 *OPTOMETRIC ASSOCIATES 981-0224 *SCOTT'S FOODS 981-0606 *NEWTON STANDRIDGE S:FANDRIDGE GROUP 229-5310 *N/WARREN TOWN & COUNTY NEWS 981.0406 and provide us some feedback. Once you are at the site, click on the link in the "Pro- fessional Development recommendation feedback" article. We will use this datato help inform our decisions as we progress with this initiative. In Norwalk, we are blessed with several outstanding teacher leaders. As time allows they are often willing to help with various educational initiatives that are typically outside their regular duties. Below is an article by one of those individuals. Tricia Kurtt, Secondary Gifted and Talented teacher, has been doing some research on teacher collaboration. Since this concept is such a big part of the additional pro- fessional development initiative, I believe her article helps shed some light on the necessity for changing formats. Teacher Collaboration Increases Student Achievement By Tricia Kurtt Most of us have one or two favorite childhood teachers who truly impacted our life and changed us for the better in some way. We all want that experience for our own children because we know how powerful a teacher can be in the life of a child. How can we ensure that every teacher has a powerful impact on the students in their classroom? The answer to that question has many facets, but research is show- ing one important part of that impact comes from teacher collaboration. If you were to type the word "collaboration" into a search browser nearly 300 million links would be available for you to choose from. If you were to search "col- laboration" on YouTube, you could pick from over 300 thousand videos to watch. I recently heard it stated that 70% of jobs today require teamwork and collaboration. For many years now teachers in Norwalk have provided consistent opportunities for students to collaborate with each other so they are better prepared for the workforce. Working together as opposed to working in isolation is the standard approach in most careers because there is power in collaboration. The teaching profession is no different. Although teacher's classrooms are always buzzing with students, the pro- fession of teaching has traditionally been quite isolating. The need for professional collaboration amongst teachers is not only desired but now research is showing it to be necessary for educational reform. Recent research shows that not only does a teacher's instruction improve because of collaboration with other teachers, but stu- dent achievement does as well. In 2011, Carrie Leana, University of Pittsburg Professor, compiled research about the impact of collaboration on teachers and students. In her research she examines the relationship of human capital and social capital by following over 1,000 teachers in 130 different schools (Leana, 2011). For Leana's research she measured human capital by "teacher qualifications, experience and ability in the classroom" and so- cial capital was measured in terms of "the frequency and focus of conversations with peers that centered on instruction and that was based on feelings of trust and close- ness between teachers" (Fullan, 2011). Michael Fullan summarizes her research find- ings by stating: "...teachers who were both more able (high human capital) and had stronger ties with their peers (high social capital) had the biggest gains in student achievement. Leana also found that low-ability teachers lerform as well a teachers of average ability if they have strong social capital in their school. In sh','t, high social capital and high human capital must be combined and of the two the former is more powerful" (Fullan, 2011). The implementation of more professional development time into the Norwalk Community School District's calendar will afford our teachers the opportunity to collaboratively build on their understanding of what educational research is telling us about student learning and the chance to work together to move student achieve- ment in a way that could not be accomplished alone. As Norwalk explores the idea of incorporating more professional development and collaboration time into the school year, it is important to remember it is the students who will tly benefit. What is difficulty? Only a word indicating the degree of strength requisite for accomplishing particular objects; a mere notice of the necessity for exertion; a mere stimulus to men. -Samuel Warren Season's Greetings OUR HOLIDAY HOURS Monday, Dec. 24, 8 a.rm - Noon Tuesday, Dec. 25, Closed Monday, Dec. 31, Regular Hours Tuesday, Jan. 1, Closed We ask that if you are needing any medication refills, you ., cofitact your pharmacy. If you should need medical attention during these closures, call our office number, 285-3200, and the answering service will put you in contact with our physician on call. From all of us at NORWALK FAMILY PHYSICIANS, have a safe and happy holiday! Lori Miller, DO Patricia Newland, MD William Chase, MD Andrea Silvers, MD Jason Brehmer, DO 515-285-3200 IOWA HEALTH Methodist Lutlmram Bllmk 801 Colonial Circle Our clinic participates with most major insurance carriers.