West Des Moines schools
Eight art students will have their artwork displayed as part of the Impact of Art show at the Des Moines Art Center. These student works and those of other students from West Des Moines will be on display through Jan. 27 in the education wing of the Art Center. The students who will be representing Clive Elementary are Jacob DeGroat, Jazlin Espinosa, Cassidy Halbrook, Joey Kock, Logan Maxwell, Tana Potter, Medina Sivac and Daniel Truong. A reception will be held in their honor tonight from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the education wing.
Clive and Crestview extended learning students in grades four, five and six will participate in World of Choices, a career awareness event at the Learning Resource Center on Feb. 2. This provides opportunities for students to interact with volunteer presenters from many professions. After the event, students write letters to the presenters, including some of the things they learned, and thanking the presenters for sharing their time and expertise. Some former West Des Moines school district students now in college have commented that their college studies were inspired by World of Choices sessions.
Seven students have been selected to have their artwork displayed as part of the Impact of Art XXI show at the Des Moines Art Center. These student works and those of other students from West Des Moines will be on display through Jan. 28 in the education wing of the Art Center. The students who will be representing Crestview are second-grade student Noah Mack; third-grade student Levi Butler; fourth-grader Alison Whitaker; fifth-grade students Ronnie Clark and Crystal Kimama; and sixth-grade students Jordyn Austin and Luis Jimenez. A reception will be held in their honor tonight from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the education wing.
Each day the bus lines are competing to be the most respectful riders in the gym. The bus line that is picked for the reward for the day will have its number posted in the gym the following day. Each of the members of that bus line will then be awarded tickets to go into the bus rider bucket. At the end of the week, five tickets will be drawn from the bucket and the winners will receive candy.
Long strips of colorful paper with names of students in the kindergarten B class are posted outside the guidance office. These students have finished more than 100 explore word lessons in Breakthrough to Literacy. The school is emphasizing this particular part of the program because it helps students understand how words work using the phonological process of understanding sentences, syllables, onsets, rhymes, initial sounds, final sounds, vowel sounds, suffixes, prefixes and blends.
Students have been creating some wonderful pieces of art. There are many pieces hanging in the halls at Crossroads Park but there are also projects on display at several places around town. Students who have artwork at the Des Moines Art Center during the month of January are Ellie Penick, Emerson Kleis, Hannah Ross, Skylar Eakins, Molly McDermott, Jackson LaFleur and Tate Smith. First-graders who have “Dancing Giraffe” artworks at Farm Bureau are Quinci Chapman, Jessica Erickson, Skylar Root, Adam Witty, Will Pixley, Ruby McDermott, Thomas Hansen, Noemie Dhont, Jamie Melville, Derek Nguyen, Abhashan Pradhan, Julia Richards and Sully Waldrop. Third-graders who have “Egyptian” artworks at the Learning Resource Center are Anna Radar, Kelly Dulaney, Marleigh Heil, Elizabeth Anders, Mary Thomas, Katherine Osborn, Rachel Divingnzzo, Emma DeJong, Sam Martin, Rachel Hendel, Jake Caster, Ben O’Hollearn, David Sangurima, Lauren Wrage, Michelt Bernabel, Christpher Sueppel, Katie Richards, Emily Collins, Summer DeCamp, Dylan Schutjer and Jake Stegman. Eight students have received scholarships to take a class at the Des Moines Art Center this spring and summer: Greta Stewart, Isaiah Brock, Britney Nguyen, Ashley Harmon, Becca Dorsett, Morgan Theisen, Kate Anderson and Julia Tighe.
Fifth- and sixth-grade students in Deb Augspurger’s music class have begun a unit on guitars. Each student plays one of the 28 acoustic guitars, learning both familiar and new tunes based primarily on D, G and A major chords along with a variety of strumming patterns. Opportunity is given for those with prior skill to perform for the class. A perennial favorite is “Smoke on the Water.”
Staff and students are focusing on being people of good character. The staff chose students they felt were showing the pillars of character in all parts of the school day. Students received a special certificate, pencil, picture taken and had a special dessert provided by the school’s 35th Street Hy-Vee business partner. Students included in the December lunch are Zach Smith, Gia Blazer, Logan Hodge, Elvis Subasic, Zarah Worth, Sage McBride, Zachary Basart-Morose, Sklyar Redford, Quinton Clements, Hannah Grall, Fae Mottet, Stella Rose, Liam Feeley, Chaim Moore, Xander Harlow, Brynlea DeGroote, Cale Jacobsen, Melania Lozovich, Zoe Swanson, Andrew Larick, Elaine Greer, Henry Long, Jonathan Rojas, Liana Reed, Cole Ross, Sarah Dorn, Jake Umble, Kassie Grissom, Audry Hronich, Patrick Karns, Andrew Lutz, Jacob Gates, Cassie Larick, Hunter Stevens, Dylan Owen, Saul Benavides, Mia Klaric, Brody Anders, Kolby Morrill, Natasha Niles, Cameron Cananda, Jayden Windsor, Maddie Brown, Chase Stahl, Sarah Henry, Connor Roth, Jack Rose and Sarah Seely.
ESL students in first grade did some baking. They enjoyed making candy pretzels using pretzels, Hershey Kisses and M&Ms. During the cooking session they learned some new vocabulary they are not exposed to every day.
Kindergarten students were excited to get back to school and their daily routine following winter break. The start of a new year and many changes on the calendar present a great time to further students’ understanding of numbers into the double digits using the calendar and the hundreds chart. The class will also extend its exploration of numbers to the clock, reinforcing numbers to 12, counting by five and beginning concepts of telling time. The cold days of January and February are always months of great growth in academic understanding for kindergartners. With routines established and behaviors developed, young children are open to new challenges and eagerly make connections across the curriculum.
Sixth-grade students traveled to the Science Center to view the “da Vinci Genius” exhibit Jan. 6. In preparation for this visit, students worked with art teacher Pamela Ballard to create their own version of da Vinci’s famous codices. Throughout the week, students read extensively on the life and works of Leonardo da Vinci, attempting to understand his creative thinking and the perspective of others during the time period. The expectations for the students were to look at the pieces, sketch in their own codices, and write a personal response to the pieces. Students used the essential question – “How do perspectives impact relationships?”- to think about the genius of Leonardo da Vinci. Students especially enjoyed viewing the “Mona Lisa” and reading about the 25 revealed secrets.
Four members of the chess club participated in the Des Moines trophy tournament, all earning trophies in their respective categories or sections. Shuvethan Sivagurunathan, 4D, won the top U1200 trophy; James Meng, 4B, won the top U800 trophy; Kyle Kopf, 5B, won the top U800 trophy; and Conner Smith, 4C, won the top unrated trophy. The tournament was attended by more than 60 students from area schools.
Major League Baseball umpire Tim McClelland visited with fifth-grade students in Jeri Daniels’ class recently as a guest reader. He shared some of his experiences over his 30-year career as a major league umpire. Students were excited to hear about the various baseball parks, what inspired him to become an umpire, major league players he knows and other interesting stories. He also brought with him the trunk he travels with which carries his equipment and pictures of his family. McClelland showed the equipment he wears for safety, especially behind the plate. Students enjoyed listening to McClelland and lined up for his autograph.
The Circle of Friends program has had two successful community events this school year. In the fall, the group had a kickoff event at Crossroads Park Elementary, with more than 70 kids participating in games, food and fun. Students enjoyed the Urbandale pool all to themselves during a big pool party with pizza in December. Students are looking forward to heading to Pump It Up this month, and next month hopefully going to the movie theater. In addition to community events, the group also has regular lunch/recess events at school to keep the kids excited and to foster new friendships that they are creating through the program. This is the second year for the Circle of Friends program at Jordan Creek. There are nine circles each with five to 10 members with around 90 total students selected to participate in the program. Each circle has an identified special-needs student and the peers selected to be in their group are students who are good role models and promote social interactions and friendship. Four special education teachers and the Jordan Creek SLP are in charge of the program, which has been a huge success.
First-grade students at Phenix Early Childhood Center are busy studying Africa. Many cultures in African have traditions of oral storytelling. Many African folktales have morals or lessons for the audience. During media center time, the first-grade students have heard folktales about Anansi the Spider, who is lazy, funny and mischievous. Anansi is one of the most important characters in West African folklore. Phenix students have heard several folktales in which Anansi has tricked all the animals in the forest, only to be tricked himself in the end. Students also read “I Lost My Tooth in Africa” by Penda June Diakite and learned that the African tooth fairy does not leave money for a tooth, but instead leaves a chicken under a gourd. First-graders, who are very familiar with losing teeth, enjoyed the book and learned about African traditions and culture.
Seven Phenix students have been selected to have their artworks displayed as a part of the Impact of Art XXI show at the Des Moines Art Center. These student works and those of other students from West Des Moines will be on display through Jan. 28 in the education wing of the Art Center. The students who will be representing Phenix are Cali Plym, Meadow Schneider, Makayla Stone, Mallory Valadez, Gabbie Paul, Marshall Jarnagin and Alexas Waters. A reception will be held in their honor tonight from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the education wing.
Peder Malchow represented the West Des Moines Rotary Club and presented each third-grade student with a dictionary. The Rotary Club purchased more than 700 dictionaries to give to each third-grader in the West Des Moines Community Schools. The excited students immediately began thumbing through their new dictionaries, which included maps, charts and even the longest word in the English language.
Kindergarten students will begin investigating water this month. This hands-on unit is full of experiments and activities. The students will investigate water by the bucketful and by the individual droplet. We will look at the three stats of water. Some of the experiments and activities include properties of water, float and sink, water drops, what shape is water, what dissolves in water, making bubbles, water as ice and where water goes.
Seven Westridge Elementary students have been selected to represent Westridge Elementary at the 21st annual Impact of Art exhibition at the Des Moines Art Center. These student works will be on display through Jan. 28 in the Arienne and Charles Herbert Galleries. The students who will be representing Westridge include Elianna Maule, Josh Studer, Zach Cartwright, Catalina Samaniego, Emilee Tilton and Ciara Bennum. A reception will be held in their honor tonight from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Levitt auditorium. Guests can see a PowerPoint presentation, hear music performed by Valley High School students and enjoy refreshments.
In December, third-grade students learned so much from the presentation given by Heidi Anderson of Polk County Conservation. She shared details about each of the planets in our solar system. She shows a variety of bouncy balls and beach balls to give students an idea about how the planets compare in size. As a final activity, she distributed a paper strip and gave directions for marking each of the planets. This was a perfect visual for students to understand how close (or far) the planets are situated from the sun.
Indian Hills Junior High
As part of the school’s annual Season of Giving, students went to Target to shop for toys to give to others through the Toys for Tots campaign. Almost 600 students participated and more than $3,000 worth of toys was donated. Students also contributed warm coats, hats, mittens, scarves and personal care items for the Eddie Davis Center. More than 350 items were donated. Kari Schulte, the ICARE coordinator, took six students with her to deliver the donations on Dec. 21.
The eighth-grade bike club went to Barr Bike Shop in Clive. The owner took them around the store and showed them the different types of bikes available. He then showed them how to fix a brake problem on a bike they have been working on. The bike mechanic, Logan, showed the boys how to fix a loose headset. When they left the owners gave each member a Barr Bike and Fitness water bottle. The guys did a great job behaving, asking questions and keeping focused on what the speaker was saying.
Congratulations to Indian Hills students Smail Buljubasic, Zach Brown, Madison Cobb, Savannah Kannapel, Ariel Rogers and Bailey Zoss for having their artworks displayed at the Des Moines Art Center for the month of January.
Stilwell Junior High
Students on the G Team at Stilwell Junior High demonstrated their aptitude as spellers, participating in a preliminary spelling challenge during Tiger Time. The nine cerebral finalists, Adam Shepherd, Ally Standefer, Jake Goetz, Jeff Goetz, Tori Cunningham, Melanie Taylor, Jasmine Boddicker, Nolan Dahm and Brandon Blythe, endured several arduous rounds in front of the entire team. As the queue of students narrowed, Brandon Blythe and Nolan Dahm evaded elimination to become the last two spellers. Despite the tense milieu of the final round, Brandon Blythe remained calm and won the spelling bee.
Stilwell’s Team I raised more than $1,300 with its annual winter walk-a-thon for Toys for Tots. Along with the cash donation, new toys were also collected. After the walk-a-thon, the top pledge-getters got to go shopping at Toys R Us.
Students have finished up finals and are starting to study new topics in the second semester. The first semester at Valley Southwoods saw students finding success in the classroom and in everything from instrumental and vocal music to theatrics, athletics, clubs and intramural activities. Most importantly, students at Valley Southwoods have had the tremendous opportunity to get to know students from “the other junior high school” across town and develop relationships and a class unity that will serve them well as they transition to Valley High School next year. The very unique nature of our ninth-grade-only building affords students with a full year of academic and social preparation for their four years of high school in West Des Moines.
Valley held its holiday assembly Dec. 21, treating students to performances from the school’s choir groups, jazz band, Chinese band, mime troupe and more.
The Valley High School varsity dance team is holding a junior pom clinic fundraiser for students currently enrolled in preschool though eighth grade. Clinics will be held at Valley High School on Jan. 25 and 27. All participants are invited to perform their routines in the sweetheart show, which will be held at Stilwell Junior High School on Jan. 30 at 3 p.m. Cost is $25, which includes a T-shirt, snacks and drinks during the clinics, and admission to the sweetheart show. For more information and a registration form, contact coach Lindsay Felty at email@example.com. Registration forms and fees are due today.
Walnut Creek Campus
Third-grade students at Eason, along with their counterparts from five other Waukee elementary schools, were recently treated to the beautiful music of the Belin String Quartet. This professional group of musicians played pieces by Beethoven, Vivaldi and Mozart. It was a truly delightful experience and as one student said, “It sounded like the music you would hear during a beautiful sunrise.”
All Eason parents and guardians are invited to a PTO meet-and-greet Jan. 24 at 7 p.m. in the Eason library. Join us for refreshments and find out more about the parent teacher organization. The PTO offers many opportunities with varying levels of time commitment.
Students are listening to the music of the harp during our Wednesday morning spotlight series. The harp is one of the oldest instruments and has been played throughout history by many people, including troubadours, court jesters, poets and even royalty. Students are experiencing the music of Debussy and Ravel, as well as some folk harp pieces.
The fourth-grade and kindergarten classes got together and created handprint wreaths for the troops in Iraq.
The first-grade students participated in a service project during the month of December. We collected items for the food pantry in Waukee. The goal was to have each child bring in at least two items, which would give us almost 200 items. We surpassed our goal and had a truck full of items.
Congratulations to Chloe Heimlicher, who was awarded a $50 saving bond for showing exceptional character at Walnut Hills.
The kindergarten classes had some special visitors on Jan. 6. Students in Frau Getting’s high school German classes did a German camp with our students. We learned how to count to 10, say many color words, animal names and some simple phrases. It was great to have the high school students extend their learning by teaching the kindergarten students. We really enjoyed playing Simon Says, the four corners game and singing.
Students in Kim Moyle’s communications class used an old fashioned form of passing notes to learn about e-mail etiquette. After writing their messages, they were “mailed” and decoded by other students. They learned that the message was not always clear, and sometimes the message went to an unintended audience.
The new year brings jazz festival season. In light of upcoming jazz festivals, the eighth-grade jazz band at Waukee Middle School, under the direction of Mary Crandell-Garrels, had a special visitor at its last jazz rehearsal of 2010. On Dec. 22, Chris Crandell, director at Indianola High School and brother of Garrels, was called in to clinic the band. “Chris conducted a great clinic – students were well engaged in the session and he kept them on their toes, as far as having them try new techniques and concepts with their contest tunes and to have them perform the changes on the spot. They did what was asked of them and showed the utmost maturity in their approach to their performance. There were a few laughs along the way, too. I have not had a group that I felt could handle a clinic so early in the season before. This is truly a group to look for in the future,” Garrels said. The eighth-grade jazz band is performing the following jazz tunes this year: “In A Sentimental Mood” by Duke Ellington; “Bellavia” by Chuck Mangione; and “Manteca” by Gillespie/Fuller. Each tune will feature improvisation soloists.
Waukee South Middle
Waukee South Middle School show choirs are preparing for a busy season of competitions and performances. High Octane, the seventh-grade show choir directed by Jennifer Ghelf, and En Fuego, the eighth-grade show choir directed by Brent Peterson, performed Jan. 14 at the Waukee Invitational and will also appear Jan. 21 at the Johnston Invite and on Feb. 18 at the Pella Invite.
During second quarter, South Middle School was focused on caring. Seventh-grade students in Brenda Chamberlain and Jennifer Leidal’s advisories collected donations for Toys for Tots. Students went around and gave presentations to each advisory explaining the details of what others could donate. They also worked hard at getting the word out by making posters and putting them up around the building. We are very grateful to all of the students and families who generously donated to this toy drive. We are proud to say we collected more than 50 toys.
Students in eighth-grade language arts classes recently completed theme triangles. After creating theme statements based on their independent reading memoir books, students found two complementary fine arts pieces that share the same theme. All of the pieces were displayed in a triangle that included evidence that supported the theme statement.
Sixth-grade students enjoyed the final unit of the quarter, where they created their own fairy tales, found or made their own props, located costumes in the drama department’s costume morgue, and saw their production come to life on stage.
Intro to woodworking students have been working on pine storage boxes for their final projects. The 45 students in Mike Modlin’s classes used raised panel construction and miter joints re-enforced at the corners with contrasting walnut splines.
Waukee High School
A listserv has been established at the building level for Waukee High School. Subscribe by sending a blank e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. The e-mail must be sent from the account that will be used to receive the listserv e-mail. The intent of this listserv is to provide parents/guardians with Waukee High School announcements and information to their desktops.
Congratulations to the debate team for a strong showing at the state tournament on Jan. 7. Mike Kickbush and Eric Halverson were undefeated until a split-decision loss in the semifinals and Michael Sylvester and Carter Kemmet faced tough competitors, finishing in the upper half of the field. Halverson had the third-highest speaking points in the large-school division.
Waukee High School is holding a volunteer fair on Feb. 14 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The fair is being organized by the Waukee High School Silver Cord Program, which is sponsored by Waukee Community Education. This is an opportunity for more than 1,000 students to learn about different nonprofit organizations in the area and the volunteer opportunities they offer. Nonprofit organizations interested in being part of the fair should contact Sally Housholder at 987-2726 or email@example.com. Due to limited space, organizations will be accepted on a first-come basis.
The preschool programs are learning about animals. The classes of Katie Voll, Janet Henderson, Rachel Larsen and Kathy Marean are focusing on animals all around. Classrooms have developed a pet shop, a veterinarian’s office and a zoo for children to explore jobs that work with animals. The students are exploring animals in lots of other ways, too. Books about both real and imaginary animals are being read daily and lots of art projects such as animal puppets are made. In addition, academic skills of letter identification, phonemic awareness and math skills are being practiced to help children be ready for kindergarten.
The Smouse Knights of the Week traveling trophy went to Smouse’s newest teacher, Rose Cartee’s classroom, for demonstrating excellent behaviors in all areas, as the school reviewed each area’s expectations for the week of Jan. 3. The winning class did an outstanding job during the safety drills with their voices off, staying with adults and listening to adults. They followed directions in and out of the classroom, did a great job during the assembly and were respectful, responsible, caring citizens.
Early Childhood Careers students visited the Learning Post on Jan. 3 to learn about available educational resources.
CADD students traveled to Architectural Salvage for a tour on Jan. 5.
On Jan. 6, culinary arts students visited the Renaissance Hotel for an overview of lodging. They also learned about eating in a fine dining atmosphere as they were served breakfast in the hotel restaurant.
The physical education program, led by Larry Johnson, has been awarded a $3,000 grant from Midwest and America’s Dairy Farmers Fuel Up to Play 60 grant program. The grant money will go toward healthy eating and physical activity strategies for the program’s students.
Last week, the Iowa Energy and Sustainability Academy program collected 370 pounds of paper, 96 bottles and 35 cans for recycling.
Students in the middle school classrooms of Laura McPherson and Susie Carlson have been participating in a series of classes taught by volunteers from Employee and Family Resources. Focusing on life skills and social skills, the recent areas of study have included substance abuse, including drugs, alcohol and tobacco. Students are learning about the physical, social and psychological effects of these addictions. This week the classes divided into teams and played a “Jeopardy!” game to review the information they have been discussing. Orchard Place School is grateful for the support and dedication of its amazing classroom volunteers.
Ruby Van Meter
Events coming up in the next few months include another day for fundraising using the Community Day books from Younkers. These have been a good deal for anyone who has purchased them and raises good money for the school. Another event the students are looking forward to is the annual basketball jamboree. This year, we will be playing teams from Dowling Catholic High School. There is a Best Buddies program between our two schools. This will be an opportunity for more people to get to know about the program.
RVM was awarded money from Dollar General to support our literacy program. Materials that will help support our reading program are being purchased. Students are working hard to improve their vocabulary and comprehension skills at their reading levels. The materials provided by the grant will help expand this program.
Angela Phillips, Jenny Nordstrom and Lisa Hattel’s classes have been cooking in the practice kitchen. The students have really enjoyed making a variety of simple breakfast recipes. Each student made his or her own dish and followed a recipe with step-by-step directions. Students have learned how to use a variety of kitchen appliances including the microwave, toaster and blender. The student’s favorite breakfast recipe has been scrambled eggs with toast and they have enjoyed learning how to crack eggs, spread butter and jelly on toast, use table manners and clean up after themselves. The students are looking forward to making fruit smoothies during their next cooking class.
Phone calls and e-mails are made each week by classroom teachers to “check-in” with parents/guardians regarding student issues, progress and sometimes setbacks. Teachers also have three conference sessions per school year. On Tuesday parents, guardians and teachers met with students to do strategic planning for student success. Many students anticipate graduating from Scavo High School this year, but that takes a lot of work and even more support while continuing to keep the lines of communication open.
The reading-strategies classes have been making incredible leaps in their reading abilities. Students take a reading assessment to determine if they would benefit from taking a class to help boost reading skills and confidence. Kimbra Valenti and Patty Guevara are the teachers responsible for helping the students learn and polish their reading skills. A combination of curriculum and current events readings are used to teach essential reading and writing skills. These are things that some students either missed along the way or never quite understood. The class focuses on important skills including vocabulary building, making inferences, writing summaries and more. The average score on the pretest in the fall was 57 percent. In January the average score on the post-test was 80 percent.
Des Moines Christian
Des Moines Christian junior Jesse South took first-place in his weight class while wrestling for Urbandale at the Winterset Invitational on Jan. 8.
Sophomore Cody Carlson had two fourth-place finishes in the freestyle relay and the medley relay on Jan. 8. Cody swims for Johnston and the team finished second out of seven teams.
The Victory Singers from Des Moines Christian will deliver singing valentines Feb. 10-11 and Feb. 13-14. Choose two out of the following three selections: “Seasons of Love,” “Somewhere,” or “I’ll Be Seeing You.” The cost is just $25 for two songs delivered off-campus. Contact Sarah Selby at 252-2490 or firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your valentines delivery now.
On Jan. 21, the varsity girls’ and boys’ basketball teams will compete against West Central Valley at Stuart.
The junior high show choir, Destination Excellence, and the high school show choir, Light Inc., will compete in the Dallas Center-Grimes junior high and high school show choir competition on Jan. 22.
There will be no school for students preschool through grade 12 on Jan. 24. Teachers will participate in an all-day in-service.
On Jan. 24, the Des Moines Christian board of directors will meet for the second standing board meeting. The standing committees of the board will also meet.
The varsity girls’ and boys’ basketball teams will compete at Madrid on Jan. 25.
The sixth-grade students of Jahna Duda, Kathy Wagner and Roxanne Wilson will present the elementary chapel to students on Jan. 26. Secondary students will meet for a worship chapel.
Group tours for parents interested in 4-year-old preschool are offered at 10 a.m. Wednesdays through Feb. 23. Group tours for parents interested in 3-year-old preschool are at 10 a.m. Thursdays through Feb. 17. All tours meet in the early education office. Space for enrollment is limited.
Two teams from Dowling Catholic recently won the 2011 IHSSA state championship in policy debate. Each team won its semifinal debate, creating a final round of Dowling vs. Dowling, meaning both teams were declared state champions and all-state speakers. Congratulations to the members of the two teams: senior Shannon McCarthy, juniors Joseph Nelson and Sean Duff, and sophomore Simon Sheaff.
Beat those winter blues with an evening of great music, fun and festivities. Dowling Catholic’s performing arts department presents “Deep Maroon Serenade” on Feb. 27 at The Sheraton in West Des Moines. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with cabaret-style seating. The show begins at 7 p.m. The entertainment includes performances by Dowling’s symphony and concert bands, jazz and stage bands, clarinet and flute choirs, jazz combo, percussion groups, jazz choir and junior high drum line.
Welcome to Heidi Gibson and Dorothy Schlemp, who are both teaching in the math department. Gibson has replaced Gary Auxier, who retired at the semester, and Schlemp is filling in for Mary Wiskus, who is on maternity leave.
The Dowling Catholic choir recently held its winter concert.
The Casa Hogar Club is holding a benefit night at Burger King today from 4 to 8 p.m. at the following locations: 2222 Martin Luther King in Des Moines, 1107 73rd St. in Windsor Heights, and 2170 N.W. 100th St. in Clive. No flyers needed, just inform the cashier that you are there to support Dowling Catholic.
In January the Dowling Catholic media center will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with a book display. The media center will also be displaying biographies, new titles, and Greek and Roman mythology books.
The Dowling Catholic art club is having a cooperative art show at the Scottish Rite Park. It will be running now through the end of January.
The Dowling Catholic book club is reading “Watership Down” by Richard Adams.
Iowa Christian Academy
Iowa Christian Academy has an amazing opportunity to play at Wells Fargo Arena, home of the Iowa Energy. The varsity boys’ basketball team will take on the Ankeny Christian Academy Eagles at 5 p.m. on Jan. 28. Tickets are $10 per person and are good for admission to the ICA-ACA game and the Iowa Energy game at 7 p.m. The Iowa Christian Academy pep band will perform and the cheer squad has a special halftime routine.
Montessori Children’s House
Jodie Lusk and Donna Leffler’s students are talking about glaciers and icebergs. The children are enjoying an art project which consists of pasting packing peanuts onto a blue piece of paper in order to create their own icebergs. The class is also exploring the continent of Antarctica. They have been discussing the climate, animals and geography.
Mount Olive Lutheran
Students practiced reading while using their browsing boxes.
Eileen Rohwer’s fourth-grade class at Sacred Heart School participated in a global outreach initiative through HealthEd Connect, a program that aids orphans and other vulnerable children. After receiving information on the struggles these African students face, the class created posters for students in Chipulukusa and Kasompe, Africa, that demonstrate the character words “respect” and “responsibility.” Fourth-grader Braeden Kirkpatrick provided these posters to family members who will be traveling to Africa to deliver the posters directly. Photos of the African students receiving the pictures will be brought back and shared with the class.
Eighth-grade students at Sacred Heart School recently finished an integration project of the use of propaganda during the Holocaust with contour drawing. The students were exposed to a propaganda book created to teach young students about the ill ways of the Jewish people. The book’s drawings were used to create contour drawings with a grid system. Once the contour drawings were finished, the students wrote a self-reflection on the propaganda story.
St. Pius X
On Jan. 5, the seventh-grade class hosted our school liturgy. The theme was the Feast of St. John Neumann. The students shared with the student body the contributions made to our church and Catholic schools by St. John Neumann. All the students were given the opportunity to see a first-class relic of St. John Neumann. This amazing relic was shared by a faithful supporter of our middle school. The relic is a piece of John Neumann’s back bone. It was acquired on a visit to his shrine in Philadelphia. A relic is an object or personal item of religious significance carefully preserved with an air of veneration as a memorial. A first-class relic is an item directly associated with the events of Christ’s life or the physical remains of a saint.
Meg Anthofer’s sixth-grade social studies classes are currently studying the Roman Empire and what it was like to live during this time period and the architectural achievements of the civilization. In the seventh-grade classes, they are learning about Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. Each student will be using the information they learn to create a travel brochure in technology class using the Print Shop program. The presidency of George Washington and the first political parties are the topics in the eighth-grade classes.
Carol Peterson’s sixth-grade science classes are learning about different kinds of variables. They performed an experiment and learned about three different types of variables and how to choose one to test. Next, they will be learning about recording and analyzing results from experiments by using data tables and graphs. The seventh-graders have been learning about simple-celled organisms called prokaryotes. Their next unit will be about eukaryotic cells; these cells make up our bodies and other many-celled organisms. Meanwhile, the eighth-grade students have been learning about the states of matter. Now they will be learning about how matter can change. Middle school math classes, taught by Jennifer Raes, are working on expressions, equations, distributive property, inequalities, adding and subtracting fractions and mixed numbers, and multi-step equations.
In Joe Tallman’s religion classes, the sixth grade is beginning a study of Jacob and Joseph stories of Genesis. The seventh grade is well into its study of vocations. In eighth-grade the students are in the midst of learning about Catholic social teaching and social justice.
Amy Butcher and Kim Pedersen teach language arts and reading to all middle school students. The eighth-grade students are currently working on a nonfiction unit in reading and are learning about subject-verb agreements and pronoun-antecedent agreements to prepare them to write research papers. In seventh-grade the students are also working on a unit of nonfiction, sentence structure, and are creating fractured fairy tales (a mixed up version of a well-known fairy tale told from a different point of view). The boys and girls in sixth grade are working on a verb unity and are learning to script a story for reader’s theater.
Fifth-grade students are working on two benchmarks – writing a persuasive essay and business letter format. Students have chosen something about school or home that they believe could be effectively changed. In prior years fifth-graders have brought about changes in the lunchroom, such as seconds being offered, and changes in the dress code. They are working on writing powerful arguments for their changes. They will be typing our letters in the lab next week. In social studies the students have been studying four items of trade that have impacted history: salt, fur, spice and silk. In science students are continuing to work on their circulation unit. Dr. Nicholas Galioto will be coming in during this unit to show the students pig hearts as they work on these concepts.
Penny Dankbar’s kindergarten class enjoyed learning a variety of yoga poses. The children used concentration and flexibility to move from pose to pose. Due to the cold winter weather the children took the opportunity to learn more about a cold weather animal, the penguin. They listened to stories, nonfiction and fiction, and distinguished facts about where they live and what they like to eat, etc. The children made penguins and wrote about them as part of our language arts expectations – learning to recognize fiction, nonfiction, and being able to dictate or write a fact. The kindergarten children also visited the life-size penguin display made by the second-graders in Sue Caligiuri’s class.
Preschool children have been busy enjoying the winter weather inside their classroom. They have created snowmen glyphs. They are all different, as different parts represent things about each child: playing in the water table with pretend icebergs and polar animals, making snowflake patterns, and enjoying winter stories about animals and snow.