Monthy School Report, February

Superintendent Steve Hanson · Wednesday, February 26, 2014
On January 30, our district submitted to the Department of Education our Teacher Leadership and Compensation Plan. Approximately 140 districts around the state submitted plans, which will be read and scored during the month of February. Sometime during the first or second week of March the Department of Education will announce the names of the districts whose plans they have selected for funding in 2014-15. The vision of our plan is that teacher leaders will share their expertise, resulting in improved implementation of evidence-based instructional practices, which in turn will lead to improved student learning.

Despite the cold and snow, we managed to administer the Iowa Assessments during the first week of February. Since then, we have completed the make-up sessions for students who were absent for any of the assessments and we are ready to send the answer sheets to Iowa Testing for scoring. We should receive the results by the end of March and plan to offer some preliminary reports in April.

Stars on Stage, the show choir competition hosted annually by WLHS, held this year on Feb. 8, was a huge success! Nathan Shivers and his music department colleagues, together with the Fine Arts Boosters, students and other volunteers, worked very hard and made West Liberty proud. During the evening awards ceremony, the gymnasium was filled with some 1500 people, cheering and clapping and celebrating a very entertaining day. A number of volunteers stayed at the school until 1 a.m. for cleanup. During the week preceding Stars on Stage, Voices Unlimited, the WLHS show choir, presented at state competition and earned a Division I rating, the highest possible rating. Congratulations, Voices Unlimited, and all who have contributed to an outstanding show choir season.

During Parent-Teacher Conferences (February 12-13), the Early Learning Center held pre-registration for both pre-kindergarten and kindergarten for next school year. Parents of children who will be four-years-old by September 15 are encouraged to pass by the Early Learning Center (111 W. Seventh St.) and register their children for pre-kindergarten.

Our school calendar for 2014-15 has been approved by the school board. 180 days of school have been scheduled, commencing on August 20 and finishing on May 28, unless there is a need to make up time due to cancelled days.

FFA News: Congratulations to Trevor Schneider, Katie Meyers and Dakota Herrold who have each earned an Iowa FFA degree through the Iowa FFA Association. Iowa degrees and proficiencies are based on 3-4 years of financial and skill attainment records of agriculture projects throughout high school. Katie Meyers has won FFA state champion in the category Agricultural Education Proficiency Award and will advance to nationals!

At the sub-district competition on Feb. 22 in Muscatine, the following students won awards:

Freshman Creed Speaking: Morgan Nichols (gold, second place – advance to districts)

Job Interview: Katie Meyers (gold, second place – advance to districts)

Ag Radio Broadcasting: Jenna Giamba (gold, third place – advance to districts)

Ag Sales: Mikayla Heckman (gold, first place – advance to districts)

Conduct of Meetings: Gracie Danner, Belinda Heckman, Jaida Dalton, Hadalyn Anderson, Joe Baker, Noah Feldman, Alyssa McMichael (gold, first place – advance to districts)

Parliamentary Procedure: Luke Seele, Sergio Zamora III, Vivian Ramirez, Elyse Buysse, Kyleigh Becker (gold, first place – advance to district)

Welding: Matt Roth (third place - Advance to District)

All of our students who participated in the sub-district competition qualified for the district competition on March 1 in Mediapolis.

On Feb. 20, the entire tenth grade class of WLHS visited the University of Iowa. University personnel spoke to them about how to prepare for college, regarding admissions and financial aid. A panel of UI students who are WLHS alumni met with the sophomores to talk about college life, and what high school students should be doing now to be well prepared for their postsecondary future. The tenth grade students toured a dorm and ate lunch at the university, together with WLHS alums. They completed their visit with a campus walking tour.

Congratulations to Dylan VanDusen for winning fourth place in the 285-pound weight class, and Elliot Henderson for winning seventh place in the 120-pound weight class at the state wrestling tournament! Congratulations also to Elliot for winning a scholarship from the Iowa Bankers Association. The scholarship award was presented to Elliot during the ceremonies that were televised live Saturday night from the state wrestling tournament in Des Moines.

Dylan and Elliot, we are proud of you!
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