Sioux City North

2018-2019 October Newsletter

Message from the Principal

It is that time of the year where students and teachers really get to work and dig into learning. Homecoming is over, schedules are set, routines are in place, and we will be blessed with school days with fewer interruptions and a stronger focus on learning and growth. The major focus this school year is literacy.

Literacy is defined as "the ability to read and write." When we look at literacy at North High School, we consider it to be the students ability to read, write, speak, and listen. These four components improve a student's ability to elaborate when communicating with others. It is that elaborated communication that ensures students can express a conclusion about a concept, problem, or procedure and give their support for their conclusion through a coherent explanation or reasoning.

In fact, we have already had many great pictures taken this school year. My favorite is the one below of students working (disclaimer, if you are viewing this from a mobile device, the first image will be of me! That is not the best picture!):

Mr. Dumkrieger's Favorite Picture of 2018-2019 (so far)

In this picture, you see students engaging with their first Open Response of the year. This article happened to be about cell phone usage. One can see the students' pages are "marked up." They are utilizing their graphic organizer to make sense of the article and develop arguments regarding their reading. Some use different colored markers and some simply use a pencil to highlight the information they need. The goal is to teach students strategies that they can use to create for deeper understanding.

At North High School, we are committed to educating our students in written literacy through these three strategies:

Open Response - A writing strategies where students are presented a document to read and a stated problem or prompt. Students must use information from the article to defend their thesis statement.
Close Reading - A reading strategy that has the reader look critically at the information within the text to identify deeper details and meanings behind the writings.
Daily Writing - Each day, students must be challenged to put their thinking in writing. Through the use of pre-planned Higher Order Thinking (HOT) questions, teachers push learning deeper by asking challenging questions.

We just finished our first Open Response cycle last week. Our building goal, of which we are measuring our success, is with the Open Response. Our goal is to increase the percentage of students who score proficient on the Open Response by 10% when they write their final Open Response in May. We will use a variety of strategies, including those above, from now through the end of the year to achieve that goal.

Writing is one of those pieces that takes practice. For anyone to become a great writer, they have to continually practice. We are pushing our students to practice their writing ability each and every day. It isn't always easy and it isn't always the most exciting part of the lesson. Our teachers know that one of the best ways for students to make their learning visible is to have them write each and every day.

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North High School Updates Phone Services

North High School has been the first school in the district to upgrade its phone system from the basic, standard system to a VOIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). This allows for easier services and eliminates the outdated approaches to voice communications. Here is how parents and community members should see a benefit:

All teachers now have a phone in their room. Each teacher will have their own extension and voicemail system. Previously, each hallway had a phone that relied on an after market voicemail system. This does not mean teachers will be stopping class to answer and talk on the phone. A system of calling into the rooms will be monitored by the office to reduce distractions.

Better access to communications for emergency situations. Although most everyone has cell phones, we know that they don't always get the best service. With teachers having access to classroom phones, they are better connected in the event of an emergency situation. From receiving messages to making calls, the teachers have one more tool to connect with the office and outside resources.

Streamlined protocol for main line answering. At North High, we were able to reduce 39 lines in to the building to streamline services and reduce confusion. This allowed us to create appropriate call flows for access and answering. It is our goal that someone answers each call coming into the school. With 1,534 students at North High, we receive approximately 130 attendance and appointment calls per day. Peak call times are from 7:00-9:00 am and 2:00-3:00 pm.

Direct Lines

Main Office: 712-239-7000

Attendance: 712-239-7001

Counseling: 712-239-7007

Registrar: 712-239-7021

Full-scale Active Shooter Drill Planned for October 10th

On October 10th at 4 pm, North High School will participate in a city-wide full-scale active shooter drill. The drill is being hosted at North High School, but all emergency agencies from Sioux City will be actively engaged in the full-scale drill to emulate an actual active shooter scenario response.

This drill is happening outside the normal school day, therefore instruction time will not be interrupted. Still, at 4 pm, there are activities happening at the school, which allows for staff and student participation to still occur. The purpose of the Sioux City Community School District having an active role in this city-wide drill is to create an educational experience for all involved to apply the S.A.V.E. training skills that have been taught in the Sioux City Community Schools.

S.A.V.E. training has empowered our staff to lead students and peers in the event of a crisis by using the S.A.V.E. tactics: Shelter In Place, Awareness, Violence Stops Violence, and Evacuation. S.A.V.E. training was provided to all staff at the start of the school year and is something we continue to practice with staff and students on a consistent basis.

This drill is designed to stress our systems and test all involved to ensure that proper preparation is taken to plan for the unfortunate possibility of an active shooter in a school setting. The Sioux City Community School District will work closely with all emergency agencies in Sioux City, including the Sioux City Police Department, to reinforce our coordinated approach to counteracting potential threats.

We appreciate your support as we plan for this drill. If you have questions in advance, please contact Mandie Mayo, director of communications, at 712-224-7471.


Dr. Paul R. Gausman
Sioux City Community School District



On Tuesday, October 16 we will be holding our Winter Activity Parent Meeting. The meeting will be held in the auditorium from 6:00-7:00 pm. Activities covered in this meeting will be Girls' Basketball, Boys' Basketball, Bowling, and Wrestling.
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October is National Principals Month. As Iowa's Secondary Principal of the Year, Mr. Dumkrieger traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with the State Principals of the Year from all 50 states. The principals worked together on shared issues and collaborated on how to make schools great places for students, teachers, and parents. Additionally, time was spent on Capital Hill speaking with congressional leaders on needs of our school. The three topics Mr. Dumkrieger focused on for Iowa, Sioux City Schools, and North High School were adequate funding, improved supports for mental health services, and safe school measures and support.

Financial Aid Support for College

Just a reminder that ICAN provides many different appointments/services for high school students and their families. They are available for FAFSA Completion Appointments, of course, but there are also many other appointment topics available by appointment as well. Mary Joan Dougherty is the NW Iowa Student Success Advisor. Her main office is in Sioux City at Western Iowa Tech (Kiser Bldg, Room A327). She also has limited office hours in Orange City and Sheldon.

The ICAN Offices are open Monday-Friday, 8:00-4:30. Services include appointments for: FAFSA Completion, Career Exploration, Career Assessment, College Exploration, Paying for College, Scholarship Process, CSS Profile, FAFSA/Award Letter Review, Covering College Costs – Understanding Your Options, FSA ID Appointment, FAFSA Follow-Up (Corrections or Verification), College Selection/Applications. You may schedule an appointment yourself by going to: or call 877-272-4692. (Mary Joan’s direct line is:

515-402-4211, but the toll free number can also be used to schedule appointments or ask questions) If you do schedule your own appointment, be sure to click BOOK IT or the appointment will not be scheduled.

Remember the 2019-2020 FAFSA will open online October 1. Mary Joan’s October schedule is open and available for appointments. November appointments will be opened up in early September. (ICAN advisor schedules are “opened” approximately 60 days in advance.)

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Yearbook Orders and Senior Pictures

Yearbooks are now for sale on


Students can pick up a yearbook form in Room 329 or the Main Office.

Prices are $75.00 and on sale until May 15th.

Senior pictures can be submitted (electronically or hard copy) to Mr. Gerch's email ( The last possible day to submit a senior picture will be December 31st, unless otherwise communicated with Mr. Gerch.

The yearbook staff will start announcing and advertising around the school this coming week.

Uniquely North - Season 2

Last year, we launched a program to engage our seniors in school. When we give tours to alumni, many times they comment that they wished they would have been more involved. This program allows us to "gamify" the experience. Seniors will complete a variety of missions to earn 15,000 points. Each student who earns those points will recieve a "Uniquely North" Medallion at graduation practice to wear at graduation. In 2018, we awarded 31 medals and placed 6 students on the Hall of Fame (25,000 or more points).

Uniquely North Leader board! Nine students have already earned their medallion!

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Earn Your Silver Cord!

Who is Eligible?

All North High students who would like to help the community and others.

How Do I Qualify to receive the Silver Cord for Graduation?

Students must complete a minimum of forty hours of committee-approved community service in their sophomore, junior and senior years at North High School. You cannot average 40 hours over the three year span; forty hours must be completed within each school year. Our goal is to instill the idea of community service as a life-long pursuit. If students successfully complete the amount of hours necessary they will receive a silver cord to wear at commencement similar to the gold cords worn by academic award winners.

Important Details:

Documentation: Students MUST document all service activities on the Silver Cord Award Form provided by North High – one form for each site or project, signed by a supervisor at the site. (A note confirming the students’ service signed by the supervisor at the project is also acceptable. It must be attached to the Silver Cord Form). Forms can be submitted to Ms. Larson at North High School at any time during the year. For sophomores and juniors: if you don’t turn in forms by the end of the school year, you may submit them at any time during the following fall. There is no specific deadline for underclassmen to submit forms, although it is best to turn them in as soon as they are completed. Seniors should submit all Silver Cord forms by May 2nd of senior year. Forms may be picked up from the office or can be printed using the links below.

Summer Service: Service hours earned during the summer after the academic year may be applied toward EITHER the prior or following year – student’s choice. (For example, the summer after the sophomore year can apply toward either the sophomore or junior 40 hour requirement or divided between the two as needed). It is recommended that all summer projects be pre-approved in writing by Mrs. Larson or a principal to make sure they are acceptable. Summer service that complies with the Silver Cord criteria will be accepted even if students were not able to submit pre-approval forms. Students should pick up blank Silver Cord Award forms before the end of school to use for documentation summer service. Please keep completed forms until you return to North in the fall. The Silver Cord Adviser will be responsible for keeping students’ Silver Cord files.

Important details regarding the Silver Cord Award:

Acceptable service activities: Silver Cord hours must be for providing a SERVICE or meeting a clear NEED for a non-profit agency, church, school, park, charity program, fundraiser or community event. The service should be “above and beyond” one’s usual scope of involvement and could be part of required service for a program such as Scouts or religious education. While some organizations meet during the school day, only hours outside of school time could be applied to Silver Cord service. If there is any question about whether a specific volunteer experience meets the criteria of “providing service” or “meeting a need” students should get prior approval from the Silver Cord Committee by submitting a pre-approval form. The Silver Cord Review Committee makes final determinations regarding service.

Organizations/Activities that have been approved:

Blood Bank/Blood Drives

Food Bank

United Way

Gospel Mission

Friendship Connections

Beyond The Bell


Watchful Eye Foundation

Local church activities


Red Cross

Peer Tutoring/Extended Day


Humane Society

Head Start

Local medical centers

Retirement Homes

Salvation Army

Big Brothers/Big Sisters

Habitat for Humanity

Special Olympics

Ronald McDonald House

Junior League

American Heart Association

Art Splash


Mid-Steps Service

Santa House

Political Organizations or Candidates

Important details regarding the Silver Cord Award:

Silver Cord hours CANNOT BE for a relative, or for pay or compensation of any kind. Other activities that would not be acceptable: NHS sports team managing, training or event timing or administration; most NHS music program events; concession stand or fundraising events in which proceeds benefit a NHS program; serving as a camp counselor while receiving free room and board (some exceptions made for camps for children with disabilities); performing in a musical, dance, or theater group unless related to a social cause or charity benefit; participation on committees in which the focus is on one’s own leadership development and does not include outreach to larger community. Court ordered community service hours are not eligible.

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Attention Junior (Class of 2020) Parents! Immunization Information

Iowa Immunization law requires that all students entering 7th grade have both a Meningococcal vaccination and a Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis/whooping cough) vaccination before school starts in the fall.

Iowa law requires that all students entering 12th grade have a Meningococcal vaccination. The requirement is 2 doses of meningococcal (A,C,W,Y) vaccine for students in grade 12, if born after September 15, 1999; or 1 dose if received when students are 16 years of age or older are required before school starts in the fall.

The Tdap requirement has been in place since the 2013/14 school year and requires a booster dose of Tetanus, Diphtheria, and acellular Pertussis containing vaccine for students entering 7th grade, regardless of the interval since the last Tetanus/Diphtheria containing vaccine. Pertussis (whooping cough) is a very contagious disease that causes violent coughing fits that make it hard to breathe.

The meningococcal vaccine has been required since the start of the 2017/18 school year. Meningococcal disease is a life threatening illness that is caused by bacteria that infects the brain, blood, and spinal cord. It easily spreads in crowded settings. The vaccine is required prior to both the 7th and 12th.

What does this mean for you? You will need to call your physician’s office to make an appointment for these vaccines. You will need to check your home records or call your physician’s office to see what your student’s status is. If you do not have insurance, you can contact the Siouxland District Health Department at 279-6119. Please send a copy of your student’s updated immunization record to the school nurse prior to the first day of school. Thank you in advance for your cooperation in this matter.

North High School In the News

Snow Days and School Calendar

The 2018-2019 Calendar has been set and is available here: There are snow days built in this calendar. Please use this calendar when planning vacations. Please also consider leaving a few days, after the end of the year, as possible school make up days.

Take a Seat - Northside Activities Association

Four years ago, we completed the renovation of our auditorium. There is still work to do. Seats are still available for those who would like to donate a seat. Please visit Northside Activities Association's website for more information. To stay up-to-date on the happenings of the association, please like our Facebook page (

ACT Information

We expect students to continue their education after high school. The ACT is one of the college entrance requirements of many schools. Here is the latest information on the upcoming tests:

Next Test Date: October 27, 2018

Registration Deadline: September 28 (Go Online for Late Registration and Charges)

Visit here to sign up and log in!

Future Test Dates:

December 8, 2018

February 9, 2019

April 13, 2019

June 8, 2019

July 13, 2019

Homework Help Tutoring for 2018-2019

"Homework Help" After School Tutoring is available every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday in the media center. Homework Help is available after school from 3:05-4:05 pm. The time is staffed with a teacher from each of the core content areas (Math, English, and Science). Students report to the area, sign in, and get support. Student tutors are also available for support. They can use the space as a quiet place to complete work or engage one of the teachers for reteaching or support.

Transportation is provided for those who participate. A bus picks students up around 4:10 pm each afternoon and drops students off at feeder school locations.

North High School Class of 2019 Graduation

Saturday, May 25th 2019 at 11am

401 Gordon Drive

Sioux City, IA

North High Graduation will be held at the Tyson Event Center on Saturday, May 25, 2019 at 11:00 AM. The doors will open at 10:00 AM. The event will last to approximately 12:15 to 12:30 PM. West High graduation follows ours. We ask that parents take pictures at the venue before the event and clear the spaces after for the next group of parents. Bobier Studios will also be taking pictures at the event for an optional keepsake. Order forms will be provided to seniors.
Activities Calendar

Visit the MRAC Website for the latest updates in our activity calendars.

Let's Talk

Have a question, comment, or concern and don't know who to go to? Click her and we will help route it to the right place.

Report Discrimination, Bullying, Harassment, or Hazing

Bullying, harassing and hazing behavior can seriously disrupt the ability of school employees to maintain a safe and civil environment, and the ability of students to learn and succeed.

Statement of Non-Discrimination

The Sioux City Community School District offers career and technical programs in the following areas: Business & Marketing, Family & Consumer Science, Health Science, and Industrial Arts, Technology, & PLTW.

The Sioux City Community School District is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. It is an unfair or discriminatory practice for any educational institution to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information (for employment), national origin, religion, age (for employment), disability, socioeconomic status (for programs), marital status (for programs), or veteran status (for employment) in its educational programs and its employment practices.

Inquiries or grievances, including Section 504 grievances and grievances under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, may be directed to Jen Gomez, Director of Student Services & Equity Education at 627 4th Street, Sioux City, IA 51101, (712) 279-6075, Please see District Board policies 103 and 504.4 for additional information on available grievance procedures.

About Us

Sioux City North serves over 1,500 students as one of three comprehensive high schools in Sioux City, Iowa.