Regina Jr Sr High Newsletter

November 2018

From the Principal

Hello Regina Community,

I am trying something new in this month's newsletter by adding more information from our 7-12 grade departments. I hope this both informs our community on what is going on in our classrooms and celebrates the many successes of our students and teachers.

The monthly intention for November by Pope Francis is "That the language of love and dialogue may always prevail over the language of conflict." I thought this was fitting given the upcoming elections and numerous ads I have seen or received that are contrary to our Holy Father's monthly intention. In a time when our country and world needs healing, the campaigns of candidates from all parties are only adding to the need for healing. I offer the following "Prayer Before an Election" from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to help you as you discern prior to the elections.

Lord God, as the election approaches,
we seek to better understand the issues and concerns that confront our city/state/country,
and how the Gospel compels us to respond as faithful citizens in our community.
We ask for eyes that are free from blindness
so that we might see each other as brothers and sisters,
one and equal in dignity,
especially those who are victims of abuse and violence, deceit and poverty.
We ask for ears that will hear the cries of children unborn and those abandoned,
Men and women oppressed because of race or creed, religion or gender.
We ask for minds and hearts that are open to hearing the voice of leaders who will bring us closer to your Kingdom.

We pray for discernment
so that we may choose leaders who hear your Word,
live your love,
and keep in the ways of your truth
as they follow in the steps of Jesus and his Apostles
and guide us to your Kingdom of justice and peace.

We ask this in the name of your Son Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit.

I hope all of you have an enjoyable Thanksgiving.

Glenn Plummer

Religious Celebrations & Faith Activities

Nov. 1: K-12 All Saint's Day Mass @ 9:30

Nov. 7: 7-12 Mass @ 2:15

Nov. 14: 7-12 Mass @ 2:15

Nov. 20: K-12 Thanksgiving Mass @ 9:30

Nov. 28: 7-12 Mass @ 2:15

Mass and prayer services will be held in the Jr/Sr High Gym, unless noted.

Service Day

The entire Junior Senior High School took part in a service day on October 26. Students provided yard work, painted pumpkins, cooked lunch, and provided service to the community in many other ways. Some pictures from the day are included below.

Thanks to the awesome students and teachers for their hard and great work.

NHS Thanksgiving Dinner

The National Honor Society will be hosting their annual Thanksgiving Dinner for Senior Citizens on Thursday, November 15. This is open to all senior citizens. Bingo ($0.25 per card), cookies, and coffee start at 10:00. The meal is served at 11:30. There will be a free will offering. Please RSVP by November 12 by either calling 319-338-5436 or emailing

Fall Play - Miss Holmes

Get ready for the High School Fall Play Miss Holmes.

The World's Greatest Detective As You've Never Seen Her Before!

Starring in no particular order:

Kat Scholze, Maddie Maley, Kira Louvar, Lauren Garmager, Paige Lacina, Sophia Thomsen, Madeline Nugent, Mason Irving, Steven Icardi, Parker Pilkington-Smith, Cal Henk, and Gavin Gallardo.

Miss Holmes is a classic, timeless Sherlock Holmes mystery with one twist: Sherlock and Watson are women who have to negotiate the tricky political and social realities of 1880s England as they solve crimes. The game is afoot!

Miss Sherlock Holmes, possessor of one of the greatest deductive minds of her generation, finds herself regularly incarcerated for behaviors deemed abnormal in a “respectable” lady. Doctor Dorothy Watson struggles to make a difference at the only hospital in England that will hire female doctors. These unconventional women, trapped in an era that refuses to accept them, must forge a bond of trust and work together to uncover the secrets surrounding a corrupt police investigator whose wives have a habit of turning up dead. A thrilling murder mystery that re-introduces familiar characters from the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle under a brand new light.

By Christopher M. Walsh. Based on characters by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

November 16 and 17 at 7:00 pm, and November 18 at 2:00 pm in the Elementary Gym.

Tickets $5 for adults and $3 for students

No reserved seating, house opens 20 minutes before the play.

Via Update

We started the first units that will be in the rotation of teachers with our own class. Due to it being the first time through it took a little longer than expected so our first rotation of students will not be until January. Mrs. Boland and Mrs. Conlon’s classes covered the personal health, relationships and sexuality information from the health curriculum. Mrs. Sprengelmeyer and Mrs. Wallace’s classes focused on prophets and Mrs. Welter and Ms. Osweiler’s classes covered human dignity, marriage and vocations. Boland, Wallace and Osweiler’s classes also had their first turn of mass duties. This included set-up and take-down, readers, gift bearers and servers.

Orchestra Update

Julia Correia will be representing Regina at the Iowa Junior Honor Orchestra Festival in Ames on November 16. One hundred eighty string players from across Iowa will gather to make music together in two orchestras, as part of the annual Iowa Music Educators Conference. Participation in this festival requires dedication and commitment. Way to go, Julia!

Learning Center Update

Hello LC Parents...

We are mow half way through the first semester! Boy, does time fly....Teachers should have progress reports out to you and or contacted you for any concerns they may have.

If you have any concerns for you student please make sure you have signed up for PT conferences so we can discuss your concerns.

Ms. Hunstad's English Newsletter

English 9

Freshmen have just finished their very first English unit in High School! Yay! Students completed a short story unit project as their final assessment. Students were able to choose from 5 different projects: analyzing their own short story, making a movie poster for a short story, acting out a scene from a story, creating their own short story, and making a soundtrack for a short story. Students are now reading their first novel Lord of the Flies by William Golding. Throughout the unit we will be focusing on character analysis.

English 11

Juniors have just finished their first novel of the year, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. Students will be participating in a Socratic Seminar as their final assessment. A Socratic Seminar assesses speaking and listening skills as well as in-depth content analysis.

AP Lang

AP Language and Composition students have started off the year studying Rhetorical Analysis. Students are beginning to write their first AP essays based on writing prompts from former AP tests. Students have also started AP vocabulary to prepare for their exam.

English Department Update

In October, English 8 students read the nonfiction book Before Columbus: The Americas of 1491. Students studied nonfiction reading skills while learning about Mesoamerican cultures, the effect of disease on American Indian populations, and what the environment of the Americas looked like before the arrival of Columbus. The State Office of the Archeologist loaned the class a trunk of artifacts and replica artifacts from Paleoindian cultures. Some of the items from the trunk were a woolly mammoth (it was a very large trunk, get it!) spears, an atlatl, a flint-knapping kit, and a Clovis spear point, and a mastodon tooth. Actually the department chair decided to add the part about the mammoth. He thinks he’s funny. It was merely a mammoth tooth which made the mastodon envious.

The seniors celebrated the 200th anniversary of the publication of Mary Shelley’s landmark novel by reading (or Sparknoting) Frankenstein. They wrote three scintillating essays covering topics ranging from Nature v. Nurture to “the allegorical implication of the novel as it relates to scientific advances in our own time.”

As if all this wasn’t exciting enough, in the spirit of Halloween (and project based learning), they reached out to the Science Dept. and attempted to create a superbug of the insect variety by combining parts from a beetle, a bumble-bee, two wasps, a mayfly, and a monarch butterfly all scraped from the grill of Mr. McFerren’s son’s truck. After about 2 minutes of painstaking research, another, 5 minutes agonizing discussion on the moral responsibilities of tinkering with nature, and, finally, a half a block class period assembling the critter, they were ready for the coup de gras. However, when the jolt of electricity was applied, the whole thing was instantly incinerated and all that remained was a puff of smoke and a vile stench. Alas, the dream was shattered! And so, it was decided that they retire to the lounge after school and play video games. Perhaps this is best for mankind.

Spanish Highlights

Spanish IV students (pictured below) get excited when they review vocabulary with bingo (and for the Skittles they get for winning).
Big picture

Library News

As some of you may have noticed, the library sponsors the weekly “Toilet Paper” which contains a variety of information. In addition to book information, there might be a prayer or Bible verse, or recognition of athletic, arts or academic events. They also provide information about current contests running in the library. Sometimes there is a tear-off strip with links or contest entry slips.

The current Toilet Paper and contest in the library features dogs. A lot of dog books are mentioned and the bulletin board contains pictures of famous dogs which entrants have to identify. Some of them come from books like Call of the Wild, others from movies or cartoons. Can you identify this one?

In Computer Applications, the students just finished a unit on Digital Drawing. We explored features of Google Drawing, Microsoft Drawing tools, and several web applications that can be used to create and edit images. The final product was to design a badge signifying their level of achievement. Here are several examples. Junior High teachers will be informed of which students earn badges for each application or skill and if the teacher or students encounter snags in class, they will know which students might be able to act as experts for troubleshooting and advice.

The units in class combine both face to face instruction as in the Drawing unit and independent lessons from Google Applied Digital Skills. The independent lessons are a good entry level venture into online learning, which a lot of upper class students must learn to manage. They must watch video lessons and complete documents according to the instructions. This allows them to learn at their own pace and cover as much material as they can.

Our next unit will be face-to-face learning about spreadsheets, comparing both Google Sheets and Microsoft Excel. We will be using Regina statistics from the state website to make the effort seem more personal to the students.

Every class period begins with 5 minutes of keyboarding practice using a web application named Type Racer. They have a standing challenge to beat my typing score and when class falls on a block day, the fastest typer from the week before gets to choose the 5 minute break activity.

In my Microsoft Certification Class, Maeve Dunne passed the national Excel Specialist test consisting of application based criteria which have to be completed in 50 minutes. Last year, current senior Anna Martin passed all three certification exams, the first ever at Regina!

Science News

High School Art on Instagram

Check out our amazing high school student artwork on Instagram. we're at regal_art, and we're updating our gallery on a regular basis.

From the School Counselor

Juniors and Seniors:

If you are interested in doing a job internship next semester, see Mrs. Zoulek and sign up no later than November 2nd.

Representatives Visiting Regina soon:

October 31: Iowa State University

November 1: Army

November 6: Indian Hills Community College

November 7: St. Louis University

December 8th ACT: Sign up at

Regular Registration Deadline: November 2

Late Registration Deadline: November 19

For those who are preparing for taking an ACT, there is a new resource to help get you ready:

Save the date for the ZAPS ACT Prep Seminar will be offered January 21st, starting at 9 AM in the Multipurpose Room. For more info and to sign up:

On November 19th, all 7th grade students will be taking a field trip to the Kirkwood Regional Center to attend the STEM Institute from 9:00 to 11:30. This day, sponsored by Workplace Learning Connection and University of Iowa Health Care, will feature hands on sessions and interactive activities.

On October 10th, 45 Sophomores and Juniors took part in the National testing day for the PSAT. Students were able to see what a SAT test would be like, as well as juniors qualifying for the National Merit Scholarship program.

On October 11th, Mrs. Zoulek took six 7th and 8th grade students to “Open Minds, Open Doors” STEM conference for girls on the Coe College Campus. They LOVED IT!

Band News

Junior High Jazz Band underway.

Rehearsals have begin with junior high jazz band on Wednesday and Friday mornings at 7:30.

We are off to a great start. I am looking forward to performances at JAZZNIGHT, a tour of care facilities, performing at Coral Ridge and a performance at the Stead Family Children's Hospital.

Regina Hosts River Valley Conference Honor Band

Regina Hosts the River Valley Conference Honor Band on Friday, November 9th.

We will be hosting 220 junior and high school students from the River Valley Conference schools. The musicians will be rehearsing at Regina the day and performing in a concert that evening at 7:00. Help is still need in ticket taking (6:30-7:10) set up (8:30 AM-?), afternoon lunchroom supervision (4:00-5:30) and post concert tear down after the concert. Contact Mr. Nelson if you'd like to help out.

Band Chicago Trip

Band students grades 7-12 will be going to Chicago on Saturday, February 16th. We will go to: Shedd Aquarium, Adler Planetarium, A GANGSTER TOUR, and Blue Man Group. It will be a fun day and a half! Info will be coming out in November.

Math Department News

From Mrs. Hartwig:

Math 7 students are learning how to solve equations using a system called Hands-On Equations. This allows students to physically manipulate equations using game pieces and number cubes. They are being very successful and really understand what moves are "Legal" in solving equations. We are beginning the second level using equations with both x and -x values. We're doing Algebra! Pictures are included.

Algebra students are continuing to solve more complicated equations using the same "Legal" moves as Math 7, but in more difficult combinations and with more number types. We aren't using game pieces and number cubes, but we are using the same rules. Our latest focus is on proportions and percent problems involving interest, mark-up, and percent off. It is interesting for them to see that skills build and are revisited so frequently. We are never "finished" with a skill.

From Mrs. Welter:

Pre Algebra has been learning about square roots and the Pythagorean Theorem. This included understanding the equation and solving for the hypotenuse or leg of the right triangle. We finished the unit with a project that involved making a real life word problem and creating a 3D model of it. We will continue this month with solving equations. -Pictures are included of some projects.

From Mr. Koenig:

Pre-Calc is finishing up a unit on polynomial, power, and rational functions.

Geometry is getting SASsy while starting a unit on proving triangles congruent. And Discrete Math is finishing up their logic unit and will soon begin graph theory (networks).

From Mrs. Hill:

Algebra 2 is working on systems of equations, High School Calculus is working on Limits, AP Calculus AB is working on differentiation rules, and AP Calculus BC is working on integration techniques.

PE & Health Update

High School PE

  • The juniors and seniors are doing BOWLING and are having a great time.
  • National Guard was here with their inflatable obstacle course and the students really enjoyed it.
  • The unit we are in now is Super Duper ball which is a combination of basketball and soccer.

High School Health

  • We had the first unit test over dimensions of health, emotional health, personality and self-esteem.
  • We have been learning about stress and how it affects the body short term and long term.
  • We will be doing some stress relieving activities and then starting on the mental health unit.

Family and Consumer Science News

I love beginning the year and asking the (mainly) 7th graders what they think FACS is. This year was no exception! “It’s the thing you need to know how to do to live your life.” I absolutely agree! In FACS 1, students have learned how to do laundry, ironing, sewing on a button - so they should be continuing that at home!?! Now they are beginning to sew their 9 square pillow. Every year, I get seniors saying they still have the pillow they made on their bed. FACS 1 students should be done with their pillows around Thanksgiving.

Social Studies Update

In U.S. History, we have traveled in time from reconstruction to the closing of the West in 1890. We continue to use the skills that historians actually use while focusing on text, context, and subtext. Ahead we will be steaming through the 20th Century with topics like progressivism, World War I, the Roaring 20's, and World War II. More information will be coming in future newsletters.

In psychology we have studied the domains of research/statistics and learning. We are going into a deep study of the brain and biology and end the semester with states of consciousness.

A.P. Psychology has been working through four units so far and we continue to improve on our test taking and free response question writing (now if everyone could get used to using a black or blue pen). We had our sensation carnival last week where students, in pairs, presented four demonstrations (per pair) in a carnival-like atmosphere where students and staff came through to learn about sensation. Students have also created candy neurons and did a Nervous Nellie drawing of the human nervous system. Anything with candy helps the work go faster.

8th Grade US History had a reenactor from the Lexington and Concord time period present to the classes. They got to interact with the presentation, which included trying some games for kids from that time period.

In 7th grade geography, the 7th graders started off the year by learning some basic concepts of geography such as map distortion. To learn more about this concept, the students drew a map of the world on an orange and then peeled them to simulate the “orange peel” map projection. The 7th graders are now finishing up their study of the geography and culture of Latin America before we transition into our study of Europe starting in November.

AP World history Autopsy of an Empire. In pairs students had to research the different aspects “parts” and draw/ label the empire “body”. Examples: heart was religion. arms was military. head was leaders. etc. After researching the different parts, students then had to depict the empires downfall in the drawing portion of the project. An obituary over the empire was written and presented to the class. Afterwards students compared and contrasted the 5 empires. Drawings will be kept up until after conferences for your viewing pleasure. They are located in Ms. Osweiler’s hallway.

Regina Math Club has Returned!

The Regina Math Club is back in session this year. We have already participated in one contest each for the American Scholastic Mathematics Association and the Math League. Our next contest dates are Thursday, 11/8 (ASMA) and Tuesday, 11/13 (Math League). In addition, we will be participating in the Rocket City Math League contests.

The Math Club meets at 7:30 a.m. on Thursday mornings in Mrs. Hill's room (and additional Tuesday mornings for the Math League contests once per month).

Any student in junior high or high school is welcome to attend. On Thursday mornings when we're not taking a contest, we practice with past contests and cover additional topics (we learned about Permutations and Combinations last week because there was a challenging Math League contest question involving that topic).

Please come and join us!

Activity Involvement and ACT Achievement

There are wide-ranging benefits to student participation in high school activities. Students can develop new skills, broaden their experiences, practice social skills, and increase their appeal to college admissions personnel. In addition, ACT data indicate that, regardless of a student’s high school GPA, involvement in high school activities is often associated with higher ACT Composite scores. At the same time, results typically identify a point of diminishing returns, one where many activities are associated with a drop in ACT scores.

From ACT's Condition of College and Career Readiness Report 2018

STO Donations


If history prevails, November will be the last opportunity to make a donation to the Student Tuition Organization of Southeast Iowa. Making a donation accomplishes two things -- 1)FOR REGINA, this is the cash source of much of the financial aid that our parents in need receive for the 2019-20 school year; 2)FOR YOU - for most this is your opportunity to receive a 65% tax CREDIT for your Iowa Income Taxes and a possible Federal tax deduction if you itemize your deductions. For more information, contact the Business Office or go to

The pdf below contains information about the School Tuition Organization (STO) and how to contribute to it.

2020 Italy Trip

The initial deadline to sign up with a $200 discount may have gone by (you actually have about 9 hours left), but there are still a few guaranteed spots remaining on the 2020 Italy Trip. To enroll on the trip, go to

Iowa Catholic Conference Newsletter

Voting begins

Voting has begun in Iowa. Now is the time for you to choose!

In their Faithful Citizenship for Iowa Catholics statement, the Iowa Catholic bishops say, "There will never be a perfect candidate, but that's no excuse not to vote, which would let some other force or voice fill the vacuum left by opting out. Rather, choose the candidate who you believe will do the least harm, or who has potential to do the most good for the most people."

For a list of voting locations and information on how to register to vote, go to the Iowa Secretary of State's website at If you want an absentee ballot mailed to you, you must have the request into the election office by Oct. 27.

In addition to their letter, all four of the Iowa diocesan bishops have released a video on the different aspects of Faithful Citizenship. You can find links to the letter and videos on our website and Facebook page.

Contact Congress about proposed rule affecting scholarships

The Iowa Catholic Conference is encouraging you to contact your members of Congress to stop a proposed rule that could cut the number of scholarship available for students to attend a K-12 nonpublic school. The IRS recently proposed regulations which would limit the federal deductibility of certain donations to School Tuition Organizations (STOs) in Iowa. Since 2006, these STOs have provided more than $130 million in scholarships to lower-income children attending Catholic and other nonpublic schools in the state.

We request that STOs be exempted from this rule-making process as we believe it would reduce the number of scholarships available. Please send a message to Senators Grassley and Ernst and your member of the U.S. House and ask for their assistance in the matter. Click here for the alert and sample message. Thanks for your help.

Public charge rule to affect immigrants

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security posted on the federal register a proposed rule on the "public charge" which undercuts decades of administrative policies and guidelines on how immigrants are treated by the United States government.

Currently, the government prohibits immigrants on public charge grounds if there is a determination that they would likely depend on public cash assistance or need long-term medical care at the government's expense. However, under the proposed rule, the government adds to the public charge grounds a list of benefits that support mixed-immigration status families and protect public health especially for children.

The proposed rule will greatly increase the number of individuals who are considered public charge. (There are strict eligibility guidelines already in place preventing many immigrants from receiving federal aid.)

The Most Reverend Joe S. Vásquez, Bishop of Austin, Texas, Chair of the of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Migration, issued the following statement: "It appears that this will be very harmful to families, raising fear among immigrant families already struggling to fulfill the American Dream. Further, it is likely to prevent families from accessing important medical and social services vital to public health and welfare."

Number of refugees cut

A big change in federal policy during the past couple of years has been the decision of the Administration to drastically cut the number of refugees allowed to enter the United States.

A recent announcement setting the number at 30,000 refugees for 2019 is the lowest number set in the history of the U.S. refugee admissions program. The average limit has been 95,000.

According to Bishop Vasquez the "announcement of the Presidential Determination is deeply disturbing and leaves many human lives in danger. To cut off protection for many who are fleeing persecution, at a time of unprecedented global humanitarian need, contradicts who we are as a nation."

Another consequence of the cuts made during the past couple of years has been the closing of many Catholic resettlement programs.

As the late Iowa Governor Bob Ray once said, "it's not a question of where refugees will live, but whether they will live at all."