Oskaloosa Syllabus for Parents

Volume 3 Issue 2

New Happenings in the District

At their last meeting, the District Leadership Team identified four focus areas for our work this year (and beyond). Those areas are: grading practices, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (structures to ensure all students are successful academically and behaviorally), Professional Learning Communities (teams of teachers working together to enhance student achievement), and identifying College and Career Ready Skills for all students. At the next meeting, the team will create action plans around each of these areas to prioritize and focus our work.

The state of Iowa recently adopted new social studies standards. Our teachers are in the very early stages of reviewing and learning about these new standards. If you would like to learn more about the new social studies standards, you can view them here.


Data Day

The Oct. 6 Data Day was very successful and teachers had wonderful conversations and learning to enhance student achievement. The K-2 teachers spent the day reviewing screening data related to reading and math. Teachers in grades 3-5 spent the day looking at MAP data and also data from their reading screener. Middle school teachers reviewed MAP data. At all these levels, the teachers reviewed this data to determine needs for individual students and for their core instruction. At the high school, teachers were involved in professional learning around PLC processes and Project-Based Learning.

Successful Season for the Marching Indians

Guest Writer: Mr. Rich Waddington

The Marching Indians had their best season in the past 7 years. They started camp on July 31 with a leadership training day where the kids learned about the 4 different levels of maturity and ways to problem solve conflicts. The second day was a mini-camp to welcome in the 40 ninth graders. Camp ran for 2 weeks where the band members worked on memorizing music and learning drill for the show. After an 11 day break, the band came out strong with their first home performance of the opener. The music this year was from Gustav Holsts's The Planets and included; Mars, The Bringer of War; Mercury, The Winged Messenger; and Jupiter, the Bringer of Hope. The band continued to prepare for the competitive season and got their first taste at Johnston, a by invitation only clinic where the kids had the opportunity to get feedback and watch their early progress on video.

The following week saw them march into Pella at the Marching Dutch Invitational, where they came away with a 1st place finish in Class 3A and earned Outstanding Drumline. The next week they were in Urbandale where they climbed 5 spots in Class 3A to a 3rd place finish behind Pella and North Polk. The 3rd week of the season saw the band marching at the ValleyFest Showdown. The competition was stiff and the judging expectations were very high. Everyone saw scores that were lower but accurate to performances. The Marching Indians came in 4th behind Independence, Pella, Norris (Nebraska), and North Polk.

The final week of the season was a challenge from a weather point of view. The final Saturday saw heavy rain which washed out the State Marching Festival held at Pella. That was delayed until the following Thursday. The band did have the opportunity to march at Ankeny that evening at the Mid-Iowa Band Championships. They took full advantage of the opportunity. The Marching Indians climbed into 2nd place behind Pella and won their second Outstanding Percussion award for class 3A.

The final performance of the season was at the State Marching Festival held in Pella. There the Marching Indians performed their best show of their season and earned their 47th consecutive Division 1 rating. The group showed perseverance and grit throughout a very long and tough season. Our mantra was, "It's OK to struggle, but it's not OK to quit." They were met with many challenges and stepped up every time and conquered those challenges. The future looks very bright for the Marching Indians.

Classroom Visits

During classroom visits this month, many wonderful things were happening to engage students in learning. At the elementary, students engaged in a Book Tasting to explore new independent reading books. Other students worked independently during their literacy block to enhance their vocabulary and writing skills. At the middle school, students were learning about elements of US History in the 20s and 30s, engaging in independent reading, reviewing important vocabulary to assist with comprehension, and collaborating with peers to enhance their learning. At the high school, students were engaged in creating products that they will then pitch in the Oskaloosa "Shark Tank" in November, using text evidence to enhance discussions, and learning new vocabulary words in Spanish.

Key Information

Important November Dates:
  • Nov. 22-24: No School - Happy Thanksgiving

You can access the October Board Report for more specific information curriculum, instruction, and assessment work done in Sept/early October.

Helpful Tool

Each day our teachers work tirelessly to ensure students learn the Iowa Core standards. The Iowa Department of Education has put together some great tools to help parents understand the basics of the Iowa Core Standards and what they mean for your student. Check them out here!

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