The Rocket Review
Monthly Newsletter Update - December 2020
9th: West Nodaway Board of Education Meeting
9th: Picture Day [PK-12th Individual Make-Ups, Yearbook Activities, HS Basketball, HS Cheer]
14th: FFA Sponsored Community Blood Drive at BJ American Legion, 2:00-7:00 PM
22nd: Early Dismissal, 12:20 PM
22nd: End of 2nd Quarter and 1st Semester
25th: Have a Safe and Merry Christmas!
- Christmas Break: December 23rd - January 4th
- Classes Resume: January 5th, 7:55 AM
- Courtwarming Week: January 5th - January 8th
I want to address three items with you in this month's memo.
1st Covid-19: In making our decisions on a daily basis in regard to how we handle situations involving the virus, we are heavily influenced by three entities - the Governor, the Health Department, and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. At times, it is hard to sort out the information we receive. Sometimes the information we receive appears to contradict previous information, and certainly the information we receive changes. It is, and has been, my goal to keep kids in school and to provide them as normal of a school experience as possible. Up to this point, we have had seven staff members and over 130 students in some type of quarantine. There have been days where we have been short as many as four subs to fill teaching positions. All of this makes educating kids a difficult proposition. I appreciate your grace and patience as we work through these trying times.
2nd Sports Co-op: District parents were recently sent a survey in regard to whether or not West Nodaway should enter into a full sports co-op with either North Nodaway or Nodaway-Holt. We will hold a community forum before our December 9th Board meeting to hear any public comment in regard to this. At the time of this writing, 70% of parents surveyed and 75% of students surveyed indicated that we should enter a full co-op with another district.
3rd Tax Levy: I continue to have discussions with the Board of Education in regard to a potential tax levy increase. As you are aware, we cut several staff positions before the start of this school year. This was done in an effort to eliminate deficit spending. At the December board meeting, we will look at potential ballot language to be used, should the Board decide to run a tax levy.
Lastly, even though it is a few weeks away, I want to wish you a Merry Christmas!
Welcome to December! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving with food, family, and friends. The bustling holiday season is upon us. We are hoping to keep the students in school and on task as much as possible in the next three weeks. It's a challenging task indeed!
November was a quick and busy month for the staff and students. We will begin the middle benchmark assessments next week to measure academic growth. This information will be included on grade cards that go out this month.
The cold weather is now here. Please be sure that your children come to school prepared to go outside for recess. Students WILL be going outside as often as possible. Students will not be allowed to stay indoors because they are not properly dressed, so please have coats, hats, and gloves ready!! Also, please ask them to check the "Lost and Found" hooks in the hallway. Our collection is growing.
Our formal Christmas Lunch will be held on December 17th. Students are welcome to dress up for this but it is not required. Also in December, there will be recording made of our elementary and middle school students performing Christmas songs. A video will be sent out so that parents can enjoy our virtual version of a Christmas Concert.
In years past, the students used to go roller skating at Christmastime. Unfortunately, while we won't be able to go this year, we will definitely still be having fun here at school. The staff has been diligently planning some fun winter activities with dress up days for the students that will be sponsored by STUCO. I think that the students will very happy with all that is planned for them.
Congratulations to our newly selected December Safety Patrol; Brody Dow & Brayden Sipes, as well as our Bus Patrol; Lizzy Atkin & Brayden Rohlmeier. A BIG thank you to our November Safety and Bus Patrol; Cheyann Grimes, Jayden Puckett, Myles Shipley, & Will Thompson.
- If your child is unable to attend school, please notify the appropriate school office by 9:00 AM. When your child is seen by a physician, please ask for a doctor's note so we can verify attendance. Thank you! (Elementary: 725-4126, High School: 725-3317)
Notes from the Music Room
As stated in "Elementary News," there will be recording made of our elementary and middle school students performing Christmas songs throughout the month of December. A video will be sent out so parents can enjoy our virtual version of a Christmas concert!
Hiring for the music position will take place in January.
Big Smiles dental program was a success. They were able to treat 18 students with cleanings and simple fillings. The team will return on May 3rd for the spring visit!
KidSight vision program also came this month to screen our PreK, Kindergarten, and 1st grade students. They have a special camera that is able to do photo screening. We were pleased with this new program and hope to expand it to more students next year.
Wellness screenings are now all completed, and referrals have been made. If you received a phone call from the nurse, please try to get those follow up appointments scheduled and completed to help your student succeed!
School Mall fundraiser is also wrapped up for elementary. Students had the opportunity to send emails to friends and family to help raise money for our school. Students earned little stuffed animal pals as an incentive, and friends and family were very generous to our school and teachers! $1,690.00 were gifted in gift cards to teachers for them to use for needed classroom supplies. Wow! This number blew us away, thank you for the support! West Nodaway also receives a portion of funds from purchases these friends and family make using the links they were provided. Additional key chain buddies and squishy pens were also delivered to students. It was a hit!
A mask mandate is now in place at West Nodaway. Please try to wash the cloth masks every couple of days. For our younger kids, it's also helpful to have an extra one in their bag, if possible. They get soiled or wet at times and need changed out occasionally. An extra mask in their bag in a Ziploc baggie has worked really well. We do have disposable masks if an extra one isn't available. We're going to provide lanyards to students to help with the lunch, PE, and recess shifts. Thank you for your help, and as always, feel free to call or email me with any questions!
Although the weather is cold, encourage your children to play outside. Research has shown the following benefits of contact with nature for children:
- Reduces impulsivity
- Stress reduction
- Stimulates imagination and creativity
- Reduces depression
- Increases self-esteem
- Improves coping skills
- Improves the attention of children with ADHD symptoms
- Has a calming effect on children with ADHD
Middle School/High School Information
Driver's Permit Academy - Thursday, January 28th from 5:00 - 9:00 PM, at Northwest Technical School or via Zoom. The cost is $40 per student, and the class is limited to 25 students. Register at www.stjoesafetycouncil.org
ACT Prep Class - Starting January 20th for six sessions from 5:30 - 7:30 PM. Cost is $60. Sign up at Northwest Technical School.
Volunteer Opportunity - Nodaway County Salvation Army is looking for Bell Ringers at Hy-Vee and Wal-Mart throughout the month of December. You can sign up online to volunteer your time at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/9040c4bafa628abf58-nodaway
Dawson Fast, Cassie Lebow, and Jonathan Rohr for being inducted into the National Technical Honor Society! Year two students include Erin Cook and Duke Ingraham.
Financial Aid Information
Scholarship Deadlines for Seniors
Frank Felton Farm Youth Award Scholarship - December 4th
Burger King Scholarship - December 15th
MO Corn Scholarship - December 15th
PB&J Foundation Scholarship - December 31st