September 2018 Newsletter

Cedar Rapids Home School Assistance Program

2301 J Street SW

Cedar Rapids, IA 52404

Phone: (319) 558-2088

The mission of the Cedar Rapids Home School Assistance Program is to provide an educational alternative that considers the best interest of the student, benefits home schooling families, meets the educational requirements of the school district, and complies with state law.

Lead Teacher:

Deann Ongie

Resource Teachers:

Wayne Fritch

Jeannie Johnson

Cheryl Scherbaum

Kristin Schmaltz

April Tierney

Peggy Ziemer


Mary Rasmussen

Newsletter Editor:

April Tierney


Welcome to the 2018-2019 school year!

We are excited to be back and planning a great year for you! We would like to extend a heartfelt welcome to new and returning families as you begin your 2018-2019 school year.

Your monthly newsletter contains all the latest news about classes, field trips, special services, and various program opportunities that you won’t want to miss. Please take time each month to read your online newsletter and promptly fill out the online RSVPs.

We look forward to beginning our home visits, classes and other activities! See you soon!


Deann, April, Cheryl, Jeannie, Kristin, Peggy, Wayne, and Mary


Meet the 2018-2019 CRHSAP Staff!

Mrs. Deann Ongie

  • K-5 Science
  • 30+ years of teaching (don’t want to date myself)
  • BA in Elementary Education with a Reading Endorsement: Bartlesville Wesleyan College
  • Masters in K-12 Special Education: University of Northern Iowa
  • Live with my husband, Dave and our 13-year-old golden retriever, Toby
  • 3 adult children: Michael, Nicole and Dani. They all are educators and live in the Midwest
  • Interests: Reading, enjoying live music, outdoor activities, and hanging out with family and friends

Mr. Wayne Fritch

  • Elementary PE and 21st Century Skills for Middle School
  • 26 years teaching in the CRCSD
  • Home Schooled his daughter and son for two years through the CRHSAP program
  • BA from Mid-America Nazarene University, Olathe, Kansas
  • Teaching Certification and Master of Educational Administration at Univ. of Iowa
  • Lives with wife, Shari who works for Alliant Energy
  • Two adult children: McKenzie and Lucas, both married and living in Cedar Rapids
  • Interests: Juggling, kayaking, biking, hiking, travel with family

Ms. Jeannie Johnson

  • Middle and High School Writing

  • 21st year teaching

  • University of Iowa Graduate

  • Elementary Education, Social Studies, and Master’s K-12 Reading Specialist

  • Three Children: Nathan, Fayth, and Cadie

  • Three pets: Zoey and Hadley (dogs) and Honey (guinea pig)

  • Interests: Roller skating, baking, music, and reading

Mrs. Cheryl Scherbaum

  • K-12 Art
  • Taught art for 6 years & substitute taught for 6
  • BA in Art Education, Certified in Art K-12 from UNI; BFA in Visual Arts from ISU
  • Enrolled in the Special Education Level 1 K-8 program through Morningside College
  • Lives with husband and a very outdoorsy son that just started the 1st grade this year
  • Interests: Painting, ceramics, photography, camping, hiking, traveling and cooking.

Mrs. Kristin Schmaltz

  • Middle & High School Science
  • 6th year of teaching
  • University of Northern Iowa and Morningside College Graduate
  • Science Endorsements: Biological, Chemistry, General, and Physical
  • Special Education Endorsement: Instructional Strategist II BD/LD
  • Lives with Husband & first child on the way in December
  • Pets: Two dogs (9 yr. old Shorkie & 5 yr. old Yorkie) & Two Fish
  • Interests: Boating, skiing (water and snow), traveling, and spending time with family

Ms. April Tierney

  • K-5 Problem Solving Math
  • 14th year teaching
  • University of Northern Iowa and Morningside College Graduate
  • Elementary Education, K-8 Math and Social Studies Endorsements
  • Lives with her fiancé Elias and her 8-year old daughter Laura
  • Two pets: Khloe and Skittles (cats)
  • Interests: Tandem biking and Pokémon “GO-ing” with Laura, reading, eating what Elias cooks

Mrs. Peggy Ziemer

  • K-5 Music
  • Homeschooled her boys through 5th grade, 15 years with the CRHSAP program
  • BA University of Minnesota-Moorhead
  • Elementary Education, Minor in German
  • Lives with her husband, Gib, who teaches music in Vinton
  • Two boys: Zach (wife-Susie), Toby (wife soon to be-Lauren)
  • Interests: Family, music, guitar, needlework, knitting, baking



  • Fall Family Picnic is on September 7th from 11:00-2:00
  • Enrichment Classes begin the week of September 10th



Friday, Sep. 7th, 11am-2pm

Noelridge Park, Cedar Rapids, IA, USA

Cedar Rapids, IA

Come join us for our annual fall picnic! This year the picnic will be held at at the ITC Paviloin at Noelridge Lagoon off Council Street NE in Cedar Rapids. This is a leisurely time for parents to talk and for kids to enjoy playing together. Please bring your own table service and a dish or two to share. CRHSAP will provide water and cups. We will start eating at 11:30. See you there!

To RSVP for the Family Picnic, click HERE.

K-12 Enrichment Class Information

K-12 Enrichment Classes begin the week of September 10th! Please see the enrichment class schedule for times and RSVP by clicking the applicable link. Sign up is on a first come, first served basis.

Elementary Classes ~ Grades K-5

Tuesday or Wednesday (Tuesday currently full, waiting list available)


Year-long K-5 classes include Math, Science, Art, Music, and Physical Education. Drop off and pick up information is included in the parent information packet. Click HERE to sign up.

Middle School Classes ~ Grades 6-8



Year-long middle school classes include Art, Science, Writing, and 21st Century Skills. Drop off and pick up information is included in the parent information packet. Click HERE to sign up.

High School Classes ~ Grades 9-12



Year-long high school classes include Writing, Art, and Biology. Students may earn partial high school credit for class work. Click HERE to sign up.


K-5 Enrichment Class Summaries

K-5 Problem Solving Math

This isn't your grandma's math class! In this class, students will work together to practice not only basic math skills, but also cooperative problem solving. Miss April will use manipulatives, real-world situations, models, movement, and discussions to bring mathematics alive. Both reluctant and eager mathematicians are welcome!

K-1 Classes: Our youngest learners will see content in the areas of patterns, counting, shape recognition, place value, simple addition and subtraction, money, and telling time.

2-3 Classes: Students at this level will solve problems in these subject areas: addition and subtraction into the thousands, shape attributes, benchmark fractions, early multiplication and division concepts, place value, and telling time.

4-5 Classes: Students in the upper level class may see content related to these areas of mathematics: multiplication and division, operations with decimals and fractions, place value to the millions, order of operations, area and perimeter, volume, 2-D and 3-D shape classification, representing data, and measurement systems.

K – 5 Science

Deann’s goal as a science teacher is to instill a love of science in all of her students. All grade levels will be given frequent opportunities to do hands-on-activities and will learn the skills to collaborate as a group to complete the activities.

Multiple units will be taught to each grade level. This year the kindergarten and 1st grade units will be Trees and Weather and Materials and Motion. The 2nd and 3rd grade kits will be Motion and Matter and Insects and Plants. 4th and 5th grade units will be Mixtures and Solutions, Living Systems, and Soils, Rocks and Landforms.

K –5 Music

Let’s explore music together! While experiencing music class, K-5 students will use listening skills, voices, instruments and movement to explore melody, harmony, beat and rhythm. Students will work together as a group to learn, practice, and perform pieces of music. This will culminate with our spring program in May.

K-5 Physical Education

The main goal for K-5 students attending PE classes is to MOVE. Students will be introduced to fun ways to be active. Specific units and activities will include tennis, bowling, scooters, stacking cups, and outdoor/indoor games. Students will learn:

  • social skills
  • the importance of enjoying movement
  • how to move within personal space and defined boundaries
  • how to listen and follow game rules

K – 12 Art

“Art has the role in education of helping children become like themselves instead of more like everyone else.” ~Sydney Gurewitz Clemens

Art classes incorporate many components: Art history, creative expression, aesthetic perception, multi-cultural expression, and other content areas.

The students will experience a variety of mediums and materials while creating their artworks at the HSAP enrichment classes. Art classes teach kids to: observe, communicate, evaluate, experiment, reflect, problem solve, respect differences, try new things, develop an eye for detail, appreciate beauty in all forms, trust in their own voice, learn history, innovate, dream, learn from mistakes, make connections, persevere, share work, collaborate, express themselves, celebrate diversity, engage, design, and imagine.


Middle School Enrichment Class Summaries

Middle School Science

The focus of middle school science this year will be starting with Heat Energy, Molecular Level Changes, and Chemical Reactions. Students will later learn about Weather, Climate and other Earth processes. There will be many hands-on investigations to develop and test ideas to gain an understanding of the world around us. Please join us for a time to be a creative and curious learner.

Middle School Writing

This class will explore the many styles of writing including narrative, descriptive, expository, and persuasive. Focus will be on writing clear, cohesive paragraphs and structuring writing effectively. Students will write both for pleasure and real-world purposes and learn how to format their writing to most effectively convey their message. This class will also work on grammar and editing. We will write weekly and work on writing projects throughout the year.

Middle School 21st Century Skills

Students in grades 6-8 will be introduced to skills they will need to be familiar with as part of the future workforce. This is a list of the targeted programs and activities:

  • Use of Office 365
  • Outlook e-mail
  • MS Word
  • Keyboarding techniques (Ultra Keys)
  • Programming (Hour of Code and Scratch)
  • Geographical Information Systems (Arc GIS Online)
  • Digital Literacy/Financial Literacy
  • Accessing on-line learning resources


High School Enrichment Class Summaries

High School Biology

Students will be learning about the following units: Organisms, Ecosystems, Human Impact, and Anatomy. There are many concepts to cover within these four units, some will be longer than others. Depending on student interests, we may also cover other concepts within Biology (Genetics, DNA, Cells, etc.) During Biology, students will be participating in classroom discussions, various labs, experiments, small group work, and research. Students will work to answer questions about the world around them, investigate & solve problems, and collaborate with peers/staff. No background knowledge required to participate in classroom activities/lessons!

High School Writing

This class will focus on the standards in writing. Students will write informative/explanatory texts, develop real or imagined narratives, and write arguments to support claims. Each type of writing will focus on clear, cohesive paragraphs and structure writing effectively for a variety of audiences. Students will be expected to go through the writing process: plan, write, revise, rewrite and publish. We will have opportunities to display writing at events throughout the year.


K-12 Clubs

Chess Club

Grades 3-12

Tuesdays 2:15-3:15pm

Starting September 18th

The CRHSAP Chess Club meets once a week and is coached by Ronn Munsterman, chess master and author. Novice, intermediate, or expert chess players will find an eager cohort of students ready to move beyond learning the rules of chess to engage in the strategies behind the game. Chess Club begins on September 18, 2018.

To RSVP your student for Chess Club, click HERE.

FIRST Lego League

Tuesdays and Thursdays


Starting September 13th

A team of 10 students, 4th – 8th grade will have the opportunity to learn the engineering process, applied math, and presentation skills while building and programming a Lego EV3 Mindstorms robot for competition this fall. Students’ problem-solving, creative thinking, and competitive edge will be guided by adult mentors. The challenge theme this year is entitled “Into Orbit” and relates to outer space. For more information about this years’ challenge visit: . Contact Mr. Wayne at to register your child or to express interest in volunteering as a coach or technical mentor.


The Homeschool Hatchery

The Homeschool Hatchery is the name given to our Makerspace. This year the Home School Hatchery will host both “Challenge Events” and “Open Lab” days. Challenge Events require families to work together to solve a specific assigned task…usually with limited materials and a time limit. “Open Lab” days will encourage family “hands on time” with our maker materials. These materials were purchased by a grant from the Alliant Energy Foundation and other donors.

Participants will experience: floor robots, coding centers, cardboard and Lego build stations, demolition center, green screen/stop motion photography, and virtual reality expeditions. The possibilities are numerous and exciting!

We are looking for parent volunteers who will serve as ‘Maker Mentors.' These parents will demonstrate a ‘making’ skill to participants…followed by participants doing a hands-on activity related to the skill presented. Card making, sewing and de-construction of electronic components are examples from last year.


Workplace Learning Connection

Job Internships and Job Shadows

Grades 10, 11, and 12

Connect today to tomorrow’s career! Gain work experience and know if a particular career is right for you through Workplace Learning Connection’s Job Shadow and Internship Program. Students in 11th and 12th grades may apply for 90-hour internship experiences. One day job shadows are also available for 10th graders in addition to 11th and 12th graders.

Interns can learn new skills, apply classroom knowledge in a real-world setting, develop employability behaviors that prepare them for the workplace, and gain insight that will help them make more informed career choices. More information and applications are available at

Applications are now being completed online. Job shadow applications for the entire school year are due September 14th at 3pm. Internship applications for winter and spring are due October 26th at 3pm.

Mom's Night Out Dinner

Monday, Sep. 17th, 6:30pm

4755 1st Avenue Southeast

Cedar Rapids, IA

Calling all moms! Are you in need of some "me" time? Come join other homeschooling moms for a fun night out at Granite City!

To RSVP for this event, click HERE.

Fall Family Fun Night

Thursday, Oct. 4th, 5:30-7pm

2301 J Street Southwest

Cedar Rapids, IA

Fall Family Fun Night - Da Vinci Style!

Leonardo Da Vinci was most known for his art, but did you know he was a prolific inventor as well? This year our CRHSAP Fall Family Fun Night will have a Da Vinci theme. We will have numerous activities centered around the art and inventions Da Vinci was most known for. So come, create, and invent the night away with us October 4th from 5:30 to 7:00 pm. More information to follow in the October newsletter!

To RSVP for this event, click HERE.


National Mississippi River Museum and Da Vinci Exhibit

Monday, Sep. 24th, 10am

350 East 3rd Street

Dubuque, IA

Join us in Dubuque for an informative journey exploring the Mississippi River Museum, as well as the Da Vinci Exhibit. A few things to see during your trip are a variety animals: fish, stingrays, sea otters, turtles and an alligator. Also, there are a variety of exhibits to enjoy like their blacksmith shop, boat shop, erosion tables, and much more. The Da Vinci exhibit displays his innovation, creativity, artistry, science and wonder.

Cost: $12.50 for adults and $13 for students. To ensure we get this discounted rate, please pay Mary in the office by September 18th.

To RSVP for this event, click HERE.

Grant Wood AEA Tour #1

Tuesday, Sep. 11th, 9:30-11am

4401 6th Street Southwest

Cedar Rapids, IA

One of the best educational support services available to home school parents is the GWAEA. Families are encouraged to come take a tour to learn more about the resources available to families in the Cedar Rapids Home-School Association Program. Families will meet just inside the front entrance (closest to 6th Street.) These tours are not recommended for young children.

Tours will include:

Classroom Library, Professional Library, Teacher Workroom (die-cuts/lamination, poster printing/3D printer), & Online Catalog Reservations.

Space is limited to 7 families per tour, so be sure to RSVP today!

To be better informed before your visit, check out GWAEA online at

To RSVP for Tour #1, click HERE.

Grant Wood AEA Tour #2

Wednesday, Sep. 12th, 9:30-11am

4401 6th Street Southwest

Cedar Rapids, IA

One of the best educational support services available to home school parents is the GWAEA. Families are encouraged to come take a tour to learn more about the resources available to families in the Cedar Rapids Home-School Association Program. Families will meet just inside the front entrance (closest to 6th Street.) These tours are not recommended for young children.

Tours will include:

Classroom Library, Professional Library, Teacher Workroom (die-cuts/lamination, poster printing/3D printer), & Online Catalog Reservations.

Space is limited to 7 families per tour, so be sure to RSVP today!

To be better informed before your visit, check out GWAEA online at

To RSVP for Tour #2, click HERE.

Open Minds, Open Doors Conference

Thursday, Oct. 11th, 9am-2pm

1220 1st Avenue Northeast

Cedar Rapids, IA

7th and 8th grade girls have an amazing opportunity to attend a STEM event at Coe College on October 11, 2018 from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm. The event is a half-day conference intended to encourage middle school girls (7th-8th grades) to pursue career fields with foundations in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Please complete a registration form online as soon as possible beginning on September 1st after enrollment opens, as spots are awarded on a first come, first served basis. Submit $14 payment to the CRHSAP office before NOON on Friday, September 7th. If you would like more information visit their website below.

Kaleidoscope Performances at the Gallagher Bluedorn

Tickets for the performances below are $1 each. To sign up, stop in the office and pay $1 per ticket (cash or check) OR send money with your student in an envelope with instructions on which performance you are attending. Tickets are limited, so stop in or send payment as soon as possible. Call 558-2088 with any questions.

"Giggle, Giggle, Quack!"

Monday, Oct. 15th, 12:30pm

Dakota Street

Cedar Falls, IA

Recommended Audience: PK-1st grade


Running a farm is hard work, especially with cows that type, hens on strike, and a duck who’s always causing trouble. So Farmer Brown takes off for a well-deserved vacation, leaving his brother Bob, an accountant from the city, in charge. Soon it’s no work and all play (and cake, pizza, movies, and bubble baths…) as the animals run wild, taking advantage of Bob’s lack of experience. Will the animals come clean about their devious tricks, or is there more to Brother Bob than meets the eye?

Payment deadline: September 6th

"Letters Home"

Tuesday, Oct. 30th, 12:30pm

Dakota Street

Cedar Falls, IA

Recommended Audience: Grades 7-12


Letters Home puts the current wars in Afghanistan & Iraq front and center by bringing to life actual letters written by soldiers serving in the Middle East. Using letters and correspondences from Frank Schaeffer’s books the play, without politicizing, gives audiences a powerful portrait of the soldier experience in the ongoing war. In addition to letters from soldiers, the piece includes a small number of correspondences from parents. These letters were written under the most difficult of circumstances; the disorientation of training, deployment, separation from family and loved ones and combat, and occupation duties in Afghanistan and Iraq. The actors also help define for the audience—patriotism and what it means to serve our country today, through acts of bravery, compassion, social responsibility, and sense of community. More importantly, the play reveals the humanity that lies within the war as seen through the eyes of the men and women fighting it.

Payment deadline: September 13th

Miscellaneous Information

Scholastic Book Club

CRHSAP offers parents the opportunity to purchase books through Scholastic Book Clubs. They offer a tremendous selection of books and other educational resources at reasonable prices.

To order and pay online, go to and under the “Parents” heading click “Get Started.” Enter the code LM3CY to find Peggy Ziemer and connect to the class. From there you can browse the August and September catalogs for many grade levels. We will close ordering September 28th and orders will arrive approximately a week after the close date.

If you have any questions, Ms. Peggy at (319) 558-3897 is happy to assist you.


Lending Library

Checkout begins

Monday, September 10th

Be sure to stop by the Lending Library to check out our selection of books, manipulatives, games, curriculum, etc!

Parents can check out most materials for a duration of one month. Curriculum preview materials have a yellow checkout card. They can be checked out for two weeks. Many items are popular. We like as many families as possible to be able to use the materials. Therefore, please return your items on time to allow others to use them as well.

Remember to browse the “FREEBIES” shelves. These materials are FREE for the taking. There are many new items on these shelves. If you have educational books and other items that you no longer use, please feel free to donate them to the Lending Library. Chances are someone will be able to use them.


Pizza Hut’s BOOK IT! Program

The BOOK IT! Program promotes reading for students in grades K-6. The parent/teacher sets monthly goals for each child that may include number of pages, minutes, or books read. If your child is not yet a reader, someone can read to the child. Students can earn free pizza and stickers through this program! To enroll your child, please visit:


Edgenuity Testing Times

Science Room

Wednesdays: 1:30-3:00pm

Fridays: 7:45-9:00am



It is the policy of the Cedar Rapids Community School District not to discriminate in educational programs on the basis of race, creed, color, gender, sexual orientation, marital status, gender identity, socioeconomic status, national origin, religion, disability, age (except for permitting/prohibiting students to engage in certain activities) or genetic information and in employment opportunities on the basis of age, race, creed, color, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, religion, disability or genetic information. There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination.

If you have questions or a grievance related to this policy, please contact Rod Dooley, Executive Director of Equity, (, and/or Linda Noggle, Executive Director of Talent Management, (, Educational Leadership and Support Center, 2500 Edgewood Rd NW, Cedar Rapids, IA, (319) 558-2000.