Sioux City North

2019-2020 January Newsletter

To change the language of the entire newsletter, please scroll to the bottom of the page and select your preferred language on the black menu that says, "Translate".

Para cambiar el idioma de todo el boletín, desplácese hasta la parte inferior de la página y seleccione su idioma preferido en el menú negro que dice "Translate".

Message from the Principal

With the calendar new year upon us, many of us are making resolutions – goals for ourselves. Some of us want to lose weight, some want to manage money better, some want to improve a relationship. We have all set goals that we accomplished and goals that we have pushed aside within days of setting them. I recently saw an anonymous quote that said, “Motivation is what gets us started. Habit is what keeps you going.” This time of year marks our “halfway” point for the school year. This allows us to gauge our goals and check them to see if we have maintained our focus.

At the beginning of the year, we set two building goals. Below are our goals and the actions we are taking to achieve them:

Literacy Goal:

North High School will raise the percent of students proficient on the Open Response from fall to spring by 10% in 2019-2020.

Actions Being Taken to Improve Literacy

· Daily Writing - Writing activities every day to boost our student writing

· Departments focusing on a specific area of the Open Response (OR) rubric and teaching strategies that help students process information at a higher level

· Advisory students tracking their progress on OR

· Teachers creating quality tasks and examining student work from those tasks

Math Goal:

North High School will raise the percent of students proficient on the High School Math Assessment from fall to spring by 10% in 2019-2020.

Actions Being Taken to Improve Math Performance

· Understanding and applying the Common Core's 8 Mathematical Practices in all classrooms

· Advisory students tracking their progress on the BME Assessment

· Developing an auxiliary leadership team of teachers to focus on math data assessments

· Teachers creating quality tasks and examining student work from those tasks

In mid-February, we will be hosting a daytime parent event. This event will take parents into the day-to-day education at North High with classroom tours led by administration and teacher leaders. Please be on the look out for emails and other messages with more details.


Genevieve Gandy - North High Staff Member of the Month

North High School would like to recognize Genevieve Gandy as the North High School Staff Member of the Month. Ms. Gandy is a special education teacher. Ms. Gandy was nominated by a host of people including her teaching peers and students. Her peers said, "Genevieve works relentlessly to ensure her students are receiving a high quality education. Her lessons focus on their needs as well as the needs within our community. She creates projects that engage students and challenges them to be better community members." One of the students who nominated her said, "Ms. Gandy is always fair and treats each of us equally. She always lets us know she cares."

Congratulations Ms. Gandy!

If you have a staff member that you would like to nominate, please click here to submit a nomination.


2020-2021 Class Registration Begins This Month!

The 2020-2021 class registration process will begin Monday, January 20 with two events:

New North High Students – Current 8th Grade Students

  • Held in the North High School Auditorium at 6:30 PM
  • Discussing the class registration process and available courses
  • Counselors and Principals available for questions

Current North High Students – Current 9-11th Grade Students

  • Held in the North High School Library at 6:30 PM
  • Discussing Advanced Placement Courses, College Courses, and class registration
  • WITCC, Counselors, and Principals available for questions

After those two events, we will being the process of having student select courses for the upcoming year. Through our advisory program, students will learn about various courses and changes for the coming year. After they have sketched out their choices, they will individually meet with their counselor to chart the course to their graduation and beyond. These conversations will focus on college and career preparation and will take place between January 21st and February 10th.

At Parent-Teacher Conferences on February 26 and 27, parents will be able to review their child’s course requests for the upcoming year. Click here to review the 2020-2021 Course Handbook.


Big picture

Cocoa and Cram - Wednesday, January 8

National Honors Society will be holding their Annual Cocoa and Cram on Wednesday, January 8th from 2:55 to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free. Come take advantage of the teacher's available to get caught up before the end of the semester or simply just to study before finals! Therapy Dogs will be in attendance to destress as well. Refreshments will be available for a minimal cost! We hope to see you there!


North High Sledding Night at Cone Park

Big picture
From 6:00-9:00 on January 16, North High Band will be hosting sledding. The cost for sledding at Cone Park is $7 per person. Come out, sled with friends, and have a great time.

For more information, visit Cone Park's website at


Congratulations to Junior Nick Walters on his 100th Career Wrestling Win!

Big picture


Big picture

Lessons to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Annually, Sioux City Community Schools are in session on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in order to facilitate specialized instruction that honors the achievements of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Working in partnership with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the District plans age-appropriate lessons for every grade. Parents/guardians are welcome to visit our classrooms on January 20 as we learn more about the significant contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. You can contact your child’s teacher or call the main office at your child’s school to inquire about lesson times. All visitors are asked to check into the building office and receive a visitor pass before joining the classroom.


Vapes - Could you identify them?

Identify which products teens are vaping.
* Recent changes in the legal age of tobacco possession will impact the consequences if your son or daughter are in possession of tobacco or nicotine vapes. School rules have always maintained that possession of the items by a student is against the code of conduct. School consequences will not change. However, these items are now deemed illegal to possess by anyone under the age of 21. Possession will lead to a citation from the Sioux City Police Department by all who possess, on school grounds, under the age of 21.


Will You Be the First In Your Family To Go To College?

Are you a First-Generation student who has questions about college?? If you are, there is a program that can help you figure it out. TRIO Talent Search is a federally funded grant program housed at Briar Cliff University that works with students in Siouxland, including North High. Currently Talent Search serves about 200 students at North High and 70 students at North Middle. During the school year students meet with an advisor once a month to work on career exploration, college preparation, scholarship assistance, ACT prep, and more. Students also have the opportunity to go on college visits – juniors and seniors during the school year and everyone during the summer. ACT prep sessions and practice tests, leadership events, and other college preparation activities are offered to students throughout the year as well.

Everything offered by the TRIO Talent Search program is provided FREE of charge. To sign up you must complete an application. They can be picked up in the counseling office, our advisor, Heather Nissen, is there most Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, or contact her at or


Big picture


Big picture


Big picture


"No one ever answers." That is a statement we hear from parents. This is something that we are actively working to improve within the office. The call volume to 712-239-7000 is approximately one call every 70 seconds. We are asking parents for help. Most of the calls are for attendance. We ask that all attendance calls go to 712-239-7001. Please leave a message as they will be checked and returned in order they are received.

We are reviewing the system that is in place and evaluating what adjustments should be made to make the system more effective and efficient.


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:

Visit here to sign up and log in!

Future Test Dates:

February 9, 2020

April 4, 2020

April 21, 2020 (Administered to all 11th grade students at the high school; no cost to students)

June 13, 2020


Changes In Activity Ticket Prices

This school year will see a change in activity ticket prices for IHSAA and IGHSAU sanctioned events. Ticket prices are set by the athletic district and the Missouri River Athletic Conference boards. District football will be $6 for adults and $4 for students. Conference games are $5 for all spectators. Tournaments and non-conference or non-district events may also have a different price for admission.


North High School Food Pantry

North High School is proud to serve our parents and students with a stocked food pantry, in partnership with Food Bank of Siouxland and Sioux City First Church. 7 out of 10 North High Students qualify for Free or Reduced lunch.

This is open to any North High or North Middle family at no cost. The pantry is open during regular school house as well. Contact North High School counseling office at 712-239-7007 for more information. The pantry is located within North High School in the the south gym hallways.


  • Thursday, December 19th (3:00-4:00 pm)
  • Thursday, January 16th (3:00-4:00 pm) Friday, January 24th (3:00-4:00 pm)
  • Friday, February, 14th (3:00-4:00 pm) Friday, February 21st (3:00-4:00 pm)
  • Friday, March 20th (3:00-4:00 pm) Friday, March 27th (3:00-4:00 pm)
  • Friday, April 17th (3:00-4:00 pm) Thursday, April 23rd (3:00-4:00 pm)
  • May (by appointment or phone call)


Yearbook Information


The price of the yearbook is currently $80. To purchase a yearbook visit the following link, or pick up an order form in the office. WWW.YEARBOOKFOREVER.COM

If you have yet to pickup your 2018-2019 Yearbook, please email the Yearbook Advisor, Drew Gerch at


Big picture

Attention Junior (Class of 2021) 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. Here is a link to specific requirements:

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.


Parking Expectations

As the weather has gotten better, our parking has gotten worse. We have reminded all students that parking is only allowed in designated parking places. Designated parking places are all indicated by pavement markings. Students, guests, parents, and staff must use identified spots. Creating ones own parking place or parking on non-paved (grassy) areas are subject to towing.


Flags of North High


Opportunities to Give


Homework Help Tutoring

Homework Help is available after school from 3:05-4:05 pm every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Homework Help will be starting September 10. 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 4:05 pm each afternoon and drops students off at Clark, Perry Creek, Bryant, Hunt, Irving, Boys and Girls Home, Leeds, and Evergreen Village.

"Saturday School" will be offered on the following dates:

January 11

February 15

March 14

April 18

April 25

May 9

May 16

Transportation is not provided to or from Saturday School. The hours are 9:00-12:00 pm.


Big picture


Uniquely North - Season 3

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 in the Hall of Fame (25,000 or more points). In 2019, we awarded 36 and placed 9 students in the Hall of Fame.


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. Ruhrer 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. Ruhrer 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.


Big picture

Maintaining A Safe and Healthy Environment

The Sioux City Community School District is committed to providing an environment where students and staff members are treated with dignity and respect. We recognize that we are not unique, in that we experience the challenges of school and community-based bullying, yet we want to be unique in serving as a District that works to make a significant and positive difference in this arena. Please, join us in the effort to maintain a safe and healthy school environment. Visit our website,, to learn more about our anti-bullying policy, view resources to help us combat bullying, or report concerns. We also welcome your feedback. Consider sharing your ideas or concerns using the Let’s Talk tool on our website.



North High School Class of 2020 Graduation

Saturday, May 23rd, 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.