The Rocket Review
Monthly Newsletter Update: May 2021
1st: FFA State Convention at Sedalia
1st: Senior Trip
2nd: Senior Trip
3rd: Senior Trip
3rd: Big Smiles Dental Exams, 8:00 AM
3rd: Pre-K Field Trip
4th: Second and Third Grade Field Trip
5th: Elementary Spring Music Concert (PK-Fourth Grade), 6:00 PM
6th: Kindergarten and First Grade Field Trip
6th: Spring Band Concert (Fifth Grade Band, Middle School Band, High School Band), 6:00 PM
7th: DARE Trip for Fifth Grade
7th: Senior Graduation Practice and Pictures
7th: Baccalaureate at First Christian Church in Burlington Junction, 6:00 PM
9th: West Nodaway Commencement, 3:00 PM
10th: Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grade MAP Field Trip
11th: Elementary Fun Day + FFA Petting Zoo
11th: Sheltered Reality Drumline, 1:30 PM
12th: Fourth and Fifth Grade Field Trip
12th: West Nodaway Board of Education Meeting, 6:00 PM
13th: Elementary Carnival
13th: Elementary 4th Quarter Awards Assembly
14th: Last Day of School, Dismiss at 12:25 PM
25th: Baseball and Track Awards Banquet
31st: District Closed for Memorial Day
- 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)
Touching The Line...........................
Since I wrote to you last month the time to go to the polls and vote has come and gone. The West Nodaway R-I tax levy did not pass. To say the least this was a disappointment and has led to further staff reductions. Explaining to individuals that they will no longer have a job with the district is not a fun task.
As I have thought about this I believe it is important for us as a community to ask if we are doing what is best for West Nodaway students. Last week, I challenged our teachers to make sure they were touching the line in the last days of school. I think it is important for the West Nodaway Community to do the same. Below is what I shared with the teachers.
One of the privileges I have had during my time in public education is that of an athletic coach. I have coached various sports, but my passion is basketball. I have coached elementary, middle school, high school, and traveling basketball.
Good players are made by hours of practice, often times practicing while others are off having fun. I love practice perhaps even more than a game. Over the years, I have also found that I like to watch practice. Whether I am running practice or watching a practice I always watch to see what the players do during conditioning, that time at the end of practice where we just run to get in good physical condition. One of the things I watch for is to see if the athletes are touching the line. "Touching the line" simply means when you run a down and back, you physically bend down and touch the end line with your hand before turning to come back to the opposite end of the court where you started from. I am not talking about running down and looking at the line, running down and looking around to see if anyone else is touching the line, running down and touching the line with your foot, but actually touching the line with your hand.
I would tell you that I do not find many players who are actually willing to "touch the line" without being told to do so. However, it has become something I require of anyone who plays for me. I would also tell you that those players who are willing to go the extra mile and touch the line are the ones I have found to be the most successful and the least likely to cave to pressure if the game is on the line. Those who are willing to "touch the line" are also those who always give great effort, never give up, and take it personally when the game does not go as planned.
As this school year comes to a close with all of its difficulties I believe we must ask ourselves as educators if we are still "touching the line" when it comes to our students? With three weeks left, are we still pushing our students to learn all they can? If they have shown great progress this year have we said we have done enough as we get close to the finish line or... are we of the mind set that we will run to the finish line and push our students to the end to "touch the line"?
That is what I shared with the staff and I believe we must ask ourselves as a community, are we "touching the line" when it comes to providing an education to West Nodaway Students? Are we "touching the line" when it comes to providing student resources, a quality educational environment, a well maintained building, and equitable teacher benefits?
It is hard to believe that it is already May! I have enjoyed watching our students grow so much throughout this school year. As an educator, I marvel at how much the students grow taller but it is equally enjoyable to watch them mature socially as well. It is remarkable when I walk into a classroom and see a student learning to read, watch students engage in challenging math problems, see them excited to attend a Lunch with the Principal or hear the sounds of laughter when I walk out to the playground during recess. It is during moments like these that I personally connect with students the most.
In May each year we educators are filled with mixed emotions to see the hard work as it is cultivated and watch all of the student growth, but know in our hearts that our time together is coming to a close. This time together for us has been narrowed to 14 days and we here at WN Elementary intend to make the most of those 14 days. Our calendar is chucked full of memory making events! We hope that you will be able to join us for the upcoming Music Concerts, Fun Day, and Carnival.
Thanks to the continued support and our amazing PTO, we will have the opportunity to enjoy another Fun Day this year. A BIG thank you to the hard working members of our PTO. Please consider volunteering for PTO. Thank you families for partnering with us to educate your student(s).
The administration team has already started planning for the 21-22 school year and based on the growth that we have seen this year, we know that our students will continue to grow. I am deeply grateful to the amazing educators we have at West Nodaway that jumped on board this year and caught the vision of my building goals;
To increase the number of minutes in content area instruction time.
To implement a Student Success Team (a team of teachers that monitor struggling students and plan intentional small group instruction for all these students.
Below are the results of these building goals. You will see the number of students on grade level by the first percentage listed. The second percentage shows how many students finished the year on grade level. All percentages represent those students performing at grade level.
Thank you for trusting me this year with your students on a daily basis. I truly want the best for each one of them as they grow and learn. Growth can a struggle at times but I appreciate the kindness that has been shown to me even when COVID sent us guidelines that we weren't happy about. The administration team is excited to think about beginning a normal school year this fall!!
Please reach out to me if you have questions or concern. My door is always open. Have a wonderful summer!!
Congratulations to Quayde and Quentyn Ramsey for being West Nodaway's top Kids Heart Challenge students! Each boy raised $147.00. Great job, and thank you!
4th grade wrapped up their 8 week challenge with Mosaic Life Care in Maryville. They finished strong and earned our school $1,000. Thank you Mrs. Howard and 4th grade. Thank you Mosaic for the generous donation!
Delta Dental program was presented to elementary students Pre K-3rd. This program typically comes into our school every other year and performs a fun skit for our students, however, this year it was offered virtually only. Students learned about dental health and were given a goodie bag with a new toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss. We hope to bring this skit back in person in the future to our elementary students.
Big Smiles dentist will be here at West Nodaway on May 3rd. If you haven't heard from me, please reach out to get your kids on our list to be seen. The dentist does general cleanings and simple cavity fillings. It's a great opportunity to have a check up and keep those teeth healthy. Big Smiles comes every six months.
Reminder, please get your kids' immunizations completed as soon as possible for next school year. Pre-K, K, 8th and 12th graders most likely need updated immunizations. I have mailed home individualized forms, so you know what your student needs. If you did not receive this, please let me know. Thank you to those that utilized our vaccine clinic here at school for our high schoolers!
Thank you so much for all your help making our school year a success. We feel so fortunate to have been in-person all year, and I really appreciate your help with illnesses and quarantining of students. Together we have conquered the challenges, and I am so thankful!
As we head into the month of May, we near the end of our school year together. It has been a fast one, and we are so thankful to have been able to be together for the whole year! Below is a calendar from Action for Happiness. This month's theme is "Meaningful May". Taking time to focus on the things we value is a key to our well being. What a better time to be able to do this than during the first part of our summer vacation. It is important for kids and adults of all ages to reflect on the things that matter most. Wishing you all a safe and happy summer!