The Raptor – January 2019

THE RAPTOR | Issue 9-10

The Raptor




What Works Best?

by Staff

John Hattie, Laureate Professor of Education at the University of Melbourne, Australia, is one of the most impactful voices in education today.  Among teachers there is a sometimes pervasive pursuit of what works best to enhance student achievement.  Hattie has sought to answer that question through substantial work that resulted in the synthesis of 1,400 meta-analyses that make up his work Visible Learning.  As he states, 95% of what we do in education does enhance student achievement, but what we truly need to hone in on is what works best.

Hattie has identified 256 things that have an effect on student learning, including things inside and outside of the classroom.  He has measured the impact things like the impact on being adopted or living in an intact, two-parent family to being exposed to reading and spelling programs.  From the perspective of school, we can put the majority of our focus on those things that teachers can control in the classroom, and more often than not, that has to do with the type of instruction they use.

From Hattie’s research there are some interesting conclusions.  However, to no one’s surprise, having clear lesson goals — making it absolutely clear what you want students to learn in a lesson — has a sizable effect on learning.  Teachers must be able to quickly and easily state what they want students to know and be able to do at the end of a lesson.  Students will learn better when teachers both tell them and show them what they need to know.  This falls in line with the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words.  Teachers also can improve learning by asking questions of each student to check for understanding.  Being persistent with this strategy, as well as using a variety of questions can lead to significant learning gains.  Summarizing learning in a graphical way is yet another proven strategy, as is providing plenty of practice. 

Many of these make sense and teachers are using them more.


Principal’s Pen

Each month NFVHS Principal Todd Wolverton shares his thoughts on a variety of topics, most of them having to do with school!

TigerHawk Logo Trademarked

Hey Mr. Clark!

School counselor Bill Clark shares pertinent information relative to the academic, social, and emotional needs of our students.

It’s Social: Dangerous Apps Your Kids May Be Using

by Staff

In a recent article in his blog Growing Leaders, Tim Elmore provides information on five apps that in the hands of teenagers can be quite dangerous.  There is no question that in the past ten years the negative aspects of using social media and the time spent on digital devices has had an overall devastating impact on the iGen generation.  Today, parents need to be conscious of five newer apps their kids may be using.

  • Yubo — formerly called Yellow it is the “Tinder for Teens.”  Teens are very easily sharing videos with any user they find.
  • Calulator% — it is a fake calculator that is really a secret storage app.  Why a secret?  To keep information from their parents!
  • Marco Polo — similar to snap chat, teens believe that videos they send will be erased, but that is not true.  It is also used to capture personal data.
  • Wishbone — a survey app used to compare anything side-by-side, including friends and peers.  It is used by many to bully others.
  • Whisper — an anonymous photo and messenger app that is used by predators to contact teens that message their username.

For more about these apps and what you can do, you can check out the December 15 entry on my blog at

Students participating in recreational activity


It’s Social is focused different aspects of social media and the digital world that our students live in. Information shared here will come from a variety of sources, and each one will be cited so you can find out more information.


3 School Resumes

5 NEIBA District Jazz Festival

9 Early Dismissal for PD

10 Early Capstone Presentations

12-14 Dorian Music Festival

14 NFV Board of Director Meeting

14 UIC Band Festival

16 Early Dismissal for PD

18 End of 1st Semester

19 District Large Group Speech

20 Meistersinger Honor Choir

21 NO SCHOOL — Workday

21 State Jazz Band Contest

22 Start of 2nd Semester

23 Early Dismissal for PD

23 SIAC Meeting

28 Parent Advisory Meeting

30 Early Dismissal for PD

Selective Service

by Staff

It is often easy to overlook the fact that under current law all male citizens of the United States are required to register with the Selective Service System within 30 days of their 18th birthday.  In addition, the law also states that all non-U.S. citizen men between the ages of 18 and 25 must register.  This law has been in place for quite some time, but is one of those things that people do not always think about when their son turns 18.

A young man that does not register with the Selective Service may then be ineligible for opportunities that could be critical in his future.  For example, he may not be able to receive federal  or state funded student financial aid to attend college.  There are some state jobs he may not be qualified for, and it may be possible that he may not receive security clearance to work for contractors that work on government jobs.  In addition, he may not be able to participate for job training under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act.  Thus, it is important to to make sure to register.


Leader in Me

Holiday Cheer

Students and staff take time after lunch to make Christmas cards at Robin’s craft table in the cafeteria.

FCSAC Teen Maze

Harvest Dinner

Student volunteers de-boning turkeys for the annual Harvest Dinner.


High School Students


High school students. The percentage of students that use e-cigarettes increased from 1.5% in 2011 to 11.7% in 2017.

Middle School Students


Middle school students.  The percentage of students that use e-cigarettes increased from 0.6% in 2011 to 3.3% in 2017.


E-cigarettes contain far fewer toxins than combustible cigarettes, but are not free of toxins and still deliver harmful chemicals.

Principal's Pen Photo

Principal’s Pen

by Todd F. Wolverton

As we spent some time at my parent’s place over the break, my dad tossed a recent edition of an alumni magazine from Iowa State on my lap and asked what I thought about a full page graphic that featured a picture of a Cyclone basketball player.  The significance of the information on the page was that the annual cost for a scholarship mens basketball player is a bit over $87,000.  I haven’t extrapolated that out for the entire team, let alone apply it to student-athletes in other sports.  I know for certain that it costs more than that per football player and less for track and field athletes.  At the bottom of the page was a request to join the Cyclone Club, the primary booster and fundraising organization for ISU.    

I had two thoughts after looking this over.  The first was that $87,000 is more than we budget for all of our activities at NFVHS, minus coach’s salaries and transportation.  The second one was how big time colleges and universities continue to hit up fans for more and more contributions for athletics even in this era when television contracts are pouring tens of millions of dollars into their athletic coffers.  In addition to that, many colleges and universities require all students to subsidize their athletic programs through the fees that they are charged, including Iowa State University.  In 2014, 32 of the 52 universities in what is commonly called the Power 5 conferences (Pac-12, Big 12, Big 10, SEC, and ACC) charged all students at their school fees that went to their athletic departments.  It is a guaranteed source of income, at a time when record levels of income is flooding athletic programs.  The crazy thing is that while more and more money is flowing in, athletic departments are spending it faster than ever before.

Why do I mention this?  Because that is not the way that it works at a public high school in northeast Iowa!  And contrary to what some people might want to believe, we do have some people with an interest in our activity programs that do believe that we have an endless pot of money, or at least a pot that is more full than it really is!  It is because of this that I want to share some information with you relative to how we fund our activity programs.

When it comes to our activity program — athletics, music, speech, clubs and other programs — we have used money from the Activity Fund, which is a separate account from the general and other funds.  Most of the revenue in this fund comes from gate receipts, activity tickets, and donations.  These funds are considered to be public or taxpayer funds and require a great deal of oversight on my behalf.  I take my responsibility with these funds very serious and am quite conservative with the way that they are used.  We are also governed by some very specific rules and guidelines as to how these funds can be spent. 

Something that is very important to understand is that coaching, director, and sponsor salaries are not paid from the Activity Fund.  These are General Fund expenditures, as are most of the transportation costs.  Together these expenditures make up the majority of the expenses for our activity program.  In addition, over the past few years some of our safety equipment, such as football helmets and shoulder pads, have been paid for from the General Fund, as has some large equipment purchases for our music program.  If these were not covered by the General Fund I do not believe there is any way we could offer the programs in the manner that we do.  We are fortunate that at NFVHS these costs are covered in this manner.

For athletics, the largest expenditure from the Activity Fund is for officials.  For most sports we spend more on referees and umpires than all other costs combined.  We also purchase various pieces of equipment, and more recently, subscriptions to a variety of different software programs, such as Hudl and Aspi.  In our arts programs a significant amount of money is spent on sheet music, scripts, and instrument repairs. 

It also needs to be pointed out that we are deeply indebted to our booster clubs for financial support.  Both the Athletic Booster Club and the Fine Arts Booster Club make significant contributions each year to our programs.  In recent years the majority of our uniforms and “big ticket” items for athletics have been purchased by the booster club.  The Fine Arts club made a major purchase with our band uniforms, and continues to help subsidize the music trips our students take.

We have been fortunate for a number of years that we have been able to provide our students with what they need, and then some.  We have very nice facilities for a school our size, with a number of improvements made in recent years and a few more in the planning stages.  That said, we have seen a drop in some of our revenue streams, particularly in the last couple of years of gate receipts.  When income slows down, spending has to slow down as well.  Since the vast majority of our funds come directly from our public, I hesitate to ask for more.  In my ten years at NFVHS we have reduced our fundraising quite a bit, and have also limited “out of pocket” costs for students.  We continue to do our best by our students and public.

TigerHawk Talk

By Ron Imoehl, Activities Director

The winter sports are off and running.  With this in mind, I want to remind athletes and parents that your child must be in school for a full day or have prior approval from the principal to be eligible to play on that day.  Athletes must also be in school during the day to participate in any practice.

The wrestlers won the North Linn Invitational in Coggon.  The girl’s basketball team is 5-5 headed into the Christmas break.  The boy’s basketball team is 7-2.  Bowling is having a lot of success also.  The boys team has only lost once this year and the girls has consistently fielded a full team.  It has been a very exciting winter so far!  Let’s hope for continued success into 2019.

Academic eligibility plays a role on every team.  Please monitor your child’s academic progress throughout the year.  There is nothing more frustrating for a teacher/coach/sponsor to have a student that is ineligible for a week or longer.  His/her ineligibility not only affects them, but all of the other students involved in that event.  Participating in school related activities is a privilege not a right.  Your child’s grades and attendance can be monitored on Infinite Campus website at

Special Olympics


TigerHawk Talk is dedicated to providing information about the activity program at NFVHS.


Hey, Mr. Clark!

by Bill Clark, School Counselor

Do I need to go to a 4-year college to get a good job?

What an awesome question!  I guess the quick and simple answer is “No”, but it really isn’t a question that quick or simple to answer.  Everyone’s idea of “a good job” can be different.  My goal for you is that you find a career area that you enjoy, that challenges you, and that rewards you monetarily so that you can support yourself and your future family.  Chances are you may have many different jobs in your lifetime.  I hope that you have the background and education to adjust to whatever changes you may need to make in the career area you choose.  For the majority of you, this will mean additional education beyond high school.  This could be a 4-year degree, two-year degree, apprenticeship, military, certificate program, or some classes or training beyond high school.

The State of Iowa hired Georgetown University and its Center on Education and the Workforce to give some insight on industry and occupational trends related to education beyond the year 2025.  I will reference this study and share some of those findings in this newsletter.  I hope you find it informative.  If you have questions after reading this, please ask me for assistance.

You have probably heard people say that “Back in the Day” you didn’t need college to get a good paying job!  In many instances that was a correct statement.  In the 70’s only about 28% of jobs in the U.S. needed any education beyond a high school diploma.  That meant that 72% of the jobs didn’t require any additional training.  Georgetown University stated that the national average by 2025 will be 65% of jobs requiring at least some postsecondary education or training.  Iowa is actually a little bit higher than that at 68% of the jobs needing something additional.  So, if you are planning on staying in Iowa, more than two out of every three job openings by 2025 will require some education and/or training beyond a high school diploma.  That’s almost a complete flip of the results from the 70’s.  In the 70’s, 72% of the jobs didn’t require additional training or education…….now, the forecast for 2025 is that 68% of the jobs will require additional education and/or training.  Wow, is this ever good stuff to know!

So, I think the next question should be…..What industries will have the largest amount of job opportunities?  Here’s the answer!  The top four, according to the Georgetown study are: 1) Health Care & Social Assistance; 2) Finance and Insurance; 3) Administrative & Support and Waste Management and Remediation services; 4) Manufacturing.

O.K., I know this is starting to get a little long and lots of facts and figures have been thrown at you.  I think there is one more area that you should get a little bit of information on before you tune this newsletter out.  What actual occupations will be the fastest growing?  Great question!  According to the Georgetown report, the fastest growing jobs will be 1) Healthcare Support Jobs (31% growth); Healthcare Professional and Technical Jobs (22% growth); and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) jobs (22% growth).

I hope you found the information in this newsletter interesting and useful.  Please stop in if you want more information related to this…..believe me, there is a lot more.


Harvest Dinner

A team of volunteers contributed their efforts to the Harvest Dinner that provided over 140 meals this Thanksgiving!

Family Living Class

A pair of young high school students learning about the responsibilities that go with having a child.


The entire freshman class participated in the Teen Maze at UIU put on by the Fayette County Substance Abuse Coalition.

Changes to the RAI: What is that?

by Staff

Iowa’s Regent universities are Iowa State University, the University of Iowa, and the University of Northern Iowa.  In 2009 the Regent Admission Index (RAI) was created as a way to calculate a score that would give automatic admission to these three institutions for students coming out of high school.  This index was based on two guiding principles: transparency and objectivity.

A formula was was developed to calculate the RAI score based on research using the best predictors of academic success for incoming students.  Those predictors were a student’s high school cumulative grade point average, high school class rank, ACT or SAT score, and high school course preparation, in other words, the courses a student took in high school.

In the Fall of 2016, a second formula was developed because so many schools had stopped using class rank in their school.  North Fayette Valley has not used class rank since the sharing started as it was dropped a few years prior to the the two schools coming together.  This new formula made sure that students from schools that did not rank students were not discriminated against when determining admission to any of the three Regent’s universities.

Now, because so many Iowa schools have stopped ranking their students, one formula is being used for those students planning to enroll in the Regent’s universities starting in 2020 and beyond.  Class rank is not included at all.  The formula will use a student’s ACT composite score along with their cumulative GPA and the number of years they have taken high school core classes to determine their RAI score.  If their score is high enough, they will receive automatic admission.

North Fayette Valley High School Staff

Administration and Guidance

Todd Wolverton - Principal
Bill Clark - School Counselor
Ron Imoehl - Liaison
Robin Albert - Secretary
Barb Schroeder - Secretary
Stephanie Wagner - Nurse
Cassie Peterson - Interventionist

Downtown Academy

Brent Kuker - Teacher
Jacob Pedersen - Interventionist
Antwyan Cullar - Associate
Debbie Ruroden - Associate


Neal Bentley, Garrett Crandall, Megan DeBack, Stephanie Ellis, Darcy Einck, Tim Feldman, Cassie Gruman, Kathy Hageman, Elaine Hanson, Kyle Harms, Cyndy Hinton, Molly Holthaus, Ryan Holthaus, Dan  Hovden, Amy Ihde, Kelli Kovarik, Matt Krambeer, Jon Kullen, Bob Lape, Brooke Lodge, Julianne Meyer, Tracy Nuss, Sarah Pisney, Kayla Pollock, Ted Schacherer, Molli Steffens, Kari Straube, Rachael Strong, Denice Vandersee


Tina Bodensteiner
Bonnie Fisher
Krystal Gronowski
Michelle Hurlbut
Donna Kasel
Bobbi Jo Koch
Sarah Lerch
Shanda Miller
Christy Radloff
Melissa Schupbach
Amanda Turner
Elise Vandersee
Janeane Vorwald