THE RAPTOR | Issue 9-10
A NEWSLETTER FOR THE NORTH FAYETTE VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL COMMUNITY
The End Is Near (Sort of)
Staff and students at North Fayette Valley High School are entering the final full month of school, though the student’s last day will not be until June 5. Between now and then, there are a number of important events taking place, particularly for graduating seniors.
Focusing on seniors first, the annual Senior Awards Night will be held on Tuesday, May 14 at 7:00 in the PAC. Various awards and scholarships will be presented to students that evening. There will also be some awards presented to juniors as well.
May 23 will be a busy day for seniors as they will go through their check out process and turn their computers in. All bills and obligations must be taken care of by the end of the day. Notification of those bills and obligations will be mailed to parents on May 1.
The last day of school for the seniors will be May 24. It will start early in the morning at 7:00 with graduation rehearsal in the gym. Once that is finished they will spend the day at Backbone State Park. They will need to be at the school by 6:00 p.m. for Graduation ceremonies, which will start at 7:00 p.m. Note that the doors for the public will not open until 6:00 p.m.!
Another thing to put on your calendar is that school is dismissed at 2:00 p.m. on May 24 for all students in the district.
As stated previously, the last day for students is Wednesday, June 5. A number of extracurricular events have been pushed later in the summer. Teachers will be teaching and assessing right up to the last day as they have standards in their classes that must be taught and assessed,
For those students needing to recover some credits, Summer School will start on June 12. Contact the high school office if you want to enroll your son or daughter.
IN THIS ISSUE
Each month NFVHS Principal Todd Wolverton shares his thoughts on a variety of topics, most of them having to do with school!
Hey Mr. Clark!
School counselor Bill Clark shares pertinent information relative to the academic, social, and emotional needs of our students.
WHAT’S GOING ON AT NFVHS
Households owning a dog:37%
According to the AVMA, dogs are the most popular companion animal in the United States.
Households owning a cat:30%
Cats are the second most popular companions animals, and on average each household owns two!
by Todd F. Wolverton
The school year always comes to a streaking finish, and in spite of us working with students through June 5, I anticipate that the month of May is going to fly by with all that is going on! There is an article on the first page about the big events, particularly for seniors, coming up this month. And, there is the monthly calendar with many events as well. However, these do not do justice to all that is going on at NFVHS for our students! Make sure to refer to the school calendar that you can access on the website.
There are a few things coming up that I do want to expand on. The first is what is commonly referred to as ISASP, more officially called the Iowa State Assessment of Student Progress. This is the long awaited new statewide assessment. Our 9, 10, and 11 graders will actually start the assessment on Monday, April 29. We have decided to test the students in grade level groups in a setting similar to how the ACT is given. The sophomores have to take an additional test, so they will actually have three testing times, while the freshmen and juniors will test twice. There is a high level of security required for the the test that will have close monitoring by proctors. It is also in a format that is sort of a combination of the previous Iowa Assessments and the MAP that our students take on an annual basis. We are told the test is directly aligned to state standards, which should provide us with useful data. That said, there are still a lot of unknowns. Because this is the first year, we have no way to predict how our students will do. We hope they will do well, though we will not have answers because we are told we will not get results back until the fall. That is frustrating, but that is what we will deal with. This assessment is important as it will be reflected in our school’s state report card.
From my position, I really do hope that the assessment is directly aligned to the standards so we can truly identify where we need to focus instruction. We have never had that before in Iowa. I admit I am skeptical because politics played a big role in the development of this test. I am not going to dwell on that as it is out of my hands, but there was a lot of promise in the early days of development that we would finally have a good way to see how our kids are doing and how are teachers are doing. I hope this will be the case.
We have moved our College Signing Day celebration for seniors to Monday, May 6 because this first week of the month is just packed. Our event is tied in with others in the State of Iowa and in other parts of the country. This was started during the Obama administration as a way to recognize and celebrate those students who have made the choice to extend their education beyond high school. While the job market is changing in many places, the reality exists that for most careers, additional training beyond high school is required. Whether it is a four-year university, a two-year college, or a certification program, it is imperative that high school graduates plan to continue their education.
There were a few people that questioned why we went ahead with March Madness a couple of months back in light of the number of snow days we had. Some asked why we didn’t cancel it. I agree that the timing was not the best since we finally had some consecutive days in the classroom where students and teachers were getting into “a groove,” but there were a number of teachers that had done a lot of planning for those two days, making arrangements with a number of people outside of the school. To change the dates would have caused a lot of additional work, and perhaps some of the things that were planned could not have taken place. For many of the students who participated in March Madness, there were some very significant learning experiences in a fun environment. That is important, and had it been a “normal” winter, both students and staff would have been suffering from some cabin fever and welcomed a break. March Madness will appear again next year, but we may put it at a different time to better accommodate outside activities and provide more options.
On a similar note, we have Spring Fling coming up on May 17. This is one final day for all of the kids and teachers to enjoy each other’s company in their advisor groups and have some fun in some contests and competitions. This is also an event planned by our leaders in Student Council that they have taken a lot of ownership over in recent years. Since I have mentioned them, I cannot say how proud I am of our Student Council and how involved they have become in our school. I had imagined this happening when I arrived ten years ago, and now we have an organization of young leaders making a different in our school. The senior leadership has been outstanding, with a great example being what they have planned for May 17. In addition to Spring Fling, they are also putting on our Spring Blood Drive, which ended up on that date after having to reschedule a few times. Without blinking, they have tackled this challenge and will get it done!
This will be the last newsletter of the school year as there will not be one for June. The next one will come out in short form in July for back to school.
Hey, Mr. Clark!
by Todd Wolverton, Principal
Positive Impact of School Counselors on Our Students
By Shari Medini, HuffPost blog
Our school district sent out a survey recently about school counselors. It asked questions about parents' and students' experiences with their school counselors in an effort to improve their services and systems. I was very glad to see that there is a focus on this part of the school system that is too often overlooked. And while we have not had much direct experience with the school counselors yet (since my son is only in Kindergarten), I am glad to know that those resources are there to support him throughout his education.
When I was in high school, I felt like the school counselors were forgotten about until it was time to administer a test or apply to college. I am glad to be seeing a shift within the school system that values the emotional and social development of children, and therefore, values the school counselors that are there to support that development. School counselors go through significant training to help students cope with a wide range of issues including crisis and trauma type situations.
As your child grows, their educational and emotional needs shift. And luckily, school counselors are well-prepared for each stage of a student's development.School counselors have the ability to lead programs that improve the following areas:
- Cognition — Improving learning strategies
- Attitude — Supporting a healthy sense of self-confidence
- Self-Regulation — Helping students manage their anxiety, anger, motivation, and attention
- Behavior — Creating goals and monitoring progress of individual students
- Social — Building a classroom environment that is supportive and encouraging
I would encourage you to speak with your school and educate yourself on the programs, support services, and options available to your student through the school counselors. Make sure that you are fully utilizing this great resource so that your student receives a well-rounded education and a positive school experience.
* * *
From School Counselors: The Key to Success
College Readiness —
• High school graduation rate increased from 49% to 78.8% after schools implemented the American School Counselor Association’s National Model.
- Four-year college enrollment rates increased from 2.3% to 17.5% when an additional high school counselor is hired.
- Students who work with a school counselor before 10th grade a 2-3.5 times more likely to apply to college.
- Students with access to college guidance have 10% higher college application rates.
Academic Outcomes —
Schools with one counselor for every 250 students or less have:
- 91% graduation rates
- 94% attendance rates
- 2% discipline issue rates
School counselors make a difference!
PROUD TO BE NFV!
Java Hawks, the Thursday morning coffee shop at NFVHS hosted some UIU dignitaries on opening day!
Fourteen Young Women attended a Young Women’s Empowerment Day at New Hampton.
Teachers sometimes get a chance to get to know each other a little better through ice breaker activities during professional development.
Other Than Service Animals, Pets Prohibited
Over the past few years we have started to see more individuals bring pets, primarily dogs, to sporting events at NFVHS. While we understand the vast majority of these pets are well behaved, and up to this point we have not had any problems, policy from the state associations prohibit bringing most pets to athletic contests in Iowa. Here is the policy as it appears in a publication from the IHSAA:
Except as otherwise stated herein, no pets are permitted at events sanctioned by the Iowa High School Athletic Association. Any person found with a pet will be asked to remove the pet from the premises. Failure to comply will result in the person being asked to leave the premises. However, this policy shall comply with the provisions of Iowa code 216c. as such, a person with a disability or a person training an assistive animal has the right to be accompanied by a service dog or an assistive animal, under control. The person is liable for damage done to any premises or facility by a service dog or assistive animal. A “service dog” means a dog specially trained at a recognized training facility to assist a person with a disability, whether described as a service dog, guide dog, hearing dog, support dog, independence dog, or otherwise. An “assisted animal” means a simian or other animal specially trained or in the process of being trained under the auspices of a recognized training facility to assist a person with a disability.
Going forward, please recognize that this policy does exist and please refrain from bringing your pet to our athletic contests at NFVHS. We appreciate your cooperation!
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
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
Bobbi Jo Koch