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THE UNIFIER Algebra Real World ÷ Engineer – Boredom x Students


									                                                                                                            December 2002
                                                                                                                   Vol. 30, No. 05

                                           THE               UNIFIER
                                 SOUTHEAST POLK COMMUNITY SCHOOL DISTRICT                                              RUNNELLS, IOWA

Algebra + Real World ÷ Engineer – Boredom
x Students = New Appreciation for Math
     How many times have algebra teachers
heard this: "Why do we have to learn this stuff?
We're never going to use it!"
     Senior high math teacher and Dimensions
of Learning coach Kent Horstmann found a
creative way to answer that question. He asked
Ted Townsend of Townsend Engineering in
Des Moines to partner with the school district
to bring a weeklong program to the school
called "Engineers Teaching Algebra."
Townsend agreed, and the results were re-
     Mark Love, a civil engineer from New
Hampshire who specializes in highway de-
sign and traffic planning, spent a week at
Southeast Polk in November teaching the be-
ginning math and algebra classes how alge-
bra really is used by people of all professions.
     Love gave the students pictures of inter-
sections and had them derive their own for-
mulas for traffic patterns, turn lanes, timing
of traffic lights, efficiency levels and safety Engineer Mark Love works with Paige Heim and Melissa Brueck, who are using algebraic
considerations. Point values were given for formulas to figure out the safest and most efficient traffic pattern for a busy intersection.
getting the most cars through the intersection problem.                                          its of mind,'" Horstmann said. "We also want
in the safest manner in the shortest time. The      "First we spend a lot of time just on the them to learn that, without algebra, they are
efficiency level is secondary to safety. Once concept phase," Love explained. "I use that limiting their options for jobs and career ad-
they solved the problem, Love presented the phase to encourage them to use their brains vancement."
equations that could be used to solve the same for ideas, so they'll know they can come up             Math teacher Joel Conn appreciated
                                                                      with a reasonable an- Love's emphasis to students on the need for
                                                                      swer and can think for algebra in all aspects of life.
                                                                      themselves. They can             "He stressed that even an artist uses alge-
                                                                      apply those same con- bra for problem-solving, and other professions
                                                                      cepts to analyzing TV use it in ways you might not even imagine,"
                                                                      commercials and other Conn said.
                                                                      real-life situations. Then       "I try to emphasize the algebra over the
                                                                      we get out the calcula- engineering," Love said. "Many of these kids
                                                                      tors and go into the com- aren't going to be engineers, but with real-
                                                                      putation phase."           world experience in using the concepts of al-
                                                                           "We encourage the gebra, they learn that the symbols don't make
Love analyzes the various solutions proposed by the students.
                                                                      kids to have good 'hab- it hard, they make it easy."
                                                     OUR BUSINESS IS LEARNING
 The mission of the Southeast Polk Community School District is to be an innovative, educational organization committed to providing
 learning experiences of superior quality which enable ALL students to successfully meet challenges now and in the future.
Anne Frank lights up the Southeast Polk stage
     The Southeast Polk Drama
Department's fall
production of "The
Diary of Anne
Frank" took the
stage Nov. 8-9 with
a cast made up of a
combination of vet-
erans and newcom-
ers. The story of a
13-year-old girl in
hiding from the Na-
zis with her family
and a group of
strangers in early                                                         The embattled group tries to maintain tradition through the try-
1940s Amsterdam is a stark re-    Emilea Wilson in the title role of Anne
                                                                          ing times by observing Hanukkah. From left are Andy Hodges as
                                  Frank defends her behavior to an an-
minder of the grim days of the                                            Peter VanDaan, Brianna Spry as Mrs. VanDaan, Alex Cue as
                                  noyed Mr. VanDaan, played by Alex
Holocaust. Malaura Werling di-                                            Mr. VanDaan, Terri White (hidden) as Mrs. Frank, Patrick Schrodt
                                  Cue. Both are seniors.
rected the play.                                                          as Mr. Frank, Krystal Haley as Margot, Anthony Lobaito as Mr.
                                                                          Dussel, and Emilea Wilson as Anne.

A field trip in the classroom Busy winter concert schedule
                                                        Melinda                Junior and senior high bands and choirs are busily preparing for
                                                        C a r r i k e r,   an active December concert schedule. Performances are as follows:
                                                        of         the
                                                                           Senior high vocal concert, Mon., Dec. 2, 7 p.m. in the auditorium; 7th
                                                        1 7 0 0 s          grade chorus concert, Sun., Dec. 15, 2 p.m. at the junior high; senior
                                                        farm at Liv-       high band concert, Sun., Dec. 15, 3:30 p.m. in the auditorium; 8th
                                                        ing History        grade chorus concert, Mon., Dec. 16, 7 p.m. at the junior high; junior
                                                        Farms, ex-         high band concert, Tues., Dec. 17, 7 p.m. at the junior high.
                                                        plains the
                                                        stone ax
                                                        and gourd
                                                                           Three chosen for SCIBA
                                                        rattles to
                                                                           Junior High Honor Band

      When it's too cold
for a field trip to Living
History Farms, LHF em-
ployees pack up and
bring part of the farms to
the classroom. Joanne
Cram's and Lois Gates' Fifth-graders Kari Nelson and Eric Da deco-
fifth graders at Delaware rate their handmade clay pots with simple
Elementary learned how geometric shapes, as the Ioway Indians
the Ioway Indians of the would have done.
                                                                           SEP eighth-graders Sabrina Kness, Rebekha Helgeson and Connor
1700s hunted buffalo, tanned hides, dried food, added crushed              Nolan took part in the South Central Iowa Bandmasters Association
clamshells to clay to make pots, ground corn, braided husks, made          annual junior high Honor Band Festival at Pella High School Nov.
jerky, and gardened. Students also heard how the Native Americans          12. The three musicians were selected by audition at Simpson Col-
had winter and summer home camps, and traveling homes (tipis) to           lege in October. Dusty Nesheim also auditioned. Their director is
follow the buffalo herds.                                                  Phil Schmidt.
Page 2
Ed Wilson kicks off SEP First Alert Weather Net
                                                                                                          They could hardly have been more ex-
                                                                                                     cited if a movie star had been the one com-
                                                                                                     ing to visit. When WHO-TV13 meteorolo-
                                                                                                     gist Ed Wilson climbed out of Chopper 13
                                                                                                     by Southeast Polk Junior High on Nov. 12,
                                                                                                     about 200 eighth graders screamed and
                                                                                                     swarmed around him with welcoming signs
                                                                                                     and requests for autographs.
                                                                                                          Wilson's appearance was to officially
                                                                                                     kick off the First Alert Weather Net station,
                                                                                                     which was installed on the roof of the junior
                                                                                                     high over the summer. The Southeast Polk
                                                                                                     site kickoff went live on the five and six
                                                                                                     o'clock news broadcasts, with a clip shown
                                                                                                     at 10. Wilson will now frequently refer to data
                                                                                                     gathered from the SEP site, and the public
                                                                                                     can access data from the site through the
                                                                                                     WHO First Alert Weather Bug on the WHO
                                                                                                          Science classes monitor data from the
                                                                                                     weather station, as well. Metro Waste Au-
                                                                                                     thority funds covered the cost of the hookup.

Junior high students surround WHO-TV13 meteorologist Ed Wilson after he emerges from Chop-
per 13 south of the junior high building Nov. 12. At right, Halley Stille's colorful poster was an
attention-getter when Wilson stepped out of the helicopter.

                                                                               Wilson did a
                                                                               live broadcast
                                                                               from the SEP
                                                                               Junior High
                                                                               gymnasium for
                                                                               the five and six
                                                                               o'clock news
                                                                               programs. Be-
                                                                               tween        the
                                                                               news shows
                                                                               the station pro-
                                                                               vided       sub
                                                                               and sodas for
                                                                               all the students
                                                                               and teachers
                                                                               who attended.

                                                      Brandi McBee, left, and Brandon
                                                      Beem, right, collaborated on a large,
                                                      folding sign they hoped would make
                                                      the news. The sign included the
                                                      obligatory "Hi Mom!" Grant Gillon
                                                      helps hold up the sign from behind.

                                                         At right: Zach Ballard and Halley Stille
                                                         present a SEP tee shirt to Wilson to
                                                         wear for his weather broadcasts. He
                                                         also answered dozens of questions
                                                         from curious students.
                                                                                                                                           Page 3
                                                                                             Singers earn
                                                                                             Opus, All-State
                                                                                                   Six Southeast Polk singers were se-
                                                                                             lected to represent the district in the presti-
                                                                                             gious All-State and Opus honor choirs, which
                                                                                             performed at Hilton Coliseum on the Iowa
                                                                                             State University Campus.
                                                                                                   From left in row one are sophomore
                                                                                             Steve Fox, a baritone All-Stater, and junior
                                                                                             Sean McCann, an All-State second tenor al-
                                                                                             ternate. The All-State Choir, Band, and Or-
                                                                                             chestra performances were Nov. 23.
                                                                                                   From left in row two are freshmen Ian
                                                                                             Crankshaw, Chole Casber and Nate Cook,
                                                                                             all baritones in the Opus Honor Choir, which
                                                                                             performed Nov. 21. Freshman tenor K.C.
                                                                                             Narayan was unavailable for the photo.
                                                                                                   Opus performers are chosen from audi-
                                                                                             tion tapes, and All-State performers audition
                                                                                             as part of quartets at district competitions in
                                                                                             late October.
                                                                                                   Doug Churchman directs the SEP Bass
                                                                                             Clef Choir and Chamber Singers.

  History books available for holiday gifts
          Autographed copies of "From the Ground Up: A History of the Southeast Polk Commu-
     nity School District" are available in the main office of each district school building and
     District Office for a cost of $10. All sales funds are donated to the Southeast Polk Scholar-
     ship Fund.
          The book, written by former Congressman Neal Smith and former SEP Superintendent
     Ken Sand, is a chronicle of how the district came to be formed from several one-room school-
     houses and the community high schools of Runnells, Altoona, and Mitchellville. Bitter battles
     and three Iowa Supreme Court decisions were part of the fray, which lasted 10 years before
     being settled by a court decision.
          Stop by any school for your copy, or call Marti Kline at 967-4294 for more information.

Pumpkin unit ends
with "Pumpkin
Person Party"
     Janet Riordan's kindergarten class at
Four Mile Elementary took pumpkin deco-
rating to a new level this year. First, they
measured and weighed their pumpkins,
found their circumference, and compared the
different sizes and shapes.
     At the end of the unit each student took
home his or her pumpkin to decorate like a
person, then brought the creations back for
a "Pumpkin Person Party."
     Creations included cowboys, football
players, clowns, lions, pretty ladies, pump-
kins with spaghetti hair, and even a vegetable
pumpkin with cucumbers for eyes, tomatoes
for ears, and a carrot nose.
     Pictured are Brady Buchheit with his cow-
boy pumpkin; Macy Scully with her curly-haired
pumpkin; and Nik Stevenson with his clown
Page 4
Russian entertainer wows Willowbrook
                                                                                                                       Sergei Shapoval, Russian
                                                                                                                  master of music education and
                                                                                                                  concertmaster, brought his many
                                                                                                                  talents to Willowbrook Elemen-
                                                                                                                  tary Nov. 14. During two assem-
                                                                                                                  blies he sang, danced, played sev-
                                                                                                                  eral instruments, taught the
                                                                                                                  Cyrillic alphabet and showed
                                                                                                                  beautiful slides of his country. In
                                                                                                                  follow-up workshops he ex-
                                                                                                                  plained the history and signifi-
                                                                                                                  cance of the many artistic and cul-
                                                                                                                  tural artifacts he brought along.
                                                                                                                       Shapoval's appearance was
                                                                                                                  coordinated by The Cultural
                                                                                                                  Kaleidscope of Kansas City and
                                                                                                                  funded by the Willowbrook PTA.

                                                                                                                                       Upper right:
                                                                                                                                       shows second-
                                                                                                                                       grader     C.J.
                                                                                                                                       Lane how to
                                                                                                                                       play a tune on
                                                                                                                                       the    antique
                                                                                                                                       Lower right:
                                                                                                                                       Tables full of
A student who especially enjoyed the Russian cultural presentation is kindergartner Nicole           pieces of art, folk crafts, instruments and cloth-
Smirnova, whose parents are Russian. She poses here in a traditional dancer's headpiece              ing provide the backdrop for a discussion of
while Shapoval, dressed in a traditional Russian folk costume, holds a Balalaika.                    Russian art, culture and history.

Study of the Roaring 20s ends with classroom Speakeasy
    A knock on the door would bring a watchful eye to peer through the                 "I didn't realize all the very important people who came from
peephole. If the visitor knew the password ("Bolshevik"), the door would         that time period," said Bergan Ross. "We learned about Prohibi-
open and the visitor would be allowed into the dimly-lit, noisy excitement       tion and the people of that time. It was a fun and creative atmo-
                                                of the Southeast Polk            sphere."
                                                ninth-grade "Speakeasy."
                                                    A history and language
                                                arts unit on the 1920s gave
                                                teachers Tracy Tensen,
                                                Kelly Knowler and Ken
                                                Eckert the idea to present
                                                the era in a way that would
                                                make it seem more authen-
                                                tic to the students. Instead
                                                of dry reports in front of the
                                                class, each student re-
                                                searched a famous person
                                                of the era, borrowed,
                                                rented, or made a costume
                                                to fit the character, and
                                                came to the Speakeasy as
                                                that person. Groups rotated
                                                every few minutes from
                                                table to table, and their
Teachers Tracy Tensen (poet Dorothy Parker),                                     From left are Lindsey Snethen as flapper Isadora Duncan, Bergan
                                                task was to tell about their
Ken Eckert (evangelist and baseball player                                       Ross as author Ernest Hemingway, Michael VanHook as Mahatma
Rev. Billy Sunday) and Kelly Knowler (golfer
                                                character to the others at
                                                                                 Ghandi, Dani Banker as Amelia Earhart, Paige Harding as Helen
Bobby Jones) got into the act.                  their table.                     Keller, and Cody Tolkan as boxer Jack Dempsey.
                                                                                                                                              Page 5
Award presented to 2001-02                                                                     National test to
                                                                                               be given at SEP
school board for leadership                                                                         Mitchellville Elementary and SEP Jun-
                                                                                              ior High have been selected to participate in
                                                                                              the National Assessment of Educational
                                                                                              Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation's
                                                                                              Report Card. NAEP is an ongoing assessment
                                                                                              of what young American students know and
                                                                                              can do in various academic subjects.
                                                                                                    Commissioned by Congress in 1969,
                                                                                              NAEP is the only nationwide test of student
                                                                                              achievement. NAEP tests are administered
                                                                                              annually in reading, math, history, science, and
                                                                                              the arts to public schools selected from each
                                                                                              state. Selection requires mandatory participa-
                                                                                              tion. Given to almost one million students
                                                                                              throughout the U.S. in 2003, NAEP will show
                                                                                              how students in Iowa perform compared to
                                                                                              other states and the country as a whole.
                                                                                                    A random sample of fourth- and eighth-
                                                                                              grade students are selected for the assessment.
SEP School Board President Katie Temple presented former board member Valarie Campbell        All responses are confidential and no results
with a plaque recognizing her years of service to Southeast Polk Board of Education at a      will be reported to or about individual students
Nov. 7 special board meeting. A representative from the Iowa Association of School Boards     or schools.
also presented the 2001-2002 SEP Board of Education with a plaque in recognition of a               Results make up the database for the Na-
commitment to leadership by participating in board development activities. From left above    tional Center for Educational Statistics. These
are 2001-02 board members Pat Staggs, Doug Workman and Valarie Campbell, IASB Past            statistics are used by colleges and universities,
President Richard Vande Kieft, and board members Katie Temple, Gwen Seward Lewis              researchers, textbook publishers, and by na-
and Steve Hanson. Director Richard Owens was unavailable.                                     tional policy makers to make decisions regard-
                                                                                              ing education. Much of the current "No Child
Students send drug-free messages                                                              Left Behind" legislation is based on NAEP
during Red Ribbon Week                                                                              Mitchellville fourth-graders will be tak-
                                                                                              ing the reading portion of the NAEP test. The
                                                                                              eighth-graders will take the math portion. For
                                                                                              more information about NAEP and to view
                                                                                              test questions on-line, visit the web site

                                                                                               Board approves
                                                                                               creative calendar
                                                                                               for Harbor
                                                                                                  The 2003-04 school year will look a bit
                                                                                             different for Harbor students. SEP's Board of
                                                                                             Education has approved a pilot nontraditional
                                                                                             calendar for that building only, at the request
                                                                                             of Principal Jeri Sanburn and the staff.
                                                                                                  Students will still attend school for the
                                                                                             state-mandated 180 days, but will start in mid-
                                                                                             July 2003, have evenly-spaced, three-week
                                                                                             breaks throughout the year, and end at the same
Having some fun while decorating parking lot vehicles with red ribbons are, from left: Evan
                                                                                             time as the traditional school.
Fick, Tyler Spencer, Kassady Gilmore, Jake Havenridge, Marcus Dawson, and Cody
                                                                                                  "The research is mixed," Sanburn said,
Pedersen in front.
                                                                                             "but this type of schedule seems to improve
Seniors Carrie Henn and Laura Vander Tuig co-chaired this year's Red Ribbon Week ac- student attendance, behavior, attitude, and
tivities to encourage students to live drug-free lives. Volunteers tied red ribbons on cars, grades, while creating a more consistent ac-
trees and lockers; handed out red ribbons and read poems in classrooms; and passed out cess to school and community support ser-
free red, white and blue Bomb Pops, courtesy of Wells Blue Bunny, to students who wore vices. Students have less opportunity to 'drift
red. Jered Wells won $50 in an essay contest sponsored by the counselors. Megan Estabrook away' with a shorter break. We'd like to try it
and Donnie Johnson each won $25 for a second-place tie.                                      and see how it works."
Page 6
Chilly Springbrook welcomes Four Mile 6th graders
      Although they didn't expect three inches of snow in late October, three Four
Mile sixth-grade classes spent two days at Springbrook State Park near Guthrie Cen-
ter. The outing is becoming a popular one, as several Southeast Polk classes make the
trip. Reservations have to be made years in advance to secure the most popular dates.
      Students participate in activities such as Blacklight Tracking, Leaf Printing,
Calling All Owls, Orienteering, Archery, Bird Banding, Aquatic Life, Gun Safety,
Shelter Building, Hiking, and Enviroscape – where they develop strategies to pre-
vent erosion. They sleep in lodges and gather around campfires to conduct team-
building activities.
      "The sixth graders had the opportunity to challenge themselves through experi-
ences that are not normally part of the school day," said Principal Sharon Cummings,
who went along on the outing, "and by spending two days and one night together in
a setting outside of school, they worked on developing into a cohesive group. The
parents who went along were so
impressed. They couldn't be-
lieve all the activities."
      Adam Wood liked studying
erosion at the stream table,
building the shelters, and ar-
                                                                                            At left, Adam Wood, Anthony Blackman, James
      "Archery was my favorite,"
                                                                                            Wicker, Dustin Miller and other students study the
he said, "'cuz' I hit a bull's-eye!"                                                        "enviroscape" at a "stream table," where they fig-
      A $1,000 Wal-Mart grant,                                                              ure out strategies to prevent erosion. Above,
a $500 donation from the PTA,                                                               Daniel Patton and others plan and build a shelter
a student pop can drive and other                                                           as the Native Americans may have done. Inset:
small donations provided most                                                               creek organisms are gathered and studied in the
of the funding for the outing.                                                              Aquatic Life workshop.

Legion Post presents                                                     Financial aid information
check for essay contest                                                  offered for parents of
                                                                         college-bound students
                                                                              Parents of students headed for college next year, especially those
                                                                         going through this for the first time, usually have many questions
                                                                         about college visits, scholarships, and those extremely intimidat-
                                                                         ing financial aid forms.
                                                                              The Southeast Polk counselors will come to the rescue with a
                                                                         financial aid information night Monday, December 9, at 7 p.m. in
                                                                         the senior high auditorium. A veteran college financial aid advisor
                                                                         will be on hand to offer advice, explain the forms, and answer ques-
                                                                         tions. The counselors will also inform parents about scholarship
                                                                         opportunities, testing, college visits, applications, etc.
                                                                         Spring soccer registration
                                                                              Registration for the spring season of the Altoona Soccer Club
                                                                         will be from Dec. 1 through Jan. 31, with a late fee charged after
                                                                         Jan. 20. Registration fee is $40 per player age 4-13 (age as of 8-1-
                                                                         02), with discounts for families with three or more players. No reg-
                                                                         istrations will be accepted after Jan. 31 unless players are needed to
                                                                         complete rosters.
                                                                              Forms are available at the Altoona Public Library, or online at
                                                                         <> under "Forms." Mail com-
                                                                         pleted forms, including a copy of a new player's birth certificate, to:
Altoona Elementary sixth-grader Nicole Mozak accepts a check for
                                                                         Altoona Soccer Club, P. O. Box 472, Altoona, IA 50009.
$200 from Altoona American Legion Post #662 Commander Charles
Franklin. Nicole's essay for the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 at-        Players may also register in person at the Altoona Library on
tacks was chosen from several submitted by sixth graders who wrote       Sat., Jan. 11, or Sat., Jan. 18, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Don't forget the
on the topic. Nicole read her essay at a special assembly, and the       birth certificate for new players. Contact Dawn O'Connor at 967-
money will be spent on books for all three sixth grades at Altoona.      3895 with any registration questions.
                                                                                                                                        Page 7
Junior high fine arts class is part of improvement plan
      The junior high School Improvement Plan includes sched-
uling changes to minimize crowding in the hallways; adding a
fifth team to reduce class sizes; incorporating reading instruc-
tion in all disciplines; alternating study table time with physical
education on opposite days, with academic tutoring available at
each study table; and reorganizing the music and fine arts cur-
riculum so every student is exposed to music while in junior
      The outcome of the fine arts reorganization is a course that
has even nonmusical students excited about going to class. Al-
though chorus and band classes are still offered with concert
performance opportunities, administrators wanted all students
to receive instruction in music, speech, and drama.
      Long-time chorus teacher Stephanie Rumple created an
exciting new curriculum that incorporates world music drum-
ming, guitar, handchimes, gourd instruments, world and Ameri-
can folk dancing, readers' theater, American musical theater, and
the physics of sound in music.
      After completing the guitar and drumming units, Rumple
is very enthusiastic about the student response. While sitting in
a circle, students play various types of drums, sticks, chimes,
and rattles, as smaller groups play different rhythms within the
larger group.                                                         Fine arts teacher Stephanie Rumple works on guitar chording with (clockwise
      "It teaches focus and listening in a completely different from front) Tyler Wilson, Sam White, Nate Peterson and Daniel Steenhoek.
                                                          manner," she said. "They have to listen and watch, or they don't get it. They want to do
                                                          it right, so they pay attention. Focus and concentration are the whole premise."
                                                              "To say this program is successful is a definite understatement," said Principal Glenn
                                                          Dietzenbach. "Brain research indicates that music performance enhances academic per-
                                                          formance, and this is a great opportunity to provide a positive music experience for all
                                                          junior high students."
                                                              "Besides being fun, learning and playing these instruments teaches community and
                                                          teamwork, as well as independence within a team or community," Rumple said. "Each
                                                          instrument plays a different part in the whole. If one is left out, there's a gap, so they
                                                          learn that concept of teamwork in a practical way. I love it. It puts everyone on an equal
                                                          level. Within the circle is equality."
                                                              When Rumple gets to the gourd instrument unit, the plan is for students to prepare the
                                                         soil, plant the seeds, harvest the gourds and make their own instruments. The guitar unit
                                                         was so popular, an after-school guitar club has formed for students who want to continue
                                                         Rumple demonstrates a rhythm on an playing. Detailed unit plans are available for any-
                                                         African drum while Rachel Gilmore one interested in learning more about the new
                                                         taps out the cadence on the cowbell.         fine arts curriculum. Call Rumple at 967-5509.

Harbor students experience Native American culture
      One tends to look at the world a little differently when sitting in
a circle inside a large, cozy tipi. Colorful symbols, headdresses, and
costumes line the walls and several intriguing gourds, drums, and
other instruments sit in the center.
      Ralph Moisa, Native American author, philosopher, and descen-
dant of the Yaqui Nation, spent two days at Harbor Alternative School
in October. While comparing and contrasting Native American his-
tory with its modern culture, he and his wife Carol performed tradi-
tional Native American music and taught students to play some of
the instruments.
      To help students understand how the past affects life today in
Native American culture, he facilitated a small-group activity where
students were given a scenario for the survival of their tribe.
      Moisa also talked of his late son, an artist and nature-lover who
was killed at the age of 19 while rescuing a hawk trapped in a power
line. Moisa gave a beautiful drawing by his son as a gift to the Har-
bor students.
Ralph Moisa teaches Jason Logan and other Harbor students the
ancient art of drumming.
Page 8
                                                               ACTIVITY CALENDAR
DATE            ACTIVITY                                                     LOCATION                         TIME
Mon., Dec. 2    High School Winter Choir Concert                             High School Auditorium          7:00 PM
                Willowbrook Elementary Holiday Service Project Week          Willowbrook Elementary
                Hampstead Players at Centennial Elementary                   Centennial Elementary        9:30-10:30 AM
                Centennial Annual Food and Cash Drive This Week              Centennial Elementary
                High School Early Graduate Meeting                           High School Room 416           8:40 AM
Tue., Dec. 3    Delaware Elementary Band Grades 5 & 6 @ Altoona Elementary                                  7:00 PM
                TECH Meeting                                                 District Office                4:00 PM
Thu., Dec. 5    Mitchellville Elementary Vocal Music Concert-Grades 4-6      High School Auditorium         7:00 PM
Fri., Dec. 6    Drake Honor Band                                             Drake                          All Day
Sat., Dec. 7    Drake Honor Band                                             Drake                          All Day
Mon., Dec. 9    Financial Aid Night (High School)                            High School Auditorium         7:00 PM
                Instrumental Booster Club Meeting                            High School Room 103/104       7:00 PM
                Athletic Booster Club Meeting                                High School Library            7:30 PM
                NO-PTA Meeting at Altoona Elementary this month              Altoona Elementary
Tue., Dec. 10   Centennial Elementary Vocal Music Concert-Grades 2 & 4       High School Auditorium          7:00 PM
                PRIDE Meeting                                                High School Library             7:00 PM
                Willowbrook Elementary Vocal Music Concert-Grade 2           Willowbrook Elementary          6:30 PM
                Willowbrook Elementary Vocal Music Concert-Grades 4 & 6      Willowbrook Elementary          7:30 PM
                Phase III Meeting                                            District Office                 7:00 PM
                Runnells Elementary Vocal Music Concert-Grades 4, 5 & 6      Runnells Elementary             7:00 PM
                NO-PTA Meeting Four Mile Elementary this month               Four Mile Elementary
                NO-PTA Meeting Mitchellville Elementary this month           Mitchellville Elementary
                NO-PTA Meeting Delaware Elementary this month                Delaware Elementary
Thu., Dec. 12   Vocal Music Boosters                                         High School                     6:30 PM
                Delaware Elementary Vocal Music Concert-Grades 5 & 6         High School Auditorium          7:00 PM
                Altoona Elementary Vocal Music Concert-Grades 5 & 6          Altoona Elementary              7:00 PM
                Mitchellville 6th Graders present Wax Museum                 Mitchellville Elementary     7:00-8:00 PM
                PTA Meeting                                                  Runnells Elementary             7:00 PM
                NO-PTA Meeting Centennial Elementary this month              Centennial Elementary
Fri., Dec. 13   Four Mile 2nd Grade-"The Nutcracker"
                Four Mile Santa Workshop
Sat., Dec. 14   SCIBA Jazz Band Festival @ Waukee                                                             All Day
Sun., Dec. 15   7th Grade Vocal Music Concert                                Junior High Gym                  2:00 PM
                High School Winter Band Concert                              Auditorium                       3:30 PM
Mon., Dec. 16   8th Grade Vocal Music Concert                                Junior High Gym                  7:30 PM
                Willowbrook Elementary Band Concert Grades 5 & 6             Willowbrook Elementary           7:15 PM
                PTA Meeting                                                  Willowbrook Elementary           6:15 PM
                Four Mile Elementary Winter Concerts-Grades 1 & 2            Four Mile Elementary             6:30 PM
Tue., Dec. 17   Junior High Band Concert                                     Junior High Gym                  7:30 PM
                Mitchellville Elementary Honor Band at Capital Square        Downtown Des Moines        11:30 AM-12:30 PM
                Four Mile Elementary Winter Concert-Grade 5                  Four Mile Elementary             6:30 PM
                Four Mile Elementary Winter Concert-Grade 6                  Four Mile Elementary             7:30 PM
Thu., Dec. 19   School Board Meeting                                         District Office                  7:00 PM
                Centennial Elementary Manners Lunch                          Centennial Elementary
Fri., Dec. 20   High School 3rd 6 week ends                                  High School
                Junior High Dance during periods 7 & 8                       Junior High Gym
                Willowbrook Elementary Winter Parties                        Willowbrook Elementary       2:30 -3:15 PM
                Altoona Elementary Classroom Parties                         Altoona Elementary              2:45 PM
                Centennial Elementary Winter Parties                         Centennial Elementary
                Four Mile Elementary Winter Parties                          Four Mile Elementary         2:30-3:30 PM
                Last Day for High School Early Graduates                     High School
Mon., Dec. 23   Winter Break Begins                                          District Wide
Thurs., Jan 2   Staff Work Day - NO SCHOOL                                   District Wide
Fri., Jan. 3    Staff Inservice - NO SCHOOL                                  District Wide
Mon., Jan. 6    School Resumes, Beginning of 2nd Semester                    District Wide
                                                                                                                    Page 9
                                                                      ATHLETIC CALENDAR
Date          Group Name                       Time           Opponent(s)                    Event                Facility         H/A
Mon, Dec 2    Girls Basketball, 7th            4:30 PM        Fort Dodge High School         A, B & C             Jr. High Gym      H
              Boys Basketball, JV              7:00 PM        Johnston High School                                West Gym          H
Tue, Dec 3    Wrestling, Jr. High              4:30 PM        Indianola/Waukee               @ Indianola                            A
              Girls Basketball, 8th            4:30 PM        Fort Dodge Middle School       A, B & C             Jr. High Gym      H
              Girls Basketball, 10th/Varsity   6:15/7:45 PM   Mason City High School                              West Gym          H
Thu, Dec 5    Girls Basketball, 8th            4:30 PM        Indianola Middle School        A, B & C             Jr. High Gym      H
              Swimming, Boys                   6:00 PM        Mason City High School                                                A
              Boys Basketball, Freshman        6:30 PM        Dowling                        A & B Teams                            A
              Girls Basketball, Freshman       6:30 PM        Dowling                        A & B Teams          West Gym          H
              Wrestling, JV/Var                6:30 PM        Mason City High School                                                A
Fri, Dec 6    Girls Basketball, 7th            4:30 PM        Johnston Middle School         A&B                  Jr. High Gym      H
              Girls Basketball, 7th            4:30 PM        Johnston Middle School         C&D                                    A
              Girls/Boys 10th Basketball       4:45 PM        Dowling                                                               A
              Girls Basketball, Varsity        6:15 PM        Dowling                                                               A
              Boys Basketball, Varsity         7:45 PM        Dowling                                                               A
Sat, Dec 7    Wrestling                        9:00 AM        Winterset                      JV Tournament                          A
              Wrestling, Jr. High              9:00 AM        Stilwell/Norwalk               @ SEP                Jr. High Gym      H
              Swimming, Boys                   10:00 AM                                      Tor. Relays@Boone                      A
              Boys Basketball, 10th/Varsity    5:00/6:30 PM   Waterloo-East                                       West Gym          H
Mon, Dec 9    Girls Basketball, 7th            4:30 PM        Miller Middle School           A&B                                    A
              Girls Basketball, 7th            4:30 PM        Miller Middle School           C&D                  Jr. High Gym      H
              Girls Basketball, Freshman       6:00 PM        Boone High School              A & B Teams                            A
              Boys Basketball, JV              7:00 PM        Dowling                                             West Gym          H
Tue, Dec 10   Wrestling, Jr. High              4:30 PM        Johnston/Indianola             @ SEP                Jr. High Gym      H
              Girls Basketball, 8th            4:30 PM        Newton Middle School           A, B & C                               A
              Girls Basketball, Freshman       4:45 PM        Oskaloosa High School          A only               West Gym          H
              Girls Basketball, 10th/Varsity   6:15/7:45 PM   Oskaloosa High School                               West Gym          H
Thu, Dec 12   Wrestling, Jr. High              4:30 PM        Ames/Waukee                    @ Ames                                 A
              Girls Basketball, 8th            4:30 PM        Ankeny - Gold                  A, B & C             Jr. High Gym      H
              Girls Basketball, 7th            4:30 PM        Fort Dodge Middle School       A, B, C & D                            A
              Swimming, Boys                   6:00 PM        Newton High School                                                    A
              Wrestling, JV/Var                6:30 PM        Newton High School                                                    A
              Boys Basketball, Freshman        6:30 PM        Urbandale High School          A & B Team                             A
              Girls Basketball, Freshman       6:30 PM        Urbandale High School          A & B Teams          West Gym          H
Fri, Dec 13   Girls/Boys 10th Basketball       4:45 PM        Urbandale High School                                                 A
              Girls Basketball, Varsity        6:15 PM        Urbandale High School                                                 A
              Boys Basketball, Varsity         7:45 PM        Urbandale High School                                                 A
Sat, Dec 14   Girls Basketball, 7th            9:00 AM        Newton Middle School           A&B                                    A
              Girls Basketball, 7th            9:00 AM        Newton Middle School           C&D                  Jr. High Gym      H
              Wrestling                        9:30 AM        RAMS Soph. Duals               Rams Soph. Duals     West Gym          H
Mon, Dec 16   Girls Basketball, Freshman       6:30 PM        Lincoln High School            A Only               West Gym          H
              Boys Basketball, JV              7:00 PM        Urbandale High School                                                 A
              Boys Basketball, Freshman        8:00 PM        Lincoln High School            A Only               West Gym          H
Tue, Dec 17   Girls/Boys 10th Basketball       4:45 PM        Lincoln High School                                                   A
              Girls Basketball, Varsity        6:15 PM        Lincoln High School                                                   A
              Boys Basketball, Varsity         7:45 PM        Lincoln High School                                                   A
Thu, Dec 19   Wrestling, Jr. High              4:30 PM        Urbandale/Anson                at Anson/Marshalltown                  A
              Girls Basketball, 8th            4:30 PM        Indian Hills Jr. High School   A, B & C              Jr. High Gym     H
              Swimming, Boys                   6:00 PM        Valley                                               Swimming Pool    H
              Wrestling, JV/Var                6:30 PM        Valley                                               West Gym         H
              Boys Basketball, Freshman        6:30 PM        Johnston High School           A & B Teams           East Gym         H
              Girls Basketball, Freshman       6:30 PM        Johnston High School           A & B Teams                            A
Fri, Dec 20   Girls/Boys 10th Basketball       4:45 PM        Johnston High School                                 East Gym         H
Fri, Dec 20   Wrestling                        5:00 PM        JV Tournament@Norwalk                                                 A
Fri, Dec 20   Girls Basketball, Varsity        6:15 PM        Johnston High School                                West Gym          H
Fri, Dec 20   Boys Basketball, Varsity         7:45 PM        Johnston High School                                West Gym          H
Sat, Dec 21   Wrestling                        10:00 AM       Holiday Tournament             Holiday Tournament   West Gym          H
Fri, Jan 3    Boys Basketball, Sophomore       4:45 PM        Indianola High School                                                 A
              Girls Basketball, Varsity        6:15 PM        Indianola High School                                                 A
              Boys Basketball, Varsity         7:45 PM        Indianola High School                                                 A
Sat, Jan 4    Boys Basketball, Freshman        9:00 AM        Indianola High School          A & B Teams                            A
              Girls Basketball, Freshman       9:00 AM        Indianola High School          A & B Teams          West Gym          H
Page 10
                           Central Place Tracks
                                              A Publication of Central Place Family Resource Center
                                                                December 2002

                                                    Cathy Beck-Cross, Director
                            Pam Freeman, Family Support Specialist        Bill Pearce, MEND Case Manager
                            Peggy Jonas, K-6 Mental Health Clinician       Cheryl Thomas, Secretary

Central Place requests volunteers
for strategic planning session
     Central Place, Southeast Polk's family resource       and what the focus should be in the years to come.
center, opened its doors in 1995 with the mission              Anyone interested in having a say in deter-
of helping children, youth, and families from the          mining the direction of Central Place programs
Southeast Polk district access diverse, confiden-          and activities is encouraged to join us for an all-
tial, and financially-affordable support services.         day strategic planning session on Saturday, Janu-
Prior to the start of Central Place, a team of district    ary 11, 2003 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m.). We promise you
staff and community members planned for two                hard work, good food, and a sense of accomplish-
years to determine the programs and activities that        ment at helping chart the course for the programs
would best meet the needs of families.                     of Central Place for years to come. Please call
     Now, in its eighth year of operation, Central         Cathy Beck-Cross at 967-7806 for more infor-
Place wants to take a look at where it has come            mation.

                                  Still (a little) time to donate
                                  to Season of Sharing
                                       For individuals, families, organizations, and businesses who still
                                   wish to sponsor a family for the holidays, there are only a few days left
                                   to do so.
                                       The number of families applying to Central Place for assistance
                                   during the Season of Sharing has increased by 20 percent over last
                                   year, according to Central Place Director Cathy Beck-Cross. Conse-
                                   quently, the need for donations of clothing, toys, gift items and food is
                                   greater than ever. Last year, 179 families were served throughout the
                                       Beck-Cross says that anyone willing to sponsor a family or donate
                                   even a few items can get a specific gift list from Central Place and can
                                   deliver the items directly to the family or to Central Place. The items
                                   are needed by December 14, so call 967-7806 now for more informa-

                                                                                                                 Page 11
SEP one of fortunate                                Volunteers needed for district
growing districts
      Enrollment data from the Iowa Dept. of        strategic planning committee
Education shows Southeast Polk with the                  The third round of Southeast Polk strategic planning is tenta-
fifth largest student increase (189) in the state   tively scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 7-9 at the senior high. The
this year, after Waukee (311), Dubuque              district convenes a committee every five years to review/develop
(247), Ankeny (223) and Johnston (194).             the district's mission statement, parameters, and strategies for ac-
      Sixty-seven percent of Iowa's 371             tion and improvement. The group meets Friday evening, all day
school districts experienced enrollment de-         Saturday, and Sunday afternoon, if needed.
clines this fall, with a combined loss of 5,640          Representatives from the community are encouraged to volunteer
students. Only 119 districts reported in-
                                                    to serve on the strategic planning committee. Every kind of community
creases, for a combined total of 3,182, re-
                                                    group should be represented on the committee – parents, business people,
sulting in a net statewide loss of 2,459, or
about one-half percent when compared to last        senior citizens, students, community leaders, etc.
year. Five districts were unchanged.                     Please call Dr. Steve Miller at 967-4294 if you can serve on this important committee.
      The largest declines were at Burlington       Issues of district growth, facilities, security, curriculum, diversity, and many others will be
(161), Sioux City (125), Des Moines (119),          discussed. Your views are needed.
Fort Dodge (117) and Mason City (98).                    The food is excellent, the company is stimulating, and the decisions made are impor-
                                                    tant for the future of the Southeast Polk district. Many current programs and policies in
AP Scholars named                                   place at Southeast Polk are a direct result of past strategic planning sessions. You can help
     Based on the number of Advance Place-          make a difference. Please join us!
ment classes they have taken and the scores
they earned on the follow-up AP tests, three
2002 graduates and a SEP senior have been
named AP Scholars by the College Board                                        Dates to
Advanced Placement Program.
     Jessica Fox, now a freshman at Notre
Dame, Carol Schweitzer, a freshman at Iowa
                                                       Dec. 19 .............. School board meets at District Office, 7 p.m.
State, and senior Travis Meinders are desig-
nated AP Scholars. Jessica Heffernen, now              Dec. 20 .............. End of first semester
a freshman at the University of Iowa, is des-          Dec. 23-Jan. 3 .. Winter Break - NO SCHOOL - all grades
ignated an AP Scholar with Honor.                      Jan. 6 ................ School resumes for second semester - all grades

                                                                                                                       Non-Profit Org.
                          The       UNIFIER                                                                             U.S. Postage
                                                                                                                     Runnells, Iowa 50237
                       Southeast Polk School District Newsletter                                                         Permit #2

To access our web page: <>

The UNIFIER is published monthly by the Southeast Polk
School District, and is printed at the Heartland Area Educa-
tion Agency (AEA 11). Deadline for copy and photos is the
7th of each month. There is no July edition.

Editor:                                                                                     CARRIER ROUTE PRESORT
Marti Kline – Southeast Polk District Office
8379 NE University                                                                                       ECRWSS
Runnells, Iowa 50237
                                                                                                     Postal Customer

Call Evie Witmer at the SEP Activities Office with
calendar information - 967-2944.

Katie Temple - Pres.                Pat Staggs
Doug Workman - VP                   Brad Skinner
Gwen Seward Lewis                   Jack Scrignoli
Steve Hanson                        Dr. Joseph S. Drips - Supt.

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