Every School Every Thursday - Download Now DOC by Levone


									Every School Every Thursday

Students at Brubaker Elementary celebrated positive behavior last Friday with a school-wide
talent show performed by the staff. Acts included humorous dance routines and skits. Students
were treated to an afternoon of clowns, sumo wrestlers, dancing dolls, glow stick dancers and
several skits that made the students laugh and cheer. We are proud of how hard the Brubaker
students work to be respectful, responsible and safe.

Fifth graders at GW Carver Elementary are diving into history! We are currently learning about
the Civil War. In one classroom, fifth graders are taking part in a debate. The class, split in half,
is taking the sides of the northern Union states and the southern Confederate states. We are
concentrating on finding a way to state our opinions while coming to a peaceful solution. In other
classrooms, we are using books and poetry to lean more about the war, while becoming better
readers at the same time!

Chess anyone? Cowles has started an after school chess club on Mondays sponsored by
Middle School Instructor Mr. Moody. Each Monday Mr. Moody‘s room is packed full of chess

Upper Level students are introduced to high level math skills through Greek numbers, percent to
decimal to fraction, and more fractions.

Thesis statements; Upper level students are writing five paragraph essays with topic, transition
and thesis sentences.

Geometry is all around us! Lower level students are making connections between geometric
shapes and our world. They are exploring angles, degrees of angles, and area.

The life of a legend. Cowles students are celebrating the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through
reading picture books, biographies of his life, and discussions of his legacy. Portraits of Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr. are depicted by the students and proudly displayed in the hallways.

Pre-K students study horticulture. As they grow and observe an amaryllis flower in their
classroom, students learn about parts of a flower and have the opportunity to make a Parts of
Flower Book.

Arbogast/Donavan learning group will end their current project with a Mexican Café on Thursday,
February 4 . Visitors will make reservations at the café and then order from different items on
the menu based on Mexican culture and geography. Thursday, January 21, the 9/10 year-olds
will attend a kick-off presentation about the Underground Railroad in Iowa. During the week of
February 1 – 5, DTS students will work each day with the Eulenspiegel Puppet Theater on
learning about the Underground Railroad in Iowa through the use of shadow puppets. The
students will finish the week by performing a shadow puppet show.

In celebration of Martin Luther King Jr‘s life and spirit of his work, Garton students have learned
about him in their classrooms. Every classroom has read and discussed a piece of literature
based on his life, read a poem, or performed a class reader‘s theater. Under the direction of
counselor, Rick Miller, 5 grade students, Howie Nelson and Denisha Hayes, read some of these
books to younger students.
5 Grade teachers created a public speaking unit utilizing Martin Luther King Jr‘s ―I Have a
Dream‖ speech. Students are learning how to appropriately address an audience and use
specific techniques, like dramatic pauses and inflection, to strengthen their delivery. Student
work individually, in pairs, and a s a large group to reinforce their fluency and polish their
delivery. For the culminating activity students will give a final performance for their peers.

Kindergarten classes read the story The Jacket in the Snow. The classes are focusing on
vocabulary by posting and tallying words. The students made a poster of a child dressed in
winter wear and labeled the drawing. They retold the story using flannel board pieces and worked
on matching the beginning and ending sounds of each item. They participated in a relay race in
which they raced to get dressed in winter wear.

Elizabeth Davis, a student teacher from, Drake University will be assisting in Theresa Crees‘
kindergarten class. Rachelle Sorenson, a student teacher from Upper Iowa University, will be
working with Jan Weiberg‘s first graders, and Michael Christensen, from Simpson College, has
been assigned to Kristie Lamphere‘s third grade.

The staff enjoyed a tasty brunch provided and served by third grade parents. In addition parents
are volunteering by making copies and laminating materials for classroom instruction.

Third graders are studying exploration and explorers. The students are reading, researching, and
making fact cards about explorers.

January has been a fun month for second graders at Hanawalt! We have been studying about
snow. The weather sure has cooperated this month with our study. We have read many fiction
books with snow as the theme and several nonfiction books that have taught us real facts about
snow. One of our favorite books is Snowflake Bentley by Jaqueline Briggs Martin. This is a true
story about a man in the 1860s who studied and photographed snowflakes all his life starting
when he was a young boy. We found out that the largest snowflake ever discovered was found in
Montana and was 15 inches in diameter. We made a book about snow in our classes using all
the information we have learned. For fun, Mrs. Olivetta‘s and Ms. Langel‘s second graders
invited our kindergarten friends in Mrs. Revell‘s class to paint the snow around our playground
with us. It looked beautiful in colors of red, blue, green and yellow. When we returned to class
we did a writing activity about the colorful snow. The weather this month has provided us with
wonderful learning experiences.

Students at Hillis were involved in a Cultural Festival focusing on the countries of Africa. All of
these activities were funded by a grant through Target Stores. On Tuesday, January 19th, Dr.
Jacqueline Thompson of Ottumwa, thrilled the Hillis students with workshops and demonstrations
exploring the different regions of the African continent. In preparation of her time with the Hillis
students, classrooms studied African cultures through music, art, geography and literature. The
entire month of January has had this African focus and on Friday, January 29th Hillis parents are
invited to visit hall displays and share in some African cuisine.

Hubbell students have had fun in the snow during noon recess time. They have built snow
tunnels and snow forts. They have been sliding on the hills.

At a recent assembly the Hubbell Safety Patrol were appreciated in various ways. Noah Grimes,
Molly Kresse, Sydney Furgerson and Sam Billingsley spoke to the Hubbell students about the
commitment, confidence and cooperation it takes to be a safety patrol at Hubbell School.
Hubbell 5 graders are finishing up their Unit of Inquiry -Experimentation can lead to discoveries
that impact the world. The students shared their skits, posters, power points, models and
projects about inventors and inventors with their classes.

Here at Jackson in the month of January we are participating in Hoops for Heart and trying to
raise money for the American Heart Association. Hoops for Heart is a sister program of the more
popular Jump Rope for Heart and both programs raise hundreds of thousands of dollars each
year that benefit kids with heart problems. Jackson has participated in Jump Rope for Heart in
past years but this is the first year for Hoops and we are hoping for a successful fund raising
event. Our school goals are not that of many schools but we have emphasized to the students
that every penny counts. Even in financial times like these, there are still kids who need help.
That is the emphasis of the program. The students are learning old and new basketball skills
ranging from dribbling and shooting to lead up games and even some real games of 5 on 5.
Thanks to all who are participating.

Three 3rd grade students from Jefferson won the Martin Luther King Jr. essay contest sponsored
by the Forest Avenue Library. Alex Song, Macy Oneal, and Keegan Eggers got to read their
essays at the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration at the Forest Avenue Library January 18th.
Everyone at Jefferson is very proud of their efforts.

Students at Jefferson are sponsoring a Pennies for Haiti fundraiser. Money will be collected until
February 5.

First graders at Monroe Elementary recently played host to a special guest speaker. On Friday,
December 11, Happy Bear came to every first grade class to provide a personal safety education
lesson. The Blank Children's Hospital Happy Bear Program is a sexual abuse prevention program
utilized by hundreds of school counselors and teachers in the metro. Every year, over 8,000
children benefit from the program. Monroe students were fortunate to receive their lessons during
the unveiling of Happy Bear‘s ―new look.‖ Due to a generous donation from Kohl‘s Department
Store, Blank Children‘s Hospital was able to fund a new costume as well as ensure the
continuation of the program for years to come. Monroe thanks Happy Bear, Program Coordinator
Renae Jones, Blank Children‘s Hospital, and Kohl‘s for caring about our students.

Oak Park
Students who return their library books on time every week have their names put in a drawing at
the end of each month. Three winners are photographed reading a book of their choosing. The
pictures are turned into posters encouraging other students to READ! December winners were
Gary Baring, Kapri King, and Kennedy VanDeBoe.

Oak Park PTA recently spent $1000 to purchase new books for our library. Our students are
enjoying having new titles to read. Thank you PTA!

Park Avenue
Park Avenue Elementary School is beginning a jumping rope unit in physical education.
Incorporated in this unit is a fundraiser called Jump Rope for Heart in which students play jump
rope games and compete for prizes. There is a minimum of five dollars to attend Jump Rope for

It will be held in the gymnasium at Park Avenue Elementary School and will be held by Ms.
Steward and her student teacher, Mr. White. Third grade will be on February 10 at 1:45-2:35,
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fourth grade will be on February 17 at 1:45-2:35, and fifth grade will be on February 24 at 1:45-
Perkins Kindergarten Students are starting their non-fiction reading and writing unit. The students
will explore many different non-fiction books and learn how to make their own All About books,
How-To books, and many different kinds of lists. They will be learning about many important non-
fiction text features such as: labels, table of contents, index, bold print, photographs, captions
and more.

Perkins Student Council members will be hosting an emergency fundraiser for the victims of the
Haiti earthquake. Students will be collecting donations for about two weeks. All the money
collected will go to the Red Cross to help with the disaster relief.

Phillips student council is sponsoring a coin drive through January 29 to raise money for our
school library. Money raised will go toward the purchase of non-fiction materials to support our
building goals in the area of improving skill in non-fiction text. Students are watching a
classroom totals graph grow each day to see which classroom earns extra recess.

Pleasant Hill
Teachers at Pleasant Hill are meeting weekly in Professional Learning Communities to analyze
data to guide instruction at look at best practice to assure all students learn and show growth.
PLC‘s are collaborative teams whose members work interdependently to achieve common goals.
Teachers are looking at mid-year reading tests and spelling inventory results to determine best
instruction. A district wide writing assessment will also be given this month which will be used in
the same way.

Classes studied Martin Luther King Jr. and his contributions to our country. Students are
enjoying the snow and sledding at noon recess!

Adults use math all of the time—even when we don‘t know it. Many times children are with us
when we use math. One of the best things to do is to involve children in the math too. The task
may take a little longer, but the benefit is worth it as we expose children to real life situations
using math.

Children need lots of practice using math in order to become strong mathematical problem
solvers and thinkers. An adult family member can log onto
http://athomewithmath.terc.edu/math_kits.html to find many math ideas to try with children at

One idea from the website is titled ―How Much Do We Save?‖ You and your child clip coupons
and then use them at the store. Then talk with your child about how much you saved by using
coupons. Have your child add up all of the coupons you used to find the total amount saved for
your family. Look for more ideas on the website.

Ms. Haw baker‘s Room at Smouse School has been busy working on the Four-Blocks of Reading
and Writing. The Four-Block model includes Guided Reading, Working with Words, Writing Block
& Self-Selected Reading. To help make these blocks exciting and interesting for the students we
work on monthly themes. Our theme currently is winter; we have had several excellent examples
of Winter weather so far this year! Students have enjoyed using their word bank to write
classroom stories, we have also enjoyed several books in both written and digital forms about
Snowmen. During Science we made snowmen in our class and estimated how long it would take
for him to melt.

Smouse students and staff enjoyed some interesting animals from the Blank Park Zoo on Friday
the 12 , student learned about a tortoise, alligator, parakeet and a blue tongued skink and voted
on touching two of the animals. The Smouse Knights of the Week Traveling Trophy went to Ms.
Kay's classroom for demonstrating excellent Arrival skills for the week of January 11th, Way to
Go Ms. Kay's class!

South Union
Iowa students, grades second through twelve, submitted essays with civic engagement and civil
rights themes in order to promote volunteerism. Students were asked to address what they feel it
means to make a difference, who their role models are and how he or she has inspired them to
reach out to others, or write a modern day speech from the perspective of a nonviolent, Civil
Rights movement leader.

Hailey Garcia from South Union Elementary was recognized and won an award for first place for
Second - Fifth grades in the state of Iowa. We are very proud of Hailey and she was very excited
about her accomplishment. She was one of two children that won an award from Des Moines.
She was also able to stand behind Governor Culver as he read the MLK proclamation.

After morning district activities designed to honor the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, teachers at
Stowe spent the afternoon working in small groups. Teachers collaborated to design a
framework for inquiry learning. Since we are an International Baccalaureate Primary Years
Program candidate school, we are required to develop lesson plans that will engage student
thinking and inquiry.

Many third graders received a new book over winter break and are enjoying reading them. The
students are also working on adding three digit numbers with regrouping and practicing the
strategies they have been learning.

On Friday, January 15, 2010 Mrs. Lukenbill‘s fifth graders came to Mrs. Reed‘s first grade class
to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King. These students wrote and read their ―I Have A
Dream‖ writings to their book buddies. Both classes read poems and sang songs about Martin
Luther King Jr., and they also viewed Dr. Martin Luther King give his ―I Have A Dream‖ speech.

The coat drive to benefit students at Willard was a huge success. Sponsors of this great event
included Hy-Vee on E. Euclid, Hy-Vee in Pleasant Hill, and McCall Monuments on University. We
collected enough cash donations to purchase 56 new coats and received a total of approximately
500 coats. We were able to share the gift of warmth with 10 other metro area elementary

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Windsor 3 graders from Elaine Imlau‘s art class took a walk on the playground Tuesday the 19
to get a close up look at the beautiful morning frost. Back in the classroom, they drew frost
pictures of the fence and branches.


Brody eighth graders have just started a research report project. Students have chosen a person
to learn about and located at least one book. Over the next several weeks they will be reading
and taking notes in order to write a formal report telling about the person‘s life and
accomplishments. Students will be learning strategies for finding credible sources, note taking,
documenting, and organizing. They will then work to draft, edit, and publish a final report.
Sixth graders are preparing to attend the play Buffalo Soldier on February 10 at the Civic
Center. This play highlights the role African American soldiers played in the Spanish American
War (1988). In 1996 the play Buffalo Soldier was selected as one of the best American plays for
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young audiences. The plan is for Callanan 6 , 7 , and 8 graders to have the opportunity to
attend this play on February 10 .
The 8 grade team is gearing up for the research paper interdisciplinary unit. Students are
working on taking notes and writing summaries in language arts, science, and civics. Soon they
will be given a list of topics from which they can select, and details of the project will be given.
The research unit will run through the third week of February. In addition to practicing writing
notes and summaries, language arts students are working on fluency and a district writing

In other content areas students are busy. Mrs. Coop's science class will be working on the
electromagnetic spectrum with students completing labs and doing projects to increase their
understanding of the ways light affects our world. Mr. Young‘s civics classes will participate in a
Constitution scavenger hunt and will study the Bill of Rights by playing Bill of Rights Bingo. Math
classes are just beginning a unit on solving equations.
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As 8 graders begin their final semester of middle school, the 8 grade teachers want to urge the
students to work hard. There are still months of learning ahead.

Which is a better deal? Buying gasoline by the liter, or by the gallon? Goodrell sixth graders will
be working on this problem in their math classes. They will be learning about the cost of fuel in
other countries and comparing it to the USA. We are working on a decimal and measurement
unit for the next two weeks.

Ms. Hill‘s Pre-Algebra class has finished Chapter 5: Ratios, Proportions and Similarity. Students
will be using skills learned in Chapter 5 to transition into Chapter 6: Percents. Students will learn
about the relationship between fractions, decimals and percents. They will find percents of
numbers by estimating and using proportions. Students will then use these skills to solve real-life
situations involving percent increase and decrease as well as commission rates and simple

PARENTS/GUARDIANS of Goodrell students: We are starting something new on the Goodrell
blog: http://goodrellmiddleschool.blogspot.com/ called Table Talk. We will feature weekly
questions connected with what is happening at school. The purpose is for you to have
conversations starters with your student at the dinner table. This is a way for you to know what
learning experiences are taking place in your student‘s classroom and an opportunity for students
to communicate those engaging activities and understandings with you. If you have any
suggestions, please email jamie.sosnowski@dmps.k12.ia.us

An exhibit of selected art works from students K-12 will be displayed at the State of Iowa
Historical Building
600 East Locust
Des Moines, Iowa
Wednesday, February 17 , 2010
5:30 to 7:30
At 6:45 p.m. a welcome with comments by Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Nancy Sebring
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Exhibit will be on display Wednesday, February 17 through Thursday February 25 2010.
7 Grade Global Studies classes will be working on a Climate Change Unit.
The Math 7 students will be finishing the fraction unit and beginning a unit covering ratio,
proportion, and percent called Comparing and Scaling.

The seventh grade science classes are beginning their chemistry unit. Students will be reviewing
some basic chemistry knowledge, learning about types of bonds, states of matter, and chemical
reactions through a series of labs, technology activities, and hands on activities. At the end of the
unit, students will be teaching a chemistry lesson of their own to their classmates.

Seventh graders on the red team will be working on a research paper that will tie into their cultural
heritage project. They will be learning the basics of research beginning with note taking, citing
sources, and organization of research information. They will be producing a complete research
paper with a title page and a bibliography page. When this is complete the literacy blocks will be
moving on to literature circles with the theme of ―America at War.‖ They will be reading about
past wars the United States has been involved in, including the Civil War, the Revolutionary War
and World War II.
Ms Brennan‘s 7 gr Language Arts class will be completing a comparison-contrast expository
essay on two similar animals. They will share their final drafts with their class. They may include
a power point or slide show when presenting their information. When this is completed, we will
begin working on a persuasive essay. Students will choose their own topics.
Ms Kimberlin‘s 7 gr Reading class will be completing a unit on justice. They will come to
understand what justice is through short stories and relevant real-life situations to be read and
discussed. Skills for the unit include analysis, evaluation, and synthesis.
8 grade blue team students are members of nonfiction book groups which provides them with
the opportunity to see how one person can change the world.

8th graders are reading about inventions and are being curious.... developing questions around
the inventions that they just want to know more about. Being curious is all about asking questions
in order to understand and find out more... which leads the 8th graders to their own research
paper... they will determine what topic or area they want to research. Their curiosity shall be their

The 7th grade reading class is getting their feet "wet" learning how to put together a research
paper. Working with global studies teachers, student are researching their culture. They will be
using index cards for source cards and notes, and then will type up a research paper complete
with a work cited page. It will be a learning experience for all!

6th grade students are reading about peer pressure. Being a teen is tough and peer pressure is a
big part of their life from ages 12-14. It is hard to be the only one who refuses to do something
that everyone else is doing... we will be reading magazine and newspaper articles on how to deal
with negative peer pressure.

Mr Walling is inviting students to Grandview Pond to skate – all are welcome as long as the
green flag is out – not ok if the red flag is out
free to all - 3:30-4:30.

Students in Mr. Schwendinger‘s Reading class are piloting a possible new literacy program. They
are using On the Edge of Survival to help them answer the question, why do people take risks?
Students will read four selections, short stories and poetry, and discuss in small groups. They will
use this analysis to create a final presentation focused on speaking and listening skills. Students
will have eight project choices including, an orientation speech as a national park ranger,
dramatic presentation from the role of a survivor, researching and sharing about an explorer,
etc… Students will be given the choice to complete the project alone or in groups of 2-4. This
mini-unit will emphasize the risk-taking learner profile.

Mrs. Kimberlin‘s students are working on the skills of analysis, evaluation, and synthesis through
a unit on justice.

The students at Warren G. Harding Middle school will spend their afternoon on Wednesday,
January 20, with noted motivational speaker Rick Nielsen. After a presentation of championship
shirts to the undefeated boys basketball team, students will be entertained by Mr. Nielsen and
then have an opportunity to have questions answered. Mr. Nielsen is a dynamic speaker,
magician, juggler and humorist and he uses these skills to motivate, inspire and entertain
students from around the country. He is a graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, is a
former teacher and coach, and was Iowa‘s first state director for the Fellowship of Christian
Athletes. He has been extensively involved with Champions for Life prison ministry and has
presented to a wide variety of audiences, from schools to professional sports teams. He is also
the author of the award winning book, Doin‘ Time.

Ms. Albert‘s 7 grade Science students have been reviewing the parts of an atom. They are now
learning how the periodic table works and have incorporated singing into the learning
Mrs. Buhr‘s 7 grade Reading and Language Arts students are finishing expository essay
PowerPoint projects, working through a ―Survival Unit,‖ and gearing up to start a research paper
for term 4.
Mr. Gerdis and Mr. Olesen‘s 7 grade Math students are currently working on percents, decimals,
and fractions. The advanced math students recently completed a bridge-building project.
Ms. Horton‘s 7 grade Reading and Language Arts students are learning about, reading, and
writing blogs.
Mr. Sandy‘s 7 grade Geography students are spending their time studying Ancient Greece.
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7 graders at McCombs Middle School are gearing up for our school‘s 1 Annual Live Healthy
Iowa Kids. This consists of a free, 100 day program, designed to encourage young Iowans to
increase their physical activity levels and make better food choices. This is a positive way to
teach kids about the importance of being physically active and show them ways to make fitness
fun! This program is a way for advisory classes to win monthly incentives and monetary awards.
(Student activity will be tracked by minutes. Each participant aims for 60 minutes of activity, five
days a week.)

6th grade is sponsoring a coin drive to provide money for relief efforts for the victims of the
Earthquakes in Haiti. Students are collecting spare change and place money in a coin jar located
at each grade level (Molden, Buhr, Victor-Baker). At the end of the day, money will be turned in
to Mrs. Molden and Mrs. Hyslope, and grade level totals are updated on the next day‘s
announcements. Even just twelve cents will provide an Earthquake victim with a meal. We will
do all we can to help!

The 8 grade Reading/Language Arts classes are studying the play, The Diary of Anne Frank.
 The students also have been working on reading Monologues for Fluency. The teachers will be
administering writing prompt and a winter reading test to each student. The students are also
focusing on their National History Day projects in their Language Arts and Civics classes. They
are also working on bibliographies.
The 8 grade algebra students are working to find the slopes of lines, learn about collinearity, use
distance time graphs, solve equations, learn about parallel lines and identifying linear trends in
date. Pre Algebra students are continuing to work with percents. The students are also learning
about real life applications such as commissions, discounts, sales tax and tips, and interest on

Civics classes are work on their History Day projects. This year‘s theme is ―Innovation, Impact,
and Change.‖ The students were able to select a topic that interest them and research and
prepare a documentary, exhibit, or performance. The projects will be show cased and judged at
Meredith‘s History Days on Feb. 23 and 25.
The 8 grade science classes on finishing a unit on sound and light, and then start a new unit on
The 7 grade Blue team will take a trip to the Blank Park Zoo on April 30. Parent volunteers are

Feb. 3 –90 Minute early Dismissal
Feb. 15- Inservice for Teachers, No School

According to Linda Rowe, from the Forest Avenue Library, there were approximately 200 essays
submitted for the MLK contest. In the past they have selected one winner from high school,
middle school, and elementary school. Because there were so many excellent essays this year,
they selected three high school winners, five middle school winners, and three elementary
winners. All five middle school winners were Merrill Students.

Winners are – Kate Chartier, Mads Gilbert, Ben Norman, Andy Anderson, and Regan Copple.
These students will be sharing their essays on Monday, January 18, at 2:00 at the Forest Avenue
Library. Congratulations to these students!


Bio II students in Larry Beall‘s class will begin their 2 semester in anatomy-physiology by
learning terminology. By the end of the semester, the students will be prepared to go into various
medical/health fields. Some of the activities they will be engaged in during the semester include:
tissue studies, body systems (structure and function), and overall human health.

GEAR UP will be sponsoring two all-expense-paid educational field trips to Kansas City and St.
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Louis during spring break from March 15 through March 17 . All sophomore GEAR UP
students are eligible to participate and are encouraged to pick up an application in the GEAR UP
office (Room 1110). Completed applications are due by February 15, 2010 at 2:45 P.M. Students
will be required to meet specific academic and behavioral requirements in order to remain eligible
for the trip. Those students selected to participate will be given the opportunity to visit a variety of
college campuses, museums, and other attractions. GEAR UP students and parents interested
in learning more about these spring break trips should contact one of the GEAR UP Advisors at
242-7755 or stop in room 1110 for additional information.

Beginning second semester, Physical Education teacher Bill McCaull will begin teaching the next
Health rotation. The students will have the opportunity to make ―Connections‖ with other 9 grade
students to learn about their experiences and ideas. At the conclusion of the course, there will be
a Project and a five minute class presentation which will be based on the student‘s interest and

Students in Aaron Stevens‘ World History classes re-enacted the events that led to the start of
the French Revolution. The class was divided into four groups, one for each of three Estates
(social classes) and one for King Louis XVI. The groups prepared for their roles by studying their
Estate (or the King) and its concerns, along with the issues the other groups would bring. The
meeting was conducted from there, with King Louis‘ group trying to gain approval for raising
taxes. Each Estate debated about who should carry the burden of extra taxation. When it was
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done, because each Estate had only one vote, the 2 and 3 Estates voted to tax the 3 Estate.
The lesson ended with discussion over how the ‗real‘ meeting went (quite similar), and why it led
to a revolution against the Monarchy and political structure of France.

Aaron Stevens‘ Economics classes ended the first semester with a unit on Personal Finances.
Guest speakers were brought in during the first week of January to share their insights with the
students. The students also participated in several interactive activities that were designed to
simulate the financial realities of adulthood. Included among the speakers were representatives
from The Hartford Co. (Insurance), The Federal Government (Social Security/retirement), and
Kaplan University (setting and maintaining a budget). Other topics covered in class included:
moving out, buying a car, renting an apartment, getting and paying for student loans, balancing a
checkbook, and maintaining a good credit score.
Early American Literature

Students in Linda Thomson‘s Early American Literature classes recently completed research
projects that asked students to focus on the history of United States immigration. Students
researched an ethnic group of interest to them and provided a visual presentation that highlighted
important facts about the ethnic group including such details as the following: dates of major
waves of immigration to the USA, specific contributions of this ethnic group to our country‘s
culture, famous people from this ethnic group and their respective contributions to our culture and
predictions of future needs of the ethnic group with respect to US industry, finance, man power,
medicine, education etc. Students could share their researched information through power point
presentations, pamphlets, booklets, posters, videos, etc. Students could also choose a project in
which they traced their own family genealogy with emphasis on ethnicity and individual
contributions of family members to society. Students were also required to bring photographs of
various family members in order to show similarities and differences between themselves and
generations of family members who have preceded them.

Students in Linda Thomson‘s Advanced Placement English Literature completed a literary
analysis essay over Shakespeare‘s Hamlet as part of their final semester grade for the course.
Students selected a topic over a significant aspect of the play and researched ideas from various
literary critics about their chosen topic. Using various ideas from literary critics, students then
were required to argue effectively their chosen topic, using evidence from the play and their
respective research. MLA documentation was used to cite sources and format the Works Cited
Page. Student papers were evaluated based on the Six Plus One traits of writing, with special
emphasis on content, organization, sentence fluency, and documentation.

Roosevelt High School has several representatives nominated for the Central Iowa Sports
Awards. Charlie Caris and John Meeks have been nominated for the Male High school Athlete
Award. Roosevelt wrestling and boy‘s tennis have been nominated for the Team of The Year
award and tennis coach Debbie Stetson has been nominated for the Life Time Achievement
The Student Council received $1000.00 from an anonymous donor and were challenged to do
something with it that would "pay it forward". After learning of the earthquake destruction in Haiti
they created "Rider Relief for Haiti" and challenged the students and staff to Contribute whatever
they could hoping to reach $5000.00. There was an overwhelming response with many student
activity groups pledging funds. Student Council members collected from each Rider Time
resulting in an amount over 1400.00. The Bridges to Harmony Choir will be donating any "in-
kind" donations they receive at their concert on January 28th and the Thespian Troupe emptied
their pockets at practice. The expected total donation will be over $7000.00. After consulting
with the American Red Cross of Central Iowa, the Student Council was referred to United Way
Worldwide with the assurance that the entire amount of Rider Relief would be given to Haiti for
their relief and recovery. Donations will continue to be accepted through Friday January 29th.
Please make checks out to Roosevelt High School with Rider Relief for Haiti in the memo. They
can be dropped off in the main office of the school or mailed to Roosevelt High School, 4419
Center Street, Des Moines, IA 50312.

Central Campus
Nineteen students from Des Moines‘ Central Academy were chosen as winners in the Young
Lawyers Division of The Iowa State Bar Association‘s ―Know Your Constitution‖ competition, with
Samuel Burt (Hoover) selected to attend a week-long study of national government in
Washington, D.C.

The 19 winners are all students in AP U.S. Government or AP Comparative Government classes
at Central Academy. Students completed a 50-question multiple choice exam and an essay in
order to be chosen as the top 100 winners of the competition — out of 1,500 entries in the state.

The Central Academy winners are Emily Baker (R), Andrew Barrett (Roosevelt), Samuel Burt
(Hoover), Abraham Burzette (Lincoln), Kevin Dorff (Roosevelt), Ryan Foley (Roosevelt), Halle
Hudson (Roosevelt), Sydney Johnson (Hoover), Megan LaSuer (Lincoln), Khoi Nguyen (North),
Nancy Nguyen (East), Anthony O‘Donnell (Roosevelt), Kate Percival (Roosevelt), Matt Rogowski
(Lincoln), Mia Siebrasse (West Central Valley), Emily Southard (Roosevelt), Elle Sullivan
(Roosevelt), Nicholas Swingle (Roosevelt), and Caroline Weeks (Roosevelt).

Ryan Foley and Mia Siebrasse shared the Best Essay Award from among the 1500 statewide
submissions. In their essays they ruled on the constitutionality of a hypothetical law passed by
Congress and determined if anyone‘s rights had been violated as a result of the law.

Central Academy‘s Samuel Burt was selected through a random drawing as a winner of an all-
expense paid educational trip to Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Close Up Foundation. The
week-long study of the U.S. government and political process will take place Feb. 21-26, where
he will learn alongside students from Alaska, Hawaii, Ariz., Calif., and Okla.

―By participating in this contest, the students in AP U.S. Government and AP Comparative
Government classes were able to demonstrate to a group of lawyers their knowledge of the
Constitution,‖ said Mike Schaffer, Central Academy government instructor. ―As a result, we have
the good fortune of having one of our 19 winners engage in nonstop learning while he is in
Washington, D.C.‖

Families interested in learning about Central Campus opportunities may attend the PTA meeting
hosted in the Central Campus Library on Monday, January 25th at 6:30 PM.

South region families interested in learning about Pre-K - 12th grade learning opportunities for
students, don't miss this event! The Total Experience, Thursday, February 18 , 5:30-7:30 p.m. at
Lincoln Roundhouse. Free hot dogs, popcorn and drinks until gone. Concessions will be open for
purchase as well.
Future Pathways
Jasmine Gant, Roosevelt, and Adryan Pratt and Matt Silzer, both from Hoover, have met high
school graduation requirements. These three students completed classes at Future Pathways
enabling each to meet this educational goal.
Future Pathways consolidated into larger rooms on the 4 floor of Central Campus recently. The
layout will allow teacher teams to collaborate more easily and encourage more interdisciplinary
work and higher levels of student learning.
Students and their families will be participating in January Jam on the 28 from 4 to 7 pm. Food
and fun are the themes. In its third year, January Jam is an opportunity for students, families and
staff to get together.

Scavo Campus
Social Science teachers Steve Peters and Carl Stamey have been involved in an innovative
approach to teaching government and economics to juniors and seniors at Scavo this school
year. David Johns, curriculum supervisor for the humanities in Des Moines Public Schools,
offered the Buck Institute‘s ―governomics‖ project- based curriculum to Steve and Carl this past
August. At the end of the first semester, the course received high marks from both teachers and
students as the first class completed the curriculum. Problem based government and economics
featured complete units that involved students in realistic problem-solving scenarios. This
involvement was demonstrated by almost a 90% attendance rate. In addition each unit
addressed key content standards in rigorous and relevant ways by focusing on National and
State content objectives in both subjects. Some of the students completing the course were
Kelsey Butrick, Joey Bemisdarfer, Abbe Jensen, Carlos Saldana, Sergio Diaz, Rakeisha Crockett,
Tiah Williams, Kelsey Kenworthy, Steven White, Sabina Zuna, Sander Johnson, Andre Hill, and
Amanda Jones.

Ruby Van Meter
In January, students in Jami Harvey‘s homeroom completed a unit on reading and understanding
bills and payments. They learned about the purpose of bills and statements and why it is
important to be able to read the information. Students read and discussed various statements
such as telephone bills, cell phone bills, car loan payments, electricity, and water bills. They
learned to recognize key vocabulary words such as ―account‖, ―balance‖, ―interest‖ and ―late
fees.‖ Students completed several activities to demonstrate understanding of the information on
the bills. They also discussed ways to make payments such as on-line bill paying, sending
checks, and paying bills in person. Students practiced writing checks to make the payments and
they learned how to prepare payments for the mail.

The Basketball ‗Tournament‘ was held on January 14 and 15. All students enjoyed the
opportunity to participate in competition. Each class was given different ways to demonstrate their
basketball skills based on their ability levels. Everyone had an opportunity to pass, dribble, and
shoot as they did the activities.

Orchard Place
Under the guidance of Ms. Stephanie Zuehlke, Interventionist, and Ms. Shari Thompson,
Principal, students in all classrooms at Orchard Place are participating in Circle of Courage
activities focused on the circle quadrants of belonging, mastery, independence, and generosity.
The initial activity focuses on belonging and includes a discussion of the Dr. Seuss book, The
Sneetches. Students will also sign a ‗graffiti wall‘ , writing about times when they helped other
students feel a sense of belonging, as well as times and situations when other students made
them feel like they belonged. The ‗graffiti walls‘ will be posted in the school hallways; all students
will be able to read about the experiences of their peers. Follow up activities will be based on the
other quadrants of the circle.

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