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From the Desk of the Superintendent...

December 26, 2017

JANUARY 2018 DISTRICT DISPATCH Welcome back to the new year and the beginning of the second semester. Students resume classes on Wednesday, January 3, 2018. With winter here, the possibility of late starts, early dismissals, or school cancellations is always with us. Please remember to tune in to the following radio and television stations if the weather appears threatening: KMA (960 AM), KFAB (1110 AM), KNOD (95.3 FM), KMTV (Channel 3), WOWT (Channel 6), and KETV (Channel 7). In addition, our school district subscribes to the JMC Instant Parent Contact System. This automated telephone broadcast service enables school personnel to notify all households and parents by telephone within minutes of an emergency or unplanned event that causes a late start, an early dismissal, or a school cancellation. If you have not signed up for this service and are interested in participating, please contact the principal’s office where your child or children attend. In addition, if you have signed up in the past but have stopped receiving calls, it may be because you have changed your telephone number and the school district is not aware of the change. If you think this might be the case, contact the principal’s office where your child or children attend and make sure your current telephone number is the one on file. In the early part of the twentieth century, the experimental movement in education stressed project-based learning. The idea faded away, however, as the testing movement became stronger. Projects took a lot of time to complete; they were unpredictable in terms of outcomes for students; they required a good deal of independent work which could lead to student behavior problems; and they were difficult to assess. However, times change and the project method is experiencing a rebirth. Instructional projects that have the capacity to motivate and teach have three characteristics in common. First, they consist of a question or a problem. The question or problem serves to organize the activities involved in the project. Second, the activities in which the students engage have a real-world quality. Third, the activities associated with the project result in an artifact of some kind (e.g., a presentation, a model, a musical score, a recital, a play, etc.). It is the student’s development of an artifact that comprises the acquisition of knowledge. The learning is in the doing. Please note that there is no school for students on Monday, January 15, 2018. Our teachers will be participating in professional development activities with faculty members from other Western Iowa Conference schools that day.

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