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Nora Heaton

Elementary school will start earlier

ICCSD sets bell schedule for upcoming year

IOWA CITY– Bells will ring at 7:55 a.m. for elementary school children next year, and 8:50 a.m. for secondary school. The change was made by a unanimous vote by the Iowa City Community School District Board of Directors on Feb. 9.
Currently, elementary schools run 8:45 a.m. to 3:45 p.m., with junior high and high schools running from 8 a.m. to 3:10 p.m.

District progress report shows disparity in test results between white, black students

IOWA CITY– The Iowa City Community School District’s Annual Progress Report showed numbers that concerned board members, particularly those that relate to black students’ proficiency and discipline experience in the district.
Among other data, the report for the 2014-15 showed less than half of black or African American students tested at a proficient level for reading, mathematics, and science in four out of six grade level subgroups tested. The numbers lag behind the averages of all students, and behind national proficiency rates as well.

More teeth for SCSD good conduct policy?

Task force recommends encouraging healthy choices and discouraging substance abuse

SOLON– The whole idea started with Solon students’ pride for their schools, according to Solon High School (SHS) principal Nathan Wear.
Last year, some Solon students told their teachers and coaches they felt they were losing control of their ability to lead. They were concerned about alcohol use, drug use and other poor choices among students, and leaders at SHS didn’t want younger students to think these choices were acceptable, Wear said.

Solon parent pedals for autism supplies

Brad Raasch and sons trek 230 miles to assist Lakeview Elementary

SOLON– The Raasch brothers– Preston, 5, and Zander, 4– call it the Big Adventure.
Their father, Brad Raasch, calls it “the right thing to do.”
For six days in August, Raasch and his sons cycled over 230 miles– the distance equivalent to traveling from Solon to Chicago– to raise funds to purchase supplies for children on the autism spectrum at Lakeview Elementary.
Raasch set up a funding page on the Crowdsource site YouCaring, listing a target goal of $500.
“To be honest, I wasn’t sure if we’d make that $500,” Raasch said.

Something to roar about at Penn Elementary

Penn staff, students celebrate new addition

NORTH LIBERTY– As a class of Penn Elementary School students file into their brand new media center, they set their books on the library tables and settle down on the polka-dotted area rug in front of a rocking chair, ready for story time.

Schools for a modern world

SOLON– Students are often asked to study the world as it once was and learn to operate successfully within the world as it currently is. Now, they will be trained how to navigate the world that will be.
This year, the Solon Community School District made a concerted effort to make include “21st century skills” in the curriculum.

Getting to know teacher librarian Miranda Kral

Check out some humor with your books

SOLON– Miranda Kral asks some unusual questions.
What building has the most stories? (A library.) Who is the coolest king in the world? (King Author.) What does a cat like to read? (A mewspaper.)
As the Solon Community School District’s new teacher librarian, her favorite puns include— you guessed it— libraries and books.

Liberty High transition team looks to build athletics community early

School won’t likely include varsity football in first year

IOWA CITY – The Liberty Lightning will strike a year early for some North Liberty student athletes.
The Liberty High School transition team outlined its plan for athletics for the Iowa City Community School District Board of Directors on Dec. 8. Under the plan, Liberty-bound students involved in athletics will be able to practice as Lightning Bolts in the 2016-17 school year—a full year before Liberty High School actually opens.
Matt Degner, the district’s director of schools, presented the update to the board.

IC school board approves online survey tool for gathering feedback

Directors hope Thoughtexchange will reach larger population than listening posts, meetings

IOWA CITY– The Iowa City Community School District will begin using a new tool to gather community feedback. The online tool, Thoughtexchange, acts as a survey with added features, such as a Star feature allowing respondents to “star,” or prioritize, the thoughts most meaningful to them.

Solon students explore careers at new Kirkwood center

44 SHS juniors and seniors have attended classes at recently-opened regional site

CORALVILLE– Whether looking to work in a mechanic’s shop, an operating room or a courthouse, Solon students can find plenty of avenues to explore.

District gears up for Liberty High

Parents, students await additional answers

IOWA CITY– About 50 North Liberty parents and students attended an information meeting on Nov. 23, held by the Iowa City Community School District, to address questions about the Liberty High School transition.
Matt Degner, the district’s director of schools, presented plans for the new school, then held a question-and-answer session with audience members in the Iowa City West High theater.

School construction still moving forward

Precasts should be completed near the end of the month

SOLON– Construction is progressing on the Solon Middle School and Solon High School Center for the Arts.
Story Construction Project Manager Randy Johnson provided an update on the projects to the Solon Community School District’s Board of Directors at its Oct. 12 meeting.
Up next is the precast work, which Johnson said should be done by the end of October or beginning of November.
“You’ll see a big crane over there, so that’ll be exciting,” he said. “I’m sure the kids will be interested in seeing all that stuff.”