Clear Creek Amana Middle School

"Home of the Clippers"

The mission of the Clear Creek Amana Community School District is to prepare students to be productive, responsible, community members by providing an environment that inspires quality life-long learning.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Update, Week of February 15, 2010

Good Morning,

I hope everyone had a great weekend. At least we had a weekend without much snow. So I went to the store on Sunday moring to get my kids some candy for Valentine's Day. I know, Sunday was Valentine's Day, but it was the best I could do. I decided to go to Hy-Vee. As you can imagine there is an entire aisle dedicated to candy. So I quickly make my way through the aisle and pick out some candy and head back home.

After I got home and unloaded the groceries and gave the kids their candy I realized that every single piece of candy I purchased was Easter candy. So my daughter says, Happy Easter dad! I did notice that they didn't have any trouble eating the Easter candy on Valentine's Day though...

This week:
Monday- Today we DO have school as it is a snow make-up day from way back. During the school day today we will be conducting administrative classroom visits. We will have quite the team visiting classrooms today as we will have guest administrators from Muscatine and Montezuma. Additionally three of our teachers will also be visiting classrooms with the administrative teams. After the classroom visits the teachers will receive both written and verbal feedback. This is a great learning experience for all of us.

Tuesday- It was fun having the opportunity to connect with administrators from Muscatine and Montezuma yesterday. We were split into three different groups and visited three different middle school classrooms. Each group spent about 30 minutes in each classroom that they visited. Besides having administrators in each group there was also a middle school teacher accompanying each group. Thanks to Mrs. Blind, Mr. Criswell, and Mrs. Koster for visiting classrooms with the administrative teams. After the classroom visits the entire group met to discuss what was observed. Each person that visited classrooms had the same rubric that they filled out during their classroom visit. From what the visitors recorded about their classroom visit I will be able to provide feedback to the teacher(s).

Today some of our 8th graders went to the Wesley House Soup Kitchen in Iowa City to prepare, serve, and clean up a meal for nearly 100 visitors. This is a service learning project that our staff and students have been participating in for about ten years. It has proven be a very meaningful experience for our students and staff.

Wednesday- We had a staff meeting this morning. We spent a significant amount of time discussing formative assessments. The formative assessment process is used by teachers and students during instruction. This process provides feedback to the students and teachers and helps them adjust teaching and learning to improve student achievement on intended outcomes.

During our early release time today our teachers will be continuing their work on the personal learning plan process. Please remember that during this PLP time period our teachers will not be setting up individual meetings. They will be contacting parents by phone or email. We will again have face to face meetings later on this spring.

I received some good news yesterday. Three of our 8th grade girl's; Anna Johnson, Allison O'Keefe, and Gabi Scarpa are in Washington DC competing in the National Future City Competition. I'm very proud to report that our CCA team placed 7th in the nation in this competition. They competed against over 1,100 teams and more than 3,300 students. In addition, they received a special award "Best Use of Innovation of Construction Materials." By winning this award they were awarded $1,000 for our school. The girl's were led by instructor, DeAnna Kellenberger and mentor, Creig Dunlap. GREAT JOB!!

Thursday- It was nice to see so much of the sun today! Kind of sad that we get excited when the temperature reaches nearly 30 degrees.

We have a lot of kids staying after school these days with multiple activities. We probably have about 45 7th and 8th graders participating in basketball and another 30 or so on the swim team. We have 50+ kids after school practicing for our upcoming drama production. We also have students staying after school participating in robotics and as a part of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Program. We also have a handful of kids that stay after school for extra help on homework. I would say on any given night it would not be unusual to have 125 or more kids staying after school for an activity. I always think it is a very positive sign when you have a lot of kids after school involved in activities. Thanks to the parents that allow their kids to participate!

Friday- Welcome to Friday! Yesterday afternoon I was supposed to attend a grant recipient reception in Cedar Rapids. The company sponsoring the grant is Intermec. Unfortunately I was unable to attend. However today I received a check for $2000! This money will be used to help our school purchase several mini-notebook materials. A VERY special thank you to James McRoberts. Mr. McRoberts is a CCA parent and also an employee of Intermec. The grant requires that an employee of Intermec work cooperatively with a school district to apply for the grant. This is the third or fourth time that Mr. McRoberts has applied on behalf of Clear Creek Amana. You can read more about how the grant will help our school with a technology project in the post titled, Technology at Clear Creek Amana Middle School.

A really cool website link was sent to our school this week by Diane Beckler. The link is to a web camera somewhere near Luther College. The camera is focused on the nest of a Bald Eagle. The link will be shared by some of our students in their science classes. The kids that have viewed the site have loved it. The link to the site is-
To view the link, copy the address into your internet browser.

We are approaching the end of Trimester 2. It's important that the kids realize that they only have next week to get all missing work turned in. The trimester ends next Friday, February 26th.

I hope everyone has an enjoyable weekend! As always, if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact me.

Have a great weekend!

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