December | 2019
World Class Schools for Our Students
Q & A:
Newly Elected School Board Member,
Michelle Kelly

What do you want the patrons of the NCSD to know about you and your family?

I have lived in Norwalk since my family moved here in 1977. My husband Tim and I are both graduates of Norwalk High School. We have two amazing daughters, Allison (2019 Norwalk graduate) and Rachael (Norwalk sophomore).  We enjoy supporting them in all of their activities.

I received a Bachelor of Science degree from Upper Iowa University with a minor in Accounting. My work experience is in many fields; finance, construction, architecture and insurance. I am currently a Billing Supervisor at the Integer Group and have been the Treasurer of Serendipity Preschool since 2007.

Why did you run for the NCSD Board of Directors?

The reason I ran for the Norwalk School Board was for the students. I feel with my background, being an NHS graduate and raising my daughters in Norwalk, helps me better understand the district and community. 

What have you learned about being on the board since the election?

There are many aspects of the school board. However, I am working with great board members that are all working for the same purpose. I look forward to gaining knowledge and providing support to the students and our schools.

You recently attended the Iowa Association of School Boards Annual Convention. What were some takeaways from that learning experience?

The convention reiterated why I ran for school board - the students. One of the speakers encouraged us to leave a legacy. From that, I would like part of my legacy to allow each child to continue to be their unique self and leave high school ready to face the world. Not every child's future is the same, we need to be conscious of what is best for all students. Since I was not a traditional student, I have a different viewpoint on what a future can look like.

Opus Honor Choir and State Chorus Singers
by Gerard Krupke
Opus Honor Choir:
Students Mary Kate Davis, Anya Kallenbach, Raleigh Benz, Brooke Kimball, John Henry Clark, Jack Shelledy, Charlie Poppens, Kyle, Erickson, Noah Fox
Directors Lori Nielsen, Nathanael Smale, (not pictured) Gerard Krupke

Well over 3,000 students auditioned to be a part of one of the four Opus Honor Choirs: 5th/6th Grade Select, 7th/8th Treble Clef, 7th/8th Bass Clef, and 9th Grade Mixed. Each choir represents the top 180
auditioning singers in the state of Iowa. Norwalk had a record number of 9 singers selected into one of the four ensembles this year!
Students Selected for All State Chorus this year were:
William Chase, Colin Frederick, Jessica Erickson, Kathryn Reeves, Milan Hale

Drawn from the 367 school districts in Iowa, 1,083 students were selected into one of the All State ensembles. Of the students who auditioned for spots in the all-state chorus, band or orchestra, about
17 percent are accepted, and it could be said that these musicians represent the top 2% of high school musicians in the state. This year, Norwalk had a record number of 5 singers selected into the
All State Chorus!
Winter Sports Kickoff!
Wrestling
Basketball
Boys Swimming
Bowling
Homeless Children and Youth Information
The McKinney-Vento Act defines the term “homeless children and youths” as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence, including: 
i. children and youths who are sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason; are living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations; are living in emergency or transitional shelters; or are abandoned in hospitals; 
ii. children and youths who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for or ordinarily used as a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings; 
iii. children and youths who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and 
iv. migratory children who qualify as homeless for the purposes of this subtitle because the children are living in circumstances described in clauses (i) through (iii).
If you know of any students or families in this situation, please have them contact:
Eric Neessen, Norwalk Community School District
515-981-0676 x4011 eneessen@norwalk.k12.ia.us  

Carolyn Cobb, Iowa Dept. of Education
1400 E. Grand Ave, Des Moines, IA 50319
515-402-2736  carolyn.cobb@iowa.gov
Students Give Back For the Holidays
by Nikki Hunter
Norwalk Special Education students like to do some sort of service project each year that helps the students develop better social skills all while giving back to the community. Last year, the group made dog beds for an animal shelter in Des Moines and this year decided to decorate a tree for the Festival of Trees, which is an event that raises money for children at Blank Children's Hospital. 

The mission was to decorate a tree and purchase gifts to accompany the tree in hopes of making our tree the most appealing one for people to bid on. Once participants bid on and purchase the tree, as well as all the gifts under the tree, then all profits go to Blank.  

The students voted and decided to make our tree a Superhero themed tree. We raised money to purchase the gifts by presenting to local charity groups. We also had a great group of girls from a local club softball team donate a large sum towards our project. Our presentation motto was "Super Heroes come in all shapes and sizes." After raising $1,800 we took the students shopping to buy all superhero themed gifts.  

On Monday of Thanksgiving week the students delivered their tree and a truckload of gifts to the Festival of Trees. The students are very excited to see how much our tree will raise for the kids at Blank. It was such a fun project to work on. 

Below is a list of students who participated in the Festival of Trees project this year:

Mason Messamaker (the kid who had the grinch hat on in the pic)
Mason VanGundy
Carsen Tomlinson
Kasen Palmer
Nathan Bohannon
Bronson Bakley
Thatcher Schnitker
Logan Otto
Trey Williams
Tyler Davis
Shanzay Ahmed
Tristan Flinn
Kollin Agan
Jacob Martin

The peer mentors who joined us were: Luke Christensen, Anya Kallenbach, Kenzie Hunter, Alayna Williams and Taelor Hunter
Students Earn 2nd Place at State Special
Olympics Bowling Tournament
Congrats to Middle School students Jacob Martin and Kollin Agan who placed 2nd in State Special Olympics Bowling! Way to go Warriors!! 
NHS Debate & Speech Highlight
Congratulations to the Norwalk Debate Team on a successful season as they captured the Central Iowa Debate League championship in Grinnell this past November! The Warriors had a 7-1 debate record for the night and were 18-2 overall in the CIDL. It is Norwalk’s first CIDL Championship since 2015. 
With Debate season coming to an end, the Speech Team season will now begin. Large group Speech is a competitive drama program. It is a great opportunity to work with new people and develop acting skills. Students compete in a variety of drama groups ranging from one act plays to musical theatre to group mime. Each student can compete in up to two events of their choice. Students work as teams to perfect their performance. All students compete at the District competition, and some will move on to the State competition. There is also the possibility of being selected to perform at All State. Large group Speech is just getting started for the 2019-2020 school year. Practices began in late October and will continue through early February. Our first performance will be at our speech showcase on January 14th (open to the public), and students' first competition will be at Districts on January 25th. Students who receive a 1 rating will move on to the State competition on February 8th. 

Last year 8/11 of our varsity groups and 2/4 of our freshmen groups were able to move on to State. At State, 2 of our groups received 1's (top rating), but none were selected for All State. This year, the team is hoping to maintain a similar level of success at Districts, and a more favorable result at State. The ultimate goal will be to receive some All State recognition for these amazing students! They've been working really hard.
Seal of Biliteracy At Norwalk Community School District
by Dawn Schiro
In an effort to continue growing learners and leaders, Norwalk Community School District’s school board recently approved the Seal of Biliteracy. The Seal of Biliteracy is an award that is given by a district to recognize graduating students who have achieved proficiency in two or more languages. Seniors graduating in the spring of 2020 will be the first group of students able to earn this prestigious honor.

Norwalk’s mission is in line with many of the goals for this newly established award. Similarly to how Norwalk wants their graduates to be connected and socially-aware, one goal of the Seal of Biliteracy is to strengthen intergroup relationships that affirm the value of diversity as well as honor the various cultures and languages within a community. The Seal of Biliteracy also provides reliable information for people like employers, secondary school officials, etc. in order to identify people with language skills. The Seal also supports Norwalk’s goals of producing Self-Aware and Self-Directed students. The Seal recognizes that schools play an important role in helping students learn a language; however, this award requires students to attain a certain level and skills within a language that isn’t necessarily tied to seat time. As such, earning this award will encourage students to take their study of an additional language into their own hands.
Coach Wuestewald Receives Special Award
Congratulations to Coach Adam Wuestewald, 8th Grade Head Football Coach for being one of two recipients of the IHSFBCA Class 3A MS Football Coach of the Year Award! He now shares this honor with his father Pat Wuestewald who also received this award in 1996!
Winter Reminders
from Buildings & Ground
Buildings and Grounds would like to share some friendly reminders now that winter weather has arrived. Here are a few safety-related things that will be helpful:

  • Be alert when driving into the lots as they can be slick in spots.
  • Do not pull in or park behind snow plows and sanders. Try to pull around in front of them so they see you. 
  • When parking, please park in areas that have already been plowed when possible and try to park at the end of a row and not in the middle when that is an option. This results in fewer obstacles for staff to plow around and a cleaner lot.
  • Report slick spots to the custodians, your office secretary, or call Sue at the buildings and grounds help desk 515.981.0676 (4100) and we will work to get it treated.
  • When walking on potentially slick surfaces, walk like a penguin
As a reminder, if Norwalk should have inclement weather over the designated holidays, the District will not be clearing driveways or sidewalks, salting and sanding until the day after. Norwalk School buildings will be closed Christmas December 24th, 25th and New Year's Day, January 1st.
 
Staffing Needs
We are looking for several motivated people to join our team!  We have competitive pay and benefits. If you or someone you know is looking for work, please apply on our website https://www.norwalkschools.org/district/departments/human-resources/. Here are the positions we currently have available:

  • Substitute Custodians - This is an on-call position for all shifts on an as needed basis when you’re available.
  • Night Custodian - Working evenings during the school year at the middle school.
  • Heating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Technician - to work days throughout the District.
Severe Weather Alert Information:
The Norwalk Community School District will continue to use Infinite Campus Parent Messenger to alert parents on winter season weather delays, early-outs, cancellations and facility closings.

The following communication channels will also be used.

Upcoming Events & Activities