Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Volunteers Needed for Financial Literacy Fair

We’re looking for volunteers to help students. No experience necessary! 

From May 8-198th graders will participate in the Financial Literacy Fair at the Kirkwood Linn County Regional Center in Hiawatha during the mornings. In class, students learn about life decisions that affect financial well-being. Based on their interests, they select a career, and determine gross and net salaries.  Then they attend The Fair to face the reality of their financial decisions.

Join the Fun! 
A quick 30 minute volunteer training is given before students arrive.  We need over 400 volunteers to serve over 3,000 students!

To volunteer, click on this link:


·         Monday, May 8                    8:45 am-12:15 pm               Center Point-Urbana, North Linn & Vinton-Shellsburg
·         Tuesday, May 9                    8:45 am-12:15 pm               LaSalle & Oak Ridge
·         Wednesday, May 10           8:45 am-11:45 am               Excelsior
·         Thursday, May 11               8:45 am-12:05 pm               Cedar Valley Christian, Central City, Isaac Newton,                                                                                                                Lisbon, Regis,  Springville & St. Joseph
·         Friday, May 12                      8:45 am-12:05 pm               Alburnett, Marion Home School, Midland & Vernon

·         Monday, May 15                  8:45 am-11:45 am               Harding
·         Tuesday, May 16                 8:45 am-12:00 pm               Franklin & Wilson
·         Wednesday, May 17           8:45 am-12:00 pm               McKinley & Taft
·         Thursday, May 18                8:45 am-12:00 pm               Benton Community & Roosevelt
·         Friday, May 19                      8:45 am-12:15 pm               Prairie Point

It’s a great way to be involved and see how area schools partner with
Workplace Learning Connection to help prepare students for their future!

Contact me or Cheryl Valenta at 319.398.4825 or for more information.

WLC Logo.JPGRobin Henessee
Workplace Learning Connection
Kirkwood Linn County Regional Center
319-398-1040 main line

Work.  Learn.  Connect. 
Connecting today’s students to tomorrow’s careers.

Benton Art Show & Spring Play

Has your bracket been busted like mine?  Do you need something to do this weekend?  You can attend two events for the price of one...

Here's an idea to see some incredibly talented students and their work this weekend:

Benton Community Spring Play "Leaving Iowa"

Tickets are on sale now for the Benton Community Spring Play “Leaving Iowa”. 
The play is this Friday, March 24 and Saturday, March 25 at 7:00 pm. 
Tickets are $5 per person. -- WHAT A STEAL FOR A GREAT SHOW!
If you would like to purchase tickets please call the MS/HS office at 228-8701 ext 357.

To learn about "Leaving Iowa" visit this website.

The Annual Benton Art Show

The Benton Art Show is this Friday and Saturday 
at the MS/HS prior to the Spring Play! 
Stop by the Student Center and take a look at the hundreds of art works 
that have been created this past year. 
Congratulations to the talented students sharing their work!

Here are some of the incredible work you will experience at the art show.

Pop Artwork by Kortney Jones

Landscape by Olivia Zahrt
Watercolor by Hannah Brecht

Acrylic Landscape by Dianna Handley-McCain

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Student reading levels are being impacted

This is a news release from the Iowa Department of Education

Iowa schools’ reading efforts are making progress

New brief shows more students on track to be proficient readers by the end of third grade

DES MOINES – A statewide effort by Iowa schools to catch and correct reading problems in students early on is showing progress, according to a new policy brief released today by the Iowa Department of Education.
Nearly 9,000 students in kindergarten through third grade who had fallen short of benchmarks in reading in the fall of 2015 met or surpassed benchmarks by the spring of 2016, an increase of 4.2 percentage points. Increases in the highest-growth school districts ranged from 19.5 to 32.2 percentage points.
Iowa Department of Education leaders today announced the results of the policy brief and celebrated the growth and progress in early literacy statewide. They were joined by Jane Lindaman, superintendent of the Waterloo Community School District, Tynne Sulser, a third-grade teacher in the Centerville Community School District, and Mark Crady, who represented Iowa’s area education agencies.
“Iowa’s schools are focused on preparing students for success in high school and beyond, and that success begins with developing strong reading skills,” Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise said. “These findings show Iowa schools are making strides in their work to ensure all students are proficient readers by the end of third grade. This type of steady growth over time will translate into thousands of students getting on track in reading.”
While the ability to read is important at all levels, research shows third grade is an important gateway grade, when children transition from “learning to read” and begin “reading to learn.” Early reading difficulties have been linked to long-term consequences, such as dropping out of school.

Iowa’s reading scores on state and national assessments have stagnated for years, and nearly one in four third-grade students is not proficient in reading.
The Iowa Legislature passed a law in 2012 that focuses on making sure all students are reading at grade level by the end of third grade. A key part of the law is an early warning system to help educators identify and intervene with students in kindergarten through third grade who are at risk for reading failure. Through the system, schools screen students in kindergarten through third grade three times a year – fall, winter and spring – to identify children at risk, to provide additional reading instruction and to monitor their progress.
Iowa’s early warning system was implemented through a partnership between the Iowa Department of Education, area education agencies, and school districts.
Of 398 public school districts and nonpublic schools using the early warning system, 60.8 percent (242) saw an increase in the percentage of students in kindergarten through third grade at or above benchmark from fall 2015 to spring 2016. Fifty-three school districts showed double-digit percentage increases in results from fall to spring.
Of Iowa’s urban school districts, the Waterloo Community School District demonstrated the largest growth, with a 14.6 percentage-point increase from fall 2015 to spring 2016.
“We are now better equipped than at any point in time to identify which students are on track and which ones aren’t, and we have tools to spring into action with instruction that works,” Lindaman said. “Knowledge is power, and when we know what students need, we are much more effective at providing the right interventions.”
The growth and progress from Iowa’s screening assessments are expected to translate to large-scale standardized tests in reading, such as the state assessment or the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), once all students have taken them.
Only about a quarter of students who have been screened through the early warning system have also taken the state assessment, which is administered to students for the first time in third grade. NAEP is taken for the first time in fourth grade.
For more information about Iowa’s early literacy law, visit the Iowa Department of Education’s website.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Statewide TLC survey to begin on March 6, 2017

Starting the week of March 6, all Iowa public school teachers and administrators will have the chance to provide feedback on opportunities for collaboration, professional development, career advancement, and perceived quality and effectiveness of Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC). 

Survey links will be emailed directly to superintendents and principals for distribution. The findings from the survey will allow the Iowa Department of Education to determine if TLC is making progress toward achieving its intended goals. In addition, the feedback will be used by the Commission on Educator Leadership and Compensation and the Statewide TLC Support Group to determine support for districts and to make recommendations on the system as a whole. 

Finally, the results of the survey, along with the results of the Department’s other TLC evaluation efforts, will be shared with stakeholders throughout the state to communicate the impact of TLC. 

Participation in the survey is voluntary, but highly encouraged. Weekly prize drawings will be held and districts with at least a 50 percent teacher response rate will receive a district level-report. 

During the 2015-16 school year, a similar survey was given to Iowa educators.  Results from can be found here.

This study is being conducted by the American Institutesfor Research (AIR), an independent, nonpartisan, non-profit research organization. This survey is anonymous with no way to track the responses back to individuals who complete the survey. More information can be found here

Conferences for our Middle/High School Families

We are trying something new for MS/HS Conferences at Benton Community.

Conferences will be held next Wednesday, March 8 from 2:00-7:30.  This year families can schedule a time with the teachers online.  Families should have received an email with their child(ren)’s information.

If you have any questions please call 319-228-8701 and we would be glad to provide any support needed.  

Click here to sign up!