November/December Newsletter
Van Meter Elementary
Teaching Students to Think, Lead, & Serve
Dear Parents,
We are off to a great start this year. We’ve already had many wonderful classroom learning experiences for our students. Please read the “What’s Happening” section of the newsletter to find out about all the exciting things happening in our regular classrooms, library, art, music and computer rooms. Teachers are working hard to provide challenging, inquiry based activities in their classrooms. Staff members are also working together to provide integrated activities. Examples include a sixth grade integrated art/ music/social studies project and activities in which the classroom teacher, librarian and computer specialist collaborate on research and writing projects.

Technology continues to be a big part of our educational program. Many of our teachers use Discovery Learning. This is a great resource that gives a teacher access to thousands of video clips on almost any topic and has coordinated lesson activities. Staff members use a new library resource called DESTINY, that has lots of resources for the classroom. Our teachers regularly connect with on-line instructional programs, such as First in Math and Skills Iowa. Staff members also constantly use the ELMOs and projectors recently purchased by the Foundation and VMEPC.

Our teachers are implementing several new initiatives this year. Many teachers attended summer workshops on Daily Five and have started using this program to provide focused reading and writing activities. During several inservices, we have been studying a program called Positive Behavior Supports. This program, used by many schools in the area, assists staff members in teaching and reinforcing positive behaviors. As part of Positive Behavior Supports, we will be developing consistent K-6 standards for hallway behavior. Our Director of Teaching and Learning, Mrs. Jennifer Sigrist, is also working with all staff to develop an implementation plan for the Iowa Core Curriculum.

The flu season seems to be starting early this year. Please read the list of precautions that was sent out and notify the school if your child has the flu.

Please read the attached newsletter and sign the slip for your child to be entered in a drawing for several prizes. Thanks for your continued support and we look forward to a great year of learning at Van Meter.


Dr. Maribeth Arentsen
Elementary Principal
November-December Newsletter.