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Articles in Northwood Preschool Center

An Emphasis on Attendance

Attendance Graphic

Student attendance is an important predictor of success in the classroom. Only through attendance and class participation do students achieve the benefits of our education program within the Ames Community School District. Learning lost due to an absence can have a profound effect throughout the school year, and we are placing a greater emphasis on communicating absences with parents this school year.

Our previous attendance policy stated that communications would be sent home after 10 absences. The board supported a proactive approach to addressing chronic absenteeism and on August 21, revised the attendance policy to the following:

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Northwood Principal Kristin Barber

NW Principal; Kristin Barber

On June 19, the School Board accepted the appointment of Kristin Barber as the new Principal at Northwood Preschool Center. Kristin graduated from the University of Northern Iowa with a degree in Elementary Education and Early Childhood Education with an emphasis in special education, and began her career at the North Polk West Elementary School as a first and second grade teacher, then later as a Master Teacher / Instructional Coach in the district. While in that role, she completed her Masters in Education from Viterbo University with a Reading Endorsement and started to find a passion in educational leadership.

“As an instructional coach, I always wanted to find ways to impact more students, more staff, and more parents by ensuring that everyone has a voice. When you are an administrator or lead learner, you can put structures in place in a child’s education to make sure that we’re meeting all needs in all areas, whether that is through academics, language, socially-emotional, cognitive or physical.”

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Preschool registration launches Feb. 1

The youngest learners in the Ames Community School District will get a head start on enrollment with an on-site event at Northwood Preschool Center.

Northwood Principal Brandon Schrauth said it’s important for families to attend the session to provide the documentation the District needs to program planning and to form a connection with the District before school starts next August.

“We want to reach as many families as possible because early childhood education is so important,” Schrauth said. “Gathering paperwork and completing online forms is a necessary step in getting enrolled in preschool,” he said, “but it’s just as important to meet families and answer any questions they have.”

What to expect at Preschool Registration

Parents and guardians may enroll children in preschool who will be 4 years old by Sept. 15, 2017.

Parents and guardians who meet certain income guidelines may enroll children in the Early Success 3-Year-Old Preschool Program who will be 3 years old by Sept. 15, 2017.

Parents and guardians will complete an information form online.

Parents and guardians should bring proof of the child’s age such as a birth certificate or passport, student physical report and immunization records; and adoption or guardianship papers, if applicable.

Northwood Preschool Center is at 3012 Duff Avenue.

Learn more about preschool registration

 

 

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Kindergarten registration starts Jan. 26, 2017

Kindergarten enrollment sessions have long been a tradition for Ames Schools, and this year, Registrar Barbara Peterson is hosting the sessions at the new District Offices.

“Gathering paperwork and completing online forms is a necessary step in getting enrolled in kindergarten or preschool,” Peterson said, “But it’s just as important for us to meet families and answer any questions they have. Our new offices offer a welcoming and functional space to do that.” 

What to expect at Kindergarten Registration

  • Parents and guardians may enroll children in kindergarten who will be 5 years old by Sept. 15, 2017.
  • Parents and guardians will complete an information form online and a Home Language Survey, 
  • Parents and guardians should bring proof of the child’s age, such as the original birth certificate, or duplicate with raised seal or passport,  proof of residency (lease, mortgage, house title, or utility bill with current address), and adoption or guardianship papers, if applicable.

The Ames Public Library will provide story time, and representatives from busing and school meal services will be available to provide information. Other community organizations with early childhood services will be on hand. District Family Ambassadors, who are parents of current students, will be available to give support and supervise a playroom for children aged 2 and over.

 

 

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Northwood students learn with musician Justin Roberts

AMES–For more than 20 years, two-time GRAMMY nominee Justin Roberts has been creating music helping families and children navigate the joys and sorrows of growing up. Roberts’ visit to Northwood Preschool Center Friday, Jan. 29 kept his young audience engaged and entertained while they practiced the essential elements of music learning.

Principal Brandon Schrauth said music learning is an important part of the preschool experience, and he invited Roberts because he is a master at integrating learning standards into his concerts.

A former preschool teacher, Roberts said the interactive aspects of his concerts naturally meet the learning goals for young children.

“It’s so important for children to experience music as part of their learning,” he said. “It helps with brain development and function, and supports and enriches foundational for concepts for math, science and language.”

Regardless of such empirical benefits, Roberts said, music is something people can enjoy and appreciate throughout their lives.

Hendrix Baumgartner, age 5, is on track for a lifetime of music enjoyment. He said he liked the concert from beginning to end.

“I learned my voice is an instrument I always have with me, and my hands are a drum,” he said. “I liked the last song best because we got to dance.”

The Iowa Learning Standards for music, rhythm and movement include:

  • Participation in a variety of musical and rhythmic experiences, including singing,dancing, listening, playing simple rhythmic and tonal instruments, and creating and singing chants, rhymes, and fingerplays from diverse cultures.
  • Demonstrating meaningful creative responses when listening to music to reflect the expressive elements of music.notices differences in pitch, rhythm, patterns, dynamics, tempo, and timbre.
  • Demonstrating an awareness of music as part of daily life indoors and outdoors.

 

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Enrollment dates announced for kindergarten and preschool

  • Kindergarten Enrollment is Wednesday, Jan. 20 from 8:30 a.m.-noon and Thursday, Jan. 21 from 2-7 p.m. at Northwood Preschool Center
  • Preschool Enrollment is Wednesday, Jan. 27 from 8:30 a.m.-noon and Thursday, Jan. 28 from 2-7 p.m. at Northwood Preschool Center.

AMES–The youngest learners in the Ames Community School District will get a head start on enrollment with on-site events at Northwood Preschool Center this month.

Kindergarten enrollment sessions have long been a tradition for Ames Schools, and this year, Northwood Principal Brandon Schrauth is providing similar sessions for preschool enrollment.

“We want to reach as many families as possible because early childhood education is so important,” Schrauth said.

It’s important for families to attend the sessions to provide the documentation the District needs to plan for programming and to form a connection with the District before school starts in August, Schrauth said.

“Gathering paperwork and completing online forms is a necessary step in getting enrolled in kindergarten or preschool,” he said, “but it’s just as important to meet families and answer any questions they have.”

What to expect at Preschool Registration

  • Parents and guardians may enroll children in preschool who will be 4 years old by Sept. 15, 2016.
  • Parents and guardians who meet certain income guidelines may enroll children in the Early Success 3-Year-Old Preschool Program who will be 3 years old by Sept. 15, 2016.
  • Parents and guardians will complete an information form online, a Home Language Survey, a Health History form and an “Ages and Stages” questionnaire.
  • Parents and guardians should bring the child’s original birth certificate, or duplicate with raised seal; student physical report and immunization records; and adoption or guardianship papers, if applicable.

Learn more.

What to expect at Kindergarten Registration

  • Parents and guardians may enroll children in kindergarten who will be 5 years old by Sept. 15, 2016.
  • Parents and guardians will complete an information form online, a Home Language Survey, and a Health History form.
  • Parents and guardians should bring the child’s original birth certificate, or duplicate with raised seal; student physical report and immunization records; proof of residency (lease, mortgage, house title, or utility bill with current address); and adoption or guardianship papers, if applicable.
  • If the student did not attend Northwood Preschool or one of its Statewide Voluntary Preschool Partners, parents will be asked to complete an “Ages and Stages” questionnaire.

Learn more.

The Ames Public Library will provide story time, and representatives from busing and school meal services will be available to provide information. Other community organizations with early childhood services will be onhand. District Family Ambassadors, who are parents of current students, will be available to give support and supervise a playroom for children aged 2 and over.

Northwood Preschool Center is at 3012 Duff Avenue.

For both preschool and kindergarten, the District will provide information later in the spring giving details of classroom placement and events to welcome families.

 

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Northwood Preschool Center earns renewed accreditation

AMES–Northwood Preschool Center has attained renewed accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) for its preschool programming for 3 and 4 year olds. The accreditation renewal process began in the spring of 2015 and culminated with a two-day site visit in the fall.

Northwood provides preschool programming under the guidelines of  Iowa’s Statewide Voluntary Preschool program.

Northwood Preschool Center Principal Brandon Schrauth said NAEYC assessors reviewed 417 criteria for evidence of program quality in classroom and program portfolios, staff certifications, and health and safety. They conducted nine random 60-minute classroom visits, observing for 188 criteria from 10 different standards.

Schrauth said a program must meet at least 70% of the criteria for each standard to achieve accreditation. The Northwood programs earned more than 100% on several standards, he said.

“Meeting standards at such a high level has a direct impact on student success,” Schrauth said. Northwood shined on the Relationships standard, for example, because staff demonstrated how it values staff relationships and relationships with students and families.

“Our staff forms relationships through powerful interactions that help us get to know each individual child and family’s interests, prior knowledge, and needs.” he said. “We also value each other as colleagues.”

Schrauth said the programs’ high scores on Assessment stem from strategies that staff identified to lead to better understanding of each individual child’s learning process.

“These assessments range from daily observations to more formal benchmarks,” he said. “At the heart of these assessments, we strive to document student learning to make their thinking visible. This leads to collaboration around what students are learning and what experiences we need to provide for them next.”

Schrauth said the accreditation experience was valuable for celebrating successes and reflecting on areas of focus for improvement.

“In the coming year, our staff will process the feedback that NAEYC provided to us, such as how we integrate the arts into our curriculum and support teacher professional development goals,” he said.  “This will be an integral part of our journey to further define the Northwood experience.”

NAEYCGraphic15

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