Pleasant Valley
Community Schools
A Little Silly Goes a Long Way at Riverdale Heights

Posted March 20th, 2017

Mustaches are funny, especially if you’re a 1st grader.  Students in Mrs. Schilling’s room at Riverdale Heights practiced listening and inferring skills, laughing all along the way.

Mrs. Schilling read the book “Mustache!” by Mac Barnett and illustrations by Kevin Cornell.  In the book, a king who wants to spend money on statues of himself and not his kingdom learns the hard way, as his people revolt by drawing mustaches on his pictures.

Students are engaged as Mrs. Schilling starts the book.  She asks questions about what they expect will happen on the next page, why someone would draw a mustache on a picture, and whether or not the king is a good leader.  Halfway through they stop to draw their own mustaches.  The students just finished self portraits.  They were tasked with taking a picture of that portrait, uploading it to Seesaw and drawing on a mustache!  Giggles filled the room, as students defaced their own faces!

Mrs. Schilling brought the students back to the front of the room and finished the story, but not before asking more questions of class.  Students whispered to each other their thoughts.

One silly story teaches students a lesson about leadership, but also reinforces important skills like verbalizing ideas, listening, teamwork, inferring, technology, and drawing.

Challenge-Based Learning Challenges Students at Riverdale Heights

Posted March 1st, 2017

 

For more than a month, 3rd Grade students at Riverdale Heights have been researching some big problems.  Mrs. Ahnquist’s ELP class split into two groups — one is looking to create a bully-free playground at school and the other is hoping to make a recycling system for the school.

Mrs. Ahnquist, along with Instructional Coach Mrs. Bornhoeft, wanted to try something new with this group.  It’s called “Challenge-Based Learning.”  The students identified a problem and researched ways to solve it.  Students worked together using databases, creating surveys, observing and conducting interviews to research each topic.  Based on the research, they’ve created a real-world solution.  The groups will present to the school in the coming weeks.  And when they do, we’ll update this story!

More than 500 Students Participate in District Choir Festival

Posted February 9th, 2017

The Choir program in Pleasant Valley is growing and growing fast.  More than 500 students sang at this year’s District Choir Festival on Monday February 7, 2017.  That doesn’t count the nearly 300 students in the 4/5th grade choirs!

Students tackled songs from certain decades with each choir dressing up in the fashion of the times.  Check out the pictures below and video from the festival.

Special thank you  Choral Directors Meg Byrne, Rob Williams, Catherine Lyon, Peter Grau, and Margaret Thompson.  We also extend our thanks to our accompanists Dr. Perry Myers and Becky Seward.

Student Artists Shine at PTA Reflections Ceremony

Posted January 18th, 2017

 

Pleasant Valley students showed off their skills at the PTA Reflections Awards Ceremony on Thursday, January 12, 2017.  This program continues to grow.  This year, PV had 249 entries from  198 students!

The PTA Reflections contest is a nationwide contest to support Arts Education. Students create their projects on their own time and submit artwork in six different catagories:  dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts.  The work is judged by adult artists and each student receives a critique.  At the ceremony, all work is on display as each student is individually recognized for his or her creation.

Special thank you to co-chairs, Denise McGregor and Tosha Allen, as well as the chairs at each individual school:  Leta Rose (Bridgeview) Amy Hartz (Cody), Sharon Tinsman (Hopewell), Angela Brand (Pleasant View), Tosha Allen (Riverdale Heights), Kathleen Fitzgerald (PVJH), Shawn Rice (Edison Academy) and Jennifer Krier (PVHS).

 

 

Bettendorf Fire Teaches Students Fire Safety

Posted October 17th, 2016

When you’re little, it’s easy to get scared.  Now, imagine your home is on fire and a man covered in a bulky suit and mask comes to find you.  It’s can be terrifying for children and that’s why Bettendorf Fire teaches our youngest students about fire safety.

During Fire Prevention week, Bettendorf Fire visited many PV schools, but we caught up with them while they talked to Kindergarten students at Riverdale Heights.  The message is simple for these little ones.  Through a puppet show and songs, students learn about staying down if there’s smoke, having a fire drill at home and the tried and true “stop, drop and roll.”

After the show, a firefighter put on his full gear, so students could see what he would look like if they ever needed to be rescued.  Crews say this helps students overcome their fears before a fire even starts.

Breaking Barriers at Riverdale Heights

Posted January 29th, 2016

BB 2 2016It is the mission of the Pleasant Valley Community School District to have the finest academic and extra-curricular activities in the state.  Not in some things but in all things.  Not for some kids but for every kid.  Faculty and staff work together every day to figure out what each student needs to succeed in our global society.  For some, it’s extra help with long vowel sounds; for others, it’s memorizing the quadratic equation.  No matter if it’s an at-risk student who needs extra help or a high-performing student who needs to explore a lesson deeper, Pleasant Valley faculty and staff identify the need and nurture it.

Riverdale Heights Elementary is getting statewide attention for its commitment to the PV mission.  The Iowa State Board of Education honored the school for the second year in a row for the staff’s work to raise achievement among groups of students who traditionally face challenges in the classroom.  Riverdale Heights is one of just four schools in the state to receive the Breaking Barriers Award.  The school is being recognized specifically for its work with Latino students.  At Riverdale Heights, Latino students are, on average, 93 percent proficient in reading and math.  That compares to the state average of 66 percent.  On January 21, 2016, Principal Jennifer Gertson and members of the faculty joined Iowa Governor Terry Branstad, Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds and the State Board of Education to receive the honor.

Principal Gertson says this honor is indicative of what teachers are doing in and out of the classroom across the district:  using assessment data to identify what each student needs most and working together to come up with a plan to help each student.  She says they’re not “targeting” Latino students, but all students, to make sure every one is achieving at his or her highest level.

The Breaking Barriers Award winners have the highest proficiency rates state wide in math and reading among specific subgroups of students, such as students whose first language is not English and students from low-income backgrounds. State assessment results from the last three years were examined to confirm a positive trend for each school.

Check out what KWQC and WQAD had to say about this story!

KWQC –> http://bit.ly/1P1O5Zz

WQAD –> http://bit.ly/1nTiWAX

 

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