Tri-Center Newsletter 2013

High School 485-2257 Middle School 485-2211 Elementary 485-2271

Superintendent’s News and Comments
…Brett Nanninga

Professional Development EARLY DISMISSALS
Friday, March 8, at 1:30 P.M. (End of Quarter) Friday, April 12, at 1:30 P.M.

Easter Vacation
Thursday, March 28, 1:30 Dismissal for Easter Break NO SCHOOL Friday, March 29 NO SCHOOL Monday, April 1 NO SCHOOL Tuesday, April 2 Campus Technology Update . . . ONE when you need it (referring to a computing device) has been our philosophy on campus now for going on five years. We have continued to provide that avenue for our students as we implemented the next phase of technological advancement at Tri-Center by introducing the BYOD (laptops, tablets, pads, and Smartphones) program throughout the current school year. While making that transition for students and staff, we have continued to upgrade our labs and mobile labs; provided iPad2 devices to all teachers for immediate utilization in all classrooms, and added iPad2 mobile labs in each of our buildings. According to the latest webinars and technology summits, the BYOD concept is

unstoppable. Mobile technologies are propelling change at a faster rate than schools and businesses can keep up with. BYOD will be the only conceivable and economical way to achieve and sustain a true 1 to 1 environment in schools whereby all students have access to devices that will be used in every level and classroom for curricular purposes. Elliot Soloway, professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Michigan, is a prominent speaker on educational technology and he insists that BYOD is “inevitable.” If you will recall, the “backbone” (servers and switches) of our technology system at TriCenter has been upgraded during the past two years in an effort to provide more speed, power, and storage for students and staff. The wireless capabilities on campus were also expanded to provide greater accessibility and mobility. Access points were installed and bandwidth was increased. Additional mobile labs were added at the elementary, middle school, and high school levels for student usage and most operating systems were upgraded. All of these components are a necessity if Tri-Center is going to accommodate a large number of devices on the network and wireless systems. It is our hope that the ICN (Iowa Communications Network) or another provider will be able increase the bandwidth to campus by August 2013 so that our students and staff can enjoy the educational possibilities and opportunities that come with higher speeds and greater access. Technology remains as a great equalizer among students and staff. With our student to computer ratio nearing 1 to 1, we are very excited about the high level of accessibility and mobility we can offer. The staff has done a great job of implementing technology into the classroom and

utilizing the tools that are available to enhance/transform instruction. It is our hope that Tri-Center will continue to lead and learn in this vital area of education as it touches all students and areas of the curriculum. Taking Care of Our Customers—Job #1 and Rule #1 Tri-Center Community Schools is about “community” and “service” to the students, parents, families and patrons that make up the community. The task of being committed to our customers is a great challenge, and one that breaks down from time to time when we fail to communicate or act in a manner that says, “WE CARE.” True, we can all show “care” in various ways, and often our conflicts are a result of not reacting soon enough or doing so in a manner that is not in keeping with one another’s expectations. Regardless, the employees of the Tri-Center Community School District have pledged themselves to educating students and serving the families of the district and surrounding areas in ways that demonstrate good intentions and a willingness to serve. Please give us a chance to do so, and work with us to be proactive. Budget Time 2013-2014 (The General Fund) The General Fund (GF) represents the largest portion of the budget for Tri-Center Community Schools. The GF budget revenues are driven by two variables: enrollment and allowable growth. The certified enrollment (state equation) is determined each year in mid-October. That number is then multiplied times the regular program district cost per pupil to yield the total regular program district cost for the next fiscal year. The allowable growth rate is determined by the legislature, and it represents a percentage of growth that is added on to the previous year’s program district cost per pupil to give schools more funding for the upcoming year. The allowable growth rate for FY14 (at the time of this writing) has been set at 2% which is leaving most public schools at a deficit when it comes to developing a budget for increasing expenditures. The budget capacity of the GF consists of local property tax dollars, state foundation aid, miscellaneous income from state and federal programs, special education funding, allowable

growth dollars, and the previous year’s unspent balance. The General Fund is responsible for the payment of all salaries and benefits, materials and supplies, transportation costs, equipment, repairs, and purchased services. Schools are financially responsible for maintaining the budget that is proposed and adopted each year in the month of April. Every facet of the budget must be looked at closely to determine what the estimated expenditures will be for the upcoming year. In budget crunch years the general fund is the fund that absorbs and takes the hits financially. When the state of Iowa enacts an across-the-board cut (as it has in past years), it is the general fund that suffers the loss. It should be noted that the enrollment of a school district has a large impact on funding. Most schools in the state of Iowa are experiencing declining enrollment, which means that they realize very little if any allowable growth dollars. In most situations, schools are forced to operate the school on the same budget capacity as was used the previous year. This is extremely tough because the expenses of running a school rarely, if ever, go down (i.e. transportation, technology, pre-school, student information systems, textbooks, supplies). These were the primary reasons for implementing the Instructional Support Levy (5 Years) which everyone has now seen in the form a tax during income tax season. The Board can make the decision as to how much of this tax will be income tax or property tax for each fiscal period. Each school in the Western Iowa Conference now has implemented the ISL and all but a few schools in the state have adopted it. As we move forward, this revenue stream will be vital to the quality of our transportation, technology, and early childhood programs. Budget Time . . . 2013-2014 (The Special Revenue Funds) The Special Revenue Funds that are a part of the Tri-Center Community Schools budget consist of: The Capital Projects Fund, The Debt Service Fund, The Management Fund, and The PPEL (Physical Plant and Equipment) Fund. The Capital Projects Fund is used exclusively for the purpose of infrastructure. Our present source of income is the amount of revenue realized from the Local Option Sales Tax in

Harrison, Pottawattamie, and Shelby Counties. The Harrison County Sales Tax was voted upon in such a way that it can be used to purchase buses also. Therefore, we may use that money to buy a new bus if necessary. NOW that the Statewide Penny has been passed through the legislature, it has brought about equity for all students in Iowa. Furthermore, it will bring an end to each county having to go through the process of re-voting this issue every 10 years. The Capital Projects Fund will enable TriCenter Community Schools to pay for the new parking lot, bus loop, and building project over the course of the next 20 years without having to run a bond issue or raise property taxes for construction purposes. The Debt Service Fund is a tax that is levied to pay off the long-term debt that was incurred by the construction of the middle school and the renovation of the high school back in 1995-96. Another feature of the county sales tax/statewide penny is that of being able to pay down debt from pre-existing bond issues. Tri-Center has remained consistent with this pledge each year by contributing monies from the Capital Projects Fund toward the payment of long-term debt in the Debt Services Fund. The Management Fund levy provides the district with the monies to pay for the annual property, auto, liability, and workers’ compensation insurance costs. Much like other insurance premiums, the cost of this coverage continues to escalate. The Management Fund may also be used to pay for early retirement packages that are periodically offered by the Board. The PPEL Fund is levied to enable the district to purchase buses or equipment vital to the operation of the physical plant. This money is presently earmarked for the purchase of a new bus every other year in an effort to maintain a solid, upto-date transportation system, but we will also use it to pay for such things as a new roof, cooling tower, technology or any other sizeable plant and facility need that arises. It should be noted that the revenue flows directly into these funds and cannot be redirected into the school’s General Fund. Special Funds in school finance can be thought of as separate checking accounts. They are maintained and operated according to Iowa Code. Preliminary budget information for 20132014 will be shared at the March board meeting,

with the actual presentation of the budget taking place at the April 10th board meeting.

Love—real love—demands that you do what is best for your child, not necessarily what your child wants you to do, or what is easiest for you to do. --Zig Ziglar

The most important profession in the world is parenting. The second is teaching, and everyone is a teacher to someone. --John Wooden

Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are. --John Wooden

Tri-Center High School …Angie Huseman “Character is power.” Booker T. Washington
Responsibility. Integrity. These are traits we all want our children to possess. Unfortunately, there are many times they act irresponsibly and without integrity. Also unfortunately, as children age, irresponsible and dishonest behavior tends to have a longer lasting negative effect. The first article is from Michael Josephson and speaks to the “moral compass” we need to work to instill in our

children. The second article, also by Michael Josephson talks about how character is judged. Finally, I found the last article in the Parents January 2005 newsletter that gives some practical advice in helping your child cultivate responsible decision-making. We All Need an Old Fashioned Moral Compass For years, a foundation assumption in my presentations is that most people know right from wrong and that those who get into trouble simply lack the character or moral courage to do what is right. Viewing the continuing parade of very smart, rich and prominent people who have destroyed their reputations, dishonored their families, damaged their institutions and forfeited their freedom has caused me to doubt my assumption. It seems that simply notions of right and wrong have become so shrouded by self-serving rationalizations, legalistic manipulations and gamesmanship tactics that many people really don’t have the moral clarity to know that lying, deception, hypocrisy and cheating are wrong. In just the last few weeks: the number-two executive at Wal-Mart pled guilty to misappropriation of funds through the improper use of corporate gift cards and expense accounts, a well-connected Republican lobbyist entered a guilty plea to a long list of crimes promising to implicate members of Congress who took his bribes, a world famous South Korean scientist was caught fabricating evidence to support his research, and a high school football coach was banned for cheating by surreptitiously moving the first-down marker during a game. Either considerations of right and wrong never even entered the picture for most of these fallen heroes or their conceptions of wrong were distorted by arrogance or their belief in false principles like “it’s only wrong if you get caught” and if it’s permissible, it’s proper.” The fact is, we can’t lock our conscience in the closet when we go to work (or school). More than ever, we need a good old-fashioned moral compass. Clever schemes that depend on deception or concealment or that result in unfair exploitation are generally wrong and, in the end, they won’t be tolerated.

Judging Character by Observing Conduct It is common, especially in educational circles, to distinguish conduct from character. When commenting on or correcting a child’s misbehavior, for example, it’s important not to create negative self-images so we emphasize that acting badly on a particular occasion does not make one a bad person. Though character surely shapes one’s destiny, character itself is not predestined; it is not inborn. It develops. Character is not hereditary. It’s the product of habits we form and choices we make about values, attitudes and conduct. Thus, though not the same, conduct and character are closely related. In fact, what we say and do, especially as mature adults, generally reveals and often reinforces our character. So we expect kind people to act kindly and honest people to tell the truth and keep their promises. By the same token, when individuals are even occasionally dishonest, it indicates willingness, if not a disposition, to take moral shortcuts. If I cheat on an exam or expense report or lie to get a job or make a sale, it’s fair to assume I have probably cheated or lied in similar situations before and that I would do so again. This makes me less trustworthy. Thus it’s rational to judge character by observing conduct. Still fairness and respect require that we remain open to the possibility that the act was truly out of character or that the person can and will make a conscious decision to behave differently in the future. We have to leave room for the real possibility that people can get better. Teens with Inner Strength Overcome Life’s Problems Two teens live in the same neighborhood. One ends up in trouble, but the other one goes on to college. What made the difference? Studies show that some teens develop an inner strength to face life’s problems. These teens: Have an adult who cares about them. Teens need adults who believe in them, who provide guidelines and who act as role models. Help others. Volunteering helps teens see that they can change things for other people—and themselves.

Can read. Teens who can read can always escape to another world. Reading shows them a world they can hope to enter one day. Know where to find answers. All teens have lots of questions. But teens who are successful know where to find answers. It may be from a coach or teacher, or in a house of worship. Participate in activities. Teens who take part in scouts, sports or other activities make friends and feel good about themselves. Have career goals. Studies show that achieving career or job success is the highest priority of successful teens. Talk with Your Teen about the Qualities of True Friends “I didn’t want to do it, but my friends insisted, so I went along with it.” This is a typical response from a teen who has given into negative peer pressure and is now in trouble. As your teen: “Why would a real friend want you to do something that would get you into trouble?” It may give him something to think about, because the truth is that real friends do not want to get each other into trouble. Here are some qualities of true friends to discuss with your teen. Do his friends measure up? True friends: Can be trusted. They don’t tell your secrets or make fun of you in front of others. Are supportive. They are happy for you when something good happens. They are ready with a “shoulder to cry on” when something bad happens. Are helpful when you need help. In turn, when they need help, they look to you. Are honest and caring. They tell you the truth, but they also think of your feelings. If it’s a hard truth, they tell you in private, and they are gentle about it.

Want what is best for you. They would never put you in danger. Accept you. You never have to “put on an act” for them. “There are those who travel and those who are going somewhere. They are different and yet the same. The success has this over his rivals: He knows where he is going.” Mark Caine

Counseling Comments …Tami Harman

Seniors should be in the final process of college visits, college applications, and should be working hard on college scholarships. Most of the seniors have narrowed their choices in regards to post secondary options. I have met with 37 of the 60 seniors and at least one of their parents. I still would like to hear from the 23 remaining parents and seniors. Please call the high school and set up an appointment with me as soon as possible. The number is 712-485-2257. The FAFSA applications can and should be completed and sent in as soon as possible. This must be submitted in order for any financial aid packages to be submitted for the fall term of college. The website is If you need assistance please do not hesitate to call Tami Harman at the High School for assistance. The juniors just finished taking the ASVAB (Armed Service Vocational Aptitude Battery) here at Tri-Center. This assessment is given to assist the students in career exploration and to gain knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses in relation to different careers. It also helps students begin exploring future educational and career plans.


There are still 2 dates available for ACT testing this school year. They are April 13th with a registration deadline of March 8th and the last test date is June 8th with a registration deadline of May 3rd. Juniors should try to test at least once their junior year and then again starting right away their senior year. The website to sign up for ACT is Dollars For Scholars Scholarships will be available online beginning March 18th. National Honor Society: The students who qualified academically have been given the application packet to complete. Those are due to Mrs. Harman by March 4th. Students that fill out the application are then ranked by staff and then those rankings are brought before a panel for final evaluation and a selection process is used to determine those students that meet the qualifications for admission into National Honor Society. After the students have been selected and notified there will be a letter sent home to parents informing them of the induction ceremony. The ceremony is tentatively set for April 7th in the High School Cafetorium. Final details will come later. Bloodmobile: Thank you to all that came to the annual TriCenter Bloodmobile and helped us reach our goal.

2012 YEARBOOKS! We still have some extra 2012 books which may be purchased, while supplies last, for $50 each or $40 each with the purchase of the 2013 book. We also have some other past books left which can be purchased in bundles and at discounted prices with the purchase of the 2013 or other book at regular price. With the purchase of multiple books, the 2011 book is $25, e 2010 book is $15, and the 2009 and any other book is $10. See or call Adviser Mrs. Sarah Elliott at the high school at 485-2257, ext. 100. SENIOR MULTI YEARBOOK DISCOUNT DEAL: Just for seniors, we have an even better deal than the prices given above. Get this year’s 2013 book and the past three years’ books for $110. That’s an additional $10 discounted – WHAT A DEAL!!!! We only have 8 of these incredible sets left, though. Call Adviser Mrs. Sarah Elliott at the high school at 485-2257, ext. 100. 2013 YEARBOOK!!! The 2013 Trojan Yearbook is for sale now. Books are currently $45 without a name or icon. A name or icon and the Year-In-Review insert are $5 each. See a Publications member (listed above) to purchase your book. The name and icon option is over in mid-April, we order a limited number, and prices will increase again in the fall, so BUY NOW – DON’T MISS OUT SAVE! We do except a $20 deposit if you wish to make payments. SENIOR PICTURES: Seniors and senior parents, pictures were due to the yearbook by Wednesday, December 19, 2012. The deadline was then extended yet another 4-6 weeks. Please get these submitted by Friday, March 15 and we should be able to still include them. These may be in color or black and white, but they should be wallet-sized, and head and shoulder shots work or look best. PARENT AND PERSONAL ADS: Support the yearbook and honor your son/daughter, grandson/daughter, sibling, friend, or others at the same time. Parent and personal ads are $30 and include the honored person’s name, a small photo, and a message limited to 20 words. Senior parents should have received a letter. To help us meet our deadlines, the ads should be received by April 1. Parent and personal ads can be purchased from

Yearbook News and Information …Sarah Elliott
2012-2013 Publications Staff Members: Seniors: Cady Glaser, Jensen McElmeel, and Meredith Raine; Juniors: Katie Brooks, Elise Christenson, Lia Grover, Sam Raine, and Christian Severn; Sophomores: Zach Denning, Brandon Jensen, Kirsten Lehan, Megan Ryan, and Morgan Sullivan; and Freshman: Whitney Matthews.

Publications Adviser Sarah Elliott at 485-2257, ext. 100. PICTURES ARE ACCEPTED: The Publications staff is in need of and will accept pictures for possible use in the yearbook and/or the CyaNet Site ( Pictures can be submitted by email (selliott@tri-center, or brought in to be scanned and returned ASAP. The staff is currently in need of fall and winter sports and candid pictures for all grades. AD CAMPAIGN: We did our ad campaign last semester, but if you are or know of a business owner who may want to advertise, contact Adviser Sarah Elliott at 485-2257, ext. 100. Advertisers not only help fund a yearbook of which the district and surrounding communities can be proud, but have the opportunity to support an educational program that teaches students valuable skills in writing, design, photography, computer use, and business.

Tri-Center Middle School …Brian Wedemeyer
MS students will be taking the NWEA test the last week of March through the first week in April. NWEA tests are computerized assessments that measure the student’s growth in the area of Math, Science and Reading. NWEA results will be sent home with report cards at the end of the 4th Quarter. We will not have an 8th grade graduation this year; we will have a MS awards ceremony on the last day of school starting at Noon. We have not set a date for the MS Academic Field trip yet but it should be sometime in May. This trip is for students who were never on the D/F list and who have had no more than two discipline referrals. JH track will be starting shortly. The JH track athletes will be coached by Gene Johnson, Shelly Sorenson and Becky Thomas. The 6th grade orientation for incoming 5th graders will be March 21st at 7 PM in the MS Gym. The sixth grade teachers will be present to explain the students schedule and give guided tours of the building.


Tri-Center's Dollars for Scholars luncheon will be held Saturday, March 23, 2013, from 10:00 am to 2:00 p.m. at Tri-Center High School. Cost to attend the luncheon is $10.00 per person and reservations are requested. If you are interested in hosting a table, contact Barb Dalton as soon as possible at 402-659-1741. We are hoping to meet or surpass our table count of 40 tables at last year’s luncheon. Proceeds from the annual theme luncheon go to scholarships for qualifying TriCenter seniors who pursue post-secondary education.

Kindergarten Roundup!
If you have a child who will be ready for kindergarten this fall and IS NOT enrolled in our preschool program this year, they are invited to join us for a half day of kindergarten on Friday, April 19th, from 8:30 am - 11:30 am. Please call the elementary office at 485-2271 to reserve a spot in a classroom. Thank you!

From the Elementary Principal …Diane White
March Highlights March 1 - No PK today March 8 – No PK today March 8 – 1:30 out End of 3rd Quarter March 10 – Daylight Savings Time Begins March 15 – Report Cards will be sent home March 15 – No PK today March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day March 19 – Read Across America night 6-7:30 PM March 20 – First Day of Spring March 21 – 5th graders to 6th grade Orientation7:00 PM March 25 – NWEA testing begins for grades 3-5 March 28 – 1:30 out for Spring Break March 29 – No School

Elementary Art News …Liz Lyons

Mark your calendar: April 1-2 No School – Spring Break April 15 Preschool Screening Day – Please call for an appointment. April 19 Kindergarten Roundup Day (If your child did not attend Tri-Center Preschool, please call us @ 4852271 for info.)

Kindergarteners are working on a crayon resist egg that we are decorating with patterns of lines, shapes, and colors. When the eggs are ready, we will crack them open and put a baby chick inside! First graders are trying their hand at three dimensional work. First we will create a basket by folding paper, decorating it, and gluing it together, then we will use model magic to form a sculpture of a bunny to put in the basket. Second grade students are creating quilts with metallic crayons and glitter liquid watercolor then will add their sleeping photo to complete their Klimdt inspired quilt. Third graders will look at the work of Henri Matisse to inspire an abstract or non-objective collage. We will practice “painting with scissors”. Fourth grade students are inspired by Paul Klee to use their color mixing skills and painterly brush strokes to create an abstract painting. Fifth graders are looking at the work of artists who transform everyday objects into works of art so we are drawing tools from life and painting them expressively with a hot and cool color theme. Please feel free to stop by the art room to visit any time! You are welcome to watch, participate, or volunteer to work! This is a fun learning environment to experience! I (Mrs. Lyons) am at Tri-Center on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friday afternoons.


Preschool Screening for the Tri-Center School District 2013

Cost: It’s FREE for all children, fun for all children and reassuring to parents. All Day Preschool Programs If you are interested in signing your child up for the 4 year old Tri-Center All Day Preschool Programs, you should attend the Preschool Screening. This screening is also used to qualify children for the All Day Preschool Programs.

Who: Children ages Birth to 5 who live in the TriCenter Community School District and are not presently in Kindergarten. What: A developmental screening which gives you the opportunity to see if your child is playing, moving, thinking and talking at his/her age level. Screenings include: vision, hearing, speechlanguage, overall development, and a growth assessment. Why: The Preschool Screening can give your child a better educational start when they enter school and your child must attend the screening as a part of the preschool application process (see box below). When: Monday, April 15, 2013 8:30 a.m. To 2:30 p.m. Must call for an appointment! Where: Tri-Center Preschool Room Tri-Center Elementary For Appointment: Please contact the Tri-Center Elementary Office at 485-2271. Please bring your child’s immunization card to your appointment.

Mark your Calendars! The Kindergarten, 1st, and 4th grades at Tri-Center Elementary Schools Present: The Spring Elementary Music Program Monday, May 20, 2013 T-C High School Gymnasium 2:00 pm matinee 7:00 pm evening performance The Kindergarten, 1st and 4th grade elementary classes are already hard at work preparing for the big Spring elementary music program on Monday, May 20, 2013. The students will be celebrating education and Tri-Center’s 50th anniversary. You won’t want to miss it. The evening performance will be at 7:00 pm in the TriCenter High School. There will also be a matinee performance in the afternoon at 2:00 pm for those who are not able to attend the evening performance or if you simply want to see it twice. I will be sending out more information as the performance gets closer. If you have any questions feel free to contact me by email at or by phone at (712) 485-2271. I hope to see you all there. On a side note: I am looking for pictures and videos from the 2nd and 3rd grade Christmas program for the elementary yearbook as well as classroom use. If you have any that you are willing to share please email them to me at, or send them with your students to school. Thank you so much for your help.

News From …. Julie Theulen
On Tuesday January 29th the Special Olympic team competed in basketball skills at IWCC. Alanna Haubrich and Harrison Dollen had the honor of leading all the athletes in the Special Olympic Pledge. Jordan Cooper placed first; Harrison Dollen placed first; Alanna Haubrich placed first; Anthony Morrison placed first; and Cole Osbahr placed fifth. All first place winners are eligible to compete at state March 15 & 16th in Iowa City. Congratulations to the team!

Cruising Through the Summer with the TC Mobile Book Swap!
This summer the Tri-Center libraries will start a new program where students will be able to “swap” books for summer reading. In order for this program to succeed, we need book or money donations for all grades levels. If you would like to donate, please contact Karene Christenson at or at (712) 4852257. More information about this program will become available as summer approaches.

From The Desk of …. Karene Christenson Librarian

FAMILY READING NIGHT Tri-Center will be hosting Read Across America Night, on Tuesday, March 19, 2013. This year’s theme “CAMP READ-A-LOT” will be held in the High School Gym from 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM. Recommended ages Pre-school through 5th grade, children must be accompanied by an adult. The event is open to the public and free of charge.


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful