Category: News

La Porte City to Host Kindergarten Roundup April 20

La Porte City Elementary School will conduct Kindergarten Roundup for students on Friday, April 20 from 9–11 AM. There will be no school for current kindergarten students on that day.
Each March, an informational packet is sent to parents of students expected to attend kindergarten the following school year. The packet includes forms that must be completed and returned to the school before the April 20 Kindergarten Roundup date.
Students entering kindergarten next year must be five years old on or before September 15, 2018. The list of students the school currently has on file is listed below. Parents who expect to enroll a child in kindergarten at La Porte City Elementary School in August are asked to please contact the office at 342-3033 if their child’s name is not listed.
2018-19 Projected La Porte City Elementary School Kindergarten List:
Kearnic Baker, Henry Barlow, Emmitt Belfield, Carli Blake, Tyler Brecher, Macy Buckingham, Michael Bunston, Letty Burns, Brayden Caldwell, Owen Clark, Nikkie Covey, Natalie Craft, Sophia Coleman, Esther DeHart, Brynlee Fisher, Owen Frederiksen, Colton Gardner, Logna Good, Vera Marie Grant, Violet Hanna, Emmett Harp, Amya Hinebaugh, Grant Johnson, Chelsea Juhl, Jace Keegan, Ethan Logan, August Mason, Maverick Medhaug, Alayna Opperman, Kylar Pennell, Marek Pospisil, Spencer Ruzicka, Cael Reiter, Henry Schmitz, Addilyn Stoneman, Tanner Tadych, Carter Thompson, Abel Timmons, Ayden Williams, Rhian Wyss.

Super Quiz Masters

Union Academic Decathlon team claims regional championship, advances to State
On March 2nd, Union High School will send a team to Fort Dodge, where they will compete for a state championship. This is no ordinary team and these students are no ordinary competitors. For the competition in which they engage is that of academic strength, one that will test their knowledge (and endurance) over ten different academic disciplines. These are the students who will represent Union High School at the Iowa Academic Decathlon state competition.
Contrary to what some might think, Academic Decathlon is not reserved for students whose grade point averages hover at or near 4.0. What makes the Academic Decathlon unique is that each team consists of students competing in three separate divisions. The Honors Division is reserved for students whose cumulative GPA is 3.75 or higher. Students with a GPA in the 3.0-3.74 range compete in the Scholastic division. The Varsity division is reserved for students carrying a GPA below 3.0. This structure makes the contributions of each team member equally important to the overall success of the team.
When the Knights go to State next month, they will arrive as the most highly decorated team in school’s Academic Decathlon history. In January, the team won a regional competition for the first time ever, posting the second highest score in the state of schools their size. The overall depth and strength of the team was evidenced by an amazing medal haul, as the Union students took home 18 gold, 19 silver and 20 bronze awards from the regional competition.
In the state of Iowa, Academic Decathlon dates back to 1986 when it was first introduced by Denison High School. As the word Decathlon implies, there are ten “events” (academic disciplines), in which each student will be tested. Each of these subject areas are connected to an over-arching theme. The theme for the 2017-18 school year is Africa.
Union High School’s success at Academic Decathlon competitions did not happen overnight. When English instructor Kerrie Michael joined the Union High School staff in 2012, the school did not have an Academic Decathlon team. Approaching administrators to express her interest in forming one, the response she got was surprising. Rather than treat it as an extracurricular activity, the model most high schools in the state use, Michael was given clearance to offer it as an elective class.
Her students are the first to admit this arrangement offers them a significant advantage. Rather than competing for time before and after school with other athletic and fine arts activities, dedicated class time and a budget for course materials allows students more time to learn the material on which they will be tested. The commitment to the program by the students, staff and administration at Union has been validated by steadily improving scores and an elevated place in the team standings.
But dedicated class time isn’t the only reason why the team continues to prosper. The dozen students in Kerrie Michael’s Academic Decathlon class have managed to turn the grind of studying a broad topic (Africa) across ten different subject areas into something unexpected: FUN. Rather than succumbing to the hundreds of pages of course materials collected in the “Binder of Doom,” they have devised clever ways to make their studies more enjoyable.
While the methods they employ may seem almost “nerd-like” to outsiders, creating memes, embellishing PowerPoint presentations and coining funky phrases by using a play on words offer a certain entertainment value. More importantly, these strategies serve a valuable educational purpose, one they hope is “Ghana lead to a high score at the state competition.”
The task of managing a class that spans grades 9-12 and covers ten subject areas is a daunting one. Michael‘s response to this complex challenge gets the students involved and responsible for their own learning. At some point during the course, each student becomes the teacher of the class, presenting a portion of course materials to all of their classmates. Taking on the role of instructor requires students to have a greater understanding of the material. Michael knows from experience that some of the highest competition scores achieved by her students will come in the subjects they’ve presented to their classmates.
Because the course is an elective credit, students at Union High School can opt to take it multiple times. It might be surprising to learn that a number of students choose to do just that. Several of the students who competed at the state competition for Union last year are back for another run in 2018. For some, this is their third year in the program. Why do they keep coming back? There are a combination of reasons.
Because of the unique composition of the class, plus the fact that it extends over multiple trimesters, students who stick with Academic Decathlon are treated to an almost family-like experience. And students are quick to credit their teacher for creating the conditions that allow them to effectively work together, support each other and have fun at the same time.
Union High School’s success in the Academic Decathlon can also be traced back to a group of senior leaders who have been an integral part of the school’s growing success over the past few years. They have high hopes, and equally high expectations, for how they will perform at the state competition. Bringing home a trophy would be nice. Winning the State competition and earning a trip to Nationals in Frisco, Texas would be even nicer.
Regardless the results at the state competition next month, it is clear the rigors of Academic Decathlon have taught each member of the Union High School team how to be better students, teammates and friends, as well as represent their school in the best way possible. To do all of that while managing to have some fun along the way is quite an accomplishment, indeed.

REAP funding supports conservation efforts

Considering that winter is hopefully nearing the end, now is the time to think seriously about planting a windbreak, adding to an existing windbreak, planting a few acres to trees, make improvements on your timber or establish some habitat for the wildlife we like to have here in Iowa.
We can assist you with any of the following practices:
Farmstead Windbreak – Must be a minimum of 3 rows – 2 rows conifer trees and 1 row shrubs or 3 rows conifer trees. Cost share is 75% of actual cost not to exceed an actual cost of $25/tree and $4/shrub. The maximum amount of cost share is $1,500/windbreak.
Field Windbreak – Minimum of 1 row trees or shrubs. Cost share is 75% of actual cost not to exceed $450/acre.
Tree Planting – There is a 3 acre minimum for this practice. Cost share is 75% of actual cost not to exceed $450/acre which includes establishing ground cover, trees and tree planting operations, weed and pest control and mowing, disking and spraying.
Timber Stand Improvement – This has a 5 acre minimum. Cost share is 75% of actual cost not to exceed $120/acre for thinning, pruning crop trees, releasing seedlings or young trees.
Conservation Cover – 75% of eligible or estimated cost, whichever is less. It can include preparation costs.
If you have considered doing any of these practices, now is the time to give our office a call and we will be happy to assist you in planning your project. Applications for cost share are available at our office or on line at

High School students lead community in volunteer efforts

Twelve Union High School students volunteered at community non-profits on Friday, February 2nd, to learn about the work these organizations do and give back to their community.
The work began for these students well before the holiday break when they held a penny war which raised about $60. The students took the check to Big Brothers and Big Sisters of NE Iowa after volunteering at the NE Iowa Food Bank that morning. Junior, Jenna Steinlage, organized a warm clothing drive for Hospitality House two weeks prior to the trip and the La Porte City community delivered.
“There was an abundance of coats, scarves, hats and boots along with homemade blankets and even newly bought fleece blankets,” said Union Spectrum Advisor, Elizabeth Zondo.
“Thank you to everyone who gave; the items were distributed on Friday night at a community meal,” Zondo said.
Hospitality House was the students last stop that day where they assisted with serving meals and donating the collected goods. Hospitality House serves as a day-time shelter for the community’s homeless population.
Hospitality House was grateful for the act of kindness and responded with the following statement to Union High School, “Thanks to Union High School in La Porte City for the awesome collection of clothing, coats, boots, gloves, scarves and blankets for our guests at Hospitality House and the community meal. You made many, many people happy and warm tonight. Thanks for caring and making a difference.”
To learn more about each of these organizations and how you can volunteer in your community logon to the following websites:

Union “Civil War” ensemble to perform at All-State Music Festival

An ensemble from Union High School’s production of “Civil War” has been selected to perform at the All-State Speech Festival. The event is sponsored by the Iowa High School Speech association. Members of the ensemble include Hunter Fleshner, Ben Rempe, Jacob Lowe, Mason Scott, Carter Spore and Levi Gray.
Union High School Vocal Music instructor Tim Mitchell noted that this particular ensemble’s performance was even more remarkable, given that it was primarily self-directed, with minimal adult critique.
The All-State Speech Contest is unique in that all schools in the state compete against each other, regardless of size.
Since 2002, Union musical theatre production numbers have become a constant fixture at the All-State Festival, with 27 entries receiving this prestigious honor.
The All-State Festival will be held on February 17 in Ames. Admission wristbands can be purchased at the Union High School office during normal business hours. The cost is $8 per wristband.


Community Calendar

  • Morning Coffee, Hawkins Library

    Monday, February 19 2018 @ 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

  • Seniors in Motion, LPC Community Center

    Monday, February 19 2018 @ 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM
    LPC Community Center

  • Book Club Discussion, Hawkins Library

    Monday, February 19 2018 @ 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM

  • Union School Board Meeting, UHS Boardroom

    Monday, February 19 2018 @ 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

2018 Honor Flight Calendar

2018 Honor Flight Calendar

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