Tag: 030514

Union Middle School Jumping, Hooping for Healthy Hearts

Union Middle School will kick-off its Jump Rope and Hoops for Heart event with an assembly in the school auditorium on Friday, March 7. Following the assembly, students will receive their Jump Rope for Heart and Hoops for Heart information, along with collection envelopes. When making a donation, please make checks should made payable to the American Heart Association (AHA). For your convenience, ask a middle school student how a donation can be made online.
Middle School students will be seeking donations in support of their event, which will take place in physical education classes during the week of March 10-14. The deadline for students to turn their donation envelopes is Monday, March 17.
Jump Rope for Heart is an event hosted in alternate years by the elementary schools in the Union Community School District, located in Dysart and La Porte City. Please help support healthy hearts, the American Heart Association and Union Middle School.

Designate a Sober Driver This St. Patrick’s Day

St. Patrick’s Day is March 17, and Police Chief Larry Feaker with the La Porte City Police Department is reminding drivers not to get behind the wheel if they’ve been drinking. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that more than 269 people have been senselessly killed nationwide in crashes involving drunk drivers during the St. Patrick’s Day holiday from 2007 to 2011. Those fatalities were preventable.
“When you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, just be smart about it. If you know you’re going to drink-whether with friends at a bar or attending a party, designate a sober driver ahead of time or call a taxi to make sure you get home safely,” said Feaker.
“There’s never an excuse for driving after drinking.”
According to NHTSA in 2011, on average, one person was killed every 53 minutes in a drunk driving crash in the United States. Most of these crashes involved drunk drivers who had blood alcohol concentrations of .15 or higher, almost twice the legal limit of .08.
To prevent these tragedies from occurring, ChiefFeaker recommends the following steps to have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day:

Before the festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night.
Before drinking, designate a sober driver and leave your car keys at home.
If you’re impaired, use a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation to get home safely.
If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local police. You could save a life.
And remember, if you know people who are about to drive or ride while impaired, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get to where they are going safely.

For more information, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.

Donations Sought for Zach Loeb Benefit

Donations are being sought for a March 29 benefit for Zach and Ashlie Loeb, a young La Porte City couple facing an uncertain future.
The Loebs were married on July 23, 2013, just four days before colon cancer claimed the life of Zach’s mother, Susan.
On January 3, 2014, Zach was diagnosed with a rare form of testicular cancer, which does not typically respond to chemotherapy or radiation therapy. The best treatment option for Zach at this time is a surgical procedure to remove the lymph nodes, which will result in infertility.
Five days after receiving his diagnosis, Zach and Ashlie learned their unborn son has multiple cysts on his left kidney, which is also failing. The Loebs will travel to Iowa City on March 5th for a series of tests in an attempt to learn the extent of their child’s kidney failure and what treatment options they will have following his birth. Two days later, Zach will undergo surgery in Rochester, Minnesota.
On March 29, friends of the couple will host a benefit, with the proceeds to help defray mounting medical expenses the young family faces. An online account for financial donations has been established at youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/fund-my-fight-keep-my-baby-healthy/127599
Other donations of items that will be auctioned off are being sought by organizers of the benefit, who would appreciate collecting those items by March 22nd. To make a donation, please contact Jamie Bucknell by phone at 319-215-9169 or e-mail at bucknell.jamie@gmail.com or Mike Nelsestuen at 319-464-5059 by phone or mn68_@hotmail.com via e-mail.

Letter to the Editor – Marilyn Davis

To the Editor:
What a perfect column (Simply Put) in the February 26th edition of The Progress Review. It described exactly how wrestling meets go.
I have wtached hundreds of wrestling matches over the years and seen coaches get so excited they fall off their chairs. I don’t know if their wrestlers can hear them, but everybody gives it their all.
Marilyn Davis, La Porte City
Editor’s Note: Marilyn Davis, a longtime bus driver for Union Community Schools, has indeed seen her fair share of wrestling tournaments, having transported students to a number of tournaments throughout the state. View a video slideshow of the contortions of wrestling coaches at the 2014 State Wrestling Tournament in Des Moines:
[jwplayer mediaid=”6695″]

Union Adopts 1,080 Hour Calendar

Effective July 1, 2014, school districts and accredited nonpublic schools will have the option to define the length of their school year in terms of 180 days or 1,080 hours. Previously, the law defined a school year as one that included 180 days, with the minimum length of each school day set at five and half hours. However, House File 215, passed by the Iowa Legislature last year, struck the five and a half hour minimum in favor of the new arrangement.
Both options are designed to result in the same amount of instructional time delivered to students, as 180 days multiplied by six hours equals 1,080 total hours. School districts choosing to count days, however, are required to have each school day set at a minimum length of six hours for it to count as one of its 180 days. Districts choosing to define their calendar as 1,080 hours are not subject to any minimum or maximum length of day.
Additional clarification about what activities can or cannot be counted has been provided by the Iowa Department of Education. For example, Parent-Teacher Conferences and passing time between classes DO count toward 1,080 hours, while school lunch and professional development for staff DO NOT.
The Union Community School District will opt to count hours next year and Superintendent Neil Mullen doesn’t see the change as having a significant impact on the district calendar.
He noted the district, as in past years, has added make-up days to the end of next year’s calendar, in the event they are needed for days lost to inclement weather.
“By counting hours, it may give the Board of Directors the option of reducing the number of make-up days, if the minimum number of hours have been met,” he said.


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