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Davenport Community Schools have rolled out their Teacher Leadership program with the start of the 2014-2015 school year. The District has received approximately $5 million per year for the next three years to invest in implementing a teacher career path system that offers stipends to teachers who apply and are selected to serve as lead, mentor, or model teachers. Davenport is one of 39 districts approved for the first year of the program. “Pockets of excellence already exist in our schools. We have outstanding teachers.” said Superintendent Art Tate. “The Teacher Leadership program will allow some of our most outstanding teachers to bring their expertise and support to many classrooms in our schools.” More than 120 teachers are stepping forward to take on these new roles with 100 model teachers to be identified and hired by October, 2014.
A steady crowd of families came through the River’s Edge during Graduation Destination on Saturday, August 16, 2014. During the kick-off portion of the event, Mayor Bill Gluba, Board President Ralph Johanson, and Superintendent Art Tate spoke to students, their families, and the community as a whole about the importance of graduating from high school. They were followed by three students, who after various struggles, successfully earned their diplomas from the Davenport Community Schools and are moving on to new opportunities. Graduates Makayla Kittell, Destiny Smith, and Trivial Tott, all received applause and many congratulations from those attending the event kick-off. Community organizations and school personnel were available to students and their families with information on a wide range of available supports, as well as the opportunity for students who had already left school to look at their options for returning to the Davenport Community Schools to graduate.
Davenport Community Schools students and their families enjoyed last night’s traditional “Unpack Your Backpack” event. “Unpack Your Backpack” gives students the opportunity to meet their teacher and check out the classroom before the first day of school. For our parents, it’s an opportunity to meet their child’s teacher and also take care of any last minute paperwork or “school business.” For a closer look at “Unpack Your Backpack” at Jefferson Elementary School, please check out the story in today’s Quad City Times at http://tinyurl.com/lhjwzzd.
Dr. Maryanne Wolf, an internationally renown literacy expert and professor at Tufts University, spoke to more than 300 Davenport Community School District teachers and administrators, along with employees of the Mississippi River Bend AEA, on August 14, 2014 at the River Center in downtown Davenport. The petite and dynamic Wolf began with an overview of reading development, specifically sharing the neuroscience behind how children learn to read. Dr. Wolf, who has pioneered ground-breaking research that has led to advances in dyslexia testing and treatment, also shared some of the work of the Tuft’s Center for Reading and Language Research has done on dyslexia and state-of-the-art intervention techniques to help children overcome barriers to reading. According to Dr. Wolf, one of the most important things parents can do for their children is to begin reading to them at an early age, particularly nursery rhymes which encourage children to play with words and manipulate sounds.
Tommy Dorton, pitcher for the Davenport West High School baseball team had a great season that has been capped off by being named captain of the Quad City Times All-Metro baseball team. Dorton helped fuel the Falcons to 27 victories and their first Mississippi Athletic Conference in more than 20 years. The Class 4A first team all-stater was also named the league’s player of the year last month. Dorton’s West High School teammate, shortstop Nathan Clark, was also selected for the All-Metro team. For more details check out the Quad City Times story at http://tinyurl.com/k9a8als.
The Davenport Central Varsity Cheerleaders recently spent 4 days at a National Cheerleading Association summer camp hosted at the University of Northern Iowa with other cheer teams across Iowa. As a team the girls received: a 1st place trophy for their Champion Chant competition, a 1st place trophy for their Game Time Cheer competition, 2 superior rating ribbons, a Spirit Stick, the overall Spirit Award (given to the team with the best attitude and team work during the week), the Herkie Teamwork award, a Technical Excellence award in the category of tumbling, and a bid to Nationals. Many of the girls received individual awards as well. There were 8 girls from the team that were nominated to try-out for the All-American team, of those 8, 3 made the All-American team; Morgan Teel, Lynn Nguyen, and receiving the highest score out of all the nominees, Bella Volfson.
We hope you’ll join us for a special community event, Graduation Destination, on Saturday, August 16th at the River’s Edge, 700 W. River Dr., Davenport. The event runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and there’s no charge to attend. During the past three years we’ve cut the drop out rate in half for the Davenport Community Schools. We’re not done yet! If you have a student who is struggling in school, who’s considered dropping out, or may have already left school without graduating, you’ll find community and school-based resources at Graduation Destination that offer support for students and their families. If you know a young person who has dropped out of one of our Davenport schools, please encourage them to stop by this event. District staff will be on hand to talk with them one-on-one about their options for completing their high school education and help to develop a plan.