Dear Families,

If you would like to enjoy some quality time with your child(ren) and paint some pottery too, don't forgot to sign up and pay for your pottery piece(s) by this Friday, November 7th!  It was a lot of fun last year, and I hope you will chose a piece of pottery and join the event!  If you need an order form, one is attached for your convenience.

Butter Braid is a fundraiser that Home and School is sponsoring at this time.  The money raised will be used for various classroom needs.  The last day your Butter Braid order form and payment can be turned in is Tuesday, November 11th.  The Butter Braids will be delivered to school and sent home with your child(ren) on Thursday, November 20th. If you are in need of an order form, please contact the school.

Thank you so much for all of your support for the Home and School Association.

Theresa Mehrl

President of St. Joseph Home and School Association

St Joseph’s Music Department Presents

Pizza & Pizzazz

October 23

Papa Murphy’s

(N.E. 14th & E. Euclid)

Proceeds from the daily sales go toward supporting

the St. Joseph Instrumental Music Program

Music concert begins at 6:00 pm

Dear Parents & Students   –

          It’s time to get ready for the annual  St Joseph’s Halloween Party!!  To prepare for this ghoulish festival we need to make sure you all have some very important details! 

  1.  Save the Date - October 26 from 4-7pm is the Halloween Party at St. Joseph's School.
  2. All students who bring a bag of candy or Halloween treats (pencils, bouncy balls, spider rings) for the Halloween Party will be awarded a "Dress Down" day!
  3. Start planning your costume now – prizes will be awarded for Scariest and Best Costume for K-4 and 5-8 students!
  4. Can you make a Creepy Dessert???  Prizes will also be awarded for Tastiest and Creepiest Dessert!
  5. New this year will be a Pumpkin Decorating/Carving contest. Please bring your pumpkin creation ready to be judged!

Be prepared – Games, Haunted Room, Crafts, Creepy Food  and much more……..

 Come if you DARE!!!!!!!

PLEASE SCHEDULE YOUR CONFERENCES NOW!! The portal will be open until noon tomorrow – October 8th.

Schedule Here

\"\"October 2014 –Ms. Farrell’s Blog

It is beginning to look and feel like fall. With fall comes,  parent teacher conferences. . Please remember to schedule an appointment with me. 

6th grade Math – We have just completed our third test. Most of the students did very well. There were a few that struggled with the test. As a class we did review the day before the test. This also reflects on the success of the students.  Attendance, completion homework and asking for help will be very important for the success in math. 

6th Reading

We have started with our reading series Journeys. Tuesday, September 30th the students will be taking their fourth test, over lesson 4, The ACES Phone.  They will answer vocabulary and comprehension questions over story. They will need to understand vocabulary strategies with word that have de- and trans-prefixes. The targeted comprehension skills that will assess will be story structure, alliteration and style and tone.  Ask your son or daughter what is alliteration??

7th Reading

We have started with our reading series Journeys. Tuesday, September 30th the students will be taking their fourth test, over lesson 4, The ACES Phone.  They will answer vocabulary and comprehension questions over story. They will need to understand vocabulary strategies with word that have de- and trans-prefixes. The targeted comprehension skills that will assess will be story structure, alliteration and style and tone.  Ask your son or daughter what is alliteration?? 

Ask about the novel, Granny Torrelli Makes Soup, by Sharon Creech. The students truly enjoy this story.  They have an opportunity to read aloud the story, practice fluency and disclose their understanding of the story’s characters and the events.

First, Second and Third Grade

Please try to find some time to reread the materials that I send home with your child. Remember that practice makes permanent!!!


God Bless you and your family,

Lori Farrell  

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at school 515-266-3433 or by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



The Blue (beginning) Band has been working very hard during their first month together as an ensemble. Students have been  learning “The 3 B’s” (Band Body Basics) and the art of rehearsal discipline.  This ensemble just began working on an arrangement of “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” called “Rock Star”, which is their first full page of sheet music.  Students rehearse as a full band on Thursdays at 11:50-12:35 and each student receives a group or individual 30-minute lesson on Thursday as well.

Members of the Blue Band are:

Stephanie, flute

Blanche, clarinet

Kelcie, alto saxophone

Addison, trumpet

Dominic, trumpet

Everett, baritone


The Gold (advanced) Band just had their first performance on September 26 at Dowling when they played “Salute to Freedom”, “National Anthem”, and “Dowling Victors” with students from other Catholic schools. This ensemble rehearses together on Wednesdays from 11:05-11:35 and receives a small group or individual 30-minute lesson on Wednesdays.

Members of the Gold Band are:

Hannah, flute

Christina, clarinet

Emma, clarinet

Kinley, clarinet

Reagan, trumpet

Emily, trumpet

Jacob, trombone

Adam, baritone

Riley, percussion

Haley, percussion

In coming weeks, Mikayla will be joining the clarinet section as the newest member of the Gold Band.


The Rainbow Ringers have been learning simple rhythms using math cubes to help them to learn counting patterns. They got to listen to a book called, Maestro Mouse and the Mystery of the Missing Baton so they could learn terminology and performance etiquette.

The Rainbow Ringers are: Caelin, Grace, Bayani, Chase, George, Michael, Mia, Natalie, Gracelyn, and Sophia


The Heavenly Handbells have been enjoying our new set of White Chapel Handbells. They have also been using the handchimes that we had been playing prior to our acquisition of the bells.  Students have been learning some entirely new music and details of handbell maintenance.

Members of the Heavenly Handbells are: Matthew, Haley, Kelcie, Hunter, Blanche, Stephanie, and Sean.


Piano lessons are in full swing. Students are making flash cards and working on note names very hard.



October is just around the corner, and we have a lot going on this month!  Several things are still in the works so stayed tuned for additional information coming soon.  

Planner Policy: 

5th grade has a new policy for our student planners.  Students must fill out their planner with all assignments (even those they have already completed).  Parents need to sign their child’s planner every night.  Students who have their planner signed every day during the week will get their name in a drawing for a prize the following week!  You should expect your child to have homework in at least one or two subjects every day. 


Conferences are coming up the week of October 13th.  Make sure to sign up for a time when the sign-up sheet becomes available. 


Students will be taking Iowa Assessments the week of October 6th.  Please make sure your student is well rested and has a good breakfast on testing days!


In math we have homework assigned every night unless there is a test that day.  We have already finished the first 20 lessons and have just taken our 3rd test. 

We have a new scoring system for homework in Math.  All homework will be worth 5 points.  Students will earn points for completing the assignment and attempting all problems.  They will lose points is the assignment is late, the assignment is incomplete, or they are not grading their assignment in the class time given.  Homework should be a chance for students to practice their skills, and I believe this new grading scale for homework better reflects that.  Please let me know if you have any questions. 

Spelling and Language

Students have a spelling test every Tuesday.  They are given the list on Wednesday morning.  Students may choose to handwrite the list into their planner or to staple a typed list into their planner. 


Our writing projects are due every Thursday.  On Thursdays we create our organizer for writing which we use on Fridays to complete our rough drafts.  Then Monday in class students have the chance to peer edit their drafts and I edit them that night.  This gives students at least one or two days to look through the edits and ask any questions they have on corrections before handing in a final copy on Thursday.  Please let me know if you would like to see a copy of the scoring rubric for writing.  

First Grade News for the Week of September 29th

Upcoming dates to remember:

October 7- Home and School meeting 6:30

October 13, 14, 16- Parent teacher conferences

October 16 and 17- No School (conferences)

October 20 No school

October 22- Mass by first grade

October 23- Dress Down Day for Missions (bring $1.00)

October 30- Spirit Day (bring $1.00 to be out of uniform)

October 31- Halloween party- 2:00


Lesson 5 Spelling Words: bug     tub     nut     mud     up     hug

Lesson 5 Vocabulary Words: friend     good     full     pull     many     hold     up


Alivia was the “Big Cheese” this week. She shared the unicorn she got from her buddy last year, her Princess Illustria unicorn and her Lalaloopsy pony.


Here is what we did in first grade this week:

Math: We learned our doubles facts with sums of 10. We practice our facts with a little rap. Look for it at the end of this newsletter! We identified the number of sides and angles of a rectangle. We wrote number sentences for “some, some more” stories. We acted out addition problem solving situations. We identified the attributes of pattern blocks and explored making shape patterns. We Created and read repeating patterns.


Science : We learned that soil is a mixture of earth materials. We mixed humus with sand, pebbles, and gravel to make our own soil. We added water to our soil, shook it up and let it settle overnight. We then observed our soil in the vials and recorded our observations. We painted our clay beads to make our necklaces.


Social Studies: We began our new unit, Where We Live. Important vocabulary words for this unit include: continent, mountain, natural resource, and season. We identified the 7 continents and the 4 oceans. We read about the Pacific Ocean and found out that it is the largest of the oceans. We compared globes and world maps understanding that both are representations of Earth.


Reading, Language Arts, Writer’s Workshop: We learned that a fable is a story that teaches a lesson. We put words in alphabetical order. We spelled words with the short e sound, We read a play about The City Mouse and the Country Mouse. We reviewed actions verbs in the present. Our topic for lesson 5 is At the Zoo. Our anchor text this week is Gus Takes the Train. Our spelling focus is words with the short u sound. We will also focus on the consonants sounds for qu and z. We are learning more adjectives for size, color, and number. In writer’s workshop we are writing a class story. We worked together to write about our buddy day with 6th grade. We worked on revising our story to make a clean copy.


Religion: We have been busy preparing for our St. Francis prayer service! We read about St. Francis and watched a video about his life.


Doubles Rap

It’s the doubles, baby, let’s go, let’s go!

It’s the doubles, baby, and we start with zero:

0+0=0     Oh!

1+1=2     Oooh!

2+2=4     More!

3+3=6     Kicks!

4+4=8     That’s great!

5+5=10   Again!


Look for part 2 of this rap coming soon!!





Dowling Catholic Volleyball Club tryouts will be here before we know it! DCVC invites all girls from 6th grade through 9th grade to their club tryouts. Please see that attached flyer for more detailed information on dates and times. Click here to visit the DCVC website:  to get more information and learn more about the tryouts and what to bring.

Mission Statement

The Dowling Catholic Volleyball Club program is committed to developing leaders for life centered on Christ on and off the volleyball court. Coaches will develop each athlete\'s volleyball skills, leadership skills, work ethic and team first mentality. We will use volleyball as an avenue to learn teamwork, commitment, integrity, accountability and respect so that all athletes and coaches can grow as faith filled people and volleyball players.


Watch DCHS vs Valley on Tuesday, September 30th.

9B/C plays at 4:45 at Valley Southwoods.

9A plays at 5:30 at Valley Southwoods. 10/JV plays at 5:45 at Valley High School.  

Varsity plays at 7:30 at Valley High School.



DCVC click here for even more info




The Conference portal is coming!  The Conference portal is coming!!

That’s right, it’s conference time, and the portal will be opening soon for you to schedule your conferences with your student’s teacher(s).

Schedule early to make sure you get the time slot you’d prefer!  The scheduler will be open Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 7:00a.m. until Monday, October 6, 2014 at noon.

Please go to the St. Joseph school website under the parent resource tab and click on Conference Scheduler to proceed.  Or you can go directly to

For any assistance, please call Sherri or Cheryl in the office.



Page 1 of 18