Secondary I

Secondary I


September 18th, 2017

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Gardening in SI






What is Ort?

Ort is a scrap or remainder of food from a meal. At Riverway Learning Community, we aim to reduce our ort, or food waste, by being mindful of our hunger and taking only what we’ll eat.  

Why is food waste bad?

    According to the USDA's Economic Research Service, in the United States, food waste is estimated at between 30-40 percent of the food supply. This corresponds to approximately 133 billion pounds
   Today’s American family of four throws away anywhere from $1,350 to $2,275 worth of food each year. Put that all together and we are looking at $165 billion, as a nation, being wasted.

20 percent of our land, 4 percent of our energy and 25 percent of our water is used to produce food that ends up being thrown out.
After the plates are scraped and refrigerators cleaned out, the food in the trash bin must be hauled to the landfill. This takes more energy.
The food breaks down into methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas. *

What can we do to help?

Check in with your hunger.

Take what you’ll eat.

Communicate with foodservice  about how much food you want.  Be mindful of your hunger.
You can go back to the salad bar as many times as you’d like.  A lot of salad ends up in the food waste.
Leave liquids in your cups.   Be mindful of your thirst.

* Food Waste is a Bigger Problem Than You Think
by RP Siegel

Important Dates:

  • 9-22-17 →Early Release

I’d love to hear from you!

If you need to reach me, email me at or call 507-474-6120

Secondary I


September 12th, 2017

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NWEA Testing

The Riverway Secondary will be continuing NWEA testing.  On Wednesday the 25th, they will taking the NWEA math test.  

The NWEA tests are designed to measure student’s academic performance.  It is very important for students to do their very best on these exams.  Below you find some helpful suggestions to improve your student’s academic performance:

  1. Sleep - Research shows that secondary students need 8-9 hours to function at their best.  

  2. Nutrition - Eat a breakfast high in protein the morning of the test (eggs, bacon, peanut butter, or brown rice).

  3. Encouragement - Parents/guardians have the biggest influence on their children.  Verbally express confidence in your child’s ability and talk to them about the importance of trying their best.  Testing can be stressful, and a little encouragement can go a long way.

  4. Explanation - Being positive about testing and explaining to them the importance of standardized exams will help establish a positive attitude towards the exams.  

  5. Follow-up - Ask your child how the test went when they get home from school.  Ask them if they tried their best and express how proud you are of them.

Together, we will continue to motivate and inspire the students of Riverway to be the best that they can be.  

Everything I do will promote a positive learning environment.

Creating an I Can Classroom


Students in the Secondary I contributed to creating a positive learning environment by putting their “I can’ts” to rest.  

The students created a list of all the things they want to achieve, but for one reason or another feel they can’t.  

The students then participated in an I Can’t Funeral, where they sealed their list in an envelope, put the envelope in a box with all the other classmate’s envelopes, and buried the box behind the school.  

After the service, we had cake to celebrate the memory of I Can’t and usher in the spirit of I Can!

Important Dates:

  • 9-13-17 → NWEA Reading Test - Secondary

  • 9-14-17 → NWEA Reading Test - Secondary

Upcoming Dates:

  • 9-22-17 → Early Release

I’d love to hear from you!

If you need to reach me, email me at zkrage@riverwaylearningcommunity

or call 507-474-6120

Secondary I


September 5th, 2017

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Projects in Secondary I


Last school year, the 7th and 8th graders formed the Riverway Teen Press, inspired by the film Teen Press: Bringing the Hope Back to American Education. The students’ main focus last year was the Midwest Music Fest.

Due to the success of the program last year, we have decided to expand the program to include 7th -9th grade, span the whole year instead of two trimesters, and cover Boats and Bluegrass, the Frozen River Film Festival, and Midwest Music Fest.

The Art of Letter Writing

Essential Questions:

  • How can writing letters, not texts or emails, deepen communication?

  • How can writing letters allow us to slow down and allow us to be present?

  • What benefits, personal and professional, can be gained from writing letters?

Getting Started by author Brett McKay

In our hyper-connected world, with its text messaging and its Facebooking and its Twittering, the good, old-fashioned handwritten letter has nearly become extinct. Which is a shame because when it comes to sharing one’s true thoughts, sincere sympathies, ardent love, and deepest gratitude, words traveling along the invisible digital superhighway will never suffice. Why?

Because sending a letter is the next best thing to showing up personally at someone’s door. Ink from your pen touches the stationary, your fingers touch the paper, your saliva seals the envelope. Something tangible from your world travels through machines and hands, and deposits itself in another’s mailbox. The recipient handles the paper that you handled and they see your personality and individuality conveyed in your handwriting.

So what keeps folks from taking advantage of the marvels of letter writing? Laziness, primarily. But I also think there’s an intimidation factor in play. Thanks to Ken Burns documentaries in which talented voice actors read eloquent 19th century correspondences, a misguided belief has formed that if you’re going to write a letter by hand, it needs to be filled with ponderous gravitas. Both roadblocks can be eliminated with a bit of preparation and education.

For this project, you will be learning how to format and writing the following types of letters:

Personal Letters

  • Personal Correspondence

  • Pen Pal Letter

  • Thank You Letter

Professional/Business Letters

  • Appreciation Letter

  • Grievance Letter

  • Job Application Letter

  • Professional Recommendation

  • Letter to a Policy Maker

Important Dates:

  • 9-6-17 → NWEA Math Test - Secondary

  • 9-7-17 → NWEA Math Test - Primary

  • 9-9-17 → Fall Saturday School

  • 9-11-17 → No School

Upcoming Dates:

  • 9-13-17 → NWEA Reading Test - Secondary

  • 9-14-17 → NWEA Reading Test - Secondary

I’d love to hear from you!

If you need to reach me, email me at zkrage@riverwaylearningcommunity or call 507-474-6120

Subpages (2): Jamie Harper Zach Krage