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Student Achievements

‘Be Our Guest’ Merges Visual Arts and Architecture

This spring, students worked with art teachers, local historians and architects to learn about the different architecture styles of Dubuque’s downtown hotels and inns, study their history and relevance to the city’s cultural and economic development, and create mixed media or 3-D artwork.

The work was part of a new program called “Be Our Guest,” held in conjunction with Main Street Ltd. during the organization’s annual Architecture Days celebration. The program was funded through the Mediacom Arts and Culture grant program submitted by the Foundation for Dubuque Public Schools (FDPS).

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‘Great Music Listening Festival’ at Lincoln on Wednesday

Fourth and fifth grade students at Lincoln Elementary School will experience a collection of musical masterpieces on Wednesday, April 29, during the finals of the school’s Great Music Listening Festival.

The program, designed by Lincoln music teacher Linda Niemann, is focused on giving students the chance to learn about great music from the past. Students have been studying 10 masterworks for the past two months.

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Dubuque Community School District Graduation Rate Climbs

The four-year graduation rate in the Dubuque Community School District climbed to 91.49 percent for the class of 2014, up 2.36 percent from the previous year and higher than the state average of 90.5 percent. This new data was released today by the Iowa Department of Education.

“We are committed to preparing students to be college- and career-ready, and graduating from high school is certainly an important part of the equation,” said Superintendent of Schools Stan Rheingans. “The increase in our graduation rates should be a point of pride for not only for our high school teachers, principals and staff, but also for staff throughout the district. We believe the cumulative experience our students receive in the district greatly contributes to their success in high school and beyond.”

The Dubuque Community School District had the third-highest graduation rate among the state’s 10 largest urban school districts.

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Trailer for next Sageville Elementary movie released

Each year, fifth graders at Sageville Elementary School (with the guidance of the school’s Technology Coach Jeff Dyer) write and act in a movie.

This year, the school is producing and will debut the first installment of a trilogy entitled “Space School.” Chapter 1 will be released this spring with Chapter 2 slated for Spring 2016 and Chapter 3 in Spring 2017.

Check it out:


Table Mound Second Graders Discuss How to Catch a Leprechaun

Second graders in Jen Gorrell’s class at Table Mound Elementary School got to see some of their classmates’ newly learned writing skills in action. As part of an exercise learning to write directions, students developed a step-by-step guide for  “how to catch a leprechaun.” They then showed off traps they constructed and talked about how they would, in fact, lure and catch a pesky little leprechaun.

Check out photos from the class:

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Senior High School brings home three All-State Speech Critic’s Choice banners

You might say it has been another banner year for the Dubuque Senior High School speech team.

Three of the team’s ensembles (in Group Mime, Musical Theatre, and Radio Broadcasting) claimed the Critic’s Choice Banners, presented by a theater professional to the top performance of the day in each of the 12 categories at the Iowa High School Speech Association (IHSSA) Large Group All-State Festival. The festival was held on February 22 at Iowa State University and 69 students represented Senior at the state’s flagship group speech event.

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High School Students Featured in Art Exhibit

Students from Dubuque Senior High School and Hempstead High School have been selected to have their art featured in the Dubuque High Schools Juried Art Show at the University of Dubuque’s Bisignano Art Gallery located within Heritage Center. The public is invited and the show is free of charge.

The exhibition highlights works juried by high school art teachers from Dubuque Senior High School, Hempstead High School, and Wahlert High School.  The 14 works in the show are in various media including ceramics, painting, photography, pen and ink, multimedia and weaving.

The juried show was quite successful last year and entering its second year, Bisignano Art Gallery Director Alan Garfield said the show is marked by “real pep, pace, and force that puts the emphasis on story telling”.  Garfield credits the success of the exhibit to the coordination between the various art teachers and Cheryl Werner, the school district’s arts coordinator.

In a juried show, the jurors are typically unknown to the artists but this show took a different feel. “We asked the teachers themselves to choose the artwork,” said Garfield. “These are the teachers who instruct and meet with these students on a daily basis. We asked each teacher to operate…not in the capacity of a teacher or an advisor, but as a judge with a bit of psychical distance, if possible.  This the teachers did with admirable skill.”

According to Garfield, this show does not purport to demonstrate an aesthetic or direction in art by these 14 students in Dubuque. “Here we have different students with different teachers exploring different content within different media and skill sets,” said Garfield. “And yet we clearly see postmodern visual arts in this show – the notion of a rejection of ‘pure form’ and objective beauty, choosing instead to rely on the fusion of disparate art elements and form.”

The Bisignano Art Gallery is open Monday through Friday, 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. and the exhibit runs through February 6.


Pre-calculus students explore real-life trigonometry

Students in Amanda Goranson’s pre-calculus class at Dubuque Senior High School might have wondered if they would ever use trigonometry in real life. After a recent project created by the math teacher (and with the help of Dubuque photographer and Senior alum Garth Fuerste) they won’t question it any more.

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Hempstead Student Named US Senate Youth Delegate

Jack Hostager, a senior at Hempstead High School, was recently named one of two delegates selected to represent the state of Iowa at the 53rd U.S. Senate Youth Program in Washington D.C. Hostager will participate in a week-long government and leadership education program in the nation’s capital and receive a one-time $5,000 college scholarship.

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