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Welcome to North Tama

Welcome from Superintendent David R. Hill:

Welcome to the North Tama County Community School District. North Tama offers your family a tremendous advantage to learn, participate, and belong. The ...more

Dennis Field Renovation Project

Our fundraising campaign for renovations to Dennis Field is underway. To learn more or to donate, please visit our campaign page:



Space Camp Applications

Information and applications are now available for the Traer Community Space Camp Scholarships.


Please follow the link below for all of the info:



2015-2016 School Year Calendar

2015-2016 Calendar (PDF)

Please remember that dates are always subject to change. The PDF above is an overview of the year, but is not updated as the year goes on.

For the most up to date information, please check the District Activity Calendar further down the page, as it is kept up to date.

Redhawk News


Each year, the upper elementary students make a trip to the food pantry to donate food and cash, and help out a bit. We've received a letter from the Becky Lassen, shared below, with information about how much they donated and how many meals they have helped provide.




Good morning North Tama 4th, 5th, & 6th graders,
I would like to once again thank you for your generous food donations and cash donations to the Northeast Tama County Food Pantry.  Every year you help feed many families in our service area, and without your continued help each year we might not be able to help as many families. So Thank you, thank you, together we can help stop hunger. Just a little bit of information regarding the Food Pantry that you might not know is: The Northeast Tama Country Food Pantry has been housed out of the Traer United Methodist Church since the beginning, which was in the fall of 1984. Our agency has been in this service area for 31 years. Tama County currently has 4 active food pantries and each pantry has a designated service area. Our pantry serves the following communities: Buckingham, Clutier, Dinsdale, Dysart, Elberon, Traer, and Vining. Most of our food we purchase from the Northeast Iowa Food Bank, we pay a shared maintenance fee, which is anywhere from 0—21 cents per pound. Every $1.00 donated, we can help to provide about 4.5 meals to people in need. This year 4th, 5th, and 6th graders donated $135.36, with your donation we can provide about 609.12 meals to our families. Once again I would like to thank you! Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Enjoy your winter break!!
Becky Lassen
Northeast Tama County Food Pantry




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North Tama STEM Receives $5,000 Grant from DuPont Pioneer


Traer, Iowa – December 7, 2015 – The North Tama Elementary School is pleased to announce DuPont Pioneer donated $5,000 in support of the North Tama STEM Redesigned Learning Environment (RLE) Project. Pioneer Plant Manager, Colby Entriken, sponsored the grant.


The North Tama Elementary Staff was very happy to receive the grant from DuPont Pioneer, which helps further their STEM RLE project. With this project, North Tama will redesign elementary classrooms within the existing footprint. This redesign will transform the current classrooms from a design that supports primarily reading instruction to a design that supports collaborative, inquiry-driven, multidisciplinary classrooms that foster STEM. This DuPont Pioneer grant greatly helps make the redesign that originated with the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council’s STEM RLE Grant a reality for additional classrooms. The North Tama Staff was very appreciative for the extension of the project that DuPont Pioneer made possible with their grant to help transform learning for more students.


DuPont Pioneer Community & Academic Relations shared, “We appreciate the significance of the North Tama School District program and commend your organization for its hard work and dedication. We review each application carefully and select only those which align closely with our giving policy.  After a review of your application, we are pleased to tell you the North Tama Elementary STEM RLE is approved for funding in the amount of $5,000.  We hope these funds are instrumental to the success of your project and will support the ongoing sustainability of your mission.”


Pioneer makes contributions to community-based organizations on behalf of the business and employees. Consideration for outreach grants are given to communities where Pioneer representatives, employees and customers live and work and that support quality-of-life initiatives to create an improved, sustainable lifestyle for people worldwide. Iowa community fire departments and emergency medical teams are eligible to apply for the grants through their local Pioneer sales representatives.


DuPont Pioneer is the world's leading developer and supplier of advanced plant genetics, providing high-quality seeds to farmers in more than 90 countries. Pioneer provides agronomic support and services to help increase farmer productivity and profitability and strives to develop sustainable agricultural systems for people everywhere. Science with Service Delivering Success®.


DuPont (NYSE: DD) has been bringing world-class science and engineering to the global marketplace in the form of innovative products, materials, and services since 1802. The company believes that by collaborating with customers, governments, NGOs, and thought leaders, we can help find solutions to such global challenges as providing enough healthy food for people everywhere, decreasing dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting life and the environment. For additional information about DuPont and its commitment to inclusive innovation, please visit www.dupont.com.


L to R Jeff Beneke, NE Iowa Regional STEM Hub Manager, Lisa Chizek, North Tama 5th and 6th Grade Science Teacher and STEM Coordinator, Dr. Beth Van Meeteren, Director of the Regents Center for Early Developmental Education located at the University of Northern Iowa, Vonna Watson, North Tama First Grade Teacher, David Hill, North Tama Superintendent, and Josh Youel, North Tama Elementary Principal.



The North Tama County Community School District is pleased to announce that the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council has selected North Tama Elementary as a recipient of the Iowa STEM Redesigned Learning Environment (RLE) Grant. Teachers and administrators are excited about the wide variety of opportunities this grant offers their students, school, and community. North Tama is partnering with the Regents Center for Early Developmental Education located at the University of Northern Iowa, as well as other essential stakeholders in this project. The grant provides the resources to create a STEM learning environment within the first grade classroom that promotes collaboration among students, is flexible and responsive to the students’ educational needs, and provides a plan for professional development to allow teachers to continually challenge and improve their practice of teaching within this environment.


North Tama’s plan focuses on the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council’s dedication to building a strong STEM education foundation for all Iowans by recognizing that the STEM education foundation starts early in a well-equipped, well-structured early childhood classroom with a teacher who knows how to integrate STEM and literacy.


With this project, North Tama will redesign a first grade classroom within the existing footprint. This redesign will transform the current classroom from a design that supports primarily reading instruction to a design that supports a collaborative, inquiry-driven, multidisciplinary classroom that fosters STEM. Over time, this redesign will be replicated in the kindergarten, second, and third grade classrooms in the district.


North Tama teachers have seen how children grow as readers, writers, and thinkers when they are actively engaged in what is meaningful to them. This project will provide a classroom that is STEM infused for students to explore, design, create, and learn about their world and how it works, and then spark the desire to communicate about what they have figured out. Teachers will learn to provide accommodations for children with special needs to allow all children access to STEM and related literacy activities on a daily basis. North Tama teachers want to grow all students into becoming excited and engaged in their learning.


It is essential to understand that this redesigned learning environment is a significant shift from current Iowa early childhood classrooms. Since the Iowa legislature passed the 3rd grade retention law based on standardized test scores in reading, public school kindergarten and first grade classrooms look significantly different. There is little to no class time allocated for the study of science, nor space devoted to the study of science. Individual desks and even rows of desks are appearing in many Iowa kindergarten classrooms with a curricular emphasis on reading instruction.


Research shows that STEM content is sorely neglected in the early years, but STEM investigations provide a context where reading and writing is meaningful and makes sense to young children. For this reason, North Tama teachers will work to create an integrated curriculum where the focal point is the development of inquiry skills in all domains.


Professional development will address how to engineer the emotional and physical environment to nurture STEM habits of mind, pedagogical practices within the project approach and self-directed learning in STEM, STEM opportunities within the local community, and integrating STEM and literacy.


Teachers will learn how to implement inquiry driven instructional strategies through providing activities that allow children to engage in self-directed learning to explore how the world works. They will be able to choose from a selection of hands-on, interactive investigations that encourage young children to develop and use inquiry processes and strategies within STEM.


The Regents’ Center for Early Developmental Education is strongly committed to the successful completion of North Tama County Community School District’s (NTCCSD) project of an Early Childhood STEM Redesigned Learning Environment. This first grade STEM redesigned learning environment will serve as a model for the rest of North Tama’s  primary grades and also as a much-needed model for primary grades within the state of Iowa. North Tama’s model will illustrate how STEM and literacy can be successfully integrated to facilitate each other’s development. It is hoped that Iowa’s schools will follow this model and allow their young students access to STEM activities within the years where STEM identities are formed, potentially growing more interest in Iowa STEM careers.


Best-selling author Drew Daywalt paid a visit to North Tama on March 30-31, 2015. Daywalt is the author of The Day the Crayons Quit, which has been a New York Times best-seller for 91 consecutive weeks.


We kept him busy while he was here. Several high school students agreed to be Crayon Ambassadors. During the previous week, the ambassadors had helped the 6th grade read Daywalt’s book to the rest of the elementary classes. On the first day of his visit, they met him at the front door, and then escorted him around the building.


Monday was a Plus One Monday, so Daywalt got to spend time with several different elementary groups, talking about writing and filmmaking.


Students and staff were given the opportunity to order books ahead of time, which Daywalt signed during various breaks from classroom visits.


In the afternoon, students and teachers from the junior high were invited to meet with him, listen as he spoke about his background in film and his new experiences in the children’s publishing world, and ask many great questions.  After a short break, high school students and teachers were treated to the same experience.


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Drew Daywalt grew up in one of Ohio’s most haunted houses. He holds a degree in Creative Writing with a concentration in Children’s Literature from Emerson College in Boston. Daywalt set off to Hollywood where he spent years writing for Disney and Universal on such beloved shows as Timon & Pumba, Buzz Lightyear, and Woody Woodpecker, and where his animated series The Wacky World of Tex Avery garnered an Emmy nomination.


Daywalt talked with the secondary students about his experiences in Hollywood as a writer, working with directors like Quentin Tarantino, Lawrence Bender, Tony Scott, Brett Ratner and Jerry Bruckheimer.


A small reception (with cake and punch) was held in Daywalt’s honor. The cakes were made by Barb Schilling from Elk Run Heights.

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Daywalt was especially excited to eat the part of the cake that had his cartoon avatar’s face on it.


The next morning was the exciting K-6 assembly. Daywalt talked to the kids about facets of writing, including personification, read the story to them, and showed off the actual box of crayons that inspired his book.


Later in the morning, he worked with the 7th graders talking about character development and then the 8th graders got to talk about revising and the editing process. The 8th graders presented him with copies of books they had made, “The Day A Variety of Items Quit” -- stories inspired by his book. You can read their stories by visiting these links: http://goo.gl/dgJKXZ  http://goo.gl/QNBJDh  http://goo.gl/SD1Wfp 


After lunch, he visited different elementary classrooms, answering questions and talking about different aspects of writing. He also read the story to the kindergarten and first graders again. One of the students asked to hug him, the next thing Daywalt knew, he was being mobbed by the entire class!


The experience of having Drew Daywalt visit North Tama was magical in many ways. His interest in our students, and passion for connecting with each and everyone of them was inspiring.


We would like to thank the sponsors of our very first author visit, without whom this would not have been possible. Traer Foundation, Bauch Law Firm, PEO, Alpha Psi, Traer United Methodist Church, Elementary Gift Shop, The Earley Family, The Schafer Family.


In addition to the photos shared above, you can view many more pictures of Drew Daywalt visiting our school here: Author Visit 2015 Photo Gallery. You can also view a compilation of tweets that were made during his visit by going here: The Day Drew Daywalt Visited North Tama Storify.


The Governor's STEM Advisory Council and Kemin Industries recently teamed up to present the 2015 STEM Education Award sponsored by Kemin Industries. The award celebrates educators who go above and beyond to increase their student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Each recipient, one from each of the six STEM regions, was selected by a panel of judges after being nominated for the award by a colleague, school administration, parent, student or community member and completing an application showcasing their contributions to STEM education. Each winner receives $1,500 for personal use and $1,500 for their classroom.

The Northeast Iowa STEM region's awardee is Lisa Chizek, fifth and sixth grade teacher and STEM Coordinator at North Tama Elementary School. Lisa has created a STEM Expert Day where she brings in professionals from various STEM fields to educate her students on their jobs and how STEM is a part of it. She is also one of the founders of the Tama County STEM Festival. Chizek and the other five regional recipients will be formally honored and host a panel discussion at the 2015 Statewide STEM Summit on March 30. To learn more about the award, please click here.



District Activity Calendar

School Hours

All North Tama students are scheduled for classes from 8:10 to 3:30 this year.

The High School and Junior Bell Schedules can be viewed by clicking the More link.

High School Bell Schedule on ...more

Discrimination Policy

It is the policy of the North Tama County Community School District not to illegally discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age (for employment), marital status (for programs), sexual orientation, gender, identity, and socioeconomic status (for programs) in its educational programs and its employment practices. There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination on the North Tama Website: www.n-tama.k12.ia.us under Parents/Students section.  If you have questions or a grievance related to this policy please contact the district’s Equity Coordinator, Craig Josh Youel, Elementary Principal, 605 Walnut Street, Traer, Iowa 50675, 319-478-2265, E-mail:  jyouel@n-tama.k12.ia.us.

Contact Us

605 Walnut St

Traer, IA 50675

phone: 319-478-2265

fax: 319-478-2917

Map and Driving Directions

Readhawks Literary Society

Lunch Menu

Menus subject to change without notice.

Lunch: $2.10/student

Twitter Feed

News from the Upstairs Library

Thanks to the generous donors to last year's online fundraiser for the library, we have purchased over 40 new books for our North Tama libraries.  Upstairs in the secondary library, we have added copies to Robert Muchamore's Cherub series, both of James Dashner's series, and Chris Lynch's Vietnam series.  In addition, we have Rick Riordan's new book The Sword of Summer, along with several others by Kenneth Oppel.  Why not be the first to check out these brand new books?!