In 2016, Dallas Center- Grimes High School will become the first school in Iowa to have a Rho Kappa chapter. Below you will find a message from Dallas Center- Grimes teacher Jack Vanderflught telling his Rho Kappa story:
DCG Rho Kappa Social Studies National Honor Society: An Iowa First
By Jack Vanderflught, Dallas Center – Grimes Teacher
I first became aware of Rho Kappa, the national social studies honor society, as a result of some communications between Stefanie Wager and myself. Ms. Wager suggested I take a look and provided me with a link leading me to the NCSS website with the Rho Kappa description. Prior to March of this year, I was completely unaware of Rho Kappa. DCG has a National Honor Society Chapter, but this opportunity drew my attention because of its focus on the social studies. As most social studies educators are aware, it seems that the social studies do not get the appropriate attention and recognition it deserves. This seemed like an ideal opportunity to for our students.
After exploring the website, I discovered that there are chapters of Rho Kappa across the nation and across borders into some international locations; however, I found that no Iowa school currently has a chapter. So, I began interviewing students and DCG teachers and administrators on the level of interest in the society. All discussion was very positive and so I began the process of approval. One of the selling points for this organization is that it provides students opportunities specific to the social studies. Our chapter will be taking historically related trips and participating in many engagement based activities.
Rho Kappa does require a start up fee, a small per member fee (that pays for the certificates), and an ongoing chapter fee. We have also been required to create a local set of bylaws that correspond with the national Rho Kappa Constitution. With the help of DCG High School Social Studies PLC, I have created and received approval of our local bylaws from the PLC; and, we have now (June 2016) received approval from our administration and school board. So, we are excited to announce that DCG (Dallas Center-Grimes) High School will have the first Rho Kappa Society in Iowa during the 2016-2017 school year.
In the future we hope to see more school districts add Rho Kappa chapters. This would provide the potential for more opportunities through shared activities and events. If you have an interest in Rho Kappa, please see the following website http://www.socialstudies.org/rhokappa or feel free to contact me with question at firstname.lastname@example.org (Jack Vanderflught).