Pierce Elementary School

From the Principal's Desk: August 24. 2020

Dear Families,

I hope that this message finds you safe and with power... if not, hopefully soon! So many workers have been focused on clearing trees and debris, restoring power, replacing traffic signals and signs, and communication services such as internet. As our city begins the long process of clean up and healing, please know that our school community is strong. We will get through this together.

As you likely know, Pierce sustained damage. A tree punctured the roof of a classroom and we took on water in several classrooms, bathrooms, and the hallway. As with all of CR, we also lost many, many trees on our campus. Our district is currently in the process of completing the assessment of damage at Pierce and at all district buildings. We hope to have information very soon regarding a timeline for returning to school.

I know we are all anxious to hear when school starts. We will keep you informed about the start of school, but for now our focus is on taking care of basic needs of our community. If you need assistance, please reach out via email and we will help get you connected to resources.

Be well, Panthers!

Mrs. Ziegler

Important Information and Updates


We will NOT be starting on August 24th with students. We have not yet identified a start date. More information will be coming shortly.


Our buildings remained closed for now while damage is assessed. Please do not attempt to clean up grounds or help move debris. We appreciate you wanting to help, but the work has to be completed by trained professionals due to insurance. Thank you!


The district will be using your previous choice for how you want your child to return to learn this fall. We are currently making sure we have enough teachers for both in person and virtual learning. Please reach out via email if you have questions or if your choice has changed. You can email Mrs. Ziegler at kziegler@crschools.us


Do you need anything specific after the storm? Please let us know how we can support you! Let us know by sending a message to Mrs. Ziegler or Mrs. Cobert telling us how we can help!

ALL are welcome at the Outdoor Kennedy Pantry This Tuesday at noon. It will be located outside Lovely Lane. All are welcome.


Want to Help CRCSD families? "The Derecho Fund" has been created to provide for the immediate needs of CRCSD students, families, and staff affected by the Derecho storm. 100% of your donation will go directly to family/student needs -- no admin costs, no credit card fees. Please help as you can. Click below or use this link: https://crcsf.com/about-us/donate-online/ You can also donate right from the foundation's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/crcsdf


If you are in need of support and assistance at this time, the Linn Area Partners Active in Disaster webpage is a great resource for finding what you may need. See below for additional information.

Big picture

Pierce After the Deracho


Neighborhood Resource Centers
Neighborhood Resource Centers are set up at five sites throughout Cedar Rapids to consolidate resident services. Locations include:

  • Ladd Library, 3750 Williams Blvd SW
  • Northwest Recreation Center parking lot, 1340 11th St NW
  • St. Paul’s Methodist Church, 1340 3rd Ave SE
  • Metro High School, 1212 7th Street SE
  • Taylor Elementary School, 720 7th Ave SW

The centers operate from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily and are staffed with City employees and volunteers. The sites provide food and daily updates on services for residents. Medical charging stations are available as well. Additional resources will continue to be added including supplies for clean-up, and legal and mental health assistance. The sites are coordinated by Linn Area Partners Active in Disaster (LAP-AID) organizations. Services will transition as additional resident needs are assessed.

Food Assistance
With more people regaining power or receiving shelter from the Red Cross, the need for hot meal sites is decreasing, but food options will remain available as needed.

Hot meals can be found at the following locations Sunday, August 23 - Tuesday, August 25 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.:

Cedar Rapids

  • Ladd Library (3750 Williams Blvd SW)
  • Metro High School (1212 7th Street SE)
  • St. Paul's Methodist Church (1340 3rd Ave SE)
  • Nixon Elementary (200 Nixon Drive)
  • Hot meals can be found at the following locations Sunday, August 23 - Tuesday, August 25 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m.:
Cedar Rapids

The American Red Cross has opened a shelter at the Veterans Memorial building at 50 2nd Avenue Bridge in Cedar Rapids. Individuals and families who have been impacted by the storm and power outages are welcome to the shelter where Red Cross volunteers are on hand to assist.

Protocols are in place to ensure social distancing and additional steps are taken to maintain a safe environment in the shelter due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anyone in need of assistance can call 1-800-RED-CROSS and select option “4”, then option “2”, then option “2” again, and provide information on their location so appropriate services can be arranged.

Cooling Station
A cooling station is available at the U.S. Cellular Center, 370 1st Avenue NE. It is open daily from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Please enter the arena off 1st Avenue near the 4th Street railroad tracks. Masks are required fro everyone inside the arena and individual charging stations are social-distanced.

FEMA Individual Disaster Assistance

Residents with losses not covered by insurance should contact FEMA by either going online to DisasterAssistance.gov or by calling the helpline at 800-621-3362. TTY users can call 800-462-7585.

Red Cross Emergency Financial Assistance
American Red Cross will be offering emergency financial assistance to those whose residences sustained major damage or were destroyed due to last week’s derecho storm. The Red Cross is offering eligible households can apply for $450 to support emergency needs, with funds being made available through Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). The Red Cross defines major damage as significant structural damage to a home that will require extensive repairs, including failure of the roof, walls or foundation. To apply call 1-800-REDCROSS, and select prompt 4. The American Red Cross said the application requires a valid text enabled phone number and/or an email address for processing

Stations to Charge Medical Equipment
Places to charge medical equipment will be at Neighborhood Resource Centers.

Cedar Rapids Transit service is operational. The service was interrupted last week following storm damage. Buses may be delayed. Passengers are encouraged to locate buses using our bus tracker available at http://www.ridecrt.com

Police and Fire
For emergencies, such as injuries or gas leaks, call 911.
For non-emergency incidents, please call (319) 286-5491.

There is a curfew in effect from midnight to 6 a.m. daily.

Burn Ban
The burning or incineration of any yard waste, tree stumps, tree limbs, or any storm debris is prohibited. Small wood fires for recreational purposes are also prohibited. This prohibition shall not apply to outdoor cooking using charcoal, dry firewood, natural or propane gas as a fuel. Citizens can still use dried firewood in a fire pit to cook food for the period of time necessary to prepare the food, but then should extinguish it. Charcoal and propane grills may still be used by single-family homeowners. Charcoal and propane grills larger than a one pound cylinder have always been prohibited above ground level in multi-family dwellings and will continue to be prohibited.

Charging and Internet Stations
A no-cost cell phone charging and Wi-Fi station will be available at the US Cellular Center arena (370 1st Ave NE). The station will be open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

- This is also a location that has been designated as a cooling facility in case you need to get out of the heat and have no air conditioning.

Please enter the arena off 1st Avenue near the 4th Street railroad tracks. Masks are required for everyone inside the arena and individual charging stations are social distanced.

Volunteer Opportunities
The United Way of East Central Iowa, along with Linn Area Partners in Disaster, have a volunteer reception center activated in the Linn County Emergency Management Agency.

Individuals are encouraged to sign up to help one of three ways:
1. Sign up online at uweci.org/volunteernow
2. Call 224-406-1366
3. Visit Linn County Emergency Management, located at 6301 Kirkwood Blvd SW, Monday – Friday between 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. to get registered

If you are in need of additional assistance, United Way 211 is working and can connect you to resources. To reach 211, dial 211 on any phone, text your zip code to 899211, or visit 211iowa.org.

Tree Drop Off
Corner of F Ave./1st St. NW (former Coopers Mill). Hours of operation 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. Tree debris only.

The City will make several rounds through neighborhoods to pick up tree debris and rubble as contractors have been obtained to assist City crews. Please let tree debris in one pile and other rubble in a separate pile in the right of way (between sidewalk and curb, or near the curb if no sidewalk - please keep debris off the street).

Residents can help give our trucks room by avoiding parking on the street if at all possible. If you need to park on the street, we are asking residents to voluntarily follow our odd/even rule typically used during residential snow emergencies. Starting tomorrow, park on the odd-address side of the street on odd calendar days, and park on the even-address side of the street on even calendar days.

Communications from the City in addition to Social Media
Responding to challenges residents are having without electricity and limited phone/internet service, City staff will distribute informational flyers to local grocery and home improvement stores. Information will be broadcast regularly from WMT 600 AM radio at 7:10 a.m. (rebroadcast again at 8:35 a.m.) and from Z102.9 FM radio at 7:30 a.m.

Residents can also sign up for immediate text/email alerts at www.CRNewsNow.com and find information compiled on the City website -- www.cedar-rapids.org

Garbage Collection
- Carts must be located at the street in front of your home, NOT the alley.
- Double bag any spoiled food that won’t fit in your cart and place the bag on the ground next to your garbage cart.
- Extra bags of spoiled food will not require an extra garbage tag.
- Debris and materials damaged in the storm do not need to go into your GARBY cart. Place these items near the curb. Keep debris out of the street and sidewalk. Keep garbage debris in separate piles from tree debris.
- Work with your neighbors to locate extra garbage carts that were moved by the storm.
- Contact solid-waste-recycling@cedar-rapids.org or 319-286-5897 to report damaged carts and lids.

The Solid Waste and Recycling Division will begin collecting recycling containers again starting Monday, August 23. To accommodate excess recycling, customers can place any recycling items that do not fit in their CURBY cart in a large cardboard box. The crews will collect the box and its contents for free along with other recycling on their regular collection day. We expect to resume collection of the green yard waste – or YARDY – carts starting the week of August 31.

Garbage collection continues from the street and not the alley. Please do NOT dispose of lithium ion batteries in your cart or in debris piles. These require special disposal. More at: https://www.solidwasteagency.org/rec…/batteries-bulbs-sharps

Sign up for text or email collection updates at www.CRNewsNow.com.

Building Permits
All contractors doing work locally are required to be licensed and registered through the State of Iowa. If they are licensed in another state, they still need to be licensed in Iowa to do work in Iowa. To aid residents in finding a reputable contractor, the Building Services Department has created a phone line residents can call if you’d like us to verify a contractor is licensed. This is a verification service, not a referral service. To verify your contractor is licensed, please call the Building Services Department at 319-286-5929, Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Iowa contractors are licensed through the state, they are not licensed locally. This is a benefit, as the damage is regional, and contractors licensed through the state are able to serve in any community in Iowa. The City is doing everything possible to expedite these permits so residents and their contractor can begin repairs immediately.

Disaster Case Management

  • Single point of contact to help access resources
  • Contact HACAP at 319-739-0056
  • Crisis Counseling
  • For 24/7 disaster crisis counseling, call Iowa Concern Hotline at 800-447-1985.

Tips for Hiring Tree Service
  • Verify the contractor is properly insured
  • Always get a written estimate before work begins
  • Do not pay upfront
  • No permits required for tree removal / trimming services

Chainsaw Safety
  • Proper personal protective equipment must be worn when operating the saw, which includes hand, foot, leg, eye, face, hearing and head protection.
  • Do not wear loose-fitting clothing.
  • Be careful that the trunk or tree limbs will not bind against the saw. Watch for branches under tension, they may spring out when cut.
  • Do not burn debris or damaged trees as it is both illegal and unsafe. The City will be collecting both debris and damaged trees.

Tips for Home Repairs
- Before doing home repairs, verify your contractor has obtained the appropriate permits.

Generator Safety
- Portable generators need to be placed at least 20 feet from your home.
- Make sure the exhaust from the generator is not pointed towards your home, as carbon monoxide can be a significant issue.

Forestry Department
Forestry Number for Citizens: (319) 286-5747

Comprehensive Resource List (partner project with City and The Gazette):