Northwest News

September Newsletter

A Letter From the Principal

Hello, Northwest families! We are off to a great start! These first two weeks have been filled with community building, meeting new friends, and learning new routines. Students were nervous at first, but have settled in nicely. We are figuring out schedules and understanding expectations. Each day gets a little bit better!

Northwest Junior High is a PBIS school. This means that we focus on positive behavior and provide supports for students who need more structure. As a PBIS school, we have three core virtues. Northwest Trojans are kind, responsible, scholars. We have been spending a lot of time at the beginning of the year to really help students understand these virtues and how they look in different parts of the school (classroom, lunchroom, bus, etc). Students can earn PBIS points by following these virtues throughout the day and then they can use those points to buy prizes in our school store. Often we have school-wide challenges to earn more points and school-wide rewards for reaching certain goals. Students can also earn extra recognition from school staff through a Swag award. These awards recognize students who have gone above and beyond. Parents and students receive the award via email. Students and parents can also nominate staff members who go above and beyond! Please use this link to recognize any of our great staff members anytime throughout the year!

We have a great partnership with West High School and we encourage students to attend events and be a part of the community. Many students like to attend athletic events. Students should have a responsible adult with them at the events and not dropped off alone. I would also like to remind you to talk with your student about good sportsmanship when attending these events. If students attend an athletic event, they are there to watch the game and support the team. Our students represent Northwest Junior High wherever they go and we want that reputation to be a positive one!

Our PSTO (Parent Student Teacher Organization) is an important part of our school community. This group supports our school in various ways. They provide scholarships for students for yearbooks, provide meals for our teachers on conference nights, help during all-school parties, and much, much more. The time commitment is minimal and meetings are held virtually via Zoom once a month. I encourage you to join us and participate when you can. Our first meeting will be held in September. A Zoom link will be shared via email before the first meeting. We are still looking for a vice president, so if you are interested, please let me know!

We have a lot of wonderful supports for students and families here at Northwest Junior High. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if there is anything you or your student needs. We have two amazing guidance counselors and two fantastic Student Family Advocates. We also have a Behavior Interventionist, an Academic Support teacher, and a Student Advisory Center coordinator. We have a strong administrative team that includes myself, Allison Crosby (Assistant Principal), Abby Haywood (Dean of Students), Taylor Scudder (Leadership Fellow), and Jane Fry (administrator emeritus). Our secretarial staff can often answer any question you might have. Lauren, Emelia, and Nikki in the main office are very knowledgeable. Heather works in our guidance department and Anel supports in the library and with technology. We also have a strong partnership with United Action for Youth (UAY) to provide individual and group services to our students. And, of course, we have a number of clubs and activities students can participate in.

Thank you for your support and cooperation as we begin this school year! I have high hopes that this is going to be a great year and I look forward to making many memories with these students! Please feel free to contact me or anyone on our team with questions or concerns that you may have. Thank you!


Elizabeth Bruening, Principal

Northwest Junior High

Donate to Northwest

We need your help! Northwest depends on monetary donations to help fund our student activities throughout the school year. Please consider a donation to Northwest HERE.

We appreciate your support!

Important Dates

September 6th: No School

September 8th: PSTO meeting via Zoom, 5:30pm

September 16th: No School

Club Fair

Virtual Club Fair! Get Involved, Make Friends, Try Something New! Sign up my Friday 9/3.

Field Trips

Students will take field trips throughout the school year. Please fill out the field trip form below to give permission for your student to attend. Information will be sent out before each field trip.

*The 8th grade field trip to Hancher has been postponed to later in the year.

School Hours

Classes begin each day promptly at 8:50 am. The school day ends at 4:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays. On Thursday and other designated early release days, school ends at 3:00 p.m. Students are not allowed in the building prior to 8:35 am. Students are to leave the building by 4:10 p.m. unless they are meeting with a teacher or are involved in a supervised after-school activity. On Thursday, students must be out of the building by 3:10 p.m.
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Sports-2nd Fall Season-Boys Basketball and Girls Swim Team

Boys Basketball and Girls Swim team start October 12th!

All students who want to participate must have a current physical and permission to practice on file.

Student Physical Form (must be signed by physician and guardian)

Permission to Practice/Concussion Form (two sided, must be signed by guardian and student athlete)

Boys Basketball Signup

Girls Swim Team Signup

Bus Information

Students are entitled to transportation if they live more than two miles from the school designated for attendance.

You will need to fill out a bus application if:

  • You are new to the district
  • You are going from 6th to 7th grade
  • If you have changed addresses over the summer

Please return completed form to any school, or by email to

Application for Student Transportation

Transportation Information

Pay School Fees and Lunch Payments

You can pay for school fees and add money to your student's lunch account.

Click HERE to pay.

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Coralville Rec Center Usage

Students who are in 5th grade and older must have a Rec Pass to check in and use the game room, gyms, racquetball, or drop-in programs at the Coralville Rec Center. Guardians may fill out the attached form and return to the rec center. The Rec center opens at 9:00am. Questions-please call 319/248-1750.

Coralville Rec Center Facility Pass Application

School Year Calendar

Early dismissal day will be on Thursdays, with Junior High ending at 3:00pm.

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Information on the Pledge of Allegiance

Dear Families and Staff,

Effective July 1, 2021, the legislature passed, and Governor Reynolds signed, several pieces of legislation from the 2021 legislative session that will impact certain ICCSD policies. One of these items includes regulations regarding the Pledge of Allegiance.

Iowa Code section 280.5 states the following: The board of directors of each public school district shall administer the pledge of allegiance in grades one through twelve each school day. Each classroom in which the pledge of allegiance is recited pursuant to this subsection shall display the United States flag during the recitation. A student shall not be compelled against the student's objections or those of the student's parent or guardian to recite the pledge. (HF 847 § 27, adding new Iowa Code § 280.5(2))

In compliance with State law, the District will administer the pledge of allegiance daily in all schools. If a family or student prefers that the student not recite the Pledge of Allegiance, the student is not required to participate or stand for the recitation of the pledge. Staff members are also not required to participate in the recitation of the pledge of allegiance.

If you have any questions regarding these new regulations, please contact your child’s school.


Matt Degner
Iowa City Community School District

Message on Masks and Vaccines (8/11/21)

To help slow the spread of COVID-19, the Iowa City Community School District strongly encourages universal indoor mask use for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to our schools, regardless of vaccination status. This is based on guidance from the CDC. In addition, the President’s Executive Order on domestic transportation requires students and staff to wear a face-covering while on a school bus or while utilizing other District-provided transportation. In addition, the District strongly encourages eligible individuals to get the COVID-19 vaccine. For individuals 12 years of age and older who have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine, this vaccine locator may be used to find a provider near you.
The Iowa City Community School District remains committed to our COVID-19 health and safety practices. The well-being of our students, staff, and families is our first priority. We are following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) guidelines to ensure we can safely, effectively, and consistently provide access to learning and co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. The District’s measures are meant to keep our community safe, but they are only fully effective if we are diligent and responsible in adhering to them. For further information on our COVID-19 safety protocols, please visit

The Iowa City Community School District began partnering with Green Iowa AmeriCorps (GIA) in the fall of 2019. This school year, two full-time GIA members, Lisa Stark and Meg SmolikHagen, will be working with the District on sustainability-related projects such as developing a model composting and recycling program, supporting school gardens, increasing prairie habitat, environmental/sustainability-related education outreach, as well as a monthly newsletter.

Please check out this month’s issue of their sustainability newsletter The Green School House Effect here: We encourage you to subscribe to the newsletter to follow their work and find ways to get involved!

Non-Discrimination Policy

It is the policy of the Iowa City Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status in its educational programs, activities, or employment practices. There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination. If you have questions or a grievance related to this policy, please contact Jeremy Tabor, Director of Equity & Employee Relations, 1725 N. Dodge St., Iowa City, IA 52245, (319) 688-1000,