Penn Pride: We have. We are. Together.

NO SCHOOL in Honor of MLK on Monday, January 20, 2020


I hope you are enjoying this longer than expected weekend. We will continue to learn about Martin Luther King, Jr and the courage he demonstrated this week. Our service project continues this week too. We'll be collecting Peanut Butter and Jelly for the North Liberty Pantry all week.
Big picture

PB & J for MLK Day

WHAT: Peanut Butter & Jelly Drive to donate to the NL Pantry

WHEN: January 13 – January 24

WHO: ALL Penn Students

WHY: to serve our community in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Staying Healthy

Dear Parent or Guardian,

Recently the number of students missing school due to illness has been on the rise. The illnesses are varied, but Influenza has been present and remains a concern. Below is some information about influenza symptoms and steps that might help in prevention.

The following are some of the symptoms of Influenza:

● Fever (it is important to keep in mind that not everyone with the flu has a fever)

● Cough

● Sore Throat

● Runny or stuffy nose

● Body aches

● Headache

● Chills

● Fatigue

● Sometimes diarrhea and vomiting

The following are a few things we can do to prevent illness:

● Good hand washing

● Clean-all common surfaces, especially if experiencing symptoms of the flu/illness.

● Cover-your cough or sneeze with the inner part of your elbow/arm or with a Kleenex. Always wash hands following coughing or sneezing.

● Keep children home that are ill.

If you suspect you or your child has Influenza, we encourage you to see your healthcare provider. Our district policy requires students to stay home until they are fever, diarrhea, and vomit free for 24 hours without the use of medication. When calling in your child’s absence, it would be helpful if you identify the symptoms of your child’s illness so that we can track illnesses that are circulating in the school. Also, please notify the office if your child has a confirmed laboratory test.

For more information on influenza, you can visit the following CDC website:

Thank you,

Beth Carder, BSN, RN

Penn School Nurse

Marcos Pizza Fundraiser rescheduled (due to weather complications) to January 27 - 30.

Penn Theater Group: the Wizard of Oz

This year Penn Elementary will be producing of first production of the new Penn Theater Group: the Wizard of Oz. The production will be made up entirely of Penn students and faculty. The show will run May 1 and May 2 at Liberty High School.

All Penn students are welcomed and encouraged to join the production – all who audition will be cast to be in the show.

Audition Information:

When: Thursday, January 30th

Where: Penn Elementary

Times: K-1st Grade: 2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

2nd-4th Grade: 3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

5th-6th Grade: 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

K/1st/2nd grades will audition in groups. Students will be sung a line from a WOZ song and be asked to repeat it back in song. Same will happen with a line of dialogue

3rd-6th grades will audition individually or in groups of 2/3 depending on amount of students auditioning. These students will be asked to sing a few lines from a song and read a few lines from a scene.

*NOTE: Noone needs to prepare or memorize any material.

Rehearsal Information:

Rehearsals will be held twice/week – mostly on Tuesdays from 3:30-5:30 and Sundays from 1:00- 4:00pm

Lead roles of Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Wicked Witch of the West, Wizard and others will rehearse more than others

All K-1st Grade students will be cast as either Munchkins, Flying Monkeys, Emerald City Citizens or all three and rehearse less throughout the process

Permission Form: please use this link to get to the permission form. Print it and send it with your child when they audition.


We will also be looking for students who wish to participate behind the scenes – building/painting sets, creating costumes/props, designing lights and sound, and more. We are also looking for parent volunteers to assist with a wide range of responsibilities including:

- Rehearsal monitor

- Set builders/painters

- Costume designer and Costume builders

- Hair and Makeup designer

- Show runners/monitors


The show is being directed by Penn parent Zach Mannheimer (parent of a K, 2nd, and 5th grader) with Penn parent Lisa Williams (parent of a 1st grader) serving as the production manager. If you have any questions or would like to volunteer, please email Lisa at

PENNcake Day


If you'd like to show your love by helping with PENNcake day, sign up using this link.

AIM Student Library Cards for local public libraries.

We hope you and your child are enjoying the new AIM (Access to Information and Materials) student card, which functions as a dual-purpose school ID and public library card for ICCSD students in grades K-12. Most students in grades K-8 received their cards prior to winter break. If your child has not yet received his/her card, it will arrive soon. High school students can use their current student ID or request a new AIM version of their card from the main office of their high school without charge.

The most obvious benefit of the AIM card is that your child can check out three items at a time from each of the three libraries -- Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty -- without fines or fees. As you may or may not know, there are other features of the AIM card as well. Two online resources your child can access are OverDrive, a database which provides access to ebooks and audiobooks, and Kanopy, a database of videos. As in all cases when using the Internet, we encourage parents to be aware of and diligent in supervising what their children are accessing online. If at any time you have questions about the AIM card or its features, feel free to contact your child’s teacher librarian or one of the public libraries.

Our public libraries have been thrilled with the increased visits to their buildings and usage of their collections in the first month of the program. The AIM card is a great way to promote and celebrate literacy in our community!

Inclement Weather Guidelines

While we already experienced a brief preview, winter weather is right around the corner! As a reminder, the District's Inclement Weather Guidelines for issuing delay, cancellation, and early release decisions can be found on the District’s website by clicking HERE. Please note the change to the school day if there is a late start issued on a Thursday.

As decisions are made regarding school day changes, the District aims to keep parents as connected as possible so that notifications are received conveniently and timely. In addition to the notifications that are sent via email, phone and text, we encourage you to follow the District on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to ensure that announcements are right at your fingertips. We also encourage you to download the District’s mobile app, where you can find everything school and district related in one convenient spot.

If you have any questions, please contact the Educational Services Center at (319) 688-1000.

SAVE the DATE .... info about Music Performances

1st grade: Wednesday, March 25 2:00

2nd grade: Wednesday, March 25 2:20

3rd, 4th and 5th grades: May 13, Wednesday 8:30 AM

6th graders will perform at their last day of school celebration

Looking Ahead

  • PB & J for MLK: January 13 - 24
  • NO SCHOOL: January 20
  • PTO fundraiser with Marcos Pizza: January 27, 28, 29, 30
  • Auditions for the Wizard of Oz: January 30. See above or emails from PTO or Mrs. Heffner for more details.
  • PTO: Feb 4 @ 7pm in the library
  • PTO Fundraiser: February 19th-Subway (780 community drive, North Liberty) 5-8 pm, 15% of sales go back to the Penn PTO
  • PENNcake Day: February 14
  • PTO Fundraiser: March 3rd- McTeacher night at North Liberty McDonald’s 5-7, bring $5 cash to buy a sheet of coupons worth over $20, the school keeps 100% of the coupon proceeds!
  • Parent Teacher Conferences: Feb 27 2:10 - 7:10pm and Mar 2 7:40am - 7:10 pm
  • Wizard of Oz Production: May 1 & 2
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 and Employee Relations, 1725 N. Dodge St., Iowa City, IA 52245, 319-688-1000,