12/21/2018 Edition

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Superintendent's Message

Dear Panther Patrons,

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe the first semester is almost complete, and we are ready to welcome 2019. Our students and staff have been amazing this fall! It is such a pleasure to visit classrooms, watch performances, and enjoy competitions. I hope you have had time to follow and support our students by attending events and “seeing” their classrooms on Facebook, Twitter, and our website! Here is a short list of just a few things we thought made 2018 a very special year at KCSD….

“Top 10 List of 2018”

10. Iowa Dept. of Ed Director, Dr. Ryan Wise, visited us in February to see our great programs

9. The Joel Tonda Tennis Complex was dedicated in September in partnership with the City of Knoxville

8. Your Life Matters helped us host Josh Coburn for suicide prevention and awareness

7. 60 community members created our Portrait of a Panther to identify focused life skills

6. Staff raised over $4,000 for our Panther Food Pantry and Marion County Salvation Army

5. Student leaders have started new businesses & events (fire pits & jewelry/coffee bars/Runs)

4. High school students are partnering with West Elementary to support literacy & positive behaviors

3. Over 260 volunteers have been approved by our school board to help us achieve great things

2. The Silver Cord Program at KHS gives students the opportunity to volunteer and be recognized

1. Our elementary students are in the top 17% of the state in their reading growth on the state test!

“Ensuring a Culture of Excellence for Every Student” is our mission at KCSD. As you can see, we are also striving to meet our two district goals: Be a Leader in 21st Century Learning & Be a Caring Community! Our Knoxville Schools will continue to work on providing the strongest academic and extra-curricular programs for all of our students. Wait until you see what we have planned for 2019!

With Panther Pride~

Cassi Pearson, Superintendent

Varsity Girls and Boys Basketball at Wells Fargo Arena

Our Varsity Girls and Boys Basketball teams will be playing Newton at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines on Saturday, January 5, 2019 and we want you there! The Varsity Girls game will start at 200 PM; the Varsity Boys game to follow around 330 PM. Our Dance Team will also be performing at halftime of the girls and boys games!

Everyone that goes to the game must purchase a ticket. That ticket gets you into our games and also the Iowa Wolves game that evening. Purchase tickets here.

Please keep in mind that parking costs are not included with the price of game tickets. It costs $10/vehicle to park at Wells Fargo Arena.

The school will provide tickets to the Varsity student-athletes playing/performing, coaches, and other related team personnel. Everyone else that attends our games will need to purchase a ticket.

Come cheer on the Panthers as we get a chance to perform in a big-time venue!

Ryan Paulsen, Activities Director

6th Grade Science

The 2018-2019 has been flying by way too quickly. So far this year, the students have made models of animal and/or plant cells and had a coloring observed wrapped lifesavers under microscopes, identified, and colored the different parts of cells.

They have also been learning about chemical and physical changes by making s'mores using a small alcohol burner as a fire source. Observation skills are being improved by observing what kinds of physical and chemical changes can take place when you are trying to roast or smash a marshmallow, break a graham cracker, or melt chocolate.

The students got to use a new tool - a triple beam balance - to find the mass of an object.

5th Grade Field Trip

Fifth graders at Northstar had the opportunity to visit COC in Pella during December. They spent time working on social skills with persons supported. Students also participated in activities that simulated what life is like living with a disability.The students left COC with an awareness and appreciation of the difficulties some people face everyday.

Students Use Elements of Art to Create Holiday Compositions

1st Grade Gingerbread Houses

We have been comparing and contrasting the different Gingerbread Men stories during December. We have also been learning about 3-D shapes. To celebrate our hard work learning, we decorated gingerbread houses!

2nd Grade Fine Arts

Last week, 2nd graders experienced the Fine Arts with several special activities. In our reading curriculum, we read the story "Ah, Music!". The students enjoyed making their own musical instruments from recycled materials and other items. We also had a wonderful Winter Music Concert. The students did a great job preparing for the big night. On Friday, Dec. 14, we were able to go to the Civic Center to watch Lane Franck perform in The Nutcracker ballet. We are so thankful that the Elementary PTO sponsored this trip.

Several 2nd graders also painted reindeer portraits. Each one is as unique and adorable as its artist.

West Music

It was a very exciting month with concerts and caroling. The students loved performing for everyone who came to the concerts. They had been working on their songs since October. This week our first grade and kindergarten students went caroling.

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Notifications for School Delays & Cancellations

In order to receive notifications regarding weather cancellations and/or delays or changes to district activities, please subscribe to the GovDelivery service. Signing up is easy at: Screenshots are pictured below of the subscription process.

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Community Partner Contributions

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ISU Extension and Outreach - Parent Education Survey

Marion County educators and agencies,

ISU Human Sciences Extension and Outreach is exploring potential gaps in the parent education opportunities available for Iowa families. In order to gather more information, the Human Sciences Parent Education Workgroup developed a survey to be distributed to Iowa agencies currently providing parenting education. As an agency dedicated to meeting the needs of parents, we deeply value your input and invite you to participate in this survey.

The survey will take 10 – 15 minutes to complete. We encourage you to share this message with others we may have missed with this invitation.

The survey link is:

The survey will close January 4, so thank you for your quick attention to this request.

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The Panther Press is a weekly collective newsletter for parents & community members. If you have an article or flyer to share, please submit to for consideration.

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