Weekly Edition, 9/15/2017

Big picture

Students, Parents, and Staff: Welcome back to KMS! We are excited to have everyone back and in the building for the 2017-2018 school year. The first couple weeks of school have gone very well. The nervousness of new schedules and learning lockers has begun to settle, and students are getting situated into their daily routines.

We understand middle school is a time in which children undergo changes physically, socially, and cognitively. The following link provides some great information to keep in mind as kids develop throughout their middle school years.

Presentation- Do You Know Your Middle School Child?

As always, please contact the middle school office if you have any questions or need clarification on anything. We are looking forward to an outstanding school year!

Brian McNeill, Principal and Trenton Keefer, Assistant Principal

Knoxville Middle School: Grades 6-8 ~ Phone 641-842-3315 ~

Stay up-to-date via our Website, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Big picture

Paper Towers

Submitted by: Mrs. Nunnikhoven, KMS

We do this activity as a team building activity to get the students collaborating together in groups to solve a problem! They get 4 sheets of paper, scissors & tape. They create a paper apparatus to support as many books as possible. We follow the engineering design process and work through the 8 steps, as well as a re-design, to improve our product through each process. We had one group hold 56 books!!!!
Big picture

Greetings from KMS General Music and Choir

My name is Megan Phillips and I teach students in General Music and Choir at the middle school. Our year is off to a fantastic start - students are politely enthusiastic and I’m learning just as much from them as learn from me. They also do a great job of collaborating and helping each other problem solve.

In General Music, students are creating reading routines based on their favorite bands or musical artist. They create these in our online learning platform, Canvas. We use these to begin each class. Students enjoy researching their favorite musicians (modern day, and not so modern) and sharing their favorite songs with peers. Students are also learning how to creatively manipulate Google Docs by making Listening Maps: visual representations of music. Students learn definitions of possible different parts of a pop song, such as “verse” and “refrain”. Students also research music lyrics and use a guideline covered in class, as well as personal filters to identify content that could be considered inappropriate and, therefore, unable to be used for school projects. An example of a listening map precedes this article.

In choir, we begin each class period by stretching and warming up our voices. This is a great way to segway from students’ previous classes. Students also learn solfege syllables and hand signals, which aids when sight-reading music (attempting to sing when seeing a piece of music for the first time). Students attend one group vocal lesson each week, right after lunch. We sing through music that was rehearsed in class.

Our Winter Concert is Thursday, Dec. 14 @ 7pm in KPAC. Simply attending the concert is a huge way to show support for these students in their musical endeavors. Concerts are free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!

Elementary News

Big picture

Third Grade News

We're off to a great start in third grade! Our kiddos are becoming experts with routines and expectations in their new building!
Big picture

Last year, the Knoxville Elementary PTO raised more than $2000 from the Box Tops that our students brought in and we want this year we want to raise even more. Box Tops can be found on a variety of food and home products. Be sure to check out the full list of Box Tops products. They can be cut or torn off and simply collected in a baggie and brought to school. Electronic Box Tops are also available for Apple and Android users. Both Northstar and West have collection boxes for the Box Tops. It is a great idea to ask friends, family, neighbors and coworkers to save Box Tops for your student.

Jyl DeJong and Shana Krpan, Box Top Coordinators

Knoxville Elementary PTO

Big picture

S.M.I.L.E. at West Elementary

You may see some S.M.I.L.E.s around West Elementary this school year. In order to create a theme of collective efficacy and promote positivity, staff members have developed a SMILE theme. SMILE is an acronym for Shine Motivate Inspire Lead Educate. Our goal is to develop/maintain an atmosphere that feels welcoming and safe, values honest feedback, emphasizes consistency, encourages PANTHER pride, and inspires excellence for both students and staff. By creating a united front for students and the community, we hope to create a remarkable first impression and convey that we have a caring, compassionate environment in our building. Our staff has voted unanimously in support of this new initiative to uplift students, staff, and our community!
Big picture

Bus Safety

Bus driver, Ronda Geery, explains bus safety to Mrs. Snyder's preschoolers and Mrs. Helle's second grade students. Ms. Johnston's FFA students helped the students practice exit through the back door safely.
Big picture

Student Teachers

West Elementary is privileged to have three student teachers from William Penn University at our school this fall. Abbey Montgomery is currently with Mrs. Leedom in 2nd grade, Jodi Saito is in 1st grade with Mrs. McDonald's and Joslyn Schaffer is in Mrs. Crawford's 1st grade classroom. We are happy to welcome them to West for their student teaching experience.

KCSD Non-Discrimination Policy

It is the policy of the Knoxville Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age (for employment), marital status (for programs), sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status (for programs) in its educational programs and its 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 Equity Coordinator Jill Van Woerkom, Director of Human Resources at 309 W Main, Knoxville, IA 50138, 641/842-6551 or The grievance will then be directed to the appropriate administrator charged with managing the program or department specified in the grievance.

The Board requires all persons, agencies, vendors, contractors and other persons and organizations doing business with or performing services for the District to subscribe to all applicable federal and state laws, executive orders, rules and regulations pertaining to contract compliance and equal opportunity.