Van Allen Newsletter

A Preview and an Update for Our School Community

November 27, 2022 | Volume 8

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🚨 Van Allen News 🚨

Announcements from our SFA:

Questions about Servolution, Toys for Tots, LIHEAP, and/or LIWAP should be addressed to our School Family Advocate, Danielle Weipert via email at weipert.danielle@iowacityschools.org or by phone at (319)688-1185.

High Reliability Schools (HRS) Update

Thank you for taking the time to complete our High Reliability Schools (HRS) survey earlier this fall. While reviewing our stakeholder data, it is evident that there is an opportunity for improvement with Leading Indicator 1.6, "Students, parents, and the community have formal ways to provide input regarding the optimal functioning in the school."


As a result, this linked form (also inserted, below) will become a standing item in our newsletter. We will look for additional opportunities to ensure that this form is readily available to you. Please note that submitting an idea to this form does not ensure that it will be implemented. Once a month, we will plan to include a section within our newsletter dedicated to providing feedback and/or any response in regards to the different ideas that we have received from this form.

HRS at Van Allen Elementary

*UPDATED - Specific Car Line Points of Emphasis:

*Please note that some of our arrival procedures have changed.


    • Supervision begins at 7:40am. As a result, students should NOT begin to arrive until 7:40am.

    • Students begin to enter the building at 7:50am.

    • School begins at 7:55am. At 7:55am, all students should begin entering the building through the front entrance (east side doors).

    • Anyone entering the parking lot, should park their vehicle and cross the car line with their child. Crossing the car line can be done at the east playground or the front entrances.


    • Pull forward if/when there is space ahead of you.


    • Drivers should always remain in their vehicle when dropping off and picking up students. Please have your child as ready as possible when it is time for them to get out of the car.

    • Students should enter and exit their vehicle curbside through the passenger side doors; please do NOT allow children to leave the vehicle on the driver's side.


    • At dismissal, please place a visible sign in your vehicle to show the name and grade-level of the student(s) that you are picking-up.
      If you need a sign, they are available in the office.
      If you don't have a sign, a sheet of white paper and black marker will work.

    • Please share this information with anybody who might drop-off and/or pick-up students.

    • For a more comprehensive understanding of our arrival and dismissal procedures, please refer to the documents that are inserted below.


Abiding by these procedures and the additional scaffolds that are coming soon help us create and maintain a "Safe, Supportive, and Collaborative Culture" (HRS, Level One) at Van Allen and more specifically, "Students, parents, and the community perceive the school environment as safe, supportive, and orderly" (HRS, Leading Indicator 1.1).


Coming soon:

  • A car line tutorial video is currently in production
  • We will soon have signage to display and assist with both arrival and dismissal times.


Your attention to this, and your patience are appreciated. Thank you.


  • The elementary school day begins at 7:55am and ends at 2:55pm


  • Please note that every Thursday is a one-hour early release

🚨 Iowa City Community Schools News 🚨

School Climate Survey

Dear Parent/Legally Authorized Adult:


Between November 28 and December 16, 2022, your child/children will be invited to join their 5th-12th grade classmates in completing the 2022-23 School Climate Survey. Participation in the survey is strictly voluntary and no student is required to fill out the questionnaire. The survey will take approximately one class period, 40 minutes, to complete. The survey includes questions about your child’s relationships with teachers and peers, school safety and the disciplinary environment, belonging and inclusion, and overall perceptions of the school environment. You may view the 2022-23 School Climate Survey on our District website at https://www.iowacityschools.org/Page/1130.


The purpose of the survey is to collect information about our student's experiences in the classroom and school environment so they can tell us what is working in their school and what needs improvement. The results of this survey have been and will continue to be used to inform district-level policies and priorities, building-level Comprehensive School Improvement Plans (CSIPs), Board of Education meetings, various ICCSD committees, and individual educator practices aimed at reducing inequities in student experiences and outcomes. The results are used to inform goal setting and the identification of areas of strength and opportunity for growth.


All information collected will be confidential. Information from the survey will be linked to student demographic data from Infinite Campus to examine group differences in experiences. Individual identifiers (such as name, student email, and student ID) will be removed from the data for analysis and in any reporting (internal and external).


If you would prefer your child/children not participate in the survey, please email Equity Coordinator Charita Martin at martin.charita@iowacityschools.org, or contact your child’s building by November 21, 2022, and your child/children will be provided a neutral activity during the survey class period. There is no penalty for anyone who decides not to participate.


If you have questions or concerns regarding the 2022-23 School Climate Survey, please feel free to contact Laura Gray (contact information below).


Thank you for your consideration!


Laura Gray
Executive Director of Diversity and Cultural Responsiveness
gray.laura@iowacityschools.org
(319) 688-1000

Join Our Team!

Join our team! The Iowa City Community School District will hold open interviews seeking paraeducators, nutrition services employees, and custodial staff. Interviews will be held on the following Fridays from 9:00 am to 12:00 pm at the District’s Educational Services Center, 1725 N. Dodge Street in Iowa City.


  • Friday, December 2, 2022
  • Friday, January 27, 2023
  • Friday, February 24, 2023


Assistance will be provided, if needed, to complete the application process. To view available positions or to apply online, visit www.IowaCitySchools.org/Jobs.

Iowa City Districtwide Parents Organization (DPO)

The Iowa City Districtwide Parents Organization (DPO) promotes active engagement and awareness at the school and district level through monthly open meetings that include speakers on matters related to education as well as opportunities to interact directly with the ICCSD administration, foundation, and school board.


DPO meetings are your opportunity to:

  • Connect with parents and caregivers from other schools’ parent organizations

  • Find out what is happening in our district directly from the school board and administration

  • Learn from experts about important matters related to children, youth, and education

  • Exchange ideas and gain information on local, state and national legislative issues


General meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month, September-May, at 6:30-8:00 PM. Meetings will be held via Zoom through 2022. Additional information is available on the ICCSD DPO web page including the DPO Meeting Calendar.

🚨 Standing Items within the Newsletter 🚨

Arrival + Dismissal Procedures* - (Links, Below)

Cell Phone/Personal Device Policy

Earlier this month, the Policy and Governance committee of the School Board requested that policy for the use of cell phones and personal devices be created for Elementary Schools to begin this school year. The final policy is, which is in effect immediately, is updated on the district website in the Elementary Handbook (linked); it is under personal property on page 10.

The District is committed to providing a safe and healthy learning environment for our students.

When food is served to students in the classroom as a snack, birthday treat, or during a classroom celebration, the following rules apply (ICCSD Wellness Policy 507.9):

  • allow only fresh fruits/vegetables or purchased foods with the ingredients listed (no homemade foods).
  • allow only foods that meet the Healthy Food Guidelines/ Smart Snacks. (the only exception to this would be food-tasting related to district-approved curriculum lessons)
  • not allow foods with peanuts or peanut butter, or foods that were made in a factory where cross-contamination may occur.
  • food that does not meet the guidelines will be sent home.
  • a list of acceptable foods (linked).


Thank you for your attention to this.

Introducing our Van Allen Support Staff

#VanAllenPride - Follow and Like Us

We use these platforms (below) to highlight our accomplishments (including pictures) and share relevant announcements and reminders.

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Non-Discrimination Statement

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 Eric Howard, Director of Equity and Employee Relations, 1725 N. Dodge St., Iowa City, IA 52245, 319-688-1000, howard.eric@iowacityschools.org.