Penn Pride: We have. We are. Together.

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8:15am The excitement is palpable as students arrived with blankets in tow for the movies today

8:30 Kindergarten Sing Along! What a wholesome fun event. Thanks Mrs. Paisar for giving us all this together experience. Here is a link to some pictures from today's fun.

At the movies TOGETHER

Wonder and Toy Story are both great capstones to our focus on acceptance, patience and tolerance. It was fun to experience these impactful lessons together. And, I would just guess, that everyone will have a chance to apply some acceptance, patience and tolerance throughout the next two weeks.

Last day of school of THE DECADE was so sweet. Happy Holidays, Everyone!

AIM Student Library Cards for local public libraries.

Does your student need access to more library materials during school breaks? Or need to supplement resources for school research or for reading enjoyment?

Their AIM Student Card can be used at all three local public libraries: Coralville, Iowa City, and North Liberty!

Mrs. Priske passed out AIM public library cards this week.

For more info:

Changes to routes for Bus 5173 and 5175

Dear PENN Parents/Guardians of students riding bus 5173 or 5175:

Effective Monday, 1/06/2020 your student's bus information will change. This change is due to changing the flow of the buses to balance the number of riders and student ride times between the buses. Please use the letter in the link below to make your plans for the new year as your most up-to-date route information.

Please click the link below to see busing information, effective Monday 01/06/20. If you have any questions, please contact Esme Davis at the ESC or Iowa Central School Bus at 319.688.1900.

As stated above, Esme Davis is the district contact about any detailed bus questions, but of course, let me know if I can help in any way.


Kristy Heffner, Penn Principal

319-688-1150 or

clarifying lunch accounts

This has come up recently: if you use My School Bucks for your children's lunch $ accounts.

PowerSchool and My School Bucks are both online school accounts, but they don't "talk" to each other.

Also, just so you know, we always allow all children to eat regular school lunch everyday and we never shame kids about their lunch account balances.

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.

North Liberty to Launch Transportation Assistance Program

For $1 per ride, qualified North Liberty residents can call a Yellow Cab of Iowa City taxi to pick up groceries, get to the bank, visit a doctor, connect to a bus or certain other essential quality-of-life trips scheduled Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. or Saturday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Residents can be eligible for this program because they don’t have access to vehicle, face financial difficulty or are permanently or temporarily disabled.

Initial registration drives will be held:

Monday, Nov 25, 9 am - 12pm at the North Liberty Library

Tuesday, Nov 26 3pm - 6pm at the North Liberty, Pantry.

After the initial drives, applicants can complete an online application and make an appointment for an office visit ot complete verification. More information about this program and other transportation options is available at

School-wide wish list

People often ask: what do you need at school? Well, while you are out shopping, and as we enter the flu and virus season, we would sure appreciate disinfecting wipes. Just drop them off in the office.


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

  • Winter Break: Dec. 21 - Jan. 5
  • PTO: January 7 @ 7pm in the library
  • No School January 20
  • Penncake Day February 14
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,

Sign up Info for Girls on the Run

Dear parents of 3rd-6th grade girls,

Sign-up for the Girls on the Run program will start on Friday January 17th , is first come, first served, and can be accessed here:

Girls on the Run (GOTR) is an after-school program that meets for practice twice per week, beginning the week of February 24th for 10 weeks at the following days and times:

Christine Grant Elementary: Wednesdays and Fridays 3:00-4:15p.m.

Penn Elementary: Mondays and Fridays 3:00-4:30p.m.

During the program, girls will have fun, make friends, increase their physical activity levels and learn important life skills. Trained and caring coaches lead 3-6 grade girls through interactive lessons and running activities (ALTHOUGH running is never required!!!). The season ends with a noncompetitive 5K GOTR event. More information about the program can be found here:

You will have the option to select “Christine Grant” or “Penn” Elementary during sign up. We have a unique situation again this season with 2 seasoned GOTR coaches having girls at Christine Grant this year (Kelly Brubaker, formerly at Van Allen/coach at Grant last season and Valerie Hoffman, long-time Penn Elementary coach). We thought we’d continue what we did last season by having Kelly B. head up the new Grant Elementary team and Valerie Hoffman keep the Penn Elementary team going. As such, Coach Val will be picking up her 3rd grade daughter on practice days at the end of the school day on Mondays and Fridays from Grant Elementary and taking her to Penn Elementary for practice. She can arrange to take your daughter there, too, if practice times at Penn work better for your family (we’ll just have to get a transportation waiver in place if you don't have one already from last season….she and another coach can take up to 8-10 other girls and drive them back to Grant afterwards if needed). This will allow some of the kiddos who now go to different schools to see each other twice a week. And, vice versa, if a Penn student wants to come to Grant for practice because that works better for your schedule and/or they want to hang out with old friends, that’s fine too!

If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to email the Grant and Penn head coaches, Kelly Brubaker at and Valerie Hoffman at