IPS News for You

November 2019

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Dear Parents and Friends of IPS,

With the first quarter of school completed, we are truly on our way to a year of excellence here at IPS. We have really seen a lot of growth in our students already, from their reading and writing skills to all the problems solved in math. Please continue to stay involved with your children by talking with them about what they are doing in school on a daily basis…… Together we can!

We had another excellent month at IPS! Party for a Purpose event was a huge success. Thank you to our PTO for planning such a wonderful event. The Independence Fire Department presented fire safety programs to all of our second-grade students. We had our Halloween activities during the month of October as well. In November, we had our Cookie and Canvas event, I-Pride Program, and Jim Basketball Jones Assembly with students.

Our Thanksgiving break will start on Wednesday, November 27th. We are looking forward to December and all the activities we have planned. The Santa Shop is an opportunity for our students to buy gifts for their loved ones and will take place 12/2-12/5. Please be sure to mark your calendar for December 5th, as that is our annual 3rd and 4th grade Holiday Program at the high school auditorium starting at 7 PM. Our students have been working very hard to prepare for a show that will surely dazzle! It is hard to believe that the holiday season is upon us.

Our holiday parties will take place on December 20, 2019, and it will be a pajama day. The parties will take place before each grade level recess, and a “Special” visitor may be stopping to visit! The schedule is below:

      • Kindergarten - 9:45AM-10:30AM

      • Grade 4 - 10:15AM-11:00AM

      • Grade 2 - 10:45AM-11:30AM

      • Grade 1 - 11:15AM-12:00PM

      • Grade 3 - 11:45AM-12:30PM

At around 1:35 PM ALL students at IPS will watch a holiday movie in the gym and flexible learning space.

As the winter season really starts to get into full swing, please help keep our school running at full capacity by remembering that children should not return to school until they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours. This has really been a big tool in helping keep things at a manageable level thus far. We will continue to practice good sanitation and promote healthy habits such as hand washing here at school as well. Also, remember that all students will be going out for recess (weather permitting) unless we have a note from a physician advising against it. So please ensure that your child is dressed appropriately in a coat, hat, and gloves.

Please feel free to contact me at the school office or via email if you have any questions or concerns.

May your holiday season bring you many joys!

TJ Ebert, Principal


In an effort to ensure the safety of our district's school bus riders, we have put together some helpful hints for our students and parents while loading and unloading the school bus.

Loading: Students must wait in the driveway, approximately 20 feet from the road (their point of safety) and wait for the driver's signal to load the bus. A child waiting at their point of safety ensures that they are not near the bus before it comes to a complete stop.

Unloading: Students must exit the bus and walk approximately 20 feet up their drive to their point of safety and remain there until the bus leaves, ensuring that the driver can account for all students.

Crossing Students: Students that cross the road for the bus must follow the driver's instructions. The driver will use a hand signal to let the students know that it is safe to cross. Once the driver gives the hand signal, students should check traffic then proceed to cross. The point of safety rules that are listed above also applies to crossing students.


The Integrated Preschool Program at Independence Primary School currently has openings for the 2020-2021 school year. We are looking for typically developing peers ages three to five. The preschool program has a morning session and an afternoon session. The classes are taught by a licensed special education teacher. Our maximum class size is 16 children, with a teacher and classroom aide in the room for a student-teacher ratio of 8:1 or less. Placement in the class is dependent on age and developmental ability. Tuition is $1600 for peers. Applications can be found on the Preschool webpage or the Independence School District website. Screening for all incoming peers will take place on February 21, 2020. Participants will be notified of their assigned time once their application has been received. For more information, please contact Lauren Salcer at (216) 642-5870 x 1438 or lsalcer@independence.k12.oh.us.

Applicants must…

  • be residents of Independence
  • be three (3) by May 1, 2020
  • less than six (6) by August 1, 2020
  • be fully toilet trained
  • demonstrate strong communication and language skills

Applications must be completed and returned with a recent photo to Independence Primary School no later than January 31, 2020.


E2 Team - 1st Quarter

Congratulations, third-grade students!
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High Five - 1st Quarter


(L to R) Caris Carmean-Art; Julianna Sacco-Computer; Evan McFeely-Gym; Avery Sipos-Music; and Trip Derryberry-Science

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Perfect Attendance - 1st Quarter

Congratulations to our 4th-grade students who obtained perfect attendance by not having any absences, any tardies or early-outs for the 1st quarter.
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Congratulations, November Students of the Month!

(L to R) Madison Hujarski, Lillia Rutter, Jack Fortesque, Marian Carlisle, and Nate Brunovsky

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Congratulations, November Golden Ticket Winners

(Front Row - L to R) Alex Barry, Emmett Schillace, Logan Milton, and Venesa Bratko

(Back Row - L to R) Isabella DiMora, Demitri Vourliotis, Austin Collins, Guiliana Rutter,

Tess Rienerth, and Veronica Kasperski

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26th - I-Pride Assembly - 2:30 p.m. - Gym

27th - 29th - Thanksgiving Break - Happy Thanksgiving!


2nd - School Resumes - Welcome Back!

2nd - 5th - IPS PTO Santa Shop

3rd - Student Council Meeting (3rd/4th Grades) - 7:45 a.m. - Room 28

4th - Holiday Concert Dress Rehearsal (3rd/4th Grades) - 8:15 a.m. - High School Auditorium

5th - Spanish Club (Grades K-4) (Cleveland Spanish Academy) - 7:30-8:15 a.m. - Flexible Learning Space

5th - IPS Choir Rehearsal (3rd/4th Grades) - 7:45-8:25 a.m. - Music Room

5th - Holiday Concert (3rd/4th Grades) - 7:00 p.m. - High School Auditorium

6th - PTO Meeting - 9:00 a.m. - Primary School

11th - Green Thumb (3rd Grade) - 3:15-4:15 p.m. - Cafeteria

12th - Spanish Club (Grades K-4) (Cleveland Spanish Academy) - 7:30-8:15 a.m. - Flexible Learning Space

12th - IPS Choir Rehearsal (3rd/4th Grades) - 7:45-8:25 a.m. - Music Room

13th - BYOT (4th Grade) - 7:30-8:15 a.m. - Computer Lab

13th - Preschool Holiday Party - 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. - Civic Center

13th - Officer Phil Program (Grades K-2) - 1:30-2:00 p.m.

13th - Officer Phil Program (Grades 3 & 4) - 2:00-2:30 p.m.

18th - Art Club (Grades 3 & 4) - 7:15 a.m. - Art Room

18th - Green Thumb (4th Grade) - 3:15-4:15 p.m.

18th - K-Kids (Grades 2 & 3) - 3:15-4:15 p.m.

19th - Spanish Club (Grades K-4) (Cleveland Spanish Academy) - 7:30-8:15 a.m. - Flexible Learning Space

19th - I-Pride Assembly - 9:30-10:30 a.m.

20th - Please see below the schedule for the Holiday Classroom Parties...

Kdgn. - 9:45-10:30 a.m.

4th Grade - 10:15-11:00 a.m.

2nd Grade - 10:45-11:30 a.m.

1st Grade - 11:15 a.m.-Noon

3rd Grade - 11:45 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

23rd - January 3rd - Winter Break - Enjoy your time with family and friends!


6th - School Resumes - Welcome Back!


We had another successful I-Pride week here at IPS. Our theme this year was "Kindness Around the World!" Our week started off with a Pep Rally from the High School band, Cheerleaders, Flagteam, and Fall Sports' Captains talking to our IPS students about kindness and what it means to be an IPride Kid!

Along with activities every day and our RAK passports, our students also participated in NED's Kindness Adventure where they took a virtual tour to Kenya and got to learn more about what it means to be kind and the importance of spreading kindness. Not only did our students learn all about kindness through NED"s adventure, but they also learned a little bit about how kids and people in Kenya live. One thing that the students really took from the program is how fortunate we are to live in Independence, attend school, and have clean water. The students learned that not everyone has clean water, like the people of Kenya. Part of the Kindness Adventure was selling Kenya products to raise money to create clean water wells in Kenya. The students LOVED this idea that they could spread kindness all the way from Independence to Kenya. Our school raised $2495.00 to help give clean water to those in Kenya! It sure does feel good to spread kindness around the world!

Throughout the week, students got to be the "I" in KIND by taking a picture within the letters. They also filled globes with what kindness means to them. It was really neat watching our world fill up with more and more kindness every day!

Our week was an amazing and powerful one!

"In a world where you can be anything, be kind!" - Unknown

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Art Club (3rd/4th Graders)

Art Club met on November 20th and created Thanksgiving turkeys (and a few turkey aliens!) using an assortment of craft supplies. Our next meeting date will be on December 18th at 7:15 a.m. where we will be painting wooden ornaments.

Computer Technology

Third graders are taking advantage of our flexible learning space to work collaboratively on a coding and robotics project. During their computer time, students are provided the opportunity to watch their virtual coding turn into tangible learning experiences.
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Cookies and Canvas Night (Grades 2-4)

On Wednesday, November 14th, Mr. Gruber hosted the second annual family painting night at IPS called, "Cookies and Canvas" for students in grades 2-4. Each student was able to bring a family member and complete a guided painting of a stocking lead by artist Gina Bizyak and also enjoy a fresh cookie! There were over 200 guests in attendance creating over 100 paintings!

4th Graders Visit Severance Hall

On Tuesday, October 29th, the 4th-grade classes traveled to Severance Hall for a performance from the world-class Cleveland Orchestra. The program was titled Music That Tells a Spooky Story, perfect for the week of Halloween! Music that tells a story is commonly called "program music" in which the composer carefully selects instruments and writes the music to depict a story that allows the audience to use their imaginations to create the story's visual images. Associate Conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra and Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, Vinay Parameswaran, conducted the orchestra and led the audience through the program.

The students looked their best and were able to enjoy an afternoon of excellent music while practicing appropriate concert etiquette that we discussed in class (they gave LOTS of standing ovations!). Additionally, a couple of our students were able to ask questions at the conclusion of the performance with the Cleveland Orchestra Director of Education, Joan Katz-Napoli. The Cleveland Orchestra Education Concerts continue to be a wonderful tradition that allows our students to be fully immersed in one of Cleveland's flourishing fine arts organizations.

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Heartfelt Expression of Kindness (4th & 7th Graders)

On Thursday, November 14th, the fourth and seven-grade I-Teams collaborated with parents to produce a final product for the homeless. After researching Cuyahoga County, students identified homelessness as a problem they wanted to address. After brainstorming several ideas, students decided to make mats from plastic shopping bags.

Veterans Day Program

On Monday, November 11, IPS students and staff honored our military veterans during a Veterans Day program. Student Council representatives led the program by recognizing and thanking veterans for their service. In addition, IPS students sang patriotic songs of appreciation. Mr. Ebert acknowledged over 50 veterans in attendance including our school psychologist, Mr. Calabro. At the end of the program, students offered cookies and keychains (made by K-Kids) to all the veterans.


Meetings 2019-2020

Friday, December 6, 2019 - Primary School - 9:00 a.m.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020 - Civic Center - 6:30 p.m.

Friday, February 7, 2020 - Primary School - 9:00 a.m.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020 - Civic Center - 6:00 p.m.

Friday, April 3, 2020 - Primary School - 9:00 a.m.

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 - Civic Center - 6:00 p.m.


If you have any questions or concerns about your child, please feel free to contact me at 216-642-5870, ext. 1403.

Carol Offtermatt, RN

District Nurse


Thank you to all of the following community to school partnerships.

  • City of Independence
  • Independence Police and Fire
  • Independence Kiwanis
  • Independence Public Library
  • Lifetouch
  • 25 and Alive
  • Independence Garden Club
  • North Coast Construction
  • Yours Truly
  • Tom + Chee
  • Rockside Family Dental
  • Angie's Pizza
  • Drug Mart

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