Wildcat News

March 22-26; Culture & Climate Survey; Women's History Month

Safe, Responsible, & Kind...

Dear Grant Wood Families:

Let us all stand together in support of each other and openly against racism, hate, and other discriminatory acts; as well as violence. Below you will find last week's message of support and solidarity from ICCSD Superintendent, Matt Degner.

Our District stands with those speaking out against and condemning the physical violence and verbal abuse directed at the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. As a District, it is important to use our voice, our actions, and our resources to ensure all lives are treated with respect and love.

Please know that we are thinking of you and that you are not alone in this moment. We all deserve to be safe and secure. This District will not tolerate racism, hate, and other discriminatory acts. As a community, we remain committed to being an active participant in the fight for equality and the end of all forms of racism. We are here and would encourage you to reach out if there is any way we can assist you. Below you will also find links to resources that are available for our staff and our community. #ICCSDtogether

Now that Spring Break has concluded, classes resume Monday, March 22nd for all students. On March 22nd, we will also have our new Student Family Advocate, Ms. Alyssa Palante join the Grant Wood team. You may read more about Ms. Palante in a latter section of this newsletter.




Interim-Principal: Ms. Maria, martin.maria@iowacityschools.org

School Facilitator: Mr. Brown, brown.ryan@iowacityschools.org

Counselor: Ms. Newman, newman.heather@iowacityschools.org

Student & Family Advocate: Ms Palante, palante.alyssa@iowacityschools.org

Instructional Design Strategist (IDS): Ms. Mangan, mangan.ashley@iowacityschools.org

Attendance Secretary: Ms. Steggall, steggall.kara@iowacityschools.org

Office Secretary: Ms. Peggy, tucker.peggy@iowacityschools.org

When Textbooks Fall Short We Must Research

The first woman of color in Congress was of Japanese descent.

Source: https://familyapp.com/international-womens-day/

March... Women's History Month

History is never constructed by any one individual or group of individuals - it is constructed by all of us, and all that came before us. Heritage months are an attempt to acknowledge the contributions of groups that have historically not been acknowledged much, if at all, in our textbooks. Learning about the breadth and depth of history gives us a more complete understanding of the complexity of human interactions: socially, politically, economically, educationally, etc. March is Women's Histroy Month.

It was William Faulkner who said, "The past is never dead. It's not even past" in his 1951 publication Requiem for a Nun. And Amanda Gorman in 2021 who stated, For while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us” in her inaugural poem, The Hill We Climb.

Maria Cano (1925-1983)

by Catherine Babikian

Grant Wood SFA - Alyssa Palante

Ms. Palante (she/her/hers) is excited to be a Grant Wood Wildcat! She has worked with children and families in different capacities for over ten years, including at the ICCSD Healthy Kids Clinic. She also has a love of learning and is pursuing her Masters in Social Work. Besides graduate school and work, she loves spending time with her family which includes her wife (a teacher at South East Jr. High), her six-year-old daughter, one-year-old son, two cats and dog. She is looking forward to getting to know Wildcat students and their families/caregivers. You can reach out to her at palante.alyssa@iowacityschools.org with any questions or concerns. #GrantWoodWildcats

School Photo - Make up Day

Did you miss taking your school photo on Friday, February 5th? No worries - Halverson Photography will be back at Grant Wood on Tuesday, April 6th from 3pm to 4:30pm in the community foyer.

Congratulations Ms. Fobian's 4th grade #WildcatStrong

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The gift bags from Fobian's Class Squat Challenge were delivered to the classrooms today (3/22/21)! Hy-Vee graciously donated a first aid kit, a mask, box of mac and cheese and a crispy rice treat for each on site student in each class. Thank you Ms. Steggall and Mr. Teague for all of the work you put into ensuring these wonderful prizes were delivered to the various Grant Wood classrooms.

Ranked in the top 20 of 484 participating schools in the Hy-Vee Squat Challenge

Extended Learning Program (ELP) for 2021-2022

Nomination forms for 2021-22 3rd through 6th grade ELP will be available online until March 26, 2021 at https://forms.gle/y8nRipaSbDW6fR6h8.

Students can enter the ELP screening pool by Iowa

Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP) scores, teacher nomination, and/or parent nomination. More information is available on the district website


Go to: Departments --> Curriculum --> Curriculum Areas --> Extended Learning Program (ELP)

--> Elementary Services.

The yearly screening of students for participation in the Extended Learning Program

(ELP), the elementary program for gifted and very high ability students, is underway for

the 2021-2022 school year. This program is appropriate for students who are at the

highest academic levels in their grade.

Only grades 3 through 5 are included in this screening process. All 2nd graders are being screened in the Spring. Kindergarten and first grade students are being screened for ELP services through in-class lessons and collaboration with the classroom teacher throughout the school year.

No parent or teacher nominations are necessary for grades K-2. If you would like to nominate your third, fourth or fifth grade child to be tested for ELP services, please complete a parent information form.

Paper forms will be available in the school office during the same time. No forms will be

accepted after March 26, 2021 at 4:00 PM.

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2021 Climate Survey

District message:

Between March 22 and April 2, 2021, students in grades 5-12 will be invited to join their classmates in completing the 2021 Student 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. You may view the 2021 Student Climate Survey on our district website.

The purpose of the survey is to collect information about our youth so we can better assess how they experience the classroom and school environment. It is important to ask children to tell us what is good and working in their schools, and what needs improvement, from their perspectives.

All information collected will be confidential. Information from the survey will be linked to individual student records in order to assess whether students’ classroom and building experiences correlate with student outcomes. 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). The overall survey results will then be analyzed by our team to evaluate and develop programs to better address student needs.

If you have questions or concerns regarding the 2021 Student Climate Survey, please feel free to contact Laura Gray (gray.laura@iowacityschools.org).

Class Dojo Conundrum #3

What is a conundrum? A situation where there is no clear right or good solution. Yet, a difficult choice must be made...

In this conundrum, a new species of fox is discovered. The question is: who is most important to making this discovery? Watch the video (http://vid.ly/5r0e6t) with students; the video ends with a question, leading right into a class discussion with worksheet. I look forward to reading your responses.

Nominate a teacher...

The Robert E. Yager Active Learning Award honors outstanding educators who foster an active learning environment in their virtual or on site classroom and create opportunities for students to imagine, create, discover and explore.

Nominate an educator that has "overcome stressful circumstances, limited resources, and new technologies to connect with children and continue providing an engaging educational environment.... Any educator who has made a significant contribution to student-centered active learning is eligible for the award. Nominations can be submitted from parents, educators, administrators, students, and community members."

Nominate an educator that

  • "fosters an "active learning" environment."
  • provides "innovative & impactful lessons or activities."
  • "demonstrates a spirit of cooperation, responsibility, and respect"

Conditions for Leanring - District Message

Dear Families and Staff,

The Iowa City Community School District is getting ready to administer an annual school climate and culture survey called Conditions for Learning to students in grades 3-12. This survey administration is required by the state’s plan to meet a federal law called the Every Student Succeeds Act. Our District will conduct the survey between April 5-May 28. All Iowa public school districts will use the Conditions for Learning Survey (Survey) to improve safety, student engagement and the overall learning environment so that all Iowa students have optimum conditions for learning. Our work to improve safety, student engagement and the overall learning environment will have a lasting impact on the future.

Iowa measures conditions for learning by asking the real experts each year - our students. This is their chance to make their voice heard, and we intend to listen. Studies have shown this work matters. Improving skills such as solving problems, working out conflict, and working with other people in a group has led to double-digit increases on achievement test scores, improved classroom behavior and improved attitudes.

All public schools in Iowa will use an online survey to assess the conditions for learning in their school for students in grades 3-12. Student responses will be confidential, and individual response data will not be available to anyone in the survey platform or in reporting. Each attendance center will receive aggregated data annually at the building level to support alignment of professional development with identified culture and climate needs.

We will ask your child to simply fill out a confidential Survey. The Survey will focus on issues ranging from student safety, to positive student relationships, to school rules and how they are enforced. A high rate of participation by students in completing the Conditions for Learning Survey is important for obtaining the most complete school climate data for our school. Support from you in communicating to your students that this is their chance to be heard and to be part of the effort to improve conditions for learning at their school is critical.

Thank you for partnering with us to improve conditions for learning in our schools throughout the state. Included is an overview of this opportunity, as well as:

1) An information summary about the Survey

2) A written refusal form if you do not want your child/children to participate in completing the Survey

Please let us know if you have any questions and thank you again!

Considering/Planning International Travel...

Please note the UPDATED CDC requirement for those intending to travel internationally.

Similarly, please note the updated Johnson County Public Health travel guidance for those considering travel (domestic and international).

Guidelines for after international travel can also be found on the Iowa City Community School District website: https://www.iowacityschools.org/Page/19021

After International Travel:

  • Quarantine for 7 days and get tested for COVID-19 3-5 days after travel.
  • If you test negative, you may return to district buildings after a full 7 day quarantine (return on day 8).
  • If you don’t get tested for COVID-19, you must quarantine for a full 10 days after travel (return on day 11).
  • Avoid being around people who are at increased risk for severe illness for 14 days, whether you get tested or not.
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Additional Community Resources...

Interested in additional resources and supports?

The following resources are available to students and families for assistance with academic achievement, mental health, and emotional well-being. Additional information on Covid-19 and School-Age Child Care assistance are also available.

Iowa City Area Resources for Students and Families

Coding for Kids (Free options)

No visitors:

For health and safety reasons we cannot receive visitors onto our campus beyond the office. No visitors into our classrooms nor our cafeteria. To help with keeping our community physically distanced, please keep in mind that the Grant Wood office secretaries along with others can be reached by phone, 319-688-1180 and email. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact us:

Principal: Ms. Maria, martin.maria@iowacityschools.org

School Facilitator: Mr. Brown, brown.ryan@iowacityschools.org

Student Family Advocate (SFA): Ms. Palante, palante.alyssa@iowacityschools.org

Instructional Design Strategist (IDS): Ms. Mangan, mangan.ashley@iowacityschools.org

Counselor: Ms. Newman, newman.heather@iowacityschools.org

Attendance secretary: Ms. Steggall, steggall.kara@iowacityschools.org

Office secretary: Ms. Peggy, tucker.peggy@iowacityschools.org

District Message

We continue to keep a close eye on Johnson County COVID-19 positivity rates as well as absenteeism rates related to COVID-19 among our students and staff. We will remain diligent in our efforts to keep our community safe and we will continue to provide updates as new information becomes available.
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ICCSD Non-Discrimination Policy

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 & Employee Relations, 1725 N. Dodge St., Iowa City, IA 52245, (319) 688-1000, tabor.jeremy@iowacityschools.org.