The Hawkeye

West Harrison's January Newsletter

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Mrs. Julie Trepa

Happy New Year! Many times, as we enter a new year, it is common to develop new year’s resolutions. I, however, would challenge all of us to use this time to reflect upon all of the accomplishments we have experienced over the past year. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind, but West Harrison has a lot to celebrate! Here are just a few of the accomplishments West Harrison has experienced during the 2019-2020 school year, and we are only halfway through the school year! It is definitely turning out to be the Best Year Ever!

  • Student discipline referrals and out of school suspensions have decreased since last year.
  • West Harrison received the Distinguished Academic Award this fall. This award included students that participated in fall athletics, which includes cheerleading. We are very proud of our students’ achievements in the classroom!
  • West Harrison was awarded $230,525 in King Foundation grants this year! We can’t wait to show off all of the improvements in the near future! Look for a new electronic messaging sign for our district, a new atmosphere in our lunchroom, a bus barn, new scoreboards and updated equipment for track season! Thank you to the King Foundation for your generosity!
  • The West Harrison Brickmasters traveled to Sergeant Bluff for the Lego League regional competition. The team improved their score on the missions’ board each round. The Brickmasters received the Core Values Award for the second year in a row!
  • We have a new board member, Tim Hamer, on the West Harrison Board of Education following the November election. We are excited to have another involved community member dedicate their personal time and energy to help our district thrive!
  • We have increased safety and fidelity with state crosswalk guidelines with the installation of flashing yellow lights at our crosswalks. Please take some time to review safety guidelines with your students about crossing the street(s) safely. After winter break, we all need a refresher!
  • Our staff has committed to implementing the Iowa Instructional Framework in their classrooms. What is the Iowa Instructional Framework? It is a framework that outlines for teachers and students what quality instruction and rigorous student learning looks like in the classroom. First semester focused on students knowing what it was they were supposed to learn during each lesson. Second semester, we will be focusing on the accountability side of things; assessing students’ learning following each lesson. To put it simply, students will be providing evidence of their daily learning to their teachers. Through this process, teachers will learn each student’s strengths and needs as they relate to the lesson’s objectives and students will become more adept at self-assessing their learning as well.

While this list is not all-inclusive, it does allow us to celebrate our accomplishments thus far. Please feel free to reflect upon your child’s accomplishments thus far and share with your child how proud you are of their hard work and dedication! We have much to celebrate in West Harrison CSD. Help us spread the good news about our school, students, and community!

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Growth Mindset in 2020--The Best Year Ever!

Happy New Year, Hawkeye family!

As our new semester approaches and students again begin with challenging themselves through learning and making mistakes, I thought I'd give our readers a chance to test their own growth mindset.

With a growth mindset, we view failure and mistakes as an opportunity for learning. Think about the last time you tried something new (like your kid does every day, learning at school). 9 times out of 10, we fail on the first, second, third, attempt. Remind your child that their math homework is new to them and it will take time and practice to get it right. We learn so much more from failure than from success. Keep moving forward and focus on the journey! See the video below, for more information.

Growth Mindset vs. Fixed Mindset
Part of helping your students with their own growth mindset is to be aware of your own mindset. Take a minute to take the quiz below. It will give you an indication as to where you are on the mindset spectrum between fixed and growth. Knowing where you are and making deliberate choices to move toward a growth mindset is the best model you can possibly give your impressionable child. If your child sees that you are able to try new things, knowing that making mistakes is a part of the learning process, then they will be more willing to follow suit.

Be on the lookout for some handouts to make their way home about growth mindset soon!

Winter isn't a time to stay indoors and wait for spring!

There's a whole wonderland of sports out there for the entire family — sledding, snowboarding and skiing to mention a few. Plus, someone has to shovel the snow, right?

Once outdoors, however, take precautions to keep your family safe. In ice and snow, accidents can occur easily, and before you know it you might be on your way to the emergency room.

It's easy to keep safe — and stay fit — during the cold months. By following a few tips, you can have a great time, no matter how much white stuff piles up outside.

Cold-Weather Hazards

Certain injuries are more common in the winter because cold-weather activities like ice-skating, sledding, snowboarding, and skiing can lead to accidents that often involve kids.

Now that snowboarding is drawing more kids out in the cold weather, ERs are seeing more abdominal, head, and neck injuries in those who run into trees or large rocks while snowboarding.

And some illnesses are more common when the weather turns colder. Respiratory ailments, especially viruses like the flu, are prevalent because people stay indoors more and thus are exposed to more airborne germs.

At Home

One way to stay healthy while cooped up inside is to make sure your family washes their hands. It's especially important to wash after sharing toys, coughing, and blowing a runny nose to help prevent the spread of viruses.

Decided you've had enough of the indoors and you're going to get the family outside to shovel the snow? Fine, but take care. Snow shoveling is strenuous work. It's OK for older, school-age kids to help out, but young children should not be shoveling because they can strain their muscles from lifting heavy shovels full of snow.

Younger or older, kids sometimes have a tough time knowing when to come inside from the cold. To nip frostbite in the bud, check on your kids regularly to make sure that mittens are dry and warm and noses aren't too red.

Dressing for the Cold

If you're going outside in the cold, stay safe — and warm. Make sure your kids have a snack before going out. The calories will give their bodies energy in the cold weather.

And protect your kids' faces with sunscreen. The idea of a sunburn in January can seem odd, but snow can reflect up to 85% of the sun's ultraviolet rays.

Kids should dress warmly in layers of clothes. If the top layer gets wet from snow or freezing rain, they can peel off some clothes down to a dry layer.

Avoid cotton clothing because it won't keep the kids very warm. Stick with wool or other fabrics. Dress them in long underwear, a turtleneck, and a sweater and coat. Add more layers depending on the temperature. Waterproof pants and jackets are great top layers because they don't let the wetness seep into the other clothing. The cold-weather ensemble wouldn't be complete without warm socks and boots to keep feet dry and a hat to top it off.

There's no set amount of time kids should be allowed to stay out in the cold. However, when being cold becomes unpleasant, it's time to go inside. Sometimes, though, kids may just need some dry gloves. It helps to have an extra pair of gloves or mittens tucked into their pockets if they plan to be outdoors for a while.

Winter Sports Safety

If your kids decide to go sledding on their own for the day, make sure you know about the hill where they will be playing. Is it steep or covered with trees? If so, it's not a good location for sledding. Also, watch out for hills with rocks or those near busy roads.

Sledding injuries can be very serious, resulting in broken bones and trauma to the abdomen, head, and neck. So it's wise to supervise your kids when they go sledding. Experts also suggest having kids wear helmets to help prevent head injuries.

Ice hockey and ice skating are great cold-weather activities, but require safety smarts, too. Make sure your kids avoid sports injuries by wearing helmets during ice hockey games and properly fitted skates whenever on the ice. Ice skaters should also consider wearing helmets. Rinks are always safer than ponds for skating. If you only have access to a pond, check the thickness of the ice yourself to prevent falls through it and supervise your kids while they skate.

Before they hit the slopes with a snowboard or ski, make sure your kids are wearing helmets and protective goggles. Skiers' safety bindings (the attachment that secures the ski boot to the ski) should be checked yearly, and snowboarders should wear gloves with built-in wrist guards. All equipment should fit well.

Snowmobiling is more popular than ever, and the machines also go faster than ever. When snowmobiling, follow these safety steps with your family:

· All kids (and adults) should wear goggles and a helmet approved for use on motorized vehicles.

· Kids younger than 16 should not operate snowmobiles, and those younger than 6 should not ride on them.

· Travel in groups and make sure someone knows where the snowmobilers are going.

· Know your machine and its capabilities.

· Respect other snowmobilers and yield to those who have the right of way.

· If it's necessary to snowmobile on frozen bodies of water, do so with extra caution.

· When crossing a roadway, make sure the way is clear in both directions.

· Operate at a reasonable and prudent speed for trail conditions.

· Remember that alcohol and snowmobiles don't mix.

In an Emergency

Kids are at greater risk for frostnip and frostbite than adults, and the best way to prevent it is to make sure they're dressed warmly and don't spend too much time in extreme weather.

Frostnip is an early warning sign of the onset of frostbite. It leaves the skin red and numb or tingly. After bringing your child inside, remove all wet clothing because it draws heat from the body. Immerse the chilled body parts in warm (not hot) water — 104-108°F (40-42°C) — until they are able to feel sensation again.

Frostbite occurs mostly on fingers, toes, ears, noses, and cheeks. The area becomes very cold and turns white or yellowish gray. If you notice frostbite, take your child immediately to the nearest hospital emergency room.

Going on a road trip over the holidays? Make sure you have a first-aid kit, extra blankets, and gloves in the car.

Happy New Year To All!

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Mrs. Marshall - School Counseling Update

I hope everyone had a wonderful winter break and is ready for the new year and the second half of the school year!

Over the next month, in elementary lessons, grades K-5 will be exploring careers. Students will explore their personal interests and skills and will be doing some linking to possible careers. Students will also learn about a variety of careers and what they do.

Some upcoming events for the High School include:

  • All juniors will be taking the ACT, Febraruary 25th, here at the West Harrison High School.

  • Sophomores college and career planning presentation by ICAN, March 10th

  • FAFSA presentation to next year's seniors by ICAN, March 10th

  • ISASP testing March 24-27th (Grades 3-11)

Mr. Nunez - Junior EMS Program & Athletic Director

There was great news for our Jr. EMS program this past month. The insurance company for the Mondamin Fire and Rescue has changed its policy. It was policy that only Jr. EMS students that are 18 could make rescue calls with our senior members. They have now reduced that age to 16 (there are only Jr.’s and Sr.’s on the roster) and now all 14 members are eligible to make calls. There is a schedule set up since all 14 cannot make runs at once. They have been trained in BLS CPR and basic first aid. Their main function is to observe, help with patient carries, and getting necessary equipment needed. If you have any questions or concerns about this program contact Mr. Nunez, the Jr. EMS director, at school. The following are in the West Harrison Jr. EMS program:

L>R- Lannie Gustafson, Kayla Lynch, Haleigh Rife, Tyler Deppe, Beatriz Martin, Jeff Perry, Joslynn Thomas, Brecken Pavlik, Sabrina Rife, Chantz Cleaver, Chloe Green, Parker Rife, Maren Evans- Not pictured Hunter Hansen

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Sportsmanship is a Life Lesson

What Is Good Sportsmanship?

Good sportsmanship is when people who are playing or watching a sport treat each other with respect. This includes players, parents, coaches, and officials.

How Can Athletes Learn to Be Good Sports?

Athletes might not know how to show they are good sports. Teach them that good sports:

· Have a positive attitude.

· Give their best effort.

· Shake hands with the other team before and after the game.

· Support teammates by saying "good shot" or "good try". Never criticize a teammate for trying.

· Accept calls and don't argue with officials.

· Treat the other team with respect and never tease or bully.

· Follow the rules of the game.

· Help another player up who has fallen.

· Take pride in winning but don't rub it in.

· Accept a loss without whining or making excuses.

What's a Parent's Role in Good Sportsmanship?

Athletes learn how to be a good sport from the adults in their lives, especially their parents and their coaches. As soon as your child starts competing in sports, it's important to be a good role model. And any teams your child plays on should have coaches that encourage good sportsmanship.Show your good sportsmanship:

· Keep sideline comments positive and encouraging.

· Don't bad-mouth coaches, players, or officials. If you have a serious concern, talk privately with the coach or official.

· After a competition, don't focus on who won or lost. Instead, try asking, "What did you do well during the game?" "Was there something you wish you could have done better?" If your child feels there was something that could have gone better, offer to work on it together before the next game.

· Applaud good plays, no matter who makes them.

· Congratulate the winners, even if they're on the other team.

· Look for examples of good sportsmanship in professional athletes and point them out to your kids. Talk about the bad examples too, and why they upset you.

If you are a coach for your child's team, be fair and positive and encourage the players to do the same.

Parents and coaches who emphasize good sportsmanship help young athletes learn respect for others and self-control. These skills can help them manage other parts of their lives, and help them develop into mature, respectful, and successful young adults.
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Mrs. Lewis - 3rd Grade

The third graders have been very busy this semester! We have worked through our addition and subtraction units and are currently working on multiplication. The students are very excited to learn how to multiply! We have been practicing our facts through the 6’s. We will work on the rest of our facts after the break. Please keep practicing at home!

In language, we have been studying verbs. The students have reviewed action verbs and linking verbs. They have learned about helping verbs, main verbs, and verb phrases.

The third graders loved our traditional gingerbread house project! This is a project they look forward to when they are in third grade. I would like to thank the parents for helping to provide items to make and decorate our houses. It was greatly appreciated! Also, a big thank you to Kathy Woodward and Patricia Parks for coming in and helping with the decorating. I could not have done all this without your help!

I hope everyone had a wonderful break and are ready for the last half of the school year. I have a feeling it will go by fast!

Mr. Stevenson - Title I

My name is Andrew Stevenson and I am the Title 1 teacher at West Harrison for grades K-3. We work on reading and math in my room. Some of the activities we do are using reading strategies to help students improve reading skills in their classroom. I do bookwork and use the smartboard as well as other activities to help keep the students engaged and motivated. I like to keep an easy-going atmosphere to help students feel comfortable. I am always trying to find new ways to make reading fun and activities the students will enjoy.

AR reading is also something I coordinate. We are just finishing with quarter 2 and are done with one semester of Accelerated Reader. This is an activity the students use to reach a reading goal for their reading comprehension level. We do this in grades 2-6 and the students really enjoy trying to make their goal. If they reach their goal in the next semester we will then go on a field trip to a Storm Chasers game in Omaha. AR is used as part of their student days at the park and an extra incentive for our students to reach their goals in reading!

Mr. Nuzum - Middle School & High School Social Studies

A number of interesting things happened in social studies classes during the first semester. First, in September, students in 8th grade American history, high school American history and American government traveled to Woodbine to visit the 9/11: Never Forget mobile exhibit. Students were engaged by hearing the stories of first responders who witnessed the terrorist attacks. American government students also had an opportunity to travel to the Harrison County Historical Village to listen to a presentation about the upcoming 2020 census and interact with community leaders to develop strategies to ensure we get an accurate count of our population.

Returning to school with knowledge about the census, the students then presented curriculum developed by the U.S. Census Bureau to elementary students from preschool to fifth grade. The students enjoyed working with the younger kids, and the elementary teachers all applauded their ability to teach the information.

During regular classroom instruction, students have been working on inquiry-based projects. Iowa is unveiling new social studies standards for full implementation next school year. The new standards focus more on teaching students how to find and interpret information rather than on knowing the facts about history. We have been working on the transition to these standards by practicing reading and interpreting information.

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Save your Family Fare receipts! We’re raising money to be used for items or special projects in classrooms through Direct Your Dollars

Direct Your Dollars is a receipt-based program, meaning that we can raise money simply by doing something we all do each week – going to the grocery store.

Every time you shop at your local Family Fare store, save your receipts – and encourage your friends and family to do the same. Once we’ve collected $150,000 in receipts from these stores, we can turn those slips of paper into a $1,000 check for West Harrison Community School!

To reach our goal of $150,000 in receipts, we’ll be collecting eligible receipts in our Direct Your Dollars box. The box has the DYD logo on it, and it’s located in both offices in our building. Please make sure you drop off the original receipt – that’s how we earn our $1,000 check.

If you aren’t able to drop your receipts off in person, you can also mail them to the school address 410 Pine Street, Mondamin, Iowa 51557

Through the Direct Your Dollars program, we can turn YOUR Family Fare receipts into cash.

Mrs. Birdsall - Librarian


Thank you to everyone who purchased books or items at the annual book fair in December. We raised over $4000, the most we’ve raised in several years! This will help us buy over $1000 worth of books for the library! A special thank you to Michelle Moore and Kathy Glennie for their generous annual donations toward the fair! The book fair week consisted of a guessing contest for fourth and fifth graders, a coloring contest for Pre-K – 3rd graders, and a drawing for teachers who showed the book fair video and brought their classes in for a book preview. Another thank you goes out to those who helped set up the book fair and those who volunteered to work during the book fair: Kaylee Woodside, Evan Berwick, Kierstyn Bieler, Madison Johnson, Isaiah Mauseth, Lanie Gustafson, Tasha Haag, and the 9th-period journalism class.

Thank you again for all of your wonderful support in helping students understand the importance of reading!

2020 Yearbooks For Sale

Want to have a keepsake that will remind you of all the main school events that happened throughout the 2019-2020 school year? Yearbooks can be purchased for $40 now until February 1; the price will increase to $45 after this date. Please consider buying a yearbook from one of the following staff/students: Brenda Pape, Annette Kuhlman, Gina Birdsall, Maren Evans, Chloe Gilgen, Chloe Green, Lanie Gustafson, Kelsey Harper, Jayden Kraft, Nell McCord, Joslynn Thomas, and Kaylee Woodside. All checks should be made out to West Harrison.

Thank you in advance for your support of the West Harrison yearbook staff!!!

Gina Birdsall, Adviser

Drivers Wanted

We are looking for substitute bus drivers for things like field trips, sporting events, activities, and different routes that tend to pop up. We will pay for you to take the necessary classes. Please contact the school and/or Dave Kuhlman if you are interested!
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TeamMates Mentoring Program- We Want You!

The West Harrison School district is in its fifth year of their TeamMates mentoring program. We will be one of over 170 chapters in Nebraska and Iowa.

The program’s mission is to positively impact the world by inspiring youth to reach their full potential through mentoring.

We are looking for men and women of any career and experience to be mentors to West Harrison students. Our program will be focusing on the 4th through 9th graders and will expand from there. You can get information at If interested please contact me at school (712-646-2231) or email ( or

Tony Nunez, President

Kim Nunez, Program Coordinator


In an effort to maintain a SAFE and orderly environment at our home sporting events, so that ALL fans can enjoy the games, the West Harrison School District is asking parents to please help us in our effort by reviewing these expectations with their students before they attend a game.

· All students through 8th grade are encouraged to enter the game with an adult.

· All students must be seated during the game. Do not wander around or go outside.

· Concessions are available at all sporting events. After going to the concession stand, students should return to their seat.

· No footballs, soccer balls, kick balls, etc. are allowed when attending football games or events in the gym. They will be confiscated by game supervisors. There is also no ball playing, tag games, etc. allowed at any sporting event.

Always exhibit good sportsmanship:

Be respectful during the National Anthem, school song, and player introductions.

Never boo or yell at officials or opposing players

Cheer for the Hawkeye players

Represent West Harrison in a positive manner

Be respectful of other students and adults attending the game

Remember, you should be going to the game to watch the game.

Mr. Tony Nunez, Athletic Director