We're all learning!

STUDENTS: Every classroom had some learning related to autism awareness this week.

In Art, every student made a puzzle piece and decorated it with art that represented each person as an individual.

Here are some videos you may watch to learn more about autism. Sesame Street; Kindergarten/1st Grade What's Up with Nick; 3rd - 5th Grade Just Like You; 5th & 6th grade -60 Minute clip about Sesame Street inclusion of puppet with autism; 5th & 6th grade

TEACHERS: Teachers also spent time learning more about autism, what students with autism need in the classroom and even the variety of preferences related to how autism is visualized with symbols.

Penn Elementary celebrated World Autism Awareness Day on Monday, April 2nd.

The rainbow-colored infinity symbol represents the diversity of the autism spectrum as well as the greater neuro-diversity movement.

Penn's living rainbow of diversity!

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GRANT ELEMENTARY Principal hired

Mr. Ken Turnis will become the new principal of Christine Grant Elementary School, effective July 1, 2018.

Ken Turnis has been with the Iowa City Community School District for the last three years as Principal at Lucas Elementary School. Prior to coming to the District, Ken spent 14 years in the Johnston Community School District, serving three years as a 4th grade teacher at Beaver Creek Elementary School, and an additional 11 years as the assistant principal at Beaver Creek and Lawson ElementarySchools. Ken is a graduate of the University of Iowa and received his Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership/Elementary Administration from Drake University.

Of course, perhaps the most exciting thing for all us Panthers is that Mr. Turnis will begin next school year helping out here at Penn (and Garner) and then gradually transition to fulltime Grant prep. We all think this will make all the transitions smoother! Please join me in congratulating Ken!

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Penn Night with the CR Kernels

Please join us for Penn Elementary night at the Cedar Rapids Kernels! This fun and exciting event will take place on Saturday, April 21st at 5:05 PM. Gates open at 4:00 PM, and the Kernels will take on the Kane County Cougars. It’s Star Wars Night, and the first 1,000 people through the gates will receive a Han Solo T-shirt. The Kernels players will be wearing special Star Wars jerseys that will be auctioned off during the game, and Star Wars characters will be roaming the concourse all night for photo ops. Tickets are just $8.00, a savings of $3.00 off the regular box office price. Tickets can be purchased online by using the special URL below: (This special link will be active until Friday, April 20th at Midnight. If you do not want to buy your tickets online, you may also purchase them by calling the Kernels ticket office at (319) 896-7560. Please select the special PENN area in section 114 when ordering online and over the phone.)

"Pay to Ride" Bus Program

Dear Parent/Guardian,

The Iowa City Community School District Transportation Department would like to notify you of the 2018-19 Pay to Ride Program.

The Program details are listed below:

Program details

  • The program is provided on a space-available, time-available, first-come, first-served basis. Participation is limited according to capacity as determined by the District, and is available to students in grades K-12.
  • The program is only available on existing bus routes and at existing stops. No additional routes and or stops will be considered for pay-to-ride students after the deadline.
  • Buses provided specifically for special education students are not eligible for this program.
  • Bus stop locations and times are assigned by Durham School Services.
  • Availability of seats and location of bus stops is subject to change based on changes in enrollment, boundaries, and other factors determined by the District or Durham, and can occur at any time. When changes to routes or stops occur, families utilizing pay-to-ride busing will be notified at the same time that the families of eligible students are notified.
  • Students must be picked up and dropped off at their assigned location only. Pick-up and drop-off must be at the same location.
  • Requests for a change in a student’s bus stop will only be honored if the student’s address has changed.
  • No guest students will be allowed to ride along with pay-to-ride students.
  • All students riding the bus are subject to the rules and regulations of conduct and safety established by the District and Durham. The District and Durham use video cameras on school buses as a means to maintain a safe environment for students and staff.
  • Refunds will be granted for any unused full trimester purchased for the current school year.
  • No refunds or rate adjustments will be made for days buses cannot operate because of weather or other circumstances beyond the control of Durham or the District.
  • Payments can be made online via the District’s website or by mailing a check. Fee is charged on a per year basis.

Payment and Fees for Service

  • Pay-to-ride fee is:
    • $432 per student, per year, round trip
    • $260 per student, per year, round trip, for students who qualify for reduced price lunch
    • $0 per student, per year, round trip, for students who qualify for free lunch
  • Full payments must be made in advance no later than June 14, 2018, to be included on a bus roster for the start of the school year.

Application Due Date: June 1, 2018

Payment Due: June 14, 2018

· Applications will be accepted after the due dates while capacity remains on existing routes. (Note: Students will only be assigned to existing bus stops and routes; buses will not be re-routed to accommodate requests.)

  • Students are not eligible to ride until payment is received and application is approved.

Application Process

  1. To apply for pay-to-ride busing, please download the following form:
    • Pay-to-Ride Student Transportation Application

  1. Payment can be made online or checks should be made payable to Iowa City Community School District

  1. Mail or bring your application and payment, if paying by check, to the following address:

Iowa City Community School District

Att.: Esme Davis

1725 N Dodge Street

Iowa City, IA 52245

  1. Iowa City Community School District will begin processing applications upon receipt, in the order they are received. Each application and payment will be kept on file until it is determined the student is eligible for a seat on the bus.

If you are interested in participating in this pay-to-ride program please return the application no later than June 1, 2018 and payment must be made in advance no later than June 14, 2018, to be considered for a bus roster for the start of the school year.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me via email or by phone.

Mileage Club is starting back up and needs your help

We currently do not have enough volunteers to run mileage club for all grades or for all days. We plan to start next week if we have enough volunteers. We at least need 1 person per shift with 2 people for kindergarten. If anyone else can help, please sign up here

Window in Honor of Griffin Tauke Installed in the Library

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Looking Ahead

April 21: Penn Elementary night at the Cedar Rapids Kernels

May 1: Last day parent input for next year's teacher will be accepted (see form above)

May 14: 5th and 6th grade Track & Field Meet at City High @ noon

May 16: Music performances for 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th grades. Times are yet to be determined

May 21 - 25: 6th graders attend School of the Wild

May 30: LAST DAY of SCHOOL; Dismissal 1 hour early at 1:55pm

May 30: 6th grade Celebration @ 8:15am

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 Kingsley Botchway II, Director of Equity, 1725 N. Dodge St., Iowa City, IA 52245, 319-688-1000,