September 4, 2020

Successful First 2 Weeks of School

The Knoxville Community School District has been in session for two weeks, and the partnerships among parents, teachers and staff are stronger than ever.

This sense of collaboration is helping the district provide the best possible learning opportunities to meet the needs of students and families while continuing to engage in mitigation strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Among the many highlights is the fact that even the youngest KCSD students now have their own school-issued iPad device. This means they no longer have to share with other classrooms or students. The devices are also making virtual learning possible for children who are not able to attend school in person at this time.

KCSD is pleased to report that student attendance has been closely in line with previous school years. There are a few illnesses circulating, and students and staff have been staying home when they feel sick. This is a key factor in preventing the spread of illness.

Additionally, the district is celebrating three staff members who have completed 25 years of service: Second-grade teacher Cindy Foster, KMS industrial technology teacher John Kuiper and KinderPrep classroom associate Shari Schneider.

Below are updates from each KCSD school:

West Elementary

Teachers and students have headed outside at various times of the day to take breaks so that they can enjoy the nice weather and remove their masks for a few minutes. This has helped students build their stamina for keeping their masks on and transitioning to full days of school.

"I cannot say enough positive things about how the year has started and how our staff have gone above and beyond with their time, energy and efforts," said Ryan Klein, West Elementary Principal. "The teamwork, collaboration and problem solving to start the year has been great to see."

Northstar Elementary

At Northstar, students have been doing a great job following the guidelines implemented to keep everyone safe and healthy. Students have demonstrated sound problem-solving abilities when new challenges are presented to them, and they have been kind to one another during this challenging time.

Knoxville Middle School

Instructional coaches have provided guidance to staff on teaching with iPads for online learning. They have also set up online and in-person workshops to assist parents and guardians.

"Our staff has really stepped up to help each other out to start the year," said Brian McNeill, KMS Principal. "The teamwork we have seen has been awesome."

Knoxville High School

More than 500 students and staff have been wearing face coverings and practicing social distancing in school without incident. The students in the Panther Pit even set a positive example by wearing masks at away football and volleyball games.

The KHS volleyball team is off to a 7-1 start (2-0 in the conference). Girls' swimming has gone 2-1 in their first three meets. In cross country, the Panthers hosted its Early Bird meet last week, and football, football cheerleading, dance team and marching band all have their first home game Friday evening.

"While this is a school year unlike any other we have experienced, we are truly impressed with the efforts of our students, staff and families to help ensure in-person learning can continue to take place as we move forward," said Cassi Pearson, Superintendent. "I want to thank our entire school district community for taking the steps necessary to make it all happen. We look forward to another great week of school starting Tuesday."

Home Football Tonight!

Hi Parents & Students:

Just wanted to send some reminders and other important informational items for those planning to attend tonight's football games v. Keokuk. The 9th grade game is at 445 PM, Varsity at 730 PM. Seniors and their parents in football, football cheerleading, dance team, cross country, and girls swimming will be recognized at 700 PM with Marching Band seniors and parents introduced at halftime.

Admission for tonight is $5 for school-age children through adults.

Pictured are some important reminders for spectators - most notably that face coverings are required for all spectators, social distancing must be followed, and that students 6th grade and younger must sit with their parents. Students in 7th & 8th grade can sit with their parents or behind the high school students on the south end of the bleachers. This will create additional seating at the north end of the bleachers for people to space out as this area was previously where middle school students sat.

As has been the practice for the past two years - spectators who leave the stadium after 715 PM will not be allowed back in (this does not include marching band members who go to the high school after their halftime performance and wish to come back and watch the rest of the game).

Finally, to eliminate congestion on the gravel road area west of Ken Locke Stadium - please note this road will be a 1-way during games. The entrance is at the north end and the exit is at the south end. We have posted additional signage to indicate this.

Weather looks to be fantastic tonight - upper 70s, no rain, and no wind.

Go Panthers.


Ryan Paulsen

Activities Director

Knoxville Community Schools

Preschool Registration

There is still time to register for our free four-year-old preschool program! Email Cindy or call her at 641-842-2185, option 1 today! Parents may complete a registration packet and return to the West Elementary office.
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Virtual Learning Contacts

For families utilizing virtual learning, please direct any questions you may have to the contact listed below at your student's school building.

West: Mr. Klein

Northstar: Mr. Keitges

KMS: Mr. Keefer

KHS: Mr. Wilkins or Mr. Sandy

Stay Home If You’re Sick. Wash Hands. Wear a Face Covering. Stay 6 Feet Apart

This week: Stay Home If You’re Sick!

We want students in school, but if your student is sick, they should stay home. Some things that keep students out:

  • fever,

  • vomiting/diarrhea,

  • rash that hasn’t been treated,

  • infections that require the use of antibiotics for at least 24 hours before returning,

  • illness/injury restrictions from your healthcare provider,

  • flare up of a known medication condition

Sometimes students wake up just not feeling well. Before sending him/her to school consider if they seem well enough to be in class, eat lunch, play at recess (younger kids), participate in class. If the answer is no, consider keeping them home. Students may return to school when a healthcare provider releases them, when they are fever free without medication for at least 24 hours, vomit/diarrhea free for at least 24 hours AND feeling well enough to be in school.

Covid has additional signs/symptoms of illness. Call and discuss these with your healthcare provider; they’ll provide guidance about what to do: fever, cough, shortness of breath, muscle aches, congestion, loss of smell, runny nose, itchy eyes, chills, or headache.

Student Meal Account Information


I hope the start of the school year has gone well for all of you.

This communication is being sent out to all parents.

I want to review some of the changes that took place from last year:

Lunch accounts have all been moved to FAMILY accounts; there is no longer an individual student’s lunch account balance, only a family account balance. So you now make 1 deposit for all the students in your family.

Example: If you have 5 kids, and deposit $50 in your family account – all 5 kids will be using that balance for their meals.

For depositing money into your lunch account you have 3 options:

1. Send cash or check with your child to school. Please have them give the envelope to the building secretary

2. Deposit money online in your parent portal of JMC. Using the online option is best, because you can also view the activity on your student’s meal account. For help with paying online, please watch this short video. Note: As of now there isn’t an option to “auto replenish” at a certain amount, but JMC is working on that option.

3. Call your student’s building secretary and use your credit card to deposit money

Low balance notices will be sent out at $5 per student. Example: You have 4 students on your family account, you will be sent a low balance notice when your family account is at $20 (4 x 5 = $20)

If you have any questions please feel free to send me an e-mail at or give me a call at 641-828-2094.

Thank you

Jason Swanson

Child Nutrition Director

Knoxville Community School District

Upcoming home events -

* Thu, Sep. 10: 8 VB v. Oskaloosa, 430 PM

* Thu, Sep. 10: JV/V G SW v. Perry @Indianola YMCA, 530 PM

* Fri, Sep. 11: 9/Varsity FB v. Pella, 445 PM

- Marching Band Performance

- Dance Team Performance

Big wins this past week:

  • Our Volleyball team is off to an awesome start this season!

    • They went 4-0 and won the Newton Tournament with wins over PCM, Newton, Saydel, and Des Moines Hoover and are now 2-0 in South Central Conference play after defeating Albia and Chariton on the road!

    • They now have a 22 match conference winning streak and are 7-1 overall this season!

  • Our Girls Swim team defeated Perry 122-44 at the Indianola YMCA!

    • Kodi Cram, Jorja Culver, and Kinsli Cram were all part of winning relays or individual events!

  • Norah Pearson is currently ranked #6 in the Class 3A individual Cross Country rankings!

Spectators at Home Fall Events

As we navigate the return of school-sponsored activities during the COVID-19 pandemic, here are some key things spectators need to know about attending events at Knoxville Community Schools:

    • Masks are required for spectators

    • There will be no limit to the number of spectators at events as long as social distancing can be maintained.

      • Spectators in the same family may sit or stand together, but should social distance from others.

      • All other spectators should use six feet of social distancing.

    • Students in 6th grade and younger must sit with their parents.

      • Parents of children this age cannot drop these children off at our events unsupervised.

  • If social distancing is not maintained by spectators, capacity restrictions may have to be enacted at any time.

Our Return to Activities Plan

At their August 10 meeting, the KCSD Board of Education approved our Return to Activities Plan. Our complete plan can be found here.

Fall Sports!

The fall sports season is upon us! Here is information about KMS and KHS fall sports!

  • All home events in the KHS gym and all school concerts in KPAC will be streamed LIVE on the NFHS Network! Go to for more details!
  • Get schedules for all extra-curricular KMS and KHS activities by going to and then clicking on "Activities Calendar". You can even sign-up for email notifications so whenever we make a change to a schedule - you can be notified immediately.

The Knoxville Store

In partnership with Ramaeker Enterprises Inc., we are excited to unveil the Knoxville Store - the online apparel store for Knoxville Panther gear!

This link can be found on our school website: and then click on the "Knoxville Store."

This store features apparel/gear with items from our new brand system with logo marks that have never been on the market! These are exclusive Knoxville Panther items you will only find here!

Some items on this store will stay from month to month - some items will change so that there are constantly new items to choose from for Panther fans!

Orders will be processed twice a month - on the 15th and at the end of the month and Ramaeker Enterprises will email you when your order is ready.

2020 KHS Homecoming Shirts Are On Sale!

Order yours at Shirts are $10 each and orders are due by Sunday 9/13 at 11:59 PM. Any questions, please email Mr. Gibbons. Shirts will be delivered the week of Homecoming, 9/28-10/2.

KHS Student Senate Fundraising for Water Bottle Filler Station

KHS Student Senate is selling water bottles as a fundraiser. Due to Covid, the water fountains are shut off at all schools. The goal of this fundraiser is to help purchase an additional water bottle filler station at KHS. We appreciate your support!!

All orders will be processed as they ordered. Please select your student's school if you would like it delivered there, or select to pick up at Ramaeker's on the square.

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Substitute Authorization Course Information

If you hold a bachelor's degree, obtaining a substitute authorization is easy. Sign up to become a sub today through the Heartland Area Education Agency!

Register now for a remote learning course to obtain your substitute authorization! Learn more at at or see a class scheduled here.

Driver Education Info.

Driver Education is offered at Knoxville High School through Triple ‘R’ Driving School. The fall classroom sessions will be held Oct. 21-Nov. 6 online via Zoom. For more information and to register, click here.

From the Counseling Office

All High School Students and Parents:

Senior and Parents:

Whether you're a student, parent, or borrower, you'll need to create your own Federal Student Aid ID (FSA ID) account to complete federal student aid tasks, including filling out the FAFSA at
Items Needed to Create an FSA ID Account:
- Social Security Number
- Your own mobile phone number and/or e-mail address

A recording of the event will be available at following the live broadcast.

7th Grade Break Cart

The 7th grade annually has a short break time each day. The 7th grade has a later lunch time so their break time gives them a mental break and also provides them with a chance to have a quick snack brought from home or purchased from the break cart. The math teachers look at this as a great opportunity to teach the kids some real life business skills. Every student works the break cart at least 2 times during the year. While working the break cart the students are responsible for counting their startup cash, making change (without the use of a calculator), tracking the number of items they sell, counting their ending balance, and then finding their revenue and making sure it matches the number of items sold. This is a great real life experience for them that includes many skills that they most certainly will use later in life. This year we have had to add wearing gloves to handle both money and food and being able to stand in line socially distanced. As you can see in the pictures, the kids are doing a great job with all of this!

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Mrs. Helle's Class Thanks Donors

Mrs. Helle's class would like to thank 3M Gives, Maxine Wensel, and Daniel Martin for providing flexible seating for her second graders! Thank you so much!

Math in 2nd Grade

Second grade math is fun when we play Slides and Ladders to practice doubles addition facts!

Books Donated by Hy-Vee

Hy-Vee graciously donated the book "Do Unto Otter," to all 2nd graders at West Elementary. It is a book about kindness. Thank you, HyVee!
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KCSD Return to Learn 2020-2021

This is a fluid document that will continue to change as situations around COVID-19 evolve. More information will be provided as updates become available.

Cub Scouts
Library Series: Voter Education

Knoxville Public Library Sponsoring Voter Education Classes

Hello Library Friends,

The Knoxville Public Library is thrilled to be partnering with Knoxville alumna Melissa Molloy to offer a series of nonpartisan voter education classes. This dynamic sequence of classes will be offered via Zoom on Wednesday evenings from 6-7 pm. Participants may attend any and all courses that they are interested in, or able to attend.

  • 9/16: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Voting and Elections (in 1 hour or less)
  • 9/23: Why Your Vote Matters: The Case for Voting, Even When it Feels Like a Waste of Your Time
  • 9/30: News Literacy & Responsible Voting: Skills for Confident Media Engagement
  • 10/7: Get to Know Your Ballot: A Rundown of Everyone & Everything on Your November Ballot

A little about the instructor:

Melissa, a 2015 graduate from Knoxville High School, went on to major in International & Comparative Policy Studies at Reed College in Portland, Oregon. She focused her education on how policy impacts our communities and society, and in her senior year spent eight months researching and analyzing data on voter identification laws across the US. Her plans are to attend law school with an emphasis on election law or employment law beginning in fall 2021, and to continue to encourage voter participation in her community and beyond.

All of the sessions will be available at the Zoom link pasted below. Please feel free to share this link via email within your trusted network. To avoid spamming problems, we do ask that you refrain from posting the link on open platforms such as websites or Facebook.

Contact me with any questions; hope to “see” many of you soon!


Heather Libby

Knoxville Public Library Voter Education Series (Zoom)

Time: Sep 16, 2020 06:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

Every week on Wed, 4 occurrence(s)

  • Sep 16, 2020 06:00 PM
  • Sep 23, 2020 06:00 PM
  • Sep 30, 2020 06:00 PM
  • Oct 7, 2020 06:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 863 7289 0481

Passcode: 914792

Find your local number:

KCSD Admin. Office

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