West Harrison's December Newsletter
Mr. Marty Fonley
As I reflect back on the first half of the school year, I can’t help but feel a tremendous sense of gratitude. When this fall started none of us knew exactly what to expect and I won’t argue that this fall hasn’t had its challenges with all that COVID has brought our way. But when I take the time to reflect on it, I see so many positives and things for which to feel grateful.
We have not had to cancel school or go virtual learning for everyone as a result COVID at all this year! Staff has done an amazing job of adapting to whatever has been thrown at them, from teaching virtually for continuous learners and those in quarantine to dealing with implementing numerous safety protocols and additional cleaning routines. All done with a smile and an eye on doing what is best for students as the top priority. Additionally, the Board has made calendar adjustments to support teachers by adding additional planning time.
Students have been tremendously positive and cooperative from wearing masks without complaint to helping in classrooms and lunchrooms. Students have been able to have some return to normal routines and have been able to participate in many of the activities they enjoy. Parents have been patient, supportive, and understanding from the beginning when we started providing remote continuous learning to dealing with quarantines. We have even had several community members provide much appreciated cards and other items for staff members to boost morale, which has been greatly appreciated!
What all of this shows me is the tremendous commitment the West Harrison Community has to each other and to their school district. I am extremely grateful to be a part of such a wonderful group of people! As you reflect on this year, I hope you are also able to find many things for which to be grateful:) From my family to yours, Happy Holidays! And a sincere thank you!
Mrs. Casey Ring
Happy Holidays, Hawkeye Family!!!
With only a short three weeks remaining in the semester, things are moving quickly around West Harrison! For our middle and high school students, semester testing is coming up on December 22 and 23rd. For our elementary students, holiday parties and festive fun are mixing in with learning. Staff and students are having fun with holiday decorating and we have lots of giving and celebration happening at school during this happy time.
As the end of the semester draws near, here are a few reminders for families:
Middle and High School:
Please encourage your child to dress warmly! I see many students hopping off the bus or running in from the parking lot without coats...brrrrr!
Semester test schedules for 12/22 and 12/23 will be coming out to students soon. Encourage early preparation at home--good study skills are essential to lifelong success.
We will allow high school students who have their work completed in their classes to leave at 2:30 on 12/21 and 12/22. If work is missing, they will have that last hour of the day to remain at school and work with their teachers. Anyone (HS student) riding the bus will remain at school, in the Commons.
Check your child’s grades-- December 18 is a date we would like to see all work completed. If something is still missing, they will need to stay at school the following week to complete it.
Please make sure your child has a hat, coat, gloves, snow boots, and snow pants! Your child’s teacher may have a more specific policy, but we just want to make sure students are warm!
If your child is in need of a warm winter coat, hat, or gloves, please let their teacher know. We have some available at school!
Recess in Winter:
Students will go to recess outside if the wind chill/”feels like” temperature is at or above 10 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the National Weather Service.
Students with snowboots are allowed to play on the playground. Students with snow boots and snow pants can choose where to play. Students with street shoes are regulated to the basketball court.
Students without proper winter attire will not go to recess outside.
If recess is indoors, it is held in the Old Gym.
With Christmas just around the corner, plan to do some shopping at the West Harrison Scholastic Book Fair! Due to Covid, the fair will only be in person for the staff and students. All parents and community members will have to order virtually. The link is https://www.scholastic.com/bf/westharrisonelem. Orders can be placed online from now until Friday, December 11. The fair will be open to the school from Thursday, December 3 – Thursday, December 10. Student Wish Lists will be sent home on Monday, December 7. Thanks in advance for supporting our students by putting new books in their hands!
Yearbooks are currently on sale for $40 through the month of January. On February 1, the price will go up to $45. Please contact the following staff and students if you are interested in getting a book full of memories: Brenda Pape, Annette Kuhlman, Gina Birdsall, Katie Gore, Beatriz Martin, Brecken Pavlik, Aaron Peterson, Brooklyn Rhodes, Haleigh Rife, and Nickolette Whetstone.
Deb Evans - School Nurse
From The Nurses Desk December
By now everyone should be well versed in what the recommendations are for protecting yourself, your family, and others from the COVID-19 Virus. With that being said I won’t write about COVID prevention.
Brighten the holidays by making your health and safety a priority. Take steps to keep you and your loved ones safe and healthy—and ready to enjoy the holidays.
1. Avoid large gatherings and stay home for the holiday. Keep home gatherings to only those that reside in your immediate household. It isn’t forever just this year so that you can be with your family next season.
2. Wash hands often to help prevent the spread of germs. Remember it’s also flu season. Wash your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds. It’s also not to late to get a flu shot.
3. Bundle up to stay dry and warm. Wear appropriate outdoor clothing: light, warm layers, gloves, hats, scarves, and waterproof boots.
4. Manage stress. Give yourself a break if you feel stressed out, overwhelmed, and out of control. Some of the best ways to manage stress are to find support, connect socially, and get plenty of sleep.
5. Don’t drink and drive or let others drink and drive. Whenever anyone drives drunk, they put everyone on the road in danger. Choose not to drink and drive and help others do the same.
6. Be smoke-free. Avoid smoking and secondhand smoke. Smokers have greater health risks because of their tobacco use, but nonsmokers also are at risk when exposed to tobacco smoke. There are many ways to stop smoking and depending on what you decide there may be assistance or insurance coverage to assist you.
7. Fasten seat belts while driving or riding in a motor vehicle. Always buckle your children in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt according to their height, weight, and age. Buckle up every time, no matter how short the trip and encourage passengers to do the same.
8. Get exams and screenings. Ask your health care provider what exams you need and when to get them. Update your personal and family history.
9. Get your vaccinations. Vaccinations help prevent diseases and save lives. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year.
10. Monitor children. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, household items, and other objects out of children’s reach. Protect them from drowning, burns, falls, and other potential accidents.
11. Practice fire safety. Most residential fires occur during the winter months, so don’t leave fireplaces, space heaters, food cooking on stoves, or candles unattended. Have an emergency plan and practice it regularly.
12. Prepare food safely. Remember these simple steps: Wash hands and surfaces often, avoid cross-contamination, cook foods to proper temperatures and refrigerate foods promptly.
13. Eat healthy, stay active. Eat fruits and vegetables which pack nutrients and help lower the risk for certain diseases. Limit your portion sizes and foods high in fat, salt, and sugar. Also, be active for at least 2½ hours a week and help kids and teens be active for at least 1 hour a day.
Mrs. Marshall - School Counselor
In Elementary, students have been learning about what to do when they feel a strong emotion- excited, scared, angry, sad. First recognize that your body is feeling a strong feeling and how did you know. Next giving yourself a stop signal- Stop, Chill, Relax, Calm Down. And lastly how to calm down- taking deep breaths, counting, taking a walk, positive self talk, etc. We worked on proper deep breathing and how this can focus your mind on the breaths and not the strong emotion.
As we move into the holiday season, kindness is a gift everyone can afford to give. A great idea that can be done at home is to make a paper chain with decorated white paper or colored construction paper. Have the kids write one act of kindness they can do each day as they pull the strips off. Or challenge your kids at the end of each day to tell you one kind thing they did. There are many small ways to show kindness. Here are some ideas for kids to try.
Donate a food item to the local food bank
Make christmas cards for neighbors or loved ones
Sort through your toys and donate any that you no longer play with to charity or your local church
Write a letter to your sibling telling them why you love them
Clean your bedroom
Write a note and mail them to the houses with great christmas lights saying thank you for lighting up their house for you to see
Send someone a care package
Write thank you cards for your teacher, coach, or people that have influenced you in a positive way
Clean up the area where you live by picking up litter. Make sure you wear gloves and do it with an adult.
Do something nice for your parents without them asking you to
Make a christmas card for someone at school
Help cook dinner for your family
Give someone a compliment
Hold the door open for someone
Smile and say “Hi” to others.
I hope everyone has Happy Holidays!
Mr. Nunez - Activities Director
West Harrison has partnered with the NFHS Network and plan to broadcast our Hawkeye athletic events LIVE. That means that if you or family members can’t make it to the game, the live action can be watched from anywhere, on your phone, tablet, computer or smart TV. As part of the partnership with the NFHS Network, they will return a portion of each subscription sold back to West Harrison! With each subscription you will be able to have 3 logins at once making this a great way to share with a family member. Joining the IAHSAA: West Harrison High School-Mondamin, IA is easy, just follow these simple steps:
1. Go to NFHSnetwork.com
2. Enter West Harrison in search box
3. Click “Follow” so you can stay up to date on all upcoming Hawkeye broadcasted events
4. Click “Subscribe” for all subscription options for our school.
Thank you for your continued support of Hawkeye athletics. Note: This will only cover those events in the East Gym
** If you experience buffering issues while streaming the event there are a few possible causes. According to NFHS Network website, one issue is with your connection speed with your ISP. NFHS recommends a speed of at least 2 Mbps.
NFHS also recommends you use the Chrome browser. Using a different browser could lead to buffering or freezing issues. You may also need to clear your cache and cookies and reload the page.
If you are still experiencing issues, you will need to contact NFHS Network support. Their contact page link is: https://playonsubs.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/115005317186-Contact-Customer-Support?fbclid=IwAR0URulQajwKYtiiFcuFZtPaolsITWClQI7dyxC1c5jljqqGtote1OMCPBc
Claire White - Special Education and Life Skills
Hello! My name is Claire White and I am the Special Education teacher for Life Skills and a few Elementary students. I am originally from Clarinda, IA. I went to college for my bachelor's degree at Central Missouri State in Warrensburg, Mo. Since my bachelor's, I have obtained a Masters In Reading Education and am finishing my Special Education endorsement (2 classes left to go!) I currently live in Missouri valley with my son Briton, three cats(Hamlet, Stella, and Meow Meow), and my dog Spike. My son and I are very close. Most weekends you can find us having a movie marathon or a fire pit!
I love working at West Harrison. I have the best staff to work with, especially the paraprofessionals I work with daily, lets just say I wouldn’t do my job well without them. I love working one on one with students and feel that coming to this district is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I feel a part of a community that really cares for teachers and students.
This year has been crazy, rewarding, and a whirlwind and I cannot picture doing it anywhere else. Thanks to all of the staff that have made me feel welcome! Happy Holidays!
Morgan Daniels - Business
There have been a few changes in the business and computer classes this year. The main change has been with moving most assignments online.
The accounting students just finished learning the accounting system for a sole proprietorship set up as a service business. The students will now change their focus to a merchandise corporation.
The introduction to computers students have been learning Microsoft Office. The majority of the students are working on Access databases.
The introduction to business students are learning about what marketing is and how it affects our society.
The students in personal finance have learned about budgets, savings, and investments. The students are currently learning about the types of debt. Over the next few weeks, they will learn about credit scores and insurance.
Tasha Haag - Middle School
Happy holiday everyone! Things have definitely changed this year but we are survivors. There is a lot going on in this Middle School classroom.
Seventh-grade reading has completed Lyddie and is now reading about others who have endured harsh working conditions. They will continue to analyze text and work with using text evidence in their writings. Eighth-grade reading has been working their way through reading Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. This has definitely pushed their reading comprehension but they are thriving and catching on well! They will continue to read through the play and then will move into writing their argumentative essay using textual evidence. As we round out the quarter, both grades will be given an opportunity to view the movie of their respective books.
Both seventh and eighth-grade English have been working through their language books. Currently, the eighth grade is working on spelling rules while the seventh grade is learning more about correct quotation usage. Each week students also write a journal based on a prompt I give them. It has been interesting, to say the least when reading what they write; they can be quite funny.
Seventh-grade science has started into their new book and has been learning about cells. They have also been working on using their vocabulary terms in their lab reports; this has proven to be a challenge for them, but they are rising to the challenge well. Learning about cells will lead us into learning about genetics and eventually to behavior. We will continue to work through lessons with labs and class discussions.
STEM has been a favorite for many students. In STEM we work through the design process and then students get a chance to try their hand at a problem-solving project. They have done some amazing work and have come up with some amazing ideas in their quest to solve their problems. Students also get a chance to work with coding in STEM and while this is not their favorite part of the class they have made some cool creations.
It has been a crazy first semester, but I’m happy to be in school with the students every day. I look forward to seeing how each student progresses and rises to meet the challenges in the classroom and outside the classroom. Stay safe and healthy!
2020 Hawkeye Volleyball Awards Night Head Coach Kathy Glennie, Assistant Coaches Tim Jones and Kylee Glennie
Participation Certificates: Freshmen Leah Frink and Emma Tyson; Sophomores Grace Wallis and Maggie Wolter; Junior Kali Peasley and Lily Gustafson; Senior McKenna Waldron
Letter Winners: One Year- Riley Acker as Manager and Emily McIntosh; Two Year- Madison Lautrup, Kenna Heisterkamp; Kayla Lynch, and Lanie Gustafson; Four Year- Haleigh Rife, Maren Evans, and Haley Koch
Perfect Attendance: Kayla Lynch, Kenna Heisterkamp, Kali Peasley, and Haleigh Rife
JV Captain: McKenna Waldron
Captains: Maren Evans, Haleigh Rife, and Haley Koch
West Harrison All-Tournament Team: Haley Koch and Emily McIntosh
Who Impressed by KMALand 9/17 2020: Maren Evans has served in on 97 of her 99 tires (98.0%) efficiency
Second Team All Rolling Valley Conference: Haley Koch
Honorable Mention- Maren Evans and Haleigh Rife and Emily McIntosh
E Wayne Cooley You Can Awards-- this award is given to those who may not have been chosen for all-conference but are every bit as valuable to the team-
Lanie Gustafosn, Kayla Lynch, Maddie Lautrup, Kenna Heisterkamp
Congratulations to the 2020 West Harrison Volleyball Team for the Academic
Achievement Awards from the Iowa High School Athletic Association and the
Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union. The awards are based on the 1st quarter
GPA of all members of the team 9-12 (including managers). There are two levels of recognition. Excellence is a combined GPA of 3.00 to 3.24 and Distinguished is a combined 3.25 and above and the volleyball team had an overall GPA of 3.53.
Freshman/C team Most Improved- Leah Frink
Freshman/C team Successful Server - Maggie Wolter
Junior Varsity Most Improved- Kali Peasley
Junior Varsity Successful Server-- Lily Gustafson
Varsity Ace Server- Haley Koch
Varsity Most Improved- Emily McIntosh
Varsity Defense- Tie goes to both Maren Evans and Haley Koch
Varsity Offense- Haley Koch
Perfect Attendance- Kayla Lynch, Kenna Heisterkamp, Madie Lautrup, Kali Peasley, and Haleigh Rife
Freshman/C team MVP- Emma Tyson
Junior Varsity MVP- McKenna Waldron
Varsity MVP- Haley Koch
Rookie of the Year- Kali Peasley
Most Sportsmanlike -Kayla Lynch
Hawkeye Award - Maren Evans
New School Records
School Record from 2017-2020 for sets played goes to Maren Evans with 295 sets played. Maren also holds the school record from 2017-2020 in serves successes with 968, serves with 984, and serve efficiency with 98.1
Maren also has the school record for serve efficiency in a season with 99.1 in 2020
School Record for digs goes to Haley Koch with 711 from 2017-2020
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 teammates.org. If interested please contact me at school (712-646-2231) or email (email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tony Nunez, PresidentKim Nunez, Program Coordinator