Northwest News

January Newsletter

A Letter From the Principal

Hello Northwest families! Happy New Year! I hope you enjoyed a restful winter break with family and friends. We are lucky in education to get two new starts to the year - the beginning of the school year and the beginning of the calendar year. I encourage you to talk with your student about their goals for the new year. January also marks the halfway point of the school year. What does your student want to accomplish in the second half of the year? How can they improve academically, socially, or in extra curricular activities? What can they do for others to make this second half of the school year even better than the first? For 8th graders, how can you use the second half of the year to prepare for high school? For 7th graders, how can you build upon what you have learned in junior high so far and improve?

In January we also begin looking forward to next school year. Guidance counselors will be visiting elementary schools to start the registration process with 6th grade students. 7th grade students will complete 8th grade registration. And West High School guidance counselors will visit 8th graders to start the high school registration process. This is an exciting time of year! It can also be challenging and produce some anxiety. Do not hesitate to contact a guidance counselor, teacher, or administrator if you have any questions about the process or course selection.

You will notice the start to our long-awaited renovation project as you enter Northwest! Dirt work has begun along the west side of the building where the new gym will eventually be. A road has been built from the back parking lot to the side of the building. This is for construction traffic only. Everything is fenced off, but please remind your students to be extra cautious and aware, especially in the dark before and after school. We are really looking forward to the renovations and will share pictures along the way on social media - Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Follow and like us to receive all the updates!

On Friday, January 17, we will hold our second annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at Northwest Junior High. Teachers will spend class time with a focus on diversity and community. In the afternoon, students will have the opportunity to select speakers to listen to or community service projects to participate in. Our theme this year is “We cannot walk alone.” Please encourage your student to choose a session that will expand their thinking and then ask them about the experience. We will be welcoming a diverse group of community partners to share with our students.

We will hold our second trimester parent teacher conferences on Wednesday, January 22 from 4:15-7:45 PM. This is the only opportunity during second trimester to meet with teachers. If you are unable to meet with teachers on this day, please contact the teacher or main office to set up a separate meeting or check in via email. We will have a final parent teacher conference opportunity in April during third trimester.

Finally, we are always looking for donations! Our student family advocates are in need of new gloves, hats, winter coats, and city bus passes. Our health office is in need of bottled water. Our teachers always need pencils and tissues. And our main office staff provides snacks for students throughout the day, so granola bars and fruit snacks are appreciated.

Thank you for your continued support of Northwest Junior High and all of our students. We wish you a happy and healthy new year! Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.


Elizabeth Bruening, Principal

Important Dates

  • January 11-SEIBA Honor Band Auditions
  • January 17-MLK Day Celebration
  • January 20-No School
  • January 21-Wrestling begins
  • January 21-7th Grade Orchestra Concert
  • January 22-Parent Teacher Conferences, 4:15pm-7:45pm
  • January 25-SEIBA Honor Band Festival
  • January 27, 28, 29-Play Auditions, 4:15pm-5:15pm
  • January 28-8th Grade Orchestra Concert

Registration for the 2020-2021 school year will begin soon!

Current 6th Grade Students Registering for 7th Grade:

Northwest Junior High counselors will be visiting each elementary school during the month of January to begin the 7th grade registration process with current 6th grade students.

Current 7th Grade Students Registering for 8th Grade:

The Northwest Junior High counselors will be meeting with 7th grade students to discuss registration for 8th grade courses on January 30th during your student’s Science class. Registration sheets will need to be filled out and turned in by February 4th.

Current 8th Grade Students Registering for 9th Grade:

The West High counselors will be presenting registration information to our 8th grade students on February 6th. There will be a West High parent informational meeting taking place on February 10th from 7:00 - 8:00pm in the West High Auditorium. On February 13th, West High counselors will be returning to Northwest Junior High to assist students in completing the registration process.

Play Auditions Coming Soon!

Play: The Crimson House Murder by Tim Kelly

Auditions open to all 7th and 8th graders: Jan 27.28.29 from 4:15-5:15 pm in Little Theatre

Questions? Contact Ms. Freund at:

Congratulations Math Club Members!

The following Northwest Math Club Members made the National Honor Roll on the American Math Competition 8 which was taken in November (results came back over Winter Break).

Athena Wu**

Edward Li*

Catherine Xu*

Richard Yang

Caleb Benson

Andrew Dong

Junze Sun

*Special Recognition to Athena, Edward, and Catherine for making the Distinguished Honor Roll.

**Finally a special shout out to Athena Wu for being the State Winner and earning the first perfect score in Iowa since 2013!

Northwest Junior High was the only school in Iowa to make the School Honor Roll. Worldwide 1871 schools participated. For more information go to

Wrestling Starts January 21st!

Wrestling practice will start Jan. 21st and will be held right after school until about 5:45. Beginners are welcome and will be taught basics of wrestling and will be paired with similar skilled opponents and wrestlers weighing approximately their own weight. There are no weight classes in Jr. High wrestling and wrestlers are encouraged to maintain a healthy weight throughout the season. With the sport of female wrestling growing, girls are always welcome to participate in wrestling at Northwest. West High currently has a girls-only team of about 25 ladies this season. Wrestling shoes are requested for safe practices and a daily change of a shirt and shorts is needed for hygiene purposes. Please sign up in the office and contact Mr. Meade at for more information. GO TROJANS!

Volunteers Needed!

We need volunteers to help run our athletics games! Check out the links to sign up.

Boys Swim Meets

Girls Basketball-7th Grade

Girls Basketball-8th Grade

Concession Stand

Absence Reminders

Please call the school at 319-688-1060 prior to your student's absence. You are welcome to leave a message at any time. If you are picking up a student early, please call at least two hours prior so we can give the student a pass to leave class.

In the message please include:

  • Student's name
  • Parent's/guardian's name
  • Reason for the absence
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Your student needs to stay home from school if they have any of the following:
  • A temperature of 100 F or more. They may return to school after being fever free for at least 24 hours, without the use of medications.
  • Vomiting or diarrhea. They may return after being symptom free for at least 24 hours.

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,