This Week in Our Schools


December 17-21, 2018

This Week in Our Schools allows parents and the community to take a peek inside our classrooms each week. Scroll down to see our students in action as they learn and grow as a Muskie!

Featured this week:

  • District-Wide Students: Ms. Story's DHH Students at Jefferson and Central.
  • Parents as Teachers
  • Colorado Elementary: Circa '21 Presents Pinocchio!
  • Franklin Elementary: Mrs. Calderon and Mrs. Meyers' Students, Ms. Bloomquist's 2nd Grade Library Students, Miss Huber's Class.
  • Grant Elementary: Mrs. Brewer's Begindergarten Class, Grant's Mr. Dan, Mrs. Paul's and Mrs. Cantrell's Classes, Student Leadership Team, Holiday Program, MediRev Donation, Mrs. Spoto Serenades Staff and Students.
  • Jefferson Elementary: Iowa Basketball, Ms. Ohrt's 1st Grade Class, Mrs. Manjoine's 5th Grade Class.
  • Madison Elementary: Student Leadership Team, Mrs. Foglesong's 4th Grade Class, Mrs. Poppe's 5th Grade Class, Mrs. Langenberg's and Mrs. Poppe's 5th Grade Classes.
  • McKinley Elementary: Kindergarten and First Grade Classes, 4th Grade State Projects, Elf Esteem.
  • Mulberry Elementary: Mrs. Lowes' Class.
  • Central Middle School: 8th Grade Rock Orchestra.
  • West Middle School: Mrs. Ortega's Students, Attendance Awards, Mrs. Panther's ELA Springboard Class, Fireplace Reading, A Cappella Choir and 8th Grade Rock Orchestra.
  • Muscatine High School: MHS Academy Students, Gifted/Talented Math League, Mrs. Danner's Housing Class, Mrs. Phelp's Yoga Class, MHS Chamber Choir, MHS Work Experience Trainee of the Week.
  • Muskie Sports: WMS 8th Grade Girl's Basketball.
  • District Staff


Ms. Story's Deaf and Hard of Hearing Secret Santa Exchange at Jefferson and Central

Kids drew names and were each given $10 to plan out how to spend. Students had to budget for wrapping paper, bows, sales tax, and each item purchased. Students used their math skills to plan out how to use their money. Each student checked out on their own communicating with the cashier, came back to school and wrapped their gifts, then gifted them to their friend. Each of the kids were excited to both give their gifts and receive what their friend had picked out.


Parents as Teachers has had a fun-filled week ringing the bells and having a Christmas party!

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Circa '21 - Pinocchio!

Colorado Elementary School had the pleasure to go and see Pinocchio at Circa 21 on Thursday thanks to our gracious PTO! Pictured below are students in Mrs. Hines' kindergarten class and Mrs. Yahn's 3rd grade class.

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Students at Franklin are working hard all the way up to winter break!

Mrs. Calderón and Mrs. Meyers' EL Students

The EL students with Ms. Meyers and Mrs. Calderón at Franklin made Christmas ornaments using shrinky dinks. The students enjoyed designing their own ornament and then watching them shrink in the toaster oven.

Ms. Bloomquist's 2nd Grade Library Students

Second grade students enjoy playing a library game reviewing the outside parts of the book! They had to crawl, walk backward, skip, or hop to the books, then used a flyswatter to hit the title, front cover, back cover, spine, author, or illustrator.

Miss Huber's Class

Students in Miss Huber's class celebrated their hard work this semester by using their reading and math skills to follow the directions on a slime recipe - what fun they had!
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Mrs. Brewer's Begindergarten Class

Mrs. Brewer’s begindergarten class got all dressed up to perform at their Christmas concert, then had a pajama day later in the week!
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Grant's Mr. Dan

Grant Elementary's custodian, Mr. Dan, got to enjoy eating lunch with the preschool class this week! I bet the conversation at the lunch table was one to remember!

Mrs. Paul's 4th Grade and Mrs. Cantrell's Kindergarten Classes

Mrs. Paul's 4th graders and Mrs. Cantrell's kindergarteners synergized by making holiday candy canes together!

Grant's Student Leadership Team

As part of giving back to the community, Grant's Student Leadership Team volunteered for the Salvation Army and rang bells this week.

Grant's Holiday Program

Here's a peek at Grant's Holiday Program designed and produced by elementary music teacher Nicki Sand. Grant students did a great job performing!

Thank you MediRevv!

MediRevv, a company based out of Coralville, donated $500 to Grant School to put toward our negative student lunch balance!

A Student and Staff Serenade

Mrs. Spoto played some holiday music for students and staff as they arrived at school!


Iowa Basketball!

The Jefferson PTO sponsored a trip to the Iowa basketball game for 4th and 5th grade boys and their families. Everyone enjoyed pizza and pop at Jefferson school before the bus ride to Iowa City.

Ms. Ohrt's 1st Grade Class

Jefferson first graders in Ms. Ohrt's class received letters from Santa this week!

Mrs. Manjoine's 5th Grade Class

Students in Mrs. Manjoine's fifth-grade class worked on coding with teacher librarian Ms. Hotzel.


Madison's Student Leadership Team

Madison's student leadership team visited Sunnybrook one morning this week and participated in a fitness class with the residents!

Mrs. Foglesong's 4th Grade Class

We had a busy day at Madison. Some High School Choir members came to perform for our students and then read with second graders. Also, Betty Collins from the library came and read to each grade level.

Mrs. Poppe's 5th Grade Class

Mrs. Poppe’s 5th graders chose to thank the Madison staff for helping them this year. They wheeled a hot cocoa and treat cart around the school to say thank you and Merry Christmas to staff. The students organized this project as part of their morning meeting.

Miss Langenberg's and Mrs. Poppe's 5th Grade Classes

The Madison 5th graders in Miss Langenberg and Mrs. Poppe’s classrooms “Decked the Halls” by writing notes of kindness to each other and stringing them around the hallways.


McKinley's Kindergarteners and First Graders

McKinley’s Kindergarteners and 1st Graders rotated in Winter Wonderland themed activities. They enjoyed dancing, directed drawings, gumdrop tower making, snowball fights, snowflake making, and plate penguins! A big thank you for the Kindergarten and 1st grade teams for synergizing together and creating this awesome day for the students!

4th Grade State Projects

4th grade students presented their state projects. Students enjoyed learning about a different state and a did a great job sharing their research.

Elf Esteem

This week, students in Mrs. White's guidance glass had a lesson on self-esteem and learning to like their talents and selves. They then turned this into Elf Esteem for fun!
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Mrs. Lowe's Class

Mrs. Lowe's students participated in calming activities to get through the holidays including GoNoodle- Empower channel and making gingerbread slime to go with our text about the tradition of gingerbread.


8th Grade Rock Orchestra

CMS Rock Orchestra 8th Graders spent the day on Tuesday spreading holiday cheer to area nursing homes and businesses.


Mrs. Ortega's Class

Mrs. Ortega joined one of her students and took a sensory-break and while having fun in the hallways!

Attendance Awards

Students received popcorn and M&Ms for their outstanding attendance this quarter. 346 students missed 2 or fewer days this quarter! Way to go West Muskies!

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Mrs. Panther's ELA Springboard Class

Students in Mrs. Panther's class took guesses about how many holiday sweaters Miss Amy (West's Library Clerk) owns. Teacher Librarian Mrs. Bloomquist's guess of 17 was correct! However, Shelby and Vanessa had the closest guesses of the students (they each guessed 18).

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Fireplace Reading

Students enjoy reading by the library fireplace (Miss Amy did an awesome job creating it!).

WMS A Cappella Choir and 8th Grade Rock Orchestra

West's A cappella choir (under the direction of Nathan Swartzendruber) and 8th grade Rock Orchestra (under the direction of Jessica Blanchard) provided entertainment this week as they went on their "Holiday Tour" and performed for local nursing homes. They also made a stop at the district's administration center. Check out these amazing musicians!


MHS Academy Students

Students in Ms. Huot's class had the opportunity to visit the QC Family Entertainment for a fun day celebrating their attendance and academic achievements.
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Gifted/Talented Attend Math League

Math League is a state and national academic competition for math scholars. On Saturday, students competed against big and small schools in Iowa in individual, sprint, team, and relay rounds. Emma and Nathan both qualified for the state competition last year, and the Iowa City High competition is one of few qualifying competitions in the area. (Pictured: GT students, Emma Wagner, Nathan Audas, and Scott Rininger.)

Mrs. Danner's Housing Class

Students in Kathy Danner's Housing class designed models, featuring a variety of architectural styles and periods. This Winter Wonderland display lights up the second-floor hall at Muscatine High School.

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Mrs. Phelp's Yoga with Muskie Wrestlers

A great group of hard-working athletes looked to diversify their training with Mrs. Phelps, yoga instructor for the district. Thank you to their coaches for caring about their wrestler's overall body & mind!

MHS Chamber Choir

The MHS Chamber Choir visited Madison Elementary on Thursday, December 20, and they performed several vocal selections for the elementary students including "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," "All I Want for Christmas is You," and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas."

Following the performance, the high school students passed out candy canes and volunteered in classrooms to read with students or help with other classroom activities.

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MHS Work Experience Trainee of the Week

To top off the year, we have not one but a team of Work Experience Program trainees to feature. Pictured with Bill Warnstaff, Fullfillment Services Coordinator for Kent Nutrition Group and 1987 MHS graduate, is (L-R) Melissa Alvarado, Sara McCleary, and Thomas Alias. Bill has worked at Kent Feeds for twenty years and has been helping to train our students for nearly that long.

Our team works on improving their employability skills by assisting with the processing of sales and promotional materials that are a key component of Kent's sales team. Kent Feeds has been manufacturing and providing high-quality feed products to livestock producers since 1927. Kent has manufactured its feed products in Muscatine since 1936 and over the years has expanded its operations to include the Midwest and the Northeast regions of the United States.

I would like to thank Steve Payne, Fulfillment Supervisor, and his staff at Kent's Fulfillment Services Department for continuing to work with our students. Jeff Schmelzer, Work Experiment Coordinator


WMS 8th Grade Girls Basketball

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Mulberry Elementary

Mulberry teachers got into the holiday spirit with a door decorating contest. There was a lot of tough competition and lots of cute doors! Here is a sample! Mrs. McDonald's door (on the right) won!