The Hawkeye

West Harrison's Monthly Newsletter

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November Newsletter

The month of November is a month where many choose to put more effort into giving thanks for those they love and the gifts they’ve been given in life. We, at West Harrison CSD, are grateful for the fantastic student body that attends school at West Harrison and the warm parents and community members that support us and the children in our community.

It’s wonderful that people focus on what they are grateful for in November! But, did you know that it’s scientifically proven that gratitude is beneficial? According to Psychology Today and Harvard Health, showing gratitude can:

· improve your existing relationships

· increase your happiness

· increase your physical and psychological health

· help you sleep better

· enhances empathy

· reduces aggressive behaviors

With all of those benefits, we’d be silly not to practice gratitude on a daily basis! How can you practice gratitude? Try these ideas with your children:

· Keep a gratitude journal

· Thank someone for something they did for you. You can write a note or give them a call.

· Tell a parent when you catch their child doing something good

· Thank your child’s teacher

· Meditate and focus on the positive aspects of your life

· Write down all the good things that happened to you that day

Try this for the month of November. Model these behaviors of gratitude for your children while they practice expressing gratitude as well. See if you and your children experience any or all of the benefits scientists have attributed to gratitude. Share with us your positive stories! We’d love to hear about them.

The Gratitude Experiment
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Effective Communication with Teens

Hello Hawkeye Family! Our students are fully engaged in their learning and are probably hitting some challenges and feeling frustrated from time to time. On both fronts, school and home, we want to continue communication with our teens about the growth mindset. Mistakes help us to learn and success only comes through effort, not talent or ability.

One aspect of growth mindset that can drive home the concept of learning and feeling challenged is that of brain plasticity. Here is an excerpt from The Growth Mindset Coach by Annie Brock and Heather Hundley that I felt really describe and helped me to understand what brain plasticity is and how it can apply to learning.

Here is a video that dives into the science of brain plasticity a bit more:

Your Brain is Plastic
Here is a metaphor for you. It really helped me to understand why learning takes time.

"Pretend that you live in a wooded area, and each day you walk from your house down to a little stream. Over time, you have created a well-worn path through the woods from your house to the stream. Like this path, skills, knowledge, and habits that you often use are well-worn paths in your brain. You can easily do these things because the neuronal pathways are constantly used. But when you learn something new, you have to develop a new path.

Go back to the house in the woods for a moment. Let's say one day you spot a lovely meadow off the path. You decide that you'd like to get to it, but there's no clear way to get there. So you trudge through the brush, moving rocks, ducking limbs, and tripping on obstacles. You get there eventually, but it wasn't easy. It'll take time to wear a new path to the meadow as smooth as the path to the stream. When you learn something new, you're creating a new path in your brain; this is neuroplasticity. Anyone can make a new path, but it's hard work. And, just like a path in the woods, if you don't use the new paths in your brain often, they'll grow over and become difficult to navigate once again. That's why people sometimes say, 'Use it or lose it!' (p. 62)"

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Parent-Teacher Conferences will be held Monday, November 4th and Tuesday, November 5th from 4:00 - 8:00 PM both evenings. We would love to see ALL of our parents join us!

REMINDER: There will be a 1:30 early dismissal both of these days and NO SCHOOL on Friday, November 8th

West Harrison’s Scare Hunger Away

West Harrison had its 5th annual “Scare Hunger Away” event. Students 6-12th grade (and staff) bring in at least one item or monies for the Matthew House and they can wear their Halloween costumes to school for the day. Items includes food, hygiene products, or miscellaneous products. This year there were 102 items collected and $10 cash.
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November Health News

November is Diabetes Awareness Month – Talk to your health care provider about the risk factors in your family, take precautions, & support the people you know with Diabetes!

Continue to say “BOO” to the Flu! – This year, the Centers for Disease Control advises everyone 6 months of age and older to get a flu shot during the months of October and November. Talk to your doctor.

Please keep all sick children home from school especially if they are exhibiting respiratory and stomach symptoms! If you are unsure – stay home and call your health care provider or school nurse for advice.

Allergy & Asthma season is hitting us HARD this year. Monitor all symptoms closely and follow your health care provider’s advice. If your child has asthma, it is extremely important to keep an inhaler at school.

We can protect and strengthen our own immunity by eating nutritious foods, taking daily walks, sleeping 8 –10 hours a night, reducing stress, and smiling daily : )

Happy Autumn!

Deb Evans, RN, BS

West Harrison Community School


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Hearing Screenings at West Harrison

Hearing screenings will take place on December 3rd. All students in PK-3rd and then also 5th grade are tested. In grade 4 and 6-12th grades only known cases and new students will be tested. The AEA assumes parent/guardian permission is given, unless we receive written notice requesting that your child not be screened.
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School Counseling Update

October has been a busy month for Juniors and Seniors.

All juniors took the ASVAB (military entrance exam). West Harrison uses it for many reasons. It is used to practice for the ACT. It has similar content areas being assessed. All juniors will be taking the ACT in February. The ASVAB can also be used to provide a score if looking to go into the military. We also get the ASVAB results interpreted. During the ASVAB interpretation, an interest survey is done and the results from the test and the interest survey work together to match students with careers that fit them and lots of information regarding those careers.

Many college admissions counselors have been coming to West Harrison. Juniors and seniors have the opportunity to sign up and talk to them. They answer any questions they may have about that particular college and are able to learn about majors, on campus involvement, and other college visit days. Juniors are allowed two college visit days and seniors are allowed three. They really should be taking advantage of this great opportunity.

Seniors had an opportunity to meet with a person from ICAN (Iowa College Access Network) to fill out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid). This form is used by colleges and scholarships to determine financial aid packages and eligibility. If you did not get an opportunity to take advantage of this, it can be filled out at the following website:

Any questions about the senior year, do not hesitate to reach out.

Bre Ann Marshall

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Junior EMS Update

This year’s Jr. EMS class is busy with training. The have been trained in the following so far: where materials can be found in the fire hall, vehicle procedures, basic first aid, emergency procedures and protocols. They will attend a fire hall meeting next month and be trained in CPR.

The following are Jr. EMS members for the 2019-2020 school year: Front Row: Lanie Gustafson, Haleigh Rife, Beatriz Martin, Joslynn Thomas, Sabrina Rife, Chloe Green, Maren Evans; Back Row: Kayla Lynch, Tyler Deppe, Jeff Perry, Brecken Pavlik, Chantz Cleaver, Parker Rife. Not Pictured- Hunter Hansen.

Jr. EMS Director is Tony Nunez.

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Mrs. Shearer

Preschool is having the best year ever! The students have learned each other’s names and made new friends. They have become familiar with the classroom and the different learning centers. They are settling into the daily routine and have our schedule down. The students are learning to take care of their own needs, to clean up after themselves, to share, take turns, and to get along with others.

October has been a busy month. The preschool class had the opportunity to take a field trip to Small’s Fruit Farm. Renee Small was able to take us on a tour of the apple sheds. We got to see the large bins the apples are put into after they are picked, how they sort the apples and the large refrigerator where they store the apples. We got to see where they make apple cider, we even got to taste how delicious it was! The students really enjoyed the tractor ride Trevor Small gave us around the orchard. While on our ride, the students were able to get off the wagon and pick out a pumpkin to take home. Eating an apple was a great treat for us! The students even got to take an apple home with them to eat later. We would like to thank Small’s Fruit Farm for giving us this opportunity.

The students also learned about fire safety during the month of October. They practiced: Stop, Drop & Roll when your clothes catch on fire, getting down low and crawling under the smoke and how to feel a door with the back of your hand to see if it is hot. They got to practice lining up quick in case of a fire and they even got to do a fire drill. However, the best part of the week was when a few firefighters came to our class to talk to us about fire safety. Firefighter Jeff Seago brought all of his fire gear to school to show the students what a firefighter looks like all dressed up. He told the students to not be afraid of them even if the firefighter sounds funny with their masks on. The students were surprised at how heavy the gear was. Firefighters Brian Rife and Steve Hinkel drove a fire truck to school and the preschool students were able to go outside and look at the all the cool equipment on the fire truck. Firefighter Ema Aldrich talked to the students about some of the different equipment. One of the student’s favorite thing to see on the fire truck was how they get the ladder off the top of the truck. We would like to thank the Mondamin Fire Department and the firefighters for taking the time to visit our preschool class.

Mrs. Cartmill

Hi! My name is Mary Cartmill, and I teach first grade. This year we have 21 students, 10 boys and 11 girls. I can’t believe we are beginning our 2nd quarter already!

We have been busy reviewing quite a few phonics skills in reading. Reading is a very big part of our day. We spend over 2 hours a day just on reading/language arts! We have also begun guided reading. My first graders bring their guided reading bags home twice a week to read the familiar books inside their bag. The reading of familiar books increases their fluency. We are also working on learning and knowing our addition facts fluently! We have begun with #6. Iowa Core would like 1st graders to know their addition facts fluently to 10, but we work on facts to 20. Science seems to be a favorite subject of this class. We’ve discussed what scientists do and all the different tools they use. We are now learning about living things. What living things need, and the different plants and animals and the environments they live in.

My first graders and I are very excited to tell you that we have received ‘wiggle seats’ in our classroom. I had filled out a Donors Choose request asking for ‘wiggle seats’ for my first graders. I felt that it would help them stay engaged and be able to pay attention during my teaching. It took less than a week to receive the money needed to fund our project! We had someone from California, Kansas City (my daughter) and Modale (Alyx Hirst) contribute to our Donors Choose!

Along with the Donors Choose, another member of our school district, had seen my Donors Choose, and she wanted to donate! Sherri Schulz ordered 15 wiggle seats and sent them to the school. We are so extremely excited by everyones’ generosity! My students are loving their new seats!!

Mr. Maasen PE News

The students in 7-12 PE/Weights have finished their fitness testing for the quarter. The high school students have their testing tracked in our online fitness program (PLT4M) and the 7-8th graders are posted on the south gym wall through conferences.

Other activities we have enjoyed this quarter include Flag Football/Frisbee Golf, Soccer, Archery, Volleyball, Eclipse Ball, Pinguard, Ultimate Frisbee and various strength/cardio/agility training in different formats.

The 6th grade has also completed Wii Fit exercises in Dance and Biggest Loser exercises. We have also maxed out for Bench and Squat in Weights class and are looking forward to the second round of maxes in the next few weeks to hopefully show gains in these areas. The students have also set training goals for the semester that we will review and continue to work toward in quarter two.

Mr. Maasen Health News

The 7th grade is finishing up their health exploratory and have taken on an activity brought to us by Mrs. Ring called "No Soda November". Here the students will pledge to be soda free for a month or if they want to go with a lighter goal of cutting back we will track that as well. The students in junior high will receive a pledge sheet with areas to track your progress and evaluate your weekly progress. They will also create posters along with facts about the negatives of what drinking sugary drinks does on your health and put them up around the halls. High School Students and Staff are encouraged to participate and can get a pledge sheet from Mr. Maasen to follow and track their progress.

I also had the opportunity to attend a Health conference in Des Moines covering the 5210 initiative. This stands for 5 or more fruits/vegetable servings daily, 2 hours or less of screen time, 1 or more hours of physical activity, and 0 sugary drinks promoting more water. There will be more activities on this initiative within our heath classes as the year goes on.

2020 Yearbooks For Sale

Want to have a keepsake that will remind you of all the main school events that happened throughout the 2019-2020 school year? Please consider buying a yearbook from one of the following staff/students: Brenda Pape, Annette Kuhlman, Gina Birdsall, Maren Evans, Chloe Gilgen, Chloe Green, Lanie Gustafson, Kelsey Harper, Jayden Kraft, Nell McCord, Joslynn Thomas, and Kaylee Woodside. Yearbooks can be purchased for $40 now until February 1; the price will increase to $45 after this date. Last year’s post-prom committee has graciously offered to pay for every senior to have a yearbook. Thank you for being so generous!!! All checks should be made out to West Harrison.

Thank you in advance for your support of the West Harrison yearbook staff!!!

Gina Birdsall, Adviser

Junior High Boys Basketball Set to Begin

The JH boys basketball season begins with the first practice during conferences on November 4th and 5th from 1:30-2:30. After this we will practice each night from 3:30-5:00 pm. The boys have had a meeting and a parent letter and schedule were passed out. Email Coach Maasen if you didn't receive it from your child and I can send you one. Looking forward to another great season!

Junior High Girls Volleyball 2019

Members of the junior high volleyball team this year were: Bailee Schmitt, Emmalyce Tyson, Haleah Schmitt, Maclayn Houston, Hannah Schmitt, Leah Frink, Morgan Bernard, Jaysa Lawrenson, Aiyana Bowman, Tylar Stirtz, Natalie McWilliams and Devyn Harris.

The girls worked on many skills this season with the two most important being passing and serving. Team records will not show personal growth made by the girls personally, but many improved tremendously from the first day of practice to their last game. I am proud of the progress they each made. The girls did a great job supporting their teammates. When they weren’t on the court playing, they were cheering for their team and getting excited over great serves and volleys.

There is always room for improvement; we can all work on doing something better. I talked to the coaches from the teams we played, and our girls were at a disadvantage when it came to experience. Most of these schools have a youth program that helps build their junior high and high school programs. For a majority of our girls, junior high is the first time they have played organized volleyball. If you are interested, please let me know and I can give out information on volleyball day camps that would be beneficial prior to next season.

I am excited to have the 7th grade back again next year and wish the 8th graders good luck in high school.

Amy Stolz

Jr. high Volleyball Coach

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Junior High and High School Cross Country 2019

The fall sports seasons have winded down and I want to thank all of the athletes who worked so hard in Cross Country this season along with the parents that supported and traveled with the team along the way. We had a large number of athletes participate this season and hope to have the same numbers next season.

This year’s athletes are:

12th grade- Chloe Green, Sabrina Rife, and Jayden Kraft

11th grade- Katie Gore and Beatriz Martin

10th grade- Sage Wallis, Kali Peasley, Rachael Olson, Chenoa Bowman

9th grade- Mason King, Gunnar Stolz, Riley Acker

8th grade- Jacob Barry, James Kraft

7th grade- Louis Flint, Ava Garcia, Chloe Leinen, Wyatt Leinen, Hannah Crowley

The team will celebrate with an awards ceremony and meal at the Missouri Valley Pizza Ranch at 11am on November 16th. Coach Maasen is proud of all your work and effort throughout the season.

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Donated Winter Coats

The elementary faculty and staff would like to thank the Knights of Columbus in Missouri Valley, along with Bill Cunard from Culligan. They have donated several winter coats to the West Harrison Elementary students. We appreciate you thinking of our younger students!! If your child needs a new coat for winter, please come to parent/teacher conferences to do a bit of shopping. :)

WH Elementary Faculty & Staff

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Donated Flowers for Parent's Night

The seniors along with the parents of the football team, cheerleaders and marching band would like to thank Fisher's Petals and Posies and Zaiser Embroidery for the flowers the seniors gave to their parents on parent's night. They generously donated all flowers! If you need flowers or some new West Harrison Hawkeye gear, check out Fisher's Petals and Posies and Zaiser Embroidery in Missouri Valley.

Middle School Student Council

Congratulations to the newly elected West Harrison Middle School Student Council. This year’s student council is led by President – Nelson Clark, Vice President – Jacob Barry, and Secretary – Harrison Gute. The other members are Tylar Stirtz, Jaysa Lawrenson, Louie Flint, Kendel Baldwin, Jerzey Kraft, and Wyatt Michael. These students will be responsible for listening to the ideas and concerns of the middle school. They will also put together three middle school dances to be held on Oct. 18, Feb. 21, and April 17. The student council is always looking for adult volunteers to help chaperone these dances or to contribute drinks/snacks. If you would be interested in helping, please contact Mrs. Stolz, the student council advisor.

Amy Stolz

MS Student Council Advisor

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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 If interested please contact me at school (712-646-2231) or email ( or

Tony Nunez, President

Kim Nunez, Program Coordinator


In an effort to maintain a SAFE and orderly environment at our home sporting events, so that ALL fans can enjoy the games, the West Harrison School District is asking parents to please help us in our effort by reviewing these expectations with their students before they attend a game.

· All students through 8th grade are encouraged to enter the game with an adult.

· All students must be seated during the game. Do not wander around or go outside.

· Concessions are available at all sporting events. After going to the concession stand, students should return to their seat.

· No footballs, soccer balls, kick balls, etc. are allowed when attending football games or events in the gym. They will be confiscated by game supervisors. There is also no ball playing, tag games, etc. allowed at any sporting event.

Always exhibit good sportsmanship:

Be respectful during the National Anthem, school song, and player introductions.

Never boo or yell at officials or opposing players

Cheer for the Hawkeye players

Represent West Harrison in a positive manner

Be respectful of other students and adults attending the game

Remember, you should be going to the game to watch the game.

Mr. Tony Nunez, Athletic Director