Eagles' Voice Newsletter

Clayton Ridge Schools March 2018

Where Excellence is the Tradition

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Immunization Reminders

Mrs. Renae Kraus, School Nurse


The Iowa Immunization Law requires:

  • All students entering 7th grade to have the Meningococcal vaccine AND a Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis or whooping cough) booster before school starts in the fall.
  • All students entering 12th grade to have a second dose of the Meningococcal vaccine before school starts this fall. This dose must be given after the age of 16. (One dose meets the requirement if it was received when the child was 16 years of age or older.)

Documentation on an updated Certificate of Immunization showing that your child has received the vaccine will need to be provided to the school nurse prior to the first day of school in August, unless the student has a Certificate of Exemption. If your child has already received the vaccine/vaccines, simply provide the updated record to the school.

Pertussis (whooping cough) is a very contagious disease that causes violent coughing fits that make it hard to breathe.

Meningococcal disease is a life-threatening illness that is caused by bacteria that infects the brain, blood, and spinal cord. It easily spreads in crowded settings.

There will be NO grace/extension period for the implementation of this requirement.

All students entering 7th and 12th grade will need to show proof that they have received the Meningococcal vaccine (and all students entering 7th grade will need to show proof that they have received the Tdap booster), or have a Certificate of Immunization Exemption before school starts in August. Students who have not received the vaccines (or have an exemption on file) will be excluded from school until the vaccines have been administered.

Now is a great time to get these vaccines and beat the back-to-school rush by scheduling an appointment for your child. Remember to get an updated copy of your child’s immunization record to provide to the school after he or she has received the vaccine. (Please submit the updated immunization record to the school nurse as soon as possible after your child receives the immunization.)

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact your school nurse or healthcare provider.
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Creativity + Tech = Fun Learning for 2nd grade!

Mrs. Deb Henkes, District Technology Coach

Students in the CREL second grade have been showing their creativity and 21st Century learning skills by using technology to display their learning.

Mrs. Reichard's class have been researching and writing about animal adaptations. To show their learning about animals using camouflage as an adaptation, students used iPads to create posters and share them with their teacher. Below are a few samples of their hard work and creativity.

In Mrs. Clefisch's 2nd grade students have been researching and learning about potential careers. As a result of their learning, students wrote a script about their future career decisions and created original artwork showing themselves on the job in the future. They were then recorded with an iPad in front of a green screen to create a movie about their future career choices with their artwork added as the background for their narrative. Please enjoy the CRCSD Newsletter debut of "Second Grade Careers 2018". *Note: Mrs. Clefisch also posted the video on her Seesaw blog for parents.

CRES January/February Awards

Mrs. Stephanie Thomas, ES and MS School Counselor

CRMS January/February Eagle Pride Awards

Mrs. Stephanie Thomas, ES and MS School Counselor

Dubuque Area Family STEM Festival

Families are invited to attend the Dubuque Area Family STEM Festival on Saturday, April 21 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Clarke University, Kehl Center Gym. The festival is free and open to the public.

The goals of the festival are to promote, inspire and engage youth in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) activities and to introduce children and parents to STEM careers in their local communities.

Exhibits will feature interactive STEM activities for students and their families. Attendees can explore the galaxy by taking a tour through our solar system in a modern planetarium. In addition, they can control a robot, operate a flight simulator, discover healthcare fields, conduct exciting scientific experiments, and much more!

The Dubuque Area Family STEM Festival is a community-wide partnership led by the Northeast Iowa Region Governor’s STEM Advisory Council at the University of Northern Iowa, in partnership with Dubuque Area Labor-Management Council, Dubuque Community School District, Holy Family Catholic Schools, Dubuque Works, Northeast Iowa Community College, Iowa State University Extension, Clarke University, Loras College, University of Dubuque, IowaWORKS, Dubuque Metropolitan Area Solid Waste Agency, Keystone AEA and National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium.

To learn more, please visit our website at neiowastem.com.

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Fast Plants in Third Grade

Mrs. Kathy Connelly, 3rd Grade

Third graders from Mrs. Connelly’s and Mrs. Palmer’s rooms are growing Wisconsin Fast Plants in their classroom. Students planted the seeds on March 16 and will observe the complete life cycle, of the plants.

(pictured left to right) Jennifer S., Fernando F., Mason M., Georgia W., and Paxton E.
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Preschoolers Celebrate Read Across America Day

Mrs. Stephanie Thomas, ES and MS School Counselor
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Kindergarten Celebrate Read Across America Day

Mrs. Stephanie Thomas, ES and MS School Counselor
Mrs. Sarah Zahradnik, ES Instructional Coach
Kindergarten students help Mrs. Sarah Zahradnik show off their reading growth as part of Read Across America Day.
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Elementary Activity Day

Mrs. Stephanie Thomas, ES and MS School Counselor

Students at Clayton Ridge Elementary were rewarded for good behavior as part of our PBIS program by participating in recess, board games, Just Dance and beach volleyball.

CRMS February Merit Activity

Mrs. Stephanie Thomas, ES and MS School Counselor

As part of our PBIS program, Clayton Ridge Middle School Students were treated to fun activities for their good behavior in February. Activities included Pie Face, board games, dodgeball, and recess.

Newest Million Word Club at CRMS!

Mrs. Stephanie Thomas, ES and MS School Counselor

Grandparents and Grandpals Day

Mrs. Deb Henkes, District Technology Coach

On Tuesday, March 13th grandparents and grandpals of Clayton Ridge 5th grade students were invited to Clayton Ridge Middle School to share the morning with their 5th grader participating in a series of fun learning activities. The theme for the morning was "A Day in the Life of a CR 5th Grader" and focused on sharing how embedded technology has impacted and changed how students learn and teachers teach in the 21st Century.

Students became the teachers as grandparents and grandpals rotated through three fun active learning sessions showcasing some of the tech tools students have access to and use on a daily basis at Clayton Ridge. The three sessions included "Robotics" facilitated by Kathy Hay from Keystone AEA, "Intro to Coding" facilitated by Mrs. Fassbinder and "Our Tech Learning Tools" facilitated by Mrs. Lawrence.

We would like to thank all of the grandparents and grandpals who attended the sessions with their special 5th grader. You made the day amazing! Our 5th graders were so happy and proud to share their excitement about learning with you!

In the video below, 5th grade students created a video telling about special memories to share with grandparents to kick off the grandparents/grandpals celebration at CRMS. They also created unique word art about their family that appears in the background for each student.

Whole Grain Taste-Testing at CRMS

Mrs. Stephanie Thomas, ES and MS School Counselor

Mrs. Renae Kraus, School Nurse

Students at CRMS enjoyed sampling cranberry whole-grain muffins made by the middle school kitchen staff. This taste test was in conjunction with the school wellness policy which encourages offering to students new and healthy recipes. Included with the taste testing is a mini-lesson about the food and what makes it a healthy choice. This lesson included information on the difference between whole grains and refined grains. The recipe is as follows:

Cranberry WholeGrain Muffins

  • 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Whole Wheat Flour or King Arthur White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 3/4 cup quick-cooking oats
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk powder or 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped, or sweetened dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
  • 1 tablespoon orange zest (finely grated orange peel)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter


  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons sugar or 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease the wells of a 12-cup muffin tin, or line with papers, and grease the inside of the papers.
  2. To make the muffins: In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients, then stir in the cranberries and nuts.
  3. Whisk together the orange zest, eggs, milk, and oil or melted butter.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, stirring until blended; don't beat, or your muffins will be tough.
  5. Fill the muffin cups or liners about 3/4 full.
  6. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until they're golden brown.
  7. Remove them from the oven, leave them in the pan for 5 minutes, then take out of the pan and transfer them to a rack to finish cooling.
  8. To make the glaze: In a small saucepan or the microwave, stir together the glaze ingredients. Bring just to a boil, to dissolve the sugar.
  9. Dip the tops of the warm muffins into the glaze.
  10. Store on the counter for three days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
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CRMS Dress Rehearsal

Mrs. Jill Stannard, MS Teacher
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Teacher of the Week

Miss Taylor Palmer, District Social Media Coordinator

Taylor Palmer wanted to contribute something more to Clayton Ridge in her last weeks as an Eagle. She used a computer-generated randomizer to select one teacher from Clayton Ridge to serve as the first "Teacher of the Week." Mr. Kyle Sperfslage was the first teacher selected.
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CRHS Celebrates Pi Day 2018

Mr. Rick Kolbet, MS Math

Students measured the circumference and diameter of various objects. They then used the formula circumference divided diameter for an approximation of pi. After averaging every student's result throughout the day, the result was exactly 3.14.

Mr. Kolbet's mom, Suellen Kolbet, also made pie for all of his students to enjoy on Pi Day (March 14) 2018. All of Mr. Kolbet's math students were treated to their choice of pie and ice cream or whipped cream.
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World Down Syndrome Day Celebrated at Clayton Ridge

Mr. Kyle Sperfslage, HS History and PE

World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is celebrated every year on March 21st. 95% of those with Down Syndrome (DS) have Trisomy 21. Trisomy 21 means the individual has three copies of the #21 chromosome. Therefore, making March 21st (3-21) the perfect day to celebrate. There are other types of DS, but Trisomy 21 is by far the most common.

WDSD is a day to celebrate those with DS and anyone with differences, but also to educate others about the disorder. It is probably not realistic for everyone to be fully educated on DS, so we will start with a couple simple topics.

If you were to ask most people where the name “Down (And by the way it is “Down” not “Downs”) Syndrome” came from they would probably say it has something to do with the cognitive delays of those with DS, or something along those lines. Fortunately, they could not be more wrong!! In 1866 a British physician, John Langdon Down, first described DS as “Mongolism.” This term was used until the 1970’s when there was more known about the disorder. At this point, it was renamed “Down Syndrome” in reference to Dr. John Langdon Down and his work with the disorder. Just think how different our perceptions would be if only his name would have been Dr. John Langdon Awesome! I could then say I have a son with Awesome Syndrome!!

Another way to show your knowledge about DS is how you talk about those with DS. It may sound like a minor thing to most of us, but there is a major difference in how you talk about anyone with a disability. For example, it would be incorrect for me to say, “I have a Down Syndrome son named Tryce.” The right way would be to say, “My son Tryce has Down Syndrome.” When you say the disability first it defines the person by the disability, and this would be for anyone with any disorder or disability.

March 21st is not just a day to be educated about DS, but also a day to celebrate. A traditional thing to do is to wear crazy and mismatched socks on March 21st. The purpose of this is so that others ask you about the crazy socks, and then give you an opportunity to explain what the day is, and all of the wonderful things that those with DS are able to do every day. Below are a couple of pictures of those who participated in the dress up day. On behalf of Tryce, I want to thank everyone who was involved in any way on WDSD!!

National Honor Society Induction 2018

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Mrs. Julie Hansel, HS School Counselor and NHS Advisor

The Clayton Ridge High School National Honor Society inducted six new members on Monday, March 19, 2018. A brief reception was held in the library after the induction. The selection of National Honor Society members is based on scholarship, leadership, character, and service. Applicants submitted an essay describing how they strive to meet the above criteria in their life. A committee of five faculty members reviewed essays and voted on final membership.

New members include:


Grace M.


Chianne B., Megan C., Abrianna M., Courtney O.


Breanna Meyer

New members join current members:

Sophia B., Clayton B., Victoria B., Emma B., Natalie D., Emily E., Terry H., Haley H.,

Eric I., Hayley K., Kaitlyn K., Colten L., Taylor P., Nicole S., Erik S., Blake S., and Morgan T.
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CRHS State Individual Speech

Ms. Nicole Shaw, Speech Coach

On Saturday, March 10, the Clayton Ridge Individual Speech students performed at the IE State Speech Contest at Starmont. Madison F. performed “Little Girls” from Annie as a musical theatre piece. She received an overall Division I rating. Paul S. performed “32 Third Graders and One Class Bunny” as prose; Paul received an overall Division II. Brandon W. performed “This is Not the End of the World” in poetry interpretation; he received an overall Division II.
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Driftless Youth Theatre Program Opportunities for Students in Grades 6-12

Drive Your Tractor to School Day

Sixth Grade Science: Cells

Mrs. Deb Henkes, District Technology Coach
Mr. Brian Lawrence, MS Science

Students in Mr. Lawrence's 6th-grade class have been learning about cells. Their assignment was to create a presentation about cell information that was shared during class. Requirements for the presentation included correct information about cells, visual aids and a hands-on model of a cell. Students could choose any technology tool to share their final product. Students then used technology to present the information to the rest of the class. Mr. Lawrence commented that while the class did an excellent job with the project, that 6th graders Macy and Marijane's final presentation was amazing.

Please enjoy Marijane and Macy's "Animal Cell" project!

Tech News at CREL: Third Graders Learn More About Digital Citizenship

Mrs. Deb Henkes, District Technology Coach

The third graders in both Mrs. Connelly's and Mrs. Palmer's classes have been learning about how to stay safe and kind online through a series of digital citizenship lessons lead by Mrs. Thomas and Mrs. Henkes. Topics covered were:

1. Three rules for digital citizenship online
a. Asking parents first
b. Only talking to people you know
c. Stick to sites just right for kids
2. Learning about Netiquette and KIND online
a. Online manners matter
b. Keep It Nice Dude!
3. How passwords are like toothbrushes
a. Choose a good one
b. Don’t share it with your friends
c. Don’t leave it lying around
d. Change them occasionally
4. And not forgetting to "Watch The Clock"!
a. Don’t forget to take a break from technology
b. Rest your eyes, stretch, do yoga!
c. Talk with your family & friends
d. Go outside and play

To show their understanding of the topic, students created graphics listing important words about Digital Citizenship. Here are a few samples of student work.
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Words on Wellness

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About Clayton Ridge Community Schools

Clayton Ridge Community School District has both a north and south campus. The northern campus is located in the midst of the rolling prairie of Garnavillo, Iowa and currently serves students in grades 4-7. The southern campus is situated among the picturesque Mississippi River bluffs and boasts a magnificent view of the mighty river and Lock & Dam 10 in Guttenberg, Iowa. The south campus serves preschool, elementary (K-3), and grades 8-12.