South East Update


Hello Little Hawk Families

We are entering the final stretch! We have greatly appreciated the opportunity to work with you and your student this year. It has been a fabulous year in spite of the challenges we have endured with the construction! It is a testament to the outstanding staff and students we have that we have been able to carry on and conduct business as usual with the amount of changes and construction obstacles we have dealt with this year. We are so excited about our progress though and can't wait for the bulk of the work to be completed this summer!

As we come to a close, we are saying good bye to a truly tremendous group of 8th graders. It is rare to find a class that is as mature, composed, kind and successful as this group of students. This group has left a true legacy of excellence on our building with their achievements in academics, music, the arts and athletics.They have been outstanding leaders at South East and I have no doubt will go on to have great success in high school.

Our 7th grade group brings so much fun, excitement and humor to our days:) They are an extremely kind and warm group and we have had a lot of fun with them this year. We are really looking forward to having them lead our school next year!

Thank you for your support throughout the year. We couldn't do it without the amazing community we have at South East and we are extremely grateful for each and every family!

School Contacts

Main Office- 319- 688-1070

Michelle Cook- Principal-

Emily Dvorak- Assistant Principal-

Aryana Ruiz- Office Manager-

Pam Quigley- Front Receptionist-

Attendance and to report an absence- 319-688-1071

Tonya Burkett- Attendance Secretary-

Guidance Office (Schedule questions, student concerns, etc) 319-688-1073

Tara Andresen- Guidance Secretary-

Brian Ingram- Guidance Counselor-

Jill Coffman- Guidance Counselor-

Athletics- (General Questions- sport specific please email your student's coach)

Nikol Carlson- Athletic Secretary-

Allison Brewer- Dean of Students-

Student and Family Advocates

Nicole Spear-

Gabriela Magalhaes-


Administrative News and Updates

Daily Announcements

Daily announcements are read each day, and broadcast into classrooms at the beginning of first period.

Announcements can also be found on the South East Jr High website.


Health Information


Per Iowa law, junior high students must have a meningococcal vaccine (to prevent meningitis, a bacteria that infects the brain, blood and spinal cord) and a Tdap booster (to prevent tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis/whooping cough). Please check your child’s immunization record or call their health care provider to find out if they had the Tdap booster and meningitis shot and make an appointment if needed. Johnson County Public Health also provides the immunizations at no cost to children with or without health insurance. Please call 319-356-6042 to make an appointment. Please turn in an updated “Certificate of Immunization” before the new school year begins. Your child may not be able to attend school without these required vaccines.


All students who are interested in playing a sport in junior high MUST have a current pre-

participation “sports” physical exam on file at their school. You can turn this in prior to the start of their sport season (or at the start of the school year). A physical exam is good for 13 months from the date of the exam before expiring. Please schedule an appointment with your health care provider now to ensure that your child will be allowed to practice and play when school starts in August. If your child does not have health insurance, free medical care (including sports physicals) is available through the Healthy Kids School-based Health Clinics. Call the Clinic Coordinator at 319-631-3204 (Se habla español; Français parlé). The Clinic is open during the



Iowa law requires that all 9th graders have a dental screen done by a dentist or dental hygienist between the beginning of 8th grade and spring of their 9th grade year. Ask your child’s dentist/ dental hygienist to complete the Iowa “Certificate of Dental Screening” form. Please return the completed certificate to your child's school office. If your child does not have dental insurance coverage or you cannot pay for dental care, contact the Johnson County Public Health I-Smiles Coordinator at 319-356-6045 for assistance.

All forms are available on the district website:

Medication at School

Summer break is almost here, so med preparation has started. SE does not store medications over the summer, and medications left at school after May 31st will be discarded. Please remind your child to pick up their “over-the-counter” medication no later than Friday, May 24th and prescription medication by Friday, May 31st. If you did not indicate

your preference in the designated section on the “Permission for Administer Medication” form, you will be contacted for your choice of disposal. Please check to make sure that the medication gets home safely.

If your child will be taking medication at school in the fall, please complete a new 2019-2020“Permission to Administer Medications” form. You can access this form on the district website under Departments - ‘Health Services’; then ‘Parent Information and Forms’. The prescription and non-prescription forms are available on this site, as well as other health forms.

If your child plans on carrying an inhaler at school, please bring in or fax (688-1079) a note from your doctor indicating that he/she will be carrying their inhaler. An “Asthma Action

Plan” form will need to be filled out by the parents (available in the Health Office). Also, please make sure your child’s name is on the inhaler itself.

Thanks and have a safe summer!

Attention Parents of 6th graders!

We still have available space in our 7th grade CASL program! CASL is a cross curricular approach to student driven learning which combines Global Studies, Science and Language Arts. Students will still have those 3 classes listed separately on their schedule, but will be blocked into either a morning or afternoon block. This block will allow them to work on projects across all 3 curriculums without the constraints of a 43 minute class period. CASL will be located in our newly renovated space in the northeast corner of the building this year to allow for flexibility in work space and the ability to work in larger settings with the joint collaboration space. This program allows for students to work at an individualized pace, have more autonomy in their learning, work collaboratively with others and build transfer skills across curriculums. If you have questions about if this program is right for your student, please call or email Principal Cook.

If your student is interested in being a part of CASL, please email Principal Cook at:, or call the main office at (319) 688-1070. These last spots will be filled on a first come, first served basis.

Fall Football Information for incoming 7th graders!

A free football camp will be held for incoming 7th graders at South East August 13, 14, 15 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:55 p.m. Players will participate in the Fall Sports event at City High on August 16, time TBA. All students are urged to get a physical before school begins. For more information on physicals, please contact South East at 319-688-1070. For more information on football at South East, please contact Coach Michael Sabers at 319-430-3371 or Coach Bill Mitchell at 319-337-5208.

Upcoming Dates for the 19-20 School Year!


August 13 (Tues) from 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM.

You are more than welcome to come to registration, but you do not need to report to SEJH for registration if you can update your PowerSchool, get your student’s schedule from PowerSchool and pay fees online. Links to complete all registration steps will be included in the August newsletter.

New to the district families should also report to SEJH on this day. Please bring proof of student birth date (student’s birth certificate, passport, or legal I.D.), immunization records, previous school records (transcript with grades from previous school), proof of address (utility bill or rental agreement as proof of residency).

Math Placement Testing

August 17 (Fri) from 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM.

All new to district students must take a math placement test to determine their math class. Students should report to the Guidance office at 8:45 AM, so the testing can start promptly at 9AM.

Any current district students needing to take a math placement test should also report at this time. However, these students MUST have contacted the SEJH Guidance office no later than 4PM on Friday, August 9th.

ELL Testing

August 20 (Tues) from 8:30 AM - 11:00 AM

All new English Language Learner students need to be tested for placement. Registration must be completed prior to taking the ELL placement test.

New Student Orientation

August 22 (Thur) from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Seventh grade and new-to-the-district eighth grade students should report to Gym 1 – 2 at 1:00 PM for a brief presentation. (Students only)

Following the general meeting, 7th graders will report to their homerooms to go over their schedules and get information about junior high before going through a mini- schedule of the day. 8th graders will visit with a guidance counselor in the Guidance office as their homeroom.

Students who attended South East last year are NOT to be in the building during this orientation.

2019-2020 District Calendar *dates subject to change!

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From the Library

Summer Chromebook Access: Students will be taking their Chromebooks, chargers, and bags home for the summer. All school expectations and filters remain in place. Parents will continue to have access to for monitoring usage. No tech support or repair will be available until after the school year starts.

Wifi Hotspots: Students who have checked out a wifi hotspot will need to return it at the end of the school year. They will be disabled over the summer, then redistributed next fall based on need.

Library Books: Students with overdue books at the end of the school year will receive a bill for replacement cost. If the books are returned, these fees will be waived. Students may check out additional books during the last week of school for over the summer - the due date will be August 30th, 2019. Due to construction, the library will not be open over the summer as it has been in the past.

Class Updates

Mr. Smith's Science

We spent the first half of April learning about the moon and the lunar cycle. Students ended the unit by creating a stop motion video of the 28 phases of the moon (starting and ending with a new moon). Some students went further and created a moon for every 12 hours of the month! Here is a link to Chloe Mckay and Josie Hermistons 56 photograph video They created theirs from the viewpoint of the south pole. After the moon, we spent a week learning about osmosis and diffusion using eggs! Students started by removing the shells by letting them soak in acetic acid for a couple of days. Each day they would find the mass of the eggs and then rotate them between hypertonic (corn syrup) and hypotonic (tap water) solutions to observe and measure how they would shrink or grow due to osmosis.

Since last week we have been talking about Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration. Students completed the "Leaf Disc Assay" lab at the end of last week. In this lab, students used a paper puncher to collect 25 spinach leaf circles. Then, they stuck them in a syringe with a little bicarbonate solution. They covered the tip to create a vacuum and pulled back on the plunger. This caused the carbon to infiltrate the leaf and SINK in water. Then, using light they observed the leaves as they used up the carbon for photosynthesis and begin to float again! Finally, they stuck the leaf discs in a dark cabinet and measured how long it would take for them to sink (once photosynthesis stopped, but cellular respiration continued). Here is a time lapse video of some student work:

Next, students will create their own experiment to prove plants either do photosynthesis during the day, during the night, or do cellular respiration at night. They will get 4 test tubes, some Elodea, a light, foil, and some Bromthymol Blue Indicator solution! After they implement their design, they will write a formal lab report. Finally, after the report is turned complete they will be allowed to spend the next few days building and launching rockets. The month of May is still in the planning phase (we lost a unit in a trade with 8th grade, so we've almost completed all of our 7th grade curriculum already!). I hope to do the Diet Coke and Mentos lab (students use 2L of Diet Coke and 1 full pack of White Mentos as the control and then change 1 variable to test and collect data on the reaction). I also hope to get an order of digital microscopes in to play around with before the end of the year.


Hola familias - 8th grade students are presenting about their families, in Spanish! Ask your student to show off their presentations (WeVideo, Adobe Spark, booklets and Flip Grids) or ask them to share, in Spanish about their siblings, pets, friends and parents! I'm proud of the courage they have to present this information, and the creativity they have used, to display it. Sra. Ahlers

Orchestra News

The final SEJH Orchestra concert will be Tuesday, May 21st at 7:30pm in Opstad Auditorium (City High). This concert will feature the 7th Grade Concert Orchestra, the 8th Grade Symphony Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra and a combined piece will all SEJH string players. Hope to see you there!

The South East 8th Orchestra had quite an exciting April! Every spring, the 8th grade orchestra travels to Chicago to see the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) perform in Symphony Center. This spring, the CSO was on strike for 7 weeks, including the week the orchestra was scheduled to attend. Due to the strike, the regular CSO concert was cancelled. The students were very disappointed and there were many questions about whether the trip would be cancelled. Thanks to a local Iowa City connection, SE students were not disappointed and instead were able to talk with CSO musicians! Upon arriving in Chicago, the students went on a tour of the William Harris Lee & Co. Violin Shop, seeing first-hand how string instruments are made. In the afternoon, students met CSO bassist, Stephen Lester, and CSO violinist, Rachel Goldstein, to learn more about the strike. Rachel Goldstein was a SEJH graduate and also attended City High. After the Q & A session, the students received a private concert from a string quintet of CSO musicians, one of whom also grew up in Iowa City and had attended Northwest Junior High. After the concert, students walked down to Symphony Center to learn more from the CSO musicians who were standing outside picketing. Even though the students weren't able to see a full orchestra concert from the CSO, they were able to learn a lot about life as a musician and about their instruments. This was a trip they won't forget!

Band News

Jazz Band season was success!

We just wrapped up our jazz band season with a concert here at SEJH. Our 7th and 8th grade jazz bands played great music and showcased all of their hard work that began way back in October. We also had a student-lead jazz combo called "The Acquaintances" perform. They were completely student-lead and student-rehearsed!

Concert Band & Symphony Band Concert, May 16!

Coming up on Thursday May 16th, the 7th and 8th grade concert bands will perform at 7:30PM at Opstad Auditorium at City High. This will be our final performance of the year and the culmination of a TON of learning and growth over the course of the school year.

Instrument returns for the summer

All band students who are renting/borrowing instruments from SEJH will need to bring their at-home instruments back to school after the concert on May 16th. We'll collect and keep all of the 8th grade students' at home instruments, and will re-distribute current 7th grade students' at-home instruments so they have something to practice on over the summer."

PSTO Information


8th Grade Party!

Student Council and PSTO volunteers are getting ready for the 8th grade End of the Year Party. This party is to celebrate our 8th graders and their time spent at South East. The party will be held May 23, from 3:15-4:30 pm in the Large Group Room and Gym. There will be free food, yearbook signing, and games so it should be a lot of fun. It’s an excellent way for the kids to say good-bye to South East. We hope to see all of the 8th graders there!

We are in need of the following donated items for the 8th grade party. Student Council provides the sub sandwiches, but we are looking for cookie and chip donations. You may drop items off to South East main office anytime before Thursday, May 23rd or that morning. Thanks for your consideration!

We also need volunteers to chaperone. You can sign up to volunteer here:

Open Positions for 2019-2020

PSTO has the following positions still open for next year! Please consider signing up to help. Meetings are 3x/year. If you have questions regarding the commitment needed, please email and let us know.

President- Heather Bright

Vice President - NEEDED

Secretary- Sara Moninger

Treasurer- Renae McKay

DPO Rep- Tea Ho

Hospitality Committee Chair- NEEDED

Box Tops- Morgan Langfitt

8th Grade Party Chair- Heather Bright and Renae McKay

Please email

Excellence in Education Awards

The Iowa City Area Development and Iowa City Area Chamber presented Excellence in Education Awards on April, 24th at the Englert Theatre. South East is proud to announce that our CASL 7 and 8 teams were presented with the Creative Collaboration Award, and student Zachary Horch was presented with the Student Excellence Award. Congrats!!
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PBIS Data and End of the Year Celebration

PBIS April Data

April Referral Data:

  • 38 minor referrals
  • Most frequent location was the classroom
  • 8 referrals requested Student Advisory Center intervention, 7 requested follow up from administration, 14 for documentation purposes only, 4 for re-entry meetings and 2 for other
  • Last year we had 29 minor referrals for the month of April

Our PBIS team will continue to work with staff and students to reinforce positive behaviors until the end of the school year. We have had lots of buy in from students this year with our PBIS SOAR tickets and online rewards. Students respond well to the positive feedback and enjoy "buying" items at our SOAR stores!

PBIS End of the Year Celebration Sign-Up

We also look forward to our end of the year PBIS Celebration on the last day of school. Our PBIS team is excited to offer fun school-wide activities at no cost to our students. We do rely on donations, and if you are able and willing, we would love your help to make our party the best one yet!!

Last Two Weeks of School Schedule

There are some important events and dates to communicate as we end the 18-19 school year.

  • Thursday, May 23rd 8th grade party
  • Friday, May 24th final locker clean out, no use of lockers after this date
  • Tuesday, May 28th City High Fly Up assembly for 8th graders at 2:00
  • Thursday, May 30th 7th and 8th grade recognition assemblies during periods 2 and 3
  • Friday, May 31st PBIS SOAR party. Party from 10:15 to 12:00. Reminder that school dismisses at 12:00 on the last day


South East 2018-19 Calendar Dates to Be Aware Of

Below is a link to a document with calendar dates for the year! Please note that these events are subject to change. This is a live document so will always be updated with the most recent information. Please make sure to check it regularly for changes or additions.

South East 2018-19 Bell Schedule



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 Kingsley Botchway II, Director of Equity, 1725 N. Dodge St., Iowa City, IA 52245, 319-688-1000,