South East Update

February 2020

Hello Little Hawk Families!

Meet Your South East Student and Family Advocates!

Nicole Spear


Gabriela Magalhaes


Office: 688-1070

Our mission is to empower the connection between families and schools to ensure a successful learning experience for all of our children. Your Student and Family Advocate (SFA) can help support school success through sharing information and supporting families with:

  • School and home connections
  • Mental health resources
  • Temporary Living Situations
  • School supplies and winter gear referrals
  • District and Community resources and referrals
  • Navigation of school policies and procedures
  • Help registering your child for school
  • Pre-scheduled Transportation Support
  • Connection to school based mentoring program
  • Connection to Healthy Kids School-Based Health Clinic
  • Support obtaining sports physicals

The SFA is available daily, following the school calendar, and during other times as needed/by appointment.



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.


Inclement Weather Guidelines

The ICCSD inclement weather guideline can be found here:

Administrators will use Blackboard Connect to notify parents of inclement weather decisions via telephone. School closings are also broadcast on local TV and radio stations. Information will be posted on the district website too.

What if we have a delay of school due to weather? The radio and TV will announce how long the delay will be. It will be stated in terms of 1 hour or 2 hours. If it is a one hour delay, then school will start at 9:50 AM; if a 2 hour delay, school will start at 10:50 AM. We will then run an adjusted schedule throughout the rest of the school day. School buses will run late by one or two hours.

Your student should arrive at school one to two hours later than when you would normally have your student arrive. Therefore, if you drive your student to school and drop him or her off at 8:30 AM on a regular school day, doing so at 10:30 AM would be appropriate when there is a two hour delay. The school will have minimal staff available for supervision of students during these delays and we would appreciate students arriving as close to the actual delay start time as possible.

What if we get released early?

The school district will make a decision about early outs and communicate that via Blackboard Connect. Buses will pick up at the new dismissal time. All after school activities are cancelled in the event of an early dismissal. There will not be any after school supervision in the event of an early dismissal and students would need to be picked up or have plans in place within 15 minutes of dismissal.

How do I get weather updates?

Go to the ICCSD tune in to KXIC, KCJJ, KRUI, Q103, KRNA, WMT, KFMW, WSUI, WHO, KHAK, KCCK, KUNI, KCRG-TV, KGAN-TV, KWWL-TV. The radio stations have been very helpful in getting out the word if there is a change. Station managers request that the public refrain from calling in for information.

We will also have an update message on our school website at

Arrival to School

With the colder weather please remember that we have no indoor supervision for students until 8:30a.m. If you must drop your student off before that time, please make sure they are dressed appropriately for the weather.

New Student ID Cards!

We hope you and your child are enjoying the new AIM (Access to Information and Materials) student card, which functions as a dual-purpose school ID and public library card for ICCSD students in grades K-12. Most students in grades K-8 received their cards prior to winter break. If your child has not yet received his/her card, it will arrive soon. High school students can use their current student ID or request a new AIM version of their card from the main office of their high school without charge.

The most obvious benefit of the AIM card is that your child can check out three items at a time from each of the three libraries -- Iowa City, Coralville, and North Liberty -- without fines or fees. As you may or may not know, there are other features of the AIM card as well. Two online resources your child can access are OverDrive, a database which provides access to ebooks and audiobooks, and Kanopy, a database of videos. As in all cases when using the Internet, we encourage parents to be aware of and diligent in supervising what their children are accessing online. If at any time you have questions about the AIM card or its features, feel free to contact your child’s teacher librarian or one of the public libraries.

Our public libraries have been thrilled with the increased visits to their buildings and usage of their collections in the first month of the program. The AIM card is a great way to promote and celebrate literacy in our community!

Live Arts 2020!

On Wednesday, March 11, eighth grade students will have the opportunity to see a performance of Alvin Ailey’s Revelations. Revelations is a masterpiece of modern dance that uses African-American spirituals, song-sermons, gospel songs, and holy blues to explore aspects of the African American experience through dance.

Before the performance, the dance company will demonstrate some of the technical aspects of the show, perform a few excerpts from the company’s repertoire, and provide students to learn some dance moves themselves.

This trip presents a great opportunity to explore and discuss African American history and culture, particularly as it relates to the arts. I’ve attached an overview of the trip, which includes a list of resources on the second page. Some of the resources discuss the history of African American dance and music. These resources are available in Google Drive and on AGC's YouTube channel.


We still have spots in our CASL 8 program for next year! If you are interested, please fill out the Google form below. If you have questions, please contact Michelle Cook at, or any of the CASL 8 teachers:

Rachael Pisarik- Language Arts-

Taylor Schlicher- Science-

Joseph Bailey- American Studies-



CASL 7 Science!

CASL project--we call this one our "Survival Project". Students are measuring and tasting ingredients that they will use to create a nutrition bar that will be designed for patients/refugees and rescue/aid workers after a natural disaster.

PE Dance Unit!

This winter the physical education department presented a self-selected dance unit. On day one students could choose from: Hip Hop dance, Latin dance or Tap dance. The dance music amplified by speakers and the YouTube dance tutorials were projected adequately onto the wall. Students choose what dance they want to perform for the day and participate. Day two the choices were: Step dance, Modern Line dance and Tap dance. Finally, on day three the dance choices were: Ballet, Indigenous and Tap dance. Following the SHAPE standards for dance, the students then choreographed a dance with 6 movements to their favorite type of dance of 7 choices given. Mrs. Elmer, Mr. Koffron and Mr.Weno watch and assist as students create their dances. We are up to 200 dances now and still climbing. We want to recognize a group of self-starters in Luis Solano, Helena Echa, Owen Hills and Talon Young. They had the perseverance and enthusiasm to complete and submit their dances in a snow storm and a no school day. They were the first of 800 students to submit their dances. Luis performed the native New Zealand dance which is precious to the Maori tribe and all of New Zealand. It is called the Haka which is performed before rugby games, at weddings and special occasions. Way to go Luis! Helena Echa performed an African dance. The music was lively and her dance moves added great flair to the dance project. She was having fun and it showed. Owen Hills and Talon Young performed a team dance using some hip hop moves to upbeat music. Thank you for your great effort and congratulations! If you are curious as to what students had to choose from, get on YouTube then type in Cindy Elmer then type in any of the following: Indigenous, Ballet, Modern Line, Latin, Hip Hop, or Tap.

Band News!

Our band program has our winter concert on February 18th in Opstad Auditorium at 7:30pm. Both 7th and 8th grade bands will be performing.

Our jazz bands have a concert with the City High jazz bands on February 8th at 5:00pm and 8:00pm. We then head to our first competition of the season on February 21st at Liberty High School.

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The South East Orchestras had an amazing second concert of the year on Tuesday, February 4th at City High's Opstad Auditorium. Congratulations to Tai, Ashley, Esther, Will & Lucas who were all selected for the South East Iowa String Teachers Association Honors Orchestra in February. Also, Congratulations to Leo, Sylvia, Lisa, Will, Lucas, Esther, Ashley, Tai, & Everett who were all selected for the Kennedy Honors Orchestra in March.

Algebra I/Geometry Book Club!

Calling all math and or reading fanatics! Join Mrs. Degner's first period book club beginning Feb. 13. We will read the book Fermat's Enigma and meet bi-monthly Feb and March. Contact Mrs. Degner at to join.

Amazing Science Enrichment!

Students interested in learning about the lifecycle of fish can sign up to attend the Trout in the Classroom enrichment. Trout in the Classroom will meet in Mr. Stimmel's room each Tuesday during Little Hawk Time. While here, students will learn to test the chemical properties of water, perform water changes and maintenance on the tank, feed the fish, and get to observe trout progressing from fertilized eggs into small fish that will one day be introduced to the wild! If you're interested in participating, be sure to sign up on the South East website, as spots are limited.

Mr. Smith's Science

The last two weeks of January have been spent with Ms. Sims conducting research. Each student is completing an individual project one of the 5 different ecological relationships. Next week, we will begin our Metabolism unit. This is one of my favorite units because there is SO much we can do with this topic. We will start with diffusion (discussing the cell membrane) and do 'smelly balloons', 'egg osmosis' (observing egg with shell removed in hypertonic and hypotonic solutions), and a new lab using our recently purchased Vernier probes. After we get into the body systems we will do a lot of fun experiments including a liver catalase lab, DNA extraction (and making homemade smoothies) from fruit, cell model lab, a couple more Vernier investigations, and using our new digital microscopes!

Before break, we tried a new activity that you hopefully got to see at home. During our Phase Change lab, Amplify provides us with a class set of reusable handwarmer (hotsnapz). My students were most interested in how these are made. So I purchased a heat sealer, plastic, and 50 pounds of sodium acetate. Students created an 'activator' out of a slap bracelet and carefully cooked the sodium acetate until it was ready to be poured and sealed into the plastic bag. The next day, about half of them were successful! Once activated they stayed hot for about 10-15 minutes and then could be recharged by placing them in boiling water. This was a very busy, but fun experiment that we all learned a lot from!

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Polar Bear Club

About 65 kids this year have participated in Polar Bear Club at South East!! These are brave, hard working kids who at the end of the school day choose to go for a RUN in the snow and freezing temperatures. We have a very enthusiastic and supportive group this year that really enjoys spending this time together on Mondays and Wednesdays getting a little exercise and then relaxing and socializing over a cup of hot cocoa. We will continue to meet up until spring break. Anybody is welcome to join (and to come whenever you are available)!
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South East Junior High After School Clubs

GLOW Club: GLOW is a gay-straight alliance. Our motto is "All are welcome; none are judged." Club members discuss issues related to bullying and equality, make new friends, and encourage everyone to love who they are. The mission of the SE GLOW Club is to educate the community about LGBTQ issues. GLOW Club meets Wednesday's after school until 5 PM with Ms. Jones in room 2025. This club has started.

Chess Club: Chess Club will start meeting the week of September 10th. Chess club will meet on Wednesday's after school until 5 PM with Mr. Chambers in room 182.

Family Consumer Science Club: FCS Recycle and Redesign will start on December 11th. This club will meet after school Wednesday's from 4-5 PM.

STEM Club: Science Technology Engineering Math Club members will participate in activities that will enhance and extend the middle school STEM curriculum. Subjects will work with robotics (VEX), 3D Design and Modeling (Autodesk Inventor) and power and energy. STEM Club participates in competitions and provides an extra outlet for those who show aptitude and interest in furthering their learning. This club meets on Friday at 8:15 AM with Mr. Negus in room 2033. First meeting will be September 6th.

Geek the Library: What do you Geek? Everyone geeks something, and the South East library supports what you geek! Join Geed the Library in the library to talk about great books, great tech, and whatever else! Geek the Library meets on Tuesday's from 4:00-5:00 PM with Ms. Sims. First meeting 9/05.

Homework Club: Homework Club will meet after school in the library on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 4-5 PM. Mr. Lankelma and Mr. Bailey sponsor Homework Club. Homework club will begin the week of September 9th. Please listen to announcements for confirmed date or contact Mr. Bailey.

United Action for Youth: UAY provides art activities, games and snacks after school on Tuesday's from 4-5 PM in room starting September, 10th in room 2034.

G! World: This club is for self-identified minority girls. G! World is designed to empower, inspire and educate women through group activities and meaningful discussions, impactful workshops, cultural outings and real world experiences. G!World will be working with students during lunch trimester 1. We will keep you posted on Trimester 2 and 3 meeting times.

Jazz Band: At the beginning of October, SEJH will be holding auditions for their 7th grade and 8th grade jazz bands (two separate ensembles.) These groups meet before school through most of the winter, performing at school concerts and different jazz competitions around the area. Participation is open to any SEJH student interested in auditioning. For more questions, please contact the band director Maddie Madsen.

Yearbook: If you are interested in taking pictures for and creating our 2019-2020 South East Yearbook, consider joining this club. Yearbook will meet on Friday's during Little Hawk Time with Dr. Arnone. The first meeting is on Friday, September 20th.



PSTO Meetings

PSTO will meet three times during the school year. Meetings are from 7:00pm-8:00pm in the SE library. Dates are below:

April 20, 2020




Wrestling season has started! Please consider signing up to help at our home meets.

Sports Competition Schedules and Information

South East 2019-2020 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 2019-2020 Bell Schedule