The Twain Tiger

Mark Twain Elementary School, Iowa City #EverybodyROAR

Homecoming Parade 2019

Wednesday, Sep. 25th, 5-7pm

2701 Bradford Drive

Iowa City, IA

Twain Families and Staff:

City High's Homecoming Parade is Wednesday at 6:00. Twain families and students will meet at Mercer Park. We will be face-painting and getting ready from 5:00-6:00 and then walking from Mercer Park to City High School from 6:00 to about 7:00.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Twain Back-To-School Night! Sept. 19th

Thursday, Sep. 19th, 6-7pm

1355 Deforest Avenue

Iowa City, IA

Twain Families,

Come and see your tigers' classrooms and teachers on the night of Thursday, September 19th from 6:00-7:00. We look forward to showing you the great work both they and their teachers have been doing. Also, stop by the cafeteria to sign up for you fall conferences. Make a note if you will need an interpreter.


Take care and we'll see you there!



Mark Twain Elementary

Parent Drop-Off Safety Reminder

Dear Twain Parents:

We enjoy seeing you and meeting with you about your children. This is just a reminder that when you drop off your students we ask that you leave them at the front door and allow us to escort them to class. If you need to see a teacher or inform of something regarding your children, you can call the office or stop by to set up an appointment.

Please do not go directly to a classroom.

We really appreciate your cooperation with this as it is another way we keep our building safe for all of your children and staff.

If you have any questions, please let us know.


Jason McGinnis


Picture Day! Oct 17th

Thursday, Oct. 17th, 8am-12pm

1355 Deforest Avenue

Iowa City, IA

Twain will have its fall picture day on October 17th. Flyers and information about ordering will be sent home if it has not already.

Thank you,

Jason McGinnis


Letter from the Superintendent

Dear Members of the Iowa City Community School District Family,

As we welcome students back for the new school year, we would like to take a moment to remind families of the commitment to equity and inclusion that the Iowa City Community School District holds.

As efforts are being made by the federal government to crack down on immigrants and refugees in the United States, our responsibility to provide a safe, secure, and nurturing environment for all of our students to participate in their education becomes more important than ever.

To all of our students who are immigrants or refugees – and to their friends, classmates and teachers who are also concerned because of recent events – know that the Iowa City Community School District stands by you.

We serve all families in our District and we want our students to be safe, to feel welcome, and to learn and succeed in our schools and community. We remain committed to celebrating and embracing our diversity, as that diversity makes us stronger. We are proud to stand by, support, and celebrate each and every unique individual within our District.

For further information on the District’s commitment and support, please review our Resolution to Support Students and Families Impacted by Immigration Enforcement, which was adopted by the Iowa City Community School District Board of Directors on March 28, 2017.

In addition, families who would like more information regarding available resources may contact the Center for Worker Justice by phone at (319) 594-7593 or by email at

Stephen F. Murley
Iowa City Community School District

Welcome to the 2019-2020 School Year

Dear Twain Families,

I’m excited to welcome you all to our 2019-2020 school year! It has been a busy summer preparing staff and building at Twain as we prepare to continue the excellent experience expected by our Twain community. We’re looking forward to seeing you all again this year and welcoming our new families into the pride!

We will have many events this year celebrating our children. This information will be updated on our web site, The Twain Tiger newsletter, and often on our Facebook page. The links are below. We also send text messages and emails out frequently so please make sure your information is up-to-date in Power School. If you need help, ask us in the main office.

Our first event will be our Ice Cream Social on August 21st at 5:30. This is a great time to meet other families and the teacher of your child and meet our new families.

As we say goodbye to some staff that have transferred to other positions in the district due to enrollment changes, we also welcome a couple new members of the Twain Team. In particular, please welcome Whitney Carino-Marek as our new 1st grade teacher and Dawn Barborouske as our Extended Learning Program teacher. Both come to us with a lot of teaching and learning experience and they will be wonderful additions to our team.

We also have several new para-educators working with us this fall. They take on many of our more difficult responsibilities and work hard to help our kids be successful every day. It takes a special character to be a para-educator and I want to personally extend my thanks-in-advance to the hard work they will do this coming year.

Mark Twain Elementary Web Site (Includes The Twain Tiger Newsletter)

Mark Twain Elementary PTO Facebook Group

Mark Twain Elementary Supply Lists

Elementary Handbook for Parents

eRegistration Open August 1st

Dear Families,

In preparation for the first day of classes on Friday, August 23, e-Registration will open for the 2019/20 school year on Thursday, August 1. Once registration is open, parents and guardians can log into their PowerSchool account to complete the e-Registration process by using the following link:

As a reminder, changes to attendance zones will go into effect beginning with this school year. District maps for the 2019/20 school year can be found on the District’s website at The Attendance Area Look-Up Link provides school location information specific for your home address and can be found on the District website at Families that have been rezoned to a new school are not required to provide proof of residency. Any new family, or existing family who have indicated that they have moved, should provide proof of residency during the enrollment process.

Important Note: We request that you review and update the demographic, emergency contact, health information, and permissions sections in e-Registration to ensure that what we currently have on file for your child(ren) is the most accurate information. We ask that you do this prior to on-site registration for each of your children who will be enrolled in school this fall.

If you have completed e-Registration at any time before August 1, 2019, you will need to complete this process again for the upcoming school year.

Elementary Students:
On-site registration will be held on August 5 from 8:00 am-6:00 pm for all elementary schools. On-site registration takes place at your child's school (with the exception of Christine Grant Elementary, which will be held at the North Liberty Community Center) and is for students new to the District and those needing assistance. Completing e-Registration prior to August 5 fulfills the registration requirement and parents do not need to attend that day. Fees for elementary students can be paid online through e-Registration, at Ice Cream Social on August 21, or at your child’s school office during office hours.

Secondary Students:
On-site registration is still required at the secondary level. Click HERE for dates and times of junior high and high school registration. Completing e-Registration prior to on-site registration allows parents to bypass step one of the process that day and proceed to ID photos, schedule information and fee payments. Fees for secondary students can be paid online through e-Registration or in person on registration day.

If you need assistance with completing the parent e-Registration process, school staff will be available to assist you at your child’s school on the scheduled registration day or you can contact your child’s school office during their regular office hours.

Supply Lists Are Ready!

Supply Lists are Ready! Rem

Remember, if you are not able to get everything, or a specific brand name of supply, that is OK.

Faith Church will be helping out by providing supplies at the Ice Cream Social on August 21st for those that need assistance.

No Twain parent should feel stressed if they can't afford supplies. We will help you out. Just let us know when you register, attend the Ice Cream Social on Aug 21st at 5:30 PM, or when your child otherwise starts school.

Thank you and send your questions my way at

Go Tigers!

Notice: Last Day of School May 31st

Dear Twain Parents:

This is a reminder that school ends at 10:55 on Friday, May 31st. The office will be closing at 12:00. The first day of school for 2019-2020 will Be August 23rd. Thank for a great year and please call the school at 319-688-1165 or email me if you have any questions.


Jason McGinnis

Mark Twain Elementary School

Twain End of Year Activities

Dear Twain Families,

It is the end of the school year and there is a lot going on. The following are some key events happening at Twain from now until the end of the year:

April 25th: 3rd to 6th Grade Concert, 9:30 am in Gym

April 25th: Bike Rodeo, 4:00, in the Gym: VOLUNTEERS NEEDED PLEASE

May 17th: 6th Grade Lock-In 3:00-11:00

*May 29th: Picnic 11:00-1:00 Outside -- Parents Welcome


May 29th: Graduation 6:00 p.m. with celebration afterward -- Parents Welcome

May 30th: Talent Show 1:00 -- Students and Staff - Parents Welcome

May 31st: Last Day of School -- All students dismiss at 10:55. Cold lunches will be provided.

If you have any questions about upcoming events, please email me at or call the school at 319-688-1165.

Picnic Schedule

11:10 -- 1st Grade

11:30 -- 3rd Grade

11:30 -- Preschool

11:40 -- 2nd Grade

12:00 -- Kindergarten

12:20 -- 6th Grade

12:25 -- 5th Grade

12:35 -- 4th Grade

Thank you

Jason McGinnis

Mark Twain PTO Facebook Page

Library Book Return

Twain Families,

Please return all library books by the end of the year. These books cost the school a lot of money and we want all students to be able to enjoy them in years to come.

Thank you!

Twain Bike Rodeo

Wednesday, April 24th, 4-5:30pm

1355 Deforest Avenue

Iowa City, IA

Dear Twain Families:

This is a reminder that the Annual Twain Bike Rodeo will be held at tomorrow, Thurs. the 25th at 4:00 on the playground. This is a fundraiser put on by the Moose Club and there will be a bike obstacle course along 4 free bikes and other prizes drawn by raffle.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you there!

Jason McGinnis
Mark Twain Elementary

Arts Fundraiser: Projects due by April 23rd. Please read below!

Twain Families:

Today students are bringing home packets for an art fundraiser. Inside each packet is a order form, paper to do the art and a price sheet. Your student can use previous artwork that has been sent home, or create a new piece.

Please note: Neon, fluorescent and glittered items will not show up in the imaging process and will not be made. Art is due back the morning of, Tuesday April 23rd.

If you have any questions, please email Andrea Greathouse at

Thank you,

Jason McGinnis


Attention: Twain Kindergarten Round-Up April 18

Thursday, April 18th, 2:30-3:30pm

1355 Deforest Avenue

Iowa City, IA

Date and time:
Thursday, April 18, 2019
2:30 - 3:30 pm


For Families in the Mark Twain Boundary Areas:

Mark Twain Elementary, 1355 Deforest Avenue, Iowa City, IA 52246

If you have not yet registered your child for Kindergarten, please contact your neighborhood elementary school and they will be happy to assist you. If registration has not yet been completed, you will need the following documentation to complete the process.

Requirements at registration:

  1. Verification of your child’s birth date (Examples include a copy of your child’s birth certificate or passport. For additional options, please contact the Educational Services Center at (319) 688-1000.)
  2. Child’s immunization records
  3. Proof of residency (Examples include a lease/rental agreement or utility bill.)
    If you do not have the needed documentation, please contact your school for assistance.

ArtsPower National Touring Theatre: Presenting Anne Green Gables

Tuesday, May 14th, 1pm

1301 5th Street

Coralville, IA

I am happy to announce our next FREE performance for school groups. ArtsPower’a National Touring Theatre will present ANNE OF GREEN GABLES on Tuesday, May 14 at 1:00 PM. ArtsPower’s heart-warming musical, based on Lucy Maud Montgomery’s beloved novels, follows Anne on her unlikely journey to find the family she’s always wanted. The presentation lasts one hour.

Please share this information with your fellow teachers. Reserve your seats today by replying to this email or call me at 248-9372. Seating is limited.

Recommended for Grades 2-6, but all are welcome. A Study Guide is available upon request.

This event is free thanks to generous support from Hills Bank and Trust.

Twain Open House for New Families

Thursday, April 4th, 5:30-6:30pm

1355 Deforest Avenue

Iowa City, IA

Is your child attending Twain Elementary next year? Then come and join us for our open house on April 4th from 5:30-6:30. We can't wait to show you around and introduce you to other families and staff. I know you will love it here and we can't wait to have you here!


Jason McGinnis


RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Twain Elementary CARNIVAL!

Saturday, April 6th, 5pm

1355 Deforest Avenue

Iowa City, IA

Join us for our Twain Carnival on Saturday, April 6th at 5-7:00 p.m. Tickets are only a quarter and are used to participate in the carnival's activities. New to Twain next year? This is a great opportunity to see our school and meet other parents. We look forward to seeing you!

Link to the Announcement on Facebook Here:

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Kindergarten Round Up

Thursday, April 18th, 2:30-3:30pm

1355 Deforest Avenue

Iowa City, IA

Do you have a Kindergartner attending Twain next year? Join us and learn more about how Kindergarten works at Twain. You will get to meet the teachers, staff, and see how great our school is. Thank you, and we look forward to seeing you there! If you have any questions, please contact us at 319-688-1165.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Twain PTO Meeting: Welcome to Our New families!

Monday, March 25th, 7pm

1355 Deforest Avenue

Iowa City, IA


If you will have children attending Twain next school year, you are welcome to join us at our Twain PTO meeting on May 7th at 7:00. You may enter at the front door.

We are really excited to meet you and would love to get a chance to meet our new families.

Please, if you have any questions, please email me at

Thank you,

Jason McGinnis


RSVPs are enabled for this event.

Parents: Update your Contact Information

Hello Twain Parents,

We hope you are having a great break.

Please update your email and phone information on Power School. We send a lot of information by text and email. Also, our school's facebook page is the Mark Twain Elementary PTO and all parents/guardians are welcome.

If you are having difficulty, call us at school (319-688-1165) when we return from break on March 25th.

Thank you,

Jason McGinnis


Upcoming 3rd to 6th Grade Student Survey Information

Twain Families,

Students in grades 3-6 will be participating in a Conditions for Learning Survey to improve safety, student engagement and the overall learning environment.

You may choose to have your child opt-out of the survey by filling out the last page of the document sent to your email on file in Powerschool. If you did not receive this email by March 19th, you may call us at 319-688-1165 and have us send a form home with your child.

Thank you,

Jason McGinnis


Hancher Auditorium Art Show - Featuring Art Work by Twain Students

Monday, March 11th, 4:30pm

Hancher Auditorium, Iowa City, IA, USA

Iowa City, IA

Twain Community,

There are 16 Twain students whose art work is being displayed at this show. Please see the brochure below with the details.

More great work by our Twain Tigers!!

Big picture

PTO Meeting - All Welcome

Tuesday, March 12th, 7pm

1355 Deforest Avenue

Iowa City, IA

Big picture

Twain McTeacher's Night March 5th

Tuesday, March 5th, 5-7pm

1861 Lower Muscatine Road

Iowa City, IA

Twain Families:

Please join us and support Twain by stopping by and eating at McDonald's. This is a fundraiser that will support our school. Thank you and we look forward to seeing you there!

Twain Movie Night

Saturday, March 2nd, 6pm

1355 Deforest Avenue

Iowa City, IA

Hello Twain Tigers

It is that time again for a Twain Movie Night. Doors open at 6:00 PM on Saturday, March 2nd. The movie will start at 7:00. Popcorn and drinks will be provided. All Twain Families Welcome!

We look forward to seeing you there!

Twain Kindergarten Registration

Monday, March 4th, 7:30am-6:30pm

1355 Deforest Avenue

Iowa City, IA

Twain Families:

Come and register your child for Kindergarten on Monday, March 4th. We will be registering students from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Bring proof of your address with you.

Thank you,

Jason McGinnis


No Classes Monday March 4th (Parent Teacher Conference Day)

Monday, March 4th, 8am

1355 Deforest Avenue

Iowa City, IA

Twain Families:

There will be no classes at Twain on Monday, March 4th. Classes will resume on Tuesday, March 5th.

Thank you,

Jason McGinnis


Twain Parents: Read Here About Our Extended Learning Program Screening Information

Grades 3, 4 and 5 ELP Parent Nomination The yearly screening of students for participation in the Extended Learning Program (ELP), the elementary program for gifted and very high ability students, is underway for the 2018-2019 school year. This program is appropriate for students who are at the highest academic levels in their grade. Students can enter this screening pool by Iowa Assessments scores, teacher nomination or parent nomination. More information is available on the district website:

Only grades three through five are included in this screening process. Kindergarten and first grade students are being screened for ELP enrichment services through in-class lessons and collaboration with the classroom teacher throughout the school year. All second grade students will be screened in Spring 2019. Parents will receive notification about second grade screening when it is scheduled at their child’s school. No parent or teacher nominations are necessary for grades K-2. If you would like to nominate your third, fourth or fifth grade child to be tested for ELP services, please complete a parent information form. Forms will be available online between February 22nd and March 29th, 2019 at

Paper forms will be available in the school office during the same time. No forms will be accepted after March 29th, 2019 at 4:00 PM.

Nominación de Parte de los Padres Programa de Aprendizaje Extendido (ELP) para estudiantes de 3ro, 4to y 5to grado La evaluación anual estudiantil para participar en el Programa de Aprendizaje Extendido (ELP), el programa de primaria para estudiantes dotados y de muy alta capacidad académica, está en marcha para el año escolar 2019-2020. Este programa es apropiado para estudiantes tienen niveles académicos más altos que el resto de estudiantes de su grado. Los estudiantes pueden ingresar a este grupo de evaluación por puntajes de los exámenes de evaluaciones de Iowa (Iowa Assessments), nominación de maestros o al ser nominados por sus padres. Hay más información disponible en el sitio web del distrito: Solo los estudiantes de 3ro a 5to grado están incluidos en este proceso de selección. Durante el año escolar los estudiantes de Kinder y 1er grado están siendo evaluados para servicios de enriquecimiento de ELP a través de lecciones en clase y colaboración con el/la maestro(a) de la clase. Todos los estudiantes de 2do grado serán evaluados en la primavera de 2019. Los padres recibirán una notificación sobre el examen de 2do grado cuando esté programado en la escuela de su hijo(a). Para estudiantes de Kinder a 2ndo grado no se necesitan nominaciones de padres o maestros. Si desea nominar a su hijo(a) de 3ro, 4to o 5to grado para que se haga la prueba de servicios ELP, llene un formulario de información. Los formularios estarán disponibles en línea entre el 22 de febrero y el 29 de marzo de 2019 en

Los formularios impresos también estarán disponibles en la oficina de la escuela durante el mismo tiempo. No se aceptarán formularios después del 29 de marzo de 2019 a las 4:00 p.m. Année 3, 4, et 5 et Nomination des Parents pour ELP Le dépistage annuel des élèves pour la participation dans le Programme d’Apprentissage Avancé (ELP), le programme primaire pour les élèves doués et de haute capacité, est en cours pour l’année scolaire 2019-2020. Ce programme est approprié pour les élèves qui sont au plus haut niveau dans leur classe. Les élèves peuvent entrer dans ce groupe de dépistage par leurs scores sur l’examen d’Iowa Assessment ou par nomination d’un enseignant ou d’un parent. Plus d’informations sont disponibles sur le site Internet du district:

Seulement les élèves en année trois à cinq sont inclus dans ce processus de dépistage. Les élèves de Maternelle a 1ère sont examinés pour les services d’enrichissement pour ELP via des leçons en classe en collaboration avec l’enseignant de leur classe pendant l’année scolaire. Tous les élèves en seconde année seront évalués au Printemps 2018. Les parents recevront une notification à propos du dépistage des élèves en seconde année quand le dépistage sera prévu dans l’école de leur enfant. Une nomination d’un parent ou d’un enseignant n’est pas nécessaire pour les élèves de Maternelle à la seconde année. Si vous voulez proposer votre enfant en 3ème, 4ème ou 5ème année pour être examiné pour les services ELP, veuillez remplir un formulaire d’information des parents. Ces formulaires seront disponibles en ligne entre le 22 Février et le 29 Mars 2019 à Des formulaires papier seront disponibles à chaque école pendant la même période. Aucun formulaire ne sera accepté après le 29 Mars, 2019 at 16h00.

三、四 及五年级 学生ELP的 家长提名 2019 - 2020 学年的对希望参加扩展学习计划 (ELP) 学生的年度筛选活动正在进行。 该计划是为资 优和具有超常高能力的小学生提供的基本教学项目。 此计划适用于在其年级学习成绩最为优秀的 学生。学生可以通过爱荷华州的测试分数, 教师或家长提名而加入到这个筛选群体中。更多信息可 以在学区的网站上获得:。 此筛选活动仅针对于三至五 年级的学生。对幼儿园和一年级学生的ELP加强教学的筛选则通过其在课堂上的学习情况和结合此 学年授课老师的意见而进行。对所有二年级学生的筛选将在2018年春季进行。当筛选活动在学生的 学校中进行时,家长将会收到有关二年级学生筛选的通知。 对 K-2年级学生的筛选,无需家长或 教师提名。如果您想提名您的三, 四或五年级孩子参加ELP学习计划的测试, 请填写家长信息表。表 格将于2018年2月23日至3月23日在线提供,网址为 。同时, 学校办公室也会提供纸张表格。2019 年3月29日下午4:00以后将不再接受任何表格。

Twain Spring Picture Day Feb 19th

Tuesday, Feb. 19th, 8-10am

1355 Deforest Avenue

Iowa City, IA

Hello Twain Parents,

Our Spring Picture Day will be on Tuesday, February 19th. You should have already received an order form. If not, please call the office on Monday so we can send one home with your child.

Thank you,

Twain Carnival Planning -- ALL PARENTS/STAFF WELCOME

Tuesday, Feb. 19th, 7pm

1355 Deforest Avenue

Iowa City, IA

From our PTO President, Katie Iverson:

Our Twain Carnival is our biggest fundraiser of the year and is what allows us to fund field trips, teacher requests and classroom supplies. Our first carnival specific planning meeting will be on Tuesday Feb 19th at 7pm at the school.

We need lots of help to pull off another great carnival. Remember at Twain everyone is a member of the PTO so you don't have to have "done anything with PTO" in the past to help with our carnival. 10 free carnival tickets to every family who has a representative at the planning meeting.

Now that's a tigerific deal 🐯😀

Drop Off and Pick Up Drive Safety

Twain Drop Off and Pick Up

Dear Twain Families: Safety is our top priority at Twain. Keep you and your children safe by following the guide below.

Always have students leave your car or enter your car from the sidewalk.

1. Put your cell phone away, especially while the kids are getting into your car.

2. Drive only on the school side of the circle drive.

3. Only let students out on the sidewalk side.

4. Don’t leave your car. Have your children get in on their own. This will save time.

If you are in a hurry, remember, the circle drive is not a fast process. It may be faster to park somewhere and walk your students to your car.

Thank you for helping to keep everyone safe!

-Principal Jason McGinnis

Student Absences

Twain Parents,

This is just a reminder that if your child will be missing school, please email our secretary, Jennifer at or call us at 319-688-1165.

You may see the district's attendance policy Elementary Handbook here. It starts on page 1.

Attendance has a direct link to student achievement. You can see on of my favorite sites on attendance here.

And of course, call us any time with questions. We are glad to help!

Here is the section that applies most closely to notifying the school when your child will be absent:

Absence Reporting

Parents are to contact their child’s school office when the child will be absent. Calls to the school should be made before 8:30 a.m. each morning. Please let the school secretary know your child’s name, the date of absence and the reason for absence. In the case of extended illness, one call is sufficient. The attendance office will determine if the absence is excused, based on the District’s guidelines listed below. The school principal holds the final decision as to whether an absence is excused.

Acceptable Reasons for an Excused Absence

· Evidence that the student is not in proper physical or mental condition to attend school or an educational program. The District may request the parent(s) or guardian(s) obtain a written statement from a physician or licensed practitioner as proof of the physical or mental condition of the student. Such excuse shall be made in writing, shall state the period of time for which it is valid, and shall not exceed 30 days.

· Medical, dental, chiropractic, optometric or other valid professional appointments. Parent(s) or guardian(s) are requested to make their appointments during non-school hours. · A death in the immediate family or funerals for close relatives.

· Religious holidays.

· Family trips that can be taken only during the normal school term. A parent/guardian shall be required to notify the school attendance officer in advance of the pending absence for the purpose of reviewing the student’s attendance record and overall performance. If attendance and performance is satisfactory, the administrator may excuse up to 5 days a year for family trips.

· A court appearance or other legal procedure or placement requiring the attendance of the student.

· A quarantine as imposed by a public health officer.

· Attendance at special events of educational value or school activities as approved by the school administrator.

· Special circumstances that show good cause which the school attendance officer approves


Attention Twain Families:

As you all know, we have taken a real hit with the weather this year. You should have already received an email from the superintendent's office, but if not, the key points that effect us are below:

Elementary schedule starting February 18: 7:55 am to 3:05 pm M, T, W, F and 7:55 am to 2:05 pm on Thursdays.

Parent Teacher Conferences February 21st from 2:10 to 7:10 p.m. will remain the same unless you notify the teacher otherwise.

Parent Teacher Conferences originally scheduled for February 28th will be moved to March 4th, with the same hours of 7:40 a.m. to 7:10 p.m.

Whichever time you had scheduled for February 28th, will be automatically scheduled for March 4th unless you notify your children's teachers otherwise.

Kindergarten Registration from Thursday, February 28, 2019 to Monday, March 4, 2019.

April 26th will be a full day of school (it was a non-attendance day originally)

May 31st will be a half-day with students getting released at 10:55 a.m.

Thank you for all of your flexibility and cooperation during this crazy winter!


Principal Jason McGinnis


The letter from Superintendent Murley in its entirety. Please let me us know if you have any questions:

Good Afternoon,

Thank you for your understanding and patience as we work through the scenarios for making up our lost instructional time for the remainder of the school year. While these situations can be difficult to balance, we are striving to recover as much instructional time as possible while remaining respectful of family schedules.

As we communicated yesterday, school districts in Iowa are required by the State to implement calendars reflecting either a minimum of 180 days or 1,080 hours of instruction. The Iowa City Community School District has opted for the 1,080 hours of instruction model.

While our 2018-19 school year calendar was scheduled to have 1,129 hours, the missed instructional time up to this point has caused us to fall below the minimum required hours if the calendar were to remain unchanged through the remainder of the school year.

We have evaluated our options and have come up with a solution that should be least disruptive to family schedules while still allowing for us to recapture that important instructional time with students. Below are the changes we will implement:

· Beginning on Monday, February 18, 2019 and running through the remainder of the school year, we will add 10 minutes to each school day. This will allow us to recapture 11 hours.

· Elementary schedule: 7:55 am to 3:05 pm M, T, W, F and 7:55 am to 2:05 pm on Thursdays

· Junior high and high school schedule: 8:45 am to 4:05 pm M, T, W, F and 8:45 am to 3:05 pm on Thursdays

· We will hold classes on Friday, April 26, 2019, which is currently scheduled as a ‘No School’ day. This will allow us to recapture 7.05 hours.

· We will add a half day of school to the end of the current calendar year on Friday, May 31, 2019. Elementary students will release at 10:55 am. Junior high and high school students will release at 12:00 pm. This will allow us to recapture 3.00 hours.

· In addition, to help balance the number of days per trimester, we will move the end of the second trimester from Wednesday, February 27, 2019 to Friday, March 1, 2019. This will move the ‘No School/Parent Teacher Conference’ day currently scheduled on Thursday, February 28, 2019 to Monday, March 4, 2019.

· This change will also move Kindergarten Registration from Thursday, February 28, 2019 to Monday, March 4, 2019.

While we are hopeful for the end of winter storms in our area, if the need for additional late starts, early releases, or full day cancellations does arise, we will be continually evaluating the need for any changes to this plan. We will be sure to keep families informed of any needed updates in a timely manner.

We appreciate your support and patience as we navigate through this process. If you have any questions, please contact the Educational Services Center at (319) 688-1000.


Stephen Murley


Iowa City Community School District

MLK Indoor Parade Friday January 18 10:00 AM

Friday, Jan. 18th, 10am

1355 Deforest Avenue

Iowa City, IA

Dear Twain Families,

We are having our MLK Peace March inside this year at 10:00 AM on Friday, January 18th. We will have the students walk through the halls and then gather together in the gym to sing and to view a presentation provided by the 5th/6th grade students.

If you are joining us, please check in at the main office and get a visitor pass. You will then be able to walk at the end of the parade and then join us for the event in the gym.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Jason McGinnis


January 2019 Updates, Dates, and Information

Dear Twain Families and Community Members,

Note: This newsletter is the best way I have found to communicate in an updated and eco-friendly manner with staff and parents. I will send this out via text, email, facebook, and our school's web site.


7th Grade Registration:

7th Grade Registration:

It’s time to register your 6th graders for junior high. It is important to take time to look at class choices for your student. Registration forms have been sent home with students and are due back by Thursday, January 24th. A parent meeting regarding registration, specific classes, and programs like CSAL will be held at South East on Wednesday, January 23rd at 7:00pm. Mr. Muir and Mrs. Overton are working on math class placement suggestions; these placements are based on testing that is taking place this month, teacher recommendation, and parent input. Please reach out to them if you have questions about registration.

I hope you have all had a an opportunity to spend time with your children over winter break. It's hard to believe the year is already halfway finished! I look forward to seeing you and your children return to school. Here are some dates and quick reminders as we start the new year:

Cold-Weather Clothing: Children need to come to school dressed appropriately for the weather. If you are unable to provide a winter coat, hats, or gloves for your child please let us know and we will assist you.

Attendance: School starts at 7:55 a.m. each day. If a student wishes to eat breakfast they need to arrive at school before 7:45 a.m.

Important Dates:

January 8, 7:00 PM -- Parent Teacher Organization Meeting at Twain

January 18, 10:00 AM -- MLK Parade (Parents Welcome to Walk at the END of the parade)

January 21, -- No School

February 28, -- No School (Parent Teacher Conference Days)

March 18-22, -- No School (Spring Break)

April 26, -- No School

May 27, -- No School

May 30, -- Last Day of School

Read below for more information about transfer policies, updated boundary changes, volunteering, and much more.

Thank you and we at Twain hope you have a great new year!

Attention Twain Parents: Attendance Boundary and Voluntary Transfer News!!

Dear Families,

The Iowa City Community School District Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve changes to the elementary voluntary transfer guidelines beginning in the 2019-20 school year. The updated voluntary transfer guidelines and form can be found at

For families intending to request a voluntary transfer for the 2019-20 school year, the deadline to submit the form is March 1, 2019. Completed forms should be returned to the following address:

Iowa City Community School District

Educational Services Center
1725 N. Dodge Street
Iowa City, IA 52245

If you have any questions, please contact the Educational Services Center at (319) 688-1000.


Stephen Murley
Iowa City Community School District

Dear Parents

Here is some important information about the new attendance areas:

The Iowa City Community School District Board of Directors approved new elementary attendance areas for the 2019-20 school year. The new boundaries were approved during their November 27 board meeting.

The updated maps can be found on the District website at the following link:

In addition, the District’s Attendance Area Look-Up links have been updated to reflect the approved boundary changes. The Attendance Area Look-Up links provide school information specific for your home address. The links can be found on the District website at the following link:

Junior high and high school students may also be impacted by these changes. Please be sure to check the Attendance Area Look-Up link above to determine if changes to the elementary boundaries have affected your student.

Cold Weather Preparation

Students go outside for recess 2-3 times a day. This is required for a healthy school experience.

This being said, it is starting to get very cold. Please remember to have your children wear hats, gloves, scarves, and winter coats to school. We have some extra coats and hats at school if you need them. Just ask in the office and we will help you out.

Library Books

Books cost a lot of money. Each year Twain has to buy books to replace those that are not returned. This is money we could use to buy new books and other library supplies. Please take another look at home and if you find any library books, send them to school with your children. Thank you, this helps out a lot!

Please take a look below at important dates coming up. There are several opportunities for you to be involved in our community and please remember that EVERYONE is welcome at Twain where we are a respectful, responsible, and caring community!


Principal Jason McGinnis

Important Dates and Events

November 21-23: No School

December 17th: Kindergarten Field Trip to the Children's Museum

December 24th-January 4th: Winter Break

A Message from the ICCSD School Foundation

The Foundation covers 100% of the costs for programs, events and experiences for our students at every grade level. Soon, you will be receiving a mailing from the Foundation. We want you to know that, when you give to the Foundation, you are directly reaching the families and children in your school –including your own children.

KinderTales, the Visiting Author program, Symphony Goes to School, School of the Wild, LiveArts@Hancher, Robotics clubs, AVID, Lexia & Dreambox and more…are examples of the kinds of programs provided to students in the District at no cost to the individual buildings or PTO/PTA’s. If you are able, please consider supporting the effort. As we know, if we all could give a little, it would make a huge and lasting impact on every student that calls this District home.


Susan Brennan

Executive Director
ICCSD Foundation

Volunteers Wanted!

We are looking for volunteers to help with the following:

Breakfast Assistance 7:30-8:00

Lunchroom Assistance 11:00-1:00

Teacher Assistance 8:30-3:00

Reading to Students

Tutoring Students

Anything you want to help with!

Please complete the online application here:

If you need help filling this out, just stop by the main office and we will assist. You will need a social security number for the background check.


Parents and Guardians: Important Update about our Iowa Assessment

Iowa City Community School District Educational Services Center

Stephen F. Murley Superintendent of Schools

1725 North Dodge Street • Iowa City, IA 52245 • (319) 688-1000 • Fax (319) 688-1000 •

Dear Parents,

For many years students in our district, as well as districts across the state, have been assessed on an annual basis with the Iowa Assessments. The Iowa City Community School District has traditionally elected to administer these assessments in October.

Last spring the Iowa legislature determined that all students in Iowa would be assessed using a new test called the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP).

These new assessments are developed by Iowa Testing Programs at the University of Iowa delivered and supported by Iowa-based Pearson, for the state of Iowa. The assessments are aligned with the Iowa Core standards and provide a clear and accurate assessment of student learning outcomes. Student growth, proficiency and readiness indicators will be reported.

The new assessments are required to be administered between March and May 2019 and will be available in online and paper formats. The grade levels, tests, and recommended administration times are provided below:


Grade Levels

Recommended Administration Time (Minutes)




Language Arts and Writing







5, 8, 10


Elementary students in ICCSD will take these assessments during the week of April 8-12; and secondary students will take these assessments on April 16-17, using the online format. During this first year of administration, it is anticipated that results may not be available until late summer or early fall of 2019.

If you have any questions about these assessments, please contact the district curriculum office.

Dr. Diane Schumacher
Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment
Iowa City Community School District
1725 North Dodge Street
Iowa City, Iowa 52245
(319) 688-1000

Interpreters Needed!!

The Iowa City Community School District is looking to hire interpreters and translators to facilitate communication between families and staff on an occasional basis. There is a great need for French and/or Arabic interpreters and translators, but individuals who have expertise in other languages are also encouraged to apply. Individuals must have proficient oral and/or written skills in English as well as the target language. Please apply online at or contact the school district office at 319-688-1000 with questions.

Attendance and Early Dismissal


Please call in all student absences to the absentee line at 319-688-1115 by 8:15AM for EACH day your student will be sick or late. If your student is going to be late to school for any reason, please make sure and let our office know ahead of time (if possible) by calling our office by 8:15AM that morning. You can also email the office staff directly as well as your student's teacher for any absence.


Students will not be called out of class until a parent is present to sign them out. Please plan ahead for appointments, as we would like to minimize missed class time. If your child is tardy in the morning we will have them get a tardy slip and walk them to class. We do this to minimize classroom disruption.


At Twain, we have universal breakfast. This means that all of our students are entitled to a free breakfast each morning.

Breakfast is served from 7:35-7:50 AM.

Please assure that your students arrive at school by 7:35 so they have enough time to finish their breakfast before class starts.

Thank you

PBIS, Restorative Practices, A Caring Community

At Twain, we believe in applying a positive approach to teaching children how to be responsible, respectful of themselves and others, and about the meaning of caring for each other. It is vital that all children know they are in a safe environment where everyone has their best academic and social-emotional interests at heart.

PBIS stands for Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports.

It is a framework for creating systems of prevention and response to behavior across school.


We now know most students do well most of the time - but are not acknowledged for it. PBIS aims to correct this and acknowledge kids for the positive things they do. 5 Positives for everyone 1 Negative is our goal (5 to 1). This is research proven to create stronger relationships and communities. We acknowledge kids through the use of frequent specific feedback, tickets, intermittent school-wide drawings for prizes from the PBIS cart, and school-wide celebrations based on longer term goals. Across Horn Elementary, teachers work together to...

  • Teach and demonstrate behavior that is expected at school.
  • Help students practice positive behavior.
  • Positively reinforce expected behavior when students demonstrate.
  • Give specific feedback to help students correct behavior.

Why Tickets?

Tickets remind teachers and staff to positively acknowledge students and give specific feedback. Tickets also create a school-wide system of acknowledgments that we use for classroom and school celebrations.

Restorative Approach and Practice

The Restorative Approach is a philosophy or guiding principle (not a program or specific activity) that sees relationships as central to learning, growth and a healthy school climate for students and adults.

Restorative Practices enable us to integrate and normalize this approach within a school culture.

In particular, whenever we have conflicts between students, staff, and/or parents, we focus on repairing the relationship by discussing what happened, how we felt when it happened, and how we can resolve the situation.

While this is may be a more time-consuming process, the research shows it pays off very much in the long run. Most importantly, it teaches our children the valuable relationship skills needed in our increasingly interconnected world.

Parent Teacher Organization (PTO)

First PTO Meeting is on Tuesday, September 11 at 7:00 pm.

The first Parent Teacher Organization meeting of the school year will take place on Tuesday, September 11 at 7:00 pm in the Twain library. We hope you will attend and learn more about upcoming events, school information from Principal McGinnis and PTO sponsored activities. Future PTO dates: October 9, November 13, December 11, January 8, February 12, March 12, April 9, May 14.

About Twain Elementary

Twain Elementary School is located three blocks west of Sycamore Mall at 1355 DeForest Ave. Students from Twain attend South East Junior High School and City High School. There are approximately 345 students at Twain School with three preschool classes, three full day kindergarten classes, three first grade classes, two second grade classes, two third grade classes, two fourth grade classes, two fifth grade classes and two sixth grade classes. We have Title I Reading, a multicategorical resource room, and an ELL (English Language Learners) Program.

All students participate in art, music, and physical education. Instrumental music lessons are provided beginning in grade 4 for string instruments and grade 5 for band instruments. Letters regarding instrumental music lessons are sent home with students in the fall. Students in grades 3-6 can also be trained to act as "Conflict Managers" to help their peers resolve conflicts that arise at recess. Sixth grade students act as Safety Patrol before and after school.

The Twain School building site includes 14 acres with an arboretum, three soccer fields, long jump and track area, as well as multiple play areas for students. There are 23 classrooms, including art and music, and a large, beautiful library with a story well and computer lab.

Parents at Twain are supportive of the educational program and are frequently involved. The parent organization (PTO) sponsors a variety of activities including individual student pictures, 4th grade field trip to the "School of the Wild", school suppers, the City High Homecoming Parade, a spring carnival, the ice cream social and fund raising activities.

The Twain staff is dedicated to providing the best educational program possible. We are a PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention Supports) school and pride ourselves on being a Respectful, Responsible and Caring community. We strive to meet the individual needs of students, to provide a variety of experiences, and to foster a positive climate in which learning can thrive.