The Morris Minute

February 2021

Welcome to The Morris Minute!

This is the place to find updates for staff, parents, and families of Morris Elementary. Thank you for checking it out!

A Note from Mr. Anderson

Hello Morris Families!

Well, January sure came and went quickly! We had a couple of snow days in there, and going back full on-site learning may have paved the way for some long and tiring days for students and staff, but we prevailed! Thank you for exhibiting patience and understanding as we navigate all that comes with this time at Morris!

Prior to coming back with all students, we did complete our Winter FAST Screeners for reading and math. Please note, if your child did not meet benchmark, they fall in the At-Risk category. They will be progress monitored within their classroom. If your student falls in the At-Risk category on two consecutive screeners, they are in the Persistently At-Risk category, meaning they will receive a state-approved intervention and will also be progress monitored throughout. Please keep in mind that we understand that our students missed a lot of in-person learning. We also understand the impact it has had on our students and are working hard to do what we can for our students and their learning. Our students are growing, it just looks a bit different now, as opposed to prior years.

Conferences are coming up Feb. 22 and 25. Once again, we will be holding these virtually and you will receive notification from your child's teacher regarding scheduling those soon. We will be as flexible as we can and if you need modifications, please reach out to your child's teacher so that we can figure out how to best assist on the matter. If an in-person meeting needs to happen, we can make it work as well, there just may be added precautions.

Spring Break is just around the corner! Many of us have made travel plans. If you do plan to travel, I wanted to provide you with some information regarding travel as new guidance from the CDC went into effect January 26:

International Travel:

Domestic Travel:

After a few snow storms, I know I am ready for some spring-like weather. I can't be the only one, right? Keep sending your students to school prepared for the elements throughout the day! Some days are easier than others to get snow cleared and have places for students that don't have all the gear they need. It's better safe than sorry that they have all of their snow gear!

We are also working on how we are going to have our Kindergarten Pre-Registration Night that we have done the past few years. It looks like we will be providing those that will have kindergarten students next year with an online video of some sort walking parents through the processes we take to get our kindergarten students registered. This is important for preparation and for staffing needs for next fall. (Next fall.....yeah I said it!) Please be patient as we do our best to provide you with quality information!

I hope you are all off to a solid start to your very own 2021. It's been hopping here and full of action! As always, please feel free to reach out if you have questions!



Big picture

Important Dates to Remember

February 8 - 2pm Dismissal

February 12 - Class Parties

February 15 - 2pm Dismissal

February 19 - Report Cards emailed home

February 22 - 2pm Dismissal

February 22 - 3-7pm Parent - Teacher Conferences

February 25 - 2pm Dismissal (THIS IS A THURSDAY)

February 25 - 3-7pm Parent - Teacher Conferences

February 26 - NO SCHOOL

March 1 - 2pm Dismissal

March 8 - 2pm Dismissal

March 15-19 - Spring Break - NO SCHOOL

March 22 - Classes Resume (2pm Dismissal)

Big picture

Please note we have had a few menu changes since the above calendar was emailed out to everyone.

Big picture

Notes from Nurse Dori

THANK YOU to all of our parents for taking the time to assess their students health prior to sending them to school. It is an important step to keeping everyone healthy and the building OPEN.

As a reminder, here are common signs and symptoms of COVID19:


New cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or new loss of taste or smell - if your student has any one of these, please keep them home. Call your healthcare provider.


Headache, muscle/body aches, tired/lack of energy, sore throat, runny nose, sinus pain, congestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever /chills - if your student has 2 or more of these, please keep them home. Please do not send your student to school if he/she has a fever over 100, regardless of other symptoms. Call your healthcare provider.

If you are sending an email about an absence due to illness, please include your child's teacher, Ms. Jen, and myself so we all have the same information. Be sure to include all symptoms your child is experiencing, and when symptoms began.

  • The IDPH (Iowa Department of Public Health) has identified the above as “high risk” and “low risk” symptoms. Please check in with your child every morning before they come to school. If your child reports 2 “low risk” symptoms or 1 “high risk” symptom, they should have a medical provider evaluation (in person or telemedicine) that can provide an alternate diagnosis (i.e. allergies, common cold, gastritis, etc) OR remain home for 10 days as if they have tested positive for COVID19. A negative COVID19 test alone is not sufficient to return to school. Your child must also have significant improvement or resolution of symptoms and be fever free for 24 hours (without the use of fever reducing medication), before they can return, even with a doctor’s note. Once your child has been evaluated, please send us the note with the alternate diagnosis, or the plan of care.

  • The same guidance is followed if your child is sent home with potential COVID19 symptoms. If your child has a known pre-existing condition that we have documentation of (allergies, asthma, etc), that will be considered as a factor in determining whether they will be sent home.

  • The IDPH has provided these guidelines to assist with the safe reopening of schools. We are following their guidance, as well as that provided by the CDC. We realize these guidelines require additional work on your end to ensure that your child is healthy when attending school, but please know that the purpose is to ensure that ALL of our students and staff stay as healthy as possible. If you are unsure whether to keep your child home due to illness, you probably should. Contact their physician for guidance if needed.

Please send your child with a mask and water bottle every day. Our drinking fountains are allowing water bottles to be filled only. Please also remember to wash your child’s mask regularly.

Preschool and Kindergarten: Please make sure your child has an extra set of clothing available to them at school in case of accidents. (If they have used their extra set, please send a replacement.)

Please make sure your child is dressed for the weather - students go outside for recess starting at 9:30am - they will go outside if the feels like temperature is 10 degrees Fahrenheit or above.

Thank you for your assistance in keeping our MorrisJays as healthy as possible! If you have any questions, please email me at

Big picture


Click here to learn more about the free school lunch and breakfast program!


Nurse Dori is coordinating a few upcoming health screenings for our MorrisJays:

VISION - Most Morris students were screened last week and Nurse Dori has a few more that will still need to be screened this week or next.

HEARING - All Kindergarten students will be screened by Heartland AEA Audiologists the week of February 15. More detailed information will be sent home in February prior to the screening.

If you do NOT want your student screened for Hearing, please contact Nurse Dori at

Big picture


Be sure to order your 2020-2021 yearbook - we usually have a few extra copies at the end of the year, but if you want to guarantee you will get one, it's a good idea to preorder. Orders ccan be submitted up to February 26. Click here for the link - you can also go directly to - just be sure that it says MORRIS ELEMENTARY in BONDURANT in the upper left hand corner (there is a Morris Elementary in Des Moines and we had a few families mistakenly order an Anderson yearbook last year too.)
Big picture

Did you know we have a school Facebook page?

The Morris Facebook page is Bondurant-Farrar Morris Elementary and the profile picture is the Bluejay head logo with the word MORRIS under it (in case you haven't found us yet.)

A few notes from Ms. Jen

Can't believe it's February - but then, I think I am perpetually in a state of disbelief about everything anymore. I think we all are in a state of flux everyday. Which means I REALLY appreciate everyone who takes the time to read emails, send their kids to school with proper clothes for the weather, keep kids home if they are not feeling well, and communicate with everyone necessary when situations change. It's a lot - I know. But it helps us focus more on our Morris Jays when they are here in the building with us. Have a great short month, enjoy the beauty of sunshine (or frozen fog) when we have it, and we will be at Spring Break before you know it! :)

- jen

Big picture