PANTHER PRESS

November 2021

KCSD From Above 11-08-2021

New Knoxville Middle School Continues to Take Shape

Construction crews continue to make progress on the new Knoxville Middle School, located just north of the high school on West Madison Street.


This month, crews have been working on the installation of mental decking, preparing and pouring concrete and installing metal stud framing for windows. Masonry work on the interior walls of the new locker room is also taking place.


“With each week that passes, we are seeing more of our new middle school building taking shape,” said Cassi Pearson, Superintendent of the Knoxville Community School District. “We continue to be incredibly grateful for the support of our community as we proceed with this important project for the future of Knoxville students. We cannot wait to open the building and show our community just how special a building it will be.”


The new middle school, made possible thanks to a March 2020 voter-approved bond issue, will be two stories and deliver a 21st century learning environment for students. It will feature two gymnasiums, an indoor walking track and a new weight room. In addition to the middle school, crews are also making some upgrades to the KHS building.


The district has established a webpage, at www.kcsdprojects.org, that includes the latest photos, videos and project updates. Community members can also view drone footage of the entire construction site.
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KCSD to Launch New Text, Email & Phone Alerts

The Knoxville Community School District is implementing a new way for families and community members to receive text alerts, emails, and phone calls from our schools. Moving forward, these messages will be delivered through SchoolInfoApp.


If you have subscribed to these messages from KCSD in the past, you will need to re-register your phone number and/or email address to receive messages via the new platform. If you do not register with this new system, you will no longer receive messages from the district.


Please visit this link to register. Then, follow these steps:


1) Enter your email address in the field.


2) Click "Register New User."


3) On the next page, Enter your first and last name. Click "Register."


4) On the Portal Edit page, enter your phone number(s) and additional email. Choose the group(s) to which you would like to subscribe. The groups available are:

  • Weather Alerts

  • Athletics/Activities

  • Knoxville Community School District

  • Knoxville High School

  • Knoxville Middle School

  • NorthStar Elementary School

  • West Elementary School


5) Click the Apply button at the bottom of the page.


6) Click the Test button if you would like to send a test message to your phone number(s) and email address(es).


7) You may click "Review Prior Messages" to review messages previously sent.


8) When you are done, click the OK button to be signed out.


You will receive a text message from a 424 area code asking you to opt in to future messages. You can reply to that message with the word YES to be opted in. At any time you can opt in by texting the word YES to the phone number 87569. Once your phone number is opted in, future text messages will be sent from a short code of 87569.


This partnership with SchoolInfoApp will help us better communicate with our families and community members. Thank you for your help in registering for updates from KCSD!

Review KCSD, Enter to Win $1,000

Niche, a website that provides ratings for school districts across the country, is offering a chance for students, families, and alumni to enter sweepstakes to win $1,000.


To enter, all you need to do is fill out a short survey about the Knoxville Community School District. All responses will remain anonymous and will be displayed on Niche to help others learn about our school district and if it is the right fit for them.


You can enter by visiting https://www.niche.com/k12/school-survey-sweepstakes/.


Niche is one tool available to us to help new families who are moving into the area choose KCSD for their children’s education. If you have a moment, please give us a review!

Sullivan Embraces New Role on KCSD Board

On November 2, residents chose from four candidates to fill two seats on the Knoxville School Board. Earning the most votes were incumbent Larry Scott and newcomer Monica Sullivan.


Sullivan grew up in Waterloo and moved to Knoxville with her husband, Barry, after graduating from Iowa State University with a bachelor’s degree in accounting. Although she works as a CPA in Des Moines, she has been willing to manage a long commute to continue making Knoxville their home.


Paramount to this decision has been the Sullivans’ desire to keep their three children in the Knoxville Community School District. Two of their daughters—Elizabeth and Amy—are now alumni of the district, while their youngest, Melanie, is a junior at Knoxville High School.


According to Sullivan, she was inspired to run for school board after attending the KCSD Leadership Academy earlier this fall. Through that experience, she began to think that her financial background and other experiences might be useful on the board.


“I’m passionate about helping people find their passions, especially our students as they make decisions on what to pursue after graduation,” Sullivan said. “I believe I can positively impact that process through my position on the board.”


Now that she has been elected, Sullivan is excited about playing a role in shaping the future of KCSD.


“As a community, we have amazing growth ahead of us, and I believe the district will play an important role in that growth,” she said. “I also want to have a positive impact on the students and ensure they are given the best opportunities possible through their education. I am hopeful I can help the district navigate the next four years through this process.”


Sullivan is a partner with TDT CPAs & Advisors in West Des Moines and co-leads the firm’s tax and advisory group. She is excited about leveraging this background to benefit KCSD, while also learning about board governance and how a school district operates.


“I have a lot to learn as I transition onto the board,” Sullivan said. “I want to learn more about the issues and opportunities facing the district and help improve the communication between the board, the district and the community.”


Sullivan and Scott will begin their new terms on the KCSD School Board on November 22.


“I would like to congratulate both Monica Sullivan and Larry Scott for their election to our board. Their dedication and passion for our schools will greatly benefit the students we serve,” said Cassi Pearson, KCSD Superintendent. “Monica and Larry bring different experiences, perspectives and skills which will strengthen our board and push us in our pursuit of excellence. As a district, we continue to be incredibly grateful for the support and engagement of our community as we forge an even brighter future for our school district.”

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How the Expanded 2021 Child Tax Credit Can Help Your Family

The American Rescue Plan Act expands the child tax credit for tax year 2021. The maximum credit amount has increased to $3,000 per qualifying child between ages 6 and 17 and $3,600 per qualifying child under age 6.


If you're eligible, you could receive part of the credit in 2021 through advance payments of up to:

  • $250 per month for each qualifying child age 6 to 17 at the end of 2021.
  • $300 per month for each qualifying child under age 6 at the end of 2021.


The expansion of the credit also means it:

  • is fully refundable, meaning you can claim the credit even if you don't have earned income or don't owe any income taxes.
  • now includes children who turn 17 in 2021.
  • allows you to receive half of the 2021 estimated credit, in advance.


See Advance Child Tax Credit Payments in 2021 on IRS.gov for details on eligibility, timing of monthly payments, helpful resources and more.


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The Panther Press is a monthly collective newsletter for parents & community members. If you have an article or flyer to share, please submit to knoxville@kcsd.k12.ia.us for consideration. We love to hear from you so please send us your submissions and feedback.

Inquiries or grievances related to this policy may be directed to the District Equity Coordinator Linda Russell, Director of Human Resources at 309 W Main, Knoxville, IA 50138, (641)842-6551 or linda.russell@kcsd.k12.ia.us. Students who feel they have been discriminated against are encouraged to report it to the school district Affirmative Action and Title IX Coordinator. The Affirmative Action and Title IX Coordinator is Linda Russell, Director of Human Resources. The District Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 Coordinator is Lindsay Rains. Any person having inquiries concerning the District’s compliance with this federal non-discrimination law can contact her at (641)842-3315 or lindsay.rains@kcsd.k12.ia.us. These individuals have been designated by the District to coordinate the District’s efforts to comply with federal and/or state non-discrimination laws. Inquiries may also be directed to the Director of the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, 400 East 14th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319, (800)457-4416; to the Office for Civil Rights Chicago Office, United States Department of Education, Citigroup Center, 500 West Madison Street, Suite 1475, Chicago, Illinois, 60661, (312)730-1560; or to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chicago Office, 500 West Madison Street, Suite 2000, Chicago, Illinois, 60661, (800)669-4000. Inquiries may also be directed to the Director, Iowa Department of Education, Grimes State Office Building, 400 East 14th Street, Des Moines, Iowa 50319.