Penn Pride: We have. We are. Together.


So many exciting things for us to do and experience togther in this new year!
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PB & J for MLK Day

WHAT: Peanut Butter & Jelly Drive to donate to the NL Pantry

WHEN: January 13 – January 24

WHO: ALL Penn Students

WHY: to serve our community in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sign up Info for Girls on the Run

Dear parents of 3rd-6th grade girls,

Sign-up for the Girls on the Run program will start on Friday January 17th , is first come, first served, and can be accessed here:

Girls on the Run (GOTR) is an after-school program that meets for practice twice per week, beginning the week of February 24th for 10 weeks at the following days and times:

Christine Grant Elementary: Wednesdays and Fridays 3:00-4:15p.m.

Penn Elementary: Mondays and Fridays 3:00-4:30p.m.

During the program, girls will have fun, make friends, increase their physical activity levels and learn important life skills. Trained and caring coaches lead 3-6 grade girls through interactive lessons and running activities (ALTHOUGH running is never required!!!). The season ends with a noncompetitive 5K GOTR event. More information about the program can be found here:

You will have the option to select “Christine Grant” or “Penn” Elementary during sign up. We have a unique situation again this season with 2 seasoned GOTR coaches having girls at Christine Grant this year (Kelly Brubaker, formerly at Van Allen/coach at Grant last season and Valerie Hoffman, long-time Penn Elementary coach). We thought we’d continue what we did last season by having Kelly B. head up the new Grant Elementary team and Valerie Hoffman keep the Penn Elementary team going. As such, Coach Val will be picking up her 3rd grade daughter on practice days at the end of the school day on Mondays and Fridays from Grant Elementary and taking her to Penn Elementary for practice. She can arrange to take your daughter there, too, if practice times at Penn work better for your family (we’ll just have to get a transportation waiver in place if you don't have one already from last season….she and another coach can take up to 8-10 other girls and drive them back to Grant afterwards if needed). This will allow some of the kiddos who now go to different schools to see each other twice a week. And, vice versa, if a Penn student wants to come to Grant for practice because that works better for your schedule and/or they want to hang out with old friends, that’s fine too!

If you have additional questions, please do not hesitate to email the Grant and Penn head coaches, Kelly Brubaker at and Valerie Hoffman at

Penn Theater Group: the Wizard of Oz

This year Penn Elementary will be producing of first production of the new Penn Theater Group: the Wizard of Oz. The production will be made up entirely of Penn students and faculty. The show will run May 1 and May 2 at Liberty High School.

All Penn students are welcomed and encouraged to join the production – all who audition will be cast.

Audition Information:

When: Thursday, January 30th

Where: Penn Elementary

Times: K-1st Grade: 2:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. 2nd-4th Grade: 3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. 5th-6th Grade: 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Rehearsal Information:

Rehearsals will be held twice/week – mostly on Tuesdays from 3:30-5:30 and Sundays from 1:00- 4:00pm

Lead roles of Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, Lion, Wicked Witch of the West, Wizard and others will rehearse more than others

All K-1st Grade students will be cast as either Munchkins, Flying Monkeys, Emerald City Citizens or all three and rehearse less throughout the process

We will also be looking for students who wish to participate behind the scenes – building/painting sets, creating costumes/props, designing lights and sound, and more. We are also looking for parent volunteers to assist with a wide range of responsibilities including:

- Rehearsal monitor

- Set builders/painters

- Costume designer and Costume builders

- Hair and Makeup designer

- Show runners/monitors

The show is being directed by Penn parent Zach Mannheimer (parent of a K, 2nd, and 5th grader) with Penn parent Lisa Williams (parent of a 1st grader) serving as the production manager. If you have any questions or would like to volunteer, please email Lisa at

AIM Student Library Cards for local public libraries.

Does your student need access to more library materials during school breaks? Or need to supplement resources for school research or for reading enjoyment?

Their AIM Student Card can be used at all three local public libraries: Coralville, Iowa City, and North Liberty!

Mrs. Priske passed out AIM public library cards this week.

For more info:

Inclement Weather Guidelines

While we already experienced a brief preview, winter weather is right around the corner! As a reminder, the District's Inclement Weather Guidelines for issuing delay, cancellation, and early release decisions can be found on the District’s website by clicking HERE. Please note the change to the school day if there is a late start issued on a Thursday.

As decisions are made regarding school day changes, the District aims to keep parents as connected as possible so that notifications are received conveniently and timely. In addition to the notifications that are sent via email, phone and text, we encourage you to follow the District on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to ensure that announcements are right at your fingertips. We also encourage you to download the District’s mobile app, where you can find everything school and district related in one convenient spot.

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

SAVE the DATE .... info about Music Performances

1st grade: Wednesday, March 25 2:00

2nd grade: Wednesday, March 25 2:20

3rd, 4th and 5th grades: May 13, Wednesday 8:30 AM

6th graders will perform at their last day of school celebration

Looking Ahead

  • PB & J for MLK: January 13 - 24
  • NO SCHOOL: January 20
  • PTO fundraiser with Marcos Pizza: January 20, 21, 22, 23
  • Auditions for the Wizard of Oz: January 31. See above or emails from PTO or Mrs. Heffner for more details.
  • PTO: Feb 4 @ 7pm in the library
  • PENNcake Day: February 14
  • Parent Teacher Conferences: Feb 27 2:10 - 7:10pm and Mar 2 7:40am - 7:10 pm
  • Wizard of Oz Production: May 1 & 2
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 Jeremy Tabor, Director of Equity and Employee Relations, 1725 N. Dodge St., Iowa City, IA 52245, 319-688-1000,