South East Update

November 2019

Hello Little Hawk Families

We are nearing the end of 1st trimester already! We have had a fabulous start to the year at South East and sincerely thank you for sending us your most precious gifts. We are blessed to work with such amazing students and their families!

School Contacts

Main Office- 319- 688-1070

Rachel Hills- Office Manager-

Attendance and to report an absence- 319-688-1071

Tonya Burkett- Attendance Secretary-

Guidance Office (Schedule questions, student concerns, etc) 319-688-1073

Tara Andresen- Guidance Secretary-

Brian Ingram- Guidance Counselor-

Hanna Collins- Guidance Counselor-

Athletics- (General Questions- sport specific please email your student's coach)

Nikol Carlson- Athletic Secretary-

Allison Brewer- Dean of Students-

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.


End of 1st Trimester

1st Trimester will end on Monday, November 18th. There is no school for students on Tuesday, November 19th. All grades for 1st trimester will be finalized by the end of the day on Tuesday 11-19. We will not be handing out hard copies of report cards, but these will be posted in your document vault in PowerSchool by the end of that week. A message will go out when these are ready to be viewed. If you need a hard copy, please contact the main office.

Lost and Found

We have MANY lost coats, jackets, sweatshirts, water bottles, etc in our lost and found! If your child is missing something, please have them come and take a look. All unclaimed items at the end of the trimester will be donated.

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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

Cleaning out your sports closet?? We have need!

As you are cleaning out things that your student no longer wears or needs for various sporting activities, please consider donating to South East! We have many students who do not have the necessary cleats or accessories for different sports. Below is a list of gently used items we would be happy to take off your hands:

  • Cleats (soccer and football)
  • Basketball shoes
  • Running shoes
  • Track spikes
  • Volleyball knee pads
  • Soccer shin guards

You can drop off to the main office. Thank you in advance for your support of our students!




Our next CASL unit focuses on resource scarcity around the world. Students will create their own newscasts to explore a particular resource and the effects of scarcity on a particular area of the world. To help introduce this unit, we invited speakers from four organizations: Jane Wilch with the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center, Pat Herath with Wells4Wellness, Carol Sweeting with the City of Iowa City Water Treatment Plant, and Frances Owen with the Johnson County Conservation office. Students were able to ask questions and learn about the ways Iowa City maintains its water and keeps it clean. Students also learned about the process of drilling wells in Niger and similarities and differences between accessing clean water in Iowa City and doing so in Niger.

Please come and enjoy the music!

Orchestra Concert- Wednesday 11/6 7:30p.m. Opstad Auditorium, City High School

Band Concert- Thursday 11/7 7:30p.m. Opstad Auditorium, City High School

Choir Concert- Tuesday 11/12 7:30pm. Opstad Auditorium, City High School

Mr. Smith Science News

Mr. Smith's science class recently finished up the short "Moon Phases" and "Chemistry" units and started "Phase Changes". This week we brought in some liquid nitrogen and demonstrated how a large inflated balloon can be packed into a very small dewar of LN2 (which is -320 degrees F) because the molecules get so cold, slow down, and take up much less space. Students were able to witness the balloon shrinking and actually see the air in the balloon briefly turn into a liquid! We will go a bit further this week and talk about intermolecular forces as we dissolve sugar in boiling water to create rock candy. It will hopefully be exciting for the students to observe (and draw of course!) the crystals slowing growing over a couple of weeks of class. As we progress through our Phase Change unit some other fun things we will do include comparing dry ice as it dissolves in different solvents and at different temperatures, another stop motion project showing how the molecules move in different states of matter, attempting to stack hot water on top of cold, MORE liquid nitrogen (hopefully making ice cream), leaf chromatography and hopefully so much more! We are very, very lucky to be receiving a number of Vernier Go Direct Sensors in the coming weeks which will provide even more great opportunities for our kids to get involved in fun activities while learning how to gather and analyze data using awesome technology!

If you are a scientist or have a career in a science related field I encourage you to come in for an afternoon and share some of the exciting things you get to do with our students!

CPR Unit in PE

Staying Alive, Staying Alive ah, ah, ah, Staying Alive. Call -911 then Sing that song while delivering 30 compressions to the beat of the song and 2 breaths while giving CPR. Adult one-rescuer CPR performance tests will be given second trimester in physical education classes. Students will also learn to save a choking baby, child and adult. They will also learn how to save a baby, child and adult using the American Heart Association CPR for the Schools Curriculum. Performance tests will be graded. Staying Alive!

Upcoming Fundraiser for the Washington D.C. Trip!

Short's Eastside will be holding a Community Benefit Night for the SE Washington, DC trip on Wednesday, November 20. From 5-close, 15% of all sales, including carryout, will be donated to the SE DC trip.
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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 club will be starting second trimester the week of November 19th. More information to come from Ms. Crandall.

Math Counts: Math Counts members work to prepare for the Chapter and State Math Counts competitions through innovative problem solving to challenging mathematical situations. Math Counts will meet with Ms. Degner from 8:00-8:45 AM. First meeting 9/4.

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:

January 13, 2020

April 20, 2020

Minutes from the October 21 Meeting- (Unapproved- will be voted on for approval at the next meeting)

South East Junior High PSTO Meeting Minutes

7 p.m., Monday, Oct. 21, 2019


Attendees: Sara Moninger, Heather Bright, Michelle Cook, Allison Brewer, Ashley Shields, Jenny Nace, Lori Kramer, Renae McKay, Teresa Svec, Mandi Bozarth, Mindy Romero

Principal’s report

· Enrollment – Total enrollment this year is at 827 students, up from last year’s 775. Michelle said the increase has been manageable, with most classes still at 30 or fewer students. There are 420 seventh-graders and 407 eighth-graders (an increase she attributed to boundary changes). The 10-plex helps tremendously but that will go away next year.

· Construction – Work is moving right along, with three-quarters of it complete. The courtyard should be ready by end of month (landscaping is still to be done). The hallway by the art room also should also be open by end of month. Four classrooms were completed ahead of schedule, and a couple of science rooms are almost done. Temperature control for each room has been a really nice addition. The renovated main office/guidance area is scheduled to be done after winter break, when work will begin on the old library, which will be converted into five classrooms and a collaborative area. All Phase I construction should be complete by August 2020. Phase II, which includes work on the band room, the kitchen, and cafeteria, will then commence.

· Standards-based grades – Some teachers of math and Spanish have adopted a standards-based grading method, which assesses a student based on mastery of the material taught and does not take into account extra credit or other ways students have traditionally been able to earn points. It is very similar to what parents see in elementary school conferences (when, rather than earning a letter grade, students can get a 1, 2, or 3). In these select South East classes, students get a score between 1 and 4 (with 4 being the highest score), based on how well they know the material. If a student does not score a 4, the material is retaught and the student can earn a new score. Michelle said she understands this different method may make some parents and students uncomfortable, but they are committed to finding out why students’ Iowa Assessments math scores dip in eight-grade before rebounding in ninth grade. The benefits, she added, include more accountability and no more “squeaking by.” Teachers will talk about it more and continue to assess the method during professional development.

Treasurer’s report

· Renae reported a balance of $3450.91 with fall donations accounting for $818.

· Step It Up – Allison reported that the fall fundraiser, which was deemed shady by many, brought in $3,200. In comparison, Michelle said that last year’s fundraiser drew $8,500, but noted that one person was responsible for $3,500. With the controversy surrounding the fundraiser and its lack of success, Michelle said she does not want the school to pursue it in the future. Allison said she has spoken with Heather about what to do for the remainder of the year (and next year) and they have discussed options for get motivating students to participate and encouraging parents to donate. There was discussion about whether the PSTO should wait until spring and pursue a different kind of fundraiser, or push off additional fundraising altogether until next year.

· Venmo or Paypal option for donations – Heather noted that Venmo will take 3%. The ICCSD Foundation will take 5% but that money stays in district, and Michelle pointed out that South East has benefited from multiple ICCSD Foundation grants. Michelle said she can provide more specific info about how the school benefits from donations in general, as that may entice parents to contribute.

Districtwide Parents’ Organization (DPO) report

· Lori handed out copies of the DPO’s financial report and summarized discussions from the first two meetings of the year. Topics included district happenings over the summer, the DPO Facebook group (look up “Iowa City Community Schools Districtwide Parents’ Organization”), sustainability efforts, officer openings for next year and how to fill them, secondary PBIS, the playground committee, what the ICCSD Foundation does with its $3 million budget (e.g., School of the Wild, music programs, Avid), and more. Other topics included the Dine Out for Schools program, which has been very successful, and paired schools and charter schools, which the district is still considering for Iowa City.

· The next DPO meeting will be at South East on Nov. 13 and will focus on assessments; human trafficking will be a topic in a spring meeting.

Box Tops report

· Allison reported that directions for using the Box Tops phone app were included in last parent newsletter. Multiple attendees agreed that the app is very slick; users simply need to scan their grocery receipts.

Hospitality report

· Mandi talked about the taco bar arranged for teachers during conferences last week and said there would be a potato bar this week. The Signup Genius sent to parents has worked well. Michelle said teachers have requested that food be available between 4 and 4:30 p.m. since the lack of a break during conferences kept some teachers from being able to enjoy the food.

President’s report

· Heather noted that South East will be hosting a DPO meeting on Nov. 13. El Bandito’s will do a taco bar for $300 and Hy Vee will provide cookies. She said there are also some gift cards left over from conferences that will be used for salad and dressing. Renae made a motion to approve the expenditures, and Teresa seconded; the motion passed unanimously.

Current and upcoming events

· Teacher wish lists – Michelle said she asked teachers to submit a list of things they purchase with own funds (Kleenex, dry erase markers, etc.) and will in turn ask parents to donate those items directly to the school. Other needs include bus passes (which last for 31 days after first use), with transportation for student-athletes identified as a bigger need during the winter months, and gently used sports equipment and gym clothes (tennis shoes, cleats, uniforms, etc.). Michelle said she will include this info in the next parent newsletter, and Heather suggested that bus passes could be included as part of a spring fundraiser.

· 8th grade party planning – This annual party is held after school on a Thursday near the end of May), but Heather said planning will need to start before the next PSTO meeting in January. The PSTO organizes games and collects donations for prize packages (no more than $50 value), and Heather said the more people who can help, the better.

New business

· Mindy shared some kind words for the staff: “Every kid I’ve talked to who goes here is so happy, so thank you for what you do.”

· Mandi moved to approve the minutes from the May meeting, and Sara seconded it; the minutes were approved unanimously.

Next meeting

· The next PSTO meeting will be held Jan. 13, 2020.

(The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.)

Teacher Wish List

Thank you to everyone who has signed up to donate supplies for the teacher wish list! Your generosity and support is greatly appreciated!

One item that is on the list is "31 Day Youth Bus Pass". The school has asked for these donations to help supports students who wish to participate in after school sports and activities but have barriers with transportation. Many of the students who live a considerable distance are unable to participate, or are walking home several miles across the highway and in the dark after practice ends at 6:00. These bus passes provide opportunities for those students to stay involved. Thank you for considering! The link to sign up is below:

Thank You!

South East staff would like to say, "thank you" for the wonderful conference meals! We appreciate the generosity of PSTO and the individuals listed below:

Kristy Dilanni, Emily Droll, Linh Pham, Gorsia Clore, Amy Bouska, Jody Harmsen, Erin Rindles, Erica LeClair, Anita Johnson, Ashley Shields, Anna McComas, Jennifer Angerer, David Borgman Germann, Courtney Nelson, Kelly Clay, Jay Dial Parlet, Devin Redmond, Laura Bergus, Danni Holanda, Bridget Brenton, Mary Murphy, Claudia Reyes, Kris Lumb, Jennifer Reed, Teresa Bloomquist, Kelli Kucera, Teresa Galluzo, Nasredin Dalil, Jenny Nace, Dalena Tran, Tammy Anson, Teresa Svec, Mandi Kowal, Lauren Naeve, Jean Littleton, Roland Racevskis, Dayna Ballantyne, Lori Hagedorn, Lori Kramer, Andrea Gugliuzza, Jessica Brown, Marta Hamity, AJ Lehman, and Joy Nye



October PBIS Data and November Focus

We had 79 entries in our behavior referral document. Out of the 79 entries:

*20 entries were for documentation purposes only, no follow up requested

*21 entries were followed up on by administration

*16 entries were dealt with in our SAC (Student Advisory Center)

*8 entries requested re-entry meetings with student and teacher

*8 entries required a tardy action plan to be completed by a student

*The classroom was the location with the most referrals, followed by hallway, then bathroom

Based on our data, our PBIS team has put together a November PBIS classroom focus. Our SOAR classroom expectations are:

SELF DISCIPLINE-be on time to class

OWNERSHIP-have materials ready

ACHIEVEMENT-be on task and follow directions the first time

RESPECT-listen and be open to others' ideas

The week of November 4th, we will focus on Self-Discipline. Students can earn daily SOAR points for being on time with special drawings and non-tardy parties. Classes with perfect attendance all week will be eligible for a special drawing on Friday for a class pizza party.

The week of November 11th will focus on Ownership. Each class will have their own ownership chart to fill out each day. Charts will showcase the number of students who came prepared with needed materials to class. Classrooms with the highest percentages will be eligible for a ice cream party on Friday the 15th.

The week of November 18th we will focus on Achievement. We will acknowledge achievement in the classroom with SOAR points, and special classroom visits looking for on task behaviors.

The week of 25th we will have special acknowledgements for classrooms and individuals who have SOARed all month.



Boys Basketball and Girls Swimming

Boys basketball and girls swimming is in full swing. We are still looking for volunteers to help out at home swim meets. If you are available, please sign up below:

Sports Competition Schedules and Information

Stadium Clean Up

Our last stadium clean up is 11/24. Gates open at 7:00 AM. We are usually done by 8:15. If you have a gas leaf blower we encourage you to bring it with you. The more blowers we have the better job we do and the sooner we are done. If you do not have a blower, report to the concourse under the west stands to get brooms and bags. We encourage recycling of all cardboard and plastic items. There are recycling bags available in the west concourse. Please start at the top of the stadium and work down. Move all waste materials to an aisle and then clean the aisles from the top down. All bags of garbage and recyclables should be moved to the concourse area. South East is responsible for the entire south end zone so please stay until we are all done. This a major athletic fundraising activity for South East, and we encourage all student athletes to attend regardless if your sport is currently in session. The money that we receive helps pay for athletic uniforms and equipment for all sports. Thanks in advance for your help.

Box Tops for Education

South East is collecting Box Tops for Education. This process has been made even easier now that Box Tops has an App. Please check out the link below with directions for getting the Box Tops App and how it works!

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