The Morris Minute

October 2019

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!

WOW! ONE MONTH DOWN ALREADY!?!? Conferences are a mere two weeks away. We have a lot going on at Morris and I am proud of the hard work the teachers and students are putting in early to make the year a successful one. We are currently finishing up fall screening in reading and we will use that data to target skills that students can improve upon, and find the instructional routines that can assist in making that a reality. That said, I am most proud of our efforts to get to know our students and celebrate the awesomeness that they show on a regular basis!

I put this in last year's Morris Minute for October:

"October is “National Now is a Good Time to Remind Students to Dress Appropriately for the Outdoor Weather Month”. (Kidding, I just made that up) We will continue to remind them on our end, but we will need your help to make sure they are coming to school prepared for the elements. We do not have a significant stockpile of hats, gloves, and coats for those that may not be prepared. When temps are below 32 degrees, at drop-off time, we will bring students inside to wait in the halls for the rest of the building to open. We will, however, still send them out for recess until the feels like temperature is 10 degrees or lower. We will also try to follow those guidelines for pick-up after school. Be patient as we radio into the building to have your student(s) sent outside to be picked up."

On a similar note, I wanted to remind parents of a couple of items. We will have people on duty for drop-off in the morning right around 7:55. This allows our people to arrive and get things put away before they get out there. Also, breakfast is served from 7:30-8:10. Please arrive for breakfast within this time frame to allow your student enough time to eat.

Year Six of Morris Elementary's existence is off to a fantastic start! I can't thank you enough for showing flexibility with the changes we have tried to put in place. I am sure there will be more down the road. We are 729 students strong PK-2, and getting to know each other every day! Man, that's a TON of fist bumps, high fives, and hugs each day. If that doesn't make someone smile......I am not sure what will!?!?

Happy Fall everyone!



Important Dates to Remember

September 30 - 2pm Dismissal

October 1 - PTO Fundraiser begins

October 3 - PTO Meeting - 6:30pm - Morris Library

October 7 - 2pm Dismissal

October 14 - PTO Fundraiser Packets Due

October 14 - 2pm Dismissal

October 14 - 3-7pm Parent Teacher Conferences

October 17 - 2pm Dismissal

October 17 - NO Afternoon Preschool

October 17 - 3-7pm Parent Teacher Conferences

October 18 - NO SCHOOL - Professional Development

October 21 - 2pm Dismissal

October 25 - Fall Classroom Parties

October 28 - 2pm Dismissal

October 30 - Beggar's Night in Bondurant

November 4 - 2pm Dismissal

November 5 - School Board and City Elections

November 5 - Picture Retakes

November 14 - 5-7pm - PTO Fundraiser pick up

Want to see the entire year? Click HERE!

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Art on the Lake

On Saturday, September 21st, Morris Elementary participated in the Art on the Lake Festival at Copper Creek Lake Park in Pleasant Hill. All of our classes worked together to create two trees that were "Wrapped in Peace." Even our 3-4 year old preschoolers stamped peace signs on the boxes that held out Please Pass the Peace cards! This school-wide effort was a HUGE success, reaching out to the community around us and showing how we can share peace with others.

Thank you for supporting your student’s art and our school.

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Counting Collections

Do you have lots of little items sitting idle in your house? Do you want them to be put to good use but don't know what to do with them? Mrs. Patten, our Building School Improvement Leader, has got a great idea for you! Bring them on into Morris - our students love to count - and visual and tactile learning experiences make a bigger impact so she would like to give them LOTS of options for things to count. Here is a short list of items that would work: buttons, googly eyes, craft/popsicle sticks, mini erasers, decorative glass stones, beads, old baseball cards, pom poms, a box of pasta, bag of unpopped popcorn, coffee stirrers, cereal, etc. If you would like to help our classrooms build their counting collections, please label the items "for Mrs. Patten" and have your child drop them off in the office. Also, take some time to count little things at home with your student. (How many forks are in the drawer? How many stairs are there? How many chairs around the table?) Each time you reinforce learning happening at school, it helps your child cement the concept. Thanks in advance and Happy Counting!

Know the Iowa Law

Please see the graphic below to better understand when it is OK to pass a stopped school bus, and when it is not.

The first offense is a simple misdemeanor and penalties are as follows:

  • Fine: At least $250, but not more than $675
  • Imprisonment: The court may order imprisonment not to exceed 30 days in lieu of or in addition to a fine.
  • Driving privilege suspension: The Iowa DOT will impose a 30-day suspension.
  • Insurance: SR-22 requirements

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Lunch Menus

Current lunch menus are always available on the website - if you hover over the little milk carton on the right side of the main page, you can find the breakfast and lunch menus for the month.

Reminder: You can apply for Free/Reduced Price Meals anytime during the school year, even if you have been turned down before & your circumstances have changed. You can find the 2018-2019 Iowa Application for Free & Reduced Price School Meals on the school website under Departments and Food Services. You can also pick up a hard copy in any building office or contact Karen Miller at and request to have one mailed to you.

Lunch Times

Be sure to check with your child's teacher for their exact lunch time. Each grade has two overlapping shifts. While the rest of the schedule adjusts slightly on our Monday early out schedule, the lunch schedule remains the same.

2nd: 10:55-11:20 & 11:10-11:35

1st: 11:30-12 & 11:45-12:15

Kindergarten: 12:10-12:35 & 12:25-12:50

Parent / Teacher Conferences

The first set of conferences is scheduled for Monday, October 14 & Thursday, October 17 from 3-7pm both nights. We will have a 2pm dismissal both of those days. Our Spring Conferences will be held on Monday, February 24 & Thursday, February 27. The timing of those conferences will be decided after Fall conferences have been completed.
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Please remember to save Box Tops for Morris Elementary! Our students love to see all of the awesome new books when the Box Top money comes in! Your students can turn box tops in at the office, or to their classroom teacher. You can now upload box tops from your grocery receipts - but we still do accept the cut out ones too.

Wish List

We have had several requests for a list of what teachers and staff might like. Click HERE to see a compiled list.
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Traffic Patterns

Please be sure to familiarize yourself with the drop off and pick up map so you are aware which lot you will need to use. If you need a Color coded sign, please let Jen or your teacher know and we can send a sign home for you with your student.

A few notes from Ms. Jen

Wow - October already tomorrow. Thank you all for a great start to the school year! Our Morris Jays are learning routines and moving right along. We even had our first assembly in the new gym and I loved seeing all of the students celebrating being Bondurant's BEST.

Please check your child's take home folder or backpack daily for any little gems, notes, fliers, and various other masterpieces your student might bring home. Soon, our 1st & 2nd graders will be bringing home a flier about upcoming basketball camps. Our yearbook information will be sent home shortly too. (Yearbooks don't arrive til May, but you can order early and get a discounted price.)

And, as Mr. Anderson noted above, be sure to dress your student for the actual 'feels like' temp instead of the forecast high for the day. Outside play is important at this age, and your student needs to be able to be comfortable enough to participate.

Be sure to have your students check the Lost and Found bins for items they may have misplaced. Another tip - write their name in/on lunchboxes, jackets, sweatshirts, water bottles - pretty much anything that may get left behind and need help to find its rightful owner again. :)

We have conferences coming up in October - this means an additional early dismissal - on Thursday, October 17 (NO afternoon preschool that day) and NO SCHOOL for any Morris students on Friday, October 18. I will be in the office both afternoons during conferences (3-7pm) if you need to stop by to see me for any reason.

Conferences also mean the Book Fair! This year, the book fair will be HERE, in our building! It will be set up in front of the new gym during conference hours each night and we will let you know the other times it will be staffed by PTO volunteers. I love seeing students get excited about new books - some of them are even as excited as I get when picking out a new book to read. :)

Picture packets will probably be back to us the fourth week of October - we will send them home when we get them. A few students turned in envelopes late, those packets may be a few days behind - please be patient when we start getting them in - we will send them home as soon as we can. Picture retakes are scheduled for November 5 - if your student was absent last Tuesday, they are on the list to have their picture taken in November.

The PTO fundraiser is starting tomorrow - I do not have much to do with this, other than remind you when due dates and pick up dates are - if you have ANY questions about the fundraiser, please direct them to the PTO contact on the form.

I'm pretty sure there is more to tell you - just look for my weekly updates and keep on keeping everyone in the loop for absences, appointments, early pick ups and so on. Have a fantastic October!


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