Gator Gazette

Every child every day deserves the #FinestGreatestBest

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Friday, September 17, 2021

From the Principal's Desk

MySaebrs (2nd-6th Grade Families only)

Dear Families,

This letter provides information about our school’s continued efforts to identify all students who may need additional help to meet student learning goals. During the 2021-22 school year, the students in our 2nd-6th grade classrooms will participate in universal social, academic, emotional behavior screening that is designed to help schools identify students who may need additional support due to social, academic, or emotional concerns.

We will use the student universal screener, called mySAEBRS, provided through FastBridge Learning®. FastBridge Learning® is the same system we use for our reading and math screeners three times a year. The mySAEBRS screener asks students to complete a 20-item computer-based questionnaire related to their academic, emotional, and social skills. Our school’s leadership team will review the screening scores after the testing. Screening reports will be reviewed during conferences and sent home with all students as part of their end of year information.

We plan to participate in this screening three times during the year (fall, winter and spring). If you are concerned about your student participating in the mySAEBRS screening process or want additional information, please contact me.


Principal Bennett

Mask Requirement

Dear Families and Staff,

On Monday, September 13, 2021, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa granted a temporary restraining order regarding the State of Iowa’s current mask requirement ban. The mask ban prevented local school districts, cities, and counties from enacting their own mask requirements. With the restraining order granted, until further notice, school districts in Iowa can require face masks in schools.

Following tonight’s Board meeting, the Iowa City Community School District is implementing a face mask requirement for all students, staff, and visitors in our buildings and on our campuses. This decision is largely based on the CDC’s strong recommendation that face masks be worn in schools, regardless of a person's vaccination status. This requirement also aligns with the advice of our local public health experts.

The face mask requirement goes into effect Wednesday, September 15, 2021. While it includes all individuals in our buildings and on our campuses, it also includes spectators at all indoor and outdoor events. Students actively participating in athletic competitions, whether indoors or outdoors, are not required to wear masks. Students and staff on the sidelines or bench are required to wear masks. For individuals who are eligible for face mask exemption, please complete the Face Mask Exemption Form and return it to your school nurse.

As a reminder and in compliance with the President’s Executive Order on domestic transportation, students and staff are required to wear a face-covering while on a school bus or while utilizing other District-provided transportation. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in loss of bus riding privileges.

Staying aligned to the CDC guidance and the District's mask requirement, students that are outside for PE, recess or other activities do not need to wear a mask if they remain three feet apart and are only within three feet of each other for brief periods of time.

We appreciate your cooperation as we continue our efforts to control the spread of COVID-19 in our community. #ICCSDtogether


Matt Degner
Iowa City Community School District

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What's Happening at Garner...

Approved Class Snack List

Upcoming Events

Upcoming events:

September 24th- Food Truck Fundraiser 5:30-7:30pm

September 27th- Sugar Bottom Cookie fundraiser Pickup

October 4th-No School

October 5th-15th Garner Green & Pennies for a playground fundraiser

October 18th- Wig & Pen Dine out for dollars

PTO Information

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The Garner PTO needs your help! Our work fundraising and planning activities supports the students, teachers, and staff of Garner Elementary, but we can't do it without YOU. Let us know how you'd like to get involved by filling out the form for in the link below.

The PTO meets the last Monday of every month at 6:30. Our next meeting will be Monday September 27th. We are currently meeting virtually. The zoom link will be provided by Principal Bennett prior to the meeting.

**Interested in volunteering but don't have a lot of time to commit? We are in need of volunteers to help out at our Pizza Ranch dine out for dollars event on September 15th from 4-7.

We are looking for a couple of volunteers to greet families at the door & remind them to mention Garner when paying and also volunteers to help bus the tables. Please consider helping out if you can. This is an excellent volunteer opportunity for the older kiddos at Garner to help out as well. We had some 3rd-6th graders bussing the tables at the last event and they did a great job and had fun doing it as well.

️If we do not have volunteers then we do not get a % of the dine in orders, only the Togo orders.

**Who needs cookies?!? Order your delicious Sugar Bottom Bakery monster cookies and support Garner PTO! Pickup on Monday, September 27th from 5:30-6:30 at Garner.

**Garner PTO is in need of a yearbook coordinator for the 2021-2022 yearbook. Please reach out to us at if you are interested in helping plan the annual school yearbook.

**The Garner Celebration Rock is a fun way for YOU to paint a birthday message to your student! For a pre-paid $10 rental fee (proceeds to the school PTO) the Celebration Rock can be reserved for your child's special day. Read more information and sign up using this link:

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Iowa City Youth Choir

Garner Family Handbook

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

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PBIS Expectations and First School Wide Reward

1. Garner Gators have practiced expectations to show respectful, responsible and problem solver behaviors in shared spaces such as the hallways, lunch room and bathrooms. Ask your Gator about an expectation!

2. Garner Gators can earn tickets by showing respectful, responsible and problem solving behaviors each day. As a school, we are working to earn as many tickets as possible to meet our first goal. We can't wait to earn our first celebration: extra recess! #finestgreatestbest

Garner Elementary School has three School wide expectations- Respectful, Responsible, and a Problem Solver.

Library and Technology

Welcome Back Gators! At the end of last year the majority of students were issued a new Chromebook to take home for the summer. Some families opted to pick theirs up at the beginning of the school year. All current or new students who DID NOT receive their one to one Chromebook device in June will receive it on the first day of school.

Just a reminder that students and families are responsible for making sure their chromebook is charged and ready to go for school each day! Please designate a safe place for charging each night.


Jenahlee Chamberlain

Teacher Librarian

Virtual Backpack

Culture, Diversity and Equity

Health and Safety

Please visit the district website for news on the COVID dashboard, health and safety protocol and vaccine information.

Community Information

The City of North Liberty road construction Project of Ranshaw Way (965) is progressing along. The contractor is expecting to begin the next phase of this project that requires the full closure of Ranshaw Way. Closure of Ranshaw Way is from Hawkeye Dr north to Golfview Dr. The dedicated detour route is W Forevergreen Rd to S Jones Blvd to W Penn St (see attachment.) Closure will start August 30th and is expected to last until mid-November. Should the contractors expected date change, I will let you know.

Please contact me with any questions.

Thanks you,

Michael Pentacost

Non-Discrimination Statement

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 Eric Howard, Director of Equity and Employee Relations, 1725 N. Dodge St., Iowa City, IA 52245, 319-688-1000,