PENN PRIDE: we have. we are.


Tonight was our first ever Tell Your Story Night. Students and staff have spent a lot of time preparing to share their learning, creativity and stories with our community. Tonight, though, it was so amazing to watch all ages learning from each other and celebrating others' stories.

We'll compile pictures and share more next week. THANKS to everyone who contributed! And thanks to everyone who attended. Everyone has a story to tell.

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Music Sharing

Music Informances Wednesday, May 15- Penn Gym

8:30 AM 3rd Grade

9:00 AM 2nd grades: Mrs. Cupp and Mrs. Strunk’s classes

9:30 AM 2nd grades: Mrs. Papesh, Mrs. Pieper-Askelson and Mrs. Glick’s classes 10:00 AM 5th Grade

10:25 AM Music Club

10:40 AM 4th Grade

Looking ahead to 2019-2020

We are full force making transitions plans for next school year. There are many big changes coming to Penn with Grant opening. These changes are kind of bittersweet -- exciting and also, emotional, but all good.

Students: A lot of students will be moving to Grant next year, and students from Lincoln and Wickham will be joining the Penn Pride. Penn currently has 640 students, and is project to have about 440 students next year.


Congratulations to Catherine Young who is retiring!

Kayla Dietzel and her family are moving as her husband begins his career as a dentist.

Several teachers are also moving to Grant. We are excited for these teachers who are becoming Grant Grizzlies: Jenny Lorch, Alys Thoensen, Abby Papesh, Andrea Pieper-Askelson, Kristin Schmidt, Matt Wisniewski, Drew Landolt and Noah DeLong.

At Penn, we are excited for some new assignments and a lot of rearranging around the building and we spread out a bit. I'm sharing assignments as we know them now with the caution that there could still be changes.

K: Traci Meyers, Val Calderwood, Cassie Strunk

1st: Sherri Clemence, Jen Rose, Vicky Cupp

2nd: Carrie Glick, Kanndi Dick, Carla Chabal

3rd: Ashley Bonnet, Nicole Luense, Angie Shive

4th: Lisa Roberts, Kathy Durband

5th: Curtis Butler, Ashley Duthie

6th: Dennis Newell, Jodi Krueger

Special education: Alexis Otte, Chrissy Dodds, Jill Happel, Gina Folkerts


We will work on class lists later this month. Typically I begin inviting parent input about class lists right after spring break. This year, with all the changes, I am hesitant to add more variables to our class list work and I want to be sensitive to the changes everyone is facing. So, parents if you need to give input, you may pick up a form in the Penn office. Input will be limited to only your student's needs. Please do not request a specific teacher. Input must be received by May 15.

CAUTION around road construction

*PARENTS: please talk with your children about how to navigate the area around Reds. I would strongly encourage avoiding this area if at all possible.*

Spring is in the air and that brings a lot of road construction, but especially this year at the Front/Penn intersection where the four way stop is becoming a roundabout.

We reached out to the city of North Liberty this week and received this helpful information with options for navigating through that area.

A temporary sidewalk is being installed on the northwest corner of the Front/Penn site to connect the current sidewalks along Front and Penn streets.

For parents who want to avoid the site entirely, we have a map of open trail and sidewalks online which might help, available here:

For kids traveling around the construction, the designated crossing of Front Street is at Jefferson Street, and of Penn Street it is at Stewart Street. Unfortunately, either detour might add distance the student’s route, but a few extra steps are worth their safety. Please stress to your children to only cross at Jefferson Street or Stewart Street.

And for everyone driving, please stay extra alert for children!

The good news is that while we’re dealing with this in the spring, we expect the sidewalks and trails to be reopened ahead of the next school year and Christine Grant Elementary.

from the school nurse

Required immunizations

Per Iowa law, junior high students must have a meningococcal vaccine (to prevent meningitis, a bacteria that infects the brain, blood and spinal cord) and a Tdap booster (to prevent tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis/whooping cough). Please check your child’s immunization record or call their health care provider to find out if they had the Tdap booster and meningitis shot and make an appointment if needed. Johnson County Public Health also provides the immunizations at no cost to children with or without health insurance. Please call 319-356-6042 to make an appointment. Please turn in an updated “Certificate of Immunization” before the new school year begins. Your child may not be able to attend school without these required vaccines.


All students who are interested in playing a sport in junior high MUST have a current pre-participation “sports” physical exam on file at their school. You can turn this in prior to the start of their sport season (or at the start of the school year). A physical exam is good for 13 months from the date of the exam before expiring. Please schedule an appointment with your health care provider now to ensure that your child will be allowed to practice and play when school starts in August. If your child does not have health insurance, free medical care (including sports physicals) is available through the Healthy Kids School-based Health Clinics. Call the Clinic Coordinator at 319-631-3204 (Se habla español; Français parlé). The Clinic is open during the summer.


Iowa law requires that all 9th graders have a dental screen done by a dentist or dental hygienist between the beginning of 8th grade and spring of their 9th grade year. Ask your child’s dentist/ dental hygienist to complete the Iowa “Certificate of Dental Screening” form. Please return the completed certificate to your child's school office. If your child does not have dental insurance coverage or you cannot pay for dental care, contact the Johnson County Public Health I-Smiles Coordinator at 319-356-6045 for assistance.

All forms are available on the district website:


The last day of school will be May 31. This is just a half day of school and we'll dismiss at 10:55.

8:15 - 6th grade Celebration in the gym. Parents and special guests are invited

9:00 - 10:30 Fun Activities on the playground. Families are welcome. You will not need to check in at the office, but should just meet your child on the playground.

10:30 - 10:55 Students will return to their classrooms for a closing activity with their teacher and classmates. Parents may wait outside (weather permitting) for dismissal.

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"Pay to Ride" Bus Option

If you live less than 2 miles from Penn you will not be routed for bus transportation. However, you can fill out the attached “Pay to Ride” form to apply for busing.

If there is room on the bus, the District can provide a bus for your student through the “Pay to Ride” program.

  • If your family is on free lunch, there is NO CHARGE!

  • If your family is on reduced lunch, the fee is $260 per student per year.

  • If your family is NOT eligible for free or reduced lunch, the fee is $438 per student per year.

Please know that seats on the bus will be filled on a first-come, first-serve basis. So please get your application in as soon as possible!

The deadline to apply is June 3rd. Please use this link: to access the application form.

The application can be turned into Penn no later than May 31st.

If you have questions or need help with the form, please contact the office at 688-1150.

Info from ICCSD

  • Attendance Zones

    The Iowa City Community School District Board of Directors approved new elementary attendance areas for the 2019-20 school year. The new boundaries were approved during their November 27 board meeting. The updated maps can be found on the District website at the following link: In addition, the District’s Attendance Area Look-Up links have been updated to reflect the approved boundary changes. The Attendance Area Look-Up links provide school information specific for your home address. The links can be found on the District website at the following link: Junior high and high school students may also be impacted by these changes. Please be sure to check the Attendance Area Look-Up link above to determine if changes to the elementary boundaries have affected your student.

  • Elementary Roadmap - Please be sure to regularly check the timeline of events over the remainder of the year. This can be found here.

Info for Future Grant Grizzlies

Christine Grant Elementary Facebook site:

Looking Ahead

  • Tuesday, May 7: PTO in the Library @ 7pm
  • Monday, May 13: 5th & 6th grade Track & Field at City High, approx. noon. Note the change in location.
  • Music Informances Wednesday, May 15- Penn Gym

    8:30 AM 3rd Grade

    9:00 AM 2nd grades: Mrs. Cupp and Mrs. Strunk’s classes

    9:30 AM 2nd grades: Mrs. Papesh, Mrs. Pieper-Askelson and Mrs. Glick’s classes 10:00 AM 5th Grade

    10:25 AM Music Club

    10:40 AM 4th Grade

  • May 31: Last Day of School

8:15 6th grade Celebration
9:00 - 10:30 Fun on the playground, families welcome

10:55 Dismissal