December Newsletter


Message from Mr. Marsden

December Newsletter

Parent Survey

How are we doing? We want to hear from our parents. Please take a moment to click the link and answer the survey below. Your feedback will be helpful for us as we always aim to improve wherever possible. Thank you for your thoughts!

Parent Survey

Arrival Times

Recently, we have had a few students who have arrived early and have had to wait outside the building unsupervised. Obviously, this creates a safety concern especially as temperatures begin to drop as we head into the winter months.

This is a friendly reminder of our arrival times at Hawthorne and Torrence.

Hawthorne Breakfast starts @ 7:40

Hawthorne Morning Recess starts @ 7:45

Students enter classrooms @ 8:00

Tardy bell @ 8:05

Torrence AM Recess starts @ 7:45

Students enter classrooms @ 8:00, Tardy after 8:05

Torrence PM Recess starts @ 11:45

Students enter classrooms @ 12:00, Tardy after 12:05

Additionally, ALL parents MUST sign into the office when visiting the school. If you need to drop off school supplies or need to speak with a teacher you must sign into the office first. Your assistance in these issues would be greatly appreciated.

Walk Up vs. Drive Up Safety Precaution

Another friendly reminder for parents who choose to walk their students to the sidewalk in the morning or choose not to wait in the car line for dismissal, please to not walk up to the drive up area. In the mornings, please use the crosswalk located by the walk up area instead or walking through the drive up traffic. In the afternoons, if you would prefer to walk up to pick up your child we ask that you call the school at (319)524-3503 and change your child's dismissal procedure.

Walking through the drive up traffic creates additional safety concerns. We do not want to see any students or parents harmed while navigating through the drive-up traffic. Additionally, at dismissal especially, we want ensure that all of our students are accounted for and are transferred into their parents care safely. When parents walk up to the drive up area to pick up their children it is likely to create confusion when we try to locate those students.

December News from Mrs. Sisk

Dear families,

Just some quick reminders:

  • Breakfast starts at 7:40 a.m. and is done being served at 8:00 a.m.

  • School starts at 8:05 a.m.

  • Dress warm – students will be outside in the mornings unless the wind chill is below +10 degrees. Students will not be let in the building until 7:40!

If your family or your child need support, please reach out to Mrs. Sisk (524-3503) for help.

As long as your child is healthy, please encourage showing up to class when school is in. Every day of school is an important opportunity for students to learn as well as connect to peers and their teachers.

Since we will not have another newsletter before break, I wanted to remind families during time off from school December 18 – January 2nd for Winter break, we want to express our gratitude for everyone who has helped keep our students safe, healthy, connected and learning.

We look forward to seeing you again when school resumes on Monday, January 3rd.

Thank you for partnering with us to help your child learn, thrive and succeed.


Heather Sisk

News from the Nurse's Desk

Click on the following link for some important health updates and information from Nurse Leah Barnes...

Nurse's Notes Newsletter


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Penguin Patch - 11/29-12/3

The Little Chiefs PTO will be hosting the 4th annual Penguin Patch fundraiser from Monday, November 29th-Friday, December 3rd. The Penguin Path holiday shoppe offers gifts ranging from $0.25 to $12. Each class will have an opportunity to shop for their loved ones at a designated time during the week. Envelopes were sent home with students listing the dates and times for their visit. Parents may use these envelopes to help their students budget their money (cash only please). We're looking forward to this event and we hope our Little Chiefs are too!

Picture Re-Takes - 12/2

For any students who are new to Hawthorne and Torrence or for any students who were absent for Picture Day, the will be a day for re-takes on Thursday, December 2nd.

Scholastic Book Fair - 12/8-12/10

The Scholastic Book Fair is here! There will be a preview day on Wednesday, December 8th. Books will be available for purchase from 7:30 am to 4:00 on 12/9 and 8:00 am to 2:00 pm on 12/10. This will take place in our Kindergarten wing. Books always make great holiday gifts!

Torrence Pre-K Family Night

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Hawthorne Winter Concert - 12/10

Our Hawthorne students are gearing up for their winter concert performance. They will be performing on Friday, December 10th at the Grand Theatre on 26 N. 6th St., Keokuk. The performance times for each grade level go as follows:

  • Kindergarten @ 5:00
  • 1st Grade @ 5:45
  • 2nd Grade @ 6:30
  • 3rd Grade @ 7:15

In the coming weeks, please watch for a letter from Ms. Guzman which specific directions for parking and performance arrival and dismissal procedures.

KCSD School Board Meeting - 12/13

Torrence Pre-K Winter Concert - 12/14

For out Littlest Chiefs, Torrence will be hosting a winter concert at the CrossView church at 1807 High St., Keokuk. Our students will be rehearsing at Crossview church during the school day and will have performances later in the evening. Our AM students will perform at 5:00 and our PM students will perform at 6:00.

Hearing Re-Checks & Absentee Screenings - 12/16

All kindergarten, 1st grade, and 2nd grade students who were absent for the first round of hearing screenings will complete hearing screenings on Thursday, December 16th.

Winter Parties - 12/16

All our students at Hawthorne and Torrence will be celebrating with winter parties on Thursday, December 16th. Each teacher will have their own scheduled party time. If you would like to know what time your student's party is please contact your child's teacher or call the office.

December Birthday Lunch & Bookstore - 12/17

Our PTO will be delivering cupcakes for all of our students with December birthdays on Friday, December 17th. The cupcakes will be handed out at lunch. PTO will also have books for purchase.

December Awards Assembly - 12/17

On December 17th, we will be hosting a student assembly for our Hawthorne students. To mark the end of the first semester we anticipate this being in person in the Hawthorne gym. We will not only recognize our monthly bucket fillers and students who demonstrated the character word of the month, but we will also award some students for academic achievements. We will also record this assembly and post it on our Facebook page for extended family to view.

Report Cards - 12/17

Friday, December 17th marks the end of the first semester. That means all students report cards will be sent home with you children. Be sure to check with your student when they get home to make sure you receive their report card.

Winter Break - NO SCHOOL - 12/18-1/2

Winter Break will be from December 18th, 2021-January 2nd, 2022. Students will return to school on Monday, December 3rd.

December Lunch Menu

For an enlarged view, please click the following link: December Lunch Menu
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Keokuk Public Library Calendar

Here is what's happening at the Keokuk Public Library. All the events are still virtual and more information can be found on their website keokuklibrary.org or on keokukevents.org.
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Box Tops For Education

Have you heard?! Box Tops For Education is going digital! No more clipping, no more sending your student to school with a baggie full of box tops. Participating brands are starting to change their packaging from a traditional Box Tops clip to the new Box Top label. If you see the label, use the new Box Tops For Education app to scan your receipt. Box Tops are still worth 10¢ each for our school. The app will find participating products purchased at any store and instantly add cash to our school's earnings online. You can download the app today!!

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Casey's Cash for Classrooms

Dear Parents,

We’re excited to share that our school is participating in Cash for Classrooms, part of Casey’s Rewards. This opens up Hawthorne Elementary to new funding opportunities to help improve learning environments for students.

The best part? Donations don’t come out of your own pocket. When you buy from Casey’s and use their rewards program you can simply turn your points into a donation to our school. Help Hawthorne Elementary make the most of this program and learn more at Caseys.com/schools.


Mike Marsden

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"It's always a great day to be at Hawthorne & Torrence!"