South East Update


Hello Little Hawk Families

Hard to believe we are already in December! Time really does fly when you are having fun! Please check out the information in the newsletter for updates and news about events coming up and reminders for a successful month. As always, if you have questions please do not hesitate to let us know. We are grateful for your support and appreciate the opportunity to work with your students.

Michelle Cook

School Contacts

Main Office- 319- 688-1070

Michelle Cook- Principal-

Emily Dvorak- Assistant Principal-

Aryana Ruiz- Office Manager-

Pam Quigley- Front Receptionist-

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-

Jill Coffman- Guidance Counselor-

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

Nikol Carlson- Athletic Secretary-

Allison Brewer- Dean of Students-


Administrative Reminders

2018-2019 Registration

It's hard to believe we need to start thinking about next school year already when it fees like we just started this one! After we return from winter break SEJH counselors and administrators will begin visiting 7th grade classes to discuss registration for 8th grade. High school counselors will be coming in January to visit 8th grade classes to discuss 9th grade registration. We will send more information with specific dates as it gets closer. Please remember if you are an 8th grade family attending on a voluntary transfer and do not intend to attend your home school for high school, a new transfer form will need to be filled out and turned into the ESC. If you need help getting a form, please contact the guidance office. Counselors from both City High and West High will be at SE for 9th grade registration as we have students who will attend both schools.

Illness Policy

Please remember that if your student needs to go home in the middle of the day due to illness we ask that they go to the health office! They can text you from their phone, but we still ask them to go to the health office so we monitory them and code them "medical" for their absence. It causes a lot of confusion when parents show up to pick up a student who has texted them and we have no idea they are ill.

If your student has a medical appointment during the school day you can bring a note from the doctor so that the absence gets coded "medical" instead of appointment or illness. The district attendance policy requires school to send attendance letters once a student reaches 8 or more absences. Medically excused absences are not counted in this and never count against a student. If you have attendance related questions, please contact Emily Dvorak or Tonya Burkett.

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

Traffic Pattern Reminders

With the colder weather we have more parents choosing to pick up and drop off students. It is imperative that we follow the appropriate traffic rules and guidelines to ensure student safety. We have had several close calls lately with students nearly, or in one case getting hit by cars as they drop off. PLEASE follow the guidelines:

  • Cars are not allowed in the bus lane between 8:30 and 8:50, and again between 3:45pm (2:45 on Thursdays) and 4:15pm.
  • There is NO stopping, parking or dropping off on Bradford Dr. directly in front of the school. This has been the most problematic area for us as parents will stop there to wait for their students. The police department and City of Iowa City has designated this as a no stopping/parking zone to ensure student safety. It is also a problem for buses to try and exit onto Bradford with cars parked there. Please abide by the rules.
  • Parents may use the back parking lot- please ensure there is room for special ed buses to get through, or Mercer to drop off and pick up.

Arrival to School

With the colder weather please remember that we have no indoor supervision for students until 8:30a.m. If you must drop your student off before that time, please make sure they are dressed appropriately for the weather.

Class Updates

Colonial Shark Tank!

Check out the pictures and description of a very cool project that our CASL 8 classes did 1st trimester! We are so proud of the CASL 8 teachers and students for taking on this project- it was awesome!

Colonial Shark Tank is a project-based learning opportunity that encourages students to work collaboratively while applying their knowledge of the core content areas (science, social studies, and language arts) effectively in thinking and in reasoning. It is designed to increase student creativity, motivation, and learning while providing an opportunity for authentic interaction with community members.

For this project, students analyzed fictitious scouting notes from five colonial locations in a “reimagined” New World. Using their understanding from the content areas of science (wind patterns, ocean currents, and climate), social studies (colonization), and language arts (analytical and persuasive writing), students prepared a “pitch” to investors asking for financial support of their new colony. On the day of the Colonial Shark Tank, student finalists presented their thesis, along with evidence to support their thesis, to a panel of Investor Sharks.

Students used iPads and green screens from ICCSD Foundation Grant to record weather and climate reports for each colony, and KCRG Meteorologist (and ICCSD graduate) Kaj O'Mara worked with students to perfect their forecasting technique.

Evan Hartley, Innovation IDS, worked with students to create colonial crests and company logos in Google Drawings. You'll notice the group of girls in the first picture even had t-shirts made that included their company logo!

Shark investors included Michelle Cook, Fred Newell (basketball coach, CHS staff member, director of The Kingdom Center), Brad Kelly (SEJH staff member), Ronetta Jenkins (former SEJH student who has established her own credit recovery business), Professor Mitch Kelly (UI) and Mike Haverkamp. Hy-Vee donated cookies. :-)

Special thanks to IDS Kelsi Salter and teacher-librarians Chelsea Sims and Diane Brown for their guidance and support throughout this project.

Orchestra News!

November was a very busy month for the SE Orchestras! Both orchestras gave their first performance of the year on November 8th, sharing the stage with the City High Orchestras. On November 9th, the 7th grade orchestra was visited by professional cellist Seth Parker Woods. He performed for the class and shared about his life as a travelling professional musician. Every year in November, several SE orchestra students are nominated to participate in the Iowa Junior Honors Orchestra Festival in Ames. This festival brings the best 7th-9th grade string players from around the state to work with a professional conductor. This year, six South East students were selected for this festival and great honor. In December, both orchestras will be performing in the ICCSD Jr. High String Festival. Students will have the opportunity to work with the Univ. of Iowa orchestra conductor, Dr. Jones, and also hear the other junior high orchestras perform. Looking past the winter break, nine South East students will participate in the Southeast Iowa String Teachers Association Honors Orchestra in Bettendorf.

South East Washington, DC trip, Spring Break,2020! Don’t miss out!

As may already know, Mr. Merulla leads a group of students to Washington, DC and colonial Williamsburg, over Spring Break. He travels every other year, and the next trip will be March 17-20, 2020. That may seem like a long way off, but it will be here sooner than you may think!

This trip is open to any 8th or 9th grade student in the year 2020. This includes this year’s 8th graders, who may travel with us as freshman at City next year.

Mr. Merulla is already planning this trip, including the itinerary and fundraising opportunities.

Starting Tuesday, December 4, Mr. Merulla will have information packets available in his room. He will hold a parent meeting this Spring.

For further information, you may contact Mr. Merulla at

PSTO Information

Fall "Non Fund-Raiser"

Dear South East Junior High Parents and Guardians,

As your PTSO President, I want to ask you to consider a year-end donation to SEJH for our non-fundraiser fundraiser! For years, SE raised significant funds through their magazine sales to friends and families. However, as magazines have lost popularity, SE struggled to raise funds this way. The PTSO decided two years ago to simply ask for donations directly WITHOUT asking you or your students to sell anything. This is great for two reasons…you aren’t hitting up friends and family AND SEJH receives 100% of the money!

Unfortunately, many of the things that education budgets covered when we were kids…don’t anymore. That means that if our kids want to experience field trips---the PTSO covers much of the cost. We also pay for sports uniforms, many teacher requests for materials, and much more. Each bus for any activity cost $300! I know---it’s crazy.

So here is the deal…I won’t ask you to chaperone one of these Jr. High field trips if you send in a donation

AND in other great news…SouthEast Jr. High is now its own 501(c)3 organization so your donations are tax deductible!

Please mail your check (preferred method) to SEJH PTSO at 2501 Bradford Dr., Iowa City, IA 52240 or have your student drop it off in the office. Credit cards can be taken at

Our families always rise to the challenge when we send out request for conference meals or teacher needs, please help us provide every student exciting educational opportunities by making a donation today.


Brianna Wills

PTSO President, SEJH

No Contribution is Too Large or Too Small!

  • $10 I am thrilled not to participate in another catalog sales program.

  • $30 I am relieved not to purchase magazines that I do not have time to read.

  • $50 I am excited to use the Sunday comics to wrap gifts instead of expensive gift wrap.

  • $75 I look forward to not spending an evening baking to supply goodies for a bake sale.

  • $100 I relish the prospect of not asking friends and neighbors to buy trinkets.

  • $150 I am happy to give 100% of this donation to Southeast and not to a fundraising company.

  • $200 Thank you for NOT allowing me to chair the fundraising committee!


BoxTops for Education!

"Did you know that Southeast Junior High earns money for Box Tops? Box Tops are found on everyday items you use in your home. Please bring your Box Tops into the office to help us purchase supplies and equipment for the school. Thank you!"

PBIS and Other Supports

South East PBIS: Winter SOAR Party

The PBIS process looked at our referral data for the month of November and has come up with a fun SOAR expectation focus for the month of December, called "SOAR Winter Wonderland". Winter Wonderland will focus on our SOAR expectations in the classroom.

Self-Discipline: Be on time and Be on task

Ownership: Bring materials and charged Chromebook to class

Achievement: Set academic goals and complete work on time

Respect: Take care of classroom materials and be open to new ideas

We have some fun days planned to help teach, reinforce and acknowledge positive classroom behaviors. We will end our Winter Wonderland with our annual SOAR Winter Party on Friday, December 21st from 3-4 PM. The SOAR Winter Party provides time to celebrate and acknowledge our students for their positive behavior so far this school year. The PBIS Committee has put together different games, activities, food/drink, and a community service activity for students to attend. We do need YOUR help getting items for this party. Please click to see what items are needed! Any amount helps, as we have 800 kids to celebrate!

PBIS Rewards App

We are in the process of switching over to a electronic behavior acknowledgement system called, "PBIS Rewards." This online system will take the place of our paper acknowledgement system known as our SOAR tickets. Your students may have downloaded the free PBIS student reward app on their phone, and they can also access their information from their chromebooks or any desktop computer. If you would like to have access to your students online behavior system, please email Allison Brewer at She can help you get the parent app or desktop version set up. This would allow you to see who, when and for what expectations your student is receiving positive acknowledgements.

South East Junior High Little Hawk Time

What is "Little Hawk Time" at South East?

The purpose of Little Hawk Time is to help provide enrichment, intervention and homework time for our students during the school day. Little Hawk Time is held on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays after 5/2 or 3rd lunch for approximately 30 minutes (1:13-1:43 PM). For student who are caught up on work and don't need additional support, we like to offer enrichment for them to attend during this time. In the past, we have reached out to our South East community for enrichment ideas, and/or for volunteers to come in work with, or present to our students. In the past we have had parents/guardians who are doctors, nurses, architects, vets, etc. come in to talk about their profession, education leading up to their profession and just some fun facts. We also have also had community members come in to do knitting, yoga, etc. with our students. If you would like to share your own Little Hawk Time feedback, or are personally interested in coming in to lead an enrichment, or have some awesome community connections, please fill out the following form below.

South East Homework Club

Does your student need help with organization, studying for text/quizzes or completing homework? We have the support for you! After school Homework Club meets on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 4-5 PM in the library. Contact Mr. Bailey or Mr. Lankelma if you would like to sign you student up for one or all days per week. Students can also drop by when needed.


Winter Sports, Round 2!

Our second session of Winter sports, girls basketball and boys swimming has started. Please see schedules below.

7th grade girls basketball schedule:

8th grade girls basketball schedule:

Boys swimming schedule:

Please consider signing up to keep score at home games/meets. Please use the links below.

7th grade girls basketball score keeping:

8th grade girls basketball score keeping:

Boys Swimming


South East 2018-19 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 2018-19 Bell Schedule

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.




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 Kingsley Botchway II, Director of Equity, 1725 N. Dodge St., Iowa City, IA 52245, 319-688-1000,