The Morris Minute

October 2018

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!

From The Desk of Mr. Anderson...

Hello Morris Families!

I must be naive or very forgetful. I am always amazed at how the first full month manages to fly by! Conferences are NEXT WEEK already!?! Wow! 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 math and 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.

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.

Thursday, October 25, will be the 4th Annual Morris Elementary Literacy Night! We are pleased to welcome Julia Cook to our building to talk about her many children’s books that are great for learning! Again, she will be speaking to our students that morning for a short assembly. I know we have several staff members who are super excited for this opportunity for our families!

Be safe this Halloween! Before you know it, the rest of the Holiday Season will be upon us!

Take care everyone,

Mr. Anderson

Important Dates to Remember

October 4 - 6:30pm PTO Meeting - Morris Library

October 5 - Progress Reports Go Home

October 8 - 2pm Dismissal & 4-8pm Parent Teacher Conferences

October 10 - Fire Safety Week Firetruck Visit

October 11 - 2pm Dismissal & 4-8pm Parent Teacher Conferences

October 12 - Professional Development - NO SCHOOL

October 15 - 2pm Dismissal

October 18 - 3:30 - 6pm PTO Fundraiser Item Pick Up at Anderson Elementary

October 19 - Second Grade Field Trip to Living History Farms

October 22 - 2pm Dismissal

October 25 - Literacy Night

October 26 - Fall Class Parties

October 28 - 2pm Dismissal

November 5 - 2pm Dismissal

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Bondurant's BEST

Has your student brought home a Bondurant BEST ticket yet? Bondurant BEST tickets are earned for great behavior. All Morris staff members can pass out BEST tickets when they witness great behavior. Your student can earn BEST tickets for walking appropriately in the hallways, using manners in the lunchroom, showing kindness to others, and when taking care of their responsibilities. In each classroom there is a bucket for BEST tickets. On Fridays, all the BEST tickets are collected by grade level in the office and before dismissal the BEST students of the week are pulled from the collected BEST tickets. There are several students from each grade that get to come to the Bluejay and collect a prize from Mrs. Barber’s prize cart.

Classrooms can also collect Hallway Hero tickets. Classes earn Hallway Hero tickets when the entire class is showing Bondurant’s BEST while walking in the hallways and a staff members notices. The staff member will let students know they have earned a hallway hero ticket. The class (for each grade level) with the most Hallway Hero tickets becomes the Hallway Hero of the week. The line leader gets a cape to wear while they are in the hallway. Each week the contest begins again.

Each of these programs are supported through PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention System). Ask your student what they celebrated this week. Did they earn a BEST ticket? Who gave it to them and what were they doing at the time? Which class has the Hallway Hero cape in their grade level this week? We love celebrating successes here at Morris and we hope you love to celebrate them at home too!

4th Annual Literacy Night - Thursday, October 25 with author Julia Cook

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Parent Teacher Conferences are scheduled for Monday, October 8 and Thursday, October 11 - We will not have school on Friday, October 12.

Our PTO is holding an Enchanted Forest Book Fair at Anderson Elementary the week of conferences. Book sales benefit both schools - please plan to stop by during the following hours:

Monday, October 8th, 4-8 p.m. - Book Fair open during conferences

Tuesday, October 9th, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. - Book Fair open during school hours

Wednesday, October 10th, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., - Book Fair open during school hours

Thursday, October 11th, 4-8 p.m. - Book Fair open during conferences

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Please remember to save Box Tops for Morris Elementary! Our school puts all box top money towards new library books. Last year, we were able to get more than $500 worth of awesome new books for our students! Your students can turn box tops in at the office, or to their classroom teacher.

Backpack Program

The Backpack Program is a partnership between The Food Bank of Iowa and Bondurant-Farrar Elementary Schools. The goal of this program is to help end childhood hunger in Iowa and assist preschool through fifth grade families that are experiencing financial hardship or food insecurity. On Fridays, a Backpack food bundle is put into the backpack of each participating student. The Backpack bundles are made up of packaged food items that can easily be opened or prepared by children for a two-day weekend. If you are a family who would like to participate in this program or have more questions, please contact Mrs. McConnell at

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Morris Elementary Hosts a Junior Principal

Friday, September 21, Miss Webster joined us as a Junior Principal at Morris Elementary - she got to work with Mr. Anderson, Mrs. McConnell, Mrs. Barber, and Ms. Jen throughout the day, greeting students as they arrived at school, reading parts of the morning and afternoon announcements, participating in classroom walkthroughs, making a few phone calls home to parents, helping hand out BEST Student of the Week certificates, and having pizza lunch in the office! Miss Webster won the honor through the silent auction at the Heart of Hazel Fundraiser - and we all hope she enjoyed the experience - she did a WONDERFUL job and was a great Junior Principal!

Drop Off / Pick Up Procedure

Continue to follow the drop off / pick up map and the directions of the adults in the crosswalk. Student safety is our number one priority.

Car pick up line students are dismissed at 1:50pm on Mondays and 3:20pm Tuesday through Friday. All students should be picked up by 2:15pm on Mondays and 3:40pm the rest of the week.

All vehicles should have a sign in the passenger window with the student's name and grade listed. We appreciate your help in following the drop off and pick up procedures to ensure a smooth and event free drop off and pick up each day!

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A few notes from Ms. Jen

We are well into the swing of things for the 2018-19 school year! As a reminder, the main office number is 967.6361 and my email is - be sure to call or email any schedule changes/attendance issues you may have.

If you drop off a student after 8:25am, you will need to come into the office to sign them in for the day. You will also need to sign them out of the building if you pick them up early.

Please remember to pick your students up within twenty minutes of dismissal time. Our teachers, principals, nurse, and office staff often have meetings scheduled and have to adjust schedules to assure children are not left unsupervised. With the age of students we have at Morris, it can also be a very anxious time for the children, wondering whether they have been forgotten or if something may have happened to cause their parent to be late. We have 2pm dismissals every Monday, and then will have an additional 2pm dismissal next Thursday due to Parent Teacher Conferences. This one usually sneaks up on people, so I wanted to give you advance notice. I will probably remind you again too. Please don't take it personally. :)

I have really enjoyed getting to know so many of our new Morris friends and reconnecting with some of the older students so far this year. I will be in the office both nights during conferences if you have anything you need to drop off or just want to wave as you go by the office! Please remember to check the Lost & Found table at conferences as well - perhaps we can have more items Found than Lost. :)


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