February Newsletter

February 2021 Newsletter

Important Announcements

5 Day Schedule

As you all know by now, the Keokuk Community School District will be returning to a 5 day school week starting the week of February 15th. The 15th is President's Day, so there will be now school. Students will attend school under the new changes starting Tuesday, February 16th. Mondays will still be a shortened school day to allow teachers time to collaborate and prepare lessons for virtual and in-person learners. The daily schedule goes as follows:

  • Monday - 8:00-12:30
  • Tuesday-Friday - 8:00-3:00

As always, we will stagger our student dismissal times to allow each grade level to exit the building at separate times.

  • Monday - K @ 12:20, 1st @ 12:25, 2nd & 3rd @ 12:30
  • Tuesday-Friday - K @ 2:50, 1st @ 2:55, 2nd & 3rd @ 3:00

There are NO CHANGES to the Pre-K schedule. There is still NO SCHOOL for PRE-K on Mondays.


We are thrilled that we get to see our students after the Thanksgiving break! However, please be diligent about having your students wear masks and wash their hands. We must do everything in our power to prevent any illnesses from spreading. Preventing the spread of illness will assist in keeping students in school and preventing our schools from having to revert to fully virtual learning. We thank you for doing your part!!
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Drop off times

Hawthorne Elementary drop off time - 8:00

Torrence Pre-K drop off time - 7:55

Parents, please DO NOT drop students off before the designated drop off times. We have several students who are arriving before our supervision staff has arrived. This creates an obvious safety concern for our students. We DO NOT want to students to be unattended on school grounds. Thank you for your assistance!

Face Coverings

Please remember that ALL visitors MUST wear a face covering when they enter the building! This is for the protection of our staff and students.

Remember to send your child to school with a face covering every day! We have a small supply of masks for when students lose or damage their own, but these are not intended to be provided daily.

Face coverings (masks, shields, etc.) will be required in any unstructured areas.
Face coverings will be required anywhere students may be exposed to students or where social distancing can not be guaranteed. A recent school board amendment to the face covering policy allows students to be outside without face coverings as long as social distancing is maintained. This includes recess, outdoor specials, and/or classes going outside for instruction. If students struggle to maintain social distancing while outside they may be asked to put their face coverings back on.

Face coverings (masks, shields, etc.) will NOT be required in structured settings, such as classrooms, unless social distancing can not be maintained. When social distancing can be upheld, students will not be required to wear face coverings.

Dismissal changes

If you need to make a change to your students dismissal procedure, please contact the school to make the change prior to 2:00. Dismissal changes need to be communicated to multiple people (secretaries, teacher, administrators, dismissal supervisors, bus drivers, bus garage, etc.). Having a 2:00 cutoff time allow us to make sure everyone is aware of the changes and students are getting home safely and without confusion. Thank you for your assistance!

Excellence in Education

Education professionals change lives. They nurture. They inspire. They challenge. Now Iowans have the opportunity to say thank you. If there’s a professional educator who’s changed your life or the life of your child, why not nominate him or her for the Excellence in Education award? It’s a recognition program sponsored by the Iowa State Education Association to honor Iowa’s everyday heroes–the ones who demonstrate excellence every day for their students or schools. The winner receives a check for $1,000. Thank an education professional today! For more information, contact Jean Hessburg. Nomination period is January 15 through March 1.

Download a nomination form.

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What's happening in February?

Character Word of the Month: Caring

Football Dress Up Day - 2/5

This Friday, we're planning a fun football dress up day. Students and staff are encouraged to wear the favorite high school, college, or professional football team attire. Get in the game!!
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PBIS Incentive - Snowball Fight - 2/9-2/12

As an incentive for filling our building bucket, our Little Chiefs will get to participate in a fun, indoor "snowball fight." This is always a favorite event each year for our students, so we're looking forward to it!! This is a reward for our students being respectful, responsible, and ready. We've modified this event to accommodate for COVID safety precautions, so students will be participating only with the students in their classrooms. This will occur throughout the week of February 9th.

PTO Meeting - 2/9

The Little Chiefs PTO meeting is on Tuesday, February 9th at 6:30pm. The PTO meeting will be hosted in-person in the Hawthorne gym and virtually via Zoom. The Zoom link will be posted on the Little Chiefs PTO facebook page. This meeting is open to any Hawthorne or Torrence parents and staff who are interested in attending. We hope to see you there!

Hawthorne & Torrence Valentine's Parties - 2/12

Classroom Valentine's Day parties will be on Friday, February 12th at Hawthorne and Torrence. With COVID-19 this year, we will not be inviting parents to join us. Valentine's Day parties will be for the students and their teachers only. If parents would still like to contribute to the parties they are more then welcome to do so by providing snacks, games, and crafts. Thank you for your understanding!

President's Day - NO SCHOOL - 2/15

Monday, February 15th is President's Day. There will be NO SCHOOL for staff or students. enjoy the long weekend!

Kindergarten Hearing Tests - Re-screening & Makeups - 2/18

On Thursday, February 18th, there will be an opportunity for kindergarten students to get a hearing screening if they were absent on the original screening date.

February Birthday Lunch - 2/19

Our PTO will be delivering cupcakes for all of our students with February birthdays on Friday, February 19th. The cupcakes will be handed out at lunch.

SCHEDULE CHANGE: Parent/Teacher Conferences - 2/22 & 3/1

Due to the district-wide schedule change, the parent/teacher conferences that were scheduled for Monday, February 22nd and Monday, March 1st are being rescheduled. At this time, there is no confirmed date for conferences, but once a date is determined it will be shared with our Little Chief families.

Virtual Student Assembly - 2/25

On February 25th, we will be hosting a virtual student assembly. The assembly will be streamed to classrooms so we can still celebrate our Little Chiefs while keeping staff and students safe. Students will be recognize for being bucket fillers and for displaying our character word of the month: Caring. The assembly will be posted on our Facebook pages after they are finished.

Breakfast Menu

For an enlarged view, please click the following link: Elementary Breakfast Menu.
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February Lunch Menu

For an enlarged view, please click the following link: February 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!"