South East Update


Hello Little Hawk Families

We have made it to 3rd trimester and survived our full first week of school since right after winter break! Needless to say, it tested everyone's stamina:) It is nice to be back into a routine again and we are looking forward to finishing the year strong and with an outstanding last trimester. Thank you all for your support! I am so proud to live and work in this strong, eastside community! Go Little Hawks!

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 News and Updates

Houses to Homes

This program helps many Iowa City families every year. Click on the link to see how you can donate!


We have had a few questions about the Securly reports that parents receive with information about how their student is using their Chromebook. I have included a link below with specific information about content filtering and district policies. Please let us know if you have any questions!

Who are the SEJH Student and Family Advocates?

Nicole Spear

688-1001 ext. 7113

Gabriela Magalhaes

688-1001 ext. 7248

Our mission is to empower the connection between families and schools to ensure a successful learning experience for all of our children. Your Student and Family Advocate (SFA) can help support school success through sharing information and supporting families with:

    • School and home connections
    • Mental health resources
    • Temporary Living Situations
    • School supplies and winter gear referrals
    • District and Community resources and referrals
    • Navigation of school policies and procedures
    • Help registering your child for school, free and reduce lunch applications
    • Pre-scheduled transportation support
    • Connection to School Based Mentoring Program

    The SFA is available daily, following the school calendar, and during other times as needed/by appointment. Services are free for families. Please contact your school SFA if you have any questions.

Coming up- Track season will begin at the end of March. A sport physical is required to participate. If you need help finding a doctor, medical insurance assistance, transportation to appointments or getting into to our Healthy Kids Clinic, please contact Nicole Spear.

Kickers Soccer Club will begin at the end of March also. We have scholarships available to play at a reduced fee.

Scholarship Opportunity!

Do you actively do community service or give back to the community in a different way? Iowa City Area Association Realtors Scholarship foundation is awarding $100 incentive awards to junior high and middle school students within the Iowa City Area Association Realtors service area.

Come to the guidance office to get more information on the application process. Deadline on the application is March 30th.

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They Called Her Vivaldi

On Monday, March 11 all 8th graders will be attending a performance at Hancher, They Called Her Vivaldi. This opportunity is sponsored by Any Given Child. 8th graders will leave South East around 9:00a.m. and return by 12:00p.m. The performance begins at 10:00a.m. Information about the performance is below. We are very grateful to the Foundation and Any Given Child for this incredible opportunity!

Blood Drive!

Each trimester Personal Development students do a volunteer project. To date, students have volunteered more than 850 hours of service in our school and community this school year! Many choose to host a blood drive at school. South East Junior High will host another drive April 10 in the LMC.

Last trimester we had a great turn-out with 26 donors and 23 units of blood collected for patients at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. We are very proud of our tradition of service for the UIHC through our blood drives. Students work hard to recruit donors in our school and community. We offer a unique value as we are always bringing new donors to UIHC through Personal Development classes as students pass through our school. Please consider participating in this drive and support service in our community at the same time! You can go to this link as the drive gets closer (look for the South East Junior High blood drive) to sign up for a donation time or you can “drop in” on the day of the drive. South East Personal Development students thank you!

Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress

We will be taking our standardized Iowa assessment tests, ISASP on Tuesday, April 16 and Wednesday, April 17. Students will be testing in their homerooms. We will be testing periods 1-3 on both Tuesday and Wednesday. 8th graders will take the science test during their 6th and 7th period class on Wednesday. We will continue to send information and details as the time gets closer, but a few things to know and remember:

  • These are computerized assessments and will be taken on the Chromebooks. Students must bring their fully charged Chromebook and charger for testing!
  • Tests are as follows: Reading- 60 minutes, Language Arts and Writing- 120 minutes, Math- 60 minutes, Science (8th grade only) 60 minutes.
  • Cell phones and Smart watches are not allowed in a student's possession at all during the testing window. Students are not allowed to have their phone out during a break, if they go to the bathroom, etc. All cell phones should be kept at home, locked in their school or PE locker or handed in to the proctor during testing.

If you have questions, please let us know and again, we will continue to send more information as the time draws closer.

2nd Trimester Grades

2nd trimester report cards will be hung in the document vault in PowerSchool this week. Grades will be finalized by teachers by 4:00p.m. on Monday, March 3. If you need a hard copy of your student's report card, please call or email the guidance office.

3rd Trimester Schedules

3rd trimester schedules were handed out Friday in homeroom. Students can also check the PS app for their schedule. If they need a copy, they can stop in the main office Tuesday morning before school. We will run a regular schedule Tuesday starting with 1st hour at 8:45a.m.

Students requesting schedule changes can pick up add/drop slips in the guidance office. Please remember that we cannot change schedules to accommodate lunch shift requests, study hall requests or teacher changes.

Construction Update

We are moving right along with construction despite the many weather challenges! We are still on target to have the newly remodeled Northeast corner, new courtyard classrooms and library completed by this summer and in time to welcome students for the 2019-2020 school year. The NE corner will house our CASL 7 and CASL 8 programs. These groups are more than ready to be back in the building after two years in the temporary! We spent a lot of time last month picking out some great furniture for the new spaces and are very excited about the opportunities that these spaces, and our new library will offer!

The weather challenges along with the construction challenges have definitely required us to dig deeper into our flexibility bank than ever before! We were informed last week that they are ready to begin remodel work on the north side of the main second floor hallway over spring break! This is great news for progress, a bit challenging as we work to find space for 7 classrooms to move to for the remainder of the year. However, in true South East spirit, staff have risen to the occasion with smiles, great attitudes and a willingness to be flexible in where they teach. We are currently working on relocating the following rooms after spring break: Sara Jones (room 228), Katy Doran and Kelsi Salter (room 230), Chris Bartmann and Heidi Anderson (room 232), Joey Lankelma (room 234), Jeremy Negus (room 236), Jayme Skay (room 238) and Dana Phelps (room 235). This will require a bit of shuffling for other teachers as well and we will be doing some room sharing. This is only for the remainder of the year and by the start of the 2019-2020 school those rooms will be completely remodeled and ready for students! I could not be more appreciative of my staff and how they respond to these changes. We are so fortunate to have these role models for our students!

As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns regarding construction!

Class Updates


Hola, padres -Es un placer compartir con ustedes lo que han hecho los estudiantes en la clase de español este trimestre. It's a pleasure to share with you what the students have done this past trimester in Spanish class. The students have gone from learning vocabulary about school days to conjugating verbs in the present tense. They have the tools to share about their schedules and feelings. They created video conversations, describing opinions and details about their school day, with partners and I am so impressed with not only their skills, but their joy for sharing their ideas, in Spanish. If you have a student in Spanish class, they can access their video on Flip Grid and share it with you. Students can also describe where things are located, so let them show off their skills by asking where a clock, or desk, or chairs in a room in your home. :)

Every day I find incredible hope in the way that students find value sharing their collective wisdom - in the questions they ask and experiences and feelings they share, about language learning, with each other. A student remarked the other day, "I was never able to say or understand any of this in the summer, and now look!" It's a good reminder that even when a new subject may seem overwhelming, that there is so much that students have to focus on from what they've learned, and be proud of the risks they've taken. ~ Sra. Ahlers


All physical education students are reminded to dress out in your

physical education uniforms. Fitness testing will start right away the first day of the 3rd Trimester. Please be prepared. If you need an inhaler to be able to run the pacer, please have it with you and be ready to complete the fitness testing.

Thank you,

PE Teachers.


Third time's the charm! - After several cancellations, the SE orchestras were finally able to give their February concert on Valentine's Day. Despite all of the missed rehearsals, the students presented a great concert to a very appreciative crowd. February has also been filled with extra rehearsals preparing for the Kennedy Honors Orchestra Festival on Saturday, March 2nd. Sixteen SE students will be participating in the festival and performing in three different orchestras.

Looking ahead - The 8th grade orchestra will be going on tour and performing at several elementary schools on Friday, March 29th. The 8th grade orchestra will also be going on an educational field trip in late April to see the Chicago Symphony Orchestra perform at Symphony Center in downtown Chicago.


Congrats to the 7th and 8th grade jazz bands at the SEIBA District Jazz Festival! 7th grade took 3rd overall, and 8th grade took 2nd overall! We also had a student who won the Outstanding Soloist Award for large class middle schools. We’ll reveal that in class on Tuesday! Congrats, and way to go kids! You earned it!!

From the ELL Department

The ELL staff would like to thank faculty and students at SEJH for their cooperation during ELPA21 assessment. Approximately 100 ELL students were tested for English Language Proficiency from Feb 11-22 in the ELL classroom. We hope results will be available in late spring to help determine future class schedules. Thanks for your help!!

Mr. Smith's Science Class!

In Mr. Smith's science class students are getting close to finishing up their Metabolism unit. This week we have been discussing digestive enzymes and chemical reactions. Students were able to observe the enzyme 'catalase' react with hydrogen peroxide, just like it does in the cells of our bodies. In class, we used beef liver (we compared the speed of the reaction using raw liver, ground up liver, and boiled liver) and then repeated all of those tests using potatoes which also contain a small amount of catalase.

Soon we will be doing a 4 day lab on osmosis using raw eggs. Students will strip the shell off of the egg using acetic acid leaving just the cell membrane. Eggs will then sit in isotonic (vinegar), hypertonic (corn syrup), and hypotonic (water) solutions over night. Students will then find the mass of the eggs to calculate water gained/lost over night through osmosis! Finally, we will conclude our metabolism unit with a 6-7 day project designing health bars. Students will use an online simulation to design the bars based on different needs of people. They will use background information from the Metabolism unit as well as new information on glycemic index in their decision making. Mr. Byler and I will be having students taste the different ingredients (an important factor in the design!) and then actually making and eating the health bars!

We will finish up March by moving into our "Matter and Energy in Ecosystems" unit. This unit will focus on photosynthesis, cellular respiration, and the carbon cycle. One of the first labs I just completed will have students observing photosynthesis in plant leaves in varying amounts of light. Students will use pressure to pack the leaves with carbon (sodium bicarbonate) making them sink in water. Then, if/when the leaves use that carbon through photosynthesis they will become more buoyant and begin to float (as long as they produce more through photosynthesis than they are using through cellular respiration!).

Washington D.C. Trip!

"The South East 2020 Washington, DC trip is now only a year away! Mr. Merulla will be presenting the trip to this year's 7th graders in their Global Studies classes and to 8th graders in their American Studies classes during the week of March 25-29, the week after we return from Spring Break.

Mr. Merulla will hold a parent informational meeting the following Wednesday evening, April 3, at 7pm, in his classroom, room T11 in the temporaries.

Just park in the back lot, and come on in.The meeting will last no more than thirty minutes. Mr. Merulla will present the details of next year's exciting trip, as well as stay after to answer any questions. You may also register for the trip at that time, if you wish. This will be the 6th South East DC trip Mr. Merulla has led, and every one has been an incredible experience."

If you'd like to know more before the meeting, contact Mr. Merulla at, or have your son or daughter stop by for an informational packet.

The Wild, Wild, Wildest West!

Slick and wealthy Richard Coldheart must marry Polly Wanda Cracker to control the Cracker property. However, it's Polly's sister, Prunella, who wants to marry him! Meanwhile, our hero, Sheriff Wayne John, has his hands full surviving the hilarious antics of well-meaning but no-too-bright Deputy Doowrong. When a bundle of villains, including Snydley Dastardly, Kid Kid and Calamity Jan, attempts to take over the town things really go crazy!

The SE Drama Department presents The Wild, Wild, Wildest West Thursday and Friday, March 7th & 8th at 7:00pm in the SE LGR. Ticket are $5/adults and $4/students and can be purchased at the door.

You don't want to miss this adventure that takes you back to the 1880s in Low Humidity Chasm. (Aren't you tired of Westerns taking place in Dry Gulch Canyon?}

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

PBIS February Data

The PBIS Committee would like to share our behavior data for the month of February.

  • February Behavior Referral Data:

    • 28 total behavior referrals
    • 22 from the classroom, 5 from the hallway, and 1 from the locker room
    • 64% of the referrals successfully made contact home
    • 6 referrals requested SAC intervention, 5 requested follow up from administration, 12 for documentation purposes only, 5 for re-entry meetings
    • Last year we had 33 total referrals for the month of February

As we begin our final trimester of the 18-19 school year, teachers will be reviewing and re-teaching classroom behavior expectations.

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.

PBIS Dontations

Our PBIS committee relies heavily on donations to purchase items for our SOAR store and for special student acknowledgements. We are so thankful to those who have already donated this year, but with almost 800 students, we go through our donations quickly! If you would like to donate to PBIS, please click

Little Hawk Time Community Opportunity

Do you have an interesting profession, story or skill you would like to share? We are looking for community members to come in during Little Hawk Time on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Fridays from 1:13-1:45 PM to share with our students. If you would like to explore this opportunity, or have ideas please email Allison Brewer:

Building Character in Kids

Check out the article below about building character in our kids. There are some great strategies on effective praise and how to motivate students. We work on a lot of character building through our PBIS lessons and are extremely proud of our students!

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.


Pancake Day!

  • MPORTANT- PANCAKE DAY IS COMING!! The annual Pancake Day fundraiser for the purpose of supporting the athletic programs at South East Junior High, Northwest Junior High, North Central Junior High, City Highl, Liberty High, and West High Schools is coming up April 14th from 6:30am-2:00pm. Mark your calendars to attend the 54rd Annual Pancake Day!! Funds raised are used at Southeast Junior High and City High to help purchase needed equipment and supplies for our teams. Nearly 30% of our annual equipment budget comes from this single fundraiser. You can support this important fundraiser in several ways:

  • By purchasing and selling tickets for our event. Simply put, the more tickets we sell, the more money we make. Each student athlete should have received five tickets to sell. Tickets can also be purchased online: or can be purchased at the door.

  • By providing a donation to the event of food or supplies, or by providing an item for the raffle. Please contact Carrie Watson ( for information.


We are still looking for volunteers to help announce wrestlers and keep time at our home meets. Please consider signing up below!

South East Track and Field

South East track and field will begin on March 25th. This is the first Monday following Spring Break. This coming week, we will have a student sign up in the foyer for those interested in track and field. Please make sure your athlete has a current physical and permission to practice form turned in to the main office, these forms are needed to participate. We will communicate specific practice times during morning announcements and our social media pages. We look forward to an amazing season!

Track Schedules:


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,