Penn Pride: We have. We are. Together.

Learning to LEAN in TOGETHER.

WOW oh WOW. I find myself thinking this frequently in recent days .... not the excited kind of WOW!, but the "oh man, that's seriously concerning, yikes" kind of wow. Unusual, abnormal ... UNPRECEDENTED. Pandemic: I have only ever encountered that word personally in movies. Bad movies. Scary movies. The kind I hate. You get it. I don't need to convince you that this is a weird, concerning, unexpected turn of events in our world.

You know.

We know you know.

Our goal is to come alongside you: your children and your family and you. Together.

We sure had no idea that our theme would prove sooooooooooooooooooo meaningful this year.

"We're All in this TOGETHER" .... even when we're not together physically.

My number one goal, as the principal of this pride (our herd of kids) is that you, and your children, don't feel isolated and alone in this season of social distancing.

I know the teachers have been eager to be in touch and give you resources. We are not laying on expectations or demands, but providing opportunities. And that's an important distinction because THIS. IS. HARD.. And, it is likely that the next 4 weeks will be more challenging than these past 2 have been. So, take and use what is helpful as it is helpful. Each minute/day/week may be different. Having this time out of school extended brings another wave of so much. So, be gentle with yourself and your children.

A friend of mine posted a picture of himself wearing a t-shirt that said:


And on the back it continued with:

Conversations will not be cancelled.

Relationships will not be cancelled.

Love will not be cancelled.
Songs will not be cancelled.
Reading will not be cancelled.
Self-care will not be cancelled.
Hope will not be cancelled.
May we lean into the good stuff that remains.

I'm reminded: lean in. together. into the good stuff.

What good stuff are you leaning into with your children?

Check out the Penn Facebook page and Lean in Together.

School Cancellation has been extended thru April 30

ICCSD INFO related to Covid-19/Corona Virus.

The most update information will be posted daily on the ICCSD web page.

This is the place to find out about free school lunches and enrichment opportunities.

Here is the link:

Here is the latest info (as of 4/2/2020) related to ICCSD:

Dear Families and Staff,

This afternoon, Governor Kim Reynolds made the recommendation to extend the closure of Iowa schools through April 30, 2020, as a measure to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our state. As a district, we will follow Governor Reynolds’ recommendation and our schools will be closed through April 30, 2020.

We have been preparing for this possibility and we will continue supporting Voluntary Educational Resources, as outlined by the Iowa Department of Education (DE). Now that the DE has provided guidance on Procedures for Continuous Learning and stated that an application will be provided, we will continue to actively research the options of Voluntary Educational Resources, as well as Required Educational Resources, to determine which option will be most appropriate at each grade level. Both options will allow us to count the instructional time lost and students will not be required to make up the days of school that will be missed through April 30, 2020.

Continuous Learning:
On March 24, 2020, we provided to parents the ICCSD Student Enrichment Opportunities, which is a list of optional resources to assist you in providing opportunities for your children. In addition, on April 1, 2020, we provided the following Information for Elementary Parents and Information for Junior High and High School Parents which offer additional at-home learning guidance for families and staff.

Building and Grounds Closures:
All District schools, buildings, playgrounds, and outdoor facilities will remain closed to the public until further notice. Per Governor Reynolds’ announcement, this will be through April 30, 2020, at a minimum. This closure includes the cancellation of all activities and any events held at buildings or on school grounds.

The District is directing all employees to work remotely and not visit district buildings or offices unless specifically directed to do so. We are asking that all families, students, and community members also avoid visiting buildings during the extended closure. While we recognize this could create an inconvenience, the safety of our students, families, staff, and the greater community is of primary importance. Keeping district buildings closed and eliminating access will support social distancing and slow the COVID-19 spread.

School Nutrition:
The District has been operating multiple free Grab & Go meal pick-up sites for students while schools have been closed. We are committed to continuing this service for our students throughout the extended closure. For the weeks of April 6 - 10, 2020 and April 13 - 17, 2020, the Grab & Go meal sites remain the same. We will continue to evaluate the schedule and locations, and any changes to sites will be communicated at least one week in advance of a change. Click here for the full schedule and list of meal pick-up sites.

Staff and Student Access to Buildings:
At this time, the District does not anticipate reopening access to buildings prior to April 30, 2020. We understand a need may arise for staff and students to access our schools given the extension of the closure period. We encourage all in our community to remain at home as much as possible, but we will continue to monitor needs with regard to building access.

In Closing
We cannot stress enough how much we appreciate your patience, your understanding, and your trust as we work through this unprecedented situation in our community. Please continue to practice appropriate social distancing precautions and stay at home as much as possible. We will continue to provide updates as more details are finalized and as new information becomes available. #ICCSDtogether

The Power of Positive Summit

I am participating in The POWER of POSITIVE Summit right now and I thought you might be interested too. It is FREE and everyday you get an email with links to some really great speakers' presentations. You can watch them when you want. It is only April 2 -8, but when you sign up, you get access to all the speakers even if you missed some days. So, if you are looking for some positive encouragement, check it out at this link: Power of Positive.

Hey .... families of "baby bolts"

Future Bolt Families-

What is school pride? School pride is the heart of a school. It’s knowing that you’re part of a community of students, staff and parents working together to create positive relationships and foster a sense of belonging. School pride translates into higher expectations of yourself and your surroundings, creates passion that is contagious, and lasts long after graduation.

Since the opening of Liberty High School in 2017, the Liberty community has worked together to build astrong Bolt Nation, to create a sense of togetherness and celebrate successes. As Future Bolts, your kids are already part of creating the Bolt Nation, participating in the Liberty Homecoming Celebration, attending Liberty sports camps and workshops, cheering at Liberty sports, choir and theater performances, and taking part in Liberty sponsored activities and programs. We want to ensure all Liberty students can access the opportunities that Liberty has to offer for many more years to come. The Liberty Fund - run by Liberty families, students and staff – supports co-curricular groups and ensures all students have access to opportunities through collective fundraising.

The Liberty Fund has provided grants to students and co-curricular groups for the past two years acrossa wide spectrum of student needs and interests. The Liberty Fund would not exist without the supportof the Liberty community. To make a tax-deductible donation to support the ongoing work of The Liberty Fund, go to now. You can also leave a lasting legacy at Liberty High School on the Liberty Path of Recognition. Donate $250 or more to The Liberty Fund and receive a personalized, engraved paver at the entrance to Liberty.

Thanks for your consideration and Go Bolts!

For more information, see our website at or email

Join the Penn Pride for dinner and benefit our school

Here are all of the upcoming PTO Restaurant Nights for the rest of the school year, please be sure to mark these on your calendars and join us for dinner at these local restaurants.

Mosley’s North Liberty: Tuesday, APRIL 7th ALL DAY 11am-12am

Carry Out ONLY
125 E. Zeller Street, North Liberty

Pizza Ranch North Liberty: Wednesday, MAY 13th 5-8pm
395 Beaver Kreek Center, North Liberty

Heyn’s Ice Cream: Friday, JUNE 19th 1-5pm
25 E. Cherry Street, North Liberty

Parent Input

Each spring we begin a complicated and thoughtful process for creating class lists for the next school year. One aspect of this is allowing parents to give input related to their child's needs. This is NOT about requesting a specific teacher, but rather an opportunity to tell us about your child's needs.

The form for this input will be shared in this parent newsletter soon -- hopefully. The newsletter comes out on Friday afternoons.


As we already know, many things have been complicated by Covid-19. This is unfortunate, but necessary.

Science Night is cancelled for this year.

The Wizard of Oz has been postponed until fall.

The federal Department of Education has released school from an expectation to conduct ISASP (Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress formerly known as Basic Skills or Iowa Assessments).

SAVE the DATE .... info about Music Performances

1st grade: TBD

2nd grade: TBD

3rd, 4th and 5th grades: May 13, Wednesday 8:30 AM

6th graders will perform at their last day of school celebration

Looking Ahead

  • May 12: 5th/6th Track & Field Day @ Liberty High
  • May 13: Pizza Ranch 5 - 8pm
  • May 16: Penn @ Kernals game
  • May 29: Last Day of School
  • May29: 6th Grade Promotion Celebration @ 8:15 in the gym
  • June 19: Heyn's Ice Cream 1-5pm
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 Jeremy Tabor, Director of Equity and Employee Relations, 1725 N. Dodge St., Iowa City, IA 52245, 319-688-1000,