Wildcat News

~ May 1st: Last Month of School Year; No School May 3rd ~

Safe, Responsible, & Kind...

Grant Wood Families,

This week there is no school on Tuesday, May 3rd. Spring continues to be a most interesting season this year with cloudier, rainier, and cooler temperatures.

School attendance during these remaining weeks of school are of great importance for our students' learning before we dismiss for summer break.

There is an observable correlation between academic growth and sustained school attendance. Please contact us, 319-688-1180 if you need any assistance in regards to your child's school attendance - including arriving by the start of the school day, 7:55am.


Upcoming in MAY:

  • May 3rd - No School
  • May 5th - Band Concert at City High, 7:15pm
  • May 10th - Title (Read Aloud) Night, virtual 6pm-7pm
  • May 17th - Track & Field Day for 5th & 6th grade students
  • May 18th - Orchestra Concert at City High, 7pm
  • May 30th - No School (Memorial Day)

Upcoming in JUNE: 6th grade "graduation" info, coming soon

  • June 1st - Last day of the school year


Principal: Ms. Maria, martin.maria@iowacityschools.org

School Facilitator: Mr. Brown, brown.ryan@iowacityschools.org

Counselor: Ms. Newman, newman.heather@iowacityschools.org

Student & Family Advocate: Mrs. Palante, palante.alyssa@iowacityschools.org

Instructional Design Strategist (IDS): Ms. Fischer, fischer.stacy@iowacityschools.org

Attendance Secretary: Ms. Steggall, steggall.kara@iowacityschools.org

Office Secretary: Ms. Peggy, tucker.peggy@iowacityschools.org







2021-2022 Grant Wood Yearbook

Please use this link to order 2021-22 yearbooks! They are $10.
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The Golden Ticket - Traveling Classroom Plaque

Congratulations!!! Great job being Safe, Kind, & Responsible within and beyond the classroom.

21-22 Golden Ticket class recipients:

April 22nd, Ms. Duthie's 4th grade

April 29th, Ms. Teale's 2nd grade

In December 2021, Grant Wood Elementary incorporated this additional recognition system to acknowledge when whole classes are observed meeting school expectations in various settings throughout the school day. The Wildcat Way: being Safe, Responsible, & Kind.

*Students are unaware of which staff members posses the golden tickets on any given day.

Staff Appreciation Week (May 2nd-May 6th)

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National Poetry Month 2022 - Joaquin Zihuatanejo

May - Jewish American & Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month

Along with National Poetry Month, in May we also honor the history and contributions of our Jewish American and Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.

Watercress is a picture book for ages 4-8 that tells the story of an Asian American family who find watercress on the side of the road, which brings up powerful stories and memories of the mother’s family in China.

Regarding Jewish American heritage the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center has exhibitions that help teach younger visitors about prejudice, discrimination, racism, and speaking out for what’s right. They provide exhibitions that are recommended for ages 8 and up.

The Wildcat Way - in all settings:

Please help remind our students of the Wildcat Way: Being Safe, Responsible, & Kind, across the various settings of the school day - within classrooms, hallways, recess, and restrooms. And within the cafeteria during meal times.

Cafeteria -

  • Kind & Responsible: Clean up after self- throw out trash;
  • Safe & Responsible: Remain seated facing the table;
  • Kind, Safe, & Responsible: Voice volume 1 & 2 (inside voices: whisper & conversation);
  • Kind to staff & students: Use "please," "thank you," "excuse me," and other kinds words;
  • Safe & Kind: Maintain personal space - keep hands & feet to self, do not touch others or their food;
  • Safe, Kind, & Responsible: Show patience & use walking feet, including when lining up

Recess/Playgrounds -

  • Safe & Responsible: Line up and transition using walking feet;
  • Safe & Kind: Maintain personal space - keep hands & feet to self;
  • Kind, Safe, & Responsible: Voice volume 1 while in line and in the building (inside whisper voice volume);
  • Kind to staff & students: Use "please," "thank you," "excuse me," and other kinds words including while playing;
  • Safe, Kind, & Responsible: When playing - engage in school-appropriate safe play

Your support is greatly appreciated!

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PBIS - Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports

PBIS invests in proactive prevention. Some of the strategies include:

  • Ongoing recognition of appropriate behavior—including verbal praise & documented recognitions, ClassDojo points reedemable for tangible rewards, and the traveling Golden Ticket class plaque;
  • Proactive intervention—identifying expected building behaviors throughout all school settings;
  • Active teaching & reteaching—teachers, students, families, and community members often work together to teach and model appropriate and expected behaviors;
  • Clear, consistent responses to inappropriate behavior;
  • Additional support for students with more significant needs; and,
  • Collecting and using data to inform decisions

More PBIS information available here.

Dreambox Math

Dreambox recommends that students complete five or more lessons per week with DreamBox Learning; because students who complete five lessons each week show more learning growth than peers who complete fewer lessons. Your student should not shy away from incorrect answers, because those wrong answers actually help DreamBox find the best lesson for each student to reinforce concepts they’re struggling with and build on their strengths.

Set goals with your student to help them gain self-discipline, self-awareness, and self-esteem. Practicing and learning math with DreamBox is fun, but it can still present a challenge. Productive struggle is all part of the program, and parents should let students work through their struggles, helping them see that they can do what at first may seem difficult. DreamBox automatically and intelligently adjusts the difficulty based on your child’s progress, including their use of hints/help, ensuring they don’t become overwhelmed or bored.

Lexia (Core 5) Usage Minutes

On average, students can complete a unit in Lexia Core5 in about five minutes. However, the time to complete a unit will naturally vary from student to student. The time it takes an individual student to complete a unit also depends on the complexity of the unit, the number of questions in the unit, and whether the student branches to a different instructional step, including if the student branches to a different instructional step multiple times in a unit.

Each activity is marked with a colored unit meter that shows how far the student has progressed in that activity. The color of each unit meter indicates the area of reading the activity targets: Phonological Awareness, Structural Analysis, Vocabulary, Phonics, Fluency/Automaticity, and Comprehension. As students complete units in an activity, the sections of the unit meter will fill in.

Recommended Lexia minutes by grade:

  • KG-3rd grades: 20 to 60 minutes per week
  • 4th & 5th grades: 20 to 80 minutes per week
  • 6th graders: 100 minutes per week

Breakfast at Grant Wood starts at 7:30am:

  • Only students eating breakfast at school should enter school via the cafeteria from 7:30am-7:50am; breakfast service at the cafeteria stops at 7:50am;
  • Students entering the cafeteria during breakfast time will need to remain in the cafeteria up until 7:45am;
  • At 7:45am staff will start dismissing students from the cafeteria to the classrooms - dismissal from the cafeteria is structured with 1-2 tables dismissed at a time by staff;
  • In support of a positive culture and climate within our cafeteria - indoor voice volume at either 1(whisper) or 2 (indoor conversation) is most conducive;
  • Students arriving at 7:50am or later should enter and pick up a breakfast at the front door;
  • School starts at 7:55am - at which time all students should be in their classrooms.

Pick up/Drop Off - Front Parking Lot Use:

  • Much needed SAFETY: We ask that everyone practice extra caution when entering, driving in, and exiting the front parking lot. Please do not enter your vehicle onto the back parking lot of the school and remember - For the safety of our students and their families, as well as our staff, the only school parking lot for drop off and pick up at Grant Wood is the school's front parking lot;
  • BUS parking - depending on weather, the school bus will be using either the neighboring front lot or the gated drive way spot - these designated bus spots must not be used by staff or families;
  • CAR LINE: in the front parking lot - please advance your vehicle to the front-most available car spot in the car line - this will help minimize safety issues in the parking lot associated to cars trying to pass each other while pedestrians may be walking up from designated parking spots and while parents exit their children from vehicles in the car line. Children should only enter vehicles from the side of the car closest to the walkway/sidewalk, not the parking lot side - to avoid safety issues relating to moving vehicles;
  • If using the car line (morning or afternoon) versus a designated parking spot - drivers must remain in your vehicle (do not leave your car unattended in the car line) - also,
  • (In the afternoon) please advance in the car line when Wood Staff indicates to do so; students will not be allowed to approach cars along the walkway/sidewalk going towards Lakeside Drive.
  • All students being picked up at the car line will be sent to the car line according to the numbered spot called by the staff in the parking lot;
  • Pedestrian parents & students: Walking students will be able to access campus in a variety of directions from the front or back of the building - At dismissal pedestrian parents should approach a staff member to have their child's name called (via radio) for their child to meet them at identified location;
  • City Streets: If you are using California Ave. or Western Road - please note that neither city streets nor the Fairmeadows Park lot (off of Western Road) are school property (they are not) and require that you adhere to Iowa DOT Traffic and Safety. We highly encourage and recommend the use of Grant Wood's front parking lot for drop off and pick up.

Celebrations and Food updates:

The ICCSD is committed to providing a safe and healthy learning environment for our students. In line with that goal, changes are being made to our District’s Wellness Policy regarding classroom snacks birthday treats and classroom celebrations.


When food is served to students in the classroom as a snack or during a classroom celebration, the following rules apply (ICCSD Wellness Policy 507.9):

  • allow only fresh fruits/vegetables or purchased foods with the ingredients listed (no homemade foods).
  • allow only foods that meet the Healthy Food Guidelines/ Smart Snacks. (the only exception to this would be food-tasting related to district-approved curriculum lessons)
  • not allow foods with peanuts or peanut butter, or foods that were made in a factory where cross-contamination may occur.
  • food that does not meet the guidelines will be sent home.

The ICCSD Wellness Policy Classroom Snacks and Celebrations is a complete list of approved foods including where the approved food items can be purchased.

NOTE: While the policy detailed below does allow for some approved foods, at this time given the extra precautions due to Covid-19, we will be acknowledging birthdays without food/snacks brought from home.

NO food birthday-celebrations in school/classrooms

In line with our District’s Wellness Policy, student birthdays can be acknowledged in the classrooms with a special acknowledgement. Please note these birthday celebrations will not involve food. If food is sent to school for birthdays the food items will need to be returned home.

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Monitoring Children's Internet Use

Did you know that parents have the ability to monitor and see your child(ren)'s internet activity on District devices, and to set additional limits beyond those established by the District?

ICCSD is entering its fourth year of using Securly, a service that filters internet access on District devices and also includes the SecurlyHome Parent Hub, which parents can use to monitor internet usage, receive usage notifications, and establish limits on what your child can access. Limits parents can set include turning school-issued devices off at parent-determined times (such as bedtime).

You may have already received an email from Securly when your child was issued their 1:1 device. You can access Securly at https://www.securly.com/parent-login, and your login email will be the primary email address listed for your child(ren)'s contacts in PowerSchool. If you have trouble accessing Securly, please verify your primary contact email in PowerSchool or contact your child's school to do so (Grant Wood, 319-688-1180). You can also contact Securly support if you've confirmed your email in PowerSchool and are still having trouble accessing Securly.

Once you register for your Parent Portal account, download the Securly Home app and navigate the tools from your cellphone/handheld device to support your child's safe internet use on the school-issued chromebook.

Care Assessment & Securly Monitoring Tool

In 2018, our Board directed the administrative team to create a safety committee. The goal of the committee was to conduct research and make recommendations back to the Board on safety measures to be implemented across our District. Care Assessment was one of those recommendations.

Care Assessment is a program to prevent violence and resolve conflicts proactively. The goal is early detection and attention to problems such as bullying, harassment, teasing, and conflict before it escalates into violent behavior. This is accomplished through staff observation, student reporting, and the Say Something incident reporting tool. In addition to these methods, our District implemented the Securly 24 monitoring tool for District technology devices.

Our District uses Securly content filtering to block access to inappropriate websites and material on school-owned devices. In addition to blocking inappropriate content, Securly alerts the district when they detect activity such as searches, sites visited, or emails sent and received that indicate a student may be considering self-harm and harming others. The goal of this monitoring is to provide early notification of concerns so that families and schools can work together to provide intervention and support in an effort to circumvent violence and harm to oneself.

For additional information on the process Securly uses when concerning activity is detected, please visit the Securly informational page located on the District’s website.

If you have any questions regarding Securly and its use within our District, please visit our Care Assessment webpage or contact Kate Callahan at callahan.kate@iowacityschools.org.

This group, The Wildcat Chat, serves as a space for Grant Wood Elementary (Iowa City, IA) parents, caregivers, teachers/staff, and others to communicate.

The mission of Grant Wood Elementary is to provide a positive, caring, and inclusive environment that helps maximize every student’s knowledge, skills, and positive attitudes. We aim to empower each student to become a positive influence in an ever-changing democratic society within the global setting. We pursue this charge through the use of resources of a challenging curriculum through our diverse and dedicated staff, families, and community.


1. Be Kind & Courteous - We're all in this together to create a Welcoming environment. Let's treat everyone with respect. Healthy debates are natural, but kindness is required.

2. No Hate Speech or Bullying - Make sure everyone feels safe. Bullying of any kind isn't allowed, and degrading comments about things like race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, gender or identity will not be tolerated.

3. No Promotions or spam - Give more than you take in this group. Self-promotion, spam and irrelevant links aren't allowed.

Health & Safety - ICCSD Guidelines:

Though masks are not required while our community is not deemed to have "high [Covid-19] transmission rates" the ICCSD remains committed to our COVID-19 health and safety practices. We are following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) guidelines to ensure we can safely, effectively, and consistently provide access to learning - for this reason, we ask that families continue following the ICCSD Health & Safety guidelines when ill.

*We also want to see our Wildcats at school with as little interruption as possible, during these remaining weeks of school.

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ICCSD Non-Discrimination Policy

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 Eric Howard, Director of Equity and Employee Relations, 1725 N. Dodge St., Iowa City, IA 52245, 319-688-1000, howard.eric@iowacityschools.org.