PCM Newsletter

1st Quarter Newsletter - October 2019


In an attempt to improve communication, the PCM School District will be sending out a quarterly newsletter that highlights pertinent topics as they relate to the school, students, parents and community members. If patrons have something they would like to see addressed in the newsletter, please contact the district office at 641-259-2316 or kpettyjohn@pcmschools.org. Your feedback is always welcome and appreciated.


Brad Jermeland

Weather Closings/Delays

With winter approaching here is a reminder on how school closings/delays will be sent out.

Emergency Closings/Inclement Weather/Other Interruptions

When the superintendent decides the weather or other event threatens the safety of students and employees, he/she, and/or his/her designee, will contact the following sources to broadcast a school closing announcement:

 PCM School Alerts – Text Message/Email
 WHO-TV (13)
 KCCI (8)
 WOI-TV (5)
 KCOB (95.9 FM)
 District Website and/or Social Media accounts

**If you have not signed up for school alerts, please do so at the link below.


Big picture

Vaping and What You Need to Know

The PCM Community School District is providing information on a topic that is becoming a growing health concern for our youth. Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (ENDS), more commonly referred to as e-cigarettes, e-cigs, vaping pens, vapes, e-pipes, tanks, or e-hookahs, are gaining in popularity among middle and high school students. While much education has been provided regarding the health risks and dangers of smoking cigarettes, much less has been provided about e-cigarettes which inadvertently sends an incorrect message to youth that these products have no harmful health consequences.

The intent of this article is to inform you about how e-cigarettes work, what these devices look like, the prevalence of e-cigarettes among youth, the associated health risks, our policies on e-cigarettes, and request your help in discussing these harmful products with your children/students.

Talk with your Teen about E-Cigarettes - A Tip Sheet for Parents

How do e-cigarettes work?

  • E-cigarettes heat a liquid (that may contain nicotine, as well as varying compositions of flavorings, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and other ingredients) into an aerosol that the user inhales; this process is referred to as vaping.

  • Users report feeling a nicotine high; second-hand smoke/vapor is also harmful to individuals standing near a user.

  • “JUUL” is one of the most popular brands for vaping products.

  • The liquid comes in over 7,000 flavors such as mango, chocolate, mint, and gummy bear, making it even more enticing for youth.

What do e-cigarettes look like?

  • Manufacturers can develop e-cigarettes to look like a cigarette, pipe, or a cigar which are easier to recognize.

  • However, e-cigarettes can also be developed to resemble a pen, USB stick, or larger device known as a tank system, making it more difficult to distinguish a vape pen from a real pen or a vape-stick from a USB stick ( Click here for a photo on the Surgeon General site).

How are e-cigarettes harmful to youth?

  • As the device heats the liquid, individuals inhale the vapor (which may include nicotine and other harmful products) that lead to changes in the adolescent brain.

  • The brain is the last organ in the human body to develop fully. Brain development continues until the early to mid-20s. Nicotine exposure during periods of significant brain development, such as adolescence, can disrupt the growth of brain circuits that control attention, learning, and susceptibility to addiction.

  • The effects of nicotine exposure during youth and young adulthood can be long-lasting and can include lower impulse control and mood disorders.

  • The nicotine in e-cigarettes and other tobacco products is highly addictive and can prime young brains for addiction to other drugs, such as cocaine and methamphetamine.

  • Vape pens can contain or be laced with THC.

E-cigarettes Are Prohibited In Our Schools
We’d like to make sure students are aware that the possession or use (including sale or distribution) of tobacco or a look-alike substances (vape pen, e-cigarettes, etc.) by students is prohibited. Tobacco products in the possession of students will be confiscated with associated disciplinary actions. Tobacco, in all of its forms, is prohibited on school grounds. Please see our Student Handbooks for more information. These policies are meant to ensure that all students have an opportunity to learn in a healthy educational environment.

It is important to prevent harm to youth and young adults from e-cigarettes. We know enough to take action now to protect the health of our nation's young people. Everyone has a role, including parents, health care providers, teachers, and others who work with and care about young people.

Additional Informational Resources

Discounted ACT/SAT Prep Program

The IHSAA is once again sharing information from eknowledge.com regarding its ACT/SAT Prep Program. The program’s full price is up to $1,500, but through a partnership with the NFHS, the full price is waived and students pay only a minimal fee between $19.99 and $49.99. Also, 100 percent of the student fees are re-invested into the project to continuously improve the program and reach more families.

The eKnowledge programs, which have been used for 15 years by more than 250,000 students, include hundreds of hours of video, thousands of questions with detailed multi-media explanations, and diagnostic tools to assist students preparing for these important exams.

Information regarding the program can be found at http://www.eknowledge.com/IAHSAA

Dates to know:

Remember all Monday's have a 90 minute late start.

October 18 - No School
October 21, 22 & 23 - No School - Teacher Professional Development
November 27 - 2 hour early out
November 28 & 29 - No School - Thanksgiving Break
December 20 - 2 hour early out
December 23 - January 2, 2020 - Winter Break

For the most up-to-date information on all school activities click the link below for the school calendar.