12/7/2018 Edition

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12 Ways to Have a Healthy Holiday Season

-From the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Wash hands

Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Wash your hands with soap and clean running water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and clean water are not available, use an alcohol-based product.

Bundle up for warmth
Cold temperatures can cause serious health problems, especially in infants and older adults. Stay dry, and dress warmly in several layers of loose-fitting, tightly woven clothing.

Manage stress
The holidays don’t need to take a toll on your health. Keep a check on over-commitment and over-spending. Balance work, home, and play. Get support from family and friends. Practice time management. Keep a relaxed and positive outlook.

Don't drink and drive
Alcohol-related motor vehicle crashes kill someone every 31 minutes and non-fatally injure someone every two minutes. Don't drink and drive, and don't let someone else drink and drive.

Be smoke-free
Avoid smoking and breathing other people's smoke. If you smoke, quit today! Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or talk to your health care provider for help.

Fasten belts while driving
Wear a seatbelt every time you drive or ride in a motor vehicle. Always buckle your child in the car using a child safety seat, booster seat, or seat belt according to his/her height, weight, and age.

Get exams and screenings
Schedule a visit with your healthcare provider for a yearly exam. Ask what tests you should get based on your age, lifestyle, medical history, and family health history.

Get your vaccinations
Vaccinations help prevent diseases and save lives. Ask your healthcare provider what vaccinations you should get based on your age, lifestyle, travel plans, and medical history.

Monitor the children
Children are at high risk for injuries that can lead to death or disability. Keep a watchful eye on your kids when they’re eating and playing. Keep potentially dangerous toys, food, drinks, choking hazards (like coins and hard candy), household items, and other objects out of kids' reach. Learn how to provide early treatment for children who are choking. Make sure toys are used properly.

Practice fire safety
Most residential fires occur during the winter months. Keep candles away from children, pets, walkways, trees, and curtains. Never leave fireplaces, stoves, or candles unattended. Don't use generators, grills, or other gasoline- or charcoal-burning devices inside your home or garage. Install a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector in your home. Test them once a month, and replace batteries twice a year. Leave the fireworks to the professionals.

Prepare dinner safely
As you prepare holiday meals, keep you and your family safe from food-related illness. Wash hands and surfaces often. Avoid cross contamination by keeping raw meat, poultry, seafood, and eggs (including their juices) away from ready-to-eat foods and eating surfaces. Cook foods to the proper temperature. Refrigerate promptly. Do not leave perishable foods out for more than two hours.

Eat well, and get moving
With balance and moderation, you can enjoy the holidays the healthy way. Choose fresh fruit as a festive and sweet substitute for candy. Select just one or two of your favorites from the host of tempting foods. Find fun ways to stay active, such as dancing to your favorite holiday music. Be active for at least 2½ hours a week. Help kids and teens be active for at least 1 hour a day.

Elementary Library Update

Greetings from the Knoxville school libraries!! Please search through your home libraries for gently used books that you are no longer interested in. Donations can be dropped off at either elementary school. This year's final Library skills lesson in the West & Northstar libraries will once again be Book Bingo. This is a fun activity that we have been doing the past several years to get a new or gently used book in the hands of all K-5 students. This lesson will be used to encourage all of our elementary students to read over Winter break.

Thanksgiving in Preschool

West Preschool students recently celebrated Thanksgiving with a Charlie Brown snack with family and friends.
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2nd Grade Winter Music Program

The final West Winter program is scheduled for next week! The students have been working very hard to prepare. Please save the following dates and come see what they have been preparing for you. Programs will take place in the Knoxville Performing Arts Center. Due to props being used this year, I am recommending that 2nd grade students wear something with pockets.

  • Second Grade- Dec 11 @ 7:00 (Students should arrive after 6:30)


Sarah Rodilosso, West Music Teacher

2nd Grade Assemblies

3rd Grade Caroling

Merry Christmas from North Star 3rd Grade! It’s beginning to look and sound a lot like Christmas at North Star. Third grade students will be going to Accura HealthCare on Wednesday, December 19, to go Christmas caroling. We’ve been practicing Christmas carols in music. We sound great and are really excited to share Christmas music with the residents of Accura HealthCare.

TAG Program

The Elementary PTO helped purchase several books the TAG classroom for the 4th and 5th grade program "Battle of the Books". So I want to give a HUGE thank you to them for making this happen!! The students are on teams of 4 or 5, and they get 2 months to read as many books as possible. Then we come together right before Christmas break to have our Battle of the Books. I ask comprehension questions from all the books and see which team can answer the most questions correctly. This gets students reading books from different genres and gets them excited about reading. Below are a couple of the teams that are participating in 5th grade. 4th grade will participate next month.
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Another program that I started recently for math is called "Number Ninjas". I am providing five very challenging math problems each week in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade. The students have to problem solve and ask questions to get through the questions. They get these questions on Monday and have all week to finish them. They often take it home to review with parents or ask questions of a teacher when they get stuck. This has been great for these students to learn perseverance and not give up when things get hard. Pictured below are two of the top Number Ninjas for the month of October. They are Number Ninjas Champions so they get their picture with the championship belt. :)
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8th Grade Language Arts

8th grade language arts classes are currently doing a unit on characterization/point-of-view. This unit emphasizes the different ways a writer presents a character to the reader. We learn how the author describes a character physically while also showing the actions, thoughts/feelings, and, speech mannerisms of the character. We also look at how an author gives information on a character based on the interactions the character has with others in the story. We also look at the differences between 1st person, 3rd person, and 3rd person omniscient point-of-view. The major work we read during this unit is "Flowers for Algernon", a story about a man who under goes a surgery to increase his intelligence. This story leads to many discussions about intelligence. Students will learn about the different types of intelligences and talk about how the character of Charlie changes throughout the story. We discuss the impact his varying intelligence levels has on his psyche and how his relationship with others. Along with this, we will do short research assignments (such as researching someone who each student finds to be a genius) and creative writing assignments in connection with this story (such as an extended ending to the story). We also write a compare/contrast essay between “Flowers the Algernon” story and movie.

Panther Success Graduate

Panther Success had another graduate this week! Levi Null finished all of his coursework this week to earn a KHS diploma. Thank you to Mr. Ritchhart and his classroom associates for working one-on-one with Levi to accomplish this goal! Levi’s immediate plans are to seek employment, and to find a place to live independently. Congratulations, Levi! KCSD is proud of you!
KHS Boys Basketball Apparel

Click the title above for apparel options.

Notifications for School Delays & Cancellations

In order to receive notifications regarding weather cancellations and/or delays or changes to district activities, please subscribe to the GovDelivery service. Signing up is easy at: Screenshots are pictured below of the subscription process.

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Community Partner Contributions

Katelynn Collins, a sophomore at KHS, will be playing the part of Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid. This production will be presented by Union Street Players in Pella. Katelynn auditioned for this part in August and the troop has been practicing to put on a great show. Come see Ariel, Prince Eric, Sebastian, and all their fishy friends in one of the eight performances from November 27- December 9th. Tickets may be purchased at the USP website at or by calling 641-204-1094.

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