The Morris Minute

October 2020

Welcome to The Morris Minute!

This is the place to find updates for staff, parents, and families of Morris Elementary. Thank you for checking it out!

A Note from Mr. Anderson

Hello Morris Families!

I hope this newsletter finds you doing well. I know with all that is going on, feeling on top of things is rare (at least for me it is) and doesn't come along as often as we hope. That said, I appreciate the patience and understanding that you have shown us throughout this entire process this school year. We know changes are coming, and I wanted to touch on a couple of things.

We are starting full in-person learning on Monday, October 19. That means quite a few changes are going to happen when you arrive to drop off your students, and pick them up in the afternoon. I'm sure you have noticed the pick up line is still pretty deep on our hybrid days at half capacity. When we go full, we are going to need to be extra patient and cautious when we are working through this. We did have a loading and unloading zone painted through the loop on both sides of Morris. Please make sure we are inside that zone when dropping off students. We are working on accompanying signage that will reflect these instructions. Please pay attention to the people monitoring the traffic flow during this time and pull forward if they are waving you forward. We will get your student to your car, even if they have to walk a little further down the line. This helps move traffic along and keeps cars from blocking streets. This will be a process and we will communicate any changes with you if we need to change up something.

We will face a few challenges inside the walls of the building as well. We know social distancing will be one of them, especially during lunch time. At this time, there are no plans to fully integrate students into the lunchroom. We will most likely be in a hybrid mode of using that space for students. Same goes for the classroom. This is why wearing a mask is crucial. The district is requiring students to wear appropriate masks (2-ply) as a mitigation strategy to lessen the likelihood of students heading to quarantine if they were to come into contact with a positive Covid-19 case. We will continue to do our best to encourage appropriate mask wearing and find creative ways to take breaks safely.

Our students and staff have done an amazing job with the face coverings. I understand there have been changes and I am encouraged walking through the halls that we are adapting to that change and doing our part to be as safe as we can. We know it isn't easy for all students and we aren't perfect, either! Mistakes happen and we continue to learn from them and move forward. Again, we appreciate the patience and understanding throughout this process as well.

Looking back at the past six months, it has been nothing like anything I have experienced in my 20 years of education. I am thankful that I live and work in a community that supports the schools and works extremely hard for their children. It is refreshing. I have always mentioned to people through conversations that we don't always get it right, but isn't for a lack of trying or caring. This place is unlike any other. I am proud of our staff, students, and families as we have worked through this ordeal. We are not out of the woods and we understand that. I am cautiously looking forward to the next step and I am optimistic that we ALL will figure this out.

Take care everyone! We got this!



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Important Dates to Remember

October 8 & 9 - Mid Terms Go Home

October 12 - NO SCHOOL ~ Professional Development / Virtual Learning Day

October 12 - Parent Teacher Conferences - 12-6pm

October 12 - Last Day for Online PTO Fundraiser (see note below)

October 15 - 2pm Dismissal - Parent Teacher Conferences 3-6pm

October 16 - NO SCHOOL ~ No students or staff in buildings

October 19 - First Day of All In-Person Learning (no more A or B Days) - Virtual Still Virtual

October 19 - 2pm Dismissal

October 26 - 2pm Dismissal

October 26-30 - Red Ribbon Week

October 30 - Fall Parties

November 2 - 2pm Dismissal

November 3 - Picture Retake Day

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What is PBIS?

PBIS stands for Positive Behavioral Interventions & Support. As we roll into the month of October, the Morris Elementary PBIS Team has been working hard at implementing a variety of strategies at school to help our students achieve improved social and academic outcomes, reduce our exclusionary discipline practices, and help our school personnel feel more effective. If you weren’t aware, your Morris Elementary Tier 1 PBIS Team members are:

Mrs. Jones

Mrs. Daly

Mrs. Barnett

Mrs. Barber

Mrs. Mains

Mrs. Christian

Mrs. Hansen

Mrs. McConnell

Mrs. Sanger

Miss Maggie

Something we introduced school-wide this fall was the Voice Level poster you see below! This has provided consistent language for our teachers and students to use when defining what the expected volume level is across the building/in different settings. Classroom teachers taught each level to our students, provided examples of what each level sounds like, and clarify on a daily basis which voice level is appropriate (for the given activity/situation). If you are looking for a tool to help control the volume level at your house, feel free to use our voice level numbers - what a great way to connect school and home!

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A Note from our PTO about their current online fundraiser

Hello BF Elementary Families! You are hopefully all aware of the PTO fundraiser that was kicked off last week. This is our main fundraiser of the year and we appreciate any and all support. As with most things this year, the fundraiser looks a little different. We wanted to point out a few things that are being done a little differently.

● All orders and payment are done online

○ You must register your students online

○ Go to to register OR text the school code (ANDE24 for Anderson; MORR38 for Morris) to 74590 and click on the link to register

■ If you already registered in a prior year you can just sign in and update any information if needed

○ Once registered you can share the link by sending texts or emails from the site and can easily share the site on Facebook

○ Sales can be made through Monday, October 12th

● Buyers have 2 delivery options:

○ Ship to their home

■ This will include a shipping fee

■ Cold items are sold in bulk

○ Ship to school

■ Shipping is free

■ Cold items are sold in the usual smaller quantities

Seller will need to pick up items on Thursday, Nov 12th from 5pm-7pm and the SELLER needs to deliver

■ Drive through pickup will be available

● Prizes earned by the students will be delivered to the school with the products and will be available for pickup on Thursday, Nov. 12th. If you have no items that require pickup (because they were all sent directly to sellers), prizes can be sent home with students when they are in school.

● If anyone would rather give a cash donation to the BF PTO, you can mail a check to the school written out to BF PTO.

Thanks for your support of this fundraiser and for supporting the BF PTO! It is with your support that we are able to provide many great things for our teachers and students!

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Notes from Nurse Dori

THANK YOU to all of our parents for taking the time to assess their students health prior to sending them to school. It is an important step to keeping everyone healthy and the building OPEN.

As a reminder, here are common signs and symptoms of COVID19:


New cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing or new loss of taste or smell - if your student has any one of these, please keep them home. Call your healthcare provider.


Headache, muscle/body aches, tired/lack of energy, sore throat, runny nose, sinus pain, congestion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or fever /chills - if your student has 2 or more of these, please keep them home. Please do not send your student to school if he/she has a fever over 100, regardless of other symptoms. Call your healthcare provider.

If you are sending an email about an absence due to illness, please include your child's teacher, Ms. Jen, and myself so we all have the same information. Be sure to include all symptoms your child is experiencing, and when symptoms began.

  • The IDPH (Iowa Department of Public Health) has identified the above as “high risk” and “low risk” symptoms. Please check in with your child every morning before they come to school. If your child reports 2 “low risk” symptoms or 1 “high risk” symptom, they should have a medical provider evaluation (in person or telemedicine) that can provide an alternate diagnosis (i.e. allergies, common cold, gastritis, etc) OR remain home for 10 days as if they have tested positive for COVID19. A negative COVID19 test alone is not sufficient to return to school. Your child must also have significant improvement or resolution of symptoms and be fever free for 24 hours (without the use of fever reducing medication), before they can return, even with a doctor’s note. Once your child has been evaluated, please send us the note with the alternate diagnosis, or the plan of care.

  • The same guidance is followed if your child is sent home with potential COVID19 symptoms. If your child has a known pre-existing condition that we have documentation of (allergies, asthma, etc), that will be considered as a factor in determining whether they will be sent home.

  • The IDPH has provided these guidelines to assist with the safe reopening of schools. We are following their guidance, as well as that provided by the CDC. We realize these guidelines require additional work on your end to ensure that your child is healthy when attending school, but please know that the purpose is to ensure that ALL of our students and staff stay as healthy as possible. If you are unsure whether to keep your child home due to illness, you probably should. Contact their physician for guidance if needed.

Please send your child with a mask and water bottle every day. Our drinking fountains are allowing water bottles to be filled only. Please also remember to wash your child’s mask regularly.

Preschool and Kindergarten: Please make sure your child has an extra set of clothing available to them at school in case of accidents. (If they have used their extra set, please send a replacement.)

With the outside temperature changing so much each day/week, please make sure your child is dressed for the weather - students go outside for recess starting at 9:30am - it is still fairly chilly at that time.

Thank you for your assistance in keeping our MorrisJays as healthy as possible! If you have any questions, please email me at

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Did you know we have a school Facebook page?

The Morris Facebook page is Bondurant-Farrar Morris Elementary and the profile picture is the Bluejay head logo with the word MORRIS under it (in case you haven't found us yet.)

A few notes from Ms. Jen

Wow - what a crazy start to the year. For those new to our school, we try to send out our Morris Minute once a month to give you one place to look for all of the information you might need that month. With so many moving pieces this year, we haven't felt as if we could actually do that and have opted for the weekly emails to send out most of our important information to help keep you informed. Here's hoping we can get back to a more regular schedule for everything in the coming months. It will be good for all of our sanity.

Your students have been doing such a good job of adapting and adjusting and we are very proud of how well everyone is doing. We hope as we adjust back into a full time schedule, it continues to go smoothly. I'm sure there will a few hiccups here and there, but know that we will make it through together. While I'm not happy with the sun setting earlier each night, I think we can all agree we are ready for this year to wind on down and say goodbye.

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