January 22, 2021

From the Supt.

Panther Families~

The past two weeks we have enjoyed getting to host our youth teams for practices again. The school board moved our facilities usage to Tier 2 which allows for small group activities that can maintain our safety protocols. The board will continue to monitor our data, community data, and the availability of the vaccine. Our goal is to remain in-person for school and student activities. Things are going well, and we are hopeful we will make it through second semester in our current learning model.

We are also working with Marion County Public Health with voluntary vaccination plans for our staff. They are essential workers that are the heroes educating kids and supporting families every day!

Our KCSD team is currently working on a draft calendar for the 2021-2022 school year. Look for more information on that next week!

Cassi Pearson, KCSD Superintendent

309 W Main Street, Knoxville, IA 50138

o: (641) 842-6551


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Covid-19 Reporting Form

In an effort to better respond to families and streamline the reporting of COVID-19 cases, the Knoxville Community School District has created a new Google form for parents to use. We ask that parents or guardians complete this form if their child has tested positive or has been exposed to a positive case.

You may access the form at this link:

In addition to completing this form, we ask parents/guardians to contact their students’ coaches or sponsors if they are involved in 7th- through 12th-grade extracurricular activities.

Finally, please note that anyone who has been exposed to COVID-19, but has not developed any symptoms, may return to school after Day 10 of their quarantine. These students will not be able to participate in extracurricular activities until after Day 14, but they can come back to school and attend activities—they just cannot participate until after Day 14.

We appreciate your support as we work to serve the needs of our students and families during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Friendly (Non-Covid) Reminders From the Nurse:

Kindergarten: An eye exam and a dental exam are required for Kindergarten. If you have not turned in the forms, please do so. Call your dentist and/or eye doctor to have them fax the forms to school. If your child hasn't been to the dentist or eye doctor, please make the appointments now. Thanks!

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Challenge to Change

Challenge to Change is a free resource for us to use this year. It teaches lifelong wellness skills benefiting the mind, body, and spirit of people of all ages. It focuses primarily on the practices of fitness, yoga, meditation, and daily mindfulness. Teachers like to use breathing to help students calm down and concentrate. This first grade classroom is doing flower breathing and anchor breathing before they start their phonics routines.

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Third Graders Zoom with Paleontologist

Third grade students at Northstar had a special treat this week. They have been reading a story about a paleontologist named Phillip Currie and his study of a bone bed in the Canadian Badlands. The students learned that he and his team uncovered 22 Albertosaurus dinosaurs. Dr. Currie was able to Zoom with all the third grade classrooms to offer a closer look at his job as a paleontologist.

Northstar Student Teachers

Northstar Elementary currently has two student teachers at the 4th grade level. We are always happy to help service teachers in their pursuit of degrees in elementary education. Both have been an excellent addition to Mrs. Gullion’s and Ms. Haning’s 4th grade classrooms. They have built relationships with the students, helped our students grow academically, and have learned about all the aspects of teaching that happen outside of class time.

Kelsey Runnells

Hello Northstar Panthers! My name is Kelsey Runnells, and I am a senior at the University of Northern Iowa. These next two months I am completing the first half of my student teaching here at Northstar. I was placed in Ms. Haning’s 4th grade classroom for eight weeks. In May I will be graduating with my bachelors in Elementary Education and a minor in Special Education. I am so excited to be here, and I can’t wait for all of the relationships I build with staff and students! Go Panthers!!
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Cosette Clendenen

Hello Families! You may have heard from your students that there is someone new helping out in their classroom. My name is Cosette Clendenen and I am a student teacher at Central College. I have the honor to work in Mrs. Gullion's classroom and get to know and teach each of your students over the next two months.

Professionally, I have been in the Army Reserves for 19 years. In my current position I train Soldiers who deploy overseas. Academically, I have an associates, bachelors and masters degree in business management and leadership. After a decade of working in the business world I became a stay at home mom for four and a half years. Since having the experience as a stay at home parent I decided to choose a profession that would allow me to be closer to my children in order to have the opportunity to spend more time with them. I am in my final semester at Central and feel very blessed to teach and learn from your students as I complete my degree.

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Northstar Gets Set to Celebrate Kindness Week

January 25th-29th Northstar students will be celebrating Kindness Week! Student ambassadors will be issuing daily kindness challenges and sharing some great kindness quotes. Students will also be doing kindness activities during guidance. As part of our kindness week, students and staff will be able to participate in dress up days.

Monday- Being Kind is No Sweat (sweatpants)

Tuesday- Nothing Beats Kindness (favorite team)

Wednesday- Put Bullying to Sleep (pajamas)

Thursday- Peace, Love, & Kindness (tie-dye)

Friday- Panthers Take Pride in Being Kind (Panther gear)

If you'd like to participate at home, here are some great ideas on how you and your family can spread some kindness!

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6th Grade Language Arts

The 6th grade language arts team has been working hard to teach the students about analyzing theme. Theme is the lesson or central idea the author wants the reader to learn. As one of the writing activities, the students had to pick a topic and theme to teach young children. They then used the topic and theme to create a plot outline for their story. They did a great job on this activity. Here is one example from two of our students. See if you can figure out the lesson they were trying to teach.

By Jade and Kendra

Harlow wants to go skating at the Sk8 Plaza, but she doesn’t think that she needs her skating gear that her dad told her to put on because she thinks she is too old to need it. “Harlow, you're going to need your skating gear before you go skating,” said Harlow’s Dad. Harlow groans, “Daaaad, I’m a big girl. I don’t need that old stuff, it probably doesn’t even fit anymore.” Harlow ran excitedly onto the skating rink and started to skate. She went around and around and did some twirls and spins until… “Oof!” Harlow happened to have fallen to the ground! Harlow’s dad heard her fall and ran quickly to her. “Are you okay?” Harlow’s dad helped her up. “Harlow, I told you to put on your gear! The gear helps you protect yourself from getting hurt like just now.” Harlow’s dad said.

“I’m sorry, dad, I should have listened to you. Next time we go, I’ll be more careful and listen.” Harlow and her dad went home and Harlow was sad on the way there. “Dad, when can we go back?” Harlow asked. “Sorry kiddo, but you have to get patched up and wait for your knee to heal. It’s going to take a few weeks.”

After Harlow’s Dad got his daughter patched up, they walked up to their car and drove to the store. When they walked into the store, they both wandered around together looking for the right size of gear for Harlow. Soon enough they did find the right gear, paid for it, and headed home.

“Hey dad, thanks for buying me the new gear! I can’t wait to go skating again!” Harlow exclaimed happily. Harlow and her dad got to the skating rink and walked in the building. They put all of their gear on and stepped onto the rink.“Yay! Look at me, dad!” Harlow said happily. “Good jo-” Splat! Harlow had fallen again. “Harlow are you okay!?” Her dad yelled. Harlow got up. “Yeah, dad! I’m okay, this time it didn’t hurt!”

In the end, Harlow learned to learn from her mistakes and to always stay safe.

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Scholarship Opportunities

Future Ready Iowa has grants, scholarship, and funds available for students pursuing a variety of careers. Click for more information.

DMACC Last Dollar Scholarships

Even students who typically receive no federal or state aid- the Last Dollar Scholarship program can pay their entire tuition. That’s right, regardless of their personal income situation, they could pay no tuition costs.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Students complete their FAFSA by July 1, 2021

  2. Students are accepted/enrolled in one of DMACC’s Eligible Programs

  3. Financial Aid calculates the student’s award and any remaining balance beyond the eligible aid is COVERED by the SCHOLARSHIP!

Click for more information

Coaches vs. Cancer

We have a limited number of seats available for students/staff/the general public for tomorrow's (January 23) Coaches v. Cancer basketball games. If you would like one of these seats, please email It is first come, first serve. This will get you on the list of attendees and at the gate you will identify yourself so we can check you off the list and then you can pay admission or present your pass to get into the gym. We are limiting attendance at tomorrow's games so one must on the list to be able to get in to watch.

All of our home events can also be watched live from the comfort of your home.

Quilt Ticket Raffle:

If you would like to buy tickets for the Knoxville quilt that Mary Miller puts together every year, please send an email to Angie or Jim Uitermarkt with how many you want. Your name will be put on the tickets and then will be entered into the drawing. You can deliver your money to Northstar or the Middle School.

Ticket prices: $1 each, 6 for $5, 12 for $10, or 25 for $20.

Online Auction:

The auction is already up and running, but new items are added each day as they come in. The auction is all online this year and you can visit the auction and start bidding now through Saturday night at 10:30pm. Any items won will be picked up on Sunday, Jan. 24th from 10am - 4pm at 1609 McKay Dr in Knoxville.

Auction link:

Cash Donations:

There is an online site that takes credit or debit cards. The money donated on this site goes directly to the American Cancer Society and you will receive an email receipt that shows you made a cash donation and can be used on your taxes.

Cash Donation link:
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Upcoming Home Events

  • Sat, Jan. 23: JV/V G/B BW v. Oskaloosa, 1230 PM @Oskaloosa (Statesman Lanes)
  • Sat, Jan. 23: JV1/V G/B BB v. Chariton, 330 PM @Knoxville (High School)
  • Tue, Jan. 26: JV/V B SW v. Marshalltown, 530 PM @Indianola (YMCA)
  • Thu, Jan. 28: 8 BBB v. Pella Christian, 430 PM @Knoxville (Middle School)
  • Sat, Jan. 30: Dance Team Showcase Night, 700 PM @Knoxville (High School)

Post Season is Almost Here!

With the middle of January brings the upcoming postseason series for many of our teams. Upcoming postseason events:

  • Sat, Jan. 23: District Large Group Speech Contest (virtual)

  • Sat, Jan. 30: State Jazz Band Contest @Pella

  • Fri, Feb. 5: FFA Subdistricts @Moulton

  • Sat, Feb. 6: Wrestling Sectionals @Knoxville

  • Sat, Feb. 6: Boys Swimming Districts

  • Sat, Feb. 13: Girls Basketball Regionals

  • Tue, Feb. 16: Girls/Boys Bowling State Qualifying Meet

  • Mon, Feb. 22: Boys Basketball Districts

  • Sat, Feb. 27: District Individual Speech Contest

Governor’s Proclamation

Governor Reynolds has issued a Proclamation that does not restrict how many spectators can attend extra-curricular events. After consultation with Marion County Public Health and a review of data, KCSD will not restrict the number of fans that can attend our home extra-curricular events.

A couple of requirements for fans wishing to attend our home events:

  • Masks are still required.

  • Groups of spectators must social distance.

  • If you do not feel well - stay home.

For those interested, there will still be a free live stream option to view our home high school events.

We will continue to monitor our data and make adjustments as needed to ensure the health and safety of our students, families, and community.

The Knoxville Store

In partnership with Ramaeker Enterprises Inc., we are excited to offer the Knoxville Store - the online apparel store for Knoxville Panther gear!

This link can be found on our school website: and then click on the "Knoxville Store."

This store features apparel/gear with items from our new brand system with logo marks that have never been on the market! These are exclusive Knoxville Panther items you will only find here!

Some items on this store will stay from month to month - some items will change so that there are constantly new items to choose from for Panther fans!

Orders will be processed twice a month - on the 15th and at the end of the month and Ramaeker Enterprises will email you when your order is ready.

Activity Schedules

Get schedules for all extra-curricular middle school and high school activities by going to and then clicking on "Activities Calendar". You can even sign-up for email notifications so whenever we make a change to a schedule - you can be notified immediately.

Follow the Knoxville Activities Department on Instagram! @knoxvilleactivities

News from the Transportation Department

Winter Reminders

We would like to remind parents and students to be aware of slick spots when approaching, loading and unloading the bus. Take small steps and don’t run to the bus.

Here is the link for Hard Surface pickup stops and times if needed this winter. This can also be found on the District website under Transportation.


  1. Wait quietly for the bus, stay a safe distance from the road.

  2. Keep out of the Danger Zone, which is 10 feet all around the bus.

  3. Stay in your seat.

  4. Don’t put anything out the window.

  5. Keep your school bag and other belongings out of the aisle.

  6. Keep your mask on at all times.

  7. No food or drink on the bus.

  8. Respect the driver and other bus riders.

  9. Wait your turn to get on or off the bus.

Brenda Dunkin, Transportation Director & Bill Burkhart, Mechanic

Sign Up To Receive Alerts

Sign up and/or update your subscription to receive alerts regarding school cancellations/delay and/or activity changes, you will need to subscribe to this service through GovDelivery. You can choose to receive text messages, email messages, or both. Please don’t delay, sign up today:

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Track Your Student's Meals

Did you know you can track your student(s) meal / A la Carte purchases from JMC? After logging into JMC click on the “lunch” button on the left hand side. This will pull up a screen with a top section and bottom section. The top section is an overview of all students on your account, showing you who has purchased Breakfast, Lunch or A la Carte. It will show the amount charged for each item, the date, and has a running total of your family account balance. The bottom section allows you to look up individual students. Next to “Lunch Students” click the drop down menu and choose which student you would like to review. This is a great way to see if your child is eating meals and helps you to stay informed of your account balance. If you have any questions please call or email Jason Swanson, 641-828-2094 |

2020-21 KCSD Academic Calendar

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One Spring Session Offered Beginning Thursday, February 25th.

More information & registration forms can be found here.
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Free Winter Coats
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KCSD Admin. Office

The Panther Press is a weekly collective newsletter for parents & community members. If you have an article or flyer to share, please submit to for consideration. We love to hear from you so please send us your submissions and feedback. The regular weekly deadline is Thursday at noon.

Stay connected by frequenting our website or following us on social media!

Rate us on!

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Have you Downloaded the KCSD App?

The Knoxville Community School District launched its newly designed website and mobile app in June. The website provides a seamless user experience, allowing visitors to more quickly access important information and updates.

In addition, KCSD launched its first-ever mobile app, available for download on both iOS and Android devices. The app includes push notifications for alerts, news, events, schedule changes and more.

The app allows our families, students and community members to receive push notifications for news, events, schedule changes and more! Download it today!