What's Happening, Tate?

December, 2020

Dear Families,

Thank you to all of our families and students for contributing to a successful 1st trimester!

I appreciate everyone's flexibility as the schedule changed throughout the trimester. I appreciate the perseverance shown by all to adapt to a new way of learning. Given the departure from the “typical” way of doing school, we had a successful trimester, and I believe that the 2nd trimester will go even better!

Now that students are familiar with their teachers and online expectations, knowing that teachers are only a phone call or email away, knowing our teachers are just as flexible, I hope that students can start the 2nd trimester strong!

If we start the 2nd trimester online, please log into your teachers' canvas homepage, attend class and email if you have any questions. We know this is not easy, we can’t change what’s happening, but we can find ways to support you.

When we finally are able to return to the hybrid schedule and meet in person, we look forward to welcoming new students and celebrating our 1st trimester with an awards assembly and some fun orientation activities.

Lastly, please contact the school office if your student or family are in need of support. We have the school pantry and counseling services. Most importantly, if you feel you or your student is struggling please do not hesitate to set up an appointment and we can problem solve together.

Here is to a healthy holiday season, our best to all of you. Continue putting forth the effort in school, it’s paying off!

Principal Ann Browning

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special shoutout to Ms. Hoffman for taking this beautiful shot of Tate in front of a fall sky! :D

Important Dates:

  • Friday, Dec 4 : End of Trimester 1
  • Monday, Dec 7 : No School
  • Tuesday, Dec 8: Start of Trimester 2
  • Monday, Dec 21 - Friday, Jan 1 : Winter Break. No School
  • Monday, Jan 4 : Classes Resume
  • Monday, Jan 18: Martin Luther King Day. No School

At Tate, We honor C.O.R.R. Values:


if you didn't know: ICCSD's COVID dashboard

In an effort to provide transparent, accurate, and timely data regarding COVID-19 cases in our school community, the District created a webpage, the COVID-19 Dashboard

On the Dashboard you can find data related to COVID-19 in our schools, including the:

  • number of active, positive COVID-19 cases, as well as presumed positive cases, within ICCSD schools and buildings
  • number of students and staff currently in quarantine due to close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19
  • number of classrooms closed and extracurricular activities suspended across the District
  • Johnson County's 14-Day Average COVID-19 Positivity Rate over the previous 7 days

+ ICCSD School Board's Decision Matrix

In collaboration with both local and global leaders, the ICCSD School Board created the COVID-19 Decision Matrix to aid in dynamic decision making surrounding which learning model is appropriate for the current period of time:
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The District lays out its process as follows:

"On a daily basis, the Iowa City Community School District’s Chief Operating Officer will track the positivity rates for Johnson County and each building's student/staff absence rate. The Chief Operating Officer will communicate these numbers to the Superintendent. The Superintendent will make a recommendation to the ICCSD Board of Directors when the data indicates that a shift in the educational model may be required for a building or the District. This meeting will include a review of the data and a decision will be made regarding whether the district will seek permission to move to a fully online learning environment. The Chief Operating Officer will track and provide additional data to identify trends and other indicators that may assist with decision making. The same process will be utilized if the District plans to transition to fully on-site for teaching and learning.

The decision to remain in the instructional delivery model or consider moving back to a different model will be reviewed every two weeks at a regularly scheduled Board Meeting."

Additional info about the School Board's decision making process and other related COVID-19 matters can be found on the District's Return to Learn webpage

PBIS points - November

Every day, Tate staff award virtual "PBIS points" to students showing CORR values.

Points can be turned in at lunch for extra snacks and drinks or saved up for bigger prizes like Warrior merchandise.

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In November, over 1,100 PBIS points were given out!

Responsibility was the most popular CORR value rewarded (395), with Respect, Ownership and Caring following behind in that order.

positive office referral & postcards

Another way Tate teachers and staff acknowledge students showing CORR values is through Positive Office Referrals and written postcards home.

We think it's important parents know when their kid is excelling. It's our hope through these gestures that we can keep building positive relationships between teachers, students and their families.

We track the number of each given out, allowing us additional data to help in our efforts to track progress throughout the year.

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In November, more Positive Postcards and Office Referrals were given than the two months before. We hope this trend continues and are committed to the process regardless of which type of instruction we're under.

SAC referrals

Tate's Student Advisory Center (featured in last month's newsletter) tracks the number of referrals they receive every month. This data helps us get a broad pulse on how the students are doing overall and the effectiveness of our PBIS support system.
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Under normal circumstances, the SAC might log 5 referrals before lunch. This year, with the ongoing changes related to COVID-19 and our mode of instruction, we've seen the number of SAC referrals noticeably drop.

caring - ownership - respect - responsibility

Introducing: CORR Warrior of the Month

Every month, students caught exuding CORR values will be nominated by staff to be dubbed "CORR Warrior of the Month".

Congratulations, Mercedes Hamilton, for being elected in November!

November's CORR Warrior of the Month - Mercedes Hamilton

Name: Mercedes Hamilton

Year in school: Junior

Horoscope: Gemini/Cancer

Mantra: I believe that the human spirit is indomitable. If you endeavor to achieve, it will happen given enough resolve. It may not be immediate, and often your greater dreams are something you will not achieve within your own lifetime. The effort you put forth to anything transcends yourself, for there is no futility even in death.

Superstitions: Waking up late for class, feeling like I'm going to have a bad day.

Show everyone should watch: Youtube shows: RWBY

Favorite Tate memory: Watching the Bumblebee movie at the theaters

Dream job: Artist and Youtuber

Nominating staff (Ms Gibson, Ms McDonald, Ms Riney, Ms Fitz): Mercedes has really taken ownership over her learning! She's worked really hard this trimester to keep her grades up and her hard work is evident. She meets regularly with Ms. McDonald turns in quality work. Working online hasn't been easy but she has persevered. She's always on time and ready to work. What's more, her smile and resilience light up our days!

Mercedes' take: I feel really good and excited to be nominated :) I never expected these things.

caring - ownership - respect - responsibility

Staff Spotlight - Ms. Encarnação

My Role at Tate: Receptionist/Attendance and all around office assistant

I Hail From: Bolivia/Chile , grew up in Jackson Heights, Queens, NY until age 27(lived in many other places)

My Path to Tate: moved to Iowa in 2011 having already worked with HS students for 5 years in KY. Couldn’t think of any other population I wanted to work with more

Favorite day/part of the year: Summers in Portugal

Someone who inspires me: my immigrant Dad who is an American Dream come true

Catch me on the weekends doing: CrossFit/running/reading/napping/ salsa dancing

What I would tell 16 year old me: be courageous, you are stronger than you think, prettier than you think and smarter than you think

My most important CORR value: Respect those that have come before you / Respect youth that will build the future

"Respect those that have come before you / Respect youth that will build the future"

Ms. Encarnação

Staff Spotlight - Ms. Hoffman

My Role at Tate: ELL Educator

I Hail From: I lived on a small acreage near Dubuque, IA, with my parents and three siblings until I went to college at Northern Iowa. After college, I got married, and my husband's job brought us to Iowa City.

My Path to Tate: I started teaching as a 7th-grade science teacher in Tipton, IA, for four years. I decided to take a break from teaching to stay home with my babies, but that was a short break! I found a fantastic job with the Johnson County Extension Office working with 4-H. That job allowed me the flexibility to be home with my kids while still working in the world of education. I prepared and implemented educational activities for the 4-H Afterschool Program and also worked with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Johnson County for over ten years. Then I returned to school to earn a master's degree and received my ELL endorsement. I returned to the classroom two days a week in Springville, IA, for a few years. Then I was so lucky to join the ICCSD as the ELL teacher for Tate High School and Shimek Elementary! It is an amazing job, and I am so fortunate to work with such outstanding students.

Favorite day/part of the year: Fall - I love when the weather changes, Hawkeye Football, backyard fires, beautiful leaves and eating soup!!

Someone who inspires me: My Grandma, Marie Valentine, is an amazing person. I would connect her to Caring, my pick for the essential CORR value. She is a person that loves unconditionally and does not let obstacles stand in her way (she focuses on the can and moving forward). She faced many heartbreaking challenges during her youth but never lost sight of hope. She provides forgiveness to those who need it, and she extends a helping hand. I have always said and still say I want to be like her when I grow up (97 living alone and still loving her family!) She has inspired me at every stage of my life and I am lucky to call her Grandma!

Catch me on the weekends doing: Hanging out with my family! My husband and I have four wonderful children and we love to play games, watch movies, and be outside! Pre-Covid - We loved to visit our extended family!

What I would tell 16 year old me: Worry Less! I would go back and tell my 16-year-old self that all those small worries which seemed significant at the time do not have as much impact as I believed. In the end, it's important to let go of the things we can not control and put energy into the things you can control. p.s. Live in the moment and stop wishing for the next step to come quickly! It will come so enjoy what you are doing now!

My most important CORR value: Caring! I believe in the power of caring for others. I genuinely believe that each person is unique and deserves to be loved and accepted for who they are. Caring for others shows that you have respect for others, you take ownership of your actions, and you are responsible for the choices you make toward others.

" I believe in the power of caring for others. I genuinely believe that each person is unique and deserves to be loved and accepted for who they are. "

-Ms. Hoffman

reminder: (hybrid) online learning daily schedule

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(hybrid) In-Person Daily Schedule


past newsletters:

Go warriors! Have a lovely December