Panther Press

K-12 Weekly: February 9, 2018


From the Desk of Linda Abbott, West Principal

January has been a busy month, and our students and staff have taken it all in stride! Coming back after winter break to several late starts due to the cold weather and kick starting all of us after a holiday and a couple of weeks off can be challenging! Add to that, the illnesses many of us have battled. January was also the time for the winter assessments that give us important information about how our students are progressing! All the PK-2 assessments are finally completed and we are pleased to share some good news!

It is rewarding to see that in the early reading assessments (K-1) 90% of our students made growth from fall to winter testing periods. Our second grade data shows that 75% made growth from fall to winter. Overall, we are pleased to say that 86% of our K-2 students are showing progress. Our preschool students are assessed in pre-reading skills using IGDIs. 98% of our four year olds made growth from fall to winter. All of this growth doesn’t happen by coincidence. It is a collaborative effort among all teachers and associates, student efforts and family support! Congratulations to everyone who contributed to this effort! It takes a village!

We are accumulating quite a pile of lost and found items: coats, sweatshirts, hats, mittens/gloves, etc. If you are missing some items at your house, please come and check out our lost and found table.

Kindergarten Around Town

This week the Kindergarteners wrote and mailed letters to someone special. They then took a tour of the Knoxville Post Office. They saw how postal workers sort and deliver the mail. They also learned Valentines Day is the busiest day of the year for the Knoxville Post Office! Thank you Laurie Krauss for the tour!


Second Grade Happenings

On a cold winter's day, it is fun to curl up with a good book.

Healthy Snacks in Third Grade

Third graders at Northstar have been working hard on Iowa Assessments. Each day we got a healthy snack before testing. Thank you, Elementary PTO!
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5th Graders Study the United States Flag

Fifth graders recently finished a unit focused on the United States flag and wrote an essay about what the flag means to them. They also wrote about their respect for the flag. Ten Northstar 5th graders were honored for their writing achievement. Members of the local American Legion presented the ten students with awards including a plaque, flag, and commemorative coin.
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Knoxville Elementary Yearbook

This year, Knoxville Elementary PTO is putting together and selling a TreeRing yearbook! Here are three reasons we chose TreeRing:
  • Custom Yearbooks: Every student gets a one of a kind printed copy containing two free pages to customize with personal photos.
  • Green Yearbooks: TreeRing plants a tree in our school’s name when you purchase a book and prints on recycled paper.
  • Beautiful Yearbooks: All yearbooks are gorgeously printed in full color using the highest end print production available

The cost of your personalized yearbook is $18 and the money spent will assist PTO in funding field trips and other items for your children. The final sale date is April 15th and you can customize 2 pages for FREE. If you customize, you’ll receive a standard yearbook and the cost is the same.

YOU CAN PURCHASE AND PERSONALIZE YOUR Northstar & West Elementary YEARBOOK BY CLICKING HERE. Buy one for per child or for your elementary kids to share.

Sarah Adams, Knoxville Elementary PTO

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6th Grade Poetry Contest

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This fall, several 6th grade language arts students participated in a poetry contest through Appelley Publishing. The objective was to create an original poem that was a minimum of two lines and a maximum of twenty lines. The company will be giving out over $4000 in prizes. First place will receive $500 with cash prizes from $25-$150 just for entering. Teachers can also win $500. The students did not receive any assistance from the teacher and had to complete the poems at home. These young writers also have the opportunity to have their poems published into a book! Winners will be announced in April. Good luck to these talented students!

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A Sweet Surprise

Iowa Assessments are underway! 6th grade students found a surprise at their lockers when they entered the building today. The 6th grade teachers taped an inspirational message along with a Lifesaver on their lockers. We hope that this encouraged the students to try their best on their assessments. Good luck 6th graders!
Drivers Education will be offered this spring @ KHS through Triple 'R' Driving School. This session begins on Tues., Feb. 27th with Mr. Grimm as the instructor. Register forms are available on our website, in the HS office, & via the PDF below.

A Lesson in Kinematics

Students in Physical Science were recently coding the Spheros to complete a different maze. They were to measure distance of each part of the maze, calculate the speed of each part then code the Spheros according to their measurements & calculations. As they are working through, students were writing down their "field notes" over what they were trying, what wasn't working and how they were making adjustments. This was part of a final assessment for the unit over kinematics.

Problem Solving in the Makerspace

Students working in the Makerspace that is located in our Library/Media Center during some downtime. Collaborating and working together to try to solve a difficult puzzle.

Career & Exploration Program

KHS is continuing to actively work toward improving its Career Exploration & Work Experience programs. The Career Exploration Program through the school year is an important educational component for many students. Students receive “work” instruction on-site, from current, actual employees in many different aspects of each business. This takes time and commitment on the part of the management and staff of each establishment as many students have never before been employed or participated in an unpaid experience. Local businesses are instrumental in providing real-life career practice and receive no compensation for doing so. Please support these local businesses and thank them for participating in the Career Exploration program for our students. This year’s participants so far are:



Previous participants:

Mr. C’s Steakhouse

Cobblestone Hotel and Suites

Manny’s Diner

Knoxville Middle School

Raceway Tire & Exhaust


Knoxville Farm & Home

The Work Experience Program is different in that the students are actually hired by the businesses and work during the school day around their academic schedules. They are evaluated by their work supervisors and receive class credits through the Work Experience Coordinator. Please support and thank these local businesses for participating in the Work Experience program and giving our students the opportunity to earn both credit toward graduation and income with them:

Coffee Connection

Knoxville Farm and Home


Their participation is an example of true community spirit and support for our students. Students have made important life decisions based on their experiences with their establishments. Thank you.

Another important consideration for employers is that some students who are hired may qualify for partial salary reimbursement through the Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation program.

If you or your business would like to participate in the KHS Career Exploration program, please contact:

Betty Hizer

Career Exploration Coordinator

641-842-2173 ext. 1166


Congratulations to our Knoxville wrestlers who qualified for the district wrestling meet by finishing in the top two at their weight division at the sectional wrestling meet Saturday in Williamsburg. Our four district qualifiers are from left to right Joe Hollinrake (runner up at 152), Cody Ray Smith (runner up at 160), Chase Bellon (sectional champ at 220), and Coby Meyer (sectional champ at 170). These four boys will wrestle in the district meet this coming Saturday (2/13) AT KHS for the right to compete in the state wrestling meet. Come out and support the boys this Saturday at KHS! Congrats again and best of luck Joe, Cody Ray, Chase, and Coby!

Feb. 9-16 Activities Schedule

Reminders when attending home events as spectators:

Please remain in the gym and cheer in a positive manner for players. Students are not allowed to be in the hallways or walking around the school building at any time unsupervised by an adult.

Friday, Feb. 9th:

  • MS Dance (7-8th Grade) @ KMS Gym, 7:00 pm

Saturday, Feb. 10th:

  • District Wrestling @ KHS, 12:00 pm
  • G/B Bowling Conference Meet @ Excit-A-Bowl in Pella, 1:00 pm
  • HS Band JazzFest @ SE Polk

Monday, Feb. 12th:

  • Boys Basketball (9/JV/Varsity) @ Carlisle, 4:30 pm

Tuesday, Feb. 13th:

  • Bowling - Regional Meet @ Great Escape in Pleasant Hill, 1:00 pm
Wednesday, Feb. 14th:
  • Regional Girls Basketball - Knoxville vs. Oskaloosa @ KHS, 7:00 pm
Thursday, Feb. 15th:
  • Boys Basketball (9/JV/Varsity) vs. Fairfield @ KHS, 4:45 pm
  • State Wrestling begins @ Wells Fargo Arena

Panther to Statesmen

Jacob Zuck sign a letter of intent to play football at William Penn University on Wednesday. Congratulations to Jacob on this achievement and best of luck to you!
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The Knoxville FFA has the opportunity to host a Meals From the Heartland community service project on March 1, 2018! The mission for Meals From the Heartland is to empower people to save the starving by having different organizations in Iowa volunteer to package meals for delivery. Numerous Knoxville FFA members have had the opportunity to help package meals for Meals From the Heartland at Iowa FFA State Convention the past 5-6 years. This year's Knoxville FFA officer team decided their area of focus for our chapter is service projects. Their challenge is for our chapter to do at least one service project per month. So far this year, we have been right on target with some months even doing numerous service projects. Our chapter felt that packaging meals for Meals From the Heartland at the high school would be a great way to involve not only all high school students, but also our community. One package can feed a family of six, and we plan to include the entire high school student body to pack 50,000 meals. The opportunity to help feed 300,000 people will cost $5,000 after we subtract the funding we could potentially receive through a youth assistance program.

The financial responsibility to host an event such as this will require assistance from people in our community. Partnership is very important within the Knoxville FFA chapter and school district, and we always appreciate the continued support our community demonstrates. The Knoxville FFA would like to ask local businesses to please consider partnering with us to help fund the expense of this event. We certainly do not expect any business to fund the entire event, and appreciate any amount businesses are willing or able to donate. We would also like to invite anyone interested to stop by the high school and witness this event take place or even help package meals on March 1st. We plan to start packing from 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. and 12:30 p.m-2:30 p.m. If you are able to help financially assist or package meals for this incredible event, please feel free to contact the Knoxville FFA Advisor, Tiffany Johnston via email at or call her at (641) 842-2173(school). Thank you for your consideration.

Knoxville Public Library: Your Change Helps Us Change

The Knoxville Public Library and the Knoxville Community School District are teaming up to raise money for the library expansion and renovation project. By involving our young people, we hope they will feel ownership in the library and increase library usage and involvement in the many programs that are offered. Students and their families are invited to send change to school during February 12-March 2. Donations can be given to classroom teachers K-5 and to advisory leaders at grades 6-12. Local business like Subway, DQ, McDonald's, Hardee's, Rib Shack, Mr. C's, and Casey's have shared coupons/gift certificates to be used as incentives during the drive.

At the end of the competition:

  • the highest earning grade level at West will win a trip to the Knoxville Recreation Center
  • highest earning grade level at Northstar will win cookies and ice cream provided by HyVee and the Elementary PTO
  • and each highest earning advisory group at the Middle and High School will get pizza provided by Knoxville Pizza Hut and cookies and carrots provided by Knoxville Fareway.
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Marion County Food Coalition: Food Distribution Calendar

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Screenagers: Growing up in the Digital Age

The KCSD Wellness Team will be hosting a special screening of "Screenagers: Growing up in the Digital Age" at KPAC on March 19. This is a FREE event THANKS to our friends at Iowa State Savings Bank!

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2018-2019 Academic Calendar

The academic calendar for the 2018-2019 school year was approved at the January 8, 2018 school board meeting. Please take note to plan ahead for the next school year.

KCSD Administrative Office

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