THIS WEEK IN OUR SCHOOLS december 5-9, 2016

Scroll down to see our students and staff in action This Week in Our Schools!

Featured this week:

  • District-Wide: Elementary Gifted and Talented.
  • Grant: Ms. Hull's Preschool Class.
  • Grant: Mrs. Morton's 2nd Grade Class and Mr. Valenzuela's 5th Grade Class.
  • Grant: Student Leadership Team at KWPC.
  • Jefferson: Mrs. Reichert's 1st Grade Reading Class.
  • Jefferson: Mrs. Reifert's 2nd Grade Class.
  • Jefferson: Snowy Recess Fun!
  • Madison: Sound Tapes.
  • McKinley: Mrs. Strouf's 1st Grade Class.
  • McKinley: Student Leadership Raises Money for Staff and Students.
  • Mulberry: Kindergarten and 3rd Grade Buddies.
  • Mulberry: Mrs. Evans' Kindergarten Class.
  • Mulberry: Introducing Finley!
  • Mulberry: Raffle Ticket Winners!
  • CMS: 8th Grade Honors English Language Arts Classes.
  • CMS: Mr. Edkin's 8th Grade Automation and Robotics Class.
  • CMS: Musical Students with Visiting Musician J.M. James.
  • MHS: Mr. Schmelzer's Transition Class.
  • MHS: Girl's Bowling - Ragan Carey.
  • MHS: Muskie Baseball Players Give Back to the Community.
  • MHS: Campus Tours - DMACC and Grandview College.
  • MHS: Happy Birthday to the Mighty Muskie Band!
  • District-Wide Staff: December Employee Awards!


MCSD 4th grade gifted/talented students participated in a Mystery Festival on Monday, December 5. They examined a mock crime scene and conducted multiple forensics tests to examine evidence from the scene. Students used observation, experimentation, and logical reasoning to propose an explanation for the scene.

Future Forensics Investigtors


Ms. Hull's 4 year-old preschool class created their own "North Pole." Our friends dressed like elves while wrapping presents and making gingerbread cookies; ...

Santa's helpers at the "North Pole" in Ms. Hull's class.

and danced and sang at Grant's holiday program on Monday!

Mrs. Morton's 2nd grade and Mr. Valenzuela's 5th grade classes celebrated their growth on FAST progress monitoring during DEAL (Drop Everything and Lead). They enjoyed snacks and some music. Also, buddy partners shared what they were thankful for!

2nd and 5th Grade Buddies during DEAL (Drop Everything and Lead).

Grace Zorich, Autumn Glenn, Cameron Kelley, and Jeni Jarrett drop off Toys for Tots while promoting the Grant Student Leadership Team Craft Fair on KWPC!

Grant's Student Leadership Team giving back to the community.


Mrs. Reichert's first grade reading students enjoyed a new game purchased with PTO funding.

Learning can be fun!

Mrs. Reifert's 2nd graders read books by the library's book tree built by their library clerk Kris Smith!

Readers are leaders at Jefferson!

Jefferson students had fun in the first snowfall of the year. They LOVE snowy recess!

Jefferson students enjoying the first snow of the year at recess! She made a tiny snowman.
He was adding arms to his snowman.
It takes teamwork to build a snowman at recess.
Happily rolling together the snow to make a snowman.


Students at Madison like listening to sound tapes.

Listening and learning about the sounds that letters make.


A few fifth graders came and played learning games with the first graders in Mrs. Strouf's class!! The first graders had a blast!! and...

1st graders with their 5th grade friends.

These kiddos are proudly wearing their "goal met" necklaces to tell everyone they meet their sight word or words read per minute goals they set for themselves!!

Congratulations on meeting your sight word goals!

McKinley's student leadership team planned a bake sale to help raise money for the two teachers and two students at McKinley undergoing cancer treatments. They raised over $1000 dollars!!

Raising money for a cause.


Kindergarteners and their 3rd grade reading buddies celebrated with a feast the day before Thanksgiving. There were full bellies and lots of smiles that afternoon!

Kindergarten and 3rd Grade Buddies feasting together.

Kindergarteners in Mrs. Evans' class are practicing their measuring skills with a little Christmas fun.

Math + holiday fun = success!

Meet Finley! He is Mulberry's new therapy dog, and he's already working hard, meeting all of the students and staff!

Introducing the adorable, huggable, loveable Finley! <3

Mulberry students were quite the sales people, and sold over $5,500 in raffle tickets! Yay! The top sellers were treated to a pizza lunch with Mrs. Beilke. Way to go Mulberry Eagles!

Way to go Mulberry students!

Because the students raised more than our goal for the raffle, principal Mrs. Beilke agreed to wear a costume ALL day today!

Mrs. Beilke dressed as a cow thanks to students meeting their raffle goal!


8th grade Honors ELA students hosted an Oppression Expo to present culminating projects in the annual event. Community members including school board members Aaron Finn and Randy Naber, along with city mayor Diana Broderson were among those judging the event. First place winners will participate in an internship day at the Muscatine Diversity Center.

Learning about oppression in 8th Grade ELA Honors.

Mr. Edkin's 8th grade Automation & Robotics class created and programmed spinning signs.

Automation and Robotics in 8th Grade!

Students will special musical gifts and talents at Central Middle School spent the day with musician J.M. James composing music.

Learning musical composition from a visiting artist!


Students and staff from Muscatine High School’s Work Experience Program took the first shift of the Giving Tuesday – Food Packing Event with KIDS FIRST sponsored by the United Way of Muscatine and held at Faith United Church of Christ. Twenty-one students and staff along with several other community volunteers worked cooperatively to pack 1,000 Apple Oatmeal and 1000 Mac and Cheese meals during the morning shift. In the evening, fifty-seven community volunteers worked to put together an additional 12,000 meals.

Everyone had a fun morning working together toward this worthwhile effort. There will be another packing event in the Spring of 2017. Go to the United Way of Muscatine website for further details.

Since January 2014, local organizations, churches, and the United Way of Muscatine have supported this project by either volunteering to work at the event or through monetary donations to make possible the assembly or 49,000 meals in Muscatine. This year’s meals will be donated to the Muscatine Food Pantry and Salvation Army.

The Giving Tuesday Food Packing Event is part of a program supported by United Way. All food items come from a program started by Outreach Inc. in Union, Iowa. Outreach’s mission is: “Providing safe water, food, medical care and education to children and those in need at home and abroad.“

The Packing Crew: MHS Work Experience students and staff line up to show off their work attire for the morning’s packing of meals to be delivered to the Muscatine Food Bank and Salvation Army.
The Line: Two assembly lines were set up for the morning shift, one to package Mac&Cheese and the other for Apple Oatmeal.
Watch the Fingers! Elvis Palacios (L) and Cahill McCormick (R) carefully make sure one of the many Apple Oatmeal packages gets sealed properly. (The process is really quite safe, no chance for lost fingers.)
Wonder Twin Power Activate! MHS seniors Tyler Clark (L) and Mat Clark (R) combine powers to carefully measure out ingredients going into one of the Mac&Cheese meal packages.
The Box Man: The final step in assembling process is boxing them up for shipment and we had just the guy, Shane Beason AKA, “The Box Man”. The smile on his face tells the tale. Shane has found his niche in the packing process.

Congratulations to Ragan Carey on her nice 299 game during Saturday's meet with Clinton. Ragan is now in the record books for having the high individual game for a female bowler in the MAC Conference!

Congratulations Ragan!

Last week, members of the Muscatine High School Baseball team participated in the "Freezin' For Food" drive. This food drive helps fill the food pantry at the Salvation Army for the entire year. Muskie Baseball along with Muscatine Youth Baseball, Jr. Cardinals, Muskie 14U team, Muscatine Flames, and the Muscatine Road Runners generously made a donation of 250 bags of food. All programs also volunteered their time to unload the food from the Hawkeye Hauler on Saturday, December 3.

Muskie Baseball players and coaches giving back to the community!

The MHS Speech and Debate team competed this past Saturday at Davenport West. We took 16 students with 14 competing and 2 novices observing. Due to the lack of schools showing up they had to combine Duo Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation Program, Oral Interpretation and Dramatic Interpretation. Original Oratory results: Kjirsten Osland - third place, Erin Elizalde - fourth place, Abby Haller - fifth place. Combination Event results: Jeramiah Daniels - first place; the team of Ezekiel Ellis and Destiny Williams - second place; the team of Wyatt Foor and Kevin Aguilar – third place; Daniel Salazar – fourth place; Seery Awbrey – sixth place; and Lauren Lettington – seventh place. Congratulations Muskies!!

Congratulations Muskie Speech and Debate!

On Thursday, December 1st, over 40 Muscatine High School Seniors and Juniors visited Des Moines Area Community College (DMACC) and Grandview University. Both places included a tour of the campus, an admissions presentations discussing majors offered and the admissions process, and lunch was provided by both schools.

At Grandview College (top three pictures), students toured of the campus and lunch in the new student life center. Bottom pictures: Students took a tour of DMACC and had an informational session on several career and technical programs offered including Auto Tech, Welding, and Building Trades.


Each month, five employees are selected from a pool of nominees to be recognized for going above and beyond for students, staff, and parents. Employees are nominated by their peers and community members. Here are December's Best of the Best at MCSD! (To read the full write-up: December Employee Awards)

Heather Trego - Reading Interventionist at Mulberry Elementary
Joy Schrock - Media Clerk at Grant Elementary.
Ashley Mohror - 3rd Grade Teacher at Colorado Elementary.
Dave Hartman - Custodian at West Middle School
Dixie Luna - 1st Grade Teacher at McKinley Elementary

Anyone can nominate an employee! Select the button below to be taken to the quick and easy form and nominate an employee who has gone above and beyond on a continual basis!

To see past editions of This Week in Our Schools:

Thank you to all who submitted pictures and video for this week's edition of This Week in Our Schools!

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