Pleasant Valley
Community Schools
JUNIOR HIGH STUDENTS NOMINATED FOR BLANK SUMMER INSTITUTE

Posted December 8th, 2017

PVCSD would like to give a big congratulations to the PVJH students who have been nominated to be a part of the prestigious 2018 Blank Summer Institute (BSI) in Iowa City from June 24th through June 29th, 2018!

The Blank Summer Institute for the Arts & Sciences is a one-week residential summer program held at The University of Iowa for 120 of Iowa’s gifted students who are currently in grades 7 & 8. The Institute provides exceptionally talented students with an intensive and advanced educational experience designed to enhance their intellectual and social growth.

Once nominated, students will complete an application process. Applications are forwarded to the Belin-Blank Center where the final selection of students will be made.

The following students were nominated:

Timothy Davison – Invention & Innovation
Grace Davidson – Global & Cultural Studies
Carter Dougherty – Advanced Science
Evan Freese – Social Studies
Erika Holmberg – Performing Arts
Kavya Kalathur – Math Problem Solving
Lauren McGovern – Creative Writing
Gillian Oenick – Visual Arts

Well done Spartans and good luck with the final selection process!

CODY LECLAIRE PROJECT GAINS TRACTION

Posted December 6th, 2017

Over the last month, second, fourth, and sixth graders from Cody have been watching patiently as the views on their LeClaire Project video grow.  The LeClaire Project is a video put together by these students, along with their educators, to show various aspects about the community of LeClaire, in an effort to be a featured location on PenPal Schools Virtual Reality Field Trip Across America.

PenPal Schools is a program that connects classrooms across the globe to promote collaboration through different online lessons.  They host many projects, and decided to start a Virtual Reality Field Trip Across America.  This allows students from around the world to learn about America by viewing and experiencing communities across the country in the virtual reality sets.

The LeClaire Project focused on things specific to the community of Le Claire, starting with Eagle Watching by the second grade, Tug Fest by the fourth grade, and Antique Archaeology by the sixth grade.  Students collaborated across grades to think of interview questions and ideas, and had conversations with community members that had specific knowledge on their topics.

As of December 6th, the video has over 13,000 views and nearly 350 shares.  The contest ended on November 30th, and winners will be announced in the near future!  Click here to view the video and support the Cody students!

PVCSD wants to thank Larissa Bailey – 2nd grade teacher, Allison Samuelson – 4th grade teacher, Jennifer Notton – 6th grade teacher, Beth Campbell – Instructional Technology Coach, and all the community members that helped Cody students and were involved with the making of this video.  It is amazing to see one of our schools work so hard to show off their community!

PV DANCE TEAM STEALS THE SHOW AND THE STATE TITLE

Posted December 4th, 2017

Let’s give a big Spartan Nation congratulations to the PV Platinum Dance Team for becoming the Class XIII State champions in Pom!  The team competed on December 1st against other dance teams from across the state to bring home the state title in the Pom competition, and 4th place in Class VII Jazz competition.  On November 4th, six individual PV Platinum dancers also competed in the Iowa State Dance Team Solo Competition, where each dancer was given a Division 1 rating, the highest achievable rating, and two placed within the top 10.  To see the Pom and Jazz performances, check out the Pleasant Valley Dance Team Facebook page here!  Well done, Dancers!

PVHS STUDENTS RECOGNIZED AT FEARLESSLY GIRL ASSEMBLY

Posted November 29th, 2017

Spreading kindness and empowering young women to be a positive change in the community are just a couple of the things focused on by the PVHS chapter of Girls Learn International.  Earlier in November, the group attended the official launch conference of Fearlessly Girl to learn more about improving social media and the movement that is tackling cyberbullying.

Fearlessly Girl is an anti-bullying organization, based in Canada and started by Kate Whitfield.  The conference on November 17th was the official United States launch for the organization, where over 7,000 girls attended and watched via livestream from across the U.S.  The assembly was the largest anti-bullying gathering ever held, and was hosted by Kate Whitefield and Quad Cities native and professional tennis player, Madison Keys.  The women focused on topics like self-esteem issues, pressure to conform to societal beauty standards, and answered questions from participants pertaining to their personal lives.

While at the conference, the PVHS chapter of Girls Learn International was selected to receive the #kindcomments Award, which is part of a global initiative to prevent cyberbullying and promote positive activity on social media.  The PV GLI club was honored with this award because of their displays of kindness on and off social media.

Representatives from the group, Lily Williams, Whitney Ankton, and Ramya Kumar were also interviewed by Keys and Whitfield about their experiences with GLI, and about what the group does to promote kindness.

Spartan Nation is proud of these inspiring young women for taking the initiative to make PV and the world a better place!

DISTRICT WIDE ROBOTICS SHOWCASE A HIT FOR ALL AGES

Posted November 20th, 2017

On Sunday, November 19th, over 100 PV students gathered at Riverdale Heights Elementary for the Robotics Showcase! This showcase is part of the PVHS Robotics team outreach to younger students to promote robotics and other aspects of STEM. Students from Cody, Riverdale Heights, PVJH, and PVHS were involved in the showcase.
 
Sunday was all about the younger students showing the work they’ve done up to this point, and giving them an opportunity to see what’s coming for them at the next level! The teams take time to learn about robotics and the different aspects building a functioning robot, but they also learn many lessons in teamwork, collaboration, and adaptability.
 
After the showcase, there was a Robotics themed carnival with concessions and other activities, like noodle and marshmallow model building and a paper bridge building competition. A big round of applause to all the students who participated, Spartan Nation can’t wait to see what you keep accomplishing in the Robotics world!
STUDENT HUNGER DRIVE SUCCESS FOR PV

Posted November 16th, 2017

This year was a massive success for Pleasant Valley in the Student Hunger Drive!  We are proud to announce that PV raised over 65,000 pounds of food for the hungry throughout the Quad Cities, and brought home first place in the Division A competition!  Pleasant Valley also won the Mission Challenge portion of the competition, which included an essay and poster about the mission of the Hunger Drive, as well as the Most Improved award for improving pounds raised by 77%.

Spartan Assembly, the PVHS student council, spearheaded the efforts for this year’s drive.  These efforts included a Survivor theme throughout the high school, different events for PV students and staff, a variety of community activities and involvement, and lots of encouragement to the junior high and elementary schools to raise as much as possible.

Student leaders in Spartan Assembly all thought the difference in numbers this year was simply because of community and school involvement.   “Having more events helped so much,” senior Emma Horsfield said.  “The new events targeted more people that aren’t usually involved and made all different types of groups want to participate.”

PVSD wants to thank all students, teachers, and families for their involvement in this year’s Student Hunger Drive.  It is incredible to see the PV family come together to support the Quad Cities community and to make a difference in so many lives!

RIVERDALE HEIGHTS HONORS VETERANS

Posted November 10th, 2017

Riverdale Heights students and staff took the afternoon on Friday, November 10th to honor those who serve, and have served, our country.  The annual Riverdale Heights Elementary Veteran’s Day Commemoration took place in the gym, where the whole school gathered to hear from nearly 60 veterans from all branches of the military.  The audience also got to hear from guest speaker Major Rebecca Milkowski, a local and highly decorated soldier from the Army. The Riverdale Heights 5th Grade Harmonics performed two songs, along with the 6th grade trumpets who performed Taps.

The Pleasant Valley School District wants to thank and honor all veterans on this day. Thank you for all you have done for this country and for this community, we are so grateful for you!

COLLABORATION AND TEAMWORK IN JUNIOR HIGH GOOSE CHASE

Posted November 8th, 2017

Last week after the Iowa Assessment testing, Junior High students got out of their classrooms and headed out on a ‘Goose Chase’ throughout the school! During different periods of the day, students were placed in groups and sent on 38 missions, all focused on different educational skills like math and discourse. Each mission was worth a certain amount of points and encouraged collaboration and communication. We love to see our students have a little fun, while still working together to accomplish a task, after a long week of testing!

TECHNOLOGY TAKE OVER FOR PLEASANT VIEW 6TH GRADERS

Posted November 8th, 2017

November 10th was filled with all kinds of technology for the 6th grade classes at Pleasant View during Tech EdCamp!  The student-led camp focused on teaching peers about several different presentation applications – iMovie, Spark Video, Haiku Deck, Adobe Pages, and Padlet.

The camp was also student-centered as each child was able to choose which sessions they wanted to attend based on their own interest, and allowed them to engage in the presentation, rather than just listen.  “Tech EdCamp was interactive,” Mallory, a 6th grade participant, said.  “It wasn’t just a ‘this is what the app is,’ we actually got to play around with the app and know how to use it.”

All students are putting their new learning to use as they present research based on their inquiry work for Ancient Egypt.

 

**Photos courtesy of Wendy Reyes

Visiting Artist Rock Riverdale Heights

Posted October 2nd, 2017

Every year, Pleasant Valley Community School District works with Quad City Arts to bring their Visiting Artists into our schools.  The week of October 2, 2017, students enjoyed the critically acclaimed beatboxing string trio Infinitus.  

The members of Infinitus not only played familiar songs for the students at Riverdale Heights, but also challenged the kids’ musical ability.  In the video below, you see them working on a rhythmic pattern.

 The musicians also asked students to listen to various pieces and talk about what they thought each piece was about.

“That’s what’s great about music,” a member of Infinitus said. “We can hear the same thing and think something different.”

Infinitus is holding a public performance at Pleasant Valley High School in the theatre on Friday, October 6, 2017 at 7:00pm.  This event is free and open to the public.

To learn more about Infinitus, click here.

Exploring the World through the Senses

Posted October 2nd, 2017

Why do people become explorers?  Students in Mrs. Wilga’s 5th Grade class at Pleasant View Elementary spent the day learning about explorers and how they used their senses to discover new worlds. Mrs. Wilga set up three stations — one, a group of small boxes students had to smell and determine the scent, another full of plant life and another technology-based station which allowed students to research explorers.  A hands-on class the students will definitely remember for a long time!

Five PV Students Named National Merit Semifinalists

Posted September 14th, 2017

National Merit Scholars

The faculty and staff of Pleasant Valley Community High School are pleased to announce that the following seniors were recently honored as National Merit Scholarship Semifinalists in the 63rd  annual National Merit Scholarship Program: Laura J. Brown, daughter of Jason and Rita Brown of Bettendorf; Vivek Joshi, son of Deepak and Janki Joshi of Bettendorf; Konnor Sommer , son of Kevin and Jill Sommer; Vishwajit Subramanian, son of Subramanian Trichy and Arathi Sharada Balagangadharan of  Bettendorf; Sophia Xiao; daughter of  Peter Xiao and Guo Li of Bettendorf.

To become a Finalist, the Semifinalist and his or her high school must submit a detailed scholarship application, in which they provide information about the Semifinalist’s academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards received.   A semifinalist must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT® scores that confirm the student’s earlier performance on qualifying test.

From approximately 16,000 Semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the Finalist level and in February, they will be notified of this designation.  All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this Finalist group.  Merit Scholar designees are selected on the basis of their skills, accomplishments, and potential for success in rigorous college studies, without regard to gender, race, ethnic origin, or religious preference.

Merit Scholarship winners of 2018 will be announced in four nationwide news releases beginning in April and concluding in July.  These scholarship recipients will join some 330,000 other distinguished young people who have earned the Merit Scholar title.

Wall of Honor Nominations

Posted September 5th, 2017

Wall of Honor Nominations are being accepted through October 13, 2017.

The Wall of Honor Program was established in 1999 to recognize distinguished alumni who have graduated from Pleasant Valley High School.

Nominees must have graduated 10 years or more prior to induction and must meet the following criteria:

  • Academic Excellence
  • Outstanding success in their career
  • Made a significant contribution to the community or society
  • Demonstrated significant accomplishments in business or professional life
  • Distinguished human service

Persons wishing to submit a name for consideration as a Wall of Honor honoree must send a letter of nomination to:

Mr. D. Michael Zimmer, Principal
Pleasant Valley Community High School
604 Belmont Road
Bettendorf, IA 52722

Click here for the nomination form.

PV Celebrates Financial Reporting Awards

Posted August 30th, 2017

The Pleasant Valley District office is celebrating a fine accomplishment.  The district has been awarded the Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting and Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting on behalf of the Association of School Business Officials International and the Government Finance Officers Association.  The awards recognize the district’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2016.  Pleasant Valley School Board President, Heather Witters, presented Mike Clingingsmith, Chief Financial Officer, and Lorrie Long, District Accountant, with the award at the August 14, 2017 school board meeting. Mike-and-Lorrie-FinancialsPresident Witters thanked Mr. Clingingsmith, Ms. Long, and others in the business office for their diligence, attention to detail, accuracy and transparency in the maintenance and presentation of district financial records.

Strive for Less than 5 Days Absent

Posted August 25th, 2017

This year, the Pleasant Valley Community School District is teaming up with school districts across the Quad Cities and the United Way to increase attendance.  We encourage you to watch the one minute video below about the mission and importance of having students at school every day.

Thank you for making Challenge 5 Day a success! Working with the United Way, the Arconic Foundation, and schools across the Quad Cities, we beat attendance goals. 96.1% of students in the Quad Cities attended school on Wednesday, August 30, 2017. The daily average last year was 90.3%.

A special thank you to staff and volunteers for welcoming our students to school! Pleasant Valley will continue to highlight the importance of attendance, and we hope you will, too.

Studies show that fewer than 5 absences in a year keeps learning on track. More than 5 absences each school year, beginning in kindergarten, increases the risk of dropping out, and decreases the chance of graduating from high school. If a child misses up to five days of school, he or she can probably make up what he or she misses. However, a child missing 9 days of school is in the danger zone, and students missing 18 or more days are considered chronically absent.

Absenteeism is a real problem in the Quad Cities. Last year 19,811 students (out of 50,326) missed 9 days or more, or 39.4% of students.

These statistics point to the reasons why attending school every day is so important.

•    More than 8 in 10 chronically absent kindergartners and first graders will not read at grade level by the end of third grade.
•    Students not reading proficiently by third grade are 4 times more likely to not graduate high school.
•    3 out of 4 chronically absent sixth graders will never graduate high school.
•    Plus, the habit of regular attendance is important for earning a college degree and keeping a job.

The Challenge 5 initiative seeks community support to help ensure kids get to school every day. Here are five easy tips for parents.

1.    Set a regular bedtime.
2.    Prep clothes and backpacks the night before.
3.    Only keep children home if they are truly sick.
4.    Have a back-up plan for getting to school.
5.    Avoid scheduling doctor’s appointments and trips during school hours.

For more information about Challenge 5, visit unitedwayqc.org.

 

Parent Portals Active

Posted August 16th, 2017

Pleasant Valley Junior High

2017-2018 Student Schedules are now available on the Portal.  Click here to access the Parent Portal. To print your student’s schedule from the Portal, click on Reports and “Schedule”.

If you do not have a Portal account, please contact Susan Parks at 563-332-5550.

Pleasant Valley High School

The portal is now open for the 17-18 school year. Click here to access the Parent Portal.
Please note:  first semester schedules are posted on the portal. Just a reminder that the students’ schedules are based on staffing needs. Scheduling changes CANNOT be made at this time to accommodate students’ requests for a different teacher, to change electives, or to accommodate late arrival/early release preferences. Due to the fact that most of our classes are at capacity or over, we ask that students and parents be respectful of these guidelines.

Schedules will be available under reports.  PLEASE NOTE:  Due to class and faculty changes All STUDENTS 9-12  MUST check their updated schedule before August 23, 2017.

Please join us on Monday, August 21st at 7pm for Open House. Normally we allow students in the building earlier; however due to all the construction, we are not allowing students in the building until Monday, August 21st.

Lunch schedules will be posted the first day.

Elementaries

Parent Portal is now open for Elementary families to see teacher assignments.  If you wish to open a parent portal account, please contact Susan Parks at 332-5550.
***Parents of incoming kindergarten students received a call on Monday, August 14th from the school office indicating their homeroom teacher assignment and assigned staggered start day.

Construction Update: Pleasant Valley Junior High

Posted August 1st, 2017

UPDATE 8/1/2017:  Construction crews are putting the final touches on the major renovations and expansion at Pleasant Valley Junior High.  The new orchestra room, kitchen expansion, and library are almost ready!

UPDATE:  4/21/2017:  Pleasant Valley Junior High Students will be getting a new library.  Right after Spring Break, volunteers moved all of the books out of the current library and into a temporary location in the new wing of the building.  Check out the progress below!

 

UPDATE 2/22/2017:  Work is well underway in the new addition.  Crews are focusing on the new section that will connect the gym area to the classrooms on the northwest portion of the building.  This section will contain a new industrial tech room, as well as bathrooms and a new staff room.  At the front of the building, where the staff room used to be, there is also a lot of work happening.  Renovations are underway to the guidance office.

1/11/2017:  Students are now using portions of the new addition at Pleasant Valley Junior High.  Over Winter Break, a portion of the new addition opened.  The new arrangement isn’t permanent.  Instead, students and staff are using the new classrooms as a holding place until the rest of the building can be renovated.  For example, the guidance department is being renovated, so they’ve moved into some of the new classrooms.  Same goes for some of the computer labs.

When construction is complete at PVJH, there will be eight new classrooms, a new industrial tech room and a multi-purpose wellness room. There will also be a newly renovated Orchestra room, guidance area, and kitchen.

 

Pleasant Valley High School Ready for Expansion and Renovations

Posted August 1st, 2017

The Pleasant Valley Community School Board has approved plans and bids for a major expansion and renovation at PVHS.  Because of continued growth, PVHS needs more room for just about everything from science classrooms to music storage to athletic practice space.  The project is scheduled to start in the spring of 2017 and be finished by the beginning of the 2018-19 school year.

Parking Update 8/10/2017: As construction continues, building entrances and parking options will continue to change.  For the time being, we ask that you not use the gym or main entrance to enter the building for your own safety, as you will have to enter the construction site.  Instead, we ask that you use the following doors:  N1 (the cafeteria), W1 (the teacher’s entrance near the rear of the theatre), and S7 (the band entrance).  Please click on the map below for clarity.

UPDATE 8/1/2017:  Crews have been busy this summer, building the new commons area and digging for the new gymnasium.  Click on the pictures below.

 

Click the slide show for larger images to see the designs.

 

Construction crews will build a tower in the current senior parking lot.  The three story building will contain 10 classrooms (four of them state-of-the-art science rooms).  A new auxiliary gym will be built in the same area, as the current D gym will have a new purpose.  It will be split down the middle; half of it will be a new music rehearsal room and half of it will be a multi-purpose athletic room to provide space for practices like wrestling, dance and cheerleading.

Renovations also include a new main hallway which will connect the school from east to west.  Currently, if you stand at the cafeteria and look west, the hallway ends at D Gym.  Now, the hallway will continue through the current D gym and into the new addition, which will provide a much needed backbone to the building.

The main entrance will also get a face lift.  A new commons area for student collaboration will be added to the front of the school, as well as a new main office.  The guidance office will move into the old main office area, which will be renovated.  The old guidance office will also undergo construction to be turned into new special education rooms.

As the new tower and gym will be built on the current senior parking lot, more parking will be added onto the new parking lot in the southeast corner of the High School.

This major expansion is just the first phase of what will likely be three phases at PVHS, adding more classrooms and possibly a competition gym.  Renovations in those phases include a possible concert hall, as well.

2017-18 Online Registration

Posted May 1st, 2017

New this year, we are introducing an online registration process to reduce paper and save you time.  Please see the below instructions on beginning your student’s 2017-2018 Online Registration.  We ask that you carefully review and complete all materials in the Online Registration before May 15, 2017.  Your child will be considered registered upon receipt of this material and payment of fees.  (Note that credit card payments are accepted online here and cash or checks are accepted at the buildings.)  Please notify the school office if your student will not be returning to Pleasant Valley Schools in the fall of 2017.

  • To begin your Online Registration, please log into your Parent Portal Account here.  (If you do not have an account or do not remember your password, please call our Administration Center at 563-332-5550.)
    • Please note that Online Registration must be accessed from the Portal website link above; it is not available through the Portal Mobile App.
  • Once logged in, click the link for “Online Registration” on the left
  • Select “Click here to go to Existing Student Registration”
  • Follow the prompts and be sure to click “Submit” when complete

For a list of school fees, please click here.

2017 Wall of Honor Recipient

Posted April 20th, 2017

Lt. Col. Melaine J. Burja, DNP, RN, USAF, NC has been named the recipient of the 2017 Pleasant Valley Community School District Wall of Honor Award.  The Wall of Honor Program was established in 1999 to recognize distinguished alumni who have graduated from Pleasant Valley High School.

Lt. Col. Burja graduated from PVHS in 1991 and has since spent her life serving her country on the front lines, in the classroom and in hospitals.

“In the academic setting, I am Dr. Burja.  In the military setting, I’m Lt. Col. Burja.  In the operating room, I’m just Melanie,” she said.

After she received a Bachelor of Arts from Wartburg College, graduating in just three years, she continued her education, earning a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Creighton University in 1995, and entered the United States Air Force. While on active duty, she earned a Masters of Science in Nursing Anesthesia from Uniformed Services University in 2005 and a Doctor of Nursing from the University of Iowa in 2014.

Lt. Col. Burja’s career has taken her around the globe, including serving in Southern England right after 9/11.   Upon returning to the States, she served as a Multi-Service staff nurse at Scott Air Force Base and as a staff nurse anesthetist at Wright Patterson Air Force Base.  In 2008, she was selected to serve in rural Japan where she coordinated anesthesia services for all operating rooms and for 240 obstetrical deliveries each year.  While in Japan, she was called on again to serve in the War on Terror in 2010, this time in Afghanistan.

“I supported a small medical facility at the front and a larger hospital with more extensive capabilities,” Lt. Col. Burja said.  “Medics were good targets for the terrorists and by chance or coincidence we were victim to quite a few rocket attacks, one of which hit my quarters while I was at the mess hall.”

When she returned from Afghanistan, she was named Air Force CRNA of the Year.  The next year tested Lt. Col. Burja again.  Still serving in Japan, she and her family were living at the base closest to the epicenter of the earthquake that caused the nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi reactor.  Her family was evacuated and she stayed to assist with recovery efforts with the distinct chance of being affected by radiation.

Next, the Burjas moved back to Iowa, where Lt. Col. Burja earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Iowa.  She now teaches the graduate program and coordinates clinical rotations for Nurse Anesthesia students on Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio.

“The military gave me many opportunities,” she said. “It’s great to be a part of something that’s bigger than yourself.”

Lt. Col. Burja is looking forward to the next chapter in her life. She will retire from the Air Force in July and is accepting a position at a local children’s hospital where she will continue to work with anesthesia students and residents.

“Being active duty has meant that I have often had to choose the job over my family,” she said. “I plan to sit on the sidelines every Friday night during football season watching the marching band and cheering on my boys in whatever endeavors they pursue.”

Lt. Col. Burja is the daughter of Marie and Larry Randol, wife of Radu Burja and the mother of Nic and Luke.

Thank you to those who came to the Academic Awards Ceremony and reception in her honor.

 

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Bettendorf, IA 52722

Phone: (563) 332-5550
E-mail: pvweb@pleasval.k12.ia.us
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