Posted January 16th, 2017
Sixth graders across the District spent several weeks researching and planning presentations on Egypt. At Hopewell, students worked together on an interactive museum open to students and staff. Sixth grade students manned several exhibits featuring weapons, transportation, and architecture. At each exhibit, museum goers were guided through an activity, some watching student-designed videos, others loading into boats and going for a trip on the Nile.
Posted January 5th, 2017
Pleasant Valley Third Graders learned a little about computer coding in the first ever District-wide Hour of Code. Students spent the afternoon after December’s early release learning basic computer science. PVHS and PVJH students coached the third graders through lessons on code.org, either moving Moana’s boat to find fish or helping a Minecraft chicken roam. The students learn a simple process of thinking – choose a direction on a computer screen and make an animation move on another. The process gets more complex as students learn, in hopes of sparking a love of computer science in each child.
Thank you to Chris Cournoyer and Theresa Barber for organizing this first of what we hope is many Hours of Code for PV students. And a big thanks to the many volunteers who helped make this afternoon a success!
Code.org is a free website. Have your student try it out here –> https://code.org/learn
Posted December 19th, 2016
Too cold to go to Niabi Zoo? No worries! The 2nd Graders at Hopewell have just the place to learn about animals from all over the world. On Friday, December 7, 2016, the 2nd Grade’s Zoo opened for business. Students from across the school visited to learn about animals. The 2nd Graders researched and presented information to their visitors. Visitors learned something new and the zookeepers reinforced their knowledge and practiced their presentation skills!
Check out the genuine engagement from students in our pictures below!
Posted November 22nd, 2016
The gym teachers at Hopewell Elementary are combining soccer skills and spelling. Teachers divided students into small teams. Team members dribble the ball to a station, pick up a letter, and bring it back around to their group. Once the students had enough letters, they worked together to spell soccer-related words. Students worked until a checklist of many soccer terms was complete. The combination of spelling and physical activity brought in friendly competition and everyone won!
Posted October 26th, 2016
All of our schools have a professional counselor on hand. These counselors provide guidance and help to individual students based on need, but they also come into each classroom to help all students with 21st Century skills.
All of our schools have a professional counselor on hand. These counselors provide guidance and help to individual students based on need, but they also come into each classroom to help all students with 21st Century Skills.
In Mrs. McGivern’s 4th grade class at Hopewell, Counselor Mrs. Reed spoke with students about Self-awareness: what are your strengths and weaknesses and why it’s important to know them. Each month, she visits each class for about 30 minutes covering a host of topics from feelings to empathy to conflict resolution and decision making. PV believes we need to address the developmental needs of students in the areas of academics, personal and social skills, as well as career skills. Our professional counselors help give our students the skills needed to deal with daily life, beyond the classroom.
Posted October 26th, 2016
At Hopewell Elementary, young scientists work on an invention to keep ice from melting. With limited resources and a time limit, it’s hard to come up with a plan, find the tools to make it, and assemble the idea. With ideas ranging from mason jars with foil sealant to Tupperware with band-aids keeping the cold in, the sixth graders had to try to find the best heat resistant invention. Though they couldn’t test their creations until the next day, building everything up seemed to be pretty cool.
Posted October 21st, 2016
Friday is probably the favorite day of the week for high school students everywhere. It’s more than just a day, Friday is an opportunity. Pleasant Valley High School is the home of the Sparkle Effect, where special needs girls from around the district get their chance to shine. Before kickoff, the girls take their place right along-side their cheerleader. This is the time when they get to help cheer on the Spartans! But October 7th was different; the Sparkles had a special guest on this Friday night.
People Magazine came into town to feature the team, and it wasn’t their first time. Back in 2008 when the Sparkle Effect first started at PVHS, People featured the girls, helping get the word out and to build a nationwide effort to start Sparkle Effect teams. People came back to report on the success of this program, which started right here at PVHS.
The girls couldn’t have been happier. Thanks to Capri College, the Sparkles had their hair and makeup done by a local, professional team of stylists. It didn’t stop there, once the girls were ready, they all headed down onto the football field. Lights, camera, smile! The ladies were in their pose waiting for People to take their shot. And that’s what it’s all about, taking a shot. Sarah Cronk, a former PV student, founded the team when she was still in high school. The Sparkle Effect has branched out all across the nation bringing the communities closer with each new team. New friendships blossom and old friendships grow stronger, the Sparkle Effect gives the girls a sense of pride not only in themselves, but as a team.
A team is a family, and families are impacted as well. The parents, the siblings, and the students are all involved. Whether they could be on the team or whether they already are on the team, the heart of the family and community is touched. That includes the girls that help teach the Sparkles a new routine. The great thing is, the girls teach each other new things everyday, and then they proceed to teach people around them. Everyone shines and everyone is a Sparkle.
Click here to see the story in PEOPLE.
Posted September 30th, 2016
PV students love to read, there’s no doubt about that. And now 21st Century technology allows our students to connect directly with the authors of their favorite books. On September 21, 2nd grade students at Hopewell used Skype to talk with Deborah Freedman, author of By Mouse & Frog, Blue Chicken and many more. Students asked Ms. Freedman questions about her process – from where she comes up with ideas to how long it takes to publish a book.
The students were most excited to hear about her upcoming book Shy. In this book, she uses what’s called the “gutter” of a book (the place where the pages meet) to hide a character that’s shy. She told the students she’d had the idea to do something with the “gutter” for years, but sometimes it takes a long time for an idea to come to life.
What’s great about these Skypes is just how excited the students are to meet their favorite authors. The students cheer like a movie star walked into their classrooms! Instilling the love of reading and using technology to convince, connect and collaborate all at the same time!
Posted September 15th, 2016
Homecoming is always special at Pleasant Valley! Join us at the game tonight! It’s a white out — so grab your WHITE Spartan gear and help our team win!
Check out pictures from the week’s events below:
Homecoming Assembly at PVHS:
Pleasant Valley Junior High Pep Rally:
Posted August 23rd, 2016
Is there anything like the first day of school? We are so excited to have everyone back in the classroom. Check out some of the pictures from the first day of school around the district!
Pleasant Valley Junior High
PVHS 10-12 graders get out early and the freshmen stick around to learn about the High School. Freshmen students go on a scavenger hunt to learn the building, learn study and organizational habits and get to check out all the clubs at the at the activities fair.
Posted August 1st, 2016
Pleasant Valley has transitioned to the Infinite Campus Food Service system for the coming school year. With this updated system, you will now be able to view your student’s lunch balance and see an itemized list of food service purchases right through your Parent Portal login!
Parent Portal View (available now!)
You are also once again able to add money via credit card to your student’s food service account through our online webstore, RevTrak. The option to make food service deposits will now show under the “Infinite Campus Payments” section along with your assigned and optional school fees. A separate login for food service payments is no longer required! (See updated instructions on using the RevTrak webstore here.)
Communications for low food service balances will be sent to the parent/guardian email address(es) that the school has on file.
If you have questions about the new system, please contact Food Service Director, Andrea Mahler, at 563-332-5550 or email@example.com.
Posted June 27th, 2016
Hopewell PE Teacher, Justin Wiese, has been named the Iowa Elementary Physical Education Teacher of the Year. Mr. Wiese teaches Hopewell’s 545 students alongside Mr. Merrill and both work each day to challenge the kids.
“I want to look back and say I taught 35 years, instead of one year 35 times,” Mr. Wiese said. It’s a mantra his first principal, Jill Anderson taught him. After he graduated PE Major of the Year from University of Northern Iowa, Mr. Wiese took a position in the Norwalk Community School District. Jill Anderson motivated Mr. Wiese to be a teacher and not a placeholder in student’s schedules.
“I don’t want to stay content,” he said. “I constantly push myself to get new ideas.” You can see the fun the kids are having daily on his twitter account, where he posts videos of the students pushing themselves beyond what they thought possible.
“Seeing kids enjoy moving is what makes it fun,” he said. “I loved sports growing up but I’m too short to play professionally, so I get to teach future athletes for a living.”
The statewide accolade comes at a particularly important time in Mr. Wiese’s life. In the last few years, he’s lost his brother, grandfather, grandmother and cousin. Last year, he was out for a considerable amount of time due to illness.
“This award has truly been a blessing,” he said. “Laying in a hospital bed made me realize how much I really enjoy what I do.”
Mr. Wiese says he knows he’s in the right job.
“I truly believe that this is what God has called me to do!”
Mr. Wiese will accept the 2016 Elementary PE Teacher of the Year award on June 21 at the Iowa Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Convention at Simpson College in Indianola.
Posted May 2nd, 2016
Congratulations to the hundreds of students who entered artwork in this year’s PTA Reflections Contest. PTA Reflections is a national competition encouraging participation in the arts and recognizing students for achievements. In October, students entered projects in the following categories: Dance Choreography, Film Production, Literature, Music Composition, Photography and Visual Arts. The entries had to fit the theme “Let Your Imagination Fly.” Each piece was judged by Quad City artists. The top winners go onto state and maybe even the national competition.
Pleasant Valley had 236 entries this year. That’s up 29% from 2015! 132 entries advanced to the state competition. Click here to see how our students did at the state level.
We also had two students receive honors at the national level. Congratulations to 8th Grader Miranda Miller, who won an award of excellence in literature, and 5th Grader, Gretchen Highberger, who won an award of merit in literature.
Look at the list of awards for all PV students and check out the photos below of some of the artists and artwork from the January honor night.