Pleasant Valley
Community Schools

Posted December 22nd, 2017

Cody bookbuddies from Mrs. Venhorst’s 4th Grade class and Mrs. Carter’s Kindergarten class spent the afternoon on the 20th completing a service project that will spread holiday cheer with local seniors. Students worked together to complete seven fleece tie blankets that have now been donated to Riverview Manor in Pleasant Valley. We are so proud of the giving spirit these students have and for them giving the gift of warmth this holiday season!


Posted November 28th, 2017

Spartan Nation is in the presence of award winning student journalists! Last month, the Honors Journalism and Publication students attended the Annual Fall Conference for Iowa High School Journalists, and left with a variety of awards.  The Iowa High School Press Association selected Pleasant Valley as a finalist for the Iowa News Team of the Year, awarded them 2nd place for Yearbook of the Year, 1st place Yearbook Cover of the Year, and gave the team seven additional awards.  Two individual students also claimed 1st and 3rd place in the On-the-Spot Newswriting Contest – Vivek Joshi in 1st, and Anna Banerjee in 3rd.  Congratulations, journalists!

To read the winning articles by Vivek and Anna, follow this link:

To read from the Spartan Shield online, visit



Posted November 3rd, 2017

On Friday afternoon at Hopewell, a transformation happened in the second grade classrooms.  Books were set out, surgical masks, gloves, and shoe covers were ready to be worn, and “Operating Room” signs were hung outside each door.   It was time for the second graders to become “doctors” and to step into “surgery!”

The last week has been filled with information on non-fiction text features, and their teachers wanted to put that knowledge to the test.  To do so, they had their young doctors perform “surgery” on different non-fiction pieces of writing.  Each surgical team had to cut out the varying text features from the articles and glue them in their correct spot, where they would then explain why each feature was correct.  Fun was had by both the “surgeons” and “head nurses” (teachers) alike!

Johnny Appleseed Inspires Mathematicians

Posted October 2nd, 2017

When you walk into Mrs. Rokes’ Kindergarten class at Cody Elementary, it’s a burst of color and sound, and on September 29, 2017, the smell of apples!  Students spent the week learning about Johnny Appleseed and his creation — the apple.  They made their own applesauce, taste-tested different kinds of apples, and made works of apple art.  Each lesson taught students something without them even knowing it, like how to work as a team, how to talk about their opinions, and dexterity skills, like cutting and gluing.  The week culminated in a visit from Johnny Appleseed himself (well, herself) and a math lesson.  The kindergartners ate an apple sauce and drank an apple juicebox and then decided which one they liked best.  They counted up the numbers on each side and then drew a bar graph, learning that graphs help them see easily which group won.


PVHS Wins Spirit of Inclusion Award from Varsity Brands

Posted August 28th, 2017

Pleasant Valley High School was chosen out of all the schools in the nation for the Varsity Brands Spirit of Inclusion Award.  On Friday, August 25, 2017, Varsity Brands, Herff Jones, Varsity Spirit and BSN Sports presented the award to the school.  Along with it comes a $10,000 check, which will be used to establish a $1000.00 annual “PVHS Spirit of Inclusion” scholarship. The first scholarship will be granted to a member of the 2018 graduating class. Click on the pictures below for larger images.

Principal Mike Zimmer accepted the award with the following words:

Words. Words can be used to hurt or they can be used to heal. So it is I find myself struggling with the word “tolerance”, is it used to heal or to hurt? I can tolerate loud music but if I could, I would get rid of it. Over 8 years ago, PV Alumna Sarah Cronk, Sarah Herr, Kamyrn Huffman, Jenna Lehman and Brenna O’Neill under the leadership of Cheer Coach Ms. Pam Cinadr challenged our general tolerance of students with disabilities. Students with special needs would often eat lunch by themselves, have segregated courses, and were by-standers throughout High School.

These girls viewed their new service learning requirement as a challenge to change a small part of the world. They asked themselves, “What if we changed our perspective from tolerating our classmates with disabilities to respecting our classmates with “different abilities”? And so began the creation of a new Spartan Cheerleading Squad, “the Sparkles”. Including their classmates with different abilities has grown from the PVCSD to a national and worldwide movement that includes students at hundreds of high schools.

Their willingness to change their perspective towards students standing right next to them in school has expanded to the creation of the PVHS Shining Stars Dance Team and beyond. Including your classmates with different abilities was just a first step. Today I stand before you and state, “PVHS will no longer tolerate classmates who are different from ourselves, we will respect them as the precious and valued human beings they are”. While we will not always agree or understand others viewpoints, we will respect them regardless of different ability, religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, race, financial status or appearance.

Just as the founders of the Sparkles sought to change our attitudes so has the UNITE Club. The have worked tirelessly to share personal stories of those classmates who struggle everyday against degrading words told as “a joke” or those being tormented on social media for being different. Our cafeteria will soon display the flags of 43 different nations representing the birth place of PVHS students. We can take great pride in the fact that parents new to our area seek out PVHS to educate their children. But our work will never be complete as all it takes is an individual or small group of people to undermine all of our efforts.

So it is with great humility and knowing that our journey of inclusion is not complete, that our purpose of establishing respect for all students continues. It continues with each of you (teachers, custodians, bus drivers, administration, aides and students) standing up to injustice with not being a by-stander but an up-stander.

Below is a video of the Varsity Brands School Spirit Awards when PVHS was announced as the winner.


Meet and Greet: Ready for School!

Posted August 22nd, 2017

Thousands of students across the PV District headed to school a bit early on August 21, 2017.  Students and families unpacked their backpacks at the annual Meet and Greet.  Smiles all around as students get excited for the new year.  Click on the gallery for the fun at Pleasant View and Cody Elementaries.


Robotics Camp Encourages STEM students

Posted August 1st, 2017

Over the summer, dozens of students came to Riverdale Heights to participate in PV’s robotics camps.  Students break into teams and learn the basics of robotics.  At the end of the week, teams challenged each other in a tournament.  Check out the pictures below!

Celebrating 2017!

Posted May 31st, 2017

Thank you to the students, faculty, staff, parents, and community members who made 2016-17 such a great year!  Enjoy the pictures below from the last few days of school!


Bridgeview students spent the last Friday before the end of the year celebrating a great year by visiting several stations with their school family groups.


Cody students celebrated the last day of school with a field day!


Hopewell students enjoyed the beautiful day, playing outside on the last day of school!

Pleasant View

Pleasant View students spoke about what they liked best this year and what they expect to achieve next year, before getting a send-off from faculty and staff.

Riverdale Heights

Riverdale Heights students watched the faculty versus 6th grade kickball game and took a school picture for Will Kohn.

Pleasant Valley Junior High

Students spent the last day of school writing letters to future 7th graders and some got to play a game of kick ball!

Pleasant View Students Play the Part in Wax Musuem

Posted May 19th, 2017

Pleasant View 3rd Graders held their annual wax museum on May 19, 2017.  A lot of work goes into this exciting day.  Students read all sorts of texts to research a historical figure.  From Michael Jackson to Leonardo da Vinci to Sojourner Truth, students researched and then performed a speech based on the life of an important person.  Students stood still until a museum visitor pressed their button.  They then came to life and shared what they learned.  Great work, students!

Visitor Teaches Cody Students about Litter and Laughter

Posted May 12th, 2017

The following story and pictures are by Cody students, Alaina Melchert and Katelyn Morris

Mike Coyne-Logan came and visited our Cody Elementary school on Friday, April 28. He works at Living Lands and Waters. They take groups of people out on the river to clear the banks of trash. He told us about what he does in his job, how he met Chad Pregracke, and so on and so forth. Mr. Coyne-Logan told us about how much they do for the Mississippi and the people that use its water. They have previously cleared large areas of mountains of trash. He explained that because of his work he lives on a barge, and has his own little room on that barge where he sleeps.

He didn’t only come to tell us about picking up trash and what trash does to the planet, but instead he also came with a message. His message was that you can make a difference! And that is not all. He came with more than empty words of encouragement! He came with solid proof! He showed us real pictures of a beach on the Mississippi. Picture in your head a beach, but instead of sand, all there seems to be is trash. Plastic bottles strewn everywhere, cans heaping into the water, and styrofoam sprinkled every here and there! Then, he showed us a picture of a fabulous sand bank with clean water lapping at the tips of it. The magnificent beach was so entirely cleared of trash, it was hard to picture that it had once had even a few cans on the sand! They were the same beach! The Living Lands and Waters crew had completely cleared the beach and Living Lands2 living lands 3 Living Lands1water of trash! But the most encouraging and amazing part about that, was that all that started with one man who wanted to get something done.

We also found that Coyne-Logan comes with a sense of humor! Usually our class gets bummed about visiting speakers, but at this one they left laughing and remembering the hilarious rap that Mr. Logan performed for us. Many members of 5D, and some of 5H have taken to calling him “The Pun Master” because of his various pun jokes he performed. He taught us so much, but at the same time he gave us a good reason to miss our usual class! Heh-heh.

Mr. Coyne Logan both inspired us, and made us laugh, when he came to teach us.

Reading Under the Big Top at Bridgeview

Posted April 21st, 2017

Thank you to Bridgeview students Addie Stoerau, Katelyn Kiefer, Brooklyn Gowan and Tommy Jeffries for wrtiting this article.  Addie and Katelyn covered Kindergarten through 2nd Grade and Brooklyn and Tommy covered 3rd through 6th Grades.  Students covered the themed reading week at Bridgeivew, as students worked on literacy with a circus theme.


The kids are working on sight words and the syllables in each word. The kids are saying each syllable out loud and throwing beanbags into a hula hoop for a fun educational game. With Mrs.Huffman they are stacking cups into a triangle if they say the words correctly. With Mrs.Brown they are working on speed reading and how to say each word. In Mrs. Kurige’rs group, the kids are working on saying words correctly.

1st Grade

First graders are working on their fluency by reading from a book, ¨Let´s go to the circus!¨. They then played a game much like the kindergarteners, saying the word from on the cup and stacking it into a pyramid.

2nd Grade

2nd graders are working on their fluency. They are reading tongue twister poems and continual poems. They played tongue twister tic-tac toe, a game where you read the paragraph and if you say it without mistakes you put your x or o on that spot.

3rd-6th Grade

Bridgeview is going wild like the lions under the big top of their reading circus fun. In W.I.N. Time this week, Bridgeview students have been practicing fluency at the circus. Teachers have been preparing the students for the end of year reading tests. Students have been working on things such as punctuation, expression, accuracy and rate, and phrasing. They have read all about circus fun facts and things about fairs too.

Students have enjoyed reading and learning about the circus along with fun activities to get them more excited about reading. The students have rode on “rollercoasters” with Mrs. Brown, had a reading bean bag toss with Ms. Heiselman, tic-tac-toe with Mr. Seamer, bubble pop with Mrs. Peterson and circus poems with Mr. Beausoleil. The activities all resemble fun at the circus while the students are learning, too. Bridgeview has definitely enjoyed fun at the circus and are ready to read.

The pictures directly below were taken by Bridgeview ELP students.

Challenge-Based Learning Challenges Students at Riverdale Heights

Posted March 1st, 2017


For more than a month, 3rd Grade students at Riverdale Heights have been researching some big problems.  Mrs. Ahnquist’s ELP class split into two groups — one is looking to create a bully-free playground at school and the other is hoping to make a recycling system for the school.

Mrs. Ahnquist, along with Instructional Coach Mrs. Bornhoeft, wanted to try something new with this group.  It’s called “Challenge-Based Learning.”  The students identified a problem and researched ways to solve it.  Students worked together using databases, creating surveys, observing and conducting interviews to research each topic.  Based on the research, they’ve created a real-world solution.  The groups will present to the school in the coming weeks.  And when they do, we’ll update this story!

Setting the Right Tone

Posted January 31st, 2017


In Mrs. Larson’s 5th Grade class at Bridgeview, they’re setting the right tone for their next English Language Arts Unit.  You guessed it!  The unit is all about tone.

Mrs. Halverson, the Instructional Coach at Bridgeview, came in to help kick off the unit.  She spoke to the students about the difference in tone of voice and how it can change an author’s meaning.  The class watched a popular commercial.  In the ad, two actors are in two different scenes.  They say the same words, but the tone in which they say them completely changes the meaning of what is happening.  Watch the commercial here.

Students discussed the commercial, talking about the emotion, inflection and facial features that helped them determine what was happening in each scene in the commercial.  They’ll take this discussion and apply it to the next unit in ELA.  What a fun way to kick off an important subject!

Learning about the Main Idea at Pleasant View

Posted January 12th, 2017

First Grade students at Pleasant View got a special treat as they kicked off a new English Language Arts unit.  Students were invited to the newest restaurant in the Quad Cities: The Main Dish.  Inside the Pleasant View Cafeteria, The Main Dish serves up the best fare – and lessons, too.  Each first grade teacher ordered a meal from waitress, Mrs. Anderson.  But, there was something wrong – Mrs. Radosevich only ordered vegetables, Mrs. Foley only ordered drinks, and Mrs. Welling only ordered main dishes. The teachers turned to the students for help on how to order a complete meal – you need a main dish, a side, and a drink.  Teachers are hoping this idea will help the little ones learn about the main idea of a story and figure out the “sides” or supporting details in a story that help define that main idea.  What a fun way to kick off a series of important lessons!

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