Pleasant Valley
Community Schools
Battle of the Books Trophy Stays Another Year at PVJH

Posted April 16th, 2018

Let’s give a big #SpartanNation congratulations to Gretchen Highberger, Isabella McShane, and Sumika Thapa for winning the Regional Teen Battle of the Books competition at Bettendorf Public Library this last Thursday, April 12th! The champion team beat out Bettendorf Middle School in a neck and neck battle, and the traveling trophy remains for another year at PVJH on display in the library!
Congratulations also to Leila Assadi, Khushi Mehta, and Sarah Chen for placing 3rd in the competition! Both seventh grade teams worked extremely hard this year, starting last fall, reading 15 Iowa Teen Award Books and becoming masters of the content.  Well done students!
1st Place with trophy(L-R): Sumika Thapa, Isabella McShane, Gretchen Highberger
3rd Place with medals (L-R): Leila Assadi, Khushi Mehta, and Sarah Chen
PV 7th Graders selected as winners of Letters About Literature Contest

Posted April 11th, 2018

We have big news from Mrs. Jeffers’ 7th Grade Language Arts classroom!

PV 7th Graders entered a nationwide contest called the Letters About Literature Contest, and three students from Mrs. Jeffers class have been selected as winners!

For the Letters About Literature Contest, students wrote letters to the authors whose books have impacted them. Students submitted their letters before Winter break after working very hard on them in class – taking them through multiple rounds of feedback and revision.

Almost 2,000 letters from the state of Iowa were submitted into the contest, and they had to go through two rounds of judging in Washington, D.C. and one round of judging in Des Moines. Every year, six total letters are chosen as the winners of the Level II (7th and 8th grade) contest for Iowa, and PVJH claimed HALF of those wins! The winners were Anni Desai (Honorable Mention), Megan McKnight (2nd Place), and Tony Shamrell (1st Place). This is the first time PV has been among the winners and to have claimed three of the six spots is truly spectacular.

These students will be recognized by the state on April 27th at the awards ceremony at the Urbandale Public Library. Let’s give these students a huge congratulations for their hard work!

Students in photo from left to right: Anni Desai, Tony Shamrell, Megan McKnight

1st Graders use Skype to Connect with Author

Posted April 11th, 2018

Technology is an amazing thing and brings so many cool opportunities to PV students! Last week, in Mrs. Cotton’s first grade classroom at Riverdale Heights, students got to use that technology to Skype with children’s author Pat Zieltlow Miller!

Pat is the author of the new book Be Kind. Mrs. Cotton’s first grade class has been spending a lot of time thinking about the importance of kindness under the essential understandings that there are many different ways to be kind and kindness matters.
The students engaged in writing activities and critical thinking around these two understandings.

They had to come up with questions to ask the author, and were very excited to hear what Pat had to say. She even read them her new book during their Skype time!

A big thanks to Pat Zieltlow Miller for taking time to talk with our Riverdale students, and a big thanks to teachers for helping PV kids learn why kindness is so important!

4th Grade STEM Night Success

Posted March 27th, 2018

Last Friday night, 16 teams of eight students each participated in the annual 4th Grade STEM Night out at Cody! STEM Night is an opportunity for 4th grade students across the district to complete three STEM activities with their team. Those activities included building a bridge of spaghetti noodles, building a skyscraper with 10 sheets of copy paper, and building a unique, functional paper airplane. Outside of those activities, students had to learn how to make their team work well together in just the hour and 15 minute time limit! All teams were fantastic and really showed off their STEM skills!

Check out these awesome kids from the evening! Thanks to all who contributed photos, and to the PV Science Educators who organized this great event!


Posted March 20th, 2018

This year, the Pleasant Valley High School Career Center was able to schedule a hands on job shadow for two PVHS students at the Rock Island Arsenal’s Army Sustainment Command. Juniors Hayden Guenzler and Gavin Smith really enjoyed the experience and felt they had a much better understanding of the Logistics & Supply Chain Management process within a military setting.

Click here to read the article about the students’ experiences and the impact of the job shadow. A huge thanks is due to the Arsenal for hosting PV students to help them better sort our their life path, and to the PVHS Career Center for making this opportunity possible! We hope to continue the partnership for future students!

Photo courtesy of Mike Bassett, ASC Public Affairs


Posted February 26th, 2018

Here at PV, we have choral talent in every grade level! Over the last month, 6th grade, Junior High, and High School singers have participated in two different honor choirs – The Southeast Iowa Choral Directors Association Honor Choir (SEICDA) and the North Central American Choral Directors Association Honor Choir (NCACDA).

47 6th graders and 28 8th graders attended the SEICDA Honor Choir, held at Assumption High School, which included students from all area schools.

PV also took 15 Junior High students and 11 High School to the NCACDA Honor Choir in Chicago. These musicians rehearsed for three days and ended the weekend with a performance in Chicago’s Harris Theater. Our PV students were joined by students from South Dakota, Indiana, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Iowa, and other surrounding states.

Well done to all talented singers from PVCSD and their directors for helping them achieve such success!


Photos from left to right, top row:  Bridgeview and Cody SEICDA Participants; Hopewell SEICDA Participants; Pleasant View SEICDA Participants; Riverdale Heights SEICDA Participants; PVJH 8th Grade SEICDA Participants

Photos from left to right, bottom row: PVJH NCACDA Participants; PVJH NCACDA Participants; PVHS NCACDA Participants; PVHS NCACDA Participants; NCACDA Choir



Posted February 26th, 2018

Look out Weather Channel, we’ve got some future meteorologists ready for the big leagues here at Hopewell Elementary! To wrap up their recent weather unit, the 2nd graders in Mrs. Buzzell’s class got to record their own weather segment using the app Touchcast. Each student made a forecast for the week, and recorded their presentation in front of the green screen. During their unit, the 2nd graders learned all about weather patterns, clouds, and the science behind the weather we get here in the Midwest.

Great job future weathermen and weatherwomen!


Posted February 14th, 2018

While the Olympics are happening in PyeongChang, South Korea, Junior High students had their own Library Olympics right here at PVJH!
In honor of the Winter Games, students were broken into different teams, all named after countries as they participated in the Library Olympics this past week. Events included the Speed Stamping of a due date card, Short Track Reference Speed Skating, Genre Free Style Ski, the Book Shelving Bobsled, and the Nordic Combined Race! Each of the events were Olympic themed, but also taught students about important library related skills, such as putting books back in the right order on shelves, and how to efficiently research topics.
We love this creative and relevant way to teach PV students valuable skills, all while relating it to the world’s current events!

Posted February 13th, 2018


PVCSD and the United Way of the Quad Cities Area are working hard to encourage students and families to Strive for Less Than Five! Missing school can negatively effect a student’s progress in the classroom, so we need YOUR help in our efforts to get kids to strive for less than five days absent.

The winter months make this tricky, as illness are spread and poor weather can cause travel issues. Keeping your child home when they are ill is extremely important to both their health and the health of those surrounding them. But when your child is healthy, check out the five tips for missing less school in the second photo, provided by the United Way.

Thank you for helping us improve school attendance, and for giving our students the opportunity to have the best education possible! For more information about Challenge 5, visit







Posted February 7th, 2018

Learning to read takes lots of practice, and Mrs. Waldron’s 1st grade class is putting in all kinds of hard work to become better readers!  After a group exercise, students were split into four different groups – silent reading, Waterford computer activities, word repetition and spelling, and teacher led reading and writing.  These groups encourage students to focus, collaborate, and apply previous knowledge to current problems. We all know that practice makes progress!  Great job students and Mrs. Waldron!


Posted January 24th, 2018

Over 30 seventh and eighth grade students participated in the Geography Bee on January 24th!  Questions ranged in difficulty and involved knowledge of U.S. geography, as well as world geography.  Students were asked two questions in each round, and were eliminated if both answers were wrong.  The final two students went multiple rounds together, both answering the high level questions correctly.  In the end, eighth grader Kavya Kalathur finished in first, with eighth grader Ben Eckman finishing in second.  Kavya will complete a state qualifying test this week, and continue to the state competition later this spring if she qualifies.  Well done students, your knowledge is impressive!


Posted January 23rd, 2018

Having well rounded students is something the PVCSD takes great pride in, and the PTA Reflections program is a great way to showcase that!  On January 18th, nearly 200 PV students from all schools were recognized for their creative contributions at the PTA Reflections Program. The nationally acclaimed program has two goals: to encourage participation in the arts, both in and out of school, and to recognize students for their achievements.

Each entry was scored by the judges using a specific rubric, and each artist had to include a statement with their entry to provide additional insight into their interpretation of the theme.  This year’s theme was “Within Reach.”  Students were then ranked in three categories: Award of Excellence, Award of Merit, and Contributing Artist.

72 creations were ranked with an Award of Excellence and will continue to compete at the state level in April.  Great job students, and thank you staff and families for all the support you provide to your artists!

To learn more about the Iowa PTA Reflections Program, click here.


Posted January 18th, 2018

Last month, Bridgeview 5th grade ELP students decided to “Pay it Forward” and help spread kindness to the Scott County Humane Society.  A volunteer from the Humane Society came to Bridgeview to educate students on their mission and their needs.  After the visit, these students went around to their families and neighbors asking for donations and designed flyers to hand out to local businesses to encourage people to adopt a pet.
The group was able to collect a variety of donations from families and neighbors, including paper towels, laundry detergent, index cards, cat food, dryer sheets, glass cleaner, shoe boxes, and $100 to help the Humane Society with their expenses. 
Students said this about what they learned from the project: “You should Pay It Forward because it is the nice thing to do. There are lots of different ways to help someone out: help someone cross the street, pay for somebody’s lunch, or offer to be someone’s partner in school. If someone does something nice for you, and you can’t repay them back, the least you can do is pay it forward, do something nice for someone else.”


Posted January 16th, 2018

PV Orchestra students participated in the SEISTA honors orchestra festival last Saturday, and the following musicians have been selected to participate in the ISTA (Iowa String Teachers Association) Honors Orchestra due to their chair audition results!

Congratulations students on your hard work and selection for this great honor! This festival will take place in Ames, IA on February 10th.

Junior High:

Kennedy Brady- Violin I

Lee Kim- Violin I

Lila Teitle- Violin I

Emma Vaaler- Violin I

Caleb Swinney- Violin II

Grace Davidson-Viola

Kavya Kalathur-Viola

Daniya El-Zein- Cello

Chante Hardaway- Cello

Erika Holmberg- Cello

Parker Paulson- Cello



Sophia Xiao – Violin I

Jeanelle Cho – Violin I

Dan Kim – Violin I

Maddie Anthony – Violin I

Keshav Wagle – Cello


Posted January 12th, 2018

Right before Winter Break, Riverdale Heights 5th Graders decided to work with Maddie’s Closet for their Project Jack. The kids discussed how their project money would be best spent and decided to partner up and make toiletry bags that included shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, and a brush/comb. They also decorated cards with inspirational sayings to put in each toiletry bag.

These awesome students were able to donate 50 toiletry bags to Maddie’s Closet, as well as some socks, underwear, and winter coats. Keep up the great work Riverdale, your community is thankful for you!

To learn more about Maddie’s Closet, visit


Posted January 4th, 2018

Thank you for attending the presentation on Highly Selective Colleges and Universities on January 3rd!  We hope you received much good information and will help during your student’s college search and selection.

To access the full PowerPoint from the Highly Selective Colleges and Universities presentation, click here.


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!


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!


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!


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!

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