Pleasant Valley
Community Schools
Visiting Authors Sarah Weeks and April Henry Make Stops at PV Schools

Posted May 22nd, 2018

The PVCSD had the fantastic opportunity to host the amazing author Sarah Weeks as our elementary visiting author this spring!

During her visit, Sarah spent time at each elementary school talking with our students, reading with them, and answering their many questions. Ms. Weeks formally began her career by writing songs for Sesame Street, but she wrote her first story when she was just 5 years old! As she had conversations with students, Ms. Weeks discussed her inspiration, her research process, her love of Dr. Seuss books, and taught about her writing process. We are so appreciative of Sarah Weeks visit, so let’s give her a big #SpartanNation THANK YOU for taking time out of her busy schedule to inspire and encourage creativity in PV students!

We also want to thank all 5 PV Elementary PTAs for their sponsorship of this visit and for all their work in making it a success! Thank you staff and librarians for making Ms. Weeks feel welcomed and for making it such a fun thing for PV students!

In addition to the elementary school visiting author, PVJH had the incredible opportunity to have New York Times Best Selling Author April Henry come for a visit!

April spent her day speaking to groups of junior highers, telling them all about her journey to becoming a best selling author. Students were able to get books signed by April, and some were even awarded a special lunch in the library with her! April’s biggest piece of advice for these students was to never give up, even when it feels like you might never succeed.

We would like to give a huge thank you to April for taking time to visit PVJH and encourage their creativity! Thank you also to PVJH Librarian Anita Roche for organizing such a fantastic day!

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

PVJH 5th Annual Poetry Slam shows off Student Creativity

Posted April 11th, 2018

On Tuesday, March 27th, 35 8th-grade students performed at the 5th-Annual Poetry Slam Celebration! This celebration was a compilation of the top poem performances from the school slam held the week before spring break.

The audience heard about students’ frustrations, fears, desires, aspirations, and passions, and it was a huge hit! A giant thank you to the parents and teachers who encouraged and supported the voices of PVJH’s students.

Here are just a few photos from the evening! Way to show off your creativity 8th grade!

DEBATES TAKE OVER PVJH GOVERNMENT CLASS

Posted February 26th, 2018

There’s nothing like a good debate to engage students and spark meaningful conversation! During a recent unit, students in Mr. Paul’s Government class got to research their chosen topic, and present to the class in hopes of persuading their peers to support their viewpoint. Each presentation started with a class poll to gather their opinions, followed by the presentation of research and persuasion. Students asked probing questions to learn more about each topic, and were then polled at the end to see if opinions changed.

Great job Mr. Paul for challenging your students to back their opinions with facts, and great job students for engaging in thoughtful and thorough discussion!

REFUGEE DISCUSSION IN PVJH MODEL UN

Posted February 13th, 2018

The 8th graders in Mrs. Mulfinger’s Language Arts class recently participated in a Model United Nations simulation that opened their eyes to a variety of conflicts outside the walls of PVJH!

The students worked for nearly three weeks in groups representing different countries to learn more about how the United Nations works and what some of the challenges the group faces. Each country made a different proposal on how to solve the Syrian refugee crisis and had a discussion and vote for each proposal. There were even five countries with veto power, adding another element of education for the 8th graders about diplomatic discussion, alliances, and compromise.

Students were very involved in the lessons, watching two documentaries, doing research, and reading about the refugee situation throughout the unit. We are always impressed with our teachers pushing PV students to be engaged in the world outside their school and our district!

STRIVING FOR FIVE THIS SPRING

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 unitedwayqc.org/challenge5

STRIVE FOR 5STRIVE FOR 5

 

 

 

 

JUNIOR HIGHERS PUT THEIR GEOGRAPHY KNOWLEDGE TO THE TEST

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!

PV ORCHESTRA STUDENTS HEAD TO ISTA HONORS ORCHESTRA

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

 

PVHS:

Sophia Xiao – Violin I

Jeanelle Cho – Violin I

Dan Kim – Violin I

Maddie Anthony – Violin I

Keshav Wagle – Cello

JUNIOR HIGH WINTER CONCERTS SPREAD THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT

Posted December 22nd, 2017

The Junior High 7th and 8th Grade bands and choirs took holiday spirit to a new level with their awesome Winter Concerts last week! The programs consisted of songs like Hanukkah Holiday, A Celtic Christmas, the Abominable Snowman Chase, and All I Want for Christmas is You.

Special thanks to all PVJH music staff, including Choir Director Margaret Thompson, 7th Grade Band Directors Kristin Lopez and Monica Gil, and 8th Grade Band Director Jacob Davis for all their hard work to make this program special!  And, bravo to all performers!

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!

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!
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!

MINUTE TO WIN IT FUN FOR TEACHERS

Posted November 3rd, 2017

Students aren’t the only ones that get to have some fun on early out Wednesdays!  PVJH used their in service time on November 1st to talk teaching strategy, discuss new lesson plans, and play a few Minute-To-Win-It games to foster some competitive spirit.  We love to see our amazing educators interacting with each other and pushing one another to be their best, in the classroom and even playing awesome games!

PVJH Places at State Cross Country Meet

Posted October 16th, 2017

The Pleasant Valley Junior High Cross Country team won big at the state cross country meet in Ankeny!   Congratulations!

7th grade girls (State Champions) – Hayden Evans, Gretchen Highberger, Lydia Sommer, Karin Fowler, Bella D Antico, Khushi Mehta, Emma Richards, and Rylie Barber.

7th grade boys (State Runner Up)– Luke Knepp, James Morley, Jacob Mumey, Jacob Cox, Bryce Vining, Andrew Riley, and Trystan Ritchie

8th grade girls (3rd place)– Jayne Abraham, Taylor Buhr, Adelaide Wolfe, Camryn Woods, Deven Reeder, Sarah Kustes, Molly Rawat, Sydney Brandmeyer

8th grade boys (State Champions)– Colin Kilcoin, Tarun Vedula, Ryan Vance, Brady Adams, Rocco D Antico, and Parker Paulson.

Luke Knepp is the 7th grade Individual champion.

PV Junior High Conference Registration Open

Posted October 2nd, 2017

Pleasant Valley Junior High School will be using the PTC Fast Online Scheduling program for Parent-Teacher conferences for the 2017-2018 school year.  The online scheduling system will allow parents to select the time to meet with teachers that is easy and convenient for them.  The scheduling window will open up on Monday, October 2nd and will remain open until the day before the conference. The junior high will hold conferences on Thursday, October 12th and Tuesday, October 17,th from 3:30-7:30.

Please use the following steps located below.

  • If you have access to a computer please enter the following link:
  • At that web address, you will be asked to choose the teachers you would like to meet with. After submitting your choices it will ask for your student’s first and last name, your email address and name.
  • Please note: if you have two students with the same teacher, you will have to schedule appointments for each student.
  • To confirm your identity and email address, PTC Fast will send you a confirmation email.
  • Click on the link in the email to see a screen showing all available times for your parent-teacher conference. Click on whichever time is most convenient for you.
  • Please click here for complete instructions.

Automatic Reminders

  • The system will send you a confirmation email with the date and time you have reserved. That email will include a link that allows you to change your appointment time, if you need to.
  • The system will send you a reminder a few days before your conference.

If you do not have access to a computer, please call the Junior High on Monday, October 2nd to schedule your conference.  Please dial 563-332-0200 and ask for Linda Houston.

The conferences will be scheduled for 5 minutes in length and we ask teachers and parents to keep to the time allotment so it does not impact other schedules.  To further assist with keeping conferences on schedule, please do not schedule back to back conferences.   You will need travel time between classes for each conference.  We appreciate your cooperation!

Please feel free to contact the Main Office at 563-332-0200 with any questions.

  • Conferences will be held in individual teacher rooms, unless otherwise noted.
  • If a longer conference is required, we ask that you schedule this time with the teacher
  • We ask that you print and bring your son’s/daughter’s schedule with you to conferences or have access to it via parent portal
  • There will be no after school activities held on the days of conferences
  • Students should leave school after 8th period on the conference days
Banned Book Week

Posted October 2nd, 2017

Teacher Librarian Anita Roche takes Banned Book Week seriously.  Every year, she talks with Language Arts students about censorship and challenges them to think about why some might want certain books banned.  This year, PVJH featured a museum of banned books.  Students walked through the area and many were surprised to see familiar titles on the shelves.  

Students then talked about why some books might get challenged or even banned from a library.  They read the most popular challenged book in the country, “Tango Makes Three.”  The picture book is about two male penguins who hatch an egg.  Students worked together to determine why some might want the book challenged.

“We have to keep these discussions to keep growing,” Mrs. Roche said. “It’s for you and your family to make a decision on what you can read.”

For more information on banned and challenged books, click here.

Pleasant Valley Junior High Play, September 23 & 24

Posted September 18th, 2017

Pleasant Valley Junior High actors have been busy this school year.  Less than a month after school began, students are putting on a play!  Students auditioned in the spring and had the summer to prepare on their own.  Rehearsals started the first day of school.  You can see all their hard work on Saturday, September 23rd, at 7:00pm or on Sunday, September 24th, at 1:00pm.  Both performances are in the Black Box Theatre at the High School.

Students are performing Oh, What a Tangled Web by John R. Carroll. On an impulse, a young girl makes up a story, and
the complications that result from it are extremely funny. Suddenly needing an excuse, the girl fumbles for a moment and then blurts out that there has been a death in the family. Actually, the only thing wrong in this family is that the cat is missing. In any case, people start coming over to express their concern and sympathy. The parents think they’re referring to the missing cat and the hilarious complications just continue to multiply!

Cast
Jan Wilson ………………………………………Caroline Sierk
Chris Wilson …………………………………… Cassel Friemel
Frank Wilson ……………………………………… Evan Freese
Shirley Wilson ………………………………… Miranda Croll
Mr. Quigley ……………………………………… Anna Arms
Mrs. Quigley ………………………….……… Madelyn Rode
Tim Scarlotta …………………………………… Ethan Kilcoin
Stan Glowacki ………………………Jackson Brandstetter

Crew
Director …………………………………… Lyra VanLanduyt
Assistant Stage Director ……………………… Harper Clark
Sound ……………………………………… Alyse Zuiderveen
Costume, Hair, and Make-up …………………………………
Josie Olderog, Catherine Moore, Emilee Stock
Lighting …………………………………………… Lydia Wilson

 

 

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.

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.

 

First Day of School at PVJH

Posted August 25th, 2017

What a great day to start school!  Pleasant Valley Junior High Students started the day with an all-school assembly.  Students watched as teams of teachers tried to throw cards into watermelons and get a ping pong ball to stick to a piece of bread.  Ask you students how these games taught them about focus.  Check out the pictures below from Wednesday, August 23, 2017.

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525 Belmont Road
Bettendorf, IA 52722

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