Reptiles in First Grade!

Every two weeks, First grade gets the privilege of having Cari Nicely, who is the Henry County conservationist, come in and teach a science lesson. Yesterday, Mrs. Nicely taught a lesson on reptiles and she even brought in a snake and turtle for the students to touch! She taught students how reptiles survive, what they eat, different body parts, and how other animals react to them.

Counselor’s Corner-Red Ribbon Week!

Students in Kindergarten through 5th Grade celebrated having a healthy body and mind by learning about the dangers of smoking, drugs, and alcohol.  Red Ribbon Week was       Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 11.37.31 AMcreated after the death of DEA agent Enrique Camerena in March 1985.  Red Ribbon Week was created in his honor as well as all others who have lost their lives helping to rid our society of illicit substances.

We also learned how illicit substances affect our brains, which we need to protect as one Screen Shot 2017-10-30 at 11.37.58 AMcannot hold a job, career, or occupation without one.  Students read and discussed the book, Your Fantastic Elastic Brain written by JoAnn Deak, Ph. D.

Here are some videos to view with your child.

Sara Le Blanc

Elementary School Counselor


Third Grade “Ag in the Classroom”

On Wednesday, October 25 th Van Allen third grade enjoyed a
visit from John Sandbothe, Farm Bureau representative. He
presented an interactive STEM lesson on pumpkin plants that
fits nicely with our study of plants. The students enjoyed
making pumpkin pie in a bag with him.

Box Top Collection Update

Please remember to send your box tops to school with your students by Friday for the Fall Box Top competition. It is a close race so far!


K – Snyder – 247

2 – Hatfield – 244

3 – Schnicker – 219

Note from the Principal:


The District PTA meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 24 at 6:30 at Lincoln. All parents are invited to attend.

Next week is three-way conference week, conferences are scheduled on Thursday, November 2   starting at 4:00pm until the last conference at 7:40.  Friday morning conferences are being held from 8:00 am to noon. Due note November 3 is a no school day for students.

Remember the Van Allen Book Fair opens up on November 1.   IMG_0559.JPG

And just a reminder that  this Friday,-October 27 – is an early dismissal as students will be dismissed at 1:30

This past TuesdayNight, we celebrated All-Band’s Night at Maple Leafs,and here is a short clip highlighting our vastly improving Grade Five Band program under the direction of Laura Westfall. Congratulations to our talented Grade Five students!



Thank you,

Counselor’s Corner

Journals are Great Tools

Last week the older students learned how Anne Frank used her journal, Kitty to process what she endured during her time in hiding during WWII.  Students learned how a journal is an EXCELLENT tool toScreen Shot 2017-10-20 at 8.57.55 AM process our ZONES OF REGULATION, whether one writes about their feelings, draws, doodles, or creates cartoons that journal can be very healing.

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Students also learned about the ZONES OF REGULATION online game that was created by the same company as our guidance curriculum.  This is a wonderful online game that supports what we are learning in guidance class.  Please feel free to learn more about this online game and app at:

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Here are two great videos to help your discussions with your child at home.

Sara Le Blanc

Elementary School Counselor



Screen Shot 2017-10-19 at 9.04.28 PM
Did you know there are 6 types of syllables?  A syllable is part of a words that is surrounding a vowel sound.  Every syllable has a vowel sound.  They can be remembered by the acronyms “VELCRO” or “CLOVER.”  They are Closed, vowel-consonant-E, Open, Vowel Team, R-controlled, and consonant-Le.
Students learn Closed syllables first.  These syllables can be remembered if you think about the candy Dots.  Closed syllables contain 1 vowel followed by one or more consonants.  This vowel is almost always the short sound.  Examples are cat, will, and cactus (cac-tus).
Next students learn vowel-consonant-E (VCe) or as most adults remember, magic e.  These syllables can be remember by the candy Mike and Ike.  VCe syllables have a vowel followed by one consonant and then an “e.”  The “e” is not sounded out but acts as a way to signal that the first vowel is to make the long sound.
Ever wonder why “give” and “have” are said with the short vowel sound?  It’s because when the printing press was invented they needed something to hold up the “v.”

Congratulations to Natalie!

On Sunday, October 8, 2017 Natalie McCormick a former 5th grader at Van Allen Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 9.06.26 AMElementary received an award for academic excellence at the Belin-Blank Center at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.  I had the privilege of walking across the stage with her to receive her award, what an honor.  Congratulations to Natalie and her family.  Natalie and her parents are pictured here with former Mount Pleasant teacher, Christie Vilsack, who addressed the students receiving awards for their academic excellence.

Tracy Jarrett