North Cedar News

One of the benefits of a small school district is that we can immerse ourselves in our community of learners. Get to know the movers and shakers in the North Cedar Community School District! Our News page is chock full of student and staff praise, helpful tips, and information about what’s new in the district.

State Cheer Championships
North Cedar Cheer team with state champion two trophies

The state cheer championship results are in, and the girls brought home two trophies and a banner this year! They placed first for time out, second for spirit, and fifth for band chant. Congratulations, North Cedar cheer!

November Board Meeting Highlights

Each month the North Cedar School Board shares two or three key highlights of our monthly board meetings. These takeaways are messages that the board collectively feels are important for the public to know. 

At the November 16, 2020, meeting, it was the overwhelming consensus of the board that we place emphasis on the district’s remote learning plan. Instead of two or three highlights this month, the focus will be on the tremendous effort by district personnel to develop the processes and systems to safely educate our students in a virtual environment amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Remote Learning and COVID-19 Trends
North Cedar students, families, and teachers will have an opportunity to experience virtual learning the two days before and after Thanksgiving break. This trial of remote learning will test the systems and methods that are in place to support online learning should it become necessary as a long-term COVID-19 mitigation strategy. In addition to trialing remote instruction, the break from in-person learning will allow custodial staff to thoroughly sanitize all buildings and reduce potential spread due to a predicted increase in virus activity over Thanksgiving break.

The board commends the North Cedar administration and staff for actively tracking all student and staff illnesses and closely analyzing trends to ensure a safe learning and work environment. Despite a significant uptick in state and county cases, the number of active COVID-19 cases among staff and students at North Cedar remains relatively low (less than five or fewer cases at any one time). Maintaining sufficient healthy staff to sustain in-person learning is a challenge faced by many districts, including North Cedar. We encourage you to do your part to mitigate the spread of the virus with the hope that we can continue to offer in-person instruction. The board agrees that students learn best in a traditional in-person classroom environment.

We realize remote learning presents many challenges for families, and we thank the entire North Cedar community for their cooperation and willingness to adapt and support our students and families.

To view the full agenda and attachments of North Cedar School Board meetings, click the online board app button on the Board of Education page. Meeting minutes are also posted online following each meeting.

Veteran Thank You Card
Female student making card for Veteran

On Veterans Day, Mrs. Jackson's third-grade class wrote thank you cards to John, a 95-year-old WWII Navy Veteran.

Classroom of the Week
North Cedar Elementary Knight Pride! Classroom of the Week

North Cedar Elementary has two new classrooms chosen as the "Classroom of the Week." These classrooms have demonstrated exceptional behavior and shown how great they are at respecting themselves, others, and property. A big congratulations goes out to Mr. Behren's fifth-grade class in Lowden and Mrs. Rolwes's sixth-grade class in Mechanicsville.

We look forward to celebrating many more classes throughout the year as we catch them demonstrating positive behaviors.

Classroom of the Week 1 Classroom of the Week 2
Spectators Information

As we head toward the winter activity season, we wanted to take a moment and send an update on spectator attendance for our activities. In accordance with the November 10 proclamation from Governor Reynolds, we will begin limiting spectators at our district activities to two spectators per participant. This limit is effective immediately and will run through November 30, at a minimum. Please read our spectator's letter for more important guidelines.

Meals during Virtual Learning

The North Cedar School Nutrition Department will be providing meals to students during hybrid or virtual learning at no cost to families. This also includes e-Learning families and any children ages 0 through 18 years. Families must sign up to receive meals. Any person can pick up meals for a family. We highly encourage all families to sign up for meals.

Change in Learning Model

Recently, the North Cedar CSD received information from the governor and Iowa Public Health Department of a significant increase in confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our area. As a result, we will be moving from our current in-person instructional model to remote learning for all students. For more information, please read our change in learning model message to families.

November 9, 2020 - Classroom of the Week
North Cedar Elementary Knight Classroom of the Week

North Cedar Elementary has two new classrooms chosen as the classroom of the week. These classrooms have demonstrated exceptional behavior and shown how great they are at respecting themselves, others, and property. A big congratulations goes out to Mrs Jensen's preschool class in Lowden and Mrs. Weber's first grade class in Mechanicsville.

We look forward to celebrating many more classes throughout the year as we catch them demonstrating positive behaviors.

Students social distancing for a fun picture to celebrate classroom of the week Students proudly social distancing for a fun picture to celebrate their classroom of the week
November 2, 2020 - Classroom of the Week

North Cedar Elementary Knight Classroom of the Week

North Cedar Elementary has two new classrooms chosen as the classroom of the week. These classrooms have demonstrated exceptional behavior and shown how great they are at respecting themselves, others, and property. A big congratulations goes out to Mrs Snyder's third grade class in Lowden and Mrs. Jackson's third grade class in Mechanicsville.

We look forward to celebrating many more classes throughout the year as we catch them demonstrating positive behaviors.

Students social distancing for a fun picture to celebrate classroom of the week Students proudly social distancing for a fun picture to celebrate their classroom of the week
Did You Know?

If your children are ill, quarantined, or isolated, they can still receive free breakfast and lunch meals from school by contactless pick-up.

Below are a few quick steps to do so:

  • Contact Jen Smith by email 
  • Choose a building of pick up:
    • Clarence
    • Lowden
    • Mechanicsville
  • Let us know how many children need meals and for approximately how long.
    • Meal pick up is every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. 
    • Call the school of choice and transfer to the kitchen.
    • Let the staff know you are here to pick up meals. 
    • A staff member will bring your meals and leave outside the door. 
    • Once the staff member is inside, you can leave your vehicle to pick up.

On October 9, USDA Sonny Perdue approved free meals to all students ages zero through eighteen for the entire 2020-2021 school year. We encourage your children to eat school breakfast and lunch every day. Eating school meals helps support our school and community. School meals are safe, nutritious, and convenient. Although there will be no community holiday meal this year, we will still provide holiday meals in November and December for students and staff.

Iowa Youth Straw Poll
Click to view more photos of student voters

On Tuesday, October 27, 250 schools from around the state and over 25,000 students participated in the Iowa youth straw poll. Mr Crittenden's classes all participated. The results were in the North Cedar poll: Trump 65% to Biden 23% and in the state poll: Trump 57% to Biden 30%. The senate race results for the North Cedar poll were: Ernst 61% to Greenfield 29% and in the state poll: Ernst 54% to Greenfield 36%. In district 2 for our house seat in the North Cedar poll it was Hart 56% to Miller Meeks 44% and in the state poll it was opposite Miller Meeks 56% to Harts 44%. Mr Crittenden commented that this is a great way for the kids to get to participate in one of our most important duties as a citizen. They liked the stickers and getting their picture taken as well. If you have not yet voted, please get to the polls on Tuesday, November 3.

October 26, 2020 - Classroom of the Week
Classroom of the Week

North Cedar Elementary has two new classrooms chosen as the classroom of the week. These classrooms have demonstrated exceptional behavior and shown how great they are at respecting themselves, others, and property. A big congratulations goes out to Mrs Rouse's first grade class in Lowden and Mrs. Farrington's fourth grade class in Mechanicsville. 

We look forward to celebrating many more classes throughout the year as we catch them demonstrating positive behaviors.

Mrs Rouse's First Grade Class in LowdenMrs Farrington's Fourth Grade Class in Mechanicsville
October Board Meeting Highlights

Each month the North Cedar School Board shares a few highlights of our monthly board meetings. These takeaways are messages that the board collectively feels are important for the public to know. Here are the highlights from the October 19, 2020, meeting:

Board Strategies. The board annually reaffirms the priorities that support the district’s goals. For this school year, there will be a renewed focus on academics with emphasis on proficiency and growth in reading and math. The board is also prioritizing the social/emotional and mental health of students and staff. Throughout the year, the board will hear reports on the various initiatives and use the information for decision making and policy development that supports these priorities.

Three-Year-Old Preschool. The Little Knights Learning Centers in Lowden and Mechanicsville are now offering a three-year-old preschool program. The program establishes a foundation that prepares young learners for the district’s four-year-old preschool program. This new program has been well received and currently has a waiting list at both centers. Wraparound childcare is also available to make the program convenient for families.

Successful First Quarter. A shout out to all North Cedar Knights for your efforts to make our in-person learning experience safe this year. We appreciate everyone following the safety protocols and celebrate the successful learning and student activities that have been able to take place this fall. We continue to thank everyone for their willingness to adapt and support our North Cedar students and families.

To view the full agenda and attachments of North Cedar School Board meetings, please go to our Board of Education page and click the online board app button. Meeting minutes are also posted online following each meeting.

Lowden Elementary Virtual PBIS Assembly

Lowden Elementary recently had our first school-wide virtual PBIS assembly. During the assembly, each classroom teacher recognized students from their room who have gone above and beyond when following our PBIS expectations: respect self, respect others, and respect property. Students were presented with a PBIS award and poster that they were able to take home and share with their family. Below is a list of award recipients from our assembly.

View more photos of our Lowden PBIS award recipients

  • Nora Bomia - Preschool
  • Evelyn Deerberg - Preschool
  • Macklin Horman - Preschool
  • Evie Moorman - Preschool
  • Oliver Voss - Preschool
  • Madaline Edmunds - Kindergarten
  • Shae Mohr - Kindergarten
  • Luke Pruess - Kindergarten
  • Ivey Heister - Kindergarten
  • Scott Krambeck - Kindergarten
  • Brantley Pruess - Kindergarten
  • Sadie Sieren - Kindergarten
  • Jordyn Clapham - First Grade
  • Nash Curley - First Grade
  • Sophie Deerberg - First Grade
  • Brecken Horman - First Grade
  • Anna Krambeck - First Grade
  • Addison Digiralamo - Second Grade
  • Brandi Hormann - Second Grade
  • Lucas Ramm - Second Grade
  • Eli Schmacht - Second Grade
  • Amya Clark - Third Grade
  • Emma Hansen - Third Grade
  • Ashley Hess - Third Grade
  • Kael Koth - Third Grade
  • Brecken Leeper- Third Grade
  • Cameron Carney - Fourth Grade
  • Bently Hormann - Fourth Grade
  • Caylee Jensen - Fourth Grade
  • Arianna Robinson - Fourth Grade
  • Miley Cox - Fifth Grade
  • Maranda Helmold - Fifth Grade
  • Declon Weimerskirch - Fifth Grade
  • Autumn Bryant - Sixth Grade
  • Alaina Howell - Sixth Grade
  • Tayden Thurston - Sixth Grade

Free School Meals Extended Through SY 2020–21

The USDA approved free breakfast and lunch meals for all children ages 0–18 through June 30, 2021. For more information, please see the article below.

New Classroom of the Week Program
North Cedar Elementary Knight Pride! Classroom of the Week

North Cedar Elementary is excited to announce a new way to show off our North Cedar pride and celebrate our positive behaviors this year. Starting this week and every week after, we will be announcing a “classroom of the week” from each elementary building.

The first two classrooms we have chosen as the "classroom of the week" have demonstrated exceptional behavior and shown how great they are at respecting themselves, others, and property. We send a big “congratulations” to Mrs. Petersen's kindergarten class in Lowden and Ms. Harr's third grade class in Mechanicsville.

We look forward to celebrating many more classes throughout the year as we catch them demonstrating positive behaviors. Keep up the good work!

 Ms. Harr's third grade class in Mechanicsville
Mrs. Petersen's kindergarten class in Lowden
Free Meals to All Students

Beginning on Monday, September 14, North Cedar Community School District will be providing breakfast and lunch to all students at no cost to them regardless of meal benefit status until further notice. No sign up is necessary for students who are in-person learning. All children participating in online learning and those not enrolled in school must sign up in order to receive meals. Meals will be available for pick up at Mechanicsville Elementary, Lowden Elementary, or Clarence Junior/Senior High School on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. Please see below for our free meal update and meal sign up.