January 28, 2022


This is the time of year when we typically see more student absences due to illness and this year is no exception. We have seen many different illnesses develop in our students, staff members, and community. We continue to look at our data, review the effectiveness of our Return to Learn Plan, and encourage people to follow a few simple guidelines. 

Our data has shown that the student absences have climbed over the past two weeks. I want to make sure to point out that the student absences are not all due to COVID-19. We have many students and staff who have missed school due to influenza, RSV, strep throat, COVID-19, and other illnesses. We know there are higher numbers of COVID-19 cases in Jasper County right now than there were two months ago. This is not a Jasper County situation - it is much more widespread. 

As stated in a communication which went out earlier this week, our Return to Learn Plan has been reviewed and updated. There is no more mask requirement when the student absence rate due to illness exceeds 8% for two consecutive days. There is also a reduction in the number of days someone is excluded from school from 10 days down to 5 if the individual is fever free and the symptoms are greatly reduced, as long as the individual wears a mask on days 6 through 10 (per guidance from IDPH and the CDC). These amendments to our plan can be found under the Return to Learn Plan link on our school website. 

The day after the Newton Community School District Board of Directors approved the updated Return to Learn Plan the courts made a decision which changes our available options for schools in Iowa. The court upheld the ban on mask mandates in schools for our home state. We are not able to implement a general mask mandate in schools. We are able to do it for select individuals or targeted cases but not as a general rule. Masks are still required at this time on public transportation - which is still an exception required by federal order. 

Please continue to follow a few simple guidelines to help us navigate through the pandemic. First and foremost - anyone who is sick should stay home. If someone comes to school ill, they will be sent home by their school personnel. Continue with handwashing. Everyone is encouraged to wear a mask if they wish and should not receive any kind of negative treatment if they exercise that right. And finally, make healthy choices in your routines - eat right, get the appropriate amount of sleep, and dress according to the weather. We want our entire Cardinal Family to be healthy and safe. 

Yours truly, 

Tom Messinger

Why We Love Teaching At Newton 

Working in Newton is more than just a job for our faculty and teachers, learn how much Red Pride and working at Newton means to them!

Girls Basketball in NCSD 

The girls have been off to a great beginning of the season, and hope to continue to work hard together as a team on and off the court!

Teacher Feature 

Lora is a key member at Aurora Heights Elementary in Newton! Learn more about her time at the District and what teaching Second Grade means to her. 


What is WEST Academy?

WEST Academy stands for 'Where Everyone Succeeds Together.'  We are an alternative option to the traditional high school setting.  We strive to provide a space for students that is safe and supportive, while empowering them to develop a positive relationship with the community and learn to own and value their education.  

What will the money be used for?

To help empower students with additional life skills, we would like to incorporate a cooking space into our building.  Having this space available to students would provide opportunities for students to practice cooking healthy meals for themselves and their families.  The kitchen space would be the final piece of the puzzle needed to enhance our current partnerships with the Food Bank of Iowa and the ISU Extension Office.

What are we doing?

We are working with an organization, Funds2Orgs, to host a shoe drive.  Basically all shoes work (seriously almost anything that doesn't have worn holes or are falling apart, and are not ski boots, roller skates, ice skates and rollerblades)!  This company collects our shoes, pays us and then turns around and sells them to microbusinesses in developing countries.  Those businesses are then able to support their families by selling our shoes to locals in their communities.  

How can I help?

We will be collecting shoes at the January 28th basketball games. Each pair of shoes donated earns a free popcorn from the concession stand! Please help us spread the word by sharing on your social media outlets & letting your teams & their fans know.

Cardinals Conquering Cancer on the Court

Theme:  "Hoops for Hope"

Newton High School Gyms

January 28, 2022 - Boys & Girls Varsity Games vs. Pella begin at 4:45 PM

Click on this Link to the Activities/Athletics Calendar for game schedules

Thank you for supporting our fight against cancer in the past!  Due to generous donations from Newton CSD staff and our community, we have donated thousands of dollars each year to help fight cancer.

If you can, please join us at Newton High School TONIGHT to cheer on our basketball teams against Pella and to cheer on this year's honorees & their families!  
We will be hosting a dedication wall to honor your loved ones and collecting money to donate to fight the cancer battle.  Thank you for your support.

The graphic art was created by Jeremy Sumpter  

Upcoming Dates in the District

January 31st: NO Preschool and 1.5 Early Dismissal for Students (ALL Campuses)

February 7th: NO Preschool and 1.5 Early Dismissal for Students (ALL Campuses)

February 8th: Parent Teacher Conferences from 3:30 pm - 7:30 pm (Berg Middle School)

February 10th: Parent Teacher Conferences from 4:00 pm - 7:30 pm (Newton High School) 

February 14th: NO Preschool and 1.5 Early Dismissal for Students (ALL Campuses)

February 14th: Board Work Session at 5:30 PM (EJH Beard Administration Center - Room 105A) 

February 14th: School Board Meeting at 6:30 PM (EJH Beard Administration Center - Room 105A / via ZOOM)

more info here!

Preschool Registration (2022-2023) - APPLICATIONS NOW AVAILABLE!

If your child will be 4 years old on or before September 15, 2022 please complete and return a Preschool application (with required documents) to the Central Registrar's Office for the 2022 - 2023 School Year.  Our Central Registrar's Office is located at the EJH Beard Administration Center (1302 1st Ave W, Newton).  

The Newton Community Preschool is located at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School (112 Thomas Jefferson Drive).  We offer programming for 4-year-old students in morning (AM) or afternoon (PM) sessions.  Our staff takes pride in working hard to meet the needs of our preschool families!  

Click for more information at this link to our Preschool Registration webpage.

If you have any questions, please contact Melinda Robertson, Central Registrar (District Office), at 641.792.5809 (Option 2) or robertsonm@newtoncsd.org

See the latest updates on Middle School and High School Activities and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates on activities and results!

School Board Highlights

Check out the School Board Meeting Highlights from the meeting on January 24th, 2022 here!