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November 13, 2020


We have finished our first quarter of schools in the Newton Community School District. It has taken on a different appearance in our buildings, and we are working diligently to always provide the best possible educational opportunities for our students while placing a high priority on the health and safety of our students, families, staff, and community.

To accomplish our mission we have had to make some adjustments along the way. We have delayed the start of our school year due to the major storm. We have gone to temporary remote learning due to the pandemic. We have implemented procedures for cleaning and sanitizing. I want you to know that the Newton CSD always relies on the cooperation of our community, but this year we could not have moved forward like this without your help and support. We will continue to communicate out to the public all school news. I also encourage you to attend school board meetings to hear the discussions and learn about the major decisions concerning our schools. The school board meetings continue to be held via Zoom. It is easier than ever to tune in and stay informed.

Thank you again for your continued support and always remember “Red Pride Lives Here!”

Tom Messinger

As we approach another Thanksgiving and holiday season, we are reminded that this year may look a little different than past years, but our friends, family and our Red Pride Community is always something to be thankful for. Check out all the things our staff and students were thankful for last year!

To learn more from our Superintendent about our Temporary/Continuous Remote Learning here!

Cardinal Families: Please see a letter from Superintendent Tom Messinger regarding our Return to Learn Plan and revisions that were voted on at the November 9, 2020 board meeting.

If your student(s) are currently in the Fully Remote Learning Model, please see highlighted changes that are effective December 1, 2020.

Medical waivers for self or household are due: November 20, 2020

"Every single athlete on our team will go onto achieve great things. They will be strong community members, good family people, and excellent employees or CEO’s — so, this is not the end."  

 Sarah Patterson, the girls swimming coach talks about a difficult end of the season, and how the swimmers came together to support one another during a disappointing time. 

Read more in the Newton Daily News about how the team inspired Sarah as their coach, and brought hope and inspiration to the Red Pride Community.


Teacher Features 

Newton Community School District wanted to feature two amazing educators this week in the Red Pride Review! 

Brady Calow has been at Berg Middle School for the past 6 years educating students. Berg was his first job after college at UNI, and he has been there ever since. The love of the students, and the friends he has made with staff members kept him there as he grew in his teaching career. Brady has been coaching since he started at Berg from basketball to baseball, he has truly loved working with students and the athletic department in addition to his social studies position. 

He found his rhythm at Berg Middle School as a social studies teacher, and has enjoyed watching students grow over the years. 

"Middle schoolers are always changing, and it is a great age to teach because of how impressionable they are." 

He enjoys seeing past students around town, and hearing the small lessons they have taken with them to high school and as they prepare from college. He mentioned how many students remind him of the everyday things that made an impact that he sometimes forgets in the chaos of teaching and life, and how much it reminds him of the importance of his job. 

Brady has led a virtual class since the beginning of the school year. While the most recent change to a temporary all virtual model was an adjustment, he has had the privilege to see students excel at different types of learning throughout the year. Leading a virtual class and homeroom from the beginning has given him a challenge to learn more about students in a different setting from previous years. It has given him the opportunity to see the pressure lifted from some students and see how they participate more virtually than they do in traditional classrooms.  

"The students that had been quiet since day one in the classroom have really come into their own during virtual learning, they have participated more in a few days, than the have the rest of the year." 

Connecting with students, and helping them grow in their education, no matter what type of learning is happening, is why Brady Calow is appreciated here at Newton Community School District!  

Ashley Kahler is on her ninth year teaching at Berg Middle School. There she teaches 5th- 8th grade Physical Education classes. She always thought she would be an elementary school teacher, but after her time at Berg Middle School she fell in love with the middle school agers and hasn't left! 

The friendly staff, the amazing administrators, the upbeat environment, and the tools they are provided to succeed, are a few things that Ashley loves about Berg Middle School.

"I have coached three sports, and always have someone checking up on me and seeing how my teams are doing. They really care, and are supportive how the athletes and I are doing." 

Virtual learning may not be the most traditional way to teach physical education, but Ashley has done a phenomenal job at motivating students to keep moving and stay healthy!  She provides workouts, gives students fun challenges, or assigns yoga sessions to stay active. 

But it isn't just about keeping students physically healthy, Ashley knows how important it is to keep students motivated and she reminds students how important it is to take "brain breaks", she uses humor to keep students engaged, and tries to be a motivational speaker for her students. She encourages them to take time to "relax and breath" during the day. 

Ashley wants to remind her students- "Keep going and stay active as much as you can. Be the best life long learner that you can be, and remember that teachers and Berg Middle School is always here for you!" 

We are grateful to have positive teachers such as Ashley in the Newton Community School District, who encourage our students to live a physically and mentally healthy life! 


Cardinal Families: The Newton Community Educational Foundation (NCEF) is looking for great stories of learning and life changing moments from those who have been inspired by one of our teachers! If you are a parent, alumni, community member or student, you are eligible to nominate a teacher.

Find out more here!

Nomination forms are due: Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Check out the School Board meeting highlights from the meeting on November 9th, 2020 here!

Newton By The Numbers


Drive-in theater


Square miles of city


Tree species in Newton Arboretum

Whether you’re raising a family, starting a business or building a home — you’ll want to get to know Newton. Our community vision statement is “Newton Shines Bright: Newton is a progressive, family friendly community, a shining star of Central Iowa, and a place to call home.”

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