Week of September 4

Dear families,

We had a great first full week of school!  We have spent the first seven days building in routines and communicating expectations for the year to come.  The excitement and energy was uplifting as I visited many classrooms this first week.  As we turn the page to week 2, school really kicks into gear with sports competitions getting started.  While the weather keeps us from getting out and enjoying Labor Day, here is a look at what is coming this week.

  • Thursday is our first night of competition for our fall sports, hopefully you can come cheer on the Tigers!
    • Cross Country is at Marshalltown starting at 4:00
    • Volleyball host Ames starting at 4:30
    • Football is at Valley Stadium hosting Ankeny starting at 4:30
  • We will be completing a few of safety drills this week during our Tiger Time.  We feel it is important to practice our Lock Down, Tornado, and Fire drills to ensure all know what to do in the event we have an emergency.
  • Our first PAC meeting is Tuesday, September 11th at noon in the Stilwell Media Center.
  • We are trying something new this year to help keep parents a little more connected and celebrate the great things that happen at Stilwell.  We are using #Stilwellshines to celebrate the good thing students and staff do each day.  Feel free to join in and help share all that is good and positive about our Stilwell community.

Enjoy your Labor Day and here is to another great week at Stilwell!

Eric Boyle, Principal



Week May 29

Can you believe we have arrived at the last day of the year?!  This will be my last post for the 17-18 school year.  Just a few thoughts to share as we say “good bye” for the summer.

Best of luck to each and every one of our 8th graders!  We are very proud of you and look forward to you graduating in four short years.  Parents, if your 8th grader is your youngest, I want to say “good bye” and “thank you” for the years I’ve been given to work with and get to know your child and family.

I want to thank each of you for helping us to complete another successful year.  Success is not always defined by everything going right.  Every day of school presented our 700+ students and nearly 90 staff members with exciting learning opportunities, engaging projects, amazing presentations, fun assemblies, activities that connected us to each other, and “Wow!’ student performances in the classroom, on the stage and in our community; but we also encountered frustrating failures, poor choices that resulted in tears and consequences, along with disappointing peer situations and shared sadness for and with students and staff who struggled with family losses, illnesses and frustrations.  I tell students (and parents) all the time, “I don’t expect perfection, I expect us to learn from our mistakes and try our best to limit or avoid the Big mistakes.”  As a school community we celebrated together, we learned together, and my hope is that each of grew stronger because of both types of experiences.  Thank you parents, guardians, students and staff for a successful year of learning growing stronger together!

Make it a great summer for you, your child and all those you encounter each day!

Week of May 4

It is AMAZING how quickly the month of April has flown by!  I hope everyone has been able to get out and enjoy the springtime weather.  The sunshine and warm weather continues to brighten the spirits of those around me.

As we look ahead, our performing arts programs are set to show their talents one last time.  Students have been working hard to prepare for their last shows of the year, so I hope you can join us. Here are the dates to mark on your calendar:

  • Tuesday, May 8th is our Orchestra concert at 7:00 at the PAC.
  • Tuesday, May 22nd is our final band performance.  7th grade will start at 6:30 followed by 8th grade at 8:00.

Finally, this week is Teacher Appreciation week.  I would encourage you to take time to drop an email, make a phone call, or write a note to your child’s teacher(s) to let them know how much they are appreciated.  They love to hear they are making a difference!  Thanks and have a great week!

March 30

Good morning!

Next Monday, Stilwell will start Iowa Assessments. Our students will be assessed in the areas of Reading, Science and Math. The two Reading assessments will be taken in your child’s Language Arts class. Wednesday we will run a modified schedule and take Science, Computation and the Tryouts section of the assessment during Tiger Time. These test sections during Tiger Time will run from 7:35-9:06. Finally, the Math section of the test will take place during your child’s Math class on both Thursday and Friday. During this week, it is extremely important that your child get plenty of rest, have a good breakfast and are on time for school each day. We have found these factors to be key for a successful testing experience. Thank you and I hope everyone has a great weekend!

February 12

Is anyone else done with snow?  I was hopeful we were going to survive another winter with very little snow.  Boy, was I wrong!  I am glad to see our temperatures are on the rise this week!  A couple of things to highlight in the next week:

  • Thursday, February 15th we have our 6th to 7th parent meeting.  There will be a student/ parent/ teacher panel for Project Based Learning at 6:15.  The overview of everything Stilwell starts at 7.
  • Friday, February 16th we have our Valentine’s Dance.  The dance is 5:30 to 7.

Finally, remember we are a week away form Spring Parent Teacher Conferences.  Please schedule a time slot with your child’s team.  If you have questions, you can contact Mrs. Stover or Mrs. Thompson in the office for assistance.  Hope to see you next week!

February 5

I apologize for letting a few weeks slip away.  It is amazing how quickly you can fall behind on your blog!  February tends to be a very busy month at Stilwell.  We have our normal day to day operations going on, plus we start to look towards next year.  We have a few dates I would like to highlight.

  • 7 to 8 Parent Night on February 8th at 7:00 in Stilwell Auditorium
  • PBL Parent/ Student panel on February 15th at 6:15 in Stilwell Auditorium
  • 6 to 7 Parent Night on February 15th at 7:00 in Stilwell Auditorium

During these meetings we will highlight courses, activities, and all things Stilwell.  Mr. Johnson has visited with all 7th graders about next year and reviewed course offerings.  Be on the lookout for a course request form in your child’s backpack.

Our Parent – Teacher Conference are February 20-22.  An email was sent out last week with the directions on how to sign up to discuss your child’s progress for third quarter.  If you have questions or need help, you can contact the main office.

With everything going on, this month will fly by!  I hope you have a great week!

Week of January 15

Dear Parents,


As we start second semester, the staff and I are going to start the process of moving to a Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) school with the plan to have full implementation at the start of 2018-2019 school year. PBIS is a multi-tiered approach to teaching and supporting social skills, emotional well-being, and behavior. When fully implemented, PBIS improves social, emotional, and academic outcomes for every student. PBIS is already used at every elementary school and Indian Hills Junior High in West Des Moines.


What does this mean for this school year? We will spend the first two weeks of the second semester reviewing and practicing school expectations. We will share with students our response to inappropriate behavior, or poor choices, and work to do a better job highlighting our students who are following Stilwell’s Three Cornerstones: do the right thing, do your best, and treat others the way you want to be treated. Our goal is to create consistency throughout the building, provide clarity for all, and continue to grow the strong climate and culture we have here at Stilwell. If you have questions or want to learn more on how to support, please let us know. Thanks!