Welcome to the Panther Project

August 13th, 2014
Kent Warneke
Norfolk Daily News
Not a day goes by in the Norfolk Public Schools that something interesting, educational, fun or important doesn’t occur.

The students may be well aware of what’s taking place; teachers and administrators, too. But what about everyone else.

That’s the premise behind the Panther Project — a collaborative effort involving the Norfolk Public Schools and the Daily News that has been in existence since the 2009-2010 school year. Each of the Norfolk school buildings has its own website, filled with information. But the sites tend to only be viewed by individuals and families with a direct connection to each school. By working with the Daily News and sharing some of that information on the newspaper’s website, many, many more people will see it.

Here’s how it works:

Each building within the school district has a media coordinator. Within the Daily News’ Web site at www.norfolkdailynews.com, we have created a separate page for each school building. Under the coordination of the Norfolk Public Schools’ Tim Kwapnioski, the media coordinators are encouraged to post as much information, photos, announcements and more on that portion of the Daily News’ website.

The benefit to the school district is that it gets additional exposure for the Norfolk Public Schools by piggybacking onto the most widely used website in Norfolk. The Daily News site attracts close to 2 million page views a month from 60,000 to 80,000 different users each month.

The advantage to individuals who are interested in the school district is that they now can go to just one Web site and see a host of information about different schools without having to go to so many individual websites.

The advantage to readers of the Daily News’ print edition is that from the information posted on the Web site from school media coordinators, some of the most noteworthy, most interesting items will be included in a Panther Project weekly advertisements in the newspaper.



Fundraiser Pig Races

November 19th, 2015

Pig races were held in the Woodland Park gym, this award was for the top fundraisers for our PTO fundraiser.  They raced battery operated pigs and the top 2 received gift cards, and each student was able to keep the pig they raced.

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Grant Family Game Night

November 19th, 2015

Over 200 people packed the gym for our annual Family Game Night (Bingo for Books) and won well over 500 books! (All donated by teachers and Grant families!) There were many happy faces and fun conversations as students picked from a variety of genres, including historical fiction, fantasy, realistic fiction and biographies.

Would you like to join in on the next big “Book Giveaway?”  Mark your calendars for January 12th for the annual, “Grant Family Feast.”  Grant families will be treated to a meal and another round of free books on the “Book Walk!”  (Musical Chairs, but walking). If you would like to donate any books for this event, please send them to school marked “Book Walk” and we would be happy to pass them along to the next winner!  

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Playing and Westside

November 18th, 2015

After 34 years at Bel Air Elementary, the elementary LIFE program has moved to Westside this year.  The staff and students have been wonderful at accommodating the needs of our students.  So far, we have made lots of friends and had lots of fun.  The Norfolk Daily News kindly donated an adapted swing so our students can participate in the recess fun.  This swing creates opportunities for students to interact and play with each other and of course, lots of giggles!


Playing at Westside


Junior High Honors Veterans

November 16th, 2015

Junior High staff and students honored all Veterans last week. Students learned the importance of thanking Veterans for their sacrifices. Thank you to all Veterans, past and present, for your service to our country.

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Honoring Our Veterans

November 12th, 2015

Woodland Park students honored our Veterans by gathering for an assembly,  writing letters and coloring pictures to give to their soldier.  Thank you to our Veterans for serving our country past and present!!

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Junior High Students Tour News Channel Nebraska

November 12th, 2015

The 8th grade digital technology students toured the NewsChannel Nebraska studio on Monday, November 9. Dave Amick showed the students the facility including the radio production room for commercials, the production room for NCN, the news room for NCN, and the anchor room for NCN.

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Nucor Detailing Engineers Visit Junior High

November 11th, 2015

On November 9, two Engineers from Nucor Detailing came to talk to the STEM students about careers in engineering.  The two Engineers were Eric Fossum, a graduate of Norfolk Senior High and Alice Erickson, a graduate of Battle Creek High School.  Eric has been with Nucor for 18 years and Alice just started 4 months ago after working 6 years in Washington D.C. at the Nuclear Regulations Agency.

The Engineers each gave a short talk about why they decided to become engineers, what classes they took in college and then their internships.  They also talked about things that engineers design in everyday life that we don’t think of.

The competition was introduced to build the tallest structure with marshmallows and spaghetti noodles.  Alice talked about the shapes that work in structures and building a solid base.  The students were then put into groups with 40 marshmallows and 30 spaghetti noodles and were given 15 minutes to build the tallest structure.  After the student were done the Engineers went to each group and talked about what they did right and what might have helped in their tower.  The team of  Reed Stolz, Brian Diego Garcia, Alex Zazueta and Colton Juracek with a tower of 27 ½ inches tall.


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Are you a Digital Citizen?

November 6th, 2015

Digital Passport is fun and effective.

3rd and 4th Grade students, at Westside Elementary, have been introduced, to DIGITAL PASSPORT™, Common Sense Education’s award-winning suite of engaging games that address key issues facing kids in today’s digital world.  It teaches critical skills related to digital safety, respect, and community.  Each of the five games include videos, three levels of gameplay, collaborative offline activities, teacher wraparound materials, and aligned Digital Citizenship lessons.

  • In Twalkers, students learn why it’s important to avoid multitasking with a cell phone. They consider the benefits of focusing on one task at a time.
  • In Share Jumper, students evaluate examples of online messages. They decide what information is appropriate to share and when. Students are also reminded that nothing is truly “private” or “erasable” online.
  • In E-volve, students make choices about what to do if they or their friends are cyberbullied. They are encouraged to “evolve” into an “Upstander” – someone who takes action to stop cyberbullying, rather than standing by.
  • In Search Shark, students learn how to choose effective keywords for searching online. They practice selecting keywords that are most relevant to a search prompt. Along the way, students discover hints for narrowing their search results.
  • In Mix-n-Mash, student’s remix media content to create a new creative piece. Along the way, they give proper credit to the artists whose images and sound clips they use.

Westside ABC’s

November 6th, 2015

Students in the Westside ELL classroom have been learning about letters. They are practicing reciting the alphabet, saying letter names and sounds, and listening to stories in The ABC Storybook series.

One of their favorite activities is to go through the alphabet tub. It includes miniature objects for each letter. This allows the students to practice literacy and vocabulary skills together. IMG_0512


Jefferson October Student of the Month is….Kylie Sisson

November 5th, 2015

Congratulations to Kylie Sisson for being October’s Student of the Month!  Kylie is a hard worker and excellent listener.  She uses her time wisely, always turns in complete assignments and is determined to always do her best.  Kylie also is not afraid to ask questions to make sure she understands and uses common sense.   Her friends look up to her as she is a good leader always working well with others being a friend to all.

Some other qualities Kylie models are:

*shows citizenship-always polite and considerate

*contributes and participates in class discussions

*wonderful peer mentor

*shows lots of initiative

*very dependable

*a positive role model

* has shown outstanding academic achievement

Way to go Kylie, thanks for being a great student!