Welcome to the Panther Project

January 5th, 2016
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.



Baby Chicks in Mrs. Prokopec’s class!

May 2nd, 2016

The second graders in Mrs. Prokopec’s class are working hard to care for their baby chicks.  They have recently completed an embryology unit in which the students learned about the growth and changes that happen to the embryo inside the egg.  The children were responsible for making sure conditions in the incubator were appropriate for hatching eggs as well as caring for the chicks after they were born. 20160426_135142


Kindergarten Enjoying the Baby Animals

April 26th, 2016

Our kindergarten classes went on the bus to the AG building to see the baby animals.  What a great field trip!

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Zoo fun in LIFE!

April 25th, 2016

Students in the elementary LIFE program are busy spending the month of April learning about wild animals and their habitats.



First, we learned about where we can “spy” these animals and made binoculars to help us focus on the different animals we are studying.

Currently, we are working on building zebra habitats and learning interesting facts about zebras.  So far, we have learned that zebras are black with white stripes and are not strong enough for people to ride.

In the picture, you can see us using a bouncy ball to paint the stripes on our zebras for our habitats. Next week, we will be busy making a fish habitat and getting our classroom fish tank ready for our first pets.



Zink the Zebra @ Westside

April 25th, 2016

2nd Grade at Westside Elementary had a visitor April 7th and 14th, Zink the Zebra.  Mark Claussen along with his JOOI members came to Westside Elementary and shared the story of Zink the Zebra.


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The Book Zink the Zebra was written by 11 year old Kelly Weil.  Kelly wrote the story Zink the Zebra while battling cancer.  The story of Zink discusses treating others with kindness, respect and compassion.  It also sends the message to the readers, we are all special and unique in our own way.  Thank you Mr. Classen and the JOOI members and Zink for sharing Kelly’s story.

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Talent Show 2016

April 24th, 2016

More talent at Bel Air Elementary School!  What a fun night as Bel Air students show off their talents.  There were 24 different acts that were presented.

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Spring Activities at Jefferson!

April 19th, 2016

This Spring Jefferson students were able to attend an assembly called Kids on the Block courtesy of the Nebraska Elks.  The assembly talked about using your manners, including everyone, bullying and many other topics that students are faced with each day.  The puppets held the students attention and there were lots of laughs and giggles in the audience.



Jefferson PTO and Title held there annual book walk and Bingo night.  Each student that attended was able to go home with a brand new book and was able to win several fun prizes during Bingo.  It was a great night to spend time with Jefferson families outside of school.



Third quarter Accelerated Reader winners were able to spend two weeks during plus time working with the robots!  Mrs. Johnson taught them how to race the robots, shovel snow, code and they even named the robots!  The top readers were able to show off their robot skills in front of all the students at an assembly.  Both staff and students were impressed by all that they could do and look forward to working with the robots in the future.  pic3


Junior High Competes In Norfolk City Invite April 12th

April 15th, 2016

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Hard Work Fitness, With A Little Fun!

April 13th, 2016



Being physically fit is not always easy. Matter of fact, it can be hard work for some. The basic exercises get easier and easier as the year goes on for some students in PE class. However, not every one likes to run laps around the gym or do push-ups, sit-ups and jumping jacks. Sometimes the first day of this is just as hard as the last day. The reward? Get done with the basic stuff, then have a little fun. Learning how to play some new games or using new equipment helps to make  staying   in shape FUN!  And by the way, the scooters are a great abdominal & leg exercise

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Title Corner

April 12th, 2016

Mrs. Werner’s Title One Reading Classes had fun using a new learning tool brought back from Texas where she attended the Title One Reading Conference.  These awesome white boards have one side that is a blank slate and the other can be filled with any template from handwriting lines to venn diagrams.  Each grade level has used them multiple times putting them to good use, who wouldn’t love new learning toys!

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Golden Sower Spotlight Readers

April 12th, 2016
​Something exciting happening in the Westside library from now till the end of the school year!
We, as a District, always have a part of the school year we take the time to read, discuss, and vote as part of our Media/Library days on our Nebraska Golden Sower books.  This is always an exciting time for our students. So, I decided, (with the help from Mrs. Jensen our Library/Media Specialist) that at Westside, we would go one step further  by challenging our 3rd and 4th  graders with a Golden Sower Reading Challenge, called “Golden Sower Spotlight Readers”!
The Challenge is…. if they read 5 or more of the 10 Golden Sower Intermediate nominees and pass the AR test with an 80% or higher they will be rewarded with a GREAT prize (yet to be decided on, but it is going to be GREAT).
As you can see by our picture, we have quite a few students up to the challenge, which is so wonderful! I push them everyday during their check out time to keep challenging themselves to read our Golden Sower books!  I add students often to our “Spotlight Board”.
It makes me happy they are listening to me! I truly believe reading makes you smart.