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.



Mayor Reads To Kindergarten Class At Jefferson

April 15th, 2015

Mayor Fuchtman came to Jefferson to read the story Spoon to all the Kindergarteners.  They all received a copy of the book thanks to the JOOI club!!


Jefferson 4th Graders Go To Lincoln!

April 13th, 2015

The 4th grade students at Jefferson enjoyed a trip to the State Capital and to Morrill Hall.  Everyone had fun and learned a lot! 


Root Words and iPads in Third Grade!

April 12th, 2015

In third grade we love to learn! It is even better when we get to use our snazzy IPADs. Third grade readers were working on root words. Once they had matched the root word to the meaning they used the IPADs to check their answers. Each task card had a QR code attached that brought the correct meaning of the root word up. The kids loved using technology to review!


Mayor Fuchtman Visits Washington

April 9th, 2015

Mayor Fuchtman visited the kindergartners at Washington Elementary.  She read them a book titled Spoon, and each student received a copy to take home.


Fourth Grade Presentations

April 9th, 2015

The Washington gym was full of presentations on famous Nebraskans.  The fourth grade students each researched a well-known person born in our very own state!  Then, they displayed their information using different formats: poster boards,  tri-folds,  Chrome Books, iPads and some even dressed up to look like the person!  Students used research methods, reading and writing skills, creativity, technology use and other 21st century learning skills.


Golden Sower Voting takes place at Westside Elementary School

March 30th, 2015

On top of the Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln, stands a 19,000 pound, bronze statue known as the Sower. He stands barefoot and without hat, sowing seeds in the most primitive manner. He is symbolic of the state of Nebraska as a major agricultural state. He is not merely sowing seeds of grain, but something much greater. He is the symbol of sowing the seeds of agriculture, life, hope and prosperity.

The Sower, sculpted by Lee Lawrie, was chosen as the symbol of the Nebraska children’s choice literary award for similar reasons.

The award’s sponsors, the Nebraska Library Association, hope the program will sow seeds which:

• stimulate children’s thinking

• introduce different types of literature

• encourage independent reading

• increase library skills

• foster an appreciation for excellence in writing and illustrating.

Whether readers are seeking information or reading for pleasure, quality literature presented through the Nebraska Golden Sower Award program will enrich the lives of Nebraska’s children and sow seeds of the future. You are invited to learn more about the history of the Golden Sower Award program.

Nebraska’s young readers are encouraged to visit their local public library or school library media center to find out how they can participate and vote in the Nebraska Golden Sower Award program.

Over the past several weeks, students in grade k-4 have been reading, studying, and discussing the Golden Sower nominee books for this year.  A total of 10 books were presented to the students.  Every student was given the chance to vote on their favorite book.  Voting is open to all eligible Golden Sower readers in the state of NEBRASKA through public libraries and school library media centers.


The winning votes by each class are as follows:

Mrs. Schold’s Class – Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit by Chris Van Dusen

Mrs. Payne’s Class – Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds

Mrs. Obermiller’s Class – Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds

Mrs. Young’s  - Crafty Chloe by Kelly DiPucchio

Ms. Ruterbories’ Class – Randy Riley’s Really Big Hit by Chris Van Dusen

Mrs. Prokopec’s Class – Creepy Carrots! by Aaron Reynolds

Mrs. Brommer’s  Class – Jake and Lily by Jerry Spinelli

Miss Johnson’s Class – A Diamond in the Desert by Kathryn Fitzmaurice

Mrs. Thompson’s Class – The False Prince by Jennifer A Nielsen

Miss Anderson’s Class – Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George


Jefferson Student Of The Month For March Is………..Marley!!

March 27th, 2015

Marley was chosen to be March Student of the Month for the following wonderful qualities:

*  possesses a love for reading and learning

*  extremely kind and helpful, shows respect and uses manners

*  positive role model

*  wonderful homework helper – enjoys teaching others in the class

*  a friend to everyone - includes others when they feel left out

*  gets good grades – great work ethic

*  dedicated student – works to be the best

*  follows directions quickly

*  shows initiative – does what needs to be done

*  trusted by classmates and teachers – shows respect to all

*  doing well in school is a priority

Way to go Marley!!!  Jefferson is proud to have you as a role model!!



March 26th, 2015

Westside 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades along with Norfolk High School pottery students participated in a collaborative project to create one of a kind clay bowls. The NPS pottery students each created a unique piece that was then passed to Westside students to paint. A special thanks to Mrs. Truex and Mrs. Holcomb of Westside Elementary as well as Mr. Koehn the Norfolk High School Art Instructor who also made clay bowls!! The bowls were auctioned off during the Norfolk Art Center’s Public and Parochial School open house. Thank you to all who came out and placed a bid! We raised $313, which will be used towards an art room library and clay supplies for the high school pottery students.




Karaoke Time!

March 26th, 2015

To help with reading fluency, the first grade class in Mrs. Young’s room sings karaoke.  Karaoke can be used as a great tool in practicing many reading and language arts skills in a way that is non-threatening and fun.  This helps them to read “fast and smooth”. We often sing along to nursery rhymes or other songs that the students know.  If you want to hear some great singers, stop by our room on a Friday afternoon!


We are Authors!

March 26th, 2015

Mrs. Young’s first grade class published their very own book! The title of the book is “When I Grow Up”.  The students had to complete the whole writing process before we could send our book to Student Treasure Publishing where it was published into a hard covered book.  Each student had an opportunity to order a book for themselves.  We also have a copy of our book in our classroom for students to check out and share with their families.  The first graders are so proud of their very awesome accomplishment!

Write on!!