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February 18, 2022


     Throughout the last two years the Newton Community School District provided several updates concerning the global pandemic.  Each one was based on the latest guidance from local, state, and federal agencies as well as legal requirements.  In the past month there have been a few changes I have been asked about and I want to clarify them for you now.

     First, there was a board policy covering vaccination mandates for staff which is no longer in place.  The policy was a result of an order from OSHA and pertained to all businesses of more than one hundred employees.  That order has been removed and with it the board policy has been as well.  

     The second major change is the number of days someone must be excluded from school with a COVID-19 infection.  Our Return to Learn Plan follows the guidance from the Iowa Department of Public Health and the CDC.  The update to our RTL plan states:  individuals with a COVID-19 infection should stay home 5 days from symptom onset or positive test (if asymptomatic).  If they are asymptomatic or their symptoms have greatly improved, they may return to school on day 6 if they wear a well-fitting mask for 5 additional days.  

     People unable to wear a mask, people who choose not to wear a mask, people with moderate or severe illness and people who are immunocompromised should isolate for 10 days.

     The Return to Learn Plan can be located on the District website and contains all information related to our COVID-19 procedures and protocols.  If you have any questions please contact the central office at (641) 792-5809.  Each and every member of our Cardinal family is very important to us and we work hard to keep everyone safe, healthy, and learning.


Yours truly,

Tom Messinger, Superintendent

Newton Community School District 


The Newton High Wrestling Program is one that strengthens students, builds character, and makes a family full of Red Pride!

Meet Our New Board Members

Liz Hammerly

Board Member

Term Duration: November 2025

Liz Hammerly has lived in Newton on and off since 2008;  she has been visiting Newton and spending time here since 2001.  She has her BA in Elementary Education with an emphasis on K-8 Reading, her MA in Special Education, a PK-12 Leadership endorsement, and her Special Education Consultant endorsement.  She has held various roles in education over the last 17 years.

Liz and her husband, Ike, have four kids who attend school in Newton.  They enjoy supporting wrestling, baseball, soccer, softball, football, and band activities.  The Hammerly family attends Sacred Heart Church in Newton.  In her free time, Liz enjoys fishing with her family and hobby farming.

Liz joined the School Board in hopes to help improve the climate and culture of the School District. During her time on the School board she will strive to provide equity across the four elementary schools, with consistent access to resources and training to all the teachers and staff. 

Liz has high hopes for the Preschool program, would like to see a strong community partnership foster in the upcoming years, and would love to help build it up, as a strong foundation for all students who go through Newton Community School District.

She appreciated her first meeting with the school board, and loved how welcoming, and down to earth the board currently is!

Ray Whipple

Board Member

Term Duration: November 2025

Mr. Whipple is a retired teacher/administrator of the Newton Community Schools.  He has been an educator for 25 years and has held the positions of Teacher, Vice-Principal, Special Education Department Head, Building Instructional Leader, Assistant to the Athletic Director, and Coach.  Mr. Whipple earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from William Penn University and his Masters Degree in Education from Iowa State University.

Ray has continued to volunteer in the District since his time as a staff member. He has given back countless hours to the athletic program, has helped with concessions, and hopes to continue to make a difference in the school District! 

During his time on the board, Ray would like to see new elementary schools built, improve handicap accessible amenities, and attract new people to the City of Newton! 


A switch in careers led Brian Springer to teaching at Newton Community School District. Learn more about his journey and how he has made a difference at WEST Academy!




If you have any questions, please contact Melinda Robertson, Central Registrar (District Office), at 641.792.5809 (Option 2) or


Kindergarten Registration (2022 - 2023) - APPLICATIONS NOW AVAILABLE!

If your child will be 5 years old by September 15, 2022, your child can be registered for Kindergarten.  Please complete and return a Kindergarten application packet (with required documents) to the Central Registrar's Office.   

We have four elementary schools within our district:  Aurora HeightsEmerson HoughThomas Jefferson, and Woodrow Wilson.  The elementary school your child will attend is determined by your address within our district.  Check out our School Boundaries Map to find your child's elementary school!  

Click for more information at this link to our Kindergarten Registration webpage.

If you have any questions, please contact Melinda Robertson, Central Registrar (District Office), at 641.792.5809 (Option 2) or

Upcoming Dates in the District

February 21st: President's Day - NO SCHOOL - Students & Staff (ALL Campuses) - District Office Closed

February 28th: Teacher Professional Development Day - NO SCHOOL - Students (ALL Campuses)

February 28th: School Board Meeting at 6:30 PM (EJH Beard Administration Center - Room 105A / via ZOOM)

See the latest updates on Middle School and High School Activities and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates on activities and results!

School Board Highlights

Check out the School Board Meeting Highlights from the meeting on February 14th, 2022 here! 

Newton By The Numbers




Tree species in Newton Arboretum


Square miles of city

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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