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Welcome from Principal Johnson

Ms. Johnson

Welcome to the 2021-2022 School Year!

North Tama Elementary is able to offer such a unique learning experience due to having an elementary team that focuses not only a students academic growth, but also on a students emotional, behavioral, and social growth. The Elementary Team teaches the “whole student” which creates an atmosphere of collaboration, self- regulation, respect, and inclusion amongst our students.

Some of the things that make North Tama Elementary a place where students can learn in a safe, welcoming, collaborative, and comfortable environment are:

  • PBIS: PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) is utilized to teach, encourage, and reinforce positive choices and actions for all of our students. At a glance, PBIS is:
    • An approach schools use to promote school safety and good behavior.
    • With PBIS, schools teach kids about behavior expectations and strategies.
    • The focus of PBIS is prevention, not punishment.
    • PBIS helps to focus on looking for the positives rather than the negatives.
    • Ex. “You are walking so quietly in the hall.” vs “Be quiet in the hall!”


  • H.E.A.R.T.: North Tama Elementary School has adopted H.E.A.R.T. as the platform for PBIS. The Elementary Team uses H.E.A.R.T. to model, teach, and support Health, Effort, Action, Respect, and Team throughout the school day.


  • Discipline: Restorative justice is used in response to students who are choosing not to follow the school expectations. Restorative Justice focuses on mediation and agreement rather than punishment; it focuses on students being a valued member of our school community and realizing that their actions impact people beyond themselves.


  • Literacy Curriculum: This is our second year with our new Literacy curriculum, CCC (Center for the Collaborative Classroom)
    • Designed to develop independent readers, writers, and critical thinkers.
    • addresses the core competencies traditionally taught in the language arts block while at the same time creating classroom communities in which students can learn and grow.
    • The curriculum marries the latest research in literacy education with integrated social skills development and embedded professional learning.


  • Math Curriculum: Members of the elementary team will be engaged in a year-long curriculum study this year. Teachers will be researching math curriculum from different companies and determining which curriculum best matches our match beliefs and will provide rigor and relevance for our students.


  • STEM: Integrating STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) into our curriculum throughout our classrooms continues to gain recognition from other schools and institutions throughout Iowa.
    • Students in PreK-3 integrate STEM into their daily lessons right in their classrooms
    • Students in 4-6 grade will be engaging with STEM in our newly imagined MakerSpace room this school year.


  • Sensory Room: Offering our students a Sensory Room provides a place for our students to regulate themselves in a calm, multi-sensory environment where they can refocus and be better prepared for learning and interacting with others.


  • Zones of Regulation: Zones is a framework designed to foster regulation and emotional control. Teachers and students identify with red, yellow, green, and blue zones, which describes how they are feeling throughout the day. All of the zones are natural to experience, but the framework focuses on teaching students how to recognize and manage their zone based on the demands of their environment and the people around them.

The energy, passion, and devotion of our elementary team speaks to our desire to give our students the best educational experience we can. With collaboration and communication between our teachers, our students, our parents and guardians, and our community, we can join forces and help prepare our students to be college, career, and citizen ready when they leave the North Tama County Community School District.

Here’s to a positive year of learning, growth, and creating educational memories.


Susan Johnson, North Tama Elementary Principal

605 Walnut Street

Traer, Iowa 50675

319-478-2265 ext. 154


International Dot Day video on Discovery Education

Artwork of an artist drawing created by Peter H. Reynolds at Dot Day 2016

Livestream video link

Character Counts & PBIS Info

Information about our Character Counts and PBIS programs can now be found on their own page.

NT Elementary Dot Day Celebrated Sept. 15, 2017

Elementary students and teachers in a circle on the football field