January 21, 2018

Catholic Schools Week

Saturday, Jan 27:

  • All school Mass, 4:30.  Attendance is expected.  Students are encouraged to wear JFK spirit wear and/or green and white.
  • Spaghetti Supper and Open House, 5:30 – 7:30.  Forms to pre-order dinner tickets and the 50/50 raffle tickets went home last week.  Volunteers are still needed to help; click HERE to sign up.

Monday, Jan 29:

  • Dodgeball for Diapers Day.  Forms for this fundraiser are available from Mrs. Tilkens.  The tournament will, again, be during the day this year.  Third/4th graders will start at 8:00, 7/8 at approximately 9:30, and 5/6 at 1:30.  Proceeds from the tournaments held at all of the Scott County Catholic schools benefit Women’s Choice Center, Bethany, and/or Humility of Mary.
  • Athletic dress day — out of uniform (but following the out of uniform guidelines in our handbook)

Tuesday, Jan 30:

  • Talent Show
    • 8:00     Grades 4, 1, 2, 3 in this order.  When a particular student or grade performs depends upon the number of acts in each homeroom and the actual length of each act.
    • 12:40   Grades K, 5, 6, 7, 8 in this order.
    • In the past, we have had an amazing variety of acts:  skits, puppet shows, drawing, instrument playing, singing, dancing, joke-telling, sports demonstrations, etc.
    • All acts in grades K – 6 must be approved by homeroom teachers, and acts in grades 7/8 must be approved my Mrs. Hinchman.  The informational slip went home last week and must be returned no later than Jan 24th.  Extra forms can be  obtained from a homeroom teacher.  Please keep in mind that music, lyrics, movements, and attire of participants should reflect our Catholic values. Anyone having a song with lyrics as part of an act must have a copy of the lyrics approved by the teacher. Approval of acts and music should happen as soon as possible to avoid any last minute changes being required.   Students don’t want to practice something for days only to have a staff member require that it be revised or changed when they present it to the staff member for final approval.
  • Class dress alike day.  Look for information from your child’s homeroom teacher.
  • Students may bring a pillow upon which to sit.
  • 3 year old PS puppet show during their class time.

Wednesday, Jan 31:

  • All School Mass with individual blessings of throats
  • Bring a Guest to Lunch Day
    • Visit the book fair after lunch
    • 10:40 – 11:10  K and 1Y
    • 11:10 – 11:40  1E and 4th grade
    • 11:40 – 12:10  2nd and 3rd grades
    • 12:10 – 12:40  5th and 6th grades
    • 12:40 – 1:10    7th and 8th grades
    • Parents may take their students home after lunch.  However, both a child’s homeroom teacher and office need to be informed.
    • Look for a lunch note this week to pre-purchase your adult meal.  School lunch will only be available through this pre-payment requirement.  Lunches should be pre-purchased by January 22nd to allow ample time for us to order enough food for everyone.  As adult meals receive no government subsidy, they are $3.55 each.
  • Green and white dress day (Mass appropriate)

Thursday, Feb 1:

  • All Catholic schools Mass at AHS for grades 2-8.  Look for a separate permission slip.
  • Everyone will be in uniform/dress code.

Friday, Feb 2:

  • Adoration
  • 8th grade vs. Staff Volleyball Game, 1:50
  • Special activities in grades K-2
  • 4 year old preschool
    • AM classes:  Snack, puppet show, book fair.  Adults welcome.  7:45 – 8:30
    • PM classes:  Snack, puppet show, book fair.  Adults welcome.  12:00 – 12:45

Flu Season

The peak of flu season is still on its way.  Please do not send your child to school if:
  • He/She has had a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or above  within the past 24 hours.  Children should be fever free for 24 hours when not using medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to lower the temperature.
  • He/She has been diagnosed with a contagious illness and has not yet received medication for at least 24 hours or been released by a physician.
  • He/She is too ill to do school work due to conditions that might include diarrhea, pink eye, vomiting, severe rashes, a continuous runny nose, bad coughing spasms, etc.

Children who come to school sick are not productive learners and are often miserable all day.  More importantly, they can spread the illness to classmates and teachers.  (When school officials worry about having to close buildings due to illnesses, it’s often not because of the number of students ill, but because of the number of staff members absent due to their own illnesses or that of their own children.)

Catholic Schools Week Video Contest

John F. Kennedy Catholic School and the other Catholic schools are sponsoring student video contests for Catholic Schools Week.  Prizes include Victory Vouchers (gift cards) and the possibility of the video being on our website and Facebook page.

Guidelines:

  • Less than 1 minute in length
  • Supports this year’s CSW theme: “Catholic Schools:  Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.”
  • A video to be used on our website or Facebook page must only include students whose parents have given permission for such posting. (Done at the beginning of each school year.)
  • Multiple videos may be submitted by the same student(s).
  • Video should be on a USB flash drive.

Late productions are still being accepted.

Evening School Custodian/Janitor

Please welcome Jeff Edens back to JFK as our evening custodian.  He will start full-time again on February 1st.

Preschool and Childcare Registration for 2018-19

3, 4, and 5 year old preschool and/or childcare registration for parishioners and families with siblings already at JFK begins on February 12th at 7:30 a.m.  Open registration for all others begins on February 15th at 8:00 a.m.

Kindergarten Round-Up for 2018-19

Kindergarten Round-Up is on February 15th.  Two sessions are available:  8:00 – 9:30 a.m. and 5:45 – 7:15 p.m.  Please call ahead so we can have a special package ready for your child.  Informational packets will be available soon.

Chad

January 15, 2018

Catholic Schools Week

Saturday, Jan 27:

  • All school Mass, 4:30.  Attendance is expected.  Students are encouraged to wear JFK spirit wear and/or green and white.
  • Spaghetti Supper and Open House, 5:30 – 7:30.  Forms to pre-order dinner tickets and the 50/50 raffle tickets went home last week.  Volunteers are still needed to help; click HERE to sign up.

Monday, Jan 29:

  • Dodgeball for Diapers Day.  Forms for this fundraiser are available from Mrs. Tilkens.  The tournament will, again, be during the day this year.  Third/4th graders will start at 8:00, 7/8 at approximately 9:30, and 5/6 at 1:30.  Proceeds from the tournaments held at all of the Scott County Catholic schools benefit Women’s Choice Center, Bethany, and/or Humility of Mary.
  • Athletic dress day — out of uniform (but following the out of uniform guidelines in our handbook)

Tuesday, Jan 30:

  • Talent Show
    • 8:00     Grades 4, 1, 2, 3 in this order.  When a particular student or grade performs depends upon the number of acts in each homeroom and the actual length of each act.
    • 12:40   Grades K, 5, 6, 7, 8 in this order.
    • In the past, we have had an amazing variety of acts:  skits, puppet shows, drawing, instrument playing, singing, dancing, joke-telling, sports demonstrations, etc.
    • All acts in grades K – 6 must be approved by homeroom teachers, and acts in grades 7/8 must be approved my Mrs. Hinchman.  The informational slip went home last week and must be returned no later than Jan 24th.  Extra forms can be  obtained from a homeroom teacher.  Please keep in mind that music, lyrics, movements, and attire of participants should reflect our Catholic values. Anyone having a song with lyrics as part of an act must have a copy of the lyrics approved by the teacher. Approval of acts and music should happen as soon as possible to avoid any last minute changes being required.   Students don’t want to practice something for days only to have a staff member require that it be revised or changed when they present it to the staff member for final approval.
  • Class dress alike day.  Look for information from your child’s homeroom teacher.
  • Students may bring a pillow upon which to sit.
  • 3 year old PS puppet show during their class time.

Wednesday, Jan 31:

  • All School Mass with individual blessings of throats
  • Bring a Guest to Lunch Day
    • Visit the book fair after lunch
    • 10:40 – 11:10  K and 1Y
    • 11:10 – 11:40  1E and 4th grade
    • 11:40 – 12:10  2nd and 3rd grades
    • 12:10 – 12:40  5th and 6th grades
    • 12:40 – 1:10    7th and 8th grades
    • Parents may take their students home after lunch.  However, both a child’s homeroom teacher and office need to be informed.
    • Look for a lunch note this week to pre-purchase your adult meal.  School lunch will only be available through this pre-payment requirement.  Lunches should be pre-purchased by January 22nd to allow ample time for us to order enough food for everyone.  As adult meals receive no government subsidy, they are $3.55 each.
  • Green and white dress day (Mass appropriate)

Thursday, Feb 1:

  • All Catholic schools Mass at AHS for grades 2-8.  Look for a separate permission slip.
  • Everyone will be in uniform/dress code.

Friday, Feb 2:

  • Adoration
  • 8th grade vs. Staff Volleyball Game, 1:50
  • Special activities in grades K-2
  • 4 year old preschool
    • AM classes:  Snack, puppet show, book fair.  Adults welcome.  7:45 – 8:30
    • PM classes:  Snack, puppet show, book fair.  Adults welcome.  12:00 – 12:45

Drop-In Conferences on Thursday

Report cards should be available late on Tuesday.  Drop in parent/teacher conferences are on Thursday, 4:30-7:00 p.m.  Stay for the Home & School meeting to follow at 7:15.

Parishioner Appreciation Dinner

OLV’s parish council is sponsoring a FREE parishioner appreciation dinner on Saturday, January 20, 2018.  Parish center doors open at 5:30, and food will begin to be served at 6:00 p.m.  Parish Council would like to thank all who perform service for our faith and school community, including those who serve on any standing or ad hoc parish or school committee, perform a liturgical role, help with faith formation or youth ministry, lead or help with a scout group, coach an athletic team, donate food, and on and on.  This ADULTS only event has no cost, but you are asked to RSVP to the parish office (563-391-4245).

Flu Season

The peak of flu season is still on its way.  Please do not send your child to school if:
  • He/She has had a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or above  within the past 24 hours.  Children should be fever free for 24 hours when not using medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen to lower the temperature.
  • He/She has been diagnosed with a contagious illness and has not yet received medication for at least 24 hours or been released by a physician.
  • He/She is too ill to do school work due to conditions that might include diarrhea, pink eye, vomiting, severe rashes, a continuous runny nose, bad coughing spasms, etc.

Children who come to school sick are not productive learners and are often miserable all day.  More importantly, they can spread the illness to classmates and teachers.  (When school officials worry about having to close buildings due to illnesses, it’s often not because of the number of students ill, but because of the number of staff members absent due to their own illnesses or that of their own children.)

Catholic Schools Week Video Contest

John F. Kennedy Catholic School and the other Catholic schools are sponsoring student video contests for Catholic Schools Week.  Prizes include Victory Vouchers (gift cards) and the possibility of the video being on our website and Facebook page.

Guidelines:

  • Less than 1 minute in length
  • Supports this year’s CSW theme: “Catholic Schools:  Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.”
  • A video to be used on our website or Facebook page must only include students whose parents have given permission for such posting. (Done at the beginning of each school year.)
  • Multiple videos may be submitted by the same student(s).
  • Video should be on a USB flash drive.

Late productions are still being accepted.

Evening School Custodian/Janitor

We have an immediate opening for an evening custodian/janitor.  Primary duties are cleaning and interacting with others accessing the building during evening hours.  2:30-11:00 p.m. school days, and day shift hours when school is not in session, including summer and school breaks.  Abilities to work swiftly and efficiently on one’s feet all shift, lift at least 50 lbs, and operate cleaning equipment are required.  A letter, resume and references can be sent to me at chad.steimle@olvjfkmail.com or an application can be picked up at the school office.

Heating Pipes Issue Exemplified

Back in September when I was sharing news about our summer work to replace the boiler and several controls, I said that I was afraid there might be a misconception regarding our HVAC needs.  While replacing the boiler was essential for all our needs, it did not resolve all of the potential heating issues we have.  Most of our heating pipes in the 1963 part of the building are made from black iron, which has a life expectancy of 20 – 50 years.  They are deteriorating.  On Thursday, a fitting in a 1″ pipe behind a wall rusted all the way through, and water began flowing onto the floor in a small office across from the art room.  Luckily, Mr. Connors heard something unusual as he walked by on his way to lunch and peeked into the room.  Through the fast efforts of Mr. Sweeney and a number of staff members, we were quickly able to get the water shut off and everything cleared out of the room.  Our timing was lucky, and damage was minimal.  Had this fitting burst over the three day weekend, we would have had a huge mess.

The HVAC committee’s recommendation to meet our needs is a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) heating and air conditioning system, which operates like a heating/cooling exchanger.  Adding the VRF system allows us to transition away from the need for the hot water circulating pipes as they continue to wear out.  As a bonus, we also get efficient air conditioning.  The total cost of the three main parts to the HVAC committee’s recommendations, which include the VRF system, the new boiler, and mechanical ventilation, is about $836,000.  We have about another $664,000 to go!

Preschool and Childcare Registration for 2018-19

3, 4, and 5 year old preschool and/or childcare registration for parishioners and families with siblings already at JFK begins on February 12th at 7:30 a.m.  Open registration for all others begins on February 15th at 8:00 a.m.

Kindergarten Round-Up for 2018-19

Kindergarten Round-Up is on February 15th.  Two sessions are available:  8:00 – 9:30 a.m. and 5:45 – 7:15 p.m.  Please call ahead so we can have a special package ready for your child.  Informational packets will be available soon.

Chad

January 7, 2018

Catholic Schools Week Video Contest

John F. Kennedy Catholic School and the other Catholic schools are sponsoring student video contests for Catholic Schools Week.  Prizes include Victory Vouchers (gift cards) and the possibility of the video being on our website and Facebook page.

Guidelines:

  • Less than 1 minute in length
  • Supports this year’s CSW theme: “Catholic Schools:  Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.”
  • A video to be used on our website or Facebook page must only include students whose parents have given permission for such posting. (Done at the beginning of each school year.)
  • Multiple videos may be submitted by the same student(s).
  • Video should be on a USB flash drive.

Due Date:  January 11, 2018

Quarter Ends Thursday

The end of the second quarter is January 11th.  There is also a special 1:00 early dismissal that day.  There are no afternoon PS classes on the 11th.

Evening School Custodian/Janitor

We have an immediate opening for an evening custodian/janitor.  Primary duties are cleaning and interacting with others accessing the building during evening hours.  2:30-11:00 p.m. school days, and day shift hours when school is not in session, including summer and school breaks.  Abilities to work swiftly and efficiently on one’s feet all shift, lift at least 50 lbs, and operate cleaning equipment are required.  A letter, resume and references can be sent to me at chad.steimle@olvjfkmail.com or an application can be picked up at the school office.

Drop Off Reminder

That reminds me — only buses should be dropping students off on 42nd Street in the morning.  Cars should pull into the parking lot.  Please also allow ample time in the morning.  As the weather deteriorates, more and more families use the drop through lane, and traffic backs up.

Catholic Schools Week

Catholic Schools Week will begin with the 4:30 all school weekend Mass on January 27th.  Mass attendance is expected.  Following Mass, Home & School is sponsoring a spaghetti supper and open house.  More details for all of Catholic Schools Week will be available after January 12th.

Trivia Night for JFK Band

Have you RSVP’d to Mr. Connors yet?  Our band boosters are hosting a trivia night on January 12th at 7:00 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m.  Eight people per table (adults only), $100 per table entry fee.  Feel free to bring your own snacks.  Beverages are available for purchase from the Knights of Columbus.

Skate Night

January 8th, 6-8 p.m.  Eldridge Skate Park

Parishioner Appreciation Dinner

OLV’s parish council is sponsoring a FREE parishioner appreciation dinner on Saturday, January 20, 2018.  Parish center doors open at 5:30, and food will begin to be served at 6:00 p.m.  Parish Council would like to thank all who perform service for our faith and school community, including those who serve on any standing or ad hoc parish or school committee, perform a liturgical role, help with faith formation or youth ministry, lead or help with a scout group, coach an athletic team, donate food, and on and on.  This ADULTS only event has no cost, but you are asked to RSVP to the parish office (563-391-4245).
Chad

January 1, 2018

Quarter Ends Next Week

The end of the second quarter is January 11th.  There is also a special 1:00 early dismissal that day.  There are no afternoon PS classes on the 11th.

Screen Time vs. Book Time?

How much did your students engage in “screen time” over Christmas break?  How much time was spent reading?  Which one is associated with better reading skills and future success in life?  I skimmed through three books and read two cover to cover over break.  One was so simple but bad that I had to finish it!

Let’s push this line of questioning even more.  What math types of activities were done over break?  I did some pricing estimates for shopping and home projects, and my daughter Caitlin and I played a version of multiplication integer War on New Year’s Eve.

Evening School Custodian/Janitor

Please join me in wishing Alan Holland well as he returns to a position at the Arsenal.  He has been a great asset to JFK in his brief time with us.  He and former full-time evening custodian Jeff Edens are helping us out with a few hours each evening, but we are in need of a permanent evening employee.  Primary duties are cleaning and interacting with others accessing the building during evening hours.  2:30-11:00 p.m. school days, and day shift hours when school is not in session, including summer and school breaks.  Abilities to work swiftly and efficiently on one’s feet all shift, lift at least 50 lbs, and operate cleaning equipment are required.  A letter, resume and references can be sent to me at chad.steimle@olvjfkmail.com or an application can be picked up at the school office.

Campus Safety/Security

The campus safety/security committee has had some great discussions, and we have begun to get some cost estimates for several campus improvements.  Below are some highlights of our discussions:

  • Troublesome door that sometimes doesn’t close tight by itself in the heat:  Two new donated doors will be installed beginning on Tuesday.
  • Music room doors are the only doors that don’t lock from the inside:  We ended up even talking to the fire marshal’s office regarding this one as the size/capacity of the room restricts what we can do to the locks and what we could add to the doors/frames.  We think we have a $600 solution, however.
  • Substitute teachers need faster access to the most current information that could be necessary.
  • Cameras:  Quite a bit of time was spent discussing the purpose of cameras.  Can they be a deterrent?  Would they provide an  early warning method?  Can they be used by first responders if there were an event in progress?  How can they be used after something happens?  We determined that exterior cameras would be a first priority over interior, if we had to choose.  We also received our first updated quote for a nine exterior and nine interior system at a cost of about $21,000 plus $2200 per year of licensing.

Most of our conversation at our last meeting kept circling back around to the parking lot, playground, and fencing and how could we better separate play areas from parking areas.  The top idea that we are exploring is how we might create an asphalt play area “out back,” particularly to the south of the existing playground equipment.  Having a play area here would allow us to not use the parking lot for any recesses, move students to an area tucked away behind the building from the apartments, and allow us to fence in all play areas and the entire field much more easily.  With a new asphalt play area in the right place, the ball field and main soccer field would likely be untouched.

Looking at drop off and pick up, the risk from something happening due to someone’s actions near the apartments seems minimal.  In the morning, those who might create trouble have just gone to bed, and the traffic and number of potential witnesses for anything also make the risk low at both drop off and pick up as well.  The biggest danger is, again, kids and cars mixing in the parking lot.  We are exploring different/better barriers instead of cones.  It seems often enough that someone hits a traffic cone because it’s not seen, or someone, usually a grandparent or other person unfamiliar with our routines, does not know what the cones mean.  As I was walking across the parking lot the other day to attend Fr. Meyer’s funeral, for example, an elderly woman didn’t know what to do when she neared a cone so she paused and then drove around it.  We are also looking at ways to supervise things differently, increase the visibility of staff, and other procedures for both drop off and pick up.

The biggest danger we have is a student being hit by a car.  Please be careful when moving about the parking lot.  Patience can also help.  It takes us about seven minutes to clear the parking lot at dismissal time.  Our policies state that parents should escort students in PS-5th grade to and from the “safety area.”

Drop Off Reminder

That reminds me — only buses should be dropping students off on 42nd Street in the morning.  Cars should pull into the parking lot.  Please also allow ample time in the morning.  As the weather deteriorates, more and more families use the drop through lane, and traffic backs up.

Catholic Schools Week Video Contest

John F. Kennedy Catholic School and the other Catholic schools are sponsoring student video contests for Catholic Schools Week.  Prizes include Victory Vouchers (gift cards) and the possibility of the video being on our website and Facebook page.

Guidelines:

  • Less than 1 minute in length
  • Supports this year’s CSW theme: “Catholic Schools:  Learn. Serve. Lead. Succeed.”
  • A video to be used on our website or Facebook page must only include students whose parents have given permission for such posting. (Done at the beginning of each school year.)
  • Multiple videos may be submitted by the same student(s).
  • Video should be on a USB flash drive.

Due Date:  January 11, 2018

Catholic Schools Week

Catholic Schools Week will begin with the 4:30 all school weekend Mass on January 27th.  Mass attendance is expected.  Following Mass, Home & School is sponsoring a spaghetti supper and open house.  More details for all of Catholic Schools Week will be available after January 12th.

Trivia Night for JFK Band

Have you RSVP’d to Mr. Connors yet?  Our band boosters are hosting a trivia night on January 12th at 7:00 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus.  Doors open at 6:00 p.m.  Eight people per table (adults only), $100 per table entry fee.  Feel free to bring your own snacks.  Beverages are available for purchase from the Knights of Columbus.

Christmas Break with Family

I would like to thank all of you who wished my family and me a Merry Christmas.  It was nice to have our four children home for Christmas.  I don’t know if Lynn and I look more forward to having everyone together or our kids do!  Colleen surprised us by arriving a day early.  Of course, the house wasn’t ready yet for company, but she’s family so it was OK!  Then, the next evening, we were together for the induction of Caitlin into the Wall of Fame for academics/athletics at AHS.  (Who would have thought that two of my children would be on the wall for athletics?!)  Tom arrived early, for him, on Christmas Eve.  He made it to our house before we left for Mass; usually he ends up meeting us at church.  Then, it was Christmas Eve at my in-laws.  There’s over 50 of us now gathered there.  Christmas morning had a special breakfast at our house with just immediate family, and several relatives were at our house for Christmas dinner.  I don’t know how I can eat so much, but I always do!  It’s always sad to see Tom leave on Christmas night, but he has his stores to open early on the 26th.  He did make it back on the 28th for an early celebration of my birthday.  Colleen left to return to North Carolina on the 29th and took a pick up truck full of boxes and furniture with her, but I swear it hardly made a dent to everything we have stored at our house.  Kirsten left on the 31st on her way to spend some time in Burlington and Omaha over break.  Caitlin will return to the University of Kansas in about a week, and then it will be all quiet at our house again.

Chad