July 19, 2018

Busy Summer:

It has been quite the busy summer, and I don’t think I’ve been away from campus for more than a day!  Read below for more information regarding bell times (just a repeat of the June email), morning drop off and breakfast, reduced rates for after school care services, campus safety plans, recess for 6th-8th grade students, new science and Spanish materials, donated school furniture, strategic planning for Scott County Catholic schools, and more.  There’s been so much going on that I haven’t had time to write about it!

Bell Times:

JFK will have new bell times this year:  7:25 a.m. – 2:40 p.m.  Wednesdays’ early dismissals are at 1:40.  There will be bus transportation.  See below for a complete list of the new times.

After the Davenport Community School District changed its bell times and bus transportation schedule, JFK’s board of education looked at several models for providing bus transportation for the faith-based schools without the direct involvement of the DCSD, and, each time, it seemed that the cost was more than what we think our families can bear, especially when compared to “free” bus transportation but at slightly different times.  It was even more challenging when those slightly different times were actually times that a couple of the faith-based schools really like, and they would not receive those times if we ran our own buses.

Thinking from a long-range perspective, I do not believe the bus transportation issue is finished.  Bus transportation, especially how the DCSD provides better transportation than is required by law and provides each faith-based school with bus transportation from one end of the district to the other end, is costly.  The DCSD will likely continue to examine transportation costs in the future.  Several of the DCSD board members want to have follow up next year, for example, so they can know if this decision to change bell times and disrupt everyone’s routine was worth the anticipated savings.

Here, again, are JFK’s bell times:

K-8

  • MTThF:     7:25 – 2:40
  • W:             7:25 – 1:40

3 yr old PS:

  • 7:25 – 9:55

4/5 yr old morning PS:

  • MTThF:     7:25 – 10:25
  • W:              7:25 – 9:55

4/5 yr old afternoon PS:

  • MTThF:     11:40 – 2:40
  • W:              11:10 – 1:40

After school care:  2:40 (or the end of the school day) – 5:30

ECLC:  7:00 – 5:30

Morning Drop Off and Breakfast:

As in the past, regular supervision on the blacktop will begin 15 minutes before school begins:  7:10 a.m.  If the weather is inclement, students will be let into the building and wait in designated areas until classes begin.

Students who ride the bus will be allowed to enter the building and wait in the cafeteria until 7:10, when they will join their other arriving classmates either on the blacktop or in other supervised locations.

New this year is a light breakfast program.  Students arriving between 7:00 and 7:10 will be served a light breakfast of a fruit, milk, and cereal, bagel, muffin, or the like in the cafeteria.  Cost of breakfast is $1.50 and will be deducted from the funds in a student’s lunch account.  Although the time for purchasing breakfast is only ten minutes, students can remain in the cafeteria and finish eating until classes begin.  This new breakfast program is intended to be a service for those early morning bus riders who may be dropped off before 7:10 and those who may have used our previously paid for before school care program.  Other students may also take advantage of the program by arriving before 7:10.  There may be some adjustments to the breakfast program as we see how it progresses.

Reduced Rate for After School Care Program:

With after school care beginning 20 minutes earlier, the board decided to change the rates it had just passed in the winter to try and make our program more affordable for families.  Rather than $1.65 for a quarter hour for the first child in a family, and $1.35 for the second child, etc., the rate has been changed to $1.50 for a quarter hour per student.  After school care operates from the end of the school day until 5:30.

Campus Safety Parking Lot Recommendations

Expect changes to our campus this fall in response to our work to enhance campus safety.

When JFK was built in 1963 and opened its doors in 1964, campus safety was not as close to the forefront of people’s minds as it is today.  Beginning in 2001, explicit steps were taken to improve campus security.  By 2011, new offices were built at the front of the building, and, after tragedy in Sandy Hook in December 2012, another $80,000 or more was spent to increase building security and protocols.  The focus in these earlier stages tended to be on how to keep students safe within the building and keep a potentially unwanted person out of the school.  In the fall of 2017, we began another major safety review.  Meeting with our alderman, city staff, and multiple police officers to discuss the neighborhood and safety protocols, it was determined that there did NOT seem to be a higher probability of danger to our students now than at any other time, and our safety protocols are still strong.  We also conducted a survey of staff and parents to determine what people’s concerns were today.  While the survey was intended to elicit today’s concerns, there were some who responded that they did not have any concerns:

  • “I am currently not worried about the safety of my children while they are at JFK.”
  • “I do feel that JFK does a great job at keeping the school safe as well as keeping us well informed. Obviously it’s a little harder to keep the same amount of security when the kids are on the playground, but their outdoor time is important, and I feel JFK has a vigilant staff. There are just some things that are out of our control, but I feel my child is safe.”
  • “We are very pleased with the safe guards are that already in place, such as the doorbell for ECLC/Preschool, traffic directing cones, sign-in/out process, etc.”
  • “I really do not have any specific concerns regarding safety since the building entrances have been locked and free access to the school from multiple points of entry have been eliminated.”
  • “The plan for dropping off and picking up is very good if the drivers would pay attention.”

The most common theme in the survey for today’s concerns was related to keeping students safe when outside the building but on campus property.  Three key recommendations were made by a safety committee:

  • Separate students from the parking lot. Students should be away from the apartment buildings and from moving cars and parking areas, particularly during recess times.
  • Use something other than cones for making the “safety” area at drop off/pick up times. Cones will not protect students from a car.
  • Add security cameras to both the external and internal school campus, with external cameras being the first priority. Security cameras can help staff monitor the entire campus.  They can serve as a deterrent, provide an early warning to potential suspicious or dangerous situations, be used by first responders should an event be in progress, and help with after the fact investigations.  We received a Scott County Regional Authority grant for this project, and this work will begin in August.  Some additional cameras will be installed to monitor key church and rectory entrances.

When looking at the parking lot, multiple options were discussed, three parish/school listening sessions were conducted, and multiple detailed plans were reviewed and critiqued by the board of education, finance council, and parish council.  The final plan was also submitted to the diocese.

Factors considered included the following, and trying to strike a balance of many interests was challenging:

  • Recess location and student safety
  • Student safety at drop-off/pick-up times
  • Protection of students and the building itself from cars
  • Traffic flow
  • Where students should line up and enter the building
  • Green space
  • Size of a hard surface play area and how often students have to use it for recesses
  • Cost
  • Permanent loss (or gain) of parking spaces
  • Loss of parking spaces on week days
  • Student access to building entrances should there be an emergency for which they need to enter the building quickly
  • Aesthetics
  • Visitor and handicapped parking for the school
  • Access to parking lot entrances
  • Access to the parish center entrance
  • Flexibility of parking in the lot for funerals
  • Snow removal

The final parking lot plan has three phases, and phases I and II are proceeding this summer.  Phase I provides a permanent, safe barrier on the northeast side of the parking lot behind which students can stand at drop off and pick up times.  Phase II moves recesses on the blacktop (when the grass is too wet or covered in snow to be out back) to the south end of the parking lot and utilizes fences, gates, and portable barriers to keep students safe while also allowing for the flexibility needed for funerals and parish center usage.  Phase III, which has not yet been funded, would create a new visitor and handicapped parking area off of 42nd Street level with the office entrances.

Below is a photo showing these campus enhancements:

 

Recess for 6th – 8th Graders?
With changes to our bell times, we believe we can adjust our schedule enough to give a late morning break to 6th-8th graders.  This recess break will make up for the loss of a 6th – 8th grade lunch time recess that was necessary when we decided to follow the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics recommendation that there be 60 minutes of math instruction each day in grades kindergarten through 12th grade.  By adjusting morning homeroom times and tweaking some transition time around the 6th-8th grade lunches, we should be able to add a late morning recess break while retaining the 60 minutes of math each day and not negatively impacting other instructional time.
General Music and Choir for 7th and 8th Graders
Look for an upcoming email from Mrs. VanSpeybroeck that will explain the music options for 7th and 8th graders.  As long as the numbers are fairly even, we will be able to offer students the option of a general music class or a choir class.  Both will include public performances.
New Science and Spanish Exploratory Materials and Expanded 6th Grade Spanish Exploratory
New K-5 science materials are currently arriving for this school year.  Sixth through 8th grade materials may depend upon final registration numbers.  (We still have families for about 20 students who have indicated they are coming to JFK but have not yet returned tuition contracts.)  Our 6th-8th graders will be utilizing a new Spanish I textbook in their foreign language exploratory classes.  Sixth graders will now have their Spanish exploratory class twice per week rather than once.  By the time students finish the 8th grade at JFK, they should have a general overview of all of a Spanish I class.
Used Furniture Donated to JFK
Students in K-2 have benefited the most from this summer’s donation of incredibly high quality used furniture.  Many of the students will have both new chairs and new desks.  Here’s a quick question for you:  how many different sizes of chairs, desks, and tables are needed in a school that serves 3 year olds through 8th graders?
Meitler Hired for Scott County Catholic School Strategic Planning
Strategic planning for Catholic school education in Scott County is moving ahead.  Meitler has been hired to lead the process.  Meitler has extensive experience both across the nation and in Iowa.  Data gathering will begin this summer, and meetings, focus groups, and surveys will begin in late August.
Strategic planning for Scott County Catholic schools was born out of the diocesan strategic plan for Catholic school education which called for separate strategic planning to be done for Scott and Johnson Counties.  Gone are the days of dramatically falling enrollment and widespread school closures and consolidations.  It’s time to plan for how Catholic schools can be strong and prosper in the future.
School Policies Highlighted
I would like to thank the following parents and staff members who helped review parent/student handbook policies this spring:  Jody Mucciarone, Lucas Roth, Tom Poston, Ashley Neumiller, Mike Kane, Tammy Nagle, Meredith Ash, Kitty Temming, Dianne Siefers, Julie Bauer, Noelle Myers, Rachael Whelchel, Kim Burken, and Kristina Rose.  Each year we review about 1/3 of the policies in our handbook.  Every year the four dress code related policies are reviewed.  Below are highlights to the changes:
  • Added as examples of Level II misbehaviors:  Targeting others on social media or electronic devices, which then affects the school environment; taking a photograph or video/audio recording without permission; unauthorized use of a cell phone
  • Specifically stated that smart watches are in the same category as “cell phones and other electronic devices” and prohibited from use between 7:00 a.m. and until students leave the building
  • Emphasized that there are only two approved vendors for uniform jumpers/skirts:  Religious Supply on Jersey Ridge and Denis Uniform Supply (online)
  • Applied the 2″ logo guideline to nearly all apparel and limited logos/words to one per item  (Shirts with logos/words on the front and back, front and sleeve, or front and shoulder, etc. are not allowed under the policy, but socks can now have a 2″ maximum size logo)
  • Changed the belt requirement to grades 4-8 only
  • Defined more specific consequences for issues with hair, particularly for unnatural coloring.  Do not color your child’s hair now.  It may not come out by the time school starts
  • Defined tardies, 1/2 day absences, and full day absences
  • Changed when athletic eligibility is checked
  • Added language regarding student records and video
I always find the annual dress code review to be interesting.  It’s difficult to have 8-12 adults develop common understandings in even 30 minutes of discussion time.  Then, implementing the dress code with 250 families and 50+ staff members trying to have common understandings just by reading the code makes it even more challenging.  At the committee level, for example, our discussion of “true red” probably took us five minutes alone and another ten minutes at the board meeting.  (UnderArmour red is OK.  But watch out for the number of logos/words and locations of the logos on their shirts!)

Registration for Summer Programming at JFK Still Available:

Leaps & Bounds:  Does your child need a little boost as we approach the next school year?  Our Iowa certified staff will provide opportunities for your kindergarten through 5th grade child to grow by Leaps and Bounds.  Sign up for one, two or even both sessions.  The program runs from 8:00 – 11:30 each day.  Two hours are for reading, one hour is for math, and 30 minutes is for recess and other fun.  The ratio is kept at 7 to 1 students per teacher or less.  Cost is $180.

Session III:  July 30 – Aug 10

Math Boot Camp: Math Boot Camp will help to kick start your student’s math skills before school begins in August. Students will work with an Iowa certified teacher to review main concepts learned in the previous grade.  Each day will be an intensive  Math Boot Camp is for students of all learning ability levels entering grades 6-8.  The camp is from August 6 – 10.  The cost is $40 per student.

Incoming 6th graders:  8:00-9:30 a.m.         Incoming 7th graders:  9:30-11:00 a.m.          Incoming 8th Graders:  11:00-12:30 p.m.

Jump Start Kindergarten:  Jump Start Kindergarten provides a review of alphabet letters and sounds, basic math concepts, and literacy skills.  This week long review will also include story times and interactive white board activities.  What a great way for your child to practice instructional routines in a fun, enriching atmosphere!  Jump Start Kindergarten is August 6 – 10 from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.  Cost is $50 or $55, depending upon eligibility for the early bird registration cost.

Summer Tutoring: Interested in a little one-on-one time for your child to have with a teacher?  JFK teachers are available this summer for tutoring students in a variety of areas.  Tutoring is one-on-one for grades K-8 by the hour ($22) or half-hour ($11).  Dates and times are flexible and can be arranged with the teacher.  Please contact Mrs. Motto for K-2 reading/language arts, Mrs. Lundquist for 3-5 reading/language arts/5th grade math, Ms. Burken for 6-8 reading/language arts, Mrs. Burke for reading/language arts, and/or Mrs. Schott for K-8 summer STEAM projects mentoring.

Instrumental Lessons: Need to get the rust off your child’s instrument or his/her playing skills?  Private lessons can be a great help (especially for younger grades) at retaining the current instrument knowledge.  It can also serve as early preparation for SEIBA auditions, marching band with Assumption, 6th-grade band fests and more. There is no minimum or maximum number of lessons that you can sign up for; everything is based on availability.  Lessons can be arranged weekly or bi-weekly, a certain amount over the course of the summer, or sporadically.  Cost is $22 per hour or $11 per half hour.

Registration forms for any summer programming:  Click HERE or use the following link/url:  http://www.olvjfk.com/for-parents/policies-forms/ for registration forms.

 

Registration and Back to School Sunday
Don’t forget registration and back to school Sunday on July 29th from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on a drop-in basis.  A “forms only” session is from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. on July 30th.  Both are in the cafeteria.
Immunization Reminder for Students Entering 7th Grade in 2018-19
The law in the State of Iowa states that the Meningococcal vaccine (MenACWY) is required before your student starts the 2018-2019 school year in 7th grade.
 Students entering 7th grade need proof of 1 dose of meningococcal vaccine (MenACWY).
 Remember Tdap is also required for students entering 7th grade.
Please call your health care provider or the Scott County Health Department at 563-326-8618 to set up an appointment.

 

May 27, 2018

Summer Communications:

This week’s Principal’s Post is the last weekly one until school begins again.  Make sure you check our Facebook page regularly during the summer.  There will also be some irregular Posts and/or emails this summer as there are still some important issues that need resolution, like bell/bus times.

Summer Programming at JFK:

Leaps & Bounds:  Does your child need some extra help over the summer?  Are you looking for a way to provide additional academic challenge for your student? Our Iowa certified staff will provide opportunities for your kindergarten through 5th grade child to grow by Leaps and Bounds.  Sign up for one, two or even all three sessions.  There are three week and two week sessions.  The program runs from 8:00 – 11:30 each day.  Two hours are for reading, one hour is for math, and 30 minutes is for recess and other fun.  The ratio is kept at 7 to 1 students per teacher or less.  Cost for the three week session is $270.  The two week session is $180.

Three week session:  June 11 – 29. (Closed)          Two week session:  July 9 – 20          Two week session:  July 30 – Aug 10

Vacation Bible School:  This program is coordinated for parish members by parish members.  Volunteers are always welcome to be a part of VBS.  Children who are entering kindergarten through 6th grade will enjoy a week of activities, crafts, skits, songs, and Bible stories.  VBS meets from 8:00 – 11:30 and runs July 23 – 27.  The cost is $25 per child.

Math Boot Camp: Math Boot Camp will help to kick start your student’s math skills before school begins in August. Students will work with an Iowa certified teacher to review main concepts learned in the previous grade.  Each day will be an intensive  Math Boot Camp is for students of all learning ability levels entering grades 6-8.  The camp is from August 6 – 10.  The cost is $40 per student.

Incoming 6th graders:  8:00-9:30 a.m.         Incoming 7th graders:  9:30-11:00 a.m.          Incoming 8th Graders:  11:00-12:30 p.m.

Jump Start Kindergarten: Preschool students have worked hard this year to learn many skills to be successful when they start Kindergarten in the fall.  Jump Start Kindergarten will provide a review of alphabet letters and sounds, basic math concepts, and literacy skills.  This week long review will also include story times and interactive white board activities.  What a great way for your child to practice instructional routines in a fun, enriching atmosphere!  Jump Start Kindergarten is August 6 – 10 from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.  Cost is $50 or $55, depending upon eligibility for the early bird registration cost.

Summer Tutoring: Does your son or daughter need some extra one-on-one academic help during the summer?  Does he/she need to catch up on grade level skills?  How about a head start on the next school year?  Is your child interested in some coaching for a summer STEAM project?  JFK teachers are available this summer for tutoring students in a variety of areas.  Tutoring is one-on-one for grades K-8 by the hour ($22) or half-hour ($11).  Dates and times are flexible and can be arranged with the teacher.  Please contact Mrs. Motto for K-2 reading/language arts, Mrs. Lundquist for 3-5 reading/language arts/5th grade math, Ms. Burken for 6-8 reading/language arts, Mrs. Burke for reading/language arts, and/or Mrs. Schott for K-8 summer STEAM projects mentoring.

Instrumental Lessons: Would your son or daughter like to develop his/her instrumental skills over the summer?   Private lessons can be a great help (especially for younger grades) at retaining the current instrument knowledge.  It can also serve as early preparation for SEIBA auditions, marching band with Assumption, 6th-grade band fests and more. There is no minimum or maximum number of lessons that you can sign up for; everything is based on availability.  Lessons can be arranged weekly or bi-weekly, a certain amount over the course of the summer, or sporadically.  Cost is $22 per hour or $11 per half hour.

Registration forms for any summer programming:  Click HERE or use the following link/url:  http://www.olvjfk.com/for-parents/policies-forms/ for registration forms.

 

Campus Safety Developments

We received $21,700 from the Scott County Regional Authority for security cameras around the outside of the school and in the main hallways and other large areas, like the parish center, gym, and cafeteria.  Fr. Jake has indicated that some cameras will probably also be installed around the church at the same time so we can piggy-back on pricing.

Bell and Bus Times for Next Year:  Delayed Now Until June 11

DCSD superintendent Art Tate indicated that the bell/bus times have now been moved to the June 11 meeting of the DCSD board.

Two meetings were held last week:  one with the faith-based school administrators and one with operations personnel of the DCSD.  At the first meeting, we looked at several models and discussed how difficult it is to go “out on our own” and do transportation ourselves at a rate we think families can afford.  On the other hand, no one wants bell times that don’t work well for families either.  We also learned that the schedule previously distributed and published by the DCSD had incorrect proposed times for Trinity Lutheran.  At the meeting with DCSD representatives, we talked about the possibility of some minor tweaks with the JFK/AHS route times that could make the proposed schedule more palatable for everyone.

After the meetings, we were informed that the bell/bus time issue will be moved to the June 11 DCSD board meeting.

Once the DCSD makes its decision, OLV/JFK’s board will also have to decide what to do.  If the DCSD changes the times, then our board will have to decide if we want to go along with the changes and have bus transportation or  go without bus transportation but have the bell times we most desire.

It would be nice to have the bell time issue decided.  We have other decisions to make that are influenced by bell times, including the following:

  • WIN time for grades K-2 and what staff will be involved
  • Whether or not there will be a need for before school care services
  • What the rates should be for after school care
  • The overall school budget
  • A new master schedule, including the possibility of instituting a 6th-8th grade late morning recess

Benefit for CJ Tilkens

A benefit is planned for July 1st at 2:00 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus.  You can also contribute to CJ’s fight against Neuroblastoma by donating through GoFundMe.  Click CJ Cancer Fight or use the following link/url:  https://www.gofundme.com/CJCancerFight .

Altar Server Training
Altar Server Training will be on Saturday, June 2nd from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in the church, for all boys and girls of the parish (4th grade and up) interested in serving at Mass.  At least one parent needs to attend to complete the necessary paperwork.  Adults can also be trained as altar servers.
Policy Committee Work Nears Completion
I would like to thank the following parents and staff members who helped review parent/student handbook policies this spring:  Jody Mucciarone, Lucas Roth, Tom Poston, Ashley Neumiller, Mike Kane, Tammy Nagle, Meredith Ash, Kitty Temming, Dianne Siefers, Julie Bauer, Noelle Myers, Rachael Whelchel, Kim Burken, and Kristina Rose.  Each year we review about 1/3 of the policies in our handbook.  Every year the four dress code related policies are reviewed.  Some of the proposed changes to policies include the following:
  • Adding language about targeting others on social media, which then affects the school environment
  • Adding additional language about cell phone use, particularly in regards to photos and video, and noting that the cell phone and other electronic devices policy also specifically covers smartwatches
  • Emphasizing that there are only 3 approved vendors for uniform jumpers/skirts
  • Applying the 2″ logo guideline to all apparel and limiting logos/words to one per item  (Shirts with logos/words on the front and back, front and sleeve, or front and shoulder, etc. would not be allowed, but socks could have a 2″ maximum size logo)
  • Adding more specific consequences for issues with hair, particularly for unnatural coloring
  • Defining tardies, 1/2 day absences, and full day absences
  • Changing when athletic eligibility is checked
I always find the annual dress code review to be interesting.  It’s difficult to have 8-12 adults develop common understandings in even 30 minutes of discussion time.  Then, implementing the dress code with 250 families and 50+ staff members trying to have common understandings just by reading the code makes it even more challenging.  Our discussion of “true red” probably took us five minutes alone at our committee meeting.  (UnderArmour red is not making the cut as “true red.”)
Immunization Reminder for Students Entering 7th Grade in 2018-19
The law in the State of Iowa states that the Meningococcal vaccine (MenACWY) is required before your student starts the 2018-2019 school year in 7th grade.
 Students entering 7th grade need proof of 1 dose of meningococcal vaccine (MenACWY).
 Remember Tdap is also required for students entering 7th grade.
Please call your health care provider or the Scott County Health Department at 563-326-8618 to set up an appointment.
Library Books
Books borrowed from our library were due May 18th.  All books not returned by now must be considered lost, and the replacement cost is now due.  Detailed information was distributed to individual families earlier.  Replacement costs will not be refunded after June 1st.  Thank you for helping keep our library collection available to all of our students.
Last Day of Classes

May 31:  3 and 4 year old pre-school.  Four year olds have their programs on the 31st (MZ/KK at 5:45, MJ/MB at 7:00), and 3 year olds have their family activity on June 1 at 8:00 a.m. in the parish center.

June 1:  K-8.  This differs from the DCSD which is having classes on June 4.  Dismissal is at 3:00 p.m.

June 1:  Last day of ECLC

May 20, 2018

Summer Programming at JFK:

Leaps & Bounds:  Does your child need some extra help over the summer?  Are you looking for a way to provide additional academic challenge for your student? Our Iowa certified staff will provide opportunities for your kindergarten through 5th grade child to grow by Leaps and Bounds.  Sign up for one, two or even all three sessions.  There are three week and two week sessions.  The program runs from 8:00 – 11:30 each day.  Two hours are for reading, one hour is for math, and 30 minutes is for recess and other fun.  The ratio is kept at 7 to 1 students per teacher or less.  Cost for the three week session is $270.  The two week session is $180.

Three week session:  June 11 – 29.          Two week session:  July 9 – 20          Two week session:  July 30 – Aug 10

Vacation Bible School:  This program is coordinated for parish members by parish members.  Volunteers are always welcome to be a part of VBS.  Children who are entering kindergarten through 6th grade will enjoy a week of activities, crafts, skits, songs, and Bible stories.  VBS meets from 8:00 – 11:30 and runs July 23 – 27.  The cost is $25 per child.

Math Boot Camp: Math Boot Camp will help to kick start your student’s math skills before school begins in August. Students will work with an Iowa certified teacher to review main concepts learned in the previous grade.  Each day will be an intensive  Math Boot Camp is for students of all learning ability levels entering grades 6-8.  The camp is from August 6 – 10.  The cost is $40 per student.

Incoming 6th graders:  8:00-9:30 a.m.         Incoming 7th graders:  9:30-11:00 a.m.          Incoming 8th Graders:  11:00-12:30 p.m.

Jump Start Kindergarten: Preschool students have worked hard this year to learn many skills to be successful when they start Kindergarten in the fall.  Jump Start Kindergarten will provide a review of alphabet letters and sounds, basic math concepts, and literacy skills.  This week long review will also include story times and interactive white board activities.  What a great way for your child to practice instructional routines in a fun, enriching atmosphere!  Jump Start Kindergarten is August 6 – 10 from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.  Cost is $50, if registered before May 26th;  $55 afterward.

Summer Tutoring: Does your son or daughter need some extra one-on-one academic help during the summer?  Does he/she need to catch up on grade level skills?  How about a head start on the next school year?  Is your child interested in some coaching for a summer STEAM project?  JFK teachers are available this summer for tutoring students in a variety of areas.  Tutoring is one-on-one for grades K-8 by the hour ($22) or half-hour ($11).  Dates and times are flexible and can be arranged with the teacher.  Please contact Mrs. Motto for K-2 reading/language arts, Mrs. Lundquist for 3-5 reading/language arts/5th grade math, Ms. Burken for 6-8 reading/language arts, Mrs. Burke for reading/language arts, and/or Mrs. Schott for K-8 summer STEAM projects mentoring.

Instrumental Lessons: Would your son or daughter like to develop his/her instrumental skills over the summer?   Private lessons can be a great help (especially for younger grades) at retaining the current instrument knowledge.  It can also serve as early preparation for SEIBA auditions, marching band with Assumption, 6th-grade band fests and more. There is no minimum or maximum number of lessons that you can sign up for; everything is based on availability.  Lessons can be arranged weekly or bi-weekly, a certain amount over the course of the summer, or sporadically.  Cost is $22 per hour or $11 per half hour.

Registration forms for any summer programming:  Click HERE or use the following link/url:  http://www.olvjfk.com/for-parents/policies-forms/ for registration forms.

 

Campus Safety Developments

While there were lots of nuanced differences at our three listening sessions, there are probably two main ideas emerging in regards to safety concerns relating to traffic in the parking lot during drop off and dismissal times and safety concerns relating to children being in the parking lot before/after school and recesses:

  • Change drop off/pick up procedures/routes/barriers and also develop a hard surface play area south of the current play equipment.
  • Change drop off/pick up procedures/routes/barriers and “flip” the parking lot so that student activity is on the south end of the lot and traffic and parking is on the north end of the lot.

In relation to the above two, we are detailing the pricing for three to four options, one with the hard surface play area south of the current play equipment and 2-3 for “flipping” how we use the parking lot.

Developing a new location for handicapped and short term visitor parking for the school was widely supported.  For dealing with congestion on 42nd Street when buses are on the street, the only option receiving any level of support was to see if the city would eliminate parking on the north side of the street during bus times.

Late last week, I found out we will be receiving funds from the Scott County Regional Authority for security cameras around the outside of the school and in the main hallways and other large areas, like the parish center, gym, and cafeteria.  Fr. Jake has indicated that some cameras will probably also be installed around the church at the same time so we can piggy-back on pricing.  On Tuesday, I’ll find out how much of our nearly $22,000 grant application has been awarded by the SCRA.

Bell and Bus Times for Next Year:  Waiting Again

DCSD superintendent Art Tate indicated that the bell/bus times would be on the May 29th agenda of the DCSD board meeting.  If you’d like to share your opinion with the board, please email the board at BoardComments@Davenportschools.org.  Only messages that include your name and address will be distributed.

Once the DCSD makes its decision, OLV/JFK’s board will also have to decide what to do.  If the DCSD changes the times, then our board will have to decide if we want to go along with the changes and have bus transportation or make changes to the times the DCSD passed and go without bus transportation.

We’d still like to make a counter-proposal to the DCSD if we can find an option acceptable to all of the faith-based schools that still saves the DCSD the $300,000 it is planning on saving by changing bell times and is not outrageously expensive for faith-based schools’ families.

Home & School

Wasn’t the Family Fun Movie Night awesome?  The plant sale a great idea that might even one day replace the magazine sale?  Do you have similar ideas? Can you help organize these activities?  Come to the Home & School meeting on Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. in the parish center.  H & S will be developing a budget for 2018-19, which is when the “rubber hits the road.”  Home & School is also looking for officers.

Smartphones Interfere with Cognitive Tasks Even When We’re Not Using Them

An article in THE Journal:  Transforming Education Through Technology by Dian Schaffhauser summarizes two studies that show that just having smartphones nearby, even if turned off and/or in a pocket or nearby backpack, impairs students’ cognitive abilities.  Perhaps even more alarming is that students in the study didn’t think the location of their smartphones had any impact when the results showed it clearly did!  The advice of the researchers is that separation from one’s smartphone helps students with cognitive tasks.  Here is the full url/link: https://thejournal.com/articles/2018/04/09/even-the-mere-presence-of-a-smartphone-makes-you-dumber.aspx

Benefit for CJ Tilkens

A benefit is planned for July 1st at 2:00 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus.  You can also contribute to CJ’s fight against Neuroblastoma by donating through GoFundMe.  Click CJ Cancer Fight or use the following link/url:  https://www.gofundme.com/CJCancerFight .

Altar Server Training
Altar Server Training will be on Saturday, June 2nd from 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in the church, for all boys and girls of the parish (4th grade and up) interested in serving at Mass.  At least one parent needs to attend to complete the necessary paperwork.
Happy Retirement, Mrs. Hinchman
Mrs. Hinchman will be joining her husband in retirement.  The 7th/8th grade show last week was her last as a teacher at JFK.  I’ve always been amazed at how she got everyone to participate, even those who have stage fright or are just not sure about doing anything related to drama or public performances.  She certainly has a unique gift.  We wish her well in retirement.
Last Day of Classes

May 31:  3 and 4 year old pre-school.  Four year olds have their programs on the 31st, and 3 year olds have their family activity on June 1.

June 1:  K-8.  This differs from the DCSD which is having classes on June 4.

June 1:  Last day of ECLC

 

May 13, 2018

 

Mrs. Tilkens continues to be out of school to care for CJ and his treatment for Neuroblastoma.  If you would like to help the Tilkens, please consider donating through GoFundMe.  Click CJ Cancer Fight or use the following link/url:  https://www.gofundme.com/CJCancerFight .  A benefit is planned for July 1st at 2:00 p.m. at the Knights of Columbus.

Campus Safety Listening Sessions

While there were lots of nuanced differences at our three listening sessions, there are probably two main ideas emerging in regards to safety concerns relating to traffic in the parking lot during drop off and dismissal times and safety concerns relating to children being in the parking lot before/after school and recesses:

  • Change drop off/pick up procedures/routes/barriers and also develop a hard surface play area south of the current play equipment.
  • Change drop off/pick up procedures/routes/barriers and “flip” the parking lot so that student activity is on the south end of the lot and traffic and parking is on the north end of the lot.

Developing a new location for handicapped and short term visitor parking for the school was widely supported.  For dealing with congestion on 42nd Street when buses are on the street, the only option receiving any level of support was to see if the city would eliminate parking on the north side of the street during bus times.

Bell and Bus Times for Next Year:  Where Are We Now?

Feedback I’ve seen or heard from JFK parents regarding the alternative proposal the DCSD put forth for bell time changes seems to be about 55% against, 25% in favor of it, and 20% lukewarm.  Very few JFK people liked the first 8:35 start time option.  In fact, none of the other faith-based schools liked the first option either, which had us all starting 50-55 minutes later or about 8:35 or later.  The current proposal, which has all the faith-based schools starting 20 minutes earlier than  our current times, is being fairly well received at two of our elementary schools and lukewarm or poorly received at the other two, including JFK.  A unified counter proposal might be a little more difficult now.

Andy Craig, president of AHS, and I continue to examine our options.  Last week, there was discussion with Durham representatives, the Iowa Department of Education, and other private schools/districts who do their own transportation.  If we were to have another busing option, it would have to be one that had satisfactory times for all the faith-based schools, still saved the DCSD the $300,000 it is planning on saving by making the bell time changes, and not be outrageously expensive for faith-based schools’ families.

DCSD superintendent Art Tate indicated that the bell/bus times would be on the May 29th agenda.  If you’d like to share your opinion with the board, please email the board at BoardComments@Davenportschools.org.  Only messages that include your name and address will be distributed.

Summer Programming at JFK:

Leaps & Bounds:  Does your child need some extra help over the summer?  Are you looking for a way to provide additional academic challenge for your student? Our Iowa certified staff will provide opportunities for your kindergarten through 5th grade child to grow by Leaps and Bounds.  Sign up for one, two or even all three sessions.  There are three week and two week sessions.  The program runs from 8:00 – 11:30 each day.  Two hours are for reading, one hour is for math, and 30 minutes is for recess and other fun.  The ratio is kept at 7 to 1 students per teacher or less.  Cost for the three week session is $270.  The two week session is $180.

Three week session:  June 11 – 29.          Two week session:  July 9 – 20          Two week session:  July 30 – Aug 10

Vacation Bible School:  This program is coordinated for parish members by parish members.  Volunteers are always welcome to be a part of VBS.  Children who are entering kindergarten through 6th grade will enjoy a week of activities, crafts, skits, songs, and Bible stories.  VBS meets from 8:00 – 11:30 and runs July 23 – 27.  The cost is $25 per child.

Math Boot Camp: Math Boot Camp will help to kick start your student’s math skills before school begins in August. Students will work with an Iowa certified teacher to review main concepts learned in the previous grade.  Each day will be an intensive  Math Boot Camp is for students of all learning ability levels entering grades 6-8.  The camp is from August 6 – 10.  The cost is $40 per student.

Incoming 6th graders:  8:00-9:30 a.m.         Incoming 7th graders:  9:30-11:00 a.m.          Incoming 8th Graders:  11:00-12:30 p.m.

Jump Start Kindergarten: Preschool students have worked hard this year to learn many skills to be successful when they start Kindergarten in the fall.  Jump Start Kindergarten will provide a review of alphabet letters and sounds, basic math concepts, and literacy skills.  This week long review will also include story times and interactive white board activities.  What a great way for your child to practice instructional routines in a fun, enriching atmosphere!  Jump Start Kindergarten is August 6 – 10 from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.  Cost is $50, if registered before May 26th;  $55 afterward.

Summer Tutoring: Does your son or daughter need some extra one-on-one academic help during the summer?  Does he/she need to catch up on grade level skills?  How about a head start on the next school year?  Is your child interested in some coaching for a summer STEAM project?  JFK teachers are available this summer for tutoring students in a variety of areas.  Tutoring is one-on-one for grades K-8 by the hour ($22) or half-hour ($11).  Dates and times are flexible and can be arranged with the teacher.  Please contact Mrs. Motto for K-2 reading/language arts, Mrs. Lundquist for 3-5 reading/language arts/5th grade math, Ms. Burken for 6-8 reading/language arts, Mrs. Burke for reading/language arts, and/or Mrs. Schott for K-8 summer STEAM projects mentoring.

Instrumental Lessons: Would your son or daughter like to develop his/her instrumental skills over the summer?   Private lessons can be a great help (especially for younger grades) at retaining the current instrument knowledge.  It can also serve as early preparation for SEIBA auditions, marching band with Assumption, 6th-grade band fests and more. There is no minimum or maximum number of lessons that you can sign up for; everything is based on availability.  Lessons can be arranged weekly or bi-weekly, a certain amount over the course of the summer, or sporadically.  Cost is $22 per hour or $11 per half hour.

Registration forms for any summer programming:  Click HERE or use the following link/url:  http://www.olvjfk.com/for-parents/policies-forms/ for registration forms.

Smartphones Interfere with Cognitive Tasks Even When We’re Not Using Them

An article in THE Journal:  Transforming Education Through Technology by Dian Schaffhauser summarizes two studies that show that just having smartphones nearby, even if turned off and/or in a pocket or nearby backpack, impairs students’ cognitive abilities.  Perhaps even more alarming is that students in the study didn’t think the location of their smartphones had any impact when the results showed it clearly did!  The advice of the researchers is that separation from one’s smartphone helps students with cognitive tasks.  Here is the full url/link: https://thejournal.com/articles/2018/04/09/even-the-mere-presence-of-a-smartphone-makes-you-dumber.aspx

Home & School

5/18 – Family Movie Fun Night:  5:30 – 8:30??  Movie:  Moana, starting before/around 7:00 p.m.  Free admission and one bag of popcorn
     Dinner, additional popcorn and ice cream available for purchase.
5//22 – HSA Meeting & Elections:  We are looking for someone (or couple) to fill VP and secretary positions
Sharing Their Stories 
On Thursday, University of Iowa student and JFK alumna Mallory Obenauf will be a visiting reader in several classes. Mallory will be reading the book she wrote about overcoming the challenges of scolosis.
Regular JFK substitute teacher Pat Cannaday and guests were at JFK last week to share her trip to Tanzania.

Last Day of Classes

May 31:  3 and 4 year old pre-school.  Four year olds have their programs on the 31st, and 3 year olds have their family activity on June 1.

June 1:  K-8.  This differs from the DCSD which is having classes on June 4.

June 1:  Last day of ECLC

May 6, 2018

 

Mrs. Tilkens continues to be out of school to care for CJ and his treatment for Neuroblastoma.  If you would like to help the Tilkens, please consider donating through GoFundMe.  Click CJ Cancer Fight or use the following link/url:  https://www.gofundme.com/CJCancerFight

Campus Safety Listening Sessions

Thank you to those who participated in the campus safety listening sessions.  Over the three sessions, we had about 30 attendees with a mix of staff, past JFK students’ parents, and current JFK students’ parents.  Please contact the school office, if you were unable to attend but would like to share your feedback.

While there were lots of nuanced differences, there are probably two main ideas emerging in regards to safety concerns relating to traffic in the parking lot during drop off and dismissal times and safety concerns relating to children being in the parking lot before/after school and recesses:

  • Change drop off/pick up procedures/routes/barriers and also develop a hard surface play area south of the current play equipment.
  • Change drop off/pick up procedures/routes/barriers and “flip” the parking lot so that student activity is on the south end of the lot and traffic and parking is on the north end of the lot.

Developing a new location for handicapped and short term visitor parking for the school was widely supported.  For dealing with congestion on 42nd Street when buses are on the street, the only option receiving any level of support was to see if the city would eliminate parking on the north side of the street during bus times.

Bell and Bus Times for Next Year:  DCSD Alternative Proposal Made Public May 7

The Davenport Community School District (DCSD) will make public an alternative proposal to change bell times for all of its schools and the faith-based schools at its Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, May 7th at 5:30 p.m. at its Achievement Services Center on Brady Street.   I will share the proposal after it is made public.  I’m sure it will generate as much discussion as the previous proposal!  Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to rely upon busing from the DCSD at all?

What a Fun Evening

The Gala was a fun evening — good food, fellowship, music, dancing, Fr. Jake wearing a pinata,….  The Gala had it all.  There was even the anxiety in the final days of preparation with being sold out until seating was rearranged to accommodate even more people.  The last count I heard was 267 tickets sold.  Many thanks to general chair, Molly McCarty.  Over the next few weeks, we’ll list many of the others who worked behind the scenes and at the event.  They all deserve our gratitude, and their work serves as a model illustrating how everyone can contribute in some way.  There were even people who coordinated elements of the Gala but were not able to attend themselves.

Smartphones Interfere with Cognitive Tasks Even When We’re Not Using Them

An article in THE Journal:  Transforming Education Through Technology by Dian Schaffhauser summarizes two studies that show that just having smartphones nearby, even if turned off and/or in a pocket or nearby backpack, impairs students’ cognitive abilities.  Perhaps even more alarming is that students in the study didn’t think the location of their smartphones had any impact when the results showed it clearly did!  The advice of the researchers is that separation from one’s smartphone helps students with cognitive tasks.  Here is the full url/link: https://thejournal.com/articles/2018/04/09/even-the-mere-presence-of-a-smartphone-makes-you-dumber.aspx

Home & School

Thanks to Peter and Andrea Schuster who coordinated the plant sale.  It was another event which had a few last minute adjustments as weather forecasts forced the  staging area to move indoors.  I particularly enjoyed going into the parish center each morning to turn the lights on, “Time to wake up for the day!”
5/18 – Fun Night:  Help with setup/decorating is still needed.
5//22 – HSA Meeting & Elections:  We are looking for someone (or couple) to fill VP and secretary positions

Legislation and Funding for Non-Public Schools

The tax reform bill brought some positive changes to helping families afford non-public school education.  Catching up to recent federal legislation, changes to Iowa’s 529 plans will allow those funds to be used for K-12 non-public school tuition as well as college costs.

The family eligibility for financial assistance provided through School Tuition Organizations was increased from 300 to 400 percent of the federal poverty level, which would take the threshold to about $98,000 for a family of four.  An additional $1 million was also allowed statewide.  Unfortunately, the additional funding probably won’t match the additional need identified with the expanded eligibility.  Now, we know what a legislative priority for us will be next session.

Last Day of Classes

May 31:  3 and 4 year old pre-school.  Four year olds have their programs on the 31st, and 3 year olds have their family activity on June 1.

June 1:  K-8.  This differs from the DCSD which is having classes on June 4.

June 1:  Last day of ECLC

April 29, 2018

Discounted Registration Fees End on April 30th

Discounted registration fees for next school year end on April 30th.  Return your tuition contract and registration fee now to reserve your spot for next year.

Who wouldn’t want to be at JFK where Confirmation and First Communion are part of who we are?

                                       Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, closeup and outdoor

 

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing                                 

Or where students donate their lemonade stand money to help Mrs. Tilkens and her family’s care for little CJ?

Mrs. Tilkens continues to be out of school to care for CJ and his treatment for Neuroblastoma.  If you would like to help the Tilkens, please consider donating through GoFundMe.  Click CJ Cancer Fight or use the following link/url:  https://www.gofundme.com/CJCancerFight

 

Campus Safety Listening Sessions

Intended audience:  Parishioners, JFK parents, and staff who have an interest in how our parking lot, field, and campus are used or developed.

After a campus safety review this fall, the most common concerns were related to keeping students safe when outside the building but on campus property, including the parking lot.  How we respond has the potential to impact how we use the entire campus on all days of the week.

Two listening sessions of about 1 ½ hours remain:

Monday, April 30th:  6:30 p.m. (PC)

Thursday, May 3rd:  6:30 p.m. (PC)

Please contact the parish or school office, if you are unable to attend but would like to share your feedback.  Someone from the steering group will respond to your request.

  • Areas of Focus for the Listening Session:
    1. Parking Lot Safety:
      1. Safety concerns relating to traffic in the parking lot during drop off and dismissal times:
        • Drivers are too inattentive, and some, particularly those who are not “regulars” to the campus, are confused by the cones and may even drive through them.
        • Parents who have “picked up” their kids but are still standing and conversing in the parking lot often have their children playing around them, and the children are not as careful about staying within the coned area.
        • Cones would not stop a driver intent on doing harm or one who has an accident (confusing brake/accelerator, etc.)
      2. Safety concerns related to children being in the parking lot before/after school and recesses:
        • When the grass is wet, recesses are in the parking lot.
        • Drop off and pick up is in the northern part of the parking lot.
        • Cars enter at the northwest 42nd Street entrance and may drive past the church to get to preschool drop off or go toward the school to park in visitor spots, including times when children are at recess.
        • Cars are sometimes parked in the north part of the lot, and then children come outside to play for recess on the blacktop, and the car is right in the way.
        • The parking lot is directly across from apartment buildings.
        • Neighbors cut across the parking lot during the school day or during after school programming.
    2. Short-term visitor and handicapped parking is a long way from the main school doors.
    3. When buses are on 42nd Street, and with the regular parking on the north side of 42nd, the street only can accommodate traffic in one direction at a time.

There have been some great ideas shared so far.  We want to hear from everyone and use the information to make final recommendations.

Additional information, some that would relate to the above, can be found in the March 14th Principal’s Post, available by clicking HERE.

Bell and Bus Times for Next Year — Waiting Right Now

The Davenport Community School District (DCSD) has postponed the bell time issue until the DCSD Board’s May 14th meeting to allow the consultant more time to investigate other options.  He said he’d need until the first week of May.  If you’d like the DCSD’s board members to hear the personal stories about how the changes to bell times will affect families, please email the board:  BoardComments@Davenportschools.org.  Communications that contain your name and address will be distributed to all board members; anonymous messages are not distributed.

Scott County Catholic Schools Strategic Planning

The group that interviewed the consultants will be making its recommendation to pastors, board presidents, administrators, and representatives from the AHS Foundation (which operates the financial assistance program for Scott County Catholic schools and has agreed to pay for strategic planning) on May 15th.  With the end of the school year fast approaching, I anticipate parent surveys, conversations, and focus groups taking place in the late summer or early fall.

Gala on Saturday!

Don’t miss out on this year’s Gala!  The Gala is Saturday!  It’s time to purchase your tickets to attend or raffle tickets for $1,000 off of tuition or both!  If you can’t do either, please consider a donation toward underwriting.  Having all the expenses of the Gala covered by donations means all the proceeds the night of the event can go toward our educational needs!

The Gala is the largest fundraiser of OLV and JFK and supports all of our educational needs.  This year we’re trying to do a “super Gala” with funds raised above our normal net of $25,000 – $30,000 to go toward establishing the seed money for an air conditioning project.  The Gala is May 5th beginning at 5 p.m. at the Elks’ Lodge on Central Park Avenue near Emeis Golf Course.  The Gala includes amazing food, fun and fellowship with live and silent auctions.  The Funktastic 5 will also be performing at this year’s Gala.  Tickets are $40.  For the flyer, please click HERE.

To view a few of the items for the auction, check out our JFK Facebook page.

Preschool and Childcare Registration for 2018-19

3, 4, and 5 year old preschool and/or childcare registration  continues but waiting lists for some classes have been formed.  Please contact the school office before the spots you want are no longer available.

Home & School

5/2, 5/3 & 5/4 – Plant Sale pickup
  • Wednesday, May 2nd:  2:00-7:00 pm
  • Thursday, May 3rd:  2:00-7:00 pm
  • Friday, May 4th:  2:00-7:00 pm
  • We are still in need of volunteers to help work an hour or two on those days.
5/18 – Fun Night:  Help with setup/decorating is still needed.
5//22 – HSA Meeting & Elections:  We are looking for someone (or couple) to fill VP and secretary positions
BoxTop Volunteer Needed:  Can you use a scissors?  The BoxTop volunteer does the final clipping, collecting, and mailing (H & S pays the postage) twice a year.
Please contact the office if you are interested in these positions.

Last Day of Classes

May 31:  3 and 4 year old pre-school.  Four year olds have their programs on the 31st, and 3 year olds have their family activity on June 1.

June 1:  K-8.  This differs from the DCSD which is having classes on June 4.

June 1:  Last day of ECLC

April 22, 2018

Campus Safety Listening Sessions

Intended audience:  Parishioners, JFK parents, and staff who have an interest in how our parking lot, field, and campus are used or developed.

After a campus safety review this fall, the most common concerns were related to keeping students safe when outside the building but on campus property, including the parking lot.  How we respond has the potential to impact how we use the entire campus on all days of the week.

Three listening sessions of about 1 ½ hours will be conducted:

Saturday, April 28th:  11:00 a.m. (PC)

Monday, April 30th:  6:30 p.m. (PC)

Thursday, May 3rd:  6:30 p.m. (PC)

Please contact the parish or school office, if you are unable to attend but would like to share your feedback.  Someone from the steering group will respond to your request.

  • Areas of Focus for the Listening Session:
    1. Parking Lot Safety:
      1. Safety concerns relating to traffic in the parking lot during drop off and dismissal times:
        • Drivers are too inattentive, and some, particularly those who are not “regulars” to the campus, are confused by the cones and may even drive through them.
        • Parents who have “picked up” their kids but are still standing and conversing in the parking lot often have their children playing around them, and the children are not as careful about staying within the coned area.
        • Cones would not stop a driver intent on doing harm or one who has an accident (confusing brake/accelerator, etc.)
      2. Safety concerns related to children being in the parking lot before/after school and recesses:
        • When the grass is wet, recesses are in the parking lot.
        • Drop off and pick up is in the northern part of the parking lot.
        • Cars enter at the northwest 42nd Street entrance and may drive past the church to get to preschool drop off or go toward the school to park in visitor spots, including times when children are at recess.
        • Cars are sometimes parked in the north part of the lot, and then children come outside to play for recess on the blacktop, and the car is right in the way.
        • The parking lot is directly across from apartment buildings.
        • Neighbors cut across the parking lot during the school day or during after school programming.
    2. Short-term visitor and handicapped parking is a long way from the main school doors.
    3. When buses are on 42nd Street, and with the regular parking on the north side of 42nd, the street only can accommodate traffic in one direction at a time.

Additional information, some that would relate to the above, can be found in the March 14th Principal’s Post, available by clicking HERE.

Bell and Bus Times for Next Year — Waiting Right Now

The Davenport Community School District (DCSD) has postponed the bell time issue until the DCSD Board’s May 14th meeting to allow the consultant more time to investigate other options.  We appreciate the willingness of Dr. Tate and his administration to continue to look for other ways to reduce routes and reduce transportation costs by the $300,000 or more the DCSD needs to save next year in transportation.

I am actually a little more concerned about bell times this spring than in the summer of 2014, the last time bell times were significantly changed in the DCSD.  In 2014, it was the ONLY issue that threatened major disruption to the DCSD, and several public hearings were held throughout the community.  It was a BIG issue.  This time around, moving bell times seems to almost be a minor issue when compared to other elements of the district’s Vision 2020 plan, which includes cutting millions of dollars, closing one to two schools, and changing the district’s school structures such that elementaries are either PS-6 or K-6 and the middle schools are only grades 7-8.  The DCSD has actually scheduled three listening sessions regarding its Vision 2020 plan, but all of them, I believe, are after the bell time decision will be made.  Having the most significant bell time changes affect only those who are already not in the DCSD’s schools might be something the district is willing to tolerate.

For these reasons, it is even more important that the DCSD’s board hear from both public school and faith-based school parents.  They need to hear the personal stories about how changes to bell times will affect families.  Board members are real people too.  If they are presented with ways to save the needed money and not upset the apple cart for everyone, they will respond.

Please consider contacting the DCSD board.  To email the board, you can use the following address:  BoardComments@Davenportschools.org.  Communications that contain your name and address will be distributed to all board members; anonymous messages are not distributed.

As we wait for the DCSD consultant’s work, we have begun other discussions with Durham, the bus company, to determine if they have other options (and costs, of course) available to us.

Scott County Catholic Schools Strategic Planning

Additional information requested from the consultants that were interviewed to do strategic planning for Scott County Catholic schools  is being obtained.  A decision regarding a consultant should be made by the end of the month.

Back in November, I had mentioned that pastors, board presidents, and representatives from the AHS Foundation (which operates the financial assistance program for Scott County Catholic schools and has agreed to pay for strategic planning) agreed to pursue a consultant/consulting firm that could help determine how Catholic school education in Scott County can be made stronger and meet the needs for the future.  A sub-group was formed to interview the consultants.  On this sub-group are Fr. Richard Adam (Sacred Heart), Rosie Barton (foundation member with connections to St. Paul’s and now Holy Family where her husband serves as a deacon), Andy Craig (president of AHS), Joe Creen (foundation member and member of OLV), Matt Henning (AHS board president and member of OLV), and me.

Strategic planning for Scott County Catholic schools is born out of the diocesan strategic plan for Catholic school education which called for separate strategic planning to be done for Scott and Johnson Counties.  Gone are the days of dramatically falling enrollment and widespread school closures and consolidations.  It’s time to plan for how Catholic schools can be strong and prosper in the future.  With the end of the school year fast approaching, I anticipate parent surveys, conversations, and focus groups taking place in the late summer or early fall.

Get Your Gala Tickets — Tickets Selling Fast!

Don’t miss out on this year’s Gala!  The Gala is only two weeks away, and tickets are selling fast.  It’s time to purchase your tickets to attend or raffle tickets for $1,000 off of tuition or both!  If you can’t do either, please consider a donation toward underwriting.  Having all the expenses of the Gala covered by donations means all the proceeds the night of the event can go toward our educational needs!

The Gala is the largest fundraiser of OLV and JFK and supports all of our educational needs.  This year we’re trying to do a “super Gala” with funds raised above our normal net of $25,000 – $30,000 to go toward establishing the seed money for an air conditioning project.  The Gala is May 5th beginning at 5 p.m. at the Elks’ Lodge on Central Park Avenue near Emeis Golf Course.  The Gala includes amazing food, fun and fellowship with live and silent auctions.  The Funktastic 5 will also be performing at this year’s Gala.  Tickets are $40.  For the flyer, please click HERE.

The Gala still needs people who can help with many different activities — everything from making phone calls, setting up a stage for the band, decorating, and cleaning up, Please contact Angie Hillebrand at the school office.

Donations are also being accepted.  Just mark them OLV/JFK Gala.

To view a few of the items for the auction, check out our JFK Facebook page.

Discounted Registration Fees Coming to an End Soon!

Tuition contracts are due, and the discounted registration fee ends next week.  Return your tuition contract and registration fee now to reserve your spot for next year.

Preschool and Childcare Registration for 2018-19

3, 4, and 5 year old preschool and/or childcare registration  continues but waiting lists for some classes have been formed.  Please contact the school office before the spots you want are no longer available.

2018-19 School Calendar

Our school calendar on our website is filling up fast.  The 2018-19 school year looks like it will be just as busy as this year!  Check it out HERE.

Home & School Dates

4/23 – final Skate Night (80’s theme)
5/3 & 5/4 – Plant Sale pickup
5/18 – Fun Night
5//22 – HSA Meeting & Elections
Results of the first Plant Sale fundraiser are in:  we sold almost $11,000 of plants!

The plants are scheduled to arrive at JFK by truck on Wednesday, May 2nd, and we were told we should have at least 10 people to help receive and organize the plants. At this point, I don’t know yet if we are the morning drop off slot or early afternoon. (We should know soon.)

Information Knight at Assumption

April 25, 5:30-6:30 p.m.  All grades invited!

Congratulations to 2nd Graders and 8th Graders

First Communion was today, and Confirmation is Friday.  Two major steps in one’s faith journey.  Congratulations to the 2nd and 8th graders!

National Speaker:  Silent Strength

National speaker Doug Reavis will share his Silent Strength presentation with middle school students in the Catholic schools of Scott County on April 27th.  A high school presentation will be held on the 26th, and a parent presentation is in the evening on the 26th (6:30-8 in the AHS auditorium). Silent Strength centers on kindness and, in faith-based settings, seeing God in every other person. It has been said that he gives the best anti-bullying message out there without ever using the word “bullying.”  Many thanks to AHS for sponsoring Doug Reavis and providing transportation to the Catholic elementary schools.

Last Day of Classes

May 31:  3 and 4 year old pre-school.  Four year olds have their programs on the 31st, and 3 year olds have their family activity on June 1.

June 1:  K-8.  This differs from the DCSD which is having classes on June 4.

June 1:  Last day of ECLC

April 16, 2018

Bell and Bus Times for Next Year

Prior to the April 9th Davenport Community School Board meeting, I received word that the bell time issue has been postponed now until the May 14th meeting to allow the consultant more time to investigate other options.  That’s a good sign.  We appreciate the willingness of Dr. Tate and his administration to continue to look for other ways to reduce routes and reduce transportation costs by $300,000 or more.

Honestly, I am more concerned about bell times this spring than in the summer of 2014, the last time bell times were significantly changed in the DCSD.  In 2014, it was the ONLY issue that threatened major disruption to the DCSD, and several public hearings were held throughout the community.  It was a BIG issue.  This time around, moving bell times seems to almost be a minor issue when compared to other elements of the district’s Vision 2020 plan, which includes cutting millions of dollars, closing one to two schools, and changing the district’s school structures such that elementaries are either PS-6 or K-6 and the middle schools are only grades 7-8.  Having the most significant bell time changes affect only those who are already not in the DCSD’s schools might be something the district is willing to tolerate.

For these reasons, it is even more important that the DCSD’s board hear from both public school and faith-based school parents.  They need to hear the personal stories about how changes to bell times will affect families.  Board members are real people too.  If they are presented with ways to save the needed money and not upset the apple cart for everyone, they will respond.

Please consider contacting the DCSD board.  To email the board, you can use the following address:  BoardComments@Davenportschools.org.  Communications that contain your name and address will be distributed to all board members; anonymous messages are not distributed.

Scott County Catholic Schools

Another step was taken toward strategic planning for all of Scott County Catholic schools last week.  A small group interviewed three consultants, and each was impressive.  Follow-up questions will be submitted to the consultants this week, and a decision should be made by the end of the month.

Back in November, I had mentioned that pastors, board presidents, and representatives from the AHS Foundation (which operates the financial assistance program for Scott County Catholic schools and has agreed to pay for strategic planning) agreed to pursue a consultant/consulting firm that could help determine how Catholic school education in Scott County can be made stronger and meet the needs for the future.  A sub-group was formed to interview the consultants.  On this sub-group are Fr. Richard Adam (Sacred Heart), Rosie Barton (foundation member with connections to St. Paul’s and now Holy Family where her husband serves as a deacon), Andy Craig (president of AHS), Joe Creen (foundation member and member of OLV), Matt Henning (AHS board president and member of OLV), and me.

Strategic planning for Scott County Catholic schools is born out of the diocesan strategic plan for Catholic school education which called for separate strategic planning to be done for Scott and Johnson Counties.  Gone are the days of dramatically falling enrollment and widespread school closures and consolidations.  It’s time to plan for how Catholic schools can be strong and prosper in the future.  With the end of the school year fast approaching, I anticipate parent surveys, conversations, and focus groups taking place in the late summer or early fall.

Time to Buy Gala Tickets — Still Time to Volunteer

The Gala is only three weeks away!  It’s time to step forward to purchase your tickets to attend or raffle tickets for $1,000 off of tuition or both!  I never know what to donate for auction at the Gala so I always just provide money ahead of time that can be used by others to develop class packages or to go toward underwriting.  Having all the expenses of the Gala covered by donations means all the proceeds the night of the event can go toward our educational needs!

The Gala is the largest fundraiser of OLV and JFK and supports all of our educational needs.  This year we’re trying to do a “super Gala” with funds raised above our normal net of $25,000 – $30,000 to go toward establishing the seed money for an air conditioning project.  The Gala is May 5th beginning at 5 p.m. at the Elks’ Lodge on Central Park Avenue near Emeis Golf Course.  The Gala includes amazing food, fun and fellowship with live and silent auctions.  The Funktastic 5 will also be performing at this year’s Gala.  Tickets are $40.  For the flyer, please click HERE.

The Gala still needs people who can help with many different activities — everything from making phone calls, setting up a stage for the band, decorating, and cleaning up, Please contact Angie Hillebrand at the school office.

Donations are also being accepted.  Just mark them OLV/JFK Gala.

To view a few of the items for the auction, check out our JFK Facebook page.

Survey from the Iowa Department of Education:  Response Rates Monitored

The Iowa Department of Education is conducting a survey of parents of all students in public and non-public schools.  While the survey is intended to fulfill reporting requirements under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), which require that states report the percent of parents with a child receiving special education services who report that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with IEPs, the data is being gathered as a census for both students with and without an IEP using a brief (four question) survey.  Below are the survey questions:

  • How old was your child on January 1, 2018? (choose 3-21)
  • What is your child’s race or ethnicity? (choose American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, Two or More Races, White)
  • Does your child have an Individualized Education Program – IEP? (y/n)
  • Did the school your child is currently attending facilitate (request, encourage or initiate) your involvement as a means of improving services and results for your child? (y/n)

The survey should be completed once for each child in the family.  You can access the survey by using the following link/url   https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2018AEA9.

The survey is open through June 30th, and the DE has indicated that it will be monitoring response rates throughout the survey window.

Tuition Contracts for 2018-19 and Kindergartners Still Being Accepted

Take advantage of an early bird registration discount by returning your family’s tuition contract ASAP.  Kindergarten spots are also still available.  Please contact the school office, to reserve your spot for next year.

Preschool and Childcare Registration for 2018-19

3, 4, and 5 year old preschool and/or childcare registration has begun.  Please contact the school office before the spots you want are no longer available.

2018-19 School Calendar

Our school calendar on our website is filling up fast.  The 2018-19 school year looks like it will be just as busy as this year!  Check it out HERE.

Home & School Dates

4/16 – Chick-fil-A  Spirit Night (this Monday)

4/23 – final Skate Night (80’s theme)
5/3 & 5/4 – Plant Sale pickup
5//15 – HSA Meeting & Elections
5/18 – Fun Night

Results of the first Plant Sale fundraiser are in:  we sold almost $11,000 of plants!

The plants are scheduled to arrive by truck (at JFK) on Wednesday, May 2nd, and we were told we should have at least 10 people to help receive and organize the plants. At this point, I don’t know yet if we are the morning drop off slot or early afternoon. (We should know soon.)

National Speaker:  Silent Strength

National speaker Doug Reavis will share his Silent Strength presentation with middle school students in the Catholic schools of Scott County on April 27th.  A high school presentation will be held on the 26th, and a parent presentation is in the evening on the 26th (6:30-8 in the AHS auditorium). Silent Strength centers on kindness and, in faith-based settings, seeing God in every other person. It has been said that he gives the best anti-bullying message out there without ever using the word “bullying.”  Many thanks to AHS for sponsoring Doug Reavis and providing transportation to the Catholic elementary schools.

April 8, 2018

Bell and Bus Times for Next Year

On Friday, Andy Craig, president of Assumption, and I met with several representatives of the Davenport Community School District:  Mike Maloney (DCSD’s Director of Operations), Beth O’Dette, and Kristy Kleinsmith.  On the phone was the consultant whom the district is paying to find ways to reduce transportation costs.  None of the options the consultant had tried in the week since our last meeting were resulting in the reduction of five bus routes, the number of routes needed to be eliminated to save the $300,000 the district is planning on saving in transportation costs.  This $300,000 reduction is part of the budget that the DCSD will be looking to pass on April 9th.

While these results are disappointing, the DCSD is not done looking at options.  Dr. Art Tate, DCSD’s superintendent, has directed the consultant to do more work.  One idea that we discussed at length was to increase the number of riders that are scheduled for a bus route.  JFK, for example, has about 160 students signed up to ride a bus before school, after school, or both.  Routes have to be determined as if all 160 are riding every day.  Our actual daily ridership, however, is about 80-90 students.  If routes were designed for the buses to carry more students with the realization that 50% won’t actually be riding every day, fewer routes may actually be needed.  Of course, if all the students were to ride each day, then there could be issues.  It is also possible that the longer routes would increase the amount of time spent on a bus.  Currently, the average ride time is 35 minutes, and state law caps it at 60 minutes for K-6 and 75 minutes for 7-12.  Other ideas that were discussed were to change faith-based schools’ start times to an earlier time than currently and tweak public school times.

While we all recognize that some changes are likely to take place, the DCSD also recognizes that the fewest changes not only for us but also for its own schools and families are probably the most desirable.  However, $300,000 still needs to be found.  It is likely that the budget, which includes the $300,000 cut in transportation costs, will be passed on April 9th before the consultant can run more scenarios, which he indicated might take him until the end of April or beginning of May.  It is possible that the DCSD will pass a budget with $300,000 in cuts to transportation before it takes up the details for how the $300,000 in cuts will be made.

The bell times are not on the agenda for DCSD’s April 9th board meeting.  The current intention is to have them on the April 23rd agenda.  It is time to let our voices be heard.  We need to encourage the DCSD to find ways to make the transportation work for us.  Please consider attending the DCSD’s board meeting at 6:00 p.m. on April 9th and/or April 23rd in the Jim Hester Board Room on the 3rd floor of the Achievement Services Center located at 1606 Brady Street.  You may sign up to speak before the meeting.  You will likely have 2-3 minutes to speak, as set and timed by the board.  Board members will not respond to comments made in Open Forum (but they still listen!)  To email the board, you can use the following address:  BoardComments@Davenportschools.org.  Communications that contain your name and address will be distributed to all board members; anonymous messages are not distributed.

To see the video of the DCSD board meeting at which the bell time proposal was presented, click HERE .  The bell time issue is at about 1:22 – 1:34 of the video.

Iowa Assessments This Week

Students in grades K-8 will be taking the Iowa Assessments this week.  Plenty of sleep and a good breakfast as always in order.  Ask students what the best part of Iowa Assessment week is, and they’ll probably tell you it’s the snacks that teachers at many grade levels allow the students to have in between tests!

Time to Buy Gala Tickets — Still Time to Volunteer

It’s time to buy Gala tickets.  The Gala is the largest fundraiser of OLV and JFK and supports all of our educational needs.  This year we’re trying to do a “super Gala” with funds raised above our normal net of $25,000 – $30,000 to go toward establishing the seed money for an air conditioning project.  The Gala is May 5th beginning at 5 p.m. at the Elks’ Lodge on Central Park Avenue near Emeis Golf Course.  The Gala includes amazing food, fun and fellowship with live and silent auctions.  The Funktastic 5 will also be performing at this year’s Gala.  Tickets are $40.

The Gala still needs people who can help with many different activities — everything from making phone calls, setting up a stage for the band, decorating, and cleaning up, Please contact Angie Hillebrand at the school office.

Donations are also being accepted.  Just mark them OLV/JFK Gala.

Survey from the Iowa Department of Education:  Response Rates Monitored

The Iowa Department of Education is conducting a survey of parents of all students in public and non-public schools.  While the survey is intended to fulfill reporting requirements under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), which require that states report the percent of parents with a child receiving special education services who report that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with IEPs, the data is being gathered as a census for both students with and without an IEP using a brief (four question) survey.  Below are the survey questions:

  • How old was your child on January 1, 2018? (choose 3-21)
  • What is your child’s race or ethnicity? (choose American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Black or African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander, Two or More Races, White)
  • Does your child have an Individualized Education Program – IEP? (y/n)
  • Did the school your child is currently attending facilitate (request, encourage or initiate) your involvement as a means of improving services and results for your child? (y/n)

The survey should be completed once for each child in the family.  Attached electronically is the letter from the Department of Education or you can click here for the survey itself:  IDEA Parent Survey – Letter to Parents.  You can also use the following link/url to reach the survey:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2018AEA9.

The survey is open through June 30th, and the DE has indicated that it will be monitoring response rates throughout the survey window.

Tuition Contracts for 2018-19 and Kindergartners Still Being Accepted

Take advantage of an early bird registration discount by returning your family’s tuition contract ASAP.  Kindergarten spots are also still available.  Please contact the school office, to reserve your spot for next year.

Preschool and Childcare Registration for 2018-19

3, 4, and 5 year old preschool and/or childcare registration has begun.  Please contact the school office before the spots you want are no longer available.

Civic Oration Winners

Congratulations to the following students:

5th/6th Grade Division:  Macie R. 1st place, Cole M. 2nd place, and Elexa A. 3rd place

7th/8th Grade Division:  Sophia M. 1st place, Allie A. 2nd place, and Anastasha M. 3rd place

We would also like to thank our panel of judges:  Andy Burman, Lynn Day-Steimle, Andy Craig, Connie Creen, Denny Prior, and Tracy VerMulm

2018-19 School Calendar

The DCSD has posted its calendar for next school year.  Click HERE or use the following link/url:  http://www.davenportschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/2018-19-FINAL-ACADEMIC-CALENDAR-2.pdf.  We’re in the process of entering all of our activities onto the olvjfk.com  website calendar.

National Speaker:  Silent Strength

National speaker Doug Reavis will share his Silent Strength presentation with middle school students in the Catholic schools of Scott County on April 27th.  A high school presentation will be held on the 26th, and a parent presentation is in the evening on the 26th (6:30-8 in the AHS auditorium). Silent Strength centers on kindness and, in faith-based settings, seeing God in every other person. It has been said that he gives the best anti-bullying message out there without ever using the word “bullying.”  Many thanks to AHS for sponsoring Doug Reavis and providing transportation to the Catholic elementary schools.

Policy Committee Members Sought for Spring 2018

Each year we examine about 1/3 of the policies contained in the Parent & Student Handbook.  We have also been looking at the four policies relating to dress code on an annual basis, and our policies regarding cell phones and Internet usage also seem to need yearly review.  We can usually accomplish our work for the year in 2-3 spring meetings.  If interested in serving on the policy committee this spring, please contact me via email.

April 2, 2018

Shadow Stations

Here is a photo from Holy Thursday’s Shadow Stations of the Cross presented by the 8th graders.  What an amazing activity!  The 8th graders did a fantastic job, and, as usual, students in all grades responded and behaved so well at the service.

Shadow Stations presented by 8th graders

Last Week for Plant Sale

Did you order your spring flowers and plants yet from Home & School?  (Yes, I know it’s hard to think spring when ten inches of snow is falling!)  Home & School is conducting a plant sale this spring.  Sales end on April 6th.  Pick up will be on campus on May 3rd and 4th from 2 – 7 p.m.

Gala Needs Volunteers

The Gala needs people who can help with many different activities — everything from making phone calls to setting up a stage for the band and decorating to just donating funds.  Please contact Angie Hillebrand at the school office.  The Gala is the largest fundraiser of OLV and JFK and supports all of our educational needs.  This year we’re trying to do a “super Gala” with funds raised above our normal net of $25,000 – $30,000 to go toward establishing the seed money for an air conditioning project.  The Gala is May 5th beginning at 5 p.m. at the Elks’ Lodge on Central Park Avenue near Emeis Golf Course.  The Gala includes fun and fellowship with live and silent auctions, a live band, and dancing.

Survey from the Iowa Department of Education

Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) requires states to report the percent of parents with a child receiving special education services who report that schools facilitated parent involvement as a means of improving services and results for children with IEPs.  The Iowa Department of Education is gathering these data as a census for both students with and without an IEP using a brief (four question) survey.  The survey should be completed once for each child in the family.  Attached electronically is the letter from the Department of Education or you can click here for the survey itself:  IDEA Parent Survey – Letter to Parents.  The survey is open through June 30th.

Campus Safety Review:  School Update

The Campus Safety Review: School document was updated with the latest quotes and distributed to parish council and finance council.  In every setting where it has been discussed, it is clear that a formal process for gathering feedback and for making decisions will be needed, and I will be asking the board of education to appoint an ad hoc committee to help lead this process.  (The possibility of a hard surface play area away from the parking lot for about $55,000, for example, is generating a lot of discussion.)

Two grant applications were submitted during spring break:

  1. SCRA: Request for $21,700 toward a $24,130 security camera project with 12 exterior and nine interior cameras
  2. RDA: Request for $5,300 toward a $6,305 windows and doors project, which would include changes to the band room doors so they can be locked from the interior, an electronic lock and access system for the upper south stairwell door, and safety film/frames for windows around the doors and vestibule.

We have also received a commitment to a multi-year anonymous donation of about $12,000 for safety purposes.

Tuition Contracts for 2018-19 and Kindergartners Still Being Accepted

Take advantage of an early bird registration discount by returning your family’s tuition contract ASAP.  Kindergarten spots are also still available.  Please contact the school office, to reserve your spot for next year.

Preschool and Childcare Registration for 2018-19

3, 4, and 5 year old preschool and/or childcare registration has begun.  Please contact the school office before the spots you want are no longer available.

Civic Oration:  Who Advanced to Tuesday’s PC Round?

Congratulations to the following students who have advanced to Tuesday’s parish center round of competition:

5th/6th Grade Division:  Elexa A., Matthew M., Cole M., Macie R., Emerson S., Max S.

7th/8th Grade Division:  Allie A., Alison B., Isabella K., Sophia M., Anastasha M., JJ S.

2018-19 School Calendar

The DCSD has posted its calendar for next school year.  Click HERE or use the following link/url:  http://www.davenportschools.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/2018-19-FINAL-ACADEMIC-CALENDAR-2.pdf.  JFK’s board voted to accept this calendar with two minor changes that only affect staff.

National Speaker:  Silent Strength

National speaker Doug Reavis will share his Silent Strength presentation with middle school students in the Catholic schools of Scott County on April 27th.  A high school presentation will be held on the 26th, and a parent presentation is in the evening on the 26th (6:30-8 in the AHS auditorium). Silent Strength centers on kindness and, in faith-based settings, seeing God in every other person. It has been said that he gives the best anti-bullying message out there without ever using the word “bullying.”  Many thanks to AHS for sponsoring Doug Reavis and providing transportation to the Catholic elementary schools.

Bell and Bus Times for Next Year

I’m sure you received my mid-week emails with bell times that the DCSD is proposing for next year in order to save on transportation costs.  JFK has approximately 40% of its students registered to ride a bus in the morning and/or the afternoon.  Actual ridership counts are currently being taken but are more in the 20% – 30% rate.

Andy Craig, president of AHS, Lee Morrison, superintendent of the Diocese of Davenport, and I met with Mike Maloney, DCSD Director of Operations on Friday after watching the video of the issue being discussed at the DCSD board meeting on March 26.  Click HERE for the video; the bell time issue is at about 1:22 – 1:34 of the video.

While Mr. Maloney indicated that the bell times are still open for discussion, the DCSD does need to cut expenses, including transportation expenses, as its enrollment continues to fall.  The bell time proposal will allow the DCSD to cut five bus routes and save about $300,000 per year.  The DCSD does do some things that are very good to our families but also cost it quite a bit.  For starters, and for all of Davenport, the DCSD provides free busing for K-5 students if they live 1.5 miles or more from their school of attendance.  Because the law uses 2.0 miles as the cut off for elementary and middle school students, the DCSD is actually providing busing for more students than required.  The DCSD also sends multiple buses into the same neighborhoods and doesn’t require a mixing of students from different schools.   In one neighborhood, for example, the DCSD may be running a Harrison route, a JFK route, an ASCS route, a Trinity route, and a SPS route.  The DCSD also runs routes for our faith-based schools throughout the entire city, which is probably more than they do for their own schools.  For example, the DCSD likely does not run a bus to southeast Davenport even if a Harrison student were to live there.  The DCSD will, however, run a bus there to pick up a JFK, ASCS, or Trinity student (or three buses, if necessary).

Mr. Maloney indicated that he would go back to the consultant they hired to see if there are other options, particularly options that keep the faith-based schools relatively close to our current bell times.  We will meet again this Friday.  Stay tuned.