January 21, 2018

Catholic Schools Week

Saturday, Jan 27:

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

Monday, Jan 29:

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

Tuesday, Jan 30:

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

Wednesday, Jan 31:

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

Thursday, Feb 1:

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

Friday, Feb 2:

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

Flu Season

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

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

Catholic Schools Week Video Contest

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

Guidelines:

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

Late productions are still being accepted.

Evening School Custodian/Janitor

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

Preschool and Childcare Registration for 2018-19

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

Kindergarten Round-Up for 2018-19

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

Chad

January 15, 2018

Catholic Schools Week

Saturday, Jan 27:

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

Monday, Jan 29:

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

Tuesday, Jan 30:

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

Wednesday, Jan 31:

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

Thursday, Feb 1:

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

Friday, Feb 2:

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

Drop-In Conferences on Thursday

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

Parishioner Appreciation Dinner

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

Flu Season

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

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

Catholic Schools Week Video Contest

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

Guidelines:

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

Late productions are still being accepted.

Evening School Custodian/Janitor

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

Heating Pipes Issue Exemplified

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

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

Preschool and Childcare Registration for 2018-19

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

Kindergarten Round-Up for 2018-19

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

Chad

January 7, 2018

Catholic Schools Week Video Contest

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

Guidelines:

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

Due Date:  January 11, 2018

Quarter Ends Thursday

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

Evening School Custodian/Janitor

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

Drop Off Reminder

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

Catholic Schools Week

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

Trivia Night for JFK Band

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

Skate Night

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

Parishioner Appreciation Dinner

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

January 1, 2018

Quarter Ends Next Week

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

Screen Time vs. Book Time?

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

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

Evening School Custodian/Janitor

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

Campus Safety/Security

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

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

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

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

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

Drop Off Reminder

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

Catholic Schools Week Video Contest

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

Guidelines:

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

Due Date:  January 11, 2018

Catholic Schools Week

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

Trivia Night for JFK Band

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

Christmas Break with Family

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

Chad

December 17, 2017

Last Days Before Christmas Break

We are down to the last three days before Christmas break, and there are still so many things to do!  Please see the website calendars.  Below are some of the highlights:

Dec 18:  3rd Grade Gingerbread Houses.  Skate Night.  Volleyball pictures.

Dec 19:  K-2 Out of Uniform.  K-2 Christmas Show in the Church at 6:00 p.m.

Dec 20:  All School Mass.  Red, Green, White & Christmas Attire Dress Day.  K-2 Christmas Show for the school performed after Mass in the church.  Special Dismissal at 1:00.  No afternoon preschool classes.  After school care and ECLC are open.

Dec 21 – Jan 1:  Christmas Break

Jan 2:  Classes Resume

Advent is also a perfect time to rededicate ourselves to weekend Mass attendance and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Please see the bulletin for Reconciliation offerings by clicking HERE or using the following url:  http://www.olvjfk.com/olv/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/11/10328054A-112617.pdf

It seems as if it’s starting to be harder for me to stay focused too now with just a week before Christmas!  My daughter, Kirsten, finished her exams at St. Ambrose last week and is working at a daycare and babysitting/”nannying” to earn extra money while she plans her Christmas break to be in Davenport, Burlington, and Omaha.  Yesterday, Lynn and I picked up Caitlin in Des Moines to where she had received a ride from the University of Kansas.  Colleen is coming from North Carolina on Friday, and Tom will actually have off on both December 24 and 25.  We’ll have a full house!  How appropriate that we have two bathrooms torn up due to storm damage to our roof that caused interior issues and that our bedroom is a mess due to demolition and reconfiguration of our closet!

Victory Vouchers Now Available Online

Need gift cards for the holidays?  Want to use gift cards to make your holiday purchases AND support OLV and JFK at the same time?  Want to receive credit on your tuition?  Victory Vouchers has you covered!

  • You purchase a gift card at face value from OLV, meaning there is no additional cost to you — buy a $25 gift card for $25.
  • The parish is able to purchase the cards at reduced prices yielding a donation to the parish
  • You also receive a 2% credit for the program of your choice (school tuition, youth ministry, Faith Formation fees, or the OLV Foundation)

Victory Vouchers has two convenient purchasing options:  paper orders and, now, ONLINE ordering.

Gift cards can be purchased in person in the gathering space on Sundays from 7:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. or at the parish office on week days from 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Cards are stocked for 40+ retailers, and nearly 7,000 are available online or can also be ordered in person.

To enroll in online ordering, click HERE for the Victory Voucher page on our website or stop by the Victory Voucher store that gets set up in the gathering space each Sunday.  For other questions, please contact Elaine Kopf at victoryvouchers@gmail.com

Evening School Custodian/Janitor

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

Mock Trial Individual Recognition

The following students were recognized for individual honors at the regional competition:

Outstanding Attorneys:  Elexa A, Sean B, Delaney E, Anastasha M, Dylan M, Brianna M, and Mary R

Outstanding Witnesses:  Jordyn A, Brianna M, Delaney S, Erica S, and Karis W

Elks Shootout

On Saturday, December 9, 2017, Davenport Elks Lodge 298 hosted the 50th Anniversary of its annual basketball Hoop Shoot.  The following JFK students placed in the competition:

8-9 Year Old Boys:  1st Place – William L

10-11 Year Old Boys:  2nd Place – Isiah R, John F. Kennedy, Davenport

12-13 Year Old Boys:  2nd Place – Alex M, John F. Kennedy, Davenport

Campus Safety/Security

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

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

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

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

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

Catholic Schools Week Video Contest

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

Guidelines:

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

Due Date:  January 11, 2018

8th Grade Volleyball

JFK’s 8th graders won the volleyball season champion title and were runner-up in the post-season tournament!   Thank you to our staff member coaches, Meredith Ash and Deneen Woerdehoff.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bishop Zinkula Stops by JFK

After celebrating the Mass of Christian Burial for Fr. Meyer, Bishop Zinkula took a tour of the school, catching kids just as they were preparing to go home.

 

 

“Hour of Code”

Upper grade students participated in the Hour of Code, a global movement reaching tens of millions of students in 180+ countries. Designed to demystify code and celebrate computer science, the Hour of Code helps nurture problem solving skills, logic and creativity.  Students in grades 6-8 participated during Computer Science Education week in science class.

 

 

 

Lego League

Did you see the Lego League pictures on the JFK Moms & Dad page last weekend?  Below is one of the 2nd graders:

 Merry Christmas to you and your family!
Chad

December 10, 2017

OLV Pastor Emeritus Fr. William Meyer Passes Away

It is with a sad heart that I am communicating with you the passing of Fr. William Meyer, former pastor of Our Lady of Victory.  While Fr. Meyer was already retired and “pastor emeritus” when I arrived at JFK in 2001, he always expressed his continued interest in the students, staff, and activities of JFK.  He attended every play and concert that was performed by JFK students and asked questions about individual staff members and students’ families, indicating his desire to continue to stay connected to JFK.  Fr. Meyer was the second pastor of Our Lady of Victory, serving from 1981-93.  The Mass of Christian Burial for Fr. Meyer is Wednesday at 10:30 a.m.  There will be no 8:00 a.m. all school Mass.  Representatives from the student body and staff will attend the Mass.  Other students, of course, are welcome to attend the Mass with their parents.

Latest Photos on Facebook

See our latest photos on our Facebook page, and “like” us there.  For positive communications about JFK or among just our community, request to join the closed group, “JFK Moms & Dads.”  You’ll find pictures from volleyball and Lego League posted by members of our community there.  Perhaps you can help one of our parents find a piano teacher as well and respond to her post.

Busy Calendar

From now until January 2nd, there will be a whirlwind of activities:  holy day and other Masses, concerts, Christmas shows, out of uniform days for specific grades and the whole school, etc.  Please see the website calendars.  There’s too many events to list them all!

Advent is also a perfect time to rededicate ourselves to weekend Mass attendance and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Please see the bulletin for Reconciliation offerings by clicking HERE or using the following url:  http://www.olvjfk.com/olv/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/11/10328054A-112617.pdf

Victory Vouchers Now Available Online

Need gift cards for the holidays?  Want to use gift cards to make your holiday purchases AND support OLV and JFK at the same time?  Want to receive credit on your tuition?  Victory Vouchers has you covered!

  • You purchase a gift card at face value from OLV, meaning there is no additional cost to you — buy a $25 gift card for $25.
  • The parish is able to purchase the cards at reduced prices yielding a donation to the parish
  • You also receive a 2% credit for the program of your choice (school tuition, youth ministry, Faith Formation fees, or the OLV Foundation)

Victory Vouchers has two convenient purchasing options:  paper orders and, now, ONLINE ordering.

Gift cards can be purchased in person in the gathering space on Sundays from 7:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. or at the parish office on week days from 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Cards are stocked for 40+ retailers, and nearly 7,000 are available online or can also be ordered in person.

To enroll in online ordering, click HERE for the Victory Voucher page on our website or stop by the Victory Voucher store that gets set up in the gathering space each Sunday.  For other questions, please contact Elaine Kopf at victoryvouchers@gmail.com

Predicting Technology Usage

Every December, we need to predict the bandwidth we will need for the following school year.  The rule of thumb is that if, after controlling for the top 5% of heaviest usage, you are averaging 75% of your bandwidth, it’s time to upgrade.  We are averaging about 83% of our bandwidth this fall semester.  At 35 Mbps, JFK has the most bandwidth of our Catholic elementary schools, but it looks like it’s time to upgrade again!

Evening School Custodian/Janitor

Please join me in wishing Alan Holland well as he returns to a position at the Arsenal.  He has been a great asset to JFK in his brief time with us.

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

Chad

 

December 3, 2017

 

Busy Calendar

From now until January 2nd, there will be a whirlwind of activities:  holy day and other Masses, concerts, Christmas shows, out of uniform days for specific grades and the whole school, etc.  Please see the website calendars.  There’s too many events to list them all!

Advent is also a perfect time to rededicate ourselves to weekend Mass attendance and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Please see the bulletin for Reconciliation offerings by clicking HERE or using the following url:  http://www.olvjfk.com/olv/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/11/10328054A-112617.pdf

Victory Vouchers Are Going Online

Need gift cards for the holidays?  Want to use gift cards to make your holiday purchases AND support OLV and JFK at the same time?  Want to receive credit on your tuition?  Victory Vouchers has you covered!

  • You purchase a gift card at face value from OLV, meaning there is no additional cost to you — buy a $25 gift card for $25.
  • The parish is able to purchase the cards at reduced prices yielding a donation to the parish
  • You also receive a 2% credit for the program of your choice (school tuition, youth ministry, Faith Formation fees, or the OLV Foundation)

Victory Vouchers has two convenient purchasing options:  paper orders and, now, ONLINE ordering.

Gift cards can be purchased in person in the gathering space on Sundays from 7:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. or at the parish office on week days from 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Cards are stocked for 40+ retailers, and nearly 7,000 are available online or can also be ordered in person.

To enroll in online ordering, click HERE for the Victory Voucher page on our website or stop by the Victory Voucher store that gets set up in the gathering space each Sunday.  For other questions, please contact Elaine Kopf at victoryvouchers@gmail.com

Ho Ho Ho!  The Santa Claus Chronicles

Ho Ho Ho!  The Santa Claus Chronicles children’s workshop and play  will be presented by Assumption students on December 9th and 10th in the AHS auditorium.  Registration begins at 9:30 a.m with the workshop for 1st – 6th graders beginning at 10:00.  The $30 registration fee includes workshops, lunch, children’s t-shirt, and admission to the play at 2:00.  The registration form was emailed two weeks ago and is available by clicking HERE.

Predicting Technology Usage

Every December, we need to predict the bandwidth we will need for the following school year.  The rule of thumb is that if, after controlling for the top 5% of heaviest usage, you are averaging 75% of your bandwidth, it’s time to upgrade.  We are averaging about 83% of our bandwidth this fall semester.  At 35 Mbps, JFK has the most bandwidth of our Catholic elementary schools, but it looks like it’s time to upgrade again!

Tuition Rate Discussions Begin

The Catholic elementary schools utilize the same tuition rates for parish member families.  Discussions regarding a tuition rate increase have begun, and our boards will be moving toward making their decisions in late December/early January.  Tuition rate increases have been averaging about 5% for the last ten years.  We are currently discussing an increase of even below 4.5% for next year.

 

Chad

 

November 26, 2017

Getting Ready for Advent

 

 

The other day I overheard someone say that she had to buy some candles for the “real” Advent wreath.  I had to chuckle as it doesn’t really seem to me to be Advent any more until we get out the “Advent wreath” made by my daughter Caitlin when she was in kindergarten at JFK.  That was thirteen years ago!

Only in a Catholic school.

 

 

 

 

Busy Calendar

From now until January 2nd, there will be a whirlwind of activities.  Please see the website calendars.  There’s too many events to list them all!

Advent is also a perfect time to rededicate ourselves to weekend Mass attendance and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Please see the bulletin for Reconciliation offerings by clicking HERE or using the following url:  http://www.olvjfk.com/olv/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2017/11/10328054A-112617.pdf

Victory Vouchers Are Going Online

Need gift cards for the holidays?  Want to use gift cards to make your holiday purchases AND support OLV and JFK at the same time?  Want to receive credit on your tuition?  Victory Vouchers has you covered!

  • You purchase a gift card at face value from OLV, meaning there is no additional cost to you — buy a $25 gift card for $25.
  • The parish is able to purchase the cards at reduced prices yielding a donation to the parish
  • You also receive a 2% credit for the program of your choice (school tuition, youth ministry, Faith Formation fees, or the OLV Foundation)

Victory Vouchers has two convenient purchasing options:  paper orders and, now, ONLINE ordering.

Gift cards can be purchased in person in the gathering space on Sundays from 7:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. or at the parish office on week days from 7:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.  Cards are stocked for 40+ retailers, and nearly 7,000 are available online or can also be ordered in person.

To enroll in online ordering, click HERE for the Victory Voucher page on our website or stop by the Victory Voucher store that gets set up in the gathering space each Sunday.  For other questions, please contact Elaine Kopf at victoryvouchers@gmail.com

JFK Spirit Night Fundraiser at Chuck E. Cheese

Our Chuck E. Cheese Family Night fundraiser is Wednesday, November 29th from 3-9 pm.  We will get back 15% of all JFK sales that night. That includes all food, merchandise and token deals with the mention of JFK.  Coupon forms (reminders) and a sticker for 10 free tokens will be coming the day of the event, and Chuck E. Cheese will be in the JFK parking lot at dismissal time that afternoon.

Ho Ho Ho!  The Santa Claus Chronicles

Ho Ho Ho!  The Santa Claus Chronicles children’s workshop and play  will be presented by Assumption students on December 9th and 10th in the AHS auditorium.  Registration begins at 9:30 a.m with the workshop for 1st – 6th graders beginning at 10:00.  The $30 registration fee includes workshops, lunch, children’s t-shirt, and admission to the play at 2:00.  The registration form was emailed two weeks ago and is available by clicking HERE.

Directory Reminder

Please remember that the JFK Home & School Directory is not to be used for solicitation purposes.

Memories in Decorations

 

After I wrote about the Advent wreath, I looked up and realized that this part of our house is all about family and memories:

  • The snow “people” were made by me dad using scrap wood.
  • The lighted glass block on the hearth was made by my sister and her husband.
  • The tree is decorated with homemade bows and wooden ornaments purchased from a church bazaar one per year per child and personalized with each child’s name.
  • Hanging above the window is one of four “swags” with an ornament for each year of our children’s lives.  The one in the picture is my oldest daughter’s — it has a Barney ornament.
  • Santa and Mrs. Claus on the right side of the mantel were made by Lynn’s grandmother.  The set on the left are an example of sets Lynn is now making for each of her siblings and nieces and nephews.
  • The sleeping Santa in the middle of the mantel is from my childhood.
  • The picture above the mantel is our newest addition.  It’s the side of a decorative Christmas bag that we put in a frame.
  • And, of course, there are six stockings with our children’s being personalized.

Don’t worry, Fr. Jake.  Another part of our house has all the religious elements, including five Nativity sets.  Two Nativity sets are from Lynn’s childhood, and one is from a dear friend of Lynn’s from when she was in Mexico.  The Nativity set that my mother made and our children played with when they were growing up is currently not set up.  It is made with plastic canvas covered in yarn, and our dogs have been chewing on things lately.  I’d hate to have to ask my mother to make a new wiseman for us (again!)

I hope your holidays are filled with pleasant memories, and you make new ones with your children this season.

Chad

 

November 19, 2017

There Is a Difference in Education

  • You know it’s a special place when siblings give each other a quick hug as they pass on the way in/out to recess.  (And, sometimes it’s the older kids that initiate it!)
  • From a JA teacher:  “I can honestly say that in the 3 plus years of volunteering in the classroom your group was the most engaged and well-behaved group that I have worked with! They were absolutely wonderful, and it was such an enjoyable experience for me.”
  • From a kindergartner on the way into the school performance of Crusader Theater:  “This is going to be BIIIG!”
  • From a 2nd grader on the way into the school performance of Crusader Theater:  “This is going to be the best one ever!”

Survey Underway

JFK conducts a detailed “school climate” survey of parents, 3rd-8th grade students, and JFK staff about every 2-3 years.  It is time for our 2017 survey.  Information is used from the survey to celebrate our successes and to allow focus on areas for growth.  The open-ended questions are particularly beneficial for these purposes.  Please complete the survey before Thanksgiving (and we get too busy with the holidays).  The link to the parent survey has been sent via email.

Home & School Meeting

One of the most exciting discussions from last week’s Home & School meeting dealt with the possibility of a plant/flower sale in the spring.  While it might start smaller this year, those present at the meeting felt it might become something big enough to replace the magazine sale!  Imagine a new fund-raiser big enough to meet all of the current obligations and do something real big in a couple of years, like replace all the wood playground equipment that is slowly being pulled out as it continues to deteriorate after more than 25 years of use.

Advent is Perfect Time to Rededicate Ourselves to Weekend Mass Attendance

Weekend Mass attendance at OLV has seemed rather low lately.  Attending Sunday/Saturday Mass is one of the precepts of the Church:

  • Attend Mass on Sundays and on holy days of obligation.  (Attending the majority of those Masses here at OLV ensures that the parish and families develop their relationship together as disciples of Christ.)
  • Confess one’s sins at least once per year.
  • Receive Holy Communion at least once per year, during the Easter season.
  • Observe the days of fast and abstinence.
  • Provide for the needs of the Church.  (This support includes the parish. The use of envelopes or electronic funds transfer should be used by OLV registered and participating members to facilitate this obligation.  If this obligation is too much of a hardship, an individualized plan for donated services/voluntarism may be agreed upon.)

Using a very generous estimate of 35-40 K-8 students at the 9:00 a.m. Mass this weekend and assuming the same numbers at the other three Masses, including the 7:00 a.m. Mass, which typically has fewer than twelve K-8 students, one could arrive at an estimate of 140-160 K-8 students at OLV this weekend.  That range would translate into about 41% – 48% of the JFK students who are OLV parishioners at Mass at OLV this weekend.

Advent, which begins December 3rd, is a perfect time to rededicate ourselves to weekend Mass attendance.

JFK Spirit Night Fundraiser at Chuck E. Cheese

Our Chuck E. Cheese Family Night fundraiser is Wednesday, November 29th from 3-9 pm.  We will get back 15% of all JFK sales that night. That includes all food, merchandise and token deals with the mention of JFK.  Coupon forms (reminders) and a sticker for 10 free tokens will be coming the day of the event, and Chuck E. Cheese will be in the JFK parking lot at dismissal time that afternoon.

Ho Ho Ho!  The Santa Claus Chronicles

Ho Ho Ho!  The Santa Claus Chronicles children’s workshop and play  will be presented by Assumption students on December 9th and 10th in the AHS auditorium.  Registration begins at 9:30 a.m with the workshop for 1st – 6th graders beginning at 10:00.  The $30 registration fee includes workshops, lunch, children’s t-shirt, and admission to the play at 2:00.  The registration form was emailed last week and is available by clicking HERE.

Directory Reminder

Please remember that the JFK Home & School Directory is not to be used for solicitation purposes.

Building Usage

The use of the school building and parish property on Sundays before 12:00 p.m. (noon) is restricted for activities of the worshipping community in sacraments, liturgies, spiritual formation programs, Church life, pastoral events, and educational activities of the Church.  The JFK building, gym, and parish center are reserved for Wednesday faith formation programming a half hour before sessions begin through a half hour after sessions conclude, unless special programming warrants otherwise.

Chad

 

November 12, 2017

There Is a Difference in Education

  • From a JA teacher:  “I can honestly say that in the 3 plus years of volunteering in the classroom your group was the most engaged and well-behaved group that I have worked with! They were absolutely wonderful, and it was such an enjoyable experience for me.”
  • From a kindergartner on the way into the school performance of Crusader Theater:  “This is going to be BIIIG!”
  • From a 2nd grader on the way into the school performance of Crusader Theater:  “This is going to be the best one ever!”
  • You know it’s a special place when siblings give each other a quick hug as they pass on the way in/out to recess.  (And, sometimes it’s the older kids that initiate it!)
Congratulations to the Ryans
Congratulations to Matt Ryan and his wife, Molly, on the birth of their daughter, Emerson Christine Ryan.

Upcoming Events

Please review the calendars on our website.  They are revised on a weekly basis, if not more often.  Below are SOME of the upcoming events:

  • Nov 13:  Skate Night.  Optional band field trip to the University of Iowa Band Extravaganza
  • Nov 16:  Home & School
  • Nov 17:  Blue Out Dress Day for JDRF
  • Nov 18:  Mock Trial
  • Nov 22-24:  Thanksgiving Break.  ECLC open on Nov 22nd.

 

 

My G.R.O.W Card

Even I can receive a G.R.O.W. card!  7W gave me a G.R.O.W. card for cleaning off the tops of lockers.  G.R.O.W. cards are part of our Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scott County Catholic Schools

Pastors, board presidents, and administrators of Scott County Catholic schools and representatives from the AHS Foundation (which also operates the financial assistance program for Scott County Catholic schools and has agreed to pay for strategic planning) met last week.  They 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 identify one or two options for the consultants.  We anticipate that the consultant will utilize several focus groups and surveys after Christmas.

Mass Attendance Seems Low Lately

Weekend Mass attendance at OLV has seemed rather low lately.  Attending Sunday/Saturday Mass is one of the precepts of the Church:

  • Attend Mass on Sundays and on holy days of obligation.  (Attending the majority of those Masses here at OLV ensures that the parish and families develop their relationship together as disciples of Christ.)
  • Confess one’s sins at least once per year.
  • Receive Holy Communion at least once per year, during the Easter season.
  • Observe the days of fast and abstinence.
  • Provide for the needs of the Church.  (This support includes the parish. The use of envelopes or electronic funds transfer should be used by OLV registered and participating members to facilitate this obligation.  If this obligation is too much of a hardship, an individualized plan for donated services/voluntarism may be agreed upon.)

Here’s a couple of interesting examples from this weekend:

  • We had nearly 100% attendance of 7th/8th graders at Crusader Theater on Thursday and Friday evenings.  After subtracting about 15% of the students who are either members of another Catholic parish or are of another religious denomination, there still should probably be about 80 or more JFK 7th/8th graders at Mass this weekend.  At the 9:00 a.m. Mass at OLV, there were probably less than ten.
  • There were about four K-2nd graders who attended the Children’s Liturgy of the Word at the 9:00 a.m. Mass.  While utilizing this opportunity is not a requirement, one might have expected more than four from a parish with approximately 140 children in the K-2 grade span, including both JFK and Faith Formation students.

I hope there were more families at the other Masses at OLV, or families were able to attend Mass at other parishes!

Building Usage

The use of the school building and parish property on Sundays before 12:00 p.m. (noon) is restricted for activities of the worshipping community in sacraments, liturgies, spiritual formation programs, Church life, pastoral events, and educational activities of the Church.  The JFK building, gym, and parish center are reserved for Wednesday faith formation programming a half hour before sessions begin through a half hour after sessions conclude, unless special programming warrants otherwise.

Chad