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.

March 25, 2018

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 6 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.

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 First Round Finished; Round Two on Tuesday

Congratulations to the following students who have advanced to the second round of civic oration, which begins on Tuesday:

5th Grade:  Brayden C., Seamus D., Braeden M., Nora R., Elliott S., Emma V.

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

7th Grade:  Allie A., Alison B., Mary D., Luke K., Isabella K., Sophia M.

8th Grade:  Anastasha M., Brandon S., Erica S., Margaret V., JJ S., Kimberly W.

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.

Educational Savings Accounts and STOs

Educational Savings Accounts are still alive in this Iowa legislative session!  Contact your Iowa state senator or representative to let them know how important ESAs and the School Tuition Organization is to educational choices in Iowa.

“Tuition Tax Credit”

Do not forget to take advantage of the Iowa “tuition tax credit.”  For the first $1,000 spent on each dependent’s education, $250 in tax credits are available on your Iowa taxes.  No special forms are required any more.  Please remember when doing the calculations, however, that we often think of education expenses in terms of a school year while taxes are completed on a calendar year basis and split two school years.

 

JFK Strategic Plan Update

JFK’s board approved a new strategic plan last May.  You can find it by clicking HERE.  Below is an update on the progress we’ve made so far.

Faith & Family

We will partner with families to help students learn and live the Catholic faith.

  • By the end of the 2017-18 school year, we will complete the diocesan Catholic Identity rubric and disseminate the results.
    • The staff completed the rubric, which had about 50 items, and the results were shared with the board of education.
      • The areas rated the strongest were the following: (in no particular order):
        • Special days/events throughout the liturgical yr (Ex: Feast of St. Blaise, Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe)
        • Frequency of Eucharist
        • Participation of faculty/staff in Eucharistic celebration
        • Dedicated chapel/parish church with the full availability of vestments, vessels, linens, etc.
        • Mission, Vision, Philosophy statements highlight Catholic identity and mission as a ministry of the Church
        • Events promoted are consistent with Gospel and Catholic values
      • Other strongly rated areas were the following:
        • Importance given to liturgical seasons
        • Training of those helping to prepare the liturgy
        • # of offerings of Eucharistic Exposition, Adoration, and Benediction
        • Staff and students involved in liturgical ministries
        • Mary and the saints given their proper importance
        • Group prayer throughout the day. Students’ intentions encouraged
        • Quality, quantity, variety of religious art to identify as Catholic campus
        • Approved textbooks at the elementary and middle school levels
        • Well defined code of conduct for students reflecting Gospel and Catholic values and supported by admin, teachers, staff, and parents
      • Initial areas to examine included the following due to their relatively lower ratings:
        • Connection between Sunday Eucharist and school Eucharist.  Participants and families see School Eucharist as a complement not a replacement to Sunday Eucharist
        • Dedicated, more than 50% full-time equivalent campus minister position filled by a properly educated individual and supported with adequate budget, space, and time (The highest ratings on the rubric are if the school has someone in such a position)
        • The specific religious education and experience of middle school faculty teaching religion (The highest ratings on the rubric are if the school has individuals with degrees in religion or theology)
        • Service is integrated into faith and reflection; service has a strong faith component to it that distinguishes it from social service that can be done by non-religious organizations
        • Scope of service activities goes beyond school and family and into broader community
      • Other areas that may be examined due to their relatively lower ratings included the following:
        • The variety of music at Mass and its conformity to Sing to the Lord
        • Reconciliation offerings beyond Advent & Lent
        • Faith formation and training of each ministry
        • Availability and frequency of use of sacramentals
        • Knowledge of the time allotted for religion as a curricular area and its coverage of the Diocesan curriculum guide
      • Teachers brainstormed responses/ideas for each of the above items and the following items that they felt there could be some improvement in regardless of the ratings:
        • Preparation for Eucharistic celebration is done by a number of trained individuals
        • Student participation in Mass and Mass participation aids
        • Personal prayer throughout day is encouraged, and prayers are both memorized and spontaneous
        • Annual retreats for staff and students
        • Classroom physical space with “prayer corner,” liturgical season recognition, religious art, crucifix, etc.
        • Entry to school indicates a Catholic school
        • Awareness of Mission, Vision, Philosophy
        • Recognition of and participation from parents as primary catechists
        • The specific religious education and experience of elementary school faculty teaching religion (The diocese was in the process of revising its Catechetical training when a staff change has caused a delay of more than a year)
        • Involvement of parents and families
      • After generating responses/ideas for improvement for 28 areas, the areas were rated again to narrow the list in order to make a manageable plan. The following three criteria were used:
        • Importance
        • Our ability to do something about it
        • Ease of doing something about it
      • The staff will be using these ratings to pick 3-5 areas for which plans will be developed in April
    • By the end of the 2018-19 school year, we will survey our parents and conduct focus groups to determine parents’ needs in helping their children learn and live the Catholic faith.
      • The survey was conducted in the fall. (We also asked students in late winter.)  Results are still being analyzed
    • By the end of the 2019-20 school year, we will institute an OLV/JFK service day.
      • Teachers identified a common theme around which the “service day” would be organized: Community Helpers
      • Teachers identified a definition for Community Helpers
      • Teachers brainstormed activities that might be done school-wide and grade specific
      • Teachers will examine these brainstormed activities to develop an implementation plan in April to be implemented in the fall

 Gifts & Talents

We will provide students opportunities to explore and develop their gifts and talents.

  • In 2017-18, 2018-19, and 2019-20, we will implement a new extracurricular activity.
    • No new activities have yet been developed. However, Lego League and Creative Crusaders were expanded, all extracurricular activities were maintained (not always an easy feat), and we are considering a foreign language extracurricular.
  • By the end of 2017-18, we will have 8th graders annually complete a spiritual gifts and talents inventory and receive similar types of feedback from a trusted adult.
    • The spiritual gifts and talents inventory was developed using resources provided by the diocese.
    • The inventory was piloted with teachers.
    • JFK eighth graders are currently piloting the inventory aspect of this goal.  The feedback element will likely be incorporated into Confirmation preparation in 2018-19.

 Academics

We will challenge all students to achieve academic excellence.

  • By the end of the 2021-22 school year, 90% of JFK’s K-8 students will be at benchmark or be proficient as measured by screening tools or Iowa Assessments (or their equivalents) in the areas of reading, math, and science (if a science assessment is available).
    • Fall reading screening scores were the best we have had with 92% of K-6 students at benchmark
    • Fall math screening scores were also the best we have had
    • A new math screener is being considered, and we will likely transition away from i-Ready.
    • Science does not have a screener
    • Related: We added a social-emotional-behavioral screener to 7th grade to go along with 4th  We may expand the grade levels for SEB screening with a new screener next year

Resources

We will provide sufficient resources to achieve mission success.

  • By the end of the 2017-18 school year, we will complete the review of JFK’s financial viability and student market share as provided through the diocesan strategic planning process and participate in strategic planning for Scott County Catholic school education.
    • The financial viability work has been completed. (The student market share work was not done at the diocesan level)
    • Strategic planning for all of Scott County Catholic school education is slowly moving ahead:
      • The number of consultants/organizations was narrowed to three
      • References were checked for the three
      • Interview questions were developed
      • Consultant interviews will be April 12/13
    • We will annually review and revise, as needed, the JFK technology plan.
      • These actions were taken over the summer of 2017
      • The biggest revision was to determine life cycles and costs for all items that are paid for under the technology line item of the school budget. According to this analysis, about $79,000 should be spent annually on technology.  The budgeted amount has averaged about $66,000 annually.  We have benefited greatly from grants, donations, and excellent used equipment!
    • We will attract and retain top quality teachers by paying competitive wages and maintaining a positive Catholic school environment. To that end, by the 2021-22 school year, we will move JFK’s base teacher salary from at least 85% of the DCSD base salary to teachers’ total wages and benefits at certain levels being at least 85% of DCSD comparables.
      • A new method for determining teachers’ salaries was developed and will be implemented with the 2018-19 teaching contracts

March 14, 2018

“Thoughts and Prayers” Are as Necessary for Those Praying as for the Recipients

Just as many of you have probably kept your ear open to the responses to the incident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School a month ago, this situation has been at the forefront of my mind as both an educator and a parent.  Today, many high schools marked the one month anniversary with student led walkouts, 17 minutes of silence, etc.  Religious high schools, including both Assumption and Alleman, held special prayer services today.  At the elementary school level, the challenge is greater.  While we don’t want to ignore what’s going on around us, we also have to work within our environment of a building that can have three year olds through 15 year olds.  I want to commend Fr. Jake, Mrs. Furlong, and the 4th graders who added just the right amount of something extra to today’s already scheduled all school Mass.  The fourth graders had a couple of pertinent petitions, and Fr. Jake’s homily had just the right touch of passing detail such that the adults and older students knew the reference to which he referred and all of us, including the youngest in attendance, could relate to the power of God’s love and prayer.

In his homily, Fr. Jake talked about the strength of a mother’s love for her children and how God’s love was even greater.  He also talked about the power of prayer and that “thoughts and prayers” are, indeed, necessary.  Not only are thoughts and prayers necessary for those whom are in need, but they are also necessary for us.  Genuine thoughts and prayers change us too, and a strong prayer life solidifies our relationship with a loving God.  Through that loving relationship with God, we can be better persons and make a difference in the world.  (Thanks, Fr. Jake, for helping me see that genuine “thoughts and prayers” are not empty platitudes.)

Campus Safety Review:  School

The Campus Safety Review:  School has been completed and is starting to be distributed to key decision making groups for the parish and school.  The board of education received it last week, and the parish and finance councils received excerpts the week earlier.  When our last major review of campus security was done in 2013, common concerns seemed to relate to how the building could be kept secure and students could be kept safe from someone coming inside the building.  Even after having just built the 2011 office addition with safety in mind, another $80,000 or more was spent on various security upgrades ranging from exterior and classroom doors and locks to communication systems and protocols.  This year’s survey of parents and staff indicated that people were fairly comfortable with the safety of students within the building.  The most common concerns this fall were related to keeping students safe when outside the building but on campus property.  While there are numerous recommendations, the three key recommendations below encompass the concerns that were of the highest priority:

  • Separate students from the parking lot.  An asphalt/blacktop/concrete play area, for example, can be installed behind the parish center and south of the east wing of the school building.  With the correct shape that connects to the play equipment area but narrows as it approaches our “alley” type drive by the ball field, a hard surface play area can be installed that would not interfere with the ball field or the main soccer field.  By connecting it with a walk to the east doors and with access from the alley type drive for snow plowing, students would be able to play outside in the back regardless of how wet the grass is.  Students would not have to play in the parking lot for any recess.  Because this new play area would be tucked behind the school and to the south of the east wing of the school building, it would also not even be visible from the apartments.  Fencing could also be completed to wrap around all of the play areas, and completing the fencing around play areas was seen by the committee as more realistic than fencing the entire 11.5+ acre property while still trying to allow access points during the day for both school and parish activities, such as preschool and funerals.  Additional strategically placed fencing in other areas of the campus, while not limiting access, would at least direct visitors toward areas more desired by the parish and school.  Privacy screening on various fencing may be considered.

As we talk to contractors regarding prices, we are using the drawing below:

 

  • 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.  This project would cost in excess of $20,000, and we are pursing grants this spring.
  • Use something other than cones for making the “safety” area.  There are many options available that would be highly visible and even portable, if needed, yet provide for a clearer delineation of the safety area.  If using portable barriers, attaching them to one another would create a more imposing delineation.  If a vehicle were to hit a better barrier rather than the current traffic cones, the driver would be much more likely to notice it, and students and staff would at least have more time to move out of the way, if necessary.  Even portable barriers might even be able to remain in place through the work week and just come down for weekends and holy days.  Options and pricing are being explored this spring, along with how protocols for before and after school might be adjusted.

Teachers will be discussing the review document on Friday, and I’ll have other updates throughout the spring.  Work to comprehensively review church and rectory safety/security should begin soon and complement the additional entryway security that was added this fall.  (FYI – All church doors are also locked during all school Masses.)

Fifth/Sixth Grade Spring Show

Between a student fainting on the risers in the afternoon and one vomiting in the evening, our 5th/6th grade spring show sure had some added excitement.  (Everyone is fine.)  Students did an outstanding job with the show and responding to the other situations.

Plant Sale

Speaking of spring, it’s time to start planning for your flowers.  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 6 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.

How Do You Pay for it All?

Need help planning for your (and your children’s) financial future?  Home & School is sponsoring a presentation by Dan Lubenthal of Edward Jones, with special guests Dan Schimanski and Heather Egger of True Mortgage Lending on Thursday, March 15th at 6:00 p.m.  These financial experts will be on hand to discuss financial strategies and give tips on how to plan for your future, as well as for your children.   The presentation will start at 6:00 p.m. in the Parish Center.  The Home & School meeting starts at 7:00 p.m.

Kindergarten Round-Up and Tuition Contracts for 2018-19

If you missed kindergarten round-up, please contact the school office ASAP so we can get all of your children on a tuition contract for next school year.  Tuition contracts were mailed last week.  Turn them around quickly and take advantage of an early bird registration discount before spring break.

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

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.

Early Dismissal and No PM Preschool on March 16

Students are dismissed at 1:00 on Friday, March 16th.  Bus service and after school care are available.  There are no afternoon preschool classes.

 

March 11, 2018

Kindergarten Round-Up and Tuition Contracts for 2018-19

If you missed kindergarten round-up, please contact the school office ASAP so we can get all of your children on a tuition contract for next school year.  Tuition contracts were mailed last week.  Turn them around quickly and take advantage of an early bird registration discount before spring break.

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.

Educational Savings Accounts and STOs

While Iowa legislation to establish education savings accounts for K-12 educational needs seems to be an extremely long shot, attention needs to turn toward School Tuition Organization legislation.  Currently, the amount of tax credits, and, thus, tuition assistance that is available in the state is $12 million.  From this amount, more than $1 million is given in Scott County.  Increasing the maximum that the law allows us to raise would allow us to not only increase financial assistance but also expand eligibility requirements as well, and more middle class families could receive financial assistance.  Legislation currently has been introduced through the Iowa Senate’s budget bill to increase the STO cap by $1 million and expand the eligibility limit to 400% of poverty.  While these changes would be a step in the right direction, we really need the STO cap raised to $20 million or more to meet the needs once eligibility is expanded.  Contact your Iowa state senator or legislator to let them know the importance of STOs for Iowa families.

“Tuition Tax Credit”

Do not forget to take advantage of the Iowa “tuition tax credit.”  For the first $1,000 spent on each dependent’s education, $250 in tax credits are available on your Iowa taxes.  No special forms are required any more.  Please remember when doing the calculations, however, that we often think of education expenses in terms of a school year while taxes are completed on a calendar year basis and split two school years.

Fund-raising

There always seems to be some fund-raising activity going on!

  • The Jumpy Monkey Coffee sale has begun.  Please contact your favorite 8th grader, Mrs. Bauer, or Kathy Neuberger at school to purchase some. This sale not only benefits our 8th graders, but an organization that employs workers with intellectual disabilities.
  • The Penny War for Holy Childhood Association ends March 13th to give us time to take it to the bank and recognize the homeroom winners before spring break.   Last year’s shorter Penny War took us three hours at the bank!  Cancel out another homeroom’s pennies with nickels, dimes, and quarters!
  • Plant sale:  Home & School is trying a new fundraiser this spring — a plant sale!  Sales begin March 6th and run through April 6th.  Pick up will be on campus on May 3rd and 4th from 2 – 7 p.m.  People are going to buy plants in May anyway; let’s see if they’ll buy them as a fundraiser.  Information should be going home early this week.
  • Gala.  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 6 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.

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.

New Textbooks Next Year:  Science and Spanish

We have begun our research for science textbooks/materials for a county-wide Catholic school adoption.  The fact that, although the Iowa Core science standards are based on the national Next Generation Science Standards, Iowa’s standards are taught in different grade levels than the NGSS, we are running into difficulty with what’s available from publishers, and flexibility will be key for us.  We have even talked to publishers about printing our own chapters from their online versions and assembling them in binders.  On the other hand, if the publishers are intent on selling in Iowa, they ought to have better solutions themselves.

We will also be researching Spanish I textbooks/materials for adoption at JFK and replacing our use of Rosetta Stone and its supplementary hard copy materials.

Early Dismissal and No PM Preschool on March 16

Students are dismissed at 1:00 on Friday, March 16th.  Bus service and after school care are available.  There are no afternoon preschool classes.

 

March 4, 2018

Teacup or Fire Hose Christians?

Paraphrasing Fr. Dan’s weekend homily with a little poetic license, he asked us if we were teacup Christians or fire hose Christians.  Do we embrace what Christ offers to us as if we are sipping from a teacup or as if it’s drenching our whole being as from His fire hose?

Kindergarten Round-Up and Tuition Contracts for 2018-19

If you missed kindergarten round-up, please contact the school office ASAP so we can get all of your children on a tuition contract for next school year.  Tuition contracts were drafted last week, and they should be received by families via postal mail this week.  Turn them around quickly and take advantage of an early bird registration discount before spring break.

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.

Educational Savings Accounts and STOs

While Iowa legislation to establish education savings accounts for K-12 educational needs seems to be an extremely long shot, attention needs to turn toward School Tuition Organization legislation.  Currently, the amount of tax credits, and, thus, tuition assistance that is available in the state is $12 million.  From this amount, more than $1 million is given in Scott County.  Increasing the maximum that the law allows us to raise would allow us to not only increase financial assistance but also expand eligibility requirements as well, and more middle class families could receive financial assistance.  Legislation currently has been introduced through the Iowa Senate’s budget bill to increase the STO cap by $1 million and expand the eligibility limit to 400% of poverty.  While these changes would be a step in the right direction, we really need the STO cap raised to $20 million or more to meet the needs once eligibility is expanded.  Contact your Iowa state senator or legislator to let them know the importance of STOs for Iowa families.

“Tuition Tax Credit”

Do not forget to take advantage of the Iowa “tuition tax credit.”  For the first $1,000 spent on each dependent’s education, $250 in tax credits are available on your Iowa taxes.  No special forms are required any more.  Please remember when doing the calculations, however, that we often think of education expenses in terms of a school year while taxes are completed on a calendar year basis and split two school years.

AHS Musical

The Addams family’s nightmare has come true:  Wednesday Addams has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family.  And guess who’s coming to dinner?  In one fateful, hilarious night, secrets are disclosed, relationships are tested, and the Addams family must face the one horrible thing they’ve managed to avoid for generations — change.

The musical is at 7:00 p.m. on March 9th and 10th and 2:00 p.m. on March 11th.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and students.

Fund-raising

There always seems to be some fund-raising activity going on!

  • The Jumpy Monkey Coffee sale has begun.  Please contact your favorite 8th grader, Mrs. Bauer, or Kathy Neuberger at school to purchase some. This sale not only benefits our 8th graders, but an organization that employs workers with intellectual disabilities.
  • The Penny War for Holy Childhood Association begins on March 5th and runs until spring break.  Cancel out another homeroom’s pennies with nickels, dimes, and quarters!
  • Pizza Ranch for band:  Visit the Pizza Ranch in Bettendorf (880 Lincoln Road) between 5-8 p.m. on March 5th.
  • Plant sale:  Home & School is trying a new fundraiser this spring — a plant sale!  Sales begin March 6th and run through April 6th.  Pick up will be on campus on May 3rd and 4th from 2 – 7 p.m.  People are going to buy plants in May anyway; let’s see if they’ll buy them as a fundraiser.  Information should be going home early this week.
  • Gala.  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 6 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.

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 2018-19 will likely be very similar due to busing.  JFK’s board will vote on a school calendar on Tuesday.

New Textbooks Next Year:  Science and Spanish

We have begun our research for science textbooks/materials for a county-wide Catholic school adoption.  The fact that, although the Iowa Core science standards are based on the national Next Generation Science Standards, Iowa’s standards are taught in different grade levels than the NGSS, we are running into difficulty with what’s available from publishers, and flexibility will be key for us.  We have even talked to publishers about printing our own chapters from their online versions and assembling them in binders.  On the other hand, if the publishers are intent on selling in Iowa, they ought to have better solutions themselves.

We will also be researching Spanish I textbooks/materials for adoption at JFK and replacing our use of Rosetta Stone and its supplementary hard copy materials.

Career Fair

We would like to thank everyone involved in the Scott County Catholic School 8th Grade and SAU Career Fair.  After the joint use of athletic fields between Assumption and St. Ambrose, this career fair is the largest joint venture between the Catholic schools in Scott County and SAU.

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 25, 2018

Only in a Catholic School?

We had to readjust the proportion of regular milk and chocolate milk we buy for the lunch program due to the number of students who gave up chocolate for Lent.

Kindergarten Round-Up and Tuition Contracts for 2018-19

If you missed kindergarten round-up, please contact the school office ASAP so we can get all of your children on a tuition contract for next school year.  Tuition contracts should be mailed in early March.

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.

Educational Savings Accounts and STOs

While Iowa legislation to establish education savings accounts for K-12 educational needs seems to be an extremely long shot, attention needs to turn toward School Tuition Organization legislation.  Currently, the amount of tax credits, and, thus, tuition assistance that is available in the state is $12 million.  From this amount, more than $1 million is given in Scott County.  Increasing the maximum that the law allows us to raise would allow us to not only increase financial assistance but also expand eligibility requirements as well, and more middle class families could receive financial assistance.  Legislation currently has been introduced through the Iowa Senate’s budget bill to increase the STO cap by $1 million and expand the eligibility limit to 400% of poverty.  While these changes would be a step in the right direction, we really need the STO cap raised to $20 million or more to meet the needs once eligibility is expanded.  Contact your Iowa state senator or legislator to let them know the importance of STOs for Iowa families.

“Tuition Tax Credit”

Do not forget to take advantage of the Iowa “tuition tax credit.”  For the first $1,000 spent on each dependent’s education, $250 in tax credits are available on your Iowa taxes.  No special forms are required any more.  Please remember when doing the calculations, however, that we often think of education expenses in terms of a school year while taxes are completed on a calendar year basis and split two school years.

Read Across America Day

Friday is Read Across America Day.  How will your family celebrate?  (Buying a Hallmark card doesn’t count — unless you’re standing at the store and reading all of them to find the best!)

Spirit Day on Friday

Friday is also a JFK and/or AHS spirit day.  Students may wear any JFK or AHS spirit wear along with uniform pants/skirts/bottoms.

AHS Musical

The Addams family’s nightmare has come true:  Wednesday Addams has grown up and fallen in love with a sweet, smart young man from a respectable family.  And guess who’s coming to dinner?  In one fateful, hilarious night, secrets are disclosed, relationships are tested, and the Addams family must face the one horrible thing they’ve managed to avoid for generations — change.

The musical is at 7:00 p.m. on March 9th and 10th and 2:00 p.m. on March 11th.  Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors and students.

 

7th Grade is undefeated two years in a row now!

JFK Moms and Dads

Did you see the post on Feb 20th that polo shirts were selling for $1 at the Walmart on Elmore Avenue?  Request to be added to the closed group, JFK Moms and Dads, and “like” us on Facebook!

Congratulations to Mrs. Thomas

Mrs. Thomas’ baby came a few days early.  Congratulations to Mrs. Thomas and her family on the addition to their family.

 

They’re everywhere!
I was going for the Mrs. Tilkens look! What’s so scary is that we matched down to the shoes — and didn’t plan it!

 

 

 

 

February 18, 2018

Preschool and Childcare Registration for 2018-19 Has Begun

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

Kindergarten Round-Up for 2018-19 was Last Week

Kindergarten Round-Up was last week.  If you missed it, contact the school office so you can begin the registration process.  The registration process for older students will begin in early March.

Sacrament of Reconciliation

Students in grades 2-8 and staff will receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation on Tuesday.  Many thanks to the area priests who help administer this sacrament to over 300 students and staff members.

Special Dress Day

Friday, Feb 23:  Dress Like Your Favorite Teacher Fundraiser:  For a $1 or more donation to be given to the Riverbend Food Bank, students can have fun dressing like their favorite teacher.

 Educational Savings Accounts Legislation Is Pulled
Legislation to create Educational Savings Accounts in Iowa has been pulled from this year’s session.  The bill’s manager just did’t think the votes would be there to advance it.
All attention needs to turn now to expanding the School Tuition Organization legislation.  Currently, the amount of tax credits, and, thus, tuition assistance that is available in the state is $12 million.  From this amount, more than $1 million is given in Scott County.  By raising the maximum that the law allows us to raise would allow us to expand eligibility requirements as well, and more middle class families could receive financial assistance.  Please contact your state legislator and senator to tell them how important an expansion of STOs is.
“Tuition Tax Credit”
Do not forget to take advantage of the Iowa “tuition tax credit.”  For the first $1,000 spent on each dependent’s education, $250 in tax credits are available on your Iowa taxes.  No special forms are required any more.  Please remember when doing the calculations, however, that we often think of education expenses in terms of a school year while taxes are completed on a calendar year basis and split two school years.
Euchre Tournament

St. Anne’s Circle is sponsoring a Euchre tournament on March 3rd at 5:30 in the parish center.  Proceeds benefit OLV.  Entry fee is $25 per person or $50 for a team of two.  Teammates will plan together the entire night.  Single players are welcome.  Table assignments will be given the night of the event.  Heavy snacks provided, and BYOB.  For more information, please contact Loretta Reed (563-650-3040) or Helen White (563-391-3791).

Always Time for Love

After enjoying St. Valentine’s Day and being given the wonderful opportunity to be an Extraordinary Eucharistic minister and also administer ashes at our all school Mass last Wednesday, I felt kind of numb with the news on all evening watching coverage of the events in Parkland, Florida.  “Not again,” I kept thinking to myself.  As parents and educators, and no matter how hard we are on our children, there is one thing that never changes, we always love them.  No matter how rough of a morning we have had trying to get everyone out of the house, how big the “battle” is over breakfast or the last minute homework assignment that was forgotten, or how crazy the afternoon might become, there is always time to tell our children that we love them.

Chad