October 1, 2017

Text Messaging Service Needs Your Action

JFK and Faith Formation will be using SchoolMessenger for its automated email, phone, and text messaging service.

In order to receive text messages, please type “Y” or “Yes” to 67587.  You will not receive text messages if you do not take action yourself.

There is no action required to receive email or phone messages.

Special Events this Week

  • Oct 2:  World Bully Prevention Day.  Wear blue for bully prevention.  Students do need to follow the Out of Uniform guidelines in our handbook.
  • Oct 3:  Pack the Stadium Pep Rally for AHS Homecoming at 1:15
  • Oct 4:  Blessing of Animals (Real or Stuffed), 3:00, fields behind JFK
  • Oct 4:  7th Grade NET Retreat
  • Oct 5:  8th Grade NET Retreat
  • Oct 6:  Pack the Stadium at AHS Football Game

Neighboring Land Vote Cancelled

Mr. David Parochetti withdrew his request that the Davenport City Council remove the thirteen conditions from two parcels of land at the corner of Kimberly and Sturdevant that had been imposed as part of the rezoning process in 1999 when Schnucks purchased many lots in order to build a grocery store. With his withdrawal, a Taco Bell project across from the dental office is unlikely.  We hope to work with Kwik-Trip, Inc., city staff, Beattie Dentistry, and neighbors to determine the proper zoning and conditions for the land along Sturdevant that will allow development that will be an asset to the neighborhood.

Land Donated to Our Lady of Victory

Kwik-Trip, Inc. essentially donated the two parcels of land immediately south of our parking lot to OLV.  OLV now owns the brown and white houses on Division and the land to the east up to the ravine.  Kwik-Trip owns the properties along Sturdevant.

JFK’s Handbook and Policies

JFK’s parent and student handbook can be accessed on our website under the “For Parents,” and “Policies and Forms” headings and is linked here.  Please access the handbook, review it with your child(ren), print the sign-off page, and return the signed page to the school office.  By not printing hard copies for every family, we can significantly save paper.

H & S Messages

Send in your Box Tops for Education.  A fall submittal is coming up in October.

Pumpkin Run is October 20th.  It takes a lot of people all doing a little bit to make the evening successful.  Sign up to volunteer now: http://signupgenius.com/go/20f0c48abaf2da0ff2-pumpkin .  Orders for Pumpkin Run t-shirts are due by Friday, October 6th.  

Dawn Henning Assumes New Role with Tuition

We are attempting to consolidate a variety of school related financial work under one position.  Dawn Henning will now be responsible for PS and K-8 tuition and contracts and financial assistance awards, JFK registration/fees, lunch program accounting, and child care fees, responsibilities that used to be spread among at least three parish and school office staff members.  Assistance and oversight is still provided by parish and school administration, but now, if one wants to know how much is owed to OLV/JFK, Dawn should be able to give the answer.

Ladies Night

Wine, cheese, and chocolate will be served at the Ladies Night on October 5th at 6:30 p.m. in the Gathering Space Meeting Room.  Learn more about OLV’s Ladies Council and all of the various “circles'” activities.  RSVP to judyj1020@msn.com or text a message to 563-210-5154.

Youth Ministry Information

The Diocese of Davenport’s Junior High School Rally is Sunday October 15th, from 9:30 am – 5:00 pm.   Featured speakers include Mathias Michael and Bishop Zinkula.  There are breakout sessions, music, group games, lunch, and small group sessions with other teens all focused on the Mass.  Parent chaperones are needed to drive and supervise the teens once there.  If students register by Wednesday, the costs are $30 per teen and $20 per adult.  The costs after Wednesday increase $5.  Lunch is provided, and attendees should bring money as a dinner stop on the way home is a possibility.  More info here: https://www.davenportdiocese.org/jhrally

An even larger regional retreat event, Holy Fire, will take place in Chicago in October for students in grades 6-9.  There are two options for this one day event:  Friday, October 20th from 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Saturday, October 21st from 9:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  The best way to describe this event is that it’s like a one-day NCYC for middle school aged students, and we all know how powerful of a faith experience NCYC is for youth.  Diocesan and local bus coordination, chaperones, etc. are still being determined.  The cost for each bus, if the bus is full at 50 people, is $35, and, depending upon when one registers, the cost for the event is $35-45.  Buses would leave very early in the morning and arrive back home approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours after leaving the venue, depending upon the traffic.  Attendees need to bring their own lunches.  Stay tuned for more information about the logistics.  More info here:  http://www.nfcym.org/holyfirechicago
Contact Evan Brankin or Lisa Willows for more information about youth ministry events.

JFK Demographics — Record Preschool Enrollment

Late September and early October mark official enrollment count dates for the State of Iowa, National Catholic Education Association, and Diocese of Davenport.  JFK had record 3 – 5 yr old preschool this year with 102 preschoolers.  Following is some information regarding our student body:

GradeOfficial Enrollment Count 2017Official Enrollment Count 2016Official Enrollment Count 2015 – Records in Many  Categories
3 yr old PS (Total of TTh, MWF, and M-F)221820
4/5 yr old PS808080
ECLC222424
Total K-8395409418
Total PS-8497507518
This is the 3rd largest PS-8 enrollment in the history of JFK with record PS enrollment
Waiting lists4/5 yr PS, 4 yr olds to be in ECLC4/5 yr PS, 4 yr olds to be in ECLC.

 

ECLC, 3 yr PS, 4/5 yr PS, K, 6th
Free/reduced lunches, K-812.1%14.2%15.5%
Transportation services, registered40.5%43.3%44%
PS – 8 Enrollment by Ethnicity, Percent Hispanic16.4%16%18%
PS – 8 Enrollment by Race:
·       Native American0%0.2%0.2%
·       Asian1.9%2%1.4%
·       Black1.9%2%1.7%
·       Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander0%0%0%
·       White91.3%91.9%93.6%
·       Two or More Races4.8%3.9%3.1%
K-8 Enrollment Percent Catholic88%88%87%
PS Enrollment Percent Catholic55%57%61%
English Language Learners0.8%0.2%
IEPs1.5%1.5%
504 Plans for Students with a Documented Condition that Affects a Major Life Activity4.6%3.7%

Chad

September 24, 2017

Here We Go! Major Facilities Projects

This year’s theme is Leading the Way, but last year’s theme was “Here We Go!”  Last year and now into this year, we accomplished more than $500,000 in facility improvements at OLV and JFK.  These were funded through a variety of sources, but the biggest source was through the insurance claim for the hail damage to the church, rectory, school, and other building roofs.

  • Replaced multiple buildings’ roofs
  • Rebuilt the stained glass window frames (paid for with the Save Our Windows campaign)
  • Replaced the chiller section of the church air conditioning system
  • Replaced the JFK boiler, wall units along north walls of 1963 section, classroom controls in 1963 section
  • Upgraded security features near church entrances
  • Acquired the brown house on Division Street to provide an even greater buffer from the intersection

In addition to these projects, Kwik-Trip (parent company of Kwik-Star) just donated two parcels of land just to the south of our parking lot and directly behind the brown and white houses, which we already own, to OLV.  We now own everything from the ravine by the dumpster to the back of Kwik-Star and over to Division.  Kwik-Trip still owns the properties between the ball field and Kimberly.

A major facility review of the OLV/JFK campus is underway.  We are trying to estimate life expectancies and costs of all major elements of the campus to better plan for the future.

Text Messaging Service Needs Your Action

JFK and Faith Formation will be using SchoolMessenger for its automated email, phone, and text messaging service.

In order to receive text messages, please type “Y” or “Yes” to 67587.  You will not receive text messages if you do not take action yourself.

There is no action required to receive email or phone messages.

Neighboring Land Vote This Week

At 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday at City Hall, the Davenport City Council will vote on a request to have the thirteen conditions removed from two parcels of land at the corner of Kimberly and Sturdevant that had been imposed as part of the rezoning process in 1999 when Schnucks purchased many lots in order to build a grocery store.  As we all can see, after Schnucks purchased land to the south of OLV/JFK, had it rezoned, and tore down 5-6 homes, the grocery store project never materialized.  Mr. David Parochetti is requesting that the conditions imposed upon the land to safeguard the neighborhood be removed so he can build a Taco Bell across from the dental office.

Last week’s public hearing was very lengthy, and I spoke on behalf of OLV and JFK.  We are opposed to the conditions being dismissed without discussion and new long-range planning.  While it may make sense to remove a few of the conditions , even conditions that we were involved in negotiating back in 1999, since Schnucks has sold the land to Kwik-Star and the parcels of land that could now be developed are now only along Sturdevant, other conditions should not be removed.  We are opposed to the removal of conditions that, for example, were intended to ease traffic congestion and maintain the safety along Sturdevant Street and by the school.

We firmly believe that all of the conditions and a new plan for the land to the south of us need to be discussed, and we hope we can, again, be part of that discussion just like we were in 1999.  This discussion, in fact, is one of city staff’s recommendations, “…to revisit the need for the extent of commercial zoning in the area.”  However, the immediate case before City Council is for the complete removal of the thirteen conditions.

All are invited to what will be a shorter meeting this Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall.  The more people at City Hall, the more City Council will be obliged to stop and think things through.

JFK’s Handbook and Policies

JFK’s parent and student handbook can be accessed on our website under the “For Parents,” and “Policies and Forms” headings and is linked here.  Please access the handbook, review it with your child(ren), print the sign-off page, and return the signed page to the school office.  By not printing hard copies for every family, we can significantly save paper.

Lunch Program Costs and NSLP Applications

JFK participates in the National School Lunch Program.  As such ALL lunches are partially subsidized by the federal and state governments.  By our understanding of the formulas, we actually should be charging at least $2.86 per student meal, but we can only raise the price $0.10 per year.  If you would like to apply for further government help with hot lunches, please complete an NSLP application for free/reduced lunches.  New applications must be filed each year and were sent home to every K-8 family.  Please contact us if you would like another application.  The 30 day grace period of eligibility from one school year to the next will expire in a couple of weeks.

“It is the policy of JFK not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or religion in its programs, activities, or employment practices as required by the Iowa Code section 216.7 and 216.9.  If you have questions or grievances related to compliance with this policy by (name of CNP Provider), please contact the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, Grimes State Office Building, 400 E. 14th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319-1004;  phone number 515-281-4121, 800-457-4416;  web site:  http://www.state.ia.us/government/crc/index.html.”

Extra-Curricular Activities

We are most grateful to JFK parents and our other adult volunteers for leading our extra-curricular activities.   Girl Scouts has their registration on Monday night, Lego League has begun, and Creative Crusaders has dates on the calendar.  If you would like to help with these or any other extra-curricular activity, please contact the school office so we can relay your contact information.  If you are interested in starting another extra-curricular activity at JFK, please let me know.

OLV Foundation

The OLV Foundation has begun its legacy campaign to reach an endowment of $1,000,000 by 2020.  Currently, the Foundation has an endowment of just over $560,000, and investment earnings of $26,000 were distributed to the church and school this summer.  Be a part of the legacy by joining the 300 club ($300 per year for 7 years), giving in honor of one of our past pastors, or making a one time donation.  More information about the OLV Foundation can be found here.

Mid-Quarter Reports Home Mid-Week

The end of the first mid-quarter was Friday.  We usually give the teachers about 2-3 working days to make sure they have everything organized, and then mid-quarter reports are distributed to all families.  Look for the mid-quarter reports near the middle of this week.

Youth Ministry Information

The Diocese of Davenport’s Junior High School Rally is Sunday October 15th, from 9:30 am – 5:00 pm.   Featured speakers include Mathias Michael and Bishop Zinkula.  There are breakout sessions, music, group games, lunch, and small group sessions with other teens all focused on the Mass.  Parent chaperones are needed to drive and supervise the teens once there.  If students register by Wednesday, the costs are $30 per teen and $20 per adult.  The costs after Wednesday increase $5.  Lunch is provided, and attendees should bring money as a dinner stop on the way home is a possibility.  More info here: https://www.davenportdiocese.org/jhrally

An even larger regional retreat event, Holy Fire, will take place in Chicago in October for students in grades 6-9.  There are two options for this one day event:  Friday, October 20th from 8:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Saturday, October 21st from 9:15 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  The best way to describe this event is that it’s like a one-day NCYC for middle school aged students, and we all know how powerful of a faith experience NCYC is for youth.  Diocesan and local bus coordination, chaperones, etc. are still being determined.  The cost for each bus, if the bus is full at 50 people, is $35, and, depending upon when one registers, the cost for the event is $35-45.  Buses would leave very early in the morning and arrive back home approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours after leaving the venue, depending upon the traffic.  Attendees need to bring their own lunches.  Stay tuned for more information about the logistics.  More info here:  http://www.nfcym.org/holyfirechicago
Speaking of NCYC, have you reserved a place at this Friday’s Trivia Night at the Knights of Columbus?  Cost is $10 per person.
Contact Evan Brankin or Lisa Willows for more information about youth ministry events.

Chad

September 17, 2017

Here We Go! Was No Joke

This year’s theme is Leading the Way, but last year’s theme was “Here We Go!”  Last year, we developed new mission and vision statements for both the church and the school:

OLV Mission statement:  Our Lady of Victory is a community that lives and shares the preaching, teaching, and healing of Christ.

OLV Vision statement:  To become the most vibrant and welcoming faith community in the diocese.

JFK Mission statement:  John F. Kennedy Catholic School is the preschool-8th grade school of Our Lady of Victory Catholic Parish.  Our mission is teaching children to become disciples of Christ by living Gospel values, nurturing gifts and talents, and pursuing academic excellence.

JFK Vision statement:  Leading the way in Catholic school education.

Next week, we’ll review the major facilities projects that we’ve accomplished in the last year.  It was a whirlwind of activity!

Text Messaging Service Needs Your Action

JFK and Faith Formation will be using SchoolMessenger for its automated email, phone, and text messaging service.

In order to receive text messages, please type “Y” or “Yes” to 67587.  You will not receive text messages if you do not take action yourself.

There is no action required to receive email or phone messages.

Public Hearing Before the City Council Regarding Neighboring Land

At 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday at City Hall, there will be a public hearing regarding two parcels of land on the northwest corner of Sturdevant and Kimberly (across from the dental office).  Mr. David Parochetti is petitioning the City Council to remove thirteen conditions that were imposed on the land as part of the rezoning process when Schnucks purchased everything south of OLV property except the Kwik-Shop, Monte’s, and the brown house on Division, which OLV now owns as well.  Removal of the conditions would allow Mr. Parochetti to more easily build a Taco Bell across from the dental office on Sturdevant.  The city’s Plan and Zoning Commission, without discussion, has forwarded its recommendation to the City Council that the conditions be removed.

Back in 1999, OLV and neighborhood representatives fought long and hard to have some of these thirteen conditions imposed on land that, at the time, was intended to be used for a Schnucks grocery store.  We are now opposed to the conditions being dismissed without discussion.  While it may make sense to remove a few of the conditions since Schnucks has sold the land to Kwik-Star and the parcels of land that could now be developed are now only along Sturdevant, conditions designed to ease traffic congestion and maintain safety along Sturdevant Street, for example, should not be removed.  We are opposed to the removal of conditions that, indeed, are still relevant and needed today.  We do, however, fully support city staff’s additional recommendation to “…revisit the need for the extent of commercial zoning in the area.”

At the public hearing at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday at City Hall, I will speak on behalf of OLV/JFK, and several other neighbors will speak as they are very concerned.  (You may have seen them taking pictures of traffic flow or counting cars last week along Sturdevant.)  All are invited to City Hall on Wednesday evening.  The more people at City Hall, the more City Council will be obliged to stop and think things through some more.

JFK’s Handbook and Policies

JFK’s parent and student handbook can be accessed on our website under the “For Parents,” and “Policies and Forms” headings and is linked here.  Please access the handbook, review it with your child(ren), print the sign-off page, and return the signed page to the school office.  By not printing hard copies for every family, we can significantly save paper.

Each year, a committee of parents, board members, and staff review about 1/3 of all of the policies., and we often look at policies of neighboring Catholic schools and sometimes the public schools as well.  There always seem to be some challenges at the beginning of a school year with the school uniform policy.  We appreciate your support and cooperation.  Even with a written dress code, people’s interpretations sometimes differ, and it’s hard enough to get 50+ staff members to agree on the interpretation, let alone 400 students and their parents.  Below are some of the usual beginning of the year challenges:

  • Short/skirt/skorts not being long enough:  No shorter than 2″ above the knee.  We are pretty liberal in where the “knee” actually is, but some skirts are still too short.
  • Uniform skirts from other vendors:  Currently, there are three approved vendors for skirts:  Religious Supply, Land’s End, and Dennis Uniform.  The latter two are linked on our website.  Please remember that just because an item is on a company’s website does not mean it meets our dress code.  As other vendors begin to carry plaid skirts and/or navy/Khaki skorts, we’ll examine them as well.
  • How many logos are allowed on a shirt?  Policy discussions for years have only dealt with one logo.  Now, we are starting to see shirts with two logos.  As long as the size requirements are met (logos must be smaller than 2″), no action has yet been taken.
  • Undershirts, if worn under a uniform shirt, must be plain white.
  • Socks are to be solid colored and logo-free.  Acceptable colors are red, navy, tan, white, and black.  “No-show” socks can also be worn and be of any color.
  • Belts are required for grades 2-8 with clothing that has belt loops.
  • Ear rings (allowed for girls) should not dangle or be hoops.
  • Shirts should be tucked in at all grade levels.

Lunch Program Costs and NSLP Applications

JFK participates in the National School Lunch Program.  As such ALL lunches are partially subsidized by the federal and state governments.  By our understanding of the formulas, we actually should be charging at least $2.86 per student meal, but we can only raise the price $0.10 per year.  If you would like to apply for further government help with hot lunches, please complete an NSLP application for free/reduced lunches.  New applications must be filed each year and were sent home to every K-8 family.  Please contact us if you would like another application.  The 30 day grace period of eligibility from one school year to the next will expire in a couple of weeks.

“It is the policy of JFK not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or religion in its programs, activities, or employment practices as required by the Iowa Code section 216.7 and 216.9.  If you have questions or grievances related to compliance with this policy by (name of CNP Provider), please contact the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, Grimes State Office Building, 400 E. 14th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319-1004;  phone number 515-281-4121, 800-457-4416;  web site:  http://www.state.ia.us/government/crc/index.html.”

Extra-Curricular Activities

Several of our non-athletic extra-curricular activities should be beginning soon.  Girl Scouts will be handing out materials this week with an informational meeting next Monday.  Mock Trial should be getting organized shortly, and new guidance for Creative Crusaders is being developed.  Within the last week, we also discussed  the possibility of a JFK running club.  We are most grateful to JFK parents and our other adult volunteers for leading these activities.  If you would like to help, please contact the school office so we can relay your contact information.  If you are interested in starting another extra-curricular activity at JFK, please let me know.

Parent Coordinator for JFK’s Participation in Parks & Rec Sports
There is need for a JFK parent to assume the role as coordinator for the various sports through the Davenport Parks & Rec department (formerly Dad’s Club). Ben Jobgen has performed this role for at least the last five years, and is stepping away. This position is helpful in maintaining JFK students on the same team for the various sports, dividing teams fairly when there are multiple teams per division, and having as many JFK parents coach the JFK students as possible. The time commitment is approximately two hours per season, with four seasons per year.  With such a minimal time commitment, it is a great way to be involved and have a big impact.  Please contact Ben Jobgen with any questions or interest (email: bmgjobu@gmail.com)

Final Connections to the Boiler Later This Week

The final pipe fittings and connections for the new school boiler will take place Friday afternoon and Saturday.  By this time next week, we should be operational with the new system!

Memorial Bench Ordered

Thanks to the generosity of many donors, the permanent memorial bench for Peg Gooder was ordered last week.  Thank you for honoring Mrs. Gooder in this manner.

OLV Foundation

The OLV Foundation has begun its legacy campaign to reach an endowment of $1,000,000 by 2020.  Currently, the Foundation has an endowment of just over $560,000, and investment earnings of $26,000 were distributed to the church and school this summer.  Be a part of the legacy by joining the 300 club ($300 per year for 7 years), giving in honor of one of our past pastors, or making a one time donation.  More information about the OLV Foundation can be found here.

Dogs on Campus

Please keep dogs in your vehicles.  Four hundred plus excited children moving about and excited dogs are not a good combination.  For the safety of our students and the dogs, please keep dogs inside vehicles.

Student Council Elections

Student Council elections were held last week, and the following upper grade students have officer positions:

  • President:  Anastasha Mealy
  • Vice-President:  Grace McCarty
  • Secretary:  Lily Heller
  • Treasurer:  Isabella Krogman

End of Mid-Quarter Friday

The end of the first mid-quarter is Friday.  We usually give the teachers about 2-3 working days to make sure they have everything organized, and then mid-quarter reports are distributed to all families.  Look for the mid-quarter reports early next week.

Chad

September 10, 2017

Here We Go! Was No Joke

This year’s theme is Leading the Way, but last year’s theme was “Here We Go!”  Below are a few reasons from a personnel perspective as to why “Here We Go!” was so accurate:

  • Fr. Jake Greiner became OLV’s 5th pastor in its 54 year history.
  • Fr. Dan Dorau joined the OLV community in June.
  • Evan Brankin completed his first year at OLV in youth ministry.
  • Dave Mattke also finished his first year as business manager at OLV.

Text Messaging Service Needs Your Action

JFK and Faith Formation will be using SchoolMessenger for its automated email, phone, and text messaging service.

In order to receive text messages, please type “Y” or “Yes” to 67587.  If you have not yet responded, you will receive a text message invitation on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m.  Reply with a “Y” or “Yes.”  You will not receive further text messages if you do not take action yourself.

There is no action required to receive email or phone messages.

School Pictures
Students can be out of uniform for school pictures:
Picture Day Monday, 9/11:  K-8 and Preschool
Picture Day Tuesday 9/12:  T/Th Preschool and anyone absent on Monday.
Retake Day : 10/5
Photos can be viewed online at www.tssorders.com  Event # 27016061
You can also try this url/link:  http://www.tssphotography.com/orgs/178961
Students may be out of uniform for school pictures.  However, they do need to follow our out of uniform dress day guidelines (Policy 541.2)
Even when there is an out of uniform dress day, certain guidelines are appropriate for a Catholic school.  These guidelines are not intended to limit the fun of theme days, but they are intended to provide a minimum standard.
Tops:  Modest tops without holes, low necklines, spaghetti straps, or visible undergarment straps.
Pants/shorts/skirts:  Lengths of shorts/skirts must meet the requirements of the above uniform policy.  Loose fitting jeans and loose fitting pants may be worn.  If wearing tightly fitted jeans/pants/leggings, one’s top (shirt, sweater, etc.) must be fingertip length or longer.
Socks must be worn unless formal attire is worn.
Footwear must be worn.
Policy Adopted:  May 7, 2013
Policy Reviewed:  May 5, 2015; April 5, 2016
Policy Revised:  June 6, 2017

JFK’s Handbook and Policies

JFK’s parent and student handbook can be accessed on our website under the “For Parents,” and “Policies and Forms” headings and is linked here.  Please access the handbook, review it with your child(ren), print the sign-off page, and return the signed page to the school office.  By not printing hard copies for every family, we can significantly save paper.

Each year, a committee of parents, board members, and staff review about 1/3 of all of the policies., and we often look at policies of neighboring Catholic schools and sometimes the public schools as well.  There always seem to be some challenges at the beginning of a school year with the school uniform policy.  We appreciate your support and cooperation.  Even with a written dress code, people’s interpretations sometimes differ, and it’s hard enough to get 50+ staff members to agree on the interpretation, let alone 400 students and their parents.  Below are some of the usual beginning of the year challenges:

  • Short/skirt/skorts not being long enough:  No shorter than 2″ above the knee.  We are pretty liberal in where the “knee” actually is, but some skirts are still too short.
  • Uniform skirts from other vendors:  Currently, there are three approved vendors for skirts:  Religious Supply, Land’s End, and Dennis Uniform.  The latter two are linked on our website.  Please remember that just because an item is on a company’s website does not mean it meets our dress code.  As other vendors begin to carry plaid skirts and/or navy/Khaki skorts, we’ll examine them as well.
  • How many logos are allowed on a shirt?  Policy discussions for years have only dealt with one logo.  Now, we are starting to see shirts with two logos.  As long as the size requirements are met (logos must be smaller than 2″), no action has yet been taken.
  • Undershirts, if worn under a uniform shirt, must be plain white.
  • Socks are to be solid colored and logo-free.  Acceptable colors are red, navy, tan, white, and black.  “No-show” socks can also be worn and be of any color.
  • Belts are required for grades 2-8 with clothing that has belt loops.
  • Ear rings (allowed for girls) should not dangle or be hoops.
  • Shirts should be tucked in at all grade levels.

Lunch Program Costs and NSLP Applications

JFK participates in the National School Lunch Program.  As such ALL lunches are partially subsidized by the federal and state governments.  By our understanding of the formulas, we actually should be charging at least $2.86 per student meal, but we can only raise the price $0.10 per year.  If you would like to apply for further government help with hot lunches, please complete an NSLP application for free/reduced lunches.  New applications must be filed each year and were sent home to every K-8 family.  Please contact us if you would like another application.  The 30 day grace period of eligibility from one school year to the next will expire in a couple of weeks.

“It is the policy of JFK not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or religion in its programs, activities, or employment practices as required by the Iowa Code section 216.7 and 216.9.  If you have questions or grievances related to compliance with this policy by (name of CNP Provider), please contact the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, Grimes State Office Building, 400 E. 14th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319-1004;  phone number 515-281-4121, 800-457-4416;  web site:  http://www.state.ia.us/government/crc/index.html.”

Extra-Curricular Activities:

Several of our non-athletic extra-curricular activities should be beginning soon.  Future Lego League and Future Lego League, Jr. flyers went home last week for students in grades 1 – 6.  (Please let us know if you need another one.)  Cub Scouts will be holding their information/registration meeting on September 5th at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria.  Mock Trial information for students in grades 6-8 should be disseminated shortly, and new guidance for Creative Crusaders is being developed.  We are most grateful to JFK parents Lori and Adam Brown, Patrick Smith, Mike Motto, Trish Rolfstad, David Stombaugh, and our other adult volunteers for leading these activities.  If you would like to help, please contact the school office so we can relay your contact information.  If you are interested in starting another extra-curricular activity at JFK, please let me know.  Please also remember to thank staff members Julie Brownell, Elisha Kubalsky, Noelle Myers, and Anna Schott who are helping with these activities this year.

School Coordinator for Davenport Parks & Rec Sports
There is need for a JFK parent to assume the role as coordinator for the various sports through the Davenport Parks & Rec department (formerly Dad’s Club). Ben Jobgen has performed this role for at least the last five years, and is stepping away. This position is helpful in maintaining JFK students on the same team for the various sports, dividing teams fairly when there are multiple teams per division, and having as many JFK parents coach the JFK students as possible. The time commitment is approximately two hours per season, with four seasons per year.  With such a minimal time commitment, it is a great way to be involved and have a big impact.  Please contact Ben Jobgen with any questions or interest (email: bmgjobu@gmail.com)
FLK Basketball
FUTURE LADY KNIGHTS (basketball)  REGISTRATIONS  are being taken now by mail, and there is a registration night on September 13, 2017, at 6:30 p.m .– 8:00 p.m .at Assumption High School for girls in 3rd through 8th grades. FLK is for girls who are interested in attending Assumption High School and who want to be part of our developmental and competitive basketball feeder program.  Registration, consent and other forms and fee information can be emailed to you or found on the  web site: http//eteamz.active.com/flk

If you have questions  call Debbie Giganti (359-3085) OR  Joe Creen (343 0781) OR  email at creenlaw@gmail.com

 

Major Summer Work on Boiler and Heating System

With all of the heating work being done this summer and our shorthand discussions about HVAC being referred to as replacing the boiler and adding air conditioning, I am almost afraid there is a misconception regarding the HVAC needs of the school.  While replacing the boiler was essential for all our needs, it did not resolve all of the potential heating issues we have.  The large pipes that circulate the hot water around the 1963 section of the building had a life expectancy of 20 – 50 years, and we are now into borrowed time.  The HVAC committee’s recommendation to meet our needs was a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) heating and air conditioning system, which operates like a heating/cooling exchanger, the boiler replacement, and mechanical ventilation.  Adding the VRF system allows us to begin cooling the building and transition away from the need for the hot water circulating pipes as they continue to wear out.  The total cost of the HVAC committee’s recommendations was about $836,000.  We have about another $664,000 to go.

It is a misconception to think that the cost effective solution to our HVAC needs now that the boiler has been replaced is to just add in window air conditioning units.  Looking out over  the next 20 years, the cost to replace the boiler and add window units and mechanical ventilation was projected to be about $425,000.  Having to replace the pipes could cost another $800,000 or more.   The total of $1.2 million is well over what the HVAC committee is recommending.  The HVAC committee’s recommendations with the VRF system are a prudent way to utilize the financial resources of the OLV/JFK community.

$100 Away from Permanent Memorial for Peg Gooder

We are only about $100 away from the funds needed to purchase a permanent memorial bench for Peg Gooder.  If you or your organization would like to make a donation for such a memorial, please send it to the school office in an envelope labeled, “Peg Gooder memorial.”  Checks can be written to Our Lady of Victory.

OLV Foundation

As was announced at Masses this weekend, the OLV Foundation has begun its legacy campaign to reach an endowment of $1,000,000 by 2020.  Currently, the Foundation has an endowment of just over $560,000, and investment earnings of $26,000 were distributed to the church and school this summer.  Be a part of the legacy by joining the 300 club ($300 per year for 7 years), giving in honor of one of our past pastors, or making a one time donation.  More information about the OLV Foundation can be found here.

Dogs on Campus

Please keep dogs in your vehicles.  Four hundred plus excited children moving about and excited dogs are not a good combination.  For the safety of our students and the dogs, please keep dogs inside vehicles.

Parish Picnic

Please see the separate flyer for this coming Saturday’s parish picnic.  It looks like it will be a lot of fun for people of all ages!

Chad

 

September 3, 2017

Leading the Way

This year’s theme is Leading the Way.  Stay tuned to future Principal’s Posts to see how JFK is Leading the Way, and why last year’s theme, “Here We Go!” was so accurate.

Examples Showing that There Is a Difference in Education

  • At a school where a former JFK student currently attends (the family has moved), the teacher was explaining a classmate’s illness to the students.  When another student asked, “How can we help her?” the former JFK student responded, “At my former school [JFK], we would pray for her!”​
  • A JFK graduate was so excited to receive an A on her first high school Spanish quiz that she wanted to call her former JFK teacher [Mrs. Woerdehoff}] to share the good news.

Text Messaging Service Needs Your Action

JFK and Faith Formation will be using SchoolMessenger for its automated email, phone, and text messaging service.

In order to receive text messages, please type “Y” or “Yes” to 67587.  If you have not yet responded, you will receive a text message invitation on Wednesday at 5:00 p.m.  Reply with a “Y” or “Yes.”  You will not receive further text messages if you do not take action yourself.

There is no action required to receive email or phone messages.

Principal’s Post and Facebook

The Principal’s Post is written each weekend.  It is posted on our website, available off the front page, and I send a link via email.  Hard copies are also sent home in “backpack mail” with the “youngest or only child” in a family at the beginning of each week.  I use the Principal’s Post to reach the whole school community and sometimes highlight happenings in particular grades.  Please note that it does not replace the many grade level and homeroom specific communications you will receive from your children’s teachers.

We also utilize a JFK Facebook page, and there is a closed group JFK Moms & Dads, where people can post to others in the group.  JFK’s Facebook page can be accessed from the front page of our website as well.  Make sure you “like” us there!  Highlighted Events and Headlines on our website are also updated each weekend.

Nutrition Nuggets

We hope you enjoyed the first edition of Nutrition Nuggets, which was sent via email last week from Meredith Ash, our lunch program manager.  Nutrition Nuggets is a monthly newsletter highlighting nutritional, health, and physical activity information.  Such communication is part of JFK’s wellness policy.

JFK’s Handbook and Policies

JFK’s parent and student handbook can be accessed on our website under the “For Parents,” and “Policies and Forms” headings and is linked here.  Please access the handbook, review it with your child(ren), print the sign-off page, and return the signed page to the school office.  By not printing hard copies for every family, we can significantly save paper.

Each year, a committee of parents, board members, and staff review about 1/3 of all of the policies., and we often look at policies of neighboring Catholic schools and sometimes the public schools as well.  While the below does not substitute for reading the entire document, below are some highlights of changes:

  • Cell Phones and Other Electronic Devices:  While there was a lot of discussion, the actual changes were not as significant.  Students cannot use cell phones and other electronic devices from 7:30 a.m. until they leave the building, unless granted permission by a staff member.  The devices should be kept off and in students’ lockers.
  • School Uniform Policy:  Currently, the various dress code policies are reviewed every year.  There were minimal changes this year.  As a sign of the times, we added language regarding lights (and sounds) on shoes.  The issues with which we deal typically do not change from one year to another.  Please check that your child’s shorts, skirts, and skorts are of the proper length.  Ear rings should not dangle.  Belts need to be worn in grades 2-8, and shirts should always be tucked in.  If your child receives a dress code reminder or demerit, please cooperate with the JFK staff members.  Even with a written dress code, people’s interpretations sometimes differ, and it’s hard enough to get 50+ staff members to agree on the interpretation, let alone 400 students and their parents.
  • Attendance Policy:  Again, attendance generated a lot of discussion.  In the end, however, there were no changes made.  JFK’s attendance rate last year was 96.5%.  However, 2.7% of the students had a “chronic absenteeism” problem, which is defined as missing 10% or more of the school days, regardless of the reasons.  You may have seen area advertisements for students to miss no more than five days of school per year.
  • Policy for School Medication Administration:  The biggest change here is that a prescriber’s signature is needed on the form.
  • Athletic Policy:  Application of the policy to non-athletic extracurricular activities was rescinded.
  • Lunch Program Family Account Balances:  Changes were made regarding how negative balances are handled.

Lunch Program Costs and NSLP Applications

JFK participates in the National School Lunch Program.  As such ALL lunches are partially subsidized by the federal and state governments.  By our understanding of the formulas, we actually should be charging at least $2.86 per student meal, but we can only raise the price $0.10 per year.  If you would like to apply for further government help with hot lunches, please complete an NSLP application for free/reduced lunches.  New applications must be filed each year and were sent home to every K-8 family.  Please contact us if you would like another application.  The 30 day grace period of eligibility from one school year to the next will expire in a couple of weeks.

“It is the policy of JFK not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or religion in its programs, activities, or employment practices as required by the Iowa Code section 216.7 and 216.9.  If you have questions or grievances related to compliance with this policy by (name of CNP Provider), please contact the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, Grimes State Office Building, 400 E. 14th Street, Des Moines, IA 50319-1004;  phone number 515-281-4121, 800-457-4416;  web site:  http://www.state.ia.us/government/crc/index.html.”

Extra-Curricular Activities:

Several of our non-athletic extra-curricular activities should be beginning soon.  Future Lego League and Future Lego League, Jr. flyers went home last week for students in grades 1 – 6.  (Please let us know if you need another one.)  Cub Scouts will be holding their information/registration meeting on September 5th at 6:30 p.m. in the cafeteria.  Mock Trial information for students in grades 6-8 should be disseminated shortly, and new guidance for Creative Crusaders is being developed.  We are most grateful to JFK parents Lori and Adam Brown, Patrick Smith, Mike Motto, Trish Rolfstad, David Stombaugh, and our other adult volunteers for leading these activities.  If you would like to help, please contact the school office so we can relay your contact information.  If you are interested in starting another extra-curricular activity at JFK, please let me know.  Please also remember to thank staff members Julie Brownell, Elisha Kubalsky, Noelle Myers, and Anna Schott who are helping with these activities this year.

School Coordinator for Davenport Parks & Rec Sports
There is need for a JFK parent to assume the role as coordinator for the various sports through the Davenport Parks & Rec department (formerly Dad’s Club). Ben Jobgen has performed this role for at least the last five years, and is stepping away. This position is helpful in maintaining JFK students on the same team for the various sports, dividing teams fairly when there are multiple teams per division, and having as many JFK parents coach the JFK students as possible. The time commitment is approximately two hours per season, with four seasons per year.  With such a minimal time commitment, it is a great way to be involved and have a big impact.  Please contact Ben Jobgen with any questions or interest (email: bmgjobu@gmail.com)

Major Summer Work on Boiler and Heating System

Our summer heating project is winding down.  We replaced the boiler, water heater, and fan units in the cafeteria and north stairwell.  We also replaced controls in 17 classrooms and various other rooms.  Estimated originally at $172,000, we believe this project will actually cost about $134,000 after nearly $23,000 in rebates and a nearly $20,000 Scott County Regional Authority (Bettendorf riverboat) grant are applied.  Because OLV/JFK is assuming debt for this project, every bit of savings will get us that much closer to a doable timeline for air conditioning and ventilation!

With all of the heating work being done this summer and our shorthand discussions about HVAC being referred to as replacing the boiler and adding air conditioning, I am almost afraid there is a misconception regarding the HVAC needs of the school.  While replacing the boiler was essential for all our needs, it did not resolve all of the potential heating issues we have.  The large pipes that circulate the hot water around the 1963 section of the building had a life expectancy of 20 – 50 years, and we are now into borrowed time.  The HVAC committee’s recommendation to meet our needs was a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) heating and air conditioning system, which operates like a heating/cooling exchanger, the boiler replacement, and mechanical ventilation.  Adding the VRF system allows us to begin cooling the building and transition away from the need for the hot water circulating pipes as they continue to wear out.  The total cost of the HVAC committee’s recommendations was about $836,000.  We have about another $664,000 to go.

It is a misconception to think that the cost effective solution to our HVAC needs now that the boiler has been replaced is to just add in window air conditioning units.  Looking out over  the next 20 years, the cost to replace the boiler and add window units and mechanical ventilation was projected to be about $425,000.  Having to replace the pipes could cost another $800,000 or more.   The total of $1.2 million is well over what the HVAC committee is recommending.  The HVAC committee’s recommendations with the VRF system are a prudent way to utilize the financial resources of the OLV/JFK community.

$100 Away from Permanent Memorial for Peg Gooder

We are only about $100 away from the funds needed to purchase a permanent memorial bench for Peg Gooder.  If you or your organization would like to make a donation for such a memorial, please send it to the school office in an envelope labeled, “Peg Gooder memorial.”  Checks can be written to Our Lady of Victory.

Altar Server Training

Altar server training will take place in the church on September 9th from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.  This training is open to those in 4th grade and up, including adults.

 

 

Chad

 

August 28, 2017

Amazing First Week

The anticipation of the first week of school paid off!  Everyone was dressed in their school best, and it seemed as if everyone took pictures on the first day of school.  My wife and I were no exception as the kids grew up.  On the first day of school each year, we took pictures by a “welcome to school” flag at our house.  We also had pictures, either before or after school, in front of the main sign of the school.  It’s neat to look back and watch the kids grow up.  (It’s also fun now that they can tell Lynn and I the year faster/better than we can!)

I’m not sure who was really more excited to be back at school, the students or the staff members.  I saw hugs aplenty with Mrs. Motto’s kindergarten class, and Mrs. Whelchel was “catching up” with the 8th graders, whom she also taught as 7th graders.  Mrs. Bauer was dazzling staff and then students with even more technology uses.  Mrs. Tilkens cannot wait to have students try the new heart rate monitors.  Mrs. Brownell has her schedule on the back of her id badge to keep her going from 2nd – 5th grade classrooms this year.  Students in 4th grade and 7th grade were introducing themselves to their teachers and sharing with their classmates about themselves through their “five things in a bag” project.  I was able to participate in this project too with 4L and with the whole school at Mass.  In my bag, I had an old Gatorade  container that I continue to reuse as my water bottle, a granola bar to represent my eating at school being more of refueling than lunch time, a bible from my grandfather, a book (and it doesn’t matter which one as I’m always reading something), and my Marquette University watch.  Even my bag had meaning as it was a Menard’s bag.

Principal’s Post and Facebook

The Principal’s Post is written each weekend.  It is posted on our website, available off the front page, and I will send a link via email, once we have a family email group ready.  Hard copies are also sent home in “backpack mail” with the “youngest or only child” in a family at the beginning of each week.  I use the Principal’s Post to reach the whole school community and sometimes highlight happenings in particular grades.  Please note that it does not replace the many grade level and homeroom specific communications you will receive from your children’s teachers.

We also utilize a JFK Facebook page, and there is a closed group JFK Moms & Dads, where people can post to others in the group.  JFK’s Facebook page can be accessed from the front page of our website as well.  Make sure you “like” us there!  Highlighted Events and Headlines on our website are also updated each weekend.

A Bit About Me

My wife, Lynn, and I have four children.  My youngest of four children, Caitlin, just started at the University of Kansas.  Academically, she was well ahead, having earned 34 college credit hours while at Assumption.  My next daughter, Kirsten, will be a junior at St. Ambrose and is pursuing a degree in education.  Tom is in the Cedar Falls/Waterloo area where he manages two mattress stores, and Colleen, our oldest daughter, works full-time as the head cheerleading coach at the University of Dubuque.

Summers are always busy, wrapping up one school year and preparing for the next.  My mantra is that “we don’t work on Fridays during the summer.”  It should really mean that we don’t work from school on Fridays as I tend to do plenty at home, and summer really means mid-June through July.  The best parts about summer are probably that evening meetings/events slow down.  As August comes around though we start to feel the excitement of a new school year.  This year was no different.

What’s New Around the School?

As well as sparkling floors and some freshly painted walls, students may find some other new things around the school.  Using restricted funds, the cafeteria tables and most chairs have been or still will be replaced.  We are switching to folding tables with attached stools and other folding tables with wheels so we can more easily and quickly “flip” the cafeteria from one use to another with little labor.

New K-8 social studies materials should arrive this week, and we were able to replace 68 student computers, several teachers’ laptops, and our router using restricted and donated funds.  Our technology plan calls for about 50 student machines to be replaced each year, but we are also trying to replace most of our Windows 7 machines before support for them ends in two years.  Replacing batteries, interactive whiteboard projectors, and the like are other challenges each year.  Being a leader in implementing technology in schools also means we are a leader in having to replace worn equipment!

Major Summer Work on Boiler and Heating System

Our summer heating project is winding down.  We replaced the boiler, water heater, and fan units in the cafeteria and north stairwell.  We also replaced controls in 17 classrooms and various other rooms.  Budgeted at $172,000 project, we have, so far, been able to work within this amount without too many unforeseen circumstances.  Just like remodeling at home, however, you never really know what you are going to find until you start tearing into it.  The Scott County Regional Authority (Bettendorf riverboat) grant for nearly $20,000 to pay for the electronic controls, and several Mid-American rebates totaling over $20,000 will be helpful to reduce our final costs.  Every bit of savings that we have in these projects puts us that much closer to a doable timeline for air conditioning and ventilation!

With all of the heating work being done this summer and our shorthand discussions about HVAC being referred to as replacing the boiler and adding air conditioning, I am almost afraid there is a misconception regarding the HVAC needs of the school.  While replacing the boiler was essential for all our needs, it did not resolve all of the potential heating issues we have.  The large pipes that circulate the hot water around the 1963 section of the building had a life expectancy of 20 – 50 years, and we are now into borrowed time.  The HVAC committee’s recommendation to meet our needs was a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) heating and air conditioning system, which operates like a heating/cooling exchanger, the boiler replacement, and mechanical ventilation.  Adding the VRF system allows us to begin cooling the building and transition away from the need for the hot water circulating pipes as they continue to wear out.  The total cost of the HVAC committee’s recommendations is about $836,000.  We have about another $664,000 to go.

It is a misconception to think that the cost effective solution to our HVAC needs now that the boiler has been replaced is to just add in window air conditioning units.  Looking out over  the next 20 years, the cost to replace the boiler and add window units and mechanical ventilation was projected to be about $425,000.  Having to replace the pipes could cost another $800,000.   The total of $1.2 million is well over what the HVAC committee is recommending.  The HVAC committee’s recommendations with the VRF system are a prudent way to utilize the financial resources of the OLV/JFK community.

Other Construction Work this Summer

You could not miss other construction work at the church this summer.  Due to hail damage, the entire church roof was replaced, and other building roof’s will still have some work done to them.  There was also some water damage from storms while the church roof was being replaced so there is some interior work being done in a couple of locations as well.  The rusted-through stained glass window frames are being replaced, and some mortar work is being done as some bricks were discovered to be loose once the frames were removed.  Once again, it has been a busy summer on campus!

Charlie Brown Tree Taken Down

On Friday, there were three trees taken down on campus, including a small one by the soccer field.  This tree, or what was left of it, reminded me of the Christmas tree in the Charlie Brown Christmas special.

Staff Changes

Each year begins with some staff changes or changes in assignments.  Jodi Weiser assumes a 5th grade position after filling in as a long-term substitute last spring and will also be working in our CART after school tutoring program.  Noelle Myers has been added to our lunch staff, and Kerri Nykoluk is working in a part-time position split between the parish and school offices.  Dawn Henning will be assuming more of the financial work that deals with school families as we try to reduce the number of staff involved; one shouldn’t have to talk to three or four different people to find out what one owes in tuition, registration fees, child care fees, lunch program fees, etc.  Alicia Turnquist will be working often in both four year old preschool rooms.  Bea Creech will spend most of her day in Mrs. Youngerman’s first grade room, and Julie Brownell will be about the building in grades 2-5 and ECLC.  Vicki Saxton will also have some time with older students when her duties are completed in Ms. Epping’s first grade room.  Jennifer Wemhoff will be teaching a section of 8th grade religion, and Elisha Kubalsky will switch to a 6th grade religion class.  Finally, if I didn’t forget anyone, Barb Rolf, with Title I funding, will be working with a few students on their math skills.

Overall, we’re down about 1.64 FTE instructional or other aide positions.  The biggest change was in preschool where we went from two teachers and an aide in each room  to two teachers and an aide that will split her time between the two rooms.  When the state only increases its funding for education by 1% – 1.5% for several years in a row, it eventually catches up.  On the other hand, our federal Title I funds increased significantly, and we were able to increase FTE staff to work with eligible students.

John Deere Employees Can Double Their Giving

Did you know that effective 5/1/2017, all full-time & part-time employees of John Deere can now have their monetary gifts to JFK school matched 100% from as little as $50 to a maximum of $1000 annually. For more information regarding the John Deere Foundation, simply log into doublethedonation.com/matching-gifts/john-deere-company. Your link then to register your gift is powerforgood.deere.com for all guidelines, forms and corporate contact questions.

What a simple way to DOUBLE your giving and help OLV sustain a model learning & growing Catholic school!

Permanent Memorial for Peg Gooder

Several individuals and groups have inquired about installing a permanent memorial for Peg Gooder out by the playground equipment.  We are now accepting donations for a memorial bench to be purchased and installed in her memory.  If you or your organization would like to make a donation for such a memorial, please send it to the school office in an envelope labeled, “Peg Gooder memorial.”  Checks can be written to Our Lady of Victory.

 

Chad

 

 

August 24, 2017

Welcome to 2017-18

Welcome to the first Principal’s Post of the school year.  For those of you not familiar with Principal’s Posts, I write one each weekend.  They are posted on our website, available off the front page, and I will send a link, once we have a family email group ready.  Hard copies are also sent home in “backpack mail” with the “youngest or only child” in a family at the beginning of each week.  I use the Principal’s Post to reach the whole school community and sometimes highlight happenings in particular grades.  It does not replace the many communications you will receive from your children’s teachers.

We also utilize a JFK Facebook page, and there is a closed group JFK Moms & Dads, where people can post to others in the group.  JFK’s Facebook page can be accessed from the front page of our website as well.  Make sure you “like” us there!  Highlighted Events and Headlines on our website also tend to be updated each weekend.

A Bit About Me

My wife, Lynn, and I have four children.  My youngest of four children, Caitlin, just started at the University of Kansas.  Academically, she was well ahead, having earned 34 college credit hours while at Assumption.  My next daughter, Kirsten, will be a junior at St. Ambrose and is pursuing a degree in education.  Tom is in the Cedar Falls/Waterloo area where he manages two mattress stores, and Colleen, our oldest daughter, works full-time as the head cheerleading coach at the University of Dubuque.

Summers are always busy, wrapping up one school year and preparing for the next.  My mantra is that “we don’t work on Fridays during the summer.”  It should really mean that we don’t work from school on Fridays as I tend to do plenty at home, and summer really means mid-June through July.  The best parts about summer are probably that evening meetings/events slow down, and I get my evenings and weekends back.  As August comes around though we start to feel the excitement of a new school year.  This year was no different.

What’s New About School?

As well as sparkling floors and some freshly painted walls, students may find some other new things around the school.  Using restricted funds, the cafeteria tables and most chairs have been replaced.  We are switching to folding tables with attached stools and other folding tables with wheels so we can more easily and quickly “flip” the cafeteria from one use to another with little labor.

New K-8 social studies materials will arrive soon, and we were able to replace 68 student computers, several teachers’ laptops, and our router using restricted and donated funds.  Our technology plan calls for about 50 student machines to be replaced each year, but we are also trying to replace most of our Windows 7 machines before support for them ends in two years.  Replacing batteries, interactive whiteboard projectors, and the like are other challenges each year.  Being a leader in implementing technology in schools also means we are a leader in having to replace worn equipment!

Major Summer Work on Boiler and Heating System

Our summer heating project is winding down.  We replaced the boiler, water heater, and fan units in the cafeteria and north stairwell.  We also replaced controls in 17 classrooms and various other rooms.  Budgeted at $172,000 project, we have, so far, been able to work within this amount without too many unforeseen circumstances.  Just like remodeling at home, however, you never really know what you are going to find until you start tearing into it.  The Scott County Regional Authority (Bettendorf riverboat) grant for nearly $20,000 to pay for the electronic controls, and several Mid-American rebates totaling over $20,000 will be helpful to reduce our final costs.  Every bit of savings that we have in these projects puts us that much closer to a doable timeline for air conditioning and ventilation!

With all of the heating work being done this summer and our shorthand discussions about HVAC being referred to as replacing the boiler and adding air conditioning, I am almost afraid there is a misconception regarding the HVAC needs of the school.  While replacing the boiler was essential for all our needs, it did not resolve all of the potential heating issues we have.  The large pipes that circulate the hot water around the 1963 section of the building had a life expectancy of 20 – 50 years, and we are now into borrowed time.  The HVAC committee’s recommendation to meet our needs was a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) heating and air conditioning system, which operates like a heating/cooling exchanger, the boiler replacement, and mechanical ventilation.  Adding the VRF system allows us to begin cooling the building and transition away from the need for the hot water circulating pipes as they continue to wear out.  The total cost of the the HVAC committee’s recommendations is about $836,000.  We have about another $664,000 to go.

It is a misconception to think that the cost effective solution to our HVAC needs now that the boiler has been replaced is to just add in window air conditioning units.  Looking out over  the next 20 years, the cost to replace the boiler and add window units and mechanical ventilation was projected to be about $425,000.  Having to replace the pipes could cost another $800,000.   The total of $1.2 million is well over what the HVAC committee is recommending.  The HVAC committee’s recommendations with the VRF system are a prudent way to utilize the financial resources of the OLV/JFK community.

Other Construction Work this Summer

You could not miss other construction work at the church this summer.  Due to hail damage, the entire church roof was replaced, and other building roof’s will still have some work done to them.  There was also some water damage from storms while the church roof was being replaced so there is some interior work being done in a couple of locations as well.  The rusted-through stained glass window frames are being replaced, and some mortar work is being done as some bricks were discovered to be loose once the frames were removed.  Once again, it has been a busy summer on campus!

Staff Changes

Each year begins with some staff changes or changes in assignments.  Jodi Weiser assumes a 5th grade position after filling in as a long-term substitute last spring.  Noelle Myers has been added to our lunch staff, and Kerri Nykoluk is working in a part-time position split between the parish and school offices.  Dawn Henning will be assuming more of the financial work that deals with school families as we try to reduce the number of staff involved; one shouldn’t have to talk to three or four different people to find out what one owes in tuition, registration fees, child care fees, lunch program fees, etc.

John Deere Employees Can Double Their Giving

Did you know that effective 5/1/2017, all full-time & part-time employees of John Deere can now have their monetary gifts to JFK school matched 100% from as little as $50 to a maximum of $1000 annually. For more information regarding the John Deere Foundation, simply log into doublethedonation.com/matching-gifts/john-deere-company. Your link then to register your gift is powerforgood.deere.com for all guidelines, forms and corporate contact questions.

What a simple way to DOUBLE your giving and help OLV sustain a model learning & growing Catholic school!

Permanent Memorial for Peg Gooder

Several individuals and groups have inquired about installing a permanent memorial for Peg Gooder out by the playground equipment.  We are now accepting donations for a memorial bench to be purchased and installed in her memory.  If you or your organization would like to make a donation for such a memorial, please send it to the school office in an envelope labeled, “Peg Gooder memorial.”  Checks can be written to Our Lady of Victory.

 

Chad

 

 

May 29, 2017

Last Week of School

Tuesday:

  • Field Day for K-8.  Students may also be out of uniform, and most grade levels or homerooms have dress-alike themes.
  • Three year old preschoolers have their family craft event at 8:00 a.m. in the parish center.
  • Last day of four year old preschool classes.
  • Mrs. Jordan’s and Mrs. Blocker’s preschool classes will have their “graduation” and spring event at 5:45 p.m. in the parish center.
  • Mrs. Zeimet’s and Mrs. Knox’s preschool classes will have their graduation at 7:00 p.m. also in the parish center.

Wednesday:

  • Last day of K-8 school.  As in most years, we will celebrate Mass together on the last day of school, and, therefore, students need to be in uniform.  Students not in uniform will need to change or be picked up from school.
  • All school Mass, 8:00 a.m., followed by altar server recognition and a few awards/certificates for upper grade students.
  • Dismissal is at 1:00 p.m.  There is bus transportation and after school childcare available.

Thursday:

  • Teacher in-service and work day.  We would like to thank Home & School for providing us with lunch.

Friday:

  • Last day of ECLC.  We’ll miss our little ones!
  • Graduation Mass, 6:30 p.m, followed by cake, “Crusader punch,” and a slide show in the gym.

 

Summer Programming

JFK has a variety of summer programming options.  Contact the school office for registration details:

  • Leaps & Bounds:  Academically oriented program for kindergarten – 6th graders.  Useful for brushing up on one’s skills or for moving ahead even more.  Sessions I and II are now closed.  Sessions III and IV, however, are still taking enrollment.  Each session is two weeks.  Sign up for one or more sessions!  8:00 – 11:30 a.m., with drop off beginning at 7:45.  Student to adult ratio at ten to one or less.  The cost for this program works out to $5 per hour and is a bargain compared to similar summer programming sometimes run by non-certified adults at $8 – $15 per hour elsewhere.  Registration forms are available on our website under “For Parents” and “Policies and Forms” or click here.
    • Session III:  July 10 – 14 & 17 – 21
    • Session IV:  July 24 – 28 & July 31 – Aug 4
  • Vacation Bible School:  June 5-9, 8:30 – 11:30, with drop off beginning at 8:00.  Kindergarten through fourth graders will love participating in the skits, stories, singing, and crafts of VBS.
  • Kindergarten Jumpstart:  For incoming kindergartners.  August 7 -11, from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.  Discounted registration fees end soon.
  • Instrumental lessons:  For individual lessons over the summer, please contact Mr. Connors
  • One-on-one Tutoring:  One-to-one tutoring is available from three JFK teachers over the summer:  Mrs. Motto (K-2), Mrs. Logan (3-5), and Ms. Burken (K-8).  Conveniently this year, we have all grades K-8 covered by these teachers.  Please contact them at school to make personal arrangements.  The cost for one-to-one tutoring is $22 per hour or $11 per half hour.  There are plenty of flexible dates and times available.

Open Registration Continues

We are now in what might be called “open registration.”  Seats are no longer reserved for returning families and parishioners.  If you have not returned your tuition contract for next year, please do so as soon as possible.  You don’t want to be without a seat!  For questions about your tuition contract, please contact Rita Nagle in the parish office (391-4245).

Preschool and ECLC Registration Continues — Childcare Still Available

Registration for preschool and ECLC continues in the school office.  JFK has several options for three and four year olds, and there are still some childcare spots available:

  • T/Th morning 3 year olds
  • MWF morning 3 year olds
    • Both of the 3 year old programs can be combined with full day childcare.
  • M-F morning 4-5 year olds.  This program can be combined with full day childcare.
  • M-F afternoon 4-5 year olds

Register now as waiting lists have started to form.

John Deere Employees Can Double Their Giving

Did you know that effective 5/1/2017, all full-time & part-time employees of John Deere can now have their monetary gifts to JFK school matched 100% from as little as $50 to a maximum of $1000 annually. For more information regarding the John Deere Foundation, simply log into doublethedonation.com/matching-gifts/john-deere-company. Your link then to register your gift is powerforgood.deere.com for all guidelines, forms and corporate contact questions.

What a simple way to DOUBLE your giving and help OLV sustain a model learning & growing Catholic school!

New Part-Time Position

The parish and school are combining to offer a new office position beginning in June 2017.  Duties include maintaining the church and school databases, school personnel files, and calendars.  Ordering and inventorying school textbooks and supplies and assisting with registration, communications, and copying are also included.  The 20 hour per week position requires work in both the parish and school offices and includes work over the summer.  Send letter, resume, and references to chad.steimle@olvjfkmail.com, or complete an application in the school office.

Lunch Program Positions for the Fall

JFK would like to thank Heidi Wendl for her service in our lunch program.  Her dedication to JFK has helped us out many times in the kitchen and cafeteria.  We wish her the best as she leaves us at the end of this school year.

We are likely, then, looking for two paid lunch program staff members for the fall.  Hours would likely be around 8:30 – 1:30 or 2:00.  Duties might include food preparation, serving food, cleaning the kitchen and cafeteria, entering numbers on the computer as students come through the lunch line, and unloading and stocking food.  The positions have an hourly wage of about $9.80 – $12.00 per hour.  There is also a tuition reduction of almost 50% for one’s oldest JFK child’s tuition, and lunch is free.  If interested, please send a message to me at chad.steimle@olvjfkmail.com or complete an application in the school office.

Permanent Memorial for Peg Gooder

Several individuals and groups have inquired about installing a permanent memorial for Peg Gooder out by the playground equipment.  We are now accepting donations for a memorial bench to be purchased and installed in her memory.  If you or your organization would like to make a donation for such a memorial, please send it to the school office in an envelope labeled, “Peg Gooder memorial.”  Checks can be written to Our Lady of Victory.

Major Summer Work on Boiler and Heating System

With only a teaser amount of work done over spring break, we are ready to start our major summer work to replace the boiler and do some other related tasks in classrooms.  The estimated cost of this project was nearly $172,000 when approved by OLV’s Finance Council.  (We are grateful for the parish investment in its school!)  Since then, we have received a Scott County Regional Authority (Bettendorf riverboat) grant for nearly $20,000 to pay for the electronic controls in classrooms and some offices.  We will also be receiving several Mid-America rebates totaling over $15,000, if I understand all of the paperwork correctly.  Every bit of savings that we have in these projects puts us that much closer to a doable timeline for air conditioning and ventilation!

Summer Communications

With the school year winding down, this Principal’s Post will likely be the last one for several weeks.  Facebook communications, however, will increase so make sure to “like” us there!

Caitlin Steimle:  Growth Mindset in Action

It is once again, the last Principal’s Post of a school year.  The end of this one has a little something special for me.  Three prior times, I have written about my older children as they each graduated from high school.  Each post had a theme.  For Colleen, the theme was the “benefits of Assumption High School.”  For Tom, it was “how fast they grow up.”  For Kirsten, it was “because someone cared for my daughter.”  I continue to be proud of my oldest three children.  Colleen has degrees from Ashford University and the University of Dubuque.  She works full time for the University of Dubuque as the head cheerleading coach.  I can’t imagine anyone else more deserving of such a role.  When you and I might be watching TV for the evening, Colleen’s on the Internet studying competitive cheerleading routines.  It is amazing what she has done coaching both high school and college teams at such a young age herself.  Tom continues to use his public speaking skills as he manages a regional market for Midwest Mattress stores.  Time and time again, his stores meet and exceed targets, and his sales techniques are included in the training processes for the company.  He has a keen sense of financial acumen, is a gifted negotiator, and could probably sell sand to someone living in a desert.  Kirsten is going to be a junior at St. Ambrose and is on her way to majoring in education.  Her story is still developing, but her love of children continues to do her well.

This weekend was time to reflect upon my youngest daughter, Caitlin.  No theme comes to mind faster than “growth mindset in action.”  Caitlin grew up with me for nine years at JFK before I handed her off to my wife, Lynn, who works at Assumption.  Caitlin spent every afternoon at JFK in “aftercare,” usually until 5:30 or later, even when she was in 7th and 8th grades.  She learned to play many types of games and grew to be a shrewd player of family card games.  Even just this year, we played our family’s version of war, which includes multiplication, addition, and subtraction using both positive and negative numbers.

I’ve enjoyed doing all sorts of activities with Caitlin.  I took Caitlin and/or Kirsten to the grocery store every week, where they learned their directions as I stated “to the left” or “to the right” at the end of each aisle.  Caitlin learned at an early age how to determine if two 12-can cases of pop were cheaper during any given weekend than one 24-can case, and she learned how to spend her own money earned from the nickel can deposit return.  She learned that heavy items go at the bottom of the bag, and cold items should all stay together.  When she would come close to making a mistake, I’d jokingly threaten to send her back to “shopping school.”

On the occasional weekend, Caitlin would convince me to rent a movie billed as a “comedy” only to see, I swear, if Dad would really shed a tear at the end.  In elementary school, we prepared for the musical event of the year, High School Musical II to be on TV, and we went golfing at an early age, which was often highlighted by Caitlin being able to drive the golf cart when no one else was around.

Over the years, Caitlin learned many things with their own subtle messages.  We cleaned school restrooms, for example, because teamwork is important, and no job is beneath anyone.  I taught her how to use a hammer and some basic power tools so no one would ever be able to tell her that she couldn’t do something.  I made ponytails (although I’m not sure my “pull it back until it hurts” method was the best) and took her clothes shopping to illustrate that “real” men can do anything too and perhaps help provide an image for the well-roundedness she should seek in a future husband.  I made her speak for herself so she would never be afraid or intimated to talk with others.  I always say “love you” as the last words out the door or to bed because, regardless of what else may be happening, there is nothing more important than love.

Sometimes our learning took a little longer, and we made mistakes along the way, like the time I taught her how to ride a bike and, apparently, did not do a good job showing her how to brake.  The first time I let go and she picked up speed going down a slight hill, she threw her legs wide off the pedals and slammed right into a neighbor’s garage.  (Yes, we have it on video!)  She didn’t let that stop her, however.  She was soon back on her bike and was riding right alongside the older kids.

Caitlin’s development of the growth mindset has been amazing to watch.  When she was in in second grade, she couldn’t wait to be in third and fourth grades so she could have a speaking part in the Christmas and spring shows at school.  When she was in 5th grade, she set her sights on advancing in civic oration to the parish center round of competition and beyond.  In middle school and high school Mock Trial, she pushed herself and her teammates along to make it to “state.”  In high school speech, she qualified for “nats” (nationals) three years in a row and will be traveling to Birmingham, AL, this year.  Over the weekend, she almost had to miss her own high school graduation party as she qualified for the state golf tournament after having only played golf seriously for three years.  She exerted great effort year after year in the academic areas as well and identified the resources and help that she needed to achieve a 4.0 GPA.  She even took the ACT five times, improving each time by one point.

Even her college choice has illustrated Caitlin’s growth mindset.  With a long-term goal of being a lawyer, Caitlin soon realized that many things related to college come back to the basic notion that just because one wants something doesn’t mean one can afford it.  She worked with me to reduce her list of college options to schools at which she could earn her law degree in six years rather than seven.  She applied and was accepted into not only her first choice of schools, the University of Kansas, but also to its six year law program.  When her university funded scholarship wasn’t at the top tier, she appealed and was moved into the highest level.  She explored transportation options and found that Amtrak runs from Galesburg, IL, to Lawrence, KS.  Still, all the costs associated with out-of-state tuition at Kansas were daunting, and when we examined the details again in March, her situation was still heart-breakingly frustrating. Caitlin didn’t give up, however, even in light of my wife’s and my recommendation to go to the University of Iowa.  She applied for special student housing where students do the cleaning and cooking for a reduced housing rate and was accepted.  She received a nanny job for the summer and will work with the kids during the day and at the golf course on evenings and weekends.  She applied for scholarship after scholarship, never knowing if she’d ever get enough to be able to afford to go to Kansas.  Finally, and only last Sunday, one week before high school graduation, she received the last $200 scholarship that put her at the bare minimum she needed.  Watching her growth mindset in relation to her college choice has been impressive, and I must now bring myself to the only thing left to say to her regarding college, “Rock chalk Jayhawk.”

I am proud of all of my children, and, today, I must say, publicly, I am very proud of you, Caitlin.  I pray for your continued blessings.  Love you.

Dad

 

May 21, 2017

Summer Programming

JFK has a variety of summer programming options.  Contact the school office for registration details:

  • Leaps & Bounds:  Academically oriented program for kindergarten – 6th graders.  Useful for brushing up on one’s skills or for moving ahead even more.  Sessions I and II are now closed.  Sessions III and IV, however, are still taking enrollment.  Each session is two weeks.  Sign up for one or more sessions!  8:00 – 11:30 a.m., with drop off beginning at 7:45.  Student to adult ratio at ten to one or less.  The cost for this program works out to $5 per hour and is a bargain compared to similar summer programming sometimes run by non-certified adults at $8 – $15 per hour elsewhere.  Registration forms are available on our website under “For Parents” and “Policies and Forms” or click here.
    • Session III:  July 10 – 14 & 17 – 21
    • Session IV:  July 24 – 28 & July 31 – Aug 4
  • Vacation Bible School:  June 5-9, 8:30 – 11:30, with drop off beginning at 8:00.  Kindergarten through fourth graders will love participating in the skits, stories, singing, and crafts of VBS.
  • Kindergarten Jumpstart:  For incoming kindergartners.  August 7 -11, from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.  Discounted registration fees end soon.
  • Instrumental lessons:  For individual lessons over the summer, please contact Mr. Connors
  • One-on-one Tutoring:  One-to-one tutoring from JFK teachers will be available over the summer.  Look for a flyer later this week.

Last Day of K-8 School:  May 31st

JFK’s last day of school will be Wednesday, May 31st.  Dismissal is at 1:00, and bus transportation and before/after school child care are available that day.  This move follows the DCSD’s decision to eliminate a day of school and its impact on bus transportation.

Field Day remains on the 30th, and the Graduation Mass remains on June 2nd.

Please check the website calendar and backpack mail for preschool events and other happenings at JFK in May.  It gets very busy this time of year!

Open Registration Continues

We are now in what might be called “open registration.”  Seats are no longer reserved for returning families and parishioners.  If you have not returned your tuition contract for next year, please do so as soon as possible.  You don’t want to be without a seat!  For questions about your tuition contract, please contact Rita Nagle in the parish office (391-4245).

Preschool and ECLC Registration Continues — Childcare Still Available

Registration for preschool and ECLC continues in the school office.  JFK has several options for three and four year olds, and there are still some childcare spots available:

  • T/Th morning 3 year olds
  • MWF morning 3 year olds
    • Both of the 3 year old programs can be combined with full day childcare.
  • M-F morning 4-5 year olds.  This program can be combined with full day childcare.
  • M-F afternoon 4-5 year olds

Register now as waiting lists have started to form.

John Deere Employees Can Double Their Giving

Did you know that effective 5/1/2017, all full-time & part-time employees of John Deere can now have their monetary gifts to JFK school matched 100% from as little as $50 to a maximum of $1000 annually. For more information regarding the John Deere Foundation, simply log into doublethedonation.com/matching-gifts/john-deere-company. Your link then to register your gift is powerforgood.deere.com for all guidelines, forms and corporate contact questions.

What a simple way to DOUBLE your giving and help OLV sustain a model learning & growing Catholic school!

New Part-Time Position

The parish and school are combining to offer a new office position beginning in June 2017.  Duties include maintaining the church and school databases, school personnel files, and calendars.  Ordering and inventorying school textbooks and supplies and assisting with registration, communications, and copying are also included.  The 20 hour per week position requires work in both the parish and school offices and includes work over the summer.  Send letter, resume, and references to chad.steimle@olvjfkmail.com, or complete an application in the school office.

Lunch Program Position for the Fall

We are considering an increase to our paid lunch program staff for the fall.  Hours are typically around 9:30 or 10:00 a.m. through about 1:30 p.m.  Duties might include food preparation, serving food, cleaning the kitchen and cafeteria, and stocking food.  If interested, please send a message to me at chad.steimle@olvjfkmail.com or complete an application in the school office.

Permanent Memorial for Peg Gooder

Several individuals and groups have inquired about installing a permanent memorial for Peg Gooder out by the playground equipment.  We are now accepting donations for a memorial bench to be purchased and installed in her memory.  If you or your organization would like to make a donation for such a memorial, please send it to the school office in an envelope labeled, “Peg Gooder memorial.”  Checks can be written to Our Lady of Victory.

Fidget Spinners

Fidget spinners are a viral sensation.  On one day a while back, I saw a couple and thought, “Hmm.  Those are interesting.”  The next day, it seems, they were “everywhere,” and students and staff alike were struggling to determine what was appropriate and not and how they might be utilized without actually being the distraction themselves.  In the interests of some degree of uniformity, I will put these spinners in the same category as other “fidgets.”  If parents believe their children need a fidget as an intervention for a diagnosed need, the childrens’ parents should contact Mrs. Schott so the appropriate supports can be determined.  Most likely, we’d be able to determine another type of fidget that a student could use that doesn’t have the sensationalism and distraction that fidget spinners are currently causing.  (We have a wide variety of less obtrusive tools that can be used.)  In the absence of a diagnosed need, fidget spinners will be considered toys and should be left at home.

Major Summer Work on Boiler and Heating System

With only a teaser amount of work done over spring break, we are ready to start our major summer work to replace the boiler and do some other related tasks in classrooms.  The estimated cost of this project is nearly $172,000.  We are grateful for the parish investment in its school!

On Tuesday, I’ll also find out how much we are receiving from the Scott County Regional Authority (Bettendorf riverboat).  We applied for nearly $20,000 to pay for the electronic controls.

Chad

May 14, 2017

Last Day of K-8 School:  May 31st

JFK’s last day of school will be Wednesday, May 31st.  Dismissal is at 1:00, and bus transportation and before/after school child care are available that day.  This move follows the DCSD’s decision to eliminate a day of school and its impact on bus transportation.  Thank you for responding to the poll.

Field Day remains on the 30th, and the Graduation Mass remains on June 2nd.

Please also continue to check the website calendar and backpack mail for other happenings in May.  It gets very busy this time of year!

Discounted Registration Fee Deadline Expired — Open Registration Now Begins

The deadline for discounted registration fees has passed, and we are also now in open registration.”  Seats are no longer reserved for returning families and parishioners.  If you have not returned your tuition contract for next year, please do so as soon as possible.  You don’t want to be without a seat!  For questions about your tuition contract, please contact Rita Nagle in the parish office (391-4245).

Preschool and ECLC Registration Continues — Childcare Still Available

Registration for preschool and ECLC continues in the school office.  JFK has several options for three and four year olds, and there are still some childcare spots available:

  • T/Th morning 3 year olds
  • MWF morning 3 year olds
    • Both of the 3 year old programs can be combined with full day childcare.
  • M-F morning 4-5 year olds.  This program can be combined with full day childcare.
  • M-F afternoon 4-5 year olds

Register now as waiting lists have started to form.

Summer Programming

JFK has a variety of summer programming options.  Contact the school office for registration details:

  • Leaps & Bounds:  Academically oriented program for kindergarten – 6th graders.  Useful for brushing up on one’s skills or for moving ahead even more.  There are four sessions available throughout the summer with each session being two weeks.  Sign up for one or more sessions!  8:00 – 11:30 a.m., with drop off beginning at 7:45.  Student to adult ratio at ten to one or less.  See the website calendar for the dates of each session.
  • Vacation Bible School:  June 5-9, 8:30 – 11:30, with drop off beginning at 8:00.  Kindergarten through fourth graders will love participating in the skits, stories, singing, and crafts of VBS.
  • Kindergarten Jumpstart:  For incoming kindergartners.  August 7 -11, from 8:00 – 10:00 a.m.
  • Instrumental lessons:  For individual lessons over the summer, please contact Mr. Connors
  • One-on-one Tutoring:  Tutoring from JFK teachers may be available over the summer.  We are still examining staff availability

John Deere Employees Can Double Their Giving

Did you know that effective 5/1/2017, all full-time & part-time employees of John Deere can now have their monetary gifts to JFK school matched 100% from as little as $50 to a maximum of $1000 annually. For more information regarding the John Deere Foundation, simply log into doublethedonation.com/matching-gifts/john-deere-company. Your link then to register your gift is powerforgood.deere.com for all guidelines, forms and corporate contact questions.

What a simple way to DOUBLE your giving and help OLV sustain a model learning & growing Catholic school!

New Part-Time Position

The parish and school are combining to offer a new office position beginning in June 2017.  Duties include maintaining the church and school databases, school personnel files, and calendars.  Ordering and inventorying school textbooks and supplies and assisting with registration, communications, and copying are also included.  The 20 hour per week position requires work in both the parish and school offices and includes work over the summer.  Send letter, resume, and references to chad.steimle@olvjfkmail.com, or complete an application in the school office.

Lunch Program Position for the Fall

We are considering an increase to our paid lunch program staff for the fall.  Hours are typically around 9:30 or 10:00 a.m. through about 1:30 p.m.  Duties might include food preparation, serving food, cleaning the kitchen and cafeteria, and stocking food.  If interested, please send a message to me at chad.steimle@olvjfkmail.com or complete an application in the school office.

Permanent Memorial for Peg Gooder

Several individuals and groups have inquired about installing a permanent memorial for Peg Gooder out by the playground equipment.  We are now accepting donations for a memorial bench to be purchased and installed in her memory.  If you or your organization would like to make a donation for such a memorial, please send it to the school office in an envelope labeled, “Peg Gooder memorial.”  Checks can be written to Our Lady of Victory.

Fidget Spinners

Fidget spinners are another viral sensation.  On one day a while back, I saw a couple and thought, “Hmm.  Those are interesting.”  The next day, it seems, they were “everywhere,” and students and staff alike were struggling to determine what was appropriate and not and how they might be utilized without actually being the distraction themselves.  In the interests of some degree of uniformity, I will put these spinners in the same category as other “fidgets.”  If parents believe their children need a fidget as an intervention for a diagnosed need, the childrens’ parents should contact Mrs. Schott so the appropriate supports can be determined.  Most likely, we’d be able to determine another type of fidget that a student could use that doesn’t have the sensationalism and distraction that fidget spinners are currently causing.  (We have a wide variety of less obtrusive tools that can be used.)  In the absence of a diagnosed need, fidget spinners will be considered toys and should be left at home.

Can and Should Are Not Necessarily the Same

Last Wednesday, Mrs. Kubalsky (JFK’s 6th-8th grade science teacher) and I were wrestling with the notion that just because one can do something with virtual reality doesn’t mean one should do it as we participated in a demonstration of virtual reality for supplemental science activities for grades 5-8.  There were some amazing elements to the “demo” that clearly only can be done with virtual reality, such as some of the virtual field trips.  Using virtual reality to stand in the Redwood Forest in California is a totally different experience than looking at it in a book or on a 2-D computer screen.  For these types of uses, virtual reality is the way to go!  On the other hand, using the virtual reality headset to do an online quiz/activity by staring at each item for three seconds to select it, drag it, and then staring at its “drop site” for another three seconds all while being a contortionist to be able to “see” all of the quiz items seems a little silly compared to what can be done with today’s mouse and computer that cost thousands of dollars less.  We also saw a virtual reality demo of a science activity that we actually have students do in real life.  Again, I’m not sure that just because one can do it with a virtual reality system costing thousands of dollars means one should do it that way, particularly when students can do it hands-on themselves for probably less than $100.  Let’s hope that as things continue to progress in the future with technology for education a good balance will be struck.

Chad