December 17, 2017

Last Days Before Christmas Break

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

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

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

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

Dec 21 – Jan 1:  Christmas Break

Jan 2:  Classes Resume

Advent is also a perfect time to rededicate ourselves to weekend Mass attendance and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Please see the bulletin for Reconciliation offerings by clicking HERE or using the following url:

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

Victory Vouchers Now Available Online

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

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

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

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

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

Evening School Custodian/Janitor

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

Mock Trial Individual Recognition

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

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

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

Elks Shootout

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

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

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

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

Campus Safety/Security

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

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

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

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

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

Catholic Schools Week Video Contest

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


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

Due Date:  January 11, 2018

8th Grade Volleyball

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







Bishop Zinkula Stops by JFK

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



“Hour of Code”

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




Lego League

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

 Merry Christmas to you and your family!