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  Event # 27016061
You can also try this url/link:
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:”

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:
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//

If you have questions  call Debbie Giganti (359-3085) OR  Joe Creen (343 0781) OR  email at


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!