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