FAQ/Facts

What type of environment does John F. Kennedy Catholic School provide?

Our Lady of Victory parish, through John F. Kennedy Catholic School, Guardian Angel Preschool, and our daycare (Early Childhood Learning Center), provides a preschool – 8th grade Christ-centered, nurturing, caring, safe environment. Acting as an extension of the family, the staff of JFK encourages all students to realize and reach their true potential. Students are taught life skills and values, including to respect others, care for and help others, and to be accountable for their actions.

How important is religion as part of the school curriculum?

Christ is at the center of the curriculum and activities at the school. Students spend nearly three and a half hours each week engaged in faith formation activities, including weekly Masses, daily religion classes, daily prayer, and service activities. Once per month, we reach out to Ridgecrest and a grade celebrates Mass with its residents. Service activities and retreat opportunities are age appropriate and allow students to put their faith into action. In addition to classroom teachers, religious instruction is enhanced by the pastor, director of religious education, and coordinator of youth ministry.

What are the curriculum standards, and what academic resources are made available to the students?

Core Subjects:
Reading (Literature in grades 6-8)
Language Arts
Math
Science and Health
Social Studies
Religion
Additional Subjects:
Art
Music and drama
Physical education
Computers/Typing
Foreign Lang. exploratory (grades 6-8)

All students spend at least 90 minutes per day in reading/literature and language arts, even in the middle school years. JFK follows the curriculum guidelines of the Diocese of Davenport and the Iowa Core, which is based upon the national Common Core.

JFK students score 1-3 grade levels above national averages on the Iowa Assessments. Students begin writing research papers as early as the fourth grade, and all 5th-8th grade students compete in Modern Woodmen of America’s Speech Contest which requires both a research paper and a public speech. JFK graduates are regularly among the top students at Assumption, West, North, and even Central and North Scott high schools. It is a common occurrence for a JFK alum to be the valedictorian of his/her graduating high school class.

JFK students and graduates do exceptionally well in the areas of leadership, service, academics, theater, music, and athletics. High school teachers often remark that they can easily identify JFK graduates in their classes.

Tutoring and extra help is available to those students who need extra support, and special enrichment activities are available for those students excelling. One of the unique characteristics of JFK is that many activities that might be just in a Talented and Gifted program in other buildings are either required of or open to all students at JFK. Mock Trial at JFK, for example, is open to every student in grades 6-8, and it seems as if at least one of our teams advances to the state level of competition each year. We have even had a JFK student who was the national winner in the speech contest.

What are the hours of the school day and is there a before or after school program?

K-8 classes start at 7:45 a.m., and school is dismissed at 3:00 p.m. except for Wednesdays when dismissal is at 2:00 p.m. Staff supervision of the playground begins at 7:30 a.m. and concludes at 3:15 p.m. The after school extended day program is available from 3:00-5:30 p.m. except Wednesdays when it starts at 2:00. A before school care program begins at 7:00 a.m. There are additional charges for the before and after school programs.

Can my child be bused to school?

Yes. Davenport public school system will provide free transportation for children attending JFK, provided they meet distance requirements, which have typically been 1 ½ miles from JFK for students in grades K-5 and 2 miles for students in grades 6-8. Some students who do not live beyond these limits may also receive bus transportation at a fee, if allowed by the Davenport school district and bus company. Parents of students who live in school districts other than Davenport may apply for a reimbursement for transporting their own children. The bus company, Durham, can be reached at 386-1436 for more information. Bus transportation is subject to change.

How large are the classes?

Student-teacher ratio in K-8: 15.6 to 1
K-8 ratio of staff working with students: 12.3 to 1
Average class size in K-8: 22.5
Aides are in several classrooms, especially for math

Guardian Angel preschool with teacher and aide(s):
3 year old program: 24 maximum
4 year old programs: 20 maximum
Staff to student ratio: 8 to 1, or less

Do you offer sports programs?

Sports programs can begin with Dad’s Club teams in preschool and Kindergarten and continue throughout 8th grade. Dad’s Club operates fall and spring soccer, flag football, basketball, and softball programs. The Catholic League offers inter-scholastic competition for 6th-8th graders in volleyball, basketball, track, and cheerleading that is both school based and parish based. Many of our students participate in Rising Knights and Future Lady Knights programs in football, wrestling, basketball, volleyball, and golf. These programs can be excellent feeder programs to Assumption High School. JFK sponsors several intermural after school activites for students. There are also plenty of local programs for girls’ cheerleading, dance, and tumbling.

Are there fine arts and music programs at John F. Kennedy?

JFK’s music and drama programs are central to the school’s culture. Students have two music classes each week. All students participate in musical productions each year. The 7th and 8th graders have both a fall and spring theatrical and music production. Students can choose to begin instrumental music in the 5th grade where 85% or more of the students play an instrument. JFK has three bands: 5th, 6th, and 7th/8th grade. All students also have art class twice per week.

Does John F. Kennedy offer extra curricular activities or field trips?

Our school has a variety of extra curricular activities, including music, band, theater, student council, Lego League, Creative Crusaders, newspaper, science fair, mock trial, civic oration, and all levels of scouts. Our students also experience academically enriching field trips to places such as the Chicago museums, the Wapsi Nature Center, and a children’s play at St. Ambrose.

Do you have a gym and a physical education program?

Students take physical education twice per week. Physical education classes emphasize cognitive understanding and individual growth and skill development. Including recesses, K-5 students have at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day, and 6-8 students have at least 120 minutes per week. Our parish has several acres of land available for student use, and the students enjoy our extensive playground equipment, soccer fields, a softball/baseball field, and a gymnasium.

What technology resources or computer training is available to the students?

JFK has a 1:1 student to computer ratio in the 5th-8th grade and both computers and tablets in all other grades. Students regularly use computers for research, composition, practice, and presentations. Students are also taught correct keyboarding skills. The school has interactive whiteboards and LCD projectors in each classroom, and students and staff utilize Google Apps for Education. On online math program adjusts students’ supplemental lessons to students’ ability levels. A comprehensive website, a manual and automated phone/text/email system, and social media enhance communications at JFK.

What is the cost to educate my child at John F. Kennedy Catholic School?

Being a stewardship parish, Our Lady of Victory encourages everyone to be good stewards of their time, talent, and treasure. Many respond with sacrificial giving through the church envelopes and support the mission of educating our children. Families that have gone before us have paid for the school building, and our dedicated teachers view their work as a gift back to God. Many parishioners give 5 – 10% of their family income to the parish and its mission of Catholic Schools.

The actual cost to educate a PS-8 child at JFK is well over $4,500 per student, which is significantly less than needed in the Davenport public schools. The parish invests nearly $1,400 in the education of each K-8 child. Tuition, fees, fundraisers, and other sources combine for the rest. There is a registration fee of $125 per child with a family maximum of $250. Rates and fees are re-examined annually. Tuition rates:

Registered and participating members of Our Lady of Victory:

First child: $3,226 or $268.83 per month
Second child: $2,613 or $217.75 per month
Third child: $1,968 or $164.00 per month
4th and more:  $323 or $26.92 per month

Registered and participating members of another Catholic parish:

First child: $3,526 or $293.83 per month
Second child: $2,613 or $217.75 per month
Third child: $1,968 or $164.00 per month
Fourth child:  $323 or $26.92 per month

Families not registered and participating in any Catholic parish:

First child: $5,085 or $423.75 per month
Second child: $2,613 or $217.75 per month
Third child: $1,968 or $164.00 per month
Fourth child: $323 or $26.92 per month

The 10 or 12 month payment plans are the most popular options. Payments can also be made annually or semi-annually.

Are there scholarships, credits, or financial assistance?

Yes! Tuition for a child can be reduced to less than $60 per month for some families using the following options.

Family Tuition Plan: Through funds raised in the “Embracing Our Future” county-wide capital campaign and the Mississippi Valley Student Tuition Organization, more tuition assistance is available than ever before. Nearly $200,000 in financial assistance has been awarded to OLV and JFK families for use at JFK and Assumption High School. Non-parish members are also eligible for assistance, and all families are encouraged to apply.

Victory Vouchers: By using Victory Vouchers (like gift cards) at local grocery and retail stores, a family can reduce its tuition by 2% of the value of the voucher purchases thanks to the stores donating a portion of the voucher sales back to the parish. The more a family uses Victory Vouchers to make their purchases, the more a family’s tuition bill will be credited. Some families save $150 – $210 per year with Victory Vouchers.

Iowa Education Tax Credit: Families can receive a credit of up to $250 on their Iowa income taxes.

Grants and hardship assistance: No parish family will be turned away from JFK due to a lack of financial resources. Parish grants and assistance are arranged by the family with the pastor and/or parish administrator.

Scholarships: Several scholarships are available to 7th and 8th graders and students attending Assumption High School.

Can my child attend John F. Kennedy Catholic School if we are not parishioners or Catholics?

Yes, students of any religion or parish, race, ethnic background, and gender are welcome. Students of religious traditions other than Catholicism are treated as part of the family and participate in many of the religious activities. Some of our most active families are non-parishioners.

Are there preschool, kindergarten, and daycare opportunities available?

Full day kindergarten classes follow the same schedule as students in grades 1-8.

The parish sponsors Guardian Angel Preschool for 3, 4, and 5 year olds. Guardian Angel Preschool offers an academically enriching, age appropriate introduction to school with certified teachers. Two classes are available for three year olds: MWF 7:45-10:15 or TTh 7:45-10:15. Four and five year olds can meet M-F mornings from 7:45-10:45 (until 10:15 on Weds) or M-F afternoons from 12:00-3:00 (11:30-2:00 on Weds).
Wrap around childcare is available.

Rates for Preschool:

MWF 3 yr olds = $2,475
TTh 3 yr olds = $1,750
4 yr olds = Free for 10 hrs for IA four year olds (state subsidized)*
Additional Instruction Time = $190
5 yr olds = $2,795

Rates for JFK siblings are 81% of the above, and 10 month payment options are also available.

*Dependent upon renewal of state funding.

Our Early Childhood Learning Center (daycare/childcare) for 3-5 year olds also offers a full day educational and child care arrangement and is led by a teacher with an early childhood teaching license. It operates from 7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Rates for Preschool and ECLC combinations:

OLV parishioner or JFK sibling:
3 yr old: $175 for 40 weeks AND $470 per yr for PS
4 yr old: $175 for 40 weeks (PS state funded)
5 yr old: $175 for 40 weeks AND $910 per yr for PS

Non-parishioner:
3 yr old: $205 for 40 weeks AND $470 per yr for PS
4 yr old: $205 for 40 weeks (PS state funded)
5 yr old: $205 for 40 weeks AND $910 per yr for PS

 

Are there summer options?

Yes, JFK has three summer options available from which to choose:

Tutoring/Lessons: One to one tutoring and instrumental lessons are available from certified staff. The rate is $22 per hour/$11 per half hour. Flexible arrangements are made between the family and staff member.

JFK Leaps & Bounds: Staffed by certified teachers, this summer program offers several two week sessions for those who want to get ahead or get caught up on their reading and math skills. Students in grades K-6 can participate in one session, all sessions, or any combination of the sessions.

Other: Other summer programming may be available. In 2016, for example, JFK offered a Math Boot Camp for 6th-8th graders and a weeklong JumpStart kindergarten.

Is there a uniform policy?

Yes, JFK has a uniform policy that describes what is and is not acceptable attire. In general, boys and girls can wear collared polo shirts in red, navy, and white colors, and dress pants in navy and khaki colors. Girls can also wear the plaid jumpers or skirts. The detailed policy is available under “Policies and Forms” on our website.

What type of lunch program is there?

Students have the option of hot lunch that is cooked on site ($2.45 in 2016-17) or bringing their own lunches. Families can also apply for free or reduced price rates. Hot lunch menus are published monthly and available under the “Calendars” section of our website.

Are the teachers qualified?

Yes. The teachers meet Iowa state certification standards with at least BA or BS degrees in education and continue to take classes to better themselves. Many staff members are also members of Our Lady of Victory and currently have or have had their own children at JFK.

Do the teachers regularly assign homework?

Yes. The general rule of thumb is about ten minutes of homework per grade level per night. On some nights, there is more homework, and, on other nights, there is less. Special projects also require work outside of school, and reading and math outside of school are always encouraged.

What opportunities are there for parents to become involved?

The school is an integral part of the Our Lady of Victory parish. Specific school organizations include the Home and School Association, the Band Boosters, theater, and the Board of Education. There are opportunities for coaching, tutoring, leading scout groups, and assisting in the lunchroom, on field trips, during retreats, and with service activities.

The Family Tuition Plan

The Family Tuition Plan is designed to make it possible for every interested Catholic family to choose a K-12 Catholic school education regardless of financial barriers. The Plan is also available for members of other religious traditions. Parents sometimes forego a Catholic school education for their children after analyzing family budgets and fearing that tuition costs may eventually become difficult to manage. The goal of the Family Tuition Plan is to alleviate these fears by providing tuition assistance.

The Family Tuition Plan considers each family’s size and total income, weighing these factors against family tuition requirements. The plan helps both low-income and middle-income families at those times when the K-12 tuition needs are the highest. Nearly $200,000 in financial assistance has been awarded to families of children at JFK and OLV families with children at Assumption High School. It is the goal of the Family Tuition Plan to allow all families an opportunity to select Catholic schools for their children. The Family Tuition Plan provides a great opportunity for both our families and our schools!

Comments from Parents: What do you like about JFK?

“I like the fact that the school feels like one big family.”

“The staff is fantastic!”

“Challenging academics. No tolerance for bullying/negativism.”

“…[S]tudents that attend JFK come from families that care about their kids [and] support their children behaviorally and academically.”

“High academic standards, dedicated teachers & staff, family-like atmosphere, faith-filled community, safe environment.”

How to Enroll, Take a Tour, or Obtain More Information

Please call the principal, Chad Steimle, or school office staff, Angie Hillebrand and Dawn Henning, at (563) 391-3030 or the parish office at (563) 391-4245 or stop by our school office at 1627 W. 42nd Street, Davenport, Iowa any school day between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. (8:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. during the summer). You can also e-mail us at chad.steimle@olvjfkmail.com or angie.hillebrand@olvjfkmail.com.