Band Concert Was Phenomenal
I was absolutely amazed at how well the students performed in last week’s band concert. Fifth graders were actually playing real band music and that far exceeded that Camptown Races in their starter lesson books. Sixth graders, who practically missed a whole year of 5th grade band due to COVID, were even further along and must have gained two years in one! The 7/8 graders, who lost more than a year of band due to COVID and the actual closing of school in March 2020, rivaled many a high school band. Often taking notes on my concert programs, I had one word summarizing it all written this spring: wow!
Thanks to the many volunteers who work so hard to pull off the Gala each year. Those of us in the office get to hear about and see original artwork, unique class projects, creative baskets, and other live and silent auction items as they arrive. We also hear of the trials and tribulations handled by Angie Hillebrand and her crew. What will the weather be? When do you “call it” and move indoors? What do you do when a food truck pulls out? How can our campus accommodate a funeral and funeral luncheon on the same day as the Gala? There’s also a lot of non-glamorous work done before and after the Gala by people like Dianne Siefers. Do we have the right safeguards in place to handle debit/credit card payments, do we have the information needed for tax letters for donors and purchasers, etc. It takes a whole community to put on this event.
Unfortunately, I was not in attendance this year. Our daughters arrived Friday night from North Carolina, Des Moines, Kansas, and Atlanta. Other family members were in town and staying at our house for our youngest daughter’s bridal shower on Saturday afternoon and surprise 30th birthday party for my oldest daughter. There was a frenzy of activity on Saturday! Then, the sadness started to creep in on Sunday as they left one by one, leaving only one, who is leaving on Monday.
Facilities and Grounds Input Sessions
OLV will be hosting three input sessions this week for people to talk about the facilities and grounds of the campus. Due to your generosity, most of the projects of the Cultivating Our Future campaign are complete. It is, thus, time to assess and discern the next steps for the parish. This process is important for us as OLV’s participation in the diocesan capital campaign, Upon This Rock, will begin within the next year or so. Twenty percent of all funds raised at each parish for this campaign are returned back to parishes for projects of their own.
Each of OLV’s input sessions will follow a similar format. There will be a presentation on the state of our
parish facilities and finances, and then parishioners will be asked to talk about their thoughts with people at their tables, with someone being the note-taker. Finally, the session will end with some larger group discussion and questions. If you are unable to attend one of these sessions, the presentation from the sessions will be made available through the parish website, and people are welcome to submit any thoughts, questions, or concerns to Fr. Jake or any members of the parish staff. By the end of summer, it is Fr. Jake’s hope that the Parish Council, Finance Council, and other members of parish leadership will be able to identity priorities for the facilities and grounds.
In the February 27th Principal’s Post, I highlighted some of the higher priority needs for the school, which are listed again below, but the input sessions are not intended for staff feedback. The intent is to know what parish and school families desire. Let your voice be heard.
Some of the higher priority items for the school include the following, in no particular order:
- Parking lot sealing and striping and concrete work scheduled/contracted already for summer 2022
- Handicapped parking and access
- Window replacements and window screens
- Playground equipment and surfacing
- Exterior gym wall repair
- Flooring replacement cycle
- Warped doors and frames
- Unused radiator removal and wall repairs
- Southwest stair repairs
- Self-closing fire doors
- Ceiling tiles added on lower level and replaced in nearly all other areas of 1963 and 1987 parts of the building
- Additional mechanical ventilation for 2011 additions
- Storage for extra classroom furniture, etc. as needs change due to enrollment and as students physically grow over the 9-12 years they might be at JFK
The last time we did these types of full-scale input sessions regarding facilities, we eventually did the gathering space addition to the church and classroom, ECLC, and front additions to the school. We had even talked about a new parish hall, rectory, church hall/banquet room attached to the gathering space, church office, youth ministry space, and new school gym. Everything can be discussed!
Dates/times for the two remaining sessions this week are below. They will all be in the parish center.
Thursday, May 26th, 1:00PM
Thursday, May 26th, 7:00PM
5th Graders Golfing
The weather was perfect for 5th graders to go to Red Hawk and have some golf lessons last week. The golfing activity is supported by JFK’s Home & School Association.
OLV/JFK Has Bills to Pay Too
Don’t forget to finish paying your tuition and other JFK bills. We have done a good job holding expenses in line with our budget, even amidst spiraling inflation. Unfortunately, tuition and other payments owed to OLV/JFK have not been timely made. We currently have, for example, about 55 families who are behind in tuition payments and still owe us about $4,100 per family before the end of June. These outstanding bills do not include other incidentals such as aftercare, ECLC, band, lunch, lost book, etc. fees that many families still owe. Although not nearly as large as tuition payments due to OLV/JFK, these smaller fees do add up. On Monday, the parish’s finance council will hold its regular monthly meeting, and poor cash flow will surely be a topic. The board of education has also delayed its June board meeting in the hopes of having a clearer financial picture in order to make better decisions regarding staff salary payments this summer and final staffing projections for next year. Families who signed a tuition contract for one annual payment, two payments, or the ten month payment plan should be about finished with tuition payments. Please make sure your payments to JFK are current.
Tuition Contracts for 2022-23 Overdue
We are still trying to accurately project next year’s enrollment. The return of the tuition contract and the registration fee is the formal enrollment process for 2022-23. These would now be considered overdue, and we cannot guarantee a spot for your child unless we have the tuition contract and payment as soon as possible. We would hate to reduce a grade level from two sections to one only to find later on that there could have been enough students to support two sections.
Pre-school and Daycare Registration
Registration for all sections of 3 year old preschool, 4/5 year old preschool, and ECLC is underway for all families. There are a few morning and afternoon spots still left.
See the K, pre-school, daycare roundup flyer, 2022
Below are a few events highlighted from our website calendar:
- May 23: Day of Awesomeness and Out of Uniform
- May 24: 8th grade Manners Unit Lunch at Outing Club
- May 25: Crusader Theater Field Trip
- May 26: Facilities & Grounds Input Session #2 and #3
- May 27: Day of Awesomeness Rain Date. Bands to Adventureland. 3 Yr PS Conferences. 4th Grade Bowling
- May 29: AHS Graduation
- May 30: Memorial Day. No classes. ECLC closed
- May 31: 8th grade field trip. 3rd grade picnic on campus. Steamwheelers visit at lunch.
- June 2: Field Day. 3 yr old PS program. 4/5 yr old PS program
- June 3: Last day of school. 12:40 dismissal. No PS classes. ECLC open. 8th grade graduation. JFK Night at the River Bandits. Transfer of school furniture from storage to gym
- June 6: Concrete work near dumpster and northwest school entrance begins
- June 11: 60th Anniversary Bingo
- June 13-24: Leaps & Bounds Session I
- July 11: Asphalt work on parking lot begins
- July 11-15: Vacation Bible School
- July 18-29: Leaps & Bounds Session II
- July 24/25: Back to School Registration
- Aug 1-11: Leaps & Bounds Session III
- Aug 16: PS Individual Family Meetings Begin (tentative)
- Aug 18: Unpack Backpack/Meet Teacher (tentative)
- Aug 22: ECLC Begins
- Aug 23: PS-8 Classes Begin
Keep Your Eye on the Calendar and for Communications from Teachers
May keeps getting more and more crowded with activities. Keep your eye on the detailed school calendar on our website and be aware of individual teacher’s/grade’s communications that will highlight their specific events. If your calendar looks anything like mine in May, it’s tough to keep track of and juggle everything! I even have all three of my daughters coming into town Gala weekend for other family events!
Altar Server Training
All boys and girls of the parish, entering 4th grade and up, who are interested in altar serving at Mass, or need a refresher course, are invited to attend the Altar Server Training in the church on Saturday, June 4, from 9:30 am-11:00 am. One parent needs to attend to complete the necessary paperwork.
Board of Education
The OLV/JFK Board of Education is seeking candidates interested in helping to make financial and policy decisions affecting the operations of JFK, Faith Formation, and Youth Ministry at Our Lady of Victory. Board members work with other committees to address the long-range needs of the parish educational and faith formation programs. Board meetings occur on the first Tuesday of each month and are typically from about 6:30 – 8:00 p.m. If interested in serving as a board member, please contact me or board officers Ann Craig, Lucas Roth, and Tom Poston.
8th Graders Taking Algebra at AHS
Students from JFK who will be 8th graders next year and taking Algebra at Assumption should complete the online registration with AHS AND notify the JFK school office by Wednesday. Completion of both steps of the process helps AHS and JFK determine staffing needs.
Speaking of Algebra, this year’s 8th graders who are attending AHS for Algebra have their last class at AHS on Thursday. The following applies to these students for the rest of the school year:
- Fri, May 27: Algebra students do not need to be at JFK until 8:35 unless they are on the band field trip. If students arrive before 8:35, they will be directed to a supervised area.
- Tues, May 31: 8th grade field trip
- Wed, June 1: Algebra students do not need to be at JFK until 9:10
- Thurs, June 2: Students should be here by 7:25 for field day
- Fri, June 3: Students should be here by 7:25
Changes in Teaching Positions
The 2022-23 school year will bring some changes to the positions of a few staff members. Kayelyn Blake and Bridget Parr will move into interventionist positions funded through federal Emergency Assistance for Non-Public Schools (EANS) covid relief funds. These funds should be available for at least two school years. Jasmine Bowman, who graduated from St. Ambrose this weekend and did her student teaching in 2nd grade with Mrs. Maxwell this spring, will join the JFK staff in a classroom roll. We are still searching for a middle school science teacher, although we are opening the search more broadly to include middle school ELA or social studies or a 6th grade teacher. If you know of anyone qualified/interested in a 6th grade and/or middle school position, please let me know. I’ve sent personalized messages to about 75 people since the end of March. The teacher shortage in Iowa and across the nation is becoming more and more apparent.