Principal’s Post for July 22, 2022

Back to School Registration

This Sunday and Monday is our back to school registration process.  Mailings were sent home, and the letters with active links are available on the front page of our website.  Many other forms are available under the section of our website under the route “For Parents” and then “Policies & Forms.”  If you can’t make it to the back to school registration times, please drop off the materials (8-3, M-F) or mail them to us ASAP.  We would hate to start the school year with incorrect contact information for families, for example!

If you have not returned your tuition contract yet for the 2022-23 school year, please do so as soon as possible.  It is difficult to make plans when our projected enrollment figure is still so fluid.  Difficulty in projecting enrollment has also become more difficult over the last several years.  At the beginning of May in 2019, we had 84% of all possible tuition contracts returned.  In 2020, that figure was 79%.  In 2021 and 2022, that figure was around 67%.  It might be easy to explain if enrollment was declining, but our enrollment actually increased in 2021-22.  People were just slow in returning tuition contracts.  It’s difficult to know how many staff members to commit to in April and May, when we issue teacher contracts for the next school year, when a third of our families haven’t illustrated their commitment yet either.

Due to official enrollment still changing, class lists will not be available at our back to school registration.  Families will be notified later, most likely via email as we did last year.

Pardon our Parking Lot Mess

Concrete work is underway near the dumpsters in the parking lot.  The drive along the ballfield is currently unavailable.  We are also doing work near the northwest doors.  These doors are also unavailable for use.  Resealing and re-striping the parking lot is continuing.  The concrete barriers have been temporarily moved so this work can be completed.

Positions Available at JFK

Lunch Workers/After School Care Supervision:  Two positions available, 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.  during the school year.  Work in kitchen and cafeteria approximately 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. daily.  Help prepare and serve meals, clean kitchen and cafeteria, and provide student supervision.  Employees then work in our after school care program several afternoons per week from 2:30-5:30.  $11-$13 per hour.  Tuition, childcare, and other fee reductions are available, if one’s children are enrolled at JFK.  Free after school childcare for employees with children at JFK.

Send letter, resume, references or complete application at

John F. Kennedy Catholic School

1627 W. 42nd

Davenport, IA 52806

(563) 391-3030

Welcome to Shannon Runyan

Shannon Runyan has joined the JFK staff for middle school science, in particular.  Mrs. Runyan comes to JFK by way of nearly 20 years of science teaching in CA and brief stops in Quad Cities’ public and private schools.

Homeroom Location Changes

Although some of the classrooms used by our upper grade teachers has historically been more likely to change over the summer than those used by teachers in lower grades, this year we’ll have a switch in kindergarten and 2nd grade.  In order to meet students’ needs, Mrs. Putnam’s kindergarten class and Mrs. Poster’s second grade class will switch locations this fall.  Mrs. Putnam’s room will be upstairs near the office, and Mrs. Poster’s class will be downstairs in the middle of the building.


I don’t know how it is in other industries, but every K-12 school administrator at least knows what is meant by the terms Columbine, Sandy Hook, and Parkland.  I’m not sure if it will be Uvalde or Robb that will stick with this spring’s incident, but I’m sure one of them will.  After each situation, it seems, there is another round of safety audits, and everyone tries to see what can be learned and applied.  Since Sandy Hook in 2012, we have undertaken at least two comprehensive security/safety audits.  The first yielded recommendations for keeping kids safe within the building.  All interior door locks were replaced, and card access to the building was initiated, for example.  The second major audit yielded a focus on exterior elements, and we changed recess locations and added cameras, gates, concrete barriers, and bollards, for example.  Since 2012, JFK has spent over $200,000 on safety/security measures.

This spring and summer we are conducting further safety reviews.  We are working with local resources, and Governor Reynolds has announced that there will be auditors available from the state as well as grants of up to $50,000 available for all schools, including non-public schools.  If you have any safety concerns or ideas, please share them with me.  All ideas are discussed as we try to assess with what levels of risk we want to live.

I can share with you two changes that will likely be permanent:

  • Students will continue to enter the building immediately when they arrive between 7:10 and 7:25 each morning.  The change from having the students wait outside on a letter painted on the sidewalk until the bell rang began due to COVID concerns in 2020-21, but I can’t see us having 400 students gather predictably in an exposed but confined location every morning with only a limited number of staff members supervising.
  • Visitors to the school will have to be “buzzed in” at the farthest exterior doors in the front.  We have been allowing people to enter into the foyer because all other doors around it are locked; once in the foyer, there’s no where someone can go.  It is likely, however, that people won’t even be able to enter into this area without being “buzzed in.”

Thanks for the Financial Support

We would like to thank you for your financial support of JFK.  Many families came through with finishing their tuition payments for the 2021-22 school year, and there are still a few who are diligently making their scheduled payments on the 12 month plan, which concludes in July.

We would also like to thank everyone who has started the 2022-23 tuition payments that begin this year in July.  As we move toward becoming a regional Scott County School system, JFK was the only school that had tuition payments beginning in August and concluding in May or June, depending upon a 10 or 12 month payment plan.  All of the other schools had tuition payment plans beginning in July and concluding in April-June, depending upon the payment plan.  These payment plans coincide with schools’ and parishes’ fiscal years, which begin1 July 1 and conclude June 30.  Rather than the other schools changing plans to match JFK, JFK had to change its plan.

While we are grateful for our timely financial supporters, there is also another reality taking place:  families are slower in paying now than they have ever been.  Five or six years ago, we would end the fiscal year on June 30th with perhaps 0.75% or about $10,000 in tuition still yet to be paid.  For the 2020-21 school year, we are still owed about $90,000, and, for the 2021-22 school year, we will likely be owed about $125,000 once we finish the end-of-the-year accounting.  That’ll be more than $200,000 in two years or nearly 7.5% .  That pace is not sustainable.  We are making changes in our practices to try to send out more regular statements on accounts as we’ve had a good number of people just say “Oh my goodness!  We didn’t realize we owed X” and are writing us checks now.  We will have to be more aggressive in pushing for timely tuition payments, consider using a collection agency to pursue at least some amounts from past due tuition, and be more firm on denying enrollment for those who are not paying their bills to us.  While we are a ministry of the Church, we also business expenses, particularly staff salaries.  We cannot expect teachers and support staff to just work without being paid!

Regionalization and Diocesan Initiatives

Movement toward a unified Scott County Catholic Schools (SCCS) system continues.   The complete transition should be completed by July 1, 2023.  Below are some of the highlights to date:

  • The SCCS corporation was formed with roles for the bishop, a board of trustees (pastors), and a board of directors.  All of the legal necessities have been and/or are in the process of being completed.
  • A Catholic school subsidy model was developed and approved for all the parishes in Scott County, and a transition plan was determined as some parishes would see large increases, and some would see decreases.  (For example, St. John Vianney’s subsidy would increase significantly, and OLV’s would decrease.)  Parish subsidy is the second largest source of funding for schools after tuition.  OLV currently has a budgeted subsidy for JFK and AHS of over $750,000 or nearly $2,000 per child.
  • The ownership of assets and lease agreements have been agreed upon.  OLV, for example, will retain ownership of all property and buildings on this campus and lease the school to SCCS.
  • Transition staffing for SCCS is underway with a president (Andy Craig), interim finance director (Carey Jones), and interim human resources director (Nikki Gartner).   Many, many financial and HR policies/practices are being adjusted at all sites.

If regionalization is not a big enough challenge, there are also other major diocesan initiatives at play:

  • Parishes and schools are transitioning to a diocesan health insurance plan.  Overall, with a larger pool of employees, rates will go down.  For JFK, the health insurance cost rose substantially, however, as the new plan requires employers to pay 75% of an employee’s plan, and we were only paying 60%.
  • A new payroll/human resources system went into effect July 1st.  We’re hoping we have everything transitioned for OLV/JFK’s 70+ employees for s smooth payroll on the 31st!
  • The Diocese of Davenport has licensed a student information system (SIS), PowerSchool, for all schools in the diocese.  This transition is also time consuming, and we may end up operating our “old” SIS, JMC, simultaneously with PowerSchool until things are up to speed.

Upcoming Events

Below are a few events highlighted from our website calendar:

  • Aug 16:  PS Individual Family Meetings
  • Aug 18:  Unpack Your Backpack/Meet Your Teacher. PS Individual Family Meetings
  • Aug 22:  ECLC Begins
  • Aug 23:  PS-8 Classes Begin

We look forward to seeing families this Sunday and Monday.