School Masses are open to parents, especially those whose children have “Mass parts.” Late arrivals do need to be let in by a staff member as the church doors are locked once students are in the building.
It’s always a good start to the day when Fr. Jake says, “Have a good day everyone,” and 350 students and staff respond “You too, Father.”
Fr. Rauenbuehler would also like to invite students who attend Algebra I at Assumption to the 7:10 chapel Mass at Assumption on Tuesday mornings.
Bishop Zinkula Celebrates Mass with Us Sept 14th
Bishop Zinkula will be the celebrant at our September 14th all school Mass. We welcome him to the Eucharistic table at OLV!
With the excitement of a new school year and new schedules, it may also be time to renew and/or adjust your weekend Mass attendance schedule. OLV has four weekend Masses: 4:30 on Saturdays and 7:00 a.m., 9:00 a.m., and 11:00 a.m. on Sundays. Each Mass has a slightly different “feel” as well, if that aspect is more important than time of day. All of them have the Eucharist. Come to the Table!
Need a way to ignite your Sundays? IGNITE Sundays return on September 11th! These events, which occur about once per month, include a special 4:30 Sunday evening Mass, meal in the parish center, and then group gatherings for all ages until 7:15 p.m. You can come to one or more of the Ignite Sundays, and one or more of the three parts of each event. There is no cost or registration required. September 11th’s discussion focuses on dealing with discouragement.
Text Message Communications
Occasionally, we “blast” a text message to families. A good example of a mass text message would be a last minute school closing due to weather. If you are not registered to receive text messages from JFK (primarily families new to JFK and/or preschool), type “Y” or “Yes” to 67587. You will not receive text messages from JFK if you do not take action yourself. There is no action required to receive email or phone messages.
Headphones for 5th-8th Graders
The supply list for 5th-8th grade students includes a (cheap!) pair of headphones or a set of earbuds to keep at school. These will be used with testing programs and with educational programs as well. Students without these materials will have difficulty participating. It is particularly important that students have their headphones/earbuds at school starting Tuesday, September 6th.
JFK is in need of substitutes for both long-term assignments (like maternity leaves) and short-term assignments (like when a teacher needs to stay home with his/her own sick child). You do not need a teaching degree to work as a substitute. A minimum of an associate’s degree may be enough to qualify. The process to become a substitute teacher includes completion of a 15-20 hour workshop, multiple background checks, and applications with the Iowa Board of Education Examiners and JFK. Workshops are being held almost every week throughout the state, and many of them are virtual so geography does not need to be a limiting factor. Recognizing the need for substitute teachers, JFK’s board has authorized a $450 bonus at the pay period following the fifth day of substituting at JFK to the first five people to take advantage of this offer. The bonus will essentially cover the workshop fee, license application fee, background check fee, and pay an amount for the workshop time. If you are interested in being a substitute, please contact me and/or the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency at 563-359-1371.We would also like to thank our current substitutes: Amy Farrey, Kayla Mason, Jen Kira, and Mary Sunderbruch.
COVID Guidance for 2022-23
COVID is still around. Through the first nine days of school, we have had eight student cases in six grades reported. Reported infection rates this summer in Scott County were anywhere from 1.2 to more than ten times worse than last summer, but, right now, rates are lower than they were at the beginning of last school year.
COVID mitigation strategies at JFK this fall emphasize the following:
- Vaccination: All people ages 6 months and older are eligible for COVID vaccination. Like the flu shot, COVID vaccination won’t necessarily prevent one from catching COVID, but it will greatly lessen the likelihood of serious complications.
- Please check with your child’s pediatrician about other vaccinations required for school or childcare attendance. State law requires school officials to exclude students who do not have the proper immunizations. Because the Catholic Church is not opposed to vaccinations, there should be no religious exemptions for Catholics. The initial audit last week indicated that no K-8 students would have to be excluded! Thanks for your help!
- Flu shots will again be offered free to K-8 students later this fall thanks to the Genesis Flu Free Quad Cities program.
- Ventilation: We have both building-wide ventilation systems and portable systems operating at JFK.
- Handwashing (and hand sanitizer) and respiratory etiquette. We purchase hand sanitizer by the case!
- Staying home when sick:
- Temperature 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
- Students must be fever free for 24 hrs without the use of fever reducing medication before returning to school
- Sore throat
- New uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing and/or prohibits the student from doing his/her work (for students with chronic allergic/asthmatic cough, a change in their cough from baseline)
- Diarrhea, vomiting, or abdominal pain
- Students must go 12 hrs without vomiting or diarrhea
- A common definition of diarrhea is 3 or more loose/watery stools in a day
- New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever
- Any other symptom(s) which interferes with your student’s ability to learn, including a non-allergy causing runny nose
- Those who test positive for COVID are excluded from school for 5 days from the date the positive specimen was taken or 5 days from the day symptoms began. The day of the test or the day symptoms began is day 0. After the five days, one may return to school if wearing a mask for another five days. Those who will not be wearing a mask need to stay away from school for a total of 10 days. If one tests positive but has no symptoms and later develops symptoms within the 10 days, the timeline starts over with the day symptoms began as day 0.
- Those who are exposed to someone who has COVID do not need to quarantine. It is recommended that one wears a face mask for 10 days (with day 0 being the last exposure to someone with COVID). Note: Schools in Iowa cannot require face coverings. One should also take extra precautions around others and watch for symptoms.
- It is also recommended that one test at least 5 full days after one’s last exposure. If the test is negative, one should continue with the exposure precautions through day 10. If the test is positive, one should follow the procedures for testing positive.
- Cleaning and disinfection: It seems odd to say that we are continuing with extra cleaning and disinfection; entering our third school year with COVID, it seems more the norm now than extra.
Physical distancing and/or plastic barriers between students will not be in place this year. Face masks, however, are still an option for everyone. Contact tracing and/or letters sent home will not take place, except where required in DHS childcare programs just as notifications might be for other diseases.
Transition to a New Student Information System
The Diocese of Davenport has licensed a student information system (SIS), PowerSchool, for all schools in the diocese. It is taking the diocese much longer to transition all of the schools to the new system, and one cannot imagine all of the things that are now tied into an SIS. Discussions are still evolving around grading, progress reports, report cards, and student/parent viewable on-demand access to grades. There are no easy solutions! Currently, we are running our old student information system JMC alongside PowerSchool for many functions.
Please read the parent and student handbook, available HERE, and on our website: https://www.olvjfk.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/08/Parent-Handbook-2022-23-pdf-version.pdf Then, print off the last page, sign it, and return it to the school office — one per family. Thank you for helping us to reduce our printing costs.
60th Anniversary Celebration – Parish Picnic
The OLV Parish Picnic is Sunday, September 18th following a special 1:00 pm Mass to celebrate our 60th Anniversary. We will be serving pulled pork sandwiches and sides catered by Smokin’ Butt BBQ. As in the past, there will be a hot dog option for the meal, lemonade and waters available as well as beer (both craft and domestic) and wine for adults. Live music will be provided by Identity Crisis. Bounce houses, a petting zoo and other kids activities will be available. The celebration will conclude with a fireworks show at dusk, which is anticipated to be around 7:30 p.m. All outdoor activities will be held on the grounds east of the school. There is no charge for the picnic. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and an appetite!
NET Retreats for 7th/8th Graders & Housing Needed
A National Evangelization Team (NET) from MN will again conduct retreats for 7th and 8th graders. The 8th grade retreat is Tuesday, October 18 from 4:30 – 8:30 PM. On Wednesday, October 19, from 3:00 – 7:00 PM, we will have the 7th grade retreat. These retreats will be held at Our Lady of Victory, and YOUR HOSPITALITY IS NEEDED. Host families are needed for NET team members on the evening of October 19th. Hosts are requested to house a
minimum of two team members of the same gender. These college-aged young people will have sleeping bags,
mats, pillows, towels and toiletries and are fine with sleeping on the floor, couches or air mattresses. They do
request shower access. Host families often gain much from the presence of these energetic, faith-filled young people! You do not need a 7th or 8th grader to host NET team members. If you are interested, please contact Kaye Meyers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 563-391-8384.
Home & School Happenings
- Sept 9/10: Happy Joe’s (W 50th St), 4-9 p.m. 15% of all food and beverage sales donated back to JFK. Dine-in or carry-out options
- Sept 12: Kick off to Step It Up! This program is the largest H & S fundraiser that benefits all students and staff. Another of our local Catholic schools has raised so much through this fundraiser that they have discontinued their Gala! Our goal is for 75% student participation this year. All parents have to do is register online and send 10 communications.
- Sept 21: Skate Night at the Eldridge Community Center Roller Skating Rink, 4:30-6:30
Home & School is like a parent/teacher association. All parents/guardians of students enrolled at JFK are part of Home & School. More active members include the following:
President – Allison Arlt
VP – Julianne Tongue
Secretary- Becky Avise
Treasurer – Jen Kira
More Active Members –
Jodi and Jeremy Siebler
Other Upcoming Events
- Sept 21: End of first mid-qtr
- Sept 22/23: Picture Day
- Sept 26: 2nd Grade Sacraments Preparation