Catholic Schools Week is Here
Details for Catholic Schools Week are below:
If you missed Mass at OLV this weekend, you can catch my remarks and the “state of the school” address by watching the recorded 4:30 Mass: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkZG5YGDvog&t=1691s
Monday, January 30:
- Dodgeball for Diapers fundraiser for grades 3-8
- Details and permission slip come from Mrs. Tilkens
- Minute to Win It Games for K-2
- Athletic and/or Favorite Team Dress Day/Out of Uniform
- Frozen treat from Home & School
Tuesday, January 31:
- Talent Show
- Grades 5, 1, 3, 4 in that order beginning at about 7:50.
- Grades K, 2, 8, 6, 7 in that order beginning at about 12:35
- Every student will be involved in a class/grade level act, and individual acts will also occur. Information has been emailed separately regarding the talent show.
- Guests are welcome, but we cannot be more particular about the time of performers. It all depends upon how many acts there are, how long each act actually is, etc.
- Pajama Day
- Students may also bring a pillow to sit upon
- H & S Skate Night at the Eldridge skate park/community center
Wednesday, February 1:
- All School Mass with Individual Blessings of Throats
- Spirit Wear Tops or green/white tops. Bottoms may be out of uniform.
- Bring an Adult Guest to Lunch Day
- 10:40-11:10 Kindergarten
- 11:10-11:40 Grades 3 and 4
- 11:40-12:10 Grades 1 and 2
- 12:10-12:40 Grades 5 and 6
- 12:40-1:10 Grades 7 and 8
- Students’ adult guests may sign their students out from school for the rest of the day, if desired
- Book fair open
- Details about signing up for an adult meal and paying it for were distributed two weeks ago. Pre-payment is needed.
Thursday, February 2:
- Scott County Catholic Schools Grades 2-12 Mass at Assumption
- Take Pride in Your Uniform Dress Day (Everyone is in dress code. This applies to upper grade students as well even if they have PE today)
Friday, February 3:
- 8th grade vs. Staff Volleyball Games with grades 3-7 cheering them on
- K-2 Special movie or other activity
- Wacky Tacky Out of Uniform Day
- Chips provided by Home & School
Sunday, February 5:
- Home & School sponsored event at SnowStar
Educational Savings Accounts
As I mentioned in Tuesday evening’s email to families, the “Student First Act” passed the legislature and was signed into law by Governor Reynolds. The following is a general summary of the bill:
Education Savings Accounts
Parents who choose to enroll their children in an accredited private school will receive the amount of per pupil funds allocated annually by the state to use for tuition, fees, and other qualified expenses. Funds are deposited into an education savings account (ESA) each year until students graduate or complete high school or turn 20 years of age. Educational Savings Accounts will be phased in over three years.
Effective for the 2023-24 school year, state per pupil funding will be $7,598 per student, and ESAs will be available based on the following eligibility:
Year 1: School Year 2023-24
- All kindergarten students
- All students who were not in a non-public school the year prior
- Private school students with a household income at or below 300% Federal Poverty Level (FPL), currently at about about $83,250 for a family of four but subject to change
Year 2: School Year 2024-25
- All kindergarten students (and first graders)
- All students who were not in a non-public school the year prior
- Private school students with a household income at or below 400% FPL, currently about $111,000 for a family of four but subject to change
Year 3: School Year 2025-26
- All K-12 students in Iowa regardless of income
Other student funding generated by categorical funding formulas will remain with public school districts even for students who are not attending public schools any more. This amount is about $1,202 per pupil for each student who will be attending a private school.
Public School Teacher Salaries
The Student First Act also allows public school districts the flexibility to use unspent funding from certain categorical/restricted funds to supplement teacher salaries.
Next steps include the writing of the Administrative Rules at the state level and the development of processes to then be used in Scott County Catholic Schools. As you can imagine, there is a lot of work being done rapidly as enrollment processes for 2023-24 are set to begin sometime in February. Here are just a few of the questions that are being raised:
- What will tuition be in the future? Should it more reflect the true cost of education? At JFK, the cost of education, depending upon what is included in the calculations, is upwards of $7,400. At some of our Catholic schools, the figure is considerably higher given fixed costs but fewer students. Should tuition rates reflect long-term planning with better salaries/benefits for staff? (JFK teachers’ salaries are, on average, about $20,000 less than in the Davenport schools.) Should tuition rates reflect funds available for regular replacement cycles for window coverings, flooring, technology, books, desks, and chairs? Should they reflect savings so that big capital projects, like new playground equipment at JFK to replace 25+ year old equipment, don’t depend upon a capital campaign or an unexpected $10,000 water heater repair/replacement bill at a school doesn’t cause other budget cuts?
- How is current financial assistance through the Family Tuition Plan and Student Tuition Organizations impacted? Will STOs even still be around in the next 3-5 years if ESAs are here to stay?
- Will there be legal challenges to ESAs? Will there be an injunction prohibiting implementation until legal issues are resolved? (ESAs have a good track record of withstanding legal challenges in other states.)
- Will enrollment grow in our Catholic schools? If yes, by how much? Is there a limit? Do we have admissions guidelines in place to handle increased inquires?
- How can ESAs benefit families, parishes, staff and our educational product so our Catholic schools can be viable for all in the long-term?
More information will be made available when we have it, but please note that we are very early in this process with the law just passing this week.
Different Registration Process for 2023-24 Begins February 6th
A new registration process for JFK and Scott County Catholic Schools will begin around February 6th when the pre-registration/application link is released. All preschool, kindergarten, and returning families will need to enter information through the pre-registration/application survey.
Below is a link to in-person events for pre-school and kindergarten on February 13th and 16th, respectively. Please note that the pre-school event is a drop in anytime event rather than a scheduled program. Both students and parents should attend. Please share the flyer/link with other families who may be considering JFK!
Kindergarten Information Session and Round-Up
February 16th: 6:00-7:30 p.m. in the cafeteria. Parent and student event
Preschool Open House and Pre-Registration
February 13th: 5:30-7:00 pm. Enter door 3W under the canopy (the PS entrance). Parent and student event — drop in any time between 5:30-7:00
JFK offers several preschool options all of which can be combined with partial or full-time wraparound care:
3 year olds: MWF a.m., T/Th a.m., or M-F a.m.
4/5 year olds: M-F a.m., or M-F p.m.
JFK Preschool Facebook Page
JFK will be launching a new Facebook page, JFK Preschool, devoted exclusively to 3-5 year old preschool: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100063830626686. Look for more information from your child’s preschool teacher.
Student Council is sponsoring a pop tab collection homeroom contest that runs through February 3. The winning homeroom in K-4 and homeroom in 5-8 will have a pizza party or ice cream treat. The pop tabs will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Iowa City and converted into funds for them.
Things have gotten a little lax with our dress code, especially with skirt lengths for older girls. Expect a renewed effort to make sure we are abiding by our uniform policy.
Things keep getting added to the calendar. Check online for more complete information as the below are only some of the highlights.
- Fe b 2: 7/8 Science Fair Showcase, 6:00-6:45 p.m.
- Feb 6: 2nd Grade Sacrament Preparation Event. SCCS Parent University (Zoom event)
- Feb 8: Kids Heart Challenge Kick Off for K-5
- Feb 12: Ignite Sunday
- Feb 14: Red, White, & Pink Dress Day
- Feb 16: End of 3rd Mid-Qtr