April 19, 2020

Governor Reynolds Orders Schools to Remain Closed through the End of the School Year

On Friday, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds extended the school closure through the end of the school year.  It was a bittersweet moment listening to that announcement.  In our minds, we know it’s probably the right decision, and we’re glad for that, but, in our hearts, there’s so much sadness not only for our students and families, but also for what it represents in terms of what’s going on in our broader community and country.

Instructed, Required and Assessed for All K-8; “Lessons” also for Preschool

All K-8 grades will now be using an “instructed, required and assessed” model.  There is an instructional piece, expected student work, and feedback from teachers for each of the absolutely essential standards students need before the next grade.

Sixth through 8th grade students are using Google Classroom, and PS-5th grade are using Seesaw as the main content delivery and feedback platform.  Zoom meetings both for students and just for parents are available.  The Zoom meetings themselves are optional for both students and parents so don’t panic if attendance is not possible.  The “instructed” part of “instructed, required and assessed” does not mean the instruction has to be live, and instruction will look entirely different than the teacher in front of the classroom model that we all envision in education.  Zoom meetings are to connect with students, answer questions and allow students to connect with each other as well.  The Zoom meetings are not where the “instruction” part takes place.

How to access Google Classroom, Seesaw, the Zoom meetings, etc. will be emailed each week.  The email will include a link to a spreadsheet that lists all of the Zoom meetings for each grade in a calendar format with tabs at the bottom for each grade.  We have heard the spreadsheet doesn’t look the greatest on some cell phones, and we’re looking into seeing if there are solutions to that issue.  It does look fine on a computer.  All of the same information can also be found through a link on your teacher’s webpage.  Just click on the name of the teacher from the home page of our website, www.olvjfk.com, and you will be taken to the teacher’s own page.  Information for art, music, band, and music can also be found by clicking on the teachers’ names.

We have received some great feedback from parents already, and we’ll probably collect more feedback more formally at the end of this week.  We are all making adjustments and learning as we go.  Things will become easier over time for everyone.

With required student work, “grading” for the 4th quarter and each activity will switch to a Pass/Incomplete basis.  Pass indicates that the work has been completed at an acceptable level of mastery.  Incomplete indicates that the work illustrates an incomplete mastery yet.  Emphasis is on progress towards achieving the identified student learning goals.  We do not want to use even a P/F marking system as we are truly in uncharted waters.  Specials teachers will use a P/blank system.  Although “due dates” are included for assignments, there are no late penalties.  We just want everyone to be regularly progressing toward an acceptable level of mastery.

We do have required daily religion activities for students (Lord knows we need them!), but there will not be anything that students are required to submit back to teachers.  Religion, therefore, will be blank on the 4th quarter report card.  

In addition to the minimum required activities, teachers will try to provide appropriate extensions for students to do more work and/or work of differing degrees of difficulty as well for those who are seeking them.

Preschool students in both 3 year old classes and our 4/5 year old classes will also find their “lessons” on Seesaw.  They will, however, not be required to submit anything back to their teachers.

Together, we can make sure that students do not lose 25%-30% of a school year.  We can do this!

End of the School Year Tasks

Now that we know what the decision is for the remainder of the school year, we can start to look at end of the year tasks like the following:

  • 8th grade graduation
  • Lunch payment refunds or rollover
  • Lunch duty reimbursements
  • Finalizing, selling, and distributing yearbooks
  • Algebra aptitude testing to help with recommendations for next year’s 8th grade math
  • Calendaring” for next year
  • Budgeting for Home & School, Band Boosters, etc.
  • Etc.

Third Quarter Report Cards

Third quarter report cards were emailed on Friday.  They would have come out earlier in the week, but even teachers have internet issues at times!

Donations, Tithing, Tuition Payments and Registration for Next Year

Both the school and the church are still dependent upon your regular contributions and payments.  Donation buttons are located on the front page of both the school (green) and parish (blue) sides of our website.  Tuition payments can be mailed, dropped off at the parish office, or made via debit/credit card over the phone.  Emily Sanderson is in the school office at least usually on Mondays and Thursdays.

Tuition payments for this school year:  Fr. Jake and Finance Council approved the following statements regarding flexibility for tuition payments.  They want to work with people even if it goes well into or through next school year too.

“From March 30th, 2020 through August 31, 2021, the Finance Council gives the Pastor authority to negotiate with families on how to pay their tuition payments.

All families who request a school contract for the 2020-2021 school year will not be denied a contract based upon how much tuition they owe the parish.

Any questions or concerns about tuition payments or contracts can be directed to Fr. Jake Greiner, greinerj@diodav.org or by calling 563-391-4245.”

Tuition Contracts for Next Year:  We still want to continue the registration process for next school year.  Returned tuition contracts helps us plan for next year as well.  Please return your tuition contract as soon as you can, even without paying the registration fee now.  That can be paid later, if necessary.  At the present time, we are extending the discounted registration fee (discounted to $100) until June 1st.  If you need another copy of your tuition contract, please contact Emily Sanderson at emily.sanderson@olvjfkmail.com.  Emily and Angie Hillebrand are also contacting families via phone to offer reminders and help.

School Meals

Recognizing the need that some families have for meals, ANY child between the ages of 1-18 years old may receive a lunch and breakfast at no cost at one of the following locations beginning on Monday, March 23, 2020, between 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.  It is not a requirement that the child currently be receiving a free/reduced price lunch; it is available to any child.

  • Achievement Service Center, located at 1702 N. Main Street
  • Davenport Sudlow, located at 1414 East Locust Street
  • Davenport Williams, located at 3040 North Division
  • Davenport Frank L. Smart, located at 1934 West 5th Street
  • Davenport Wood, located at 5701 North Division, Davenport

The child no longer has to be present to receive the free meal.  A sack lunch and breakfast for the following morning will be handed out on Monday through Friday.

Please open the trunk of your car or leave a seat open where staff can place the food.  This step will help reduce contact and practice a higher level of social distancing.

OLV parish bulletin:  Click HERE or use the following link/url:  https://www.olvjfk.com/olv/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/04/April-19-2020.pdf

Congratulations, Mrs. Blake

Some of life’s most precious moments continue even with COVID-19.  Reading interventionist Kayelyn Blake and her husband welcomed their baby boy into their family on Thursday.  Congratulations on the birth of their son!

Plant Sale

Plants continue to grow in spite of COVID-19 as well.  Our plant sale sold about $11,500 worth of plants.  The plants will still be dropped off to us on April 29th and pick up will be on 4/30 and 5/1 from 11:00 – 6:00 and on 5/2 from 9:00 – 12:00.  Pick up will be different this year, with curbside only pickup.  Please click HERE to sign up for a pick up time or use the following link/url.  There are five pick up slots available in each 30 minute window:  https://m.signupgenius.com/#!/showSignUp/20F0C48ABAF2DA0FF2-jfkolv

Orders will be assembled ahead of time.  Please enter the school parking lot from 42nd Street and follow the directions on where to line up. Someone will be outside to take your name.  Your order will then be brought to you as soon as possible. Weather permitting, we will have extra plants for purchase located somewhere near the preschool playground.

If you are picking up orders for other people, please reserve/select more than one spot within the time slot as it will take more time to get all of the orders to you than if you were just picking up for yourself.

If you know of other family members or friends that placed an order with us, please pass this information along because, unfortunately, not everyone provided an email address with their order.  If you should have any questions, please email Andrea Schuster at: alspjs04@yahoo.com

Thank you again for your order, and thank you for your cooperation and understanding with pick up.

Frazzled at Teaching?

I woke up this morning while having a weird dream.  No, it wasn’t the one about school being closed for the rest of the school year; that’s real.  It was one about teaching.  I’m sure many of my colleagues in education, which now include all parents, might be able to relate to it.  In my dream, I was in (squirrel) a small classroom with a large number of students right before lunch.  “No one” was listening.  To pull everyone back together, I (squirrel) did an amazing student engagement technique and had students moving to different parts of the room.  Unfortunately, three girls (squirrel) never returned.  After the movement activity, another girl was standing on (squirrel) a chair writing something on the board and wouldn’t get down.  We did, however, manage to have an amazing discussion (squirrel) until I realized that it was the last period’s discussion question, and my notes were all mixed up.  When I finally had things going well again, (squirrel) I had to stop to deal with the two boys in the back who were having a squirt gun fight.  After the bell rang and students (squirrel) went to lunch, I was pleasantly surprised that several students were staying behind to copy the notes that were on the board — the notes from yesterday and not today!  Finally, as all the students were gone (squirrel), another teacher came into my room and looked at me oddly.  She couldn’t figure (squirrel) out why I looked so frazzled!

Faceted Windows of Our Lady of Victory Catholic Church

In the video below, Fr. Jake gives us a tour of the church and talks about the stained glass windows.


Stay well!  Our Lady of Victory,…pray for us.