August 2, 2020

Return to Learn Planning: More Details for Exceptions to Face-to-Face

As I mentioned in last week’s email, JFK and our area Catholic schools are still planning on face-t0-face, on-site, five days per week instruction for all students.  With the size of JFK’s classrooms, we will be able to have social distancing within the rooms.  The details of our return to learn planning, however, do include an exception clause.  If you believe you need an exception to face-to-face, on-site instruction, please let me know no later than Wednesday, August 5, 2020.  Below are some of the details for the remote learning of individuals.

JFK, like other nonpublic schools and public school districts, is required to offer accommodations for remote learning if a child, another resident of the child’s residence, or one of the child’s regular caretakers has a significant health condition that increases their risk of COVID-19. The child’s parent or guardian must provide written verification from a licensed healthcare provider, if requested.

Other particular students for whom families choose to have their children do remote learning when the rest of the class/building are not in a remote learning model will be accommodated to the best of our ability while not overburdening our staff.  Remote learning for a few students is different than remote learning for an entire class.  With only a few students doing remote learning, teachers are still preparing for and working with students in a face-to-face model and then also have to accommodate those needing the remote model.  Remote learning for individuals will not be the same as it was for entire classes during the spring.  What we do for entire classes this fall, if needed, will also not be exactly the same as how we did it in the spring.   

Remote learning methods to accommodate individual students are the following.  There is no minimum length of time for which families must commit to remote learning.  Students can return to face-to-face when able/ready.  There may, however, be a maximum length of time for which this option is available, and it may depend upon government proclamations, rates of community transmission, availability of a vaccine, etc.

The effectiveness of these options may be dependent upon the technology available in both the school and home.  For example, some of the technology ordered for the school is backordered and not yet available.  Less effective means may have to be used until the better technology arrives.  

  • PS/K core subjects:
    • Asynchronous lessons/work assigned through Seesaw.
      • Packets, if technology is not available


    • Asynchronous recordings of some of the face-to-face instruction occurring for the in-class students made available through Seesaw.  These recordings may be one day behind the face-to-face instruction taking place.
    • A combination of the above two may be used
  • Grades 1-8 core subjects and 6-8 Spanish:
    • Livestream of the face-to-face instruction occurring for in-class students.  Families of remote learning students and teachers need to be very clear on when students need to be online.  Students do not necessarily need to be online during an entire “period” but would need to be on when instruction is taking place.  When the class moves to independent work, the remote learning student would not need to be online.
      • Asynchronous recordings of the face-to-face instruction may be used by remote learning students but only by special arrangement; they will not normally be organized, assembled, and made available.  These recordings may be one day behind the face-to-face instruction taking place.
      • WIN time for grades 1-2 will not be livestreamed, but alternate work will be assigned.
    • Seesaw and Google Classroom will be utilized for remote learning students.
  • Grades K-8 specials
    • Specials will have asynchronous lessons or activities available for remote learning individuals.
    • Specials teachers will attempt to use Seesaw and Google Classrooom.  If it is inefficient for the number of individuals doing remote learning, they may utilize posting to their webpages and email.

Attendance will be recorded for remote learning.  Participation is required for those doing remote learning. 

Grading will proceed according to the regular grading scale and procedures for those doing remote learning.

 There is not a reduction in tuition for families utilizing remote learning as operating multiple instructional models is actually more time consuming/expensive than operating only one model.

If you believe you need an exception to face-to-face, on-site instruction, please let me know no later than Wednesday, August 5, 2020. 


Bus Transportation — Impact on Preschool as Well

The latest hybrid schedule proposed by the Davenport Community School District eliminates the one hour early dismissals on Wednesdays and shortens all days by 25 minutes in the afternoon.  The DCSD has told us that if we want bus transportation on Wednesday afternoons, we will need to eliminate the early dismissal time.  They are still determining whether or not we’d need to do the 25 minute change in the afternoon dismissal time on every day, and we hope to have a decision early this week.

Because we coincide our afternoon preschool dismissal time so it matches the K-8 dismissal time, we may have to adjust afternoon preschool times.  Because we also make sure morning and afternoon preschool instructional time is the same, we may have to alter the morning preschool dismissal times as well.

Storage Space

In order to set up our classrooms for six feet of social distancing, we are moving large quantities of tables, bookcases, comfy reading chairs/corners, etc. out of classrooms.  We are in need of space in garages, warehouses, storage units, and/or trailers to store large furniture.  Please let me know if you have access to such space that we could use or if you know of someone who might.

JFK Is Hiring

JFK has several hourly paid school positions available during the school year.  The positions have flexible duties working with 3-14 year olds in classrooms, at recesses, and during lunches.  Helping with food preparation and cleaning may be included.  Candidates must be able to work schedules that start as early as 7:00 a.m. and end as late as 5:30 p.m.  Tuition, childcare, and other fee reductions are included.  Interested parties should send a letter of interest, resume, and references to or complete an application at the school.

Substitutes Needed

JFK is also in need of substitutes.  You do not need a teaching degree to work as a substitute.  If you are interested in being a substitute, please contact me and/or the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency at 563-359-1371.

Back to School Registration:  Slots Still Available Monday and Tuesday

On July 24th, I emailed the general Back to School Registration letters for the 2020-21 school year to families.  One letter was for K-8 and one for preschool.

Back to School Registration will be different this year with scheduled time slots available on August 2-4.  While the letters contain the details, I am also including the links needed to sign up for the time slots HERE or

Only one time slot is needed per family.  A family of three children, for example, still only needs one registration time slot.

K-8 Supply List

Click HERE for the supply list for K-8 or use the following link/url:

There is no supply list for 4/5 year old preschool.  The three year old preschool supply list will be available at/after back to school registration.

Unpack Your Backpack/Meet Your Teacher

When enrollment stabilizes and class lists are completed, you will receive an email with your child’s teacher.  You will also receive a link to a SignUp Genius for Unpack Your Backpack/Meet Your Teacher.  We will have numerous 30 minute time slots available for up to five families at a time to be in classrooms.  Families with multiple children will receive the first opportunity to sign up for slots so they can schedule all of their kids’ meetings near one another.

We ask that families social distance when on campus.  Given the nature of this event and the volume of students and parents coming and going, face coverings will be required by all adults and children.  Desks will be sanitized between sessions.

Time slots for K-8:

Wednesday, August 19:  7:30, 8:00 and 8:30 a.m.

Wednesday, August 19:  4:00, 4:30, 5:00, and 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, August 20:  5:00, 5:30, 6:00, 6:30, and 7:00 p.m.

We ask that only one adult accompany one child.  While this limitation will help with traffic flow and social distancing, it actually also allows families to “divide and conquer:”  mom and child can attend a 6:00 session, and dad and another child can also attend a 6:00 session.  Or, mom can take the kids to a 4:00 session for one child and a 4:30 session for the next child while Dad stays home with the littlest child who’s not in school yet.

Preschool meetings are a little different as they are one-to-one — each family has an independent meeting with the teacher.  Preschool time slots will be:

Wednesday, August 19:  7:30-9:00 a.m.

Wednesday, August 19:  3:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, August 20:  11:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. for 4/5 yr old preschool

2:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. for 3 yr old preschool


Return to Learn Complete Plan

Click HERE or use the following link/url to access JFK’s complete return to learn plan:

Please note that this document is revised almost daily as new information becomes available and more details are able to be added.  Although the document was last edited on August 1st, it still does not have changes made in light of the Iowa Department of Education’s most recent information released on Thursday.

As there have been a number of questions regarding face coverings, the following is pulled from the Return to Learn Plan and copied below.  Please remember that it is subject to change.


  • Students in grades 2-8 are required to wear face coverings, when social distancing is not possible.  It is strongly encouraged for preschoolers through 1st graders.
  • Students in grades PS-1 may also be required to wear face coverings in certain situations when social distancing is not possible, just like the older students.  Examples include during aftercare, on the bus, indoor recess, and other times when the teacher assigns the student to an activity that does not allow for social distancing (such as “centers.”)
  • Students in grades PS-8 will also be required, as is feasible, to wear face coverings when traveling in the hallways.
  • Classrooms have been set up for six feet of social distancing.  Therefore, students are currently encouraged, but not required, to wear face coverings in the classrooms when social distancing is possible.  Although preschool classrooms are set up for 5-6 feet of social distancing, face coverings will not be required by preschool students there either.
  • Students will provide their own cloth face coverings.  There are no specific dress code restrictions, other than the following, which is taken from our dress code policies:  No logos, advertising, slogans, sayings, or other pictures of a nature that would be inappropriate to a Catholic school are permitted.  Ex:  colorful face coverings with brand names on them would be acceptable but skulls/crossbones would not.  Disposable face coverings will also be available for those who forget their cloth face coverings.
  • Students should not share or try on others’ face coverings.
  • All students may be required to wear face coverings when riding school buses, depending upon the guidance in place for bus transportation at the time.
  • Students should wear face coverings when arriving at school and at dismissal time as these are less controlled situations, and the hallways and parking lot may become more congested with students of multiple grade levels even with the procedures mentioned elsewhere in this document.
  • Students who are waiting to be picked up because they are ill will be required to wear a cloth or disposable face covering to the extent possible given the age of the student and with the exceptions mentioned above by the CDC.  When calling the student’s parent to have them pick up the student, this requirement will be mentioned, which allows the parent to note any particular reason why this would not be possible.
  • Students will not have a face covering put on them by a staff member.  Students put on their own coverings.  
  • Students will need to remove face coverings for eating and the receiving of the Holy Eucharist.
  • Students should also remove face coverings for recess and PE or not participate in high intensity activities that may cause difficulty breathing.  Alternate activities will be available for students who do not want to remove their face coverings in order to participate in the high intensity activities.  Students will not be required to remove face coverings and may continue to wear them even if not required.
  • Students who are wearing face coverings and working with interventionists, even when it is important for the interventionist to see the students’ mouths, will not be asked to remove their face coverings without an agreement with the child’s parents/guardians.  Interventionists will discuss with parents the availability of other measures that may be used such as the clear partitions and school provided face shields that may be used by these students during the intervention time period
  • Students will keep their face coverings in designated areas during the school day, according to teachers’ discretion.  These areas may be in Ziploc bags on their lunch trays, clipped to their desks, etc.  Break-away lanyards with face coverings may also be used.
  • Students will be taught about the prevention of stigma associated with the use or non-use of face coverings.    
  • Students who might not be able to use cloth face coverings due to a health or safety concern including but not limited to age, developmental disability, underlying condition, or mental health concern may be allowed to wear a face shield instead after consultation between the students’ parents and JFK staff.  These face shields must be provided by the students.


Please continue to take care of yourselves:  practice social distancing, maintain hand/face hygiene, stay home when sick, and wear a face covering when social distancing is not possible.

We can do this!