FAQ/Facts

What type of environment does John F. Kennedy Catholic School provide?

Our Lady of Victory parish and Scott County Catholic Schools, through John F. Kennedy Catholic School, Guardian Angel Preschool, and our daycare (Early Childhood Learning Center), provides a preschool – 8th grade Christ-centered, nurturing, caring, safe environment. Acting as an extension of the family, the staff of JFK encourages all students to realize and reach their true potential. Students are taught life skills and values, including to respect others, care for and help others, and to be accountable for their actions.

How important is religion as part of the school curriculum?

Christ is at the center of the curriculum and activities at the school. Students spend nearly three and a half hours each week engaged in faith formation activities, including weekly Masses, daily religion classes, daily prayer, and service activities. On the first Friday of each month, students participate in Adoration. Service activities and retreat opportunities are age appropriate and allow students to put their faith into action. In addition to classroom teachers, religious instruction is enhanced by the pastor, coordinator of religious education, and coordinator of youth ministry.

What are the curriculum standards, and what academic resources are made available to the students?

Core Subjects:
Reading (Literature in grades 6-8)
Language Arts
Math
Science and Health
Social Studies
Religion
Additional Subjects:
Art
Music and drama
Physical education
Computers/Typing
Foreign Lang. exploratory (grades 6-8)

All students spend at least 90 minutes per day in reading/literature and language arts, even in the middle school years, and 60 minutes of math per day. JFK follows the curriculum guidelines of the Diocese of Davenport and the Iowa Core, which is based upon the national Common Core.

JFK students, on the average, perform far better than other students on formal assessments. Students begin writing research papers as early as the fourth grade, and all 5th-8th grade students compete in a speech contest which requires both a research paper and a public speech. JFK graduates are regularly among the top students at Assumption, West, North, Central and even North Scott high schools. It is a common occurrence for a JFK alumnus to be the valedictorian of his/her graduating high school class.

JFK students and graduates do exceptionally well in the areas of leadership, service, academics, music, and athletics. High school teachers often remark that they can easily identify JFK graduates in their classes.

Tutoring and extra help is available to those students who need extra support, and special enrichment activities are available for those students excelling. One of the unique characteristics of JFK is that many activities that might be just in a Talented and Gifted program in other buildings are either required of or open to all students at JFK.

What are the hours of the school day and is there a before or after school program?

K-8 classes start at 7:25 a.m., and school is dismissed at 2:40 p.m.   Staff supervision of the playground begins at 7:10 a.m. and concludes at 2:55 p.m. The after school extended day program is available from 2:40-5:30 p.m.  There are additional charges for the after school programs.

Times are subject to change each school year.

Can my child be bused to school?

Yes. Davenport public school system will provide free transportation for children attending JFK, provided they meet distance requirements, which have typically been 1 ½ miles from JFK for students in grades K-5 and 1 1/2 to 2 miles for students in grades 6-8.  Parents of students who live in school districts other than Davenport may apply for a reimbursement for transporting their own children. The bus company, All Town Transportation Services, can be reached at 306-2040 for more information. Bus transportation is subject to change.

How large are the classes?

Student-teacher ratio in K-8: 15 to 1
K-8 ratio of staff working with students: 13 to 1
Average class size in K-8: 20
Aides are in several classrooms

Guardian Angel preschool with teacher and aide(s):
3 year old program: maximum, max 10 to 1 ratio
4 year old programs: 20 maximum, max 10 to 1 ratio

Do you offer sports programs?

Sports programs can begin with Dav Parks & Rec teams associated with JFK in preschool and Kindergarten and continue throughout 8th grade. Parks & Rec operates fall and spring soccer, flag football, basketball, and softball programs. The Catholic League offers inter-scholastic competition for 6th-8th graders in at least volleyball and basketball that is both school based and parish based. Many of our students participate in Rising Knights and Future Lady Knights programs in football, wrestling, basketball, volleyball, and golf. These programs can be excellent feeder programs to Assumption High School. There are also plenty of local programs for cheerleading, dance, and tumbling.

Are there fine arts and music programs at John F. Kennedy?

JFK’s music and drama programs are central to the school’s culture. Students have two music classes each week. All students participate in musical productions each year, and the 7th and 8th graders can also elect to be in choir.  All 4th graders learn to play the recorder.  Students can choose to begin instrumental music in the 5th grade where 90% or more of the students play an instrument. JFK has three bands: 5th, 6th, and 7th/8th grade. All students also have art class twice per week.

Does John F. Kennedy offer extra curricular activities or field trips?

Our school has a variety of extra curricular activities, including music, band, theater, student council, writing journal, science fair, civic oration, creative writing, and several levels of scouts. Our students also experience academically enriching field trips to places such as the Chicago museums and the Quad City Symphony.

Do you have a gym and a physical education program?

Students take physical education twice per week. Physical education classes emphasize cognitive understanding and individual growth and skill development. Including recesses, K-5 students have at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day, and 6-8 students have at least 120 minutes per week. Our parish has several acres of land available for student use, and the students enjoy our extensive playground equipment, soccer fields, a softball/baseball field, and a gymnasium.

What technology resources or computer training is available to the students?

JFK had a 1:1 student to computer/tablet ratio in all K-8th grades. Students regularly use computers for research, composition, practice, and presentations. Students are also taught correct keyboarding skills. The school has interactive whiteboards and LCD projectors in each classroom, and students and staff utilize Google Apps for Education. An online math program adjusts students’ supplemental lessons to students’ ability levels. A comprehensive website, a manual and automated phone/text/email system, and social media enhance communications at JFK.

What is the cost to educate my child at John F. Kennedy Catholic School?

The practice of good stewardship is encouraged by all families and includes intentional giving of time, talent, and treasure. Many families respond with sacrificial giving through the church envelopes and support the mission of educating our children.  Many parishioners give 5 – 10% of their family income to the Scott County Catholic parishes and their mission of Catholic Schools. Families that have gone before us have paid for the school building, and our dedicated teachers view their work as a gift back to God.

The actual cost to educate a PS-8 child at JFK, although over $6,000 per student, is significantly less than needed in the Davenport public schools. The Catholic parishes invest nearly $1,500 in the education of each K-8 child. Tuition, fees, fundraisers, and other sources combine for the rest of our revenue.

Tuition fees and rates are adjusted each year.  A separate tuition and fee schedule is published annually.

Many families utilize a monthly payment plan.  Payments can also be made annually or semi-annually.

Are there scholarships, credits, or financial assistance?

Yes! Tuition assistance is available for many families.  It includes the following:

Educational Savings Accounts:  Eligible families can apply to have the state of Iowa pay about $7,600 toward the education of each child in K-12.  Eligible families in 2024-25 include all kindergarteners and first graders, new transfer students, students who already received an ESA in 2023-24 due to transferring to JFK for 2023-24, and families whose income is less than 400% of poverty (which is just over $120,000 for a family of four).  In 2025-26, ALL families will be eligible.

Family Tuition Plan: The Family Tuition Plan is designed to make it possible for every interested Catholic family to choose a K-12 Catholic school education regardless of financial barriers.  The Plan is also available for members of other religious traditions.  Parents sometimes forego a Catholic school education for their children after analyzing family budgets and fearing that tuition costs may eventually become difficult to manage.  The goal of the Family Tuition Plan is to alleviate these fears by providing tuition assistance through funds donated toward the Mississippi Valley Student Tuition Organization.  All families are encouraged to apply.

Iowa Education Tax Credit: Families can receive a credit of up to $500 on their Iowa income taxes. (Consult your tax advisor.)

Grants and hardship assistance: Additional parish grants and assistance may be arranged by the family with the pastor.

Can my child attend John F. Kennedy Catholic School if we are not parishioners or Catholics?

Yes, students of any religion or parish, race, ethnic background, and gender are welcome. Students of religious traditions other than Catholicism are treated as part of the family and participate in many of the religious activities. Some of our most active families are non-parishioners.

Are there preschool, kindergarten, and daycare opportunities available?

Kindergarten is full day, and classes follow the same schedule as students in grades 1-8.

JFK’s preschool, Guardian Angel Preschool, offers an academically enriching, age appropriate introduction to school with certified teachers.

Three classes are available for three year olds:  MWF 7:25-9:55, TTh 7:25-9:55, or M-F 7:25-9:55.
Four and five year olds can meet M-F mornings from 7:25 – 10:25 or M-F afternoons from 11:40 – 2:40.

Partial day and full day wrap around childcare is available for all programs.

Tuition rates and fees are adjusted each year.  A separate tuition and fee schedule is published annually.

Four year old preschool is free for the first 10 hours per week for IA four year olds.  Because the standard program is more than 10 hours per week, a slight additional annual charge is billed for those who want the standard program.

Our partial day and full day wrap around childcare services in our Early Childhood Learning Center (ECLC) are provided by a licensed teacher.  When combined with the preschool classes, students can have supervised instruction and care from 7:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Are there summer options?

Yes, JFK has several summer options available from which to choose:

Tutoring/Lessons: One to one tutoring and instrumental lessons are available from certified staff. The rate is $22 per hour/$11 per half hour. Flexible arrangements are made between the family and staff member.

JFK Leaps & Bounds: Staffed by certified teachers, this summer program offers several two week sessions for those who want to get ahead or get caught up on their reading and math skills. Students in grades K-6 can participate in one session, all sessions, or any combination of the sessions.

Other: Other summer programming may be available, such as a weeklong JumpStart kindergarten.

Is there a uniform policy?

Yes, JFK has a uniform policy that describes what is and is not acceptable attire. In general, boys and girls can wear collared polo shirts in red, navy, and white colors, and dress pants in navy and khaki colors. Girls can also wear the plaid jumpers or skirts. The detailed policy is available under “Policies and Forms” on our website.

What type of lunch program is there?

Students have the option of hot lunch that is cooked on site (about $2.95 per standard meal) or bringing their own lunches. Families can also apply for free or reduced price rates. Hot lunch menus are published monthly and available under the “Calendars” section of our website.

Are the teachers qualified?

Yes. The teachers meet Iowa state certification standards with at least BA or BS degrees in education and continue to take classes to better themselves. Many staff members are also members of Our Lady of Victory and currently have or have had their own children at JFK.

Do the teachers regularly assign homework?

Yes. The general rule of thumb is about ten minutes of homework per grade level per night. On some nights, there is more homework, and, on other nights, there is less. Special projects also require work outside of school, and reading and math outside of school are always encouraged.

What opportunities are there for parents to become involved?

The school is an integral part of the Our Lady of Victory parish. Specific school organizations include the Home and School Association, the Music Boosters, and the Board of Education. There are opportunities for coaching, tutoring, leading scout groups, and assisting on field trips, during retreats, and with service activities.

Comments from Parents: What do you like about JFK?

“I like the fact that the school feels like one big family.”

“The staff is fantastic!”

“Challenging academics. No tolerance for bullying/negativism.”

“…[S]tudents that attend JFK come from families that care about their kids [and] support their children behaviorally and academically.”

“High academic standards, dedicated teachers & staff, family-like atmosphere, faith-filled community, safe environment.”

How to Enroll, Take a Tour, or Obtain More Information

Please call the principal, Chad Steimle, or school office staff, Angie Hillebrand and Shay Lagrone, at (563) 391-3030 or the parish office at (563) 391-4245 or stop by our school office at 1627 W. 42nd Street, Davenport, Iowa any school day between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. (8:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. during the summer). You can also e-mail us at chad.steimle@olvjfkmail.com or angie.hillebrand@olvjfkmail.com.