Principal’s Post

May 31, 2020

Last Week of 2019-20 School Year

This is the last week of the 2019-20 school year!  The last day of new required work for students is June 3rd.  June 4th and 5th will be used for students to catch up, make corrections and bring previously submitted work up to an acceptable level of mastery as needed, and to extend their learning with non-required activities.  The P/I final determinations will be made by June 8th, if possible.

As I have looked at students’ progress in 3rd-8th grades this weekend, I have noted some interesting observations.  In some grades and subjects, all of the students are on pace for a “P,” while at other grades or subjects, only 80% might be on that same pace.  (Yes, it’s still also holding that younger students are more likely to be on pace than older students, but the older students have picked up the pace since observations in the middle of April.)  Students also tend to be better on pace in reading/ELA and math than science and social studies.  They are also way more on pace in core subjects than specials.  Individual students, however, might be all over the place.  Some students are consistently on top of everything while others are excelling in a few subjects but struggling to keep up in others.  Some students are “streaky;” they’ll be right on pace for a long period of time, and then have another longer period of time when they fall behind.  We are even seeing some students who struggled with face-to-face learning excelling in remote learning, and some students who excelled with face-to-face learning are struggling with remote learning.  There’s a little bit of everything!

Let’s hope everyone finishes strong this week!

“Closure” to the End of the School Year for Everyone

To find “closure” to the end of this school year for all students, we will be making a special video for each grade level that will be shared and posted.  We’ll also have some personalized items for our students.  Our distribution method will be set in conjunction with a method to distribute yearbooks and to collect Chromebooks, 8th grade ELA textbooks, JFK and AEA library books, etc.

End of the Year Drop Off and Pick Up of Items

During the week of June 1st, families will receive an email from us with the dates/times for drop off and pick up of materials and a list of many of the items that are owed from your students.  Many families have JFK Chromebooks and chargers, library books, and even some textbooks to return.  Some students may have books from teachers’ “classroom libraries,” and there may even be some medications in the office.  There are also some band instruments to be returned by graduating 8th graders.  Please look around to see if there are any additional items of the school that need to be returned.

We will also have yearbooks for those who ordered them plus a few extra for sale and a special gift for students to be picked up.  Altar servers may receive their awards, if they have not already done so.

To allow for social distancing, we have assigned drop off times and dates according to the first letter of your child’s last name.
Last Names Beginning with A through L:  Monday June 8th and Tuesday June 9th 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Last Names Beginning with M through Z:  Wednesday June 10th and Thursday June 11th 7:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Face masks should be worn by those entering the building, and the number of people from each family should be limited to those needed to carry the materials to be returned.

Summer Instructional Programming

Schools have been given guidance on how to hold on site summer instructional programming.  We will be offering two sessions of Leaps & Bounds this summer.  Leaps & Bounds focuses on reading and math for students currently in kindergarten – 5th grade.  The student to teacher ratio is 7:1 or lower, and no more than 10 students will be in the room.  Students are encouraged to bring cloth face masks each day from home and return home with them for laundering or replacement with clean ones for the next day. Face shields may at times be used and will be provided by the school.  Session I is weekdays July 6 – 17, and session II is July 20 – 31.  The program runs from 8:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday.  The cost is $190 per student per session.  Sign up for one or both sessions.    A minimum number of students is needed to financially support each session.  More information will be available soon, or contact Mrs. Temming at kitty.temming@olvjfkmail.com to register.

We may also be able to offer one-on-one tutoring this summer.  Dates and times can be arranged individually.  The cost is $22 per hour.  More information will be available soon, or contact Mrs. Temming at kitty.temming@olvjfkmail.com to register.

Home & School

JFK’s Home & School is looking to “think outside the box” for activities next year.  Below is something they are exploring:

In order to have anything next year, however, more committed parents and/or teachers are needed.  This year, we had four key working parents holding down the fort.  We really need about 8-10.  Yes, there are traditional roles such as President, VP, Secretary, and Treasurer, but really what’s needed are a few more people who can commit to help organize H & S events.  It’s a great way to meet and get to know other parents and staff and get to see a little behind the scenes!  This committee has the potential to do great things, such as bringing an event like seen in the video to JFK, but it will not be successful without you.

If you are interested, please email our H & S by June 5th at JFK.HomeandSchool@outlook.com or contact one of the current officers via Facebook
—Erin Pape, President/Treasurer
—Cassandra Tatman, Co-President/Treasurer
—Kathy Knox, VP
—Allison Arlt, Secretary

Summer Communications

Normally, there would be very few, if any, Principal’s Posts during the summer.  This year, however, is not normal!  While I may not have new posts every weekend, look for communications to continue through posts that will be linked via email and on Facebook.

No Official Calendar/Start Date Yet for Next Year

We still have not heard when the DCSD will start next year or what their calendar will look like, and they were not on the DCSD’s May 26th meeting.  We will not set our start date and calendar at JFK until we know theirs so we can consider any bus issues.  It does not sound like early August start dates will be considered, however.  Prior to COVID-19, plans were progressing toward an August 24th start date, and we’ve seen unofficial hints that the 24th will be the date the DCSD uses.  I doubt that we would consider anything much earlier than August 17th now, if even that early.

Thank You for Your Service

Both the school and parish will have fewer staff members next year than this year.  We would like to thank the following people for their service to OLV/JFK and wish them the best in the future:  Kathy Knox, Norma Kuehn, and Dave Mattke.

Registration for Next Year

Being able to accurately project enrollment for the fall seems even more critical this year.  We will be needing to make some significant decisions such as how many desks we are really going to need if we have desks in all classrooms rather than the student tables that are currently in some rooms, how many math textbooks will we really need as we move to new/updated materials, how many Chromebooks do we really need to replace/update, etc.

Returned tuition contracts helps us plan for next year.  Please return your tuition contract as soon as you can, even without paying the registration fee now.  We would even accept a photo of a signed tuition contract sent to us via email.  We would even accept it without payment of the registration fee right now.  That can be paid later, if necessary.

As Iowa and the nation begin to re-open, we do understand the delays that people may have.  If you are concerned about finishing your tuition and other payments for the current school year, please contact Fr. Jake (greinerj@diodav.org or 563-391-4245) or Emily Sanderson (emily.sanderson@olvjfkmail.com or 563-391-3030) so a payment plan can be arranged.  We do not want unexpected financial barriers this year to prevent people from registering for next year.  If you are concerned about how to pay for next school year, don’t forget to apply for the Family Tuition Plan financial assistance, for which the application can be found HERE or https://www.assumptionhigh.org/familytuitionplan/.  Even if you need to send in the completed tuition contract without the registration fee yet, please do so as soon as possible.

We do, of course, need the registration fee eventually.  The deadline for the registration fee and deadline for the discounted registration fee have been extended to June 30th.  The discounted fee is $100 per child with a maximum of $200 per family.  On July 1st, the discount ends, and the fee will return to $125 per child with a maximum of $250 per family.  If you turned in a tuition contract without the registration fee, please send us the registration fee by June 30th so you can take advantage of the discount.

JFK Graduation

Beginning at 6:30 p.m. on June 5th, we will do something similar to our reverse teacher parade just for our 8th graders and their families/drivers.  Before exiting the parking lot, each car will stop so a “goodie bag” of several items, including their 8th grade t-shirt, ribbon/medallion, diploma, and other personalized items can be handed to them or a family member.  We will also be making a special video for students that will be on a flash drive and posted on our channel.

Please enter the parking lot from the ball field entrance.  Pick up will be near the front doors.  While we will begin at 6:30, not everyone needs to arrive at the same time.  We will remain outside until at least 7:30.  In the event of inclement weather, vehicles may be parked in the northern section of the lot.  A family member who is wearing a mask may then enter the building through the northwest doors, proceed up the stairs to pick up the bag, and exit JFK through the main entrance on 42nd Street.

Thank you for practicing social distancing during this event and wearing a face mask as needed.

Return to Learn Planning and Guiding Principles

Discussions concerning our “Return to Learn” planning for next school year continue.  We will likely have three separate plans ready.  One will be a plan for remote learning similar to what we are doing now.  This plan could be used if we could not have students on campus for long or short periods of time.  If we were to start school in August with students physically on-site, but had to close the school, a grade, or even just a homeroom for several days in February, for example, we would use the remote learning plan.

A second plan is for having students on campus in August.  This plan consumed the majority of our discussions again this past week.  Nothing seems easy any more!  Planning for re-opening is a challenge as there are many views/guidelines to consider coming from a variety of sources:

  1. National leadership, such as what President Trump is saying
  2. The Center for Disease Control (CDC)
  3. Iowa Governor Reynolds’ proclamations and statements
  4. Iowa Department of Education
  5. Iowa Department of Public Health
  6. Iowa COVID regions
  7. Scott County
  8. City of Davenport
  9. Diocese of Davenport
  10. Davenport Community School District (DCSD)
  11. What other area churches and Catholic schools are doing
  12. Everyone’s own opinions and practices
  13. OLV/JFK itself

One also has to sort through the information to determine what are opinions, what are guidance or recommendations, what are binding mandates, and what are just actions that people are taking.  It should also be noted that conversations and decisions are always influenced in schools by the fact that we are responsible for other people’s children.  What we might do within our own families may not be the same when charged with the responsibility to care for other people’s children.

Guiding our conversations for re-opening are the following primary principles, quoted from CDC documentation:

  • “Promote healthy hygiene practices such as hand washing and employees wearing a cloth face covering, as feasible
  • Intensify cleaning, disinfection, and ventilation
  • Encourage social distancing through increased spacing, small groups and limited mixing between groups, if feasible
  • Train all employees on health and safety protocols”

A fifth area would be screening of students and employees, and there currently seems to be somewhat fluid guidance on what that might look like.    

At JFK, we have had some intense conversations regarding room assignments and how furniture would be arranged, specials (art, music, PE, band, library), “traveling” in the upper grades, re-grouping/mixing students, preschool, recess, after school child care (aftercare), lunches and snacks, student drop off/pick up, sick/quarantining students and staff, and cleaning/sanitizing.  As I mentioned in previous Principal’s Posts, we are blessed at JFK with large classrooms, which provide us with some great options for social distancing.  The same can be said about areas that we can use for recesses.

The third plan within the “Return to Learn” framework is a hybrid plan or something that might be in between everyone working remotely and everyone being on campus.  There are a lot of transportation issues that would have to be considered with a hybrid model so we won’t work too much on that one until we have a better idea of what the DCSD might do for a hybrid model.

Scholarship and Awards

Last week, I announced the OLV scholarship winners for a current 6th grader and a current 7th grader.  On Friday, we announced 8th grade awards via video.  That video is below.

Church Getting Ready for Masses

The church is getting prepared for Masses again!  Read about it in this week’s OLV parish bulletin:  Click HERE or use the following link/url:  https://www.olvjfk.com/olv/wp-content/uploads/sites/2/2020/05/May-31-2020.pdf

 

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

Chad