Principal’s Post

Principal’s Post for December 5, 2021

Highlighted Events — Busy 2 Weeks Until Christmas Break

Both a summary and detailed school calendars for JFK are available on our website.  Highlighted events are below:

  • Dec 6:  St. Nick’s Treats from Assumption.  2nd Grade Out of Uniform
  • Dec 8:  Feast of the Immaculate Conception
  • Dec 9:  3/4 Christmas concert.  3/4 Out of Uniform
    • See note from Mrs. VanSpeybroeck regarding staggered times.
  • Dec 10: 4/5 yr old PS parent/child small group activities.  JFK 3rd-8th grade Reconciliation during the day.
  • Dec 14:  Band concert
    • See note from Mr. Connors regarding staggered times.
  • Dec 15:  3 yr old PS parent/child small group activities
  • Dec 16:  K-2 Christmas concert.  K-2 Out of Uniform
    • See note from Mrs. VanSpeybroeck regarding staggered times.
  • Dec 17:  Last day of school before Christmas break begins.  Red/Green/White/Christmas attire.  Special dismissal at 12:40.  No pm PS classes.
  • Jan 3:  Classes resume after Christmas break

Staff Adjustments

We are in the process of making the following staff adjustments:

    1. Brenda Werner has finished the major projects assigned to her for temporary work in the school office.  She will now focus on projects in the parish office.
    2. Julie Baker will be moving out of her aide role in morning preschool and concentrating more on the library, additional office-type tasks, and support for Ms. Siefers in tech support.
    3. Hannah Keep, an instructional aide, is moving to Cedar Rapids later this week.  We appreciate her service over the last year and a half.
    4. Melissa VanDam will move into an aide role in morning preschool and will be less involved in our after school care program.
    5. Jessica Rebolloso will begin at JFK on January 3rd.  She will, for the most part, assume the duties that Ms. Keep was doing in preschool, the cafeteria, recess duties, and afternoon ECLC.  Mrs. Rebolloso has previous experience working in an elementary school.
    6. Kelley Wohlers started last week.  She has a variety of duties with recesses, lunch supervision, floating aide time in classrooms, and aftercare/ECLC.  She is studying to become an elementary school teacher and worked in a childcare center west of Davenport.
    7. Shayonte Lagrone is starting at JFK on December 6th.  She will be working in preschool as an interventionist aide.  Ms. Lagrone has a BA from Western Illinois University and is taking coursework to become an elementary school guidance counselor.  Some of the extra preschool aide time is being funded by additional restricted PS funds from the state.

DHS Site Visit for “JFK Childcare at JFK Catholic School”

We finally had our unannounced licensing site visit from the Department of Human Services for our Early Childhood Learning Center, 3 year old preschool, and after school care program.  Due to the diligence of Mrs. Temming and all of our childcare staff members, there were no areas of non-compliance and no areas recommended for improvement.  We’d also like to thank all the parents who stay on top of their children’s immunizations and health screenings/physicals for childcare programs.  The DHS “inspector” randomly reviews about 5%-10% of our student childcare files.  While it seems odd to have certain requirements for your children when in K-8 classes during the day and other requirements when in after school care, that’s just how the licensing works with two different state agencies involved.

Handicapped Parking

Please observe the handicapped parking near the divider and at the north end of our parking lot, especially near preschool pickup times during the day and after school.

Ignite Sundays

See below for the list of IGNITE Sundays.  There is no cost or registration required to participate. Come to as many of the opportunities listed below as you are able on IGNITE Sundays.  Families are encouraged to participate together.  There are small group activities and family activities at each session.

Typical schedule for IGNITE Sundays:

  • 4:30-5:30pm Mass
  • 5:35-6:05pm Meal in the Parish Center
  • 6:10-7:15pm Group Gatherings

Ignite Sundays:

  • Dec 12:  Finding your place in the Advent story
  • Feb 13:  Anawim (Hebrew word meaning “poor one”)  Poverty and the dignity of work
  • March 6:  “I thirst” Lent
  • March 20:  “I hunger” Eucharist
  • April 10:  Family: The foundation of society
  • April 24: What does God want me to do?

COVID Guidance for 2021-22

Click on the JFK COVID FAQ, 2021-22 to have your questions answered.  Please note that the information is, however, subject to change.

COVID Data and Comments

Below is a link to a .pdf file that shows several graphs for Scott County and JFK.  Below are also some comments related to the pandemic.

COVID Data, Dec 3, 2021

  • COVID shots are now available for the 5-11 year old age group.  They now join those aged 12 and up who can receive the COVID vaccination.  Booster shots are also available for those 18 and over.
  • Here is a link to the Scott County Health Department.  On its website is a link to a conversation among area pediatricians: Area Pediatricians Discuss COVID Vaccination
  • COVID numbers continue to rise in Scott County.  Case counts, positivity rates, and the percentage of hospital beds occupied by COVID patients are all trending upward.  Some think we’re on a similar progression as we were last year only about a month behind.  Our current numbers are about where we were in Scott County in last year’s late October and early November.  Cases peaked last year right around Thanksgiving.  We’ll see if they peak around Christmas this year.
  • Last Sunday, I mentioned that our COVID cases hadn’t yet risen at JFK.  This week, they increased six to ten-fold.  By Friday, we had 13 PS-8th grade students absent due to positive COVID tests.  This number represents about 3.2% of our student population.
    • For a perspective, through all of last year, we had 17 PS-8th grade students who were absent due to positive COVID tests.  That was about 4.2%  of our student population last year.
    • Through December 3rd of this year, we have had 40 PS-8th grade students absent due to positive COVID tests.  That represents about 9.9% of our PS-8 student population.
  • In most of the situations with positive COVID cases this week, the students were not at school during the infectious periods.  Few letters were, therefore, sent to parents.
  • As with our previous high number of COVID cases back in October, some of our larger families have multiple cases within their households.
  • We are also aware of a number of COVID cases in families among children who are not yet five years old or even in preschool.  Little kids do get COVID.
  • COVID and other illnesses have also been taking a toll on our staff and/or their own children.  On Friday, we had 16% of our staff members absent.
  • I think I wore my mask almost all day by the time the week was over.  I even realized several times that I was still wearing it when alone in my office!