Principal’s Post

Principal’s Post for May 12, 2024

I’m So Blessed!

In my administrative position, I’m blessed to have tools like Zoom, GoogleMeet, GoToMeeting, Webex, and other online meeting applications. I spent good portions of Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday last week in meetings with people outside the building, and none of us had to drive any where!

Educational Savings Accounts Applications Being Accepted

 The application process for the Educational Savings Account program opened on April 16th and will close at 11:59 p.m. on June 30th. Families must apply each year through the state’s vendor, Odyssey, even if you received an ESA this year or if you are not required to verify your income.

Eligible families in 2024-25 are the following:

  • Anyone who received an ESA this year (but you must apply again for next year)
    • If you received an ESA this year based upon income, you will not have to verify your income again, BUT you will need to apply
  • All kindergartners and first graders. We did some work in Odyssey this weekend, and, while the system’s organization is not yet sortable, I could tell that not all families of kindergartners or first graders have applied.
  • New transfer students
  • Families whose income is at or below 400% of poverty, which is about $124,800 for a family of four

The Students First ESA Application is available in English and Spanish. Apply Now

Returning applicants: Parents/guardians with an existing Odyssey portal account will log in to the existing account to begin the application for the 2024-25 school year.

Applying for the first time: Parents/guardians who do not have an Odyssey portal account will first be directed to sign up with an email and password. Parents/guardians will receive a message from Odyssey asking them to confirm their email address. After the email is confirmed, the parent/guardian can sign in to the Odyssey portal to begin their application.

In 2025-26, all families, regardless of income will be eligible for ESAs.

ESA verifications as of 5/12/2024:

  • 67% of kindergartners have had ESA applications verified
  • 70% of first graders have had ESA applications verified

All K and 1st graders are eligible for ESAs regardless of income.

Leaps & Bounds Registration Still Open

Registration for both sessions of Leaps & Bounds is still open. L & B focuses on reading and math for students currently in K-5th grade. Space is limited for each session, and a minimum number of students is also needed in order for each session to be viable. Currently, ESA funds are not able to be used for the $200 L & B fee. To register, please complete the registration forms and return to the school office with the registration fee. L & B Registration Forms

Session I: June 17-21 & June 24-28 (8:00-11:30)

Session II: July 15-19 & July 22-26 (8:00-11:30)

Jumpstart Kindergarten

Registration for Jumpstart Kindergarten will open this week. This program for incoming kindergartners is July 29 – Aug 1 from 8:00-10:30 a.m.

Relatively No Movement on Registration Fees

There has been relatively no movement on the number/percentage of families who have paid the registration fees for next year. Registration fees have been received for about 75% of next year’s K-8 students and 92% of the students registered for 3 YO preschool.

The 4 YO preschool extra time fee or registration fee for “non-qualifying” students has been received for about 68% of students. We will begin to make provisions for those students who will be leaving after the state-funded time of two hours per day (pick up at 9:25 or 1:40) rather than staying for the three hours per day that we offer (pick up at 10:25 or 2:40).

The link to pay the fees is available on the front page of our website. The link also allows new families the options for paying the extra time fee for 4 YO preschools and the wraparound registration/deposit fee. The K-8 registration fee button can also be used to pay for 3 YO preschool registration and 4 YO Non-qualifying preschool registration.

The registration fee, except for those Iowa residents applying for four year old preschool, is now $125 per child. The extra time fee for Iowa residents registering for 4 YO preschool is $250.

JFK Open Positions for 2024-25

At the present time, there are several open positions at JFK for the 2024-25 school year. This list could become longer and/or different as we internally move people around as well. If you are interested in a position at JFK, please contact me.

  • K-5 teaching position. An Iowa teaching license with a K-6 elementary endorsement or willingness to pursue/obtain them is required. We haven’t decided what grade level we are looking for yet.
  • Interventionist position. An Iowa teaching license with a K-6 elementary endorsement or willingness to pursue/obtain them is required. Interventionists typically work individually or in small groups with students who need extra help with reading and/or math.
  • 3 YO PS, ECLC/wrap-around, and Aftercare positions: One or more positions may be available working with 3-5 year olds and/or 5-12 year olds. Candidates must meet the certification, training, and/or experience requirements of the Department of Health and Human Services or be willing to obtain them.
  • Aide positions. With SCCS having approved 1st grade aides for all elementary buildings for next year and after moving current aides around internally, we will likely have open aide positions available for next school year. Typically, our aides work in 3 YO PS, 4 YO PS, K, and now 1st grade. However, they may also be involved in recess duties during the day. All aides must be able to work one or more evenings per week on a rotational basis until 5:30 in after school care for 3-5 year olds or 5-12 year olds.
  • Lunch program. Our lunch program will need one to two people to help probably about 3-5 hours per day. Lunch program employees have also often worked to help supervise recesses, to assist teachers in preschool classrooms, and/or to supervise after school care programs. However, combining various roles may not necessarily be a requirement.


While volunteers are always welcome, those who work with children/students must participate in the diocesan safe environment program, which includes online training and background checks. These requirements apply to those who are not the leaders but are “helpers” as well. Coaches, including those for Parks & Rec’s teams using our building/property, scout participants, and many other volunteers must participate in the safe environment program. Adults going on field trips with students may also be subject to these requirements. For more information, please contact the school office.

No Parking on Drive by the Ball Field

There is to be no parking on both sides of the drive by the fall field. Both sides should be open for entering and exiting traffic.

Altar Server Training

Saturday, June 1, 9:30-11:30am in the church.

Children and other parishioners, 4th grade and up, who are interested in altar serving at Mass are invited to attend this training.

One parent/adult should attend with the student. If you have any questions, please call the Parish Office at  #563-391-4245.

Calendar Highlights

Here are just a few items highlighted from the detailed online school calendar:

  • May 13: 3rd Grade Field Trip. Middle School Youth Night
  • May 14: H & S Mtg. 5th/6th and 7/8 Choir Out of Uniform
  • May 16: Band Concert
    • Stay tuned to communication from Ms. Schaecher. Using AHS for the evening may be problematic now.
  • May 17: AHS seniors visit. Band Out of Uniform
  • May 18: 8th Grade Social Knight for Those Going to AHS
  • May 20: Band to Adventureland
  • May 23: 3 YO PS Conferences. JFK Skate Night
  • May 24: 2nd Grade Picnic. 4th Grade Bowling
  • May 26: AHS Baccalaureate Mass and Graduation
  • May 27: Memorial Day. No Classes. ECLC Closed
  • May 28: 8th Grade Field Trip. 4th Grade Picnic
  • May 29: Last Day of PS Classes. 3 YO PS Family Event. 4 YO PS Evening Family Events
  • May 30: Field Day. Last Day of K-8 Classes. Early Dismissal at 12:40
  • May 31: Last Day of ECLC. 8th Grade Graduation. JFK Night at the River Bandits