Principal’s Post

October 25, 2020

Fall Celebrations on October 30th

We will have our annual black/orange dress day on Friday, October 30th.  Students may be out of uniform if they are wearing black and/or orange, but they do still need to follow the out of uniform guidelines in our handbook.

Look for communication from your child’s teacher regarding details for other ways of celebrating.  One of the big things we are trying to avoid is kids passing out things to other kids, and teachers have options that they can share with you.

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Parent-teacher conferences will be November 2nd from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. and November 5th from 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 -8:00 p.m.  There are no classes on November 5th and 6th.  ECLC is open those days.

November 6th is also the end of the first quarter.

We will use SignUp Genius to schedule PS-5th grade conferences.  The scheduling intervals will be 20 minutes, but conferences will not be longer than 15 minutes, allowing time for cleaning in between guests.  For in person conferences, face coverings are required, and participants will be seated 6-12 feet apart.  Those waiting will be required to stay on a black “dot” in our hallways or other marking on the floor in other locations.  If you want to do the conference via Zoom, you will need to indicate it in SignUp Genius so the teacher knows to send you an invitation with a link.  The SignUp Genius link was sent on Thursday to those families who have more than one child at JFK.  It will be sent to other PS-5 families no later than Monday.

Sixth-8th grade and specials conferences will be “drop in” but scattered throughout the building so those waiting are apart from one another.  Within each conferencing area/room, we will use multiple tables/seats for parents so we can have one set of seats drying from disinfectant while another spot is being used.  Face coverings are required, and participants will be seated 6-12 feet apart.  If parents want a Zoom conference instead of a face-to-face meeting, these will have to be scheduled separately, and teachers will post these “taken” times outside of their doors and/or communicate it through other means.  Due to the higher number of students that upper grade teachers have, conferences will be less than 15 minutes.  At this time, we are planning on using the following locations for upper grade and specials conferences:

  • Mrs. Kubalsky (6th-8th):  Room 206 (her room)
  • Mrs. Nicoletto (6th and 6th-8th Spanish):  Room 207 (her room)
  • Mrs. Thomas (6th):  Room 203 (her room)
  • Mr. Connors and Mrs. VanSpeybroeck:  Room 215 (music room)
  • Mr. Ryan:  Room 212 (art room)
  • Mrs. Tilkens:  Cafeteria
  • Ms. Burken (7th):  Cafeteria
  • Mrs. Whelchel (7th/8th):  Gym
  • Mrs. Lundquist (8th):  Gym

Online JFK Spirit Store

Click HERE for the online JFK spirit store developed by Home & School

COVID Related 

The bad news only got worse this past week:

  • COVID-19 numbers for Scott County continue to be high.  We’ve had three record highs within the last ten days:  89 and 92 new cases on two days last week and 133 on Friday/Saturday.  Earlier this fall I wrote that the  average number of cases was in the mid-30s.  Last week I said that the graph looked like the 14 day moving average for Scott County was just over 50 new cases per day.  The latest 14 day moving average is now over 60 cases per day.
  • The 14 day positivity rate calculation used by the Department of Education for Scott County was at 6.6% when school started.  On 10/13, it was 8.7%.  Today, it is at 11.8%.
  • According to the CDC’s document regarding the risk of COVID-19 transmission in schools (see the link below), the risk of transmission in Scott County schools as of 10/20/2020 is now in the highest levels of risk according to the number of new cases per 100,000 population (420 per 100,000 compared to 335 on 10/13), positivity rate (10.1% on 10/20), and percent change in number of new cases per 100,000 (22%).  Our percentage of hospital beds used has moved from the lowest risk level to the lower risk level (71%), and the percent of hospital beds being used for COVID patients (10%) is remaining in the moderate risk level.

CDC indicators, thresholds of COVID transmission in schools

The good news:  While COVID-19 seems to be all around us, it is not in high numbers in our Catholic schools – yet.  The cumulative positivity rate for persons at JFK is less than 3%, and our 14 day average is 0.0%.  Since school began, an average of about 6.5 persons per week are being tested.

Our latest discussions at school have focused on developing some metrics that might be used should there be a need for a two week building shut-down, a one week building shut-down, a shut-down of a particular homeroom, a mask mandate for the building, and a mask mandate for a particular homeroom.  It’s a tough conversation to have:  act too soon and you risk compromising the education available, but act too late and you risk or have already risked compromising everyone’s health.  Below is our current draft:

COVID Metrics for building closure, face masks, 10-21-2020

Most situations involving COVID are not the “super spreader” events you hear about in the news.  Rather, they are small gatherings of family and close friends or work-related situations.  We cannot let our guard down.  I would encourage everyone to proceed as if COVID-19 were everywhere.  Wear your mask, practice social distancing, use good face/hand hygiene, and stay home when ill.

Handbook Sign-Off

Please read the parent and student handbook, available HERE, and on our website:  Then, print off the last page, sign it, and return it to the school office — one per family.  Thank you for helping us to reduce our printing costs.

Annual Diocesan Appeal

Families of John F. Kennedy Catholic School are encouraged to consider a pledge to the Annual Diocesan Appeal.  Funds support the work of the diocese, including the training of deacons and new priests, support for our parishes and Catholic schools, charitable works, and the administrative work required to support Catholics within our diocese.  Contributions can be a one-time donation or spread out throughout the year. No amount is too small.

Home & School News

Holiday Greenery:  Wreaths, swags, etc.  Orders and payment are due by 3:00 p.m. on Friday, October 30th in order to be processed.  Accepted forms of payment include check or Venmo. Cash will NOT be accepted by Home and School for this fundraiser.  JFK Students/families are responsible for order pick ups and delivery to their own buyers.  The use of the online order form is encouraged, but please note that payment is still due either via check or Venmo.  Pick up information is still being finalized, but it will be the weekend of Nov 20-22nd (just in time for the holidays)!!  If you cannot pick up at that time, you’ll need to arrange for your own backup.

Panera Bread fundraiser:  Join us on Thursday, October 29th from 4pm to 8pm for a JFK fundraiser.  Bring in the flyer or show an electronic version of it (such as from the JFK Moms and Dads Facebook group) when you place your order.   A portion of the proceeds from every order will go to JFK Home and School.

Stay safe!