SEPTEMBER IS ATTENDANCE AWARENESS MONTH

The month of September is a national attendance awareness month that brings attention on the sheer impact of attendance on the academic growth of PK-12 students. Here is some background into this issue:

September Attendance Awareness Month is a nationwide recognition of the connection between regular school attendance and academic achievement. This month highlights the importance of mobilizing schools, families and community partners to promote regular attendance by developing tiered strategies and personalized interventions to reduce chronic absence. A student who misses as few as two days of school a month is considered chronically absent.

Here are some more data points about school absence that might surprise you:

  • “Chronic absence” is defined by Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) survey, which refers to chronic absence as missing 15 or more days each school year.
     
  • In the 2015–16 school year, more than 8 million students in the U.S. were chronically absent.
     
  • Early data shows that chronic absence is likely to have dramatically increased due to the COVID-19 pandemic, potentially doubling in size from one out of six to one out of three students.
      
  • One in ten kindergarten and 1st grade students meet the criteria for chronic absence.
     
  • Many school districts also experienced significant declines in enrollment, occurring across all grade levels, but drops were greatest among the youngest learners, with some families delaying participation in kindergarten or preschool given the challenges of the pandemic.
     
  • Absenteeism amongst young students is correlated with lower rates of reading proficiency by 3rd grade—one California study found that only 17 percent of students chronically absent in kindergarten and 1st grade were reading at grade level after 3rd grade.
     
  • Chronic absence is a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school—a study out of the University of Utah found that just one year of chronic absence between 8th and 12th grade increased the likelihood of dropout by 7.4 times.
     
  • Close to half (45 percent) of high schools have high or extreme levels of chronic absence..

The Clinton Community School District believes that high attendance rates correlate with student academic and social emotional growth. Any CCSD student will be successful in their learning if they do two things: attend and try to the best of their ability everyday. Both of these actions are in the control of the student and with younger students, parents.

It takes a village to raise a child. Please support our schools’ efforts to promote student attendance.

CALLING FOR 2022 CHS HALL OF HONOR NOMINATIONS

The CHS Hall of Honor Committee is opening the window for the 2022 CHS Hall of Honor class nominations. The nomination window is now through November 1, 2021.

The mission of the Clinton High School Alumni Hall of Honor has been established to recognize those who attended Clinton High School and have distinguished themselves in their careers, communities and personal lives. These individuals are held up to Clinton students as examples of citizenship and success.

Here are the members of the first two induction classes and the area they qualified in:

Joan Beck Professional Career Achievements

William Conner Distinguished Military Service

Denise Dudley Professional Career Achievements

Roberta Fenlon Professional Career Achievements

Sandra Fullerton Joireman Humanitarian Service

Wes Golden Distinguished Military Service

Andy Grotelueschen The Arts

Lulu Johnson Accomplishments in Academic Fields

Krista Voda Kelley Professional Career Achievements

Kyle Ketelsen The Arts

Fred Luthans Accomplishments in Academic Fields

Jeanette Petersen Community Service

Charles Toney Humanitarian Service

Nominations from the first two years are still active and will be considered. However, the committee would like new nominations as well to consider. Nomination forms can be found on the district website at https://www.clinton.k12.ia.us/district

NEW STATE PROCEDURES FOR COVID-19 CASES

The Iowa Department of Public Health has a different approach to quarantining and contact tracing on positive COVID-19 cases this year. Here is a section of the IDPH document to schools from August 5, 2021:

Is IDPH currently performing COVID-19 positive case investigations for all positive reports or conducting contact
tracing for COVID-19 exposed persons?

No. IDPH has adjusted COVID-19 surveillance to follow the influenza model; state case investigation and tracing efforts
for COVID-19 now focus on outbreaks and vulnerable populations. Just like with other public health activities, these efforts will be continuously evaluated and adjusted as needed.


Will IDPH issue isolation and quarantine orders for COVID-19 positive or COVID-19 exposed students, teachers,
or other staff members?

No. IDPH is not currently issuing isolation and quarantine orders for COVID-19 positive or COVID-19 exposed individuals.


Can LPH departments require schools to perform case investigations or conduct contact tracing on their behalf?
No. While some LPH are continuing to pursue case investigations, LPH cannot require schools to perform case
investigations or contact tracing. School nurses do have a legal duty to assist a local board of health in a disease
investigation. See 641 IAC 1.7.

You may begin to see notifications of positive COVID-19 cases from one of our schools. Please continue to monitor your child for symptoms. The state of Iowa is treating COVID-19 as an influenza model as stated above.

The district will continue to update this FAQ document as questions and answers are able to be given.

RETURN TO LEARN UPDATE—AUGUST 17, 2021

This blog post is intended to update you on the Clinton Community School District’s Return to Learn plan for the upcoming school year. Certain laws were passed at the state level this spring that will have an impact on procedures going into this school year.

Masks: State and federal law dictate the policy this year. There is a major difference between school property and public transportation. A memo from the Iowa Department of Public Health released on August 5, 2021 states that masking is required on all public transportation, including school busses. Any students riding the Clinton MTA are also required to be masked. The memo also states that masking cannot be required in schools. Clinton Schools will support masking in schools, but not require it and to follow the Iowa Department of Public Health guidelines. The August Iowa Department of Education guidance document can be found at: https://idph.iowa.gov/Portals/1/userfiles/61/covid19/resources/School%20Update%20Fall%202021.pdf

Learning Modes: The district will offer in-person learning as the primary delivery model. If a family wants the option of an online model, they need to contact the building principal and meet several criteria, including being successful in that model last year.

Accelerated Learning Options: This summer the district provided free opportunities for students through Jump Start or Summer School. During the school year, there will be some after school academic opportunities as well. The district has added some additional teaching positions to provide targeted support for students with learning gaps.

Social Emotional Supports: Clinton Schools is happy to announce a continued relationship with Life Connections who provides mental health therapists in every building in the district. The school district also employs school counselors in every building and has a district social worker. Every building has implemented “Capturing Kids Hearts” as a social emotional structure to support students.

Quarantine Situations: The Iowa Department of Public Health guidance now treats COVID-19 much like the common cold. Students and staff with symptoms will be sent home and anyone testing positive for COVID-19 will be isolated for 10 days. However, close contacts do not have to be quarantined unless they show symptoms. Contact tracing will no longer be supported by the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Sanitation: The school district will continue with sanitation practices from last year. We have applied a Bio-Static product on high touch areas like keyboards, desk tops, door handles, etc. that kills viruses for 90 days. Handwashing and sanitation routines will remain in effect.

Vaccinations: The school district will follow Iowa Department of Public Health guidance by recommending vaccinations for staff and students. There will be another opportunity at CHS and CMS in September for any staff or student wanting to receive the vaccination.

Visitors: The district will allow visitors for educational reasons..

These procedures are subject to change due to the state of the pandemic and subsequent changes to state and federal guidance.

Thank you for your support of the Clinton Community School District!

Apptegy—New CCSD Mobile App

Clinton Community School District is proud to announce our new app coming soon. It will be a wonderful tool for the upcoming school year and coming years. CCSD does a great job with sharing information via social media, our website and other communication channels already, however, our goal is for the new app to be a one-stop-shop to find most general information. We agreed that many people want to quickly find an answer within 2-3 clicks on their phones instead of having to search the web continuously for a single piece of information.

The app will have a Live Feed, as you see on many social platforms; the Live Feed is where you will find posts created by different district employees regarding the district as a whole, important updates, activities, events and more. The app does allow users to turn on notifications about one specific school so that they’re only getting information that may be most relevant to them.

Some other features include a food menu section, showing the daily breakfast and lunch menu, which will be a great option for parents and students to see while on-the-go. We will be able to send out alerts using the app by sending push notifications to phones. Alerts would be commonly used for school delays or cancellations as we already do via text.

We fully believe our new app will be a wonderful addition to our district and will be a great way to find various information. The district will continue to utilize other communication channels as well; our website http://www.clintonk12.ia.us is updated often and continues to be a key source of information.

The app will be available in the App Store and Google Play Store and is available for anyone to download. There will be more information to come (soon) about the app’s launch date.

HERE COMES THE BUS

The Clinton Community School District is proud to announce a new software program that will be implemented this school year called Here Comes The Bus that will allow parents to have real time information on bus routes. Here Comes The Bus is an easy-to-use website and app* that enables you to see the location of your child’s school bus on a smartphone, tablet, or personal computer.

Here Comes The Bus uses global positioning system (GPS) technology to locate and track your child’s school bus. It is powered by software from Synovia Solutions, who are experts at tracking data, which they’ve been providing to fleet managers across North America since 2001.

You know when the bus is near your stop, so you can send your child out at just the right time. If your district has the Student Ridership service as well, you can use the Here Comes The Bus  to see when your child has scanned on and off the bus.

Here Comes The Bus uses HTTPS, just like a bank or online store, which means that all communications between your web browser and the site is encrypted and secure. (That’s what the S in “HTTPS” stands for – secure.)

Here Comes The Bus is available at no cost to all families who qualify for school transportation based the state guidelines. That’s right, it’s free for unlimited accounts for families! That means grandparents, babysitters, neighbors, and friends can share the data.

There will more information at Back to School nights and through school communication channels on this service.

THANK YOU!

I’d like to thank all staff, parents, students, and any one else that contributed to a successful completion of one of the most challenging years I’ve ever experienced in education.

I do feel that there were several silver linings to this school year. I believe we learned to be flexible as the guidance and the opportunity to be vaccinated evolved through the school year. The pandemic forced us to learn the tools of technology much quicker than our comfort zones. Many of our students became more independent in their learning which will serve them well in the future.

Yet we are seeing evidence that there is a need to support closing student achievement gaps given the disruption of the pandemic. CCSD is planning extended learning opportunities over the next two years to support students to be at grade level or on track to graduate. With the use of ESSER 3 funds, the district will offer summer school or Jump Start opportunities to students that are identified as behind. The district is also hiring 15 “academic interventionists” those responsibility will be to support students to be on track academically at grade level or to graduate.

Your continued support to work with the district to further your child’s education is critical. If your child is identified to receive additional services, please support the district efforts.

Thank you for your support and enjoy the summer!

CLINTON HIGH SCHOOL GROUNDBREAKING

The Clinton Community School District is proud to invite everyone to a Ground Breaking Ceremony celebrating the start of the renovation to Clinton High School on June 28th at 4:00 p.m. on the east side of the campus.

The bond issue to fund the majority of an estimated cost of $62 million received strong community support on March 3, 2020 with 74.7% voting yes. The renovation will be paid for through the passage of the bond issue, one cent sales tax, and PPEL. The project will include a new three story academic building, a new CTE and fine arts wing, along with renovation of historic Yourd Gymnasium.

The project is scheduled to be completed by spring 2025. Tricon Construction out of Dubuque is the general contractor and FRK is the architectural firm out of Des Moines.

THE NEXT STEP TOWARDS NORMALCY

Now that the Pfizer vaccine has become readily available in Clinton County, it becomes more imperative that the next step to returning to normalcy in a school setting is to get our students vaccinated. To reach this end, the Clinton Community School District is teaming up with Jewel and Hyvee with two different opportunities for 12-18 year olds to be vaccinated.

The first option is that Clinton Middle School in coordination with Jewel-Osco Pharmacy is going to host a vaccine clinic on Tuesday May 25th from 1:00-3:00.  This is a great opportunity for CMS students to receive the first dose of the Pfizer and have the second dose scheduled for June. To sign your child up for this , please go to https://kordinator.mhealthcoach.net/vcl/1621016062831 by May 21, 2021. This option is for CMS students only.

The second option is through Hyvee Pharmacy. This option will be held at Hyvee all next week (May 24-28) from 4-7 pm and is open to any 12-18 year old student in the Clinton Community School District. The link to sign up for the Hyvee option is https://www.hy-vee.com/my-pharmacy/covid-vaccine-consent?event=6e0d3f17-8b0e-41cf-b065-33ddd0277ecd

Please take of advantage of these opportunities to move our school district closer to normal.

UPDATED GUIDANCE ON COVID-19

In the last week, there has been contradictory guidance issued by the CDC and the IDPH in terms of masking and contact tracing. The district has consulted with Clinton County Public Health to find the best approach.

Given that conversation, the following is the plan for the remainder of the school year keeping in mind the staffs’ health, the students’ health, and the public’s health being the priority.

Here are the guidelines for the remainder of this school year (June 3):

  • All students will be required to be masked indoors including bus trips.
  • All staff will be masked in the presence of students indoors.
  • All visitors to indoor CCSD activities and events will be required to mask.
  • All outdoor CCSD activities masking is recommended, but not required.
  • Students will no longer be required to quarantine having no symptoms as a close contact. Special circumstances such as household positives, etc. will be handled on an individual basis.

As the guidance shifts as the science evolves, the school district will update its procedures.

Thank you for your support of Clinton Community Schools!