November 2018
Monthly Newsletter
Issue 22
To educate all students to succeed by ensuring quality leadership, curriculum, and instruction.
Strategic Plan Progress
Last April, the school board approved a comprehensive strategic plan to identify and guide the work of the district. The strategic plan serves as the heart of our mission and values and from time to time, it is important that we revisit the plan and share feedback. The district is six months into the plan and is making progress to achieve the mission and vision through the following initiatives:

  • Student Achievement: 
Implemented Northwest Evaluation Assessment (NWEA) to identify, track, and monitor student growth.
  • Facilities and Finance: 
Conducted a comprehensive facilities review that includes collaboration with stakeholders as we study facility options. 
Conducting a comprehensive financial review to align resources to meet current and future needs of the district.
  • School Culture:
Implemented Positive Behavior Intervention Systems (PBIS) as a systemic approach to model appropriate behaviors and relationships.
  • Staff Engagement:
Utilizing teacher leaders to support staff in instruction, curriculum, and professional development.
  • Community & State Partnerships:
Creating avenues inviting the community and state leaders to partner with the district in learning and growing.

The district welcomes involvement, feedback, and support as we work together to make our schools the pride of our community. 
District Legislative Platform
 Each year the school board identifies key legislative initiatives that impact our school and community. The legislative platform is used as talking points to communicate with legislators. Through a collective voice, we can ask our legislators to support our schools that make our communities stronger. You can help, when speaking or meeting with legislators, please ask them to support our students, schools, and community by supporting the districts legislative platform.

  • Secure an Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE)
  1. 1 cent state sales tax provides funding to school districts for infrastructure
  2. Generates aN estimated $950,000 annually (based on enrollment)
  3. Set to sunset in 2029
  4. Request that SAVE be extended indefinitely and held harmless
  • Supplement State Aid (SSA)
  1. Current state per pupil funding $6,736 (FY19 1% increase, FY18 1.11% increase, FY17 2.25%, FY16 1.25%, FY15 4.00%)
  2. Request a 2% increase in funding to help support the educational needs of our students
  • Mental Health
  1. Provide Resources to support our students and families challenged by mental health
  2. Request dedicated funding to support the mandates for training and educating staff to identify and support our students and families
  • Special Education
  1. The state is not meeting its funding obligation and forcing local districts to fund or levy to fill the gap
  2. Request the state fulfill its obligation to funding educational services for the special education population
  • Alternative Licensure
  1. State licensure expectations are prohibitive and a barrier to those who seek licensure from institutions outside of the the state
  2. Creates a shortage of licensed educators
  3. Request support for post-secondary credentials or a waiver to allow professionals a window of time to meet state requirements

Photo: School Board President Greg Jones and Superintendent Stender meeting with State Representative Cecil Dolecheck at the Capital.
MVP - Mentors in Violence Prevention
We are excited to bring the Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program to the middle and high school for the 2018-2019 school year to help our youth understand how they are a part of violence prevention. 

Mentors in Violence Prevention is a bystander education program that seeks to empower those who might otherwise be silent observers to situations where bullying and gender violence is unfolding. The MVP model utilizes trained student leaders (MVP mentors) to guide age-appropriate discussions and problem solving activities around scenarios that depict harassment, bullying, and other forms of gender violence. The middle school program focuses on building positive peer relationships, cultivating character, and teaching/modeling healthy social skills, while offering a safe place to talk about typical 5th grade situations and adjustments to being a middle school student.
What is a School Counselor?
A school counselor is a certified, highly-qualified, master's-level professional who addresses needs of all students in the areas of academic, career, personal/social development. Counselors work collaboratively with educators, families, service providers, and the community. Our district offers counseling services in each of our buildings. Our counselors work hard to provide direct and indirect instruction including classroom, group, and individual needs-based, solution-focused, short term counseling services.

Why do we offer school counseling services?
  • To provide a systematic approach to develop the potential of all students.
  • To address the issues that create barriers to student success.
  • To meet the academic, career, and personal/social developmental needs of all students.
  • To provide proactive, preventative, developmentally appropriate programs as well as interventions to ensure that all students have the optimal environment in which they may succeed, both academically and personally, while in school and beyond.
  • To provide a system of support for the students, teachers, principals, parents, and community.
  • To provide a safe haven for all students.
  • To ensure equity and access to programs that prepare students to work and live in a global community.

Please contact any of our counselors/interventionist for support or questions: Shannon Almelien (high School), Heidi Bird (middle school), Audra Riddle (elementary school), and Sara Honnold (district interventionist). 
Winter Music Programs
Did you know kids that play musical instruments benefit from improved academic and social skills? Lessons also give children the opportunity to learn to accept and give constructive criticism, and develop discipline and patience.  

Our schools are a regional leader in offering opportunities for students to participate in the performing arts. All programs are offered to the community free of charge and everyone is welcome to attend. Please support our students by attending one of our many programs. 

For more information, please contact
Clarinda Community Schools at:

School Closure Information
When is school closed or delayed due to inclement or severe weather?
Safety is our primary concern when making the decision to close or delay the start of school due to inclement or severe weather. This process begins early and a decision is made as soon as possible, typically prior to 6:30 a.m.

How are parents notified of a school closure or delay?
In the event that school needs to be delayed or cancelled we will:
  • Send a JMC alert to all parents and staff. JMC alerts can be received via email, text, phone or all three (please be sure your contact information in JMC is current).
  • A press release will be sent to KMA and the Clarinda Herald-Journal.
  • Information will be posted on the district home page.
  • Information will be posted on Facebook and Twitter (@CCSDCards).
  • Please assume school will be in session as scheduled unless you have received notification.
What if parents have concerns?
Please know that when it comes to inclement weather, we encourage and strongly support parents in making decisions that are best for their child. While our bus drivers are experienced and trained for driving in all conditions and have excellent safety records, we recognize that parents are the best judge of their child's health and safety. The District realizes that a decision for the majority of students may not fit with parents' individual circumstances. A decision to keep your child home or pick them up early from school for safety reasons will be considered an excused absence. The District encourages parents to send their child to school properly dressed to ensure their safety during the winter months.
School Safety and K9 Search Policy
The safety of our students, staff, and guests is our greatest concern. In an ongoing effort to improve increase district security, the school board has developed and is reviewing a policy to allow the use of a K9 to search district property for illegal contraband or items that are subject to the interference of a safe learning environment.

The school board will conduct its third and final reading on Monday, November 12, 2018 at 4:00 p.m. in the boardroom at McKinley and public input is welcome. Upon approval, a notice will be given to students and parents of the new policy. The district and law enforcement anticipate the first K9 search will occur in January, 2019.
Order Your School Merchandise
Deadline: Wednesday, November 14th

Winter Activities are right around the corner. This also means the holiday season is upon us and as you think about what to get your friends and family, our online store offers a variety of great Under Amour merchandise that will make wishes come true. 

Please click here to view the merchandise and place your order. Orders take to 2-4 weeks after the store closes for items to arrive. If you have any questions please contact Mr. Porter at 712-542-5167 or  
Coffee with Superintendent Stender
Join Superintendent Deron Stender for coffee, refreshments (Mr. Stender covers the cost of coffee & refreshments), and conversation on: Friday, December 14th, at McDonalds.

The events are meant to be informal opportunities for conversation with the Superintendent. There are no agendas or formal presentations. Participants are encouraged to bring their questions and comments and are welcome to come and go as their schedule allows. 

Monthly coffees are held on the first Friday of each month in a variety of locations in our community. Please check the  district website  for locations.
423 East Nodaway
Clarinda, Iowa 51632
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