July 2017                         Monthly Newsletter
Issue 6
To educate all students to succeed by insuring quality leadership, curriculum, and instruction.

What is Strategic Planning? One of the fundamental responsibilities of the Board of Education is to set priorities and a direction for the school district.   As the Iowa Association of School Boards describes this role, “the board, with community input, envisions the educational future of its community and then formulates the goals, defines the outcomes, and sets the course for its district”.  The mechanism for carrying out this important responsibility is strategic planning.   

In a nutshell, strategic planning is a process undertaken to answer the questions Where are we going? and How will we get there?.   It is an opportunity to periodically step back from ongoing business and look at the big picture, assess the current state of our community and schools, and identify top priorities that align the district’s efforts with community needs.  


The planning process will result in the development of a five-year Strategic Plan for initial implementation in the 2018-2019 school year.   Benefits of the plan itself, and the collaborative process used to develop it include: 

  • Developing a shared understanding of the district’s mission and collective vision for student outcomes among internal and external stakeholders.

  • Outlining a clear future direction, determining priorities, and setting a specific course of action.

  • Establishing a framework that guides organizational resource allocation and decision-making.


More information on how you can participate in the strategic planning process will be provided in the August newsletter and on the district website.

Welcome Mr. Paul Henely, Middle School Principal
We are very excited to introduce Mr. Henely as our new middle school principal. After four rounds of interviews with community members, staff, school board, and administration, Mr. Henely was selected from a pool of 17 applicants and three finalists.  Mr. Henely brings 10 years of administrative experiences and talent to the position.  Mr. Henely is excited to be a member of our school and community!  
Middle School Parent and Student Technology Summit

The district is holding a Parent & Student Technology Summit for all middle school students on Monday, August 21st, at the middle school gym.  (View flyer here.) 

Middle school parents and students are required to attend the one hour Summit before students can receive their learning device. Presenters from Apple, Lied Public Library, and the Iowa State Patrol will discuss digital learning, digital citizenship, internet safety, and responsibility for and care of devices.  At the conclusion of the presentations, students and parents who sign the Responsible Use Agreement will be issued their device.


Lifetouch has partnered with the school district and is providing hot dogs, buns, chips, and water so families can enjoy a meal as they learn more about the technology initiative.  Clarinda cheerleaders will provide childcare for those who need it.  


If you are unable to attend the Summit, please contact Mrs. Garrett at the middle school (542-2132) to schedule an appointment to attend a training session between 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m on Tuesday, August 22nd.

The vision of the district is that “Every student K-12 will have access to a device during the school day to enhance learning and differentiated instruction.” and the goal is “To allow students to think critically, collaborate, communicate, and create.”


To help maintain small groups, please plan on attending the session based on the first initial of the child's last name. 


Group        Time
       A-G        5:00-6:00 pm
       H-P        6:15-7:15 pm
       Q-Z        7 :30-8:30 pm


For more information, please review our document, "Technology Frequently Asked Question" or contact Technology Director Suzi Stanton at sstanton@clarindacsd.org.  

Online Registration Opens August 7th
Parents will have the opportunity to complete student registration and pay school fees online at their convenience.   Online registration will be open from Monday, August 7th through Friday, August 18th.  Further details and instructions will be provided in the August Newsletter and on the district website.  Walk in registration and payment of fees is available at each school office starting Monday, August 14th.  

Online Registration: August 7th-18th
Walk-in Registration: August 14th-22nd
2017-18 Instructional Fees

School districts are allowed to charge an instructional fee for textbooks, electronic textbooks, and instructional materials which convey information to the student that contributes to the learning process.  Like many districts across the state, we use these funds to support instructional costs.  While instructional fees have not increased in more than eleven years, the 2017-2018 instructional fees will reflect a $5 increase for elementary and middle school students and an $8 increase for high school students.  The revenue from the instructional fee is used to support instruction and the learning process.  

The 2017-2018 instructional fees are:  

Elementary school: $15

Middle school: $25 

High school: $40

And the Survey Says...
In June, we asked our parents and community members to complete a short survey to help the district determine the most effective time to hold elementary music programs.  The survey revealed that 78% of respondents prefer to have elementary music programs in the evening. In addition, many indicated a preference to hold programs at the high school auditorium.   The district will begin planning to host our elementary music programs in the evening and at the high school auditorium to accommodate our parents and community members.  We appreciate the feedback!
2017-18 Lunch Prices

The district understands the need to provide healthy and nutritious meals to our students.  We take several measures to keep the price of meals affordable by maximizing commodities and taking advantage of cooperative purchasing.  Despite our best efforts, the USDA has stringent mandates that require the district to raise all meal prices by .10 for the 2017-2018 school year.  

We understand this may create a hardship for families and offer all of our families the opportunity to complete an application for free or reduced school meals.  The 2017-2018 application will be available in August on the district website or at any school office.  


2017-2018 Lunch Prices

K-8: $2.40

High School: $2.55

Notice of New Policy on Charging Lunches
In accordance with state and federal law, all school districts must adopt a policy ensuring district employees, families, and students have a shared understanding of expectations for paying for school meals.

On June 10, 2017 the school board conducted the first reading of policy 710.4 Meal Charges.  The policy seeks to allow students to receive the nutrition they need to stay focused during the school day, prevent the overt identification of students with insufficient funds to pay for school meals, and maintains the financial integrity of the nonprofit school nutrition program.  Charging is not allowed and any account that incurs a negative balance of $10 will be turned over to the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee for collection.  The school board also approved an agreement with a collection agency (Credit Bureau Services of Iowa, Inc.) that will be used to collect accounts that are not paid after reasonable attempts have been made by the district. 
Consider School Board Service

Public schools need strong leadership and governance to ensure a bright future for all children. Nominations for two open seats (At Large) can be filed between Monday, July 10 and Thursday, August 3, at 5 p.m. School board elections will take place on Tuesday, September 12.

Strong leadership in our school district is critical to moving education forward in our school, community, and state. School board members play a significant role in our community – they must have leadership, vision and dedication. These locally elected public officials are charged with accountability for student learning, determining educational goals, setting policy, overseeing school finances and more.

School board members are elected to serve four-year terms, with elections taking place in odd-numbered years. While there is no pay, experienced school board members say the rewards of service lie in meeting the needs of children and communities.  Nomination papers for school board seats are available from the school board secretary, Cindy VanFosson at the Central Office. School board candidates must obtain 44 signatures from qualified electors in the district.  Please contact Superintendent Stender, 712-542-5165, with any questions.

Coffee with Superintendent Stender

Join Superintendent Deron Stender on  Friday, August 4th, from 7:30-8:30 am, at Robin's Nest Cafe and Bakery for coffee.

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.
Clarinda Community School District
423 East Nodaway
Clarinda, Iowa 51632
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