December 2018
Monthly Newsletter
Issue 23
To educate all students to succeed by ensuring quality leadership, curriculum, and instruction.
Message from Superintendent Stender
While we are in the midst of the holiday season, I want to thank our students, staff, parents, and community for your support as the district continues its work to be the leader in education. I know that the success of our students has a strong correlation with our effort to collaborate and be transparent. Thank you for making our schools the pride of our community. May your holiday season be filled with peace, family, friends, and safe travels!
Facilities Study
 T he strategic plan identifies a commitment to student success that supports academics and activities. During a working session on Tuesday, November 20 the school board met with facility planners from Estes Construction and a financial advisor from Piper Jaffray to review and discuss facility needs.   

After review of the facility assessment prepared by Estes, the school board is proceeding with the next step in planning by selecting a architect/designer to collaborate with students, staff, parents, and community members to identify district priorities. Through a transparent and open process, the school board looks forward to collaborating with our stakeholders as we work to support our students, staff, parents, and community. The public is welcome to review the facility assessment and all public documents at anytime by visiting any district office, Lied Public Library, or by clicking on the Future Ready link on the district webpage.
Enjoy Our 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:


Please note the date & time change for the
7th & 8th grade concerts highlighted below.
Winter Break
Winter break is December 24th - January 1st. Classes resume Wednesday, January 2nd .

Please visit the district calendar for more details.

K9 Searches to Begin
The safety of our students, staff, and guests is our greatest concern. In an ongoing effort to increase district security, the school board has approved policy 502.8R3 that permits the use of K9’s to search district property for illegal contraband or items that are subject to the interference of a safe learning environment. The district and law enforcement are planning the first K9 search in January, 2019. Searches will be random and unannounced. As the district continues to work with law enforcement, we will continue to communicate with students and parents. As always, if you have any questions, please contact Superintendent Stender at .
School Counselor Corner
School counselors are often asked how parents and staff can help students who have a difficult time managing anxiety, worry, and stress. One of the goals is to give students the tools they need to manage their emotional response in a positive and healthy way.

As adults, it is important to remember that protecting students from experiencing negative emotions can make the symptoms of anxiety worse and may hold students back from learning essential coping skills. Stress triggers cannot always be avoided, in fact, avoidance may feel better immediately, but over time it can increase fear and stress.

Here are some helpful tips that can help parents have conversations about stress and anxiety with your child.

  1. Talk about appropriate responses to stress/anxiety prior to a situation where anxiety and stress happens. Plan for it and practice healthy responses.
  2. Ask your child what makes them feel anxious. Listen and be open to what they have to say, as this alone may offer tremendous relief. As you talk, try not to let their anxiety make you anxious. Remain calm and help them think of helpful strategies.
  3. Physical response is directly related to how we feel. Help your student avoid fight-or-flight mode by teaching them physical relaxation strategies. To calm the body, practice deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, counting backwards from 10, or playing with a toy that brings comfort.
  4. Writing about worries or drawing their fears helps children learn to safely vent their anxious feelings, especially if they tend to keep their worries to themselves. Students can write about their feelings and then tear the paper up, keep a worry journal, or put their worries in a jar and leave them there.
  5. Teach your child that they are stronger than their anxious thoughts. Anxiety can take away our feeling of power. Remind your child that they are strong enough to tell their anxious minds to calm down!

Helping a child through anxiety and stress can be difficult, but it is not impossible. If your child’s anxiety or stress affects their ability to sleep, attend school, and thrive in other areas of their life, seek an evaluation and support from a licensed mental health provider. If you need help, please contact any of our counselors Mrs. Bird, Mrs. Riddle, or Mrs. Almelien.

Click here for helpful resources.
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.
In the Spotlight
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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