Superintendent Update
March 2020

Darwin Lehmann
Superintendent 
641-585-2323
dlehmann@forestcity.k12.ia.us
The Forest City Community School District is committed to
providing each student the opportunity for a 21st century education
March 24, 2020

Last week was a whirlwind of activity at the district and we thank you for your support and understanding as we navigate this pandemic. We had this e-newsletter ready to send prior to the announcement of the statewide school shutdown due to COVID-19 and thought we'd go ahead and send it as you may like to read about something other than COVID-19.

First, related to the shutdown, three key things are now in place:

1) A Flex Learning program . I'd like to thank the administrators, technology staff and teachers for putting together a plan to continue to educate our students. Our students deserve this! We know we won't be perfect; however, I'm 100 % confident we are doing our best. Contact our principals if you have any questions or feedback.

High School: Ken Baker, kbaker@forestcity.k12.ia.us
Middle School: Zach Dillavou, zdillavou@forestcity.k12.ia.us
Elementary: Brad Jones, bjones@forestcity.k12.ia.us

2) A "Grab and Go" lunch and snack program for children. Click here for all of the information about this program. Glenda Keough, our Food Service Director, and her staff rock. Our Transportation Director, Daryl Heimer, and his staff make the delivery of food possible to six sites.

3) Supporting our Teachers and Staff . Our teachers and staff would much prefer to be with students in person. We miss them! Teachers are delivering instruction and working to maintain relationships with their students. Depending on the job function, support staff are working or "on-call"; however, are being paid during this shutdown period.

We know you have questions. Keep them coming! We are all adjusting to this ever-changing situation and the new reality. We are in this together.

Darwin Lehmann
Iowa Department of Education officials released new results showing how public schools performed on required measures in an online tool, called Iowa School Performance Profiles (ISPP).

The Forest City Elementary School ranked “Commendable,” moving up from “Acceptable” in the last reporting period.

The Forest City Middle School ranked “High Achieving,” moving up from the Commendable category and is rated the highest middle school in the state.

The Forest City High School ranked “Acceptable,” missing the Commendable rank, it’s prior rating, by .16 percent.
Click the link above for a good article about saving for college.
Our school website has consolidated announcements relating to COVID-19.

As of today, March 24: (Realize this is an ever-changing situation) :

  • School is set to resume April 14
  • The last day of school is Tuesday, May 26
  • We do not have to make-up days relating to the COVID-19 shutdown
Have you downloaded our Forest City CSD app from your app store? Recently added is an icon called "Virtual Backpack." We're sharing family-friendly programs and events from community organizations.
Project Updates
The High School Gym remodel is underway!

The major pieces of the remodel include replacing the gym floor, painting and installing new bleachers.

If the remodel timeline stays on track, the majority of the work will be completed by early July.

Other summer updates at the High School include the installation of a new rooftop HVAC unit and water heaters.
Summer Middle School updates include replacing all of the hallway lockers! New lighting will also be installed in the gym.
A new K-2 playground will be installed at the Elementary School during the summer of 2020. An HVAC update is also planned.
Fee Reminders
We shave a significant number of students with unpaid student fees and lunch account balances. 

You can check your balances in Infinite Campus:

Payments may be made online.
Have a question or wish to make payment arrangements? Contact the district office at 641-585-2323.
Graduation Rate
Iowa’s high school graduation rate reaches record high of 91.6 percent.

Partner in Education Highlight
Recently, voters approved $15 million in bonds for NIACC. Click here to read about the Bond Referendum.

NIACC is a long-time partner of Forest City Schools. Each year, about 40 students take NIACC classes. This is an incredible opportunity for our students as tuition, fees, and book costs are paid through a combination of district, NIACC, and special state incentive funds.

Looking at the past three years, an average of 475 credits per year have been earned by Forest City High School students. Looking at the last five years of data, approximately 25% of our seniors continue their education at NIACC.

NIACC offers career "hubs" in fields such as Education, Automotive, Agriculture, Building Trades and more. For each of these, a suggested high school/NIACC class schedule is provided. This offers the opportunity for students to take classes in a career field that interests them. Other classes are available to students as well, based on their interests.

Guidance Counselor Dan Rosacker and representatives from NIACC work with our students to explain the programs and to schedule classes. They also monitor student academic progress and attendance.

In addition, NIACC hosts several career exploration days.

Thanks to NIACC for this outstanding partnership!
2020 Census Coming Your Way!
The U.S. Census, which is conducted every 10 years, directly impacts federal funding every year for schools and communities in Iowa. This funding impacts special education, teacher training, technology, school lunch assistance, Head Start and after school programs.

Invitations to respond to the 2020 Census will be delivered between March 12-20. Once you receive that invitation, you can respond online, by phone, or by mail.
Snapshots
Highlights from around the district
Congratulations to the following students who won a scholarship to study abroad through the AFS Global Prep program for 2-3 weeks this summer!

Lillian Ruiter - Kenya
Christana Archer - Argentina
Dan Hovinga - Spain
Allie Marmaras - Brazil
Emma Holtan - Japan
8th Grade student Parker Gayther was selected as one of the semifinalists eligible to compete in the 2020 National Geographic GeoBee State Competition on March 27. This is the second level of the National Geographic GeoBee competition, which is now in its 32nd year. Should Parker win the State Championship, State champions receive a medal, $1,000 in cash, and other prizes, as well as a trip to Washington, D.C., to represent Iowa in the National Championship where they will compete for additional cash, awards and college scholarships. The second- and third-place State GeoBee winners will receive cash awards of $300 and $100, respectively.
Senior Calvin Aberg has been named one about 4,500 candidates in the 2020 U.S. Presidential Scholars Program. The candidates were selected from nearly 3.6 million 2020 seniors. Inclusion in the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program is one of the highest honors bestowed upon graduating high school seniors. Scholars are selected on the basis of superior academic and artistic achievements, leadership qualities, strong character and involvement in community and school activities. In April, approximately 600 semi-finalists will be selected and in May, up to 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars will be chosen.

Here's an excerpt from State Representative Ted Gassman's February newsletter!
FC Elementary students loved watching Todd Green play instruments from all over the world!
Each grade level section nominated four students who met our PBIS expectations of Being Safe, Being Respectful, Being Responsible, and Being Their Best throughout the year. Those students were recognized in front of their peers. Here's Mr. Jones with Preschool students.
TECHNOLOGY TIDBIT
Forest City Community Schools
(641) 585-2323 District Office