Superintendent Update
November 2019

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
The 2019-20 school year is off to a great start and I can hardly believe that our first trimester ends today,Thursday, November 14.

On that note, due to the trimester ending, there is no school on Friday November 15!

Here are some updates on a few initiatives that are happening in our district:
A new Iowa standardized test was introduced and our students took the new assessment last spring. We just received the data and will share more about those results soon.
Districts must provide a student enrollment count (Certified Enrollment) by October 1. Our numbers decreased from last year of 5.42 students (1073.5 to 1068.08). Preschool enrollment is up 2.5 students (65 to 70; however they attend 1/2 days so they are counted as .5 students). Certified Enrollment and State Supplemental Aid, which is set during the legislative session, determine the funding that our district will receive the following year.
Professional Learning
On October 24 and 25, our staff enjoyed learning from Dr. Anthony Muhammad, who is a nationally-known educational consultant and best-selling author. He's recognized as a leading expert in the area of school culture and has worked with districts in all 50 U.S. States as well as with international schools.
Sara Meinders, our district's business manager, recently completed the FCCSD Annual Financial Health Report . Page five of the analysis contains a great summary. We use this report and an Unspent Balance Projection to guide our finances.
Project Updates
We are finalizing plans to remodel the high school gymnasium. Due to the scope and size of this project, we will be begin the remodel in the spring and therefore are working on alternative locations for all of the activities that normally take place there (PE, events etc.) Two of the larger events are Prom and Graduation. For Prom, the Grand March will take place in the Boman Fine Arts Center auditorium and the Prom dance will take place in the upper mezzanine of the Boman Fine Arts Center. For graduation, we are evaluating a few locations but focusing on the middle school gym. We will keep you posted as the year progresses.
Over the summer, we announced that the district purchased some adjoining land. We shared that one of the ideas that we are exploring is to build a solar field for energy conservation. We are progressing in researching this concept, land layout, capital-output and potential for energy savings, similar to our windmill initiative.
A new K-2 playground will be installed at the Elementary School during the summer of 2020
Balance Due? Check Infinite Campus or contact a school office:

Elementary: 585-2670
Middle School: 585-4772
High School: 585-2324
We have 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 or in any school building office.
ACT Scores
Iowa ranks #1 in the nation for the average ACT score. How does our district rate? We have been above the Iowa average for 9 of the past 10 years.

Here's a glance at the last five years. The first number is our district and the second number is the state average.
E-Learning on the Snowy Days
As a reminder, last year the Board of Education approved up to three E-Learning Days for the 2019-20 school year in the event that school is canceled due to the weather. These no school days (up to three E-Learning Days) will not be added to the end of the school year as make up days.

How will we know if there's an E-Learning Day?
You will receive a SchoolMessenger notification announcing an E-Learning Day. General speaking, we plan to declare an E-Learning Day the first three days that school is cancelled due to the weather; however, we will not have two consecutive E-Learning Days.

What's the expectation/what do students need to do?
As with the E-Learning Days last year, Elementary students will receive paper activity sheets. Those sheets are also located www.forestcity.k12.is.us <Schools<Elementary School.

Middle and high school students will receive communication from their teachers for each class via their email address/Google Classroom.

Here's a link to a communication from last year with details about counting E-Learning Days, survey results etc.
FAQ
Board of Education Update
Thank you Board of Education!
From Superintendent Lehmann...

Elections took place in November. I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone who ran for an elected office position. I also want to thank all who volunteer countless hours in support of our city, county, state, and school district.

Effective in December, the Board of Education will welcome one new member, Gary Ludwig. Gary will fill the open seat left by current President, Bruce Mielke, who decided not to seek re-election. Keila Buffington's term was also up and she ran and was elected for another term.

When you see Bruce next, please thank him for his dedicated service! He was elected to the board officially in 2012 after being appointed to a vacant seat due to a resignation in 2011. In 2015, he was elected School Board President.

The President and Vice President will be appointed during the December board meeting.
2018-19 Board Members Cindy Carter, Bruce Mielke, Dave Bartlett, Pat Hobbs, Eric Kingland, Keila Buffington and Kim Severson.
Ludwig was inducted into the Forest City Education Hall of Fame in 2017
Gary Ludwig returns to serve his fourth term on the Forest City Board of Education.

He served on the school board from September 1990 to July of 1995 (5 Years), September of 1997 to September of 2001 (4 Years), and September of 2010 to September of 2015 (5 Years).

Ludwig, a retired Iowa State Trooper, has lived in the Forest City community for more than 40 years and has served in various volunteer roles.

"I'm excited to be back on the Board of Education," said Ludwig. "I'm really proud of our district, and am passionate about our education system in the State of Iowa."

Gary can be reached at gludwig@forestcity.k12.ia.us.
From Board of Education President Bruce Mielke...

I've been a part of the School Board now for eight years and can speak first hand about the passion that Mr. Baker, Mr. Moore, Mr. Dillavou and Mr. Jones have as educational leaders. Each and every day, they work hard to create a positive school culture and learning environment to support our kids as well as the teachers and staff. We have some outstanding leaders in these four individuals and I hope you join with me and the rest of the Board of Education in thanking them for all that they do!
A New Menu Service!
New! The Forest City Community School District has partnered with Nutrislice to bring you much more information about our breakfast and lunch menus! 

Food Service Director Glenda Keough said, " With all the medical issues, allergies, health conscious people in today's world, I thought that Nutrislice would be an awesome
program to implement. It's very easy to navigate and full of a lot of nutritional information." 

There are three ways to view the new menus:

2) Download the Nutrislice app and search for "Forest City Community SD" 
3) Click on Menus in our new Forest City CSD app. Download the Forest City CSD app from your app store if you haven't done so already!
Elementary Receives Another STEM
Scale Up Program Award
The North Central Iowa Regional STEM Advisory Board of the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council recently awarded a Scale-Up Mathematics Program award for  Differentiated Math Centers to the Forest City Elementary School.

Differentiated Math Centers  include activities that help students deepen their understanding of key math concepts.

Lori Rollefson, Melissa Taft, Emily Beenken, Michelle Bunger, Ivy Leitch, Sherri Jones, and Cari Lillquist contributed to receive the program award.

Congratulations!
Snapshots
Highlights from around the district
5th grade students worked with 1st grade students to
make houses for the "Three Little Pigs"
FC Elementary was honored to have Lt. Col Dan Nelson speak on Veteran's Day. Veterans associated with elementary families were also shown and honored.
FCMS wore orange to support unity
Many great accomplishments occurred during the fall activities season. Here, sophomore Joey Hovinga gets support from teammates and coaches at the State Cross Country meet.
The Forest City Marching Band impressed the crowd at the
UNI Panther Marching Band Live event
Forest City Community Schools
(641) 585-2323 District Office