Superintendent Update
Spring 2019

Darwin Lehmann
School Safety Is Everyone's Concern
Every day, it amazes me what students can do to impact change. A recent example that I will share with you happened in a neighboring school district in Mitchell County. Recognizing that "seeing or hearing something and then saying something" can be a tough thing to do, a group of students worked together with the Mitchell County Sheriff's Office to develop an anonymous reporting app to provide a less intimidating way for students to report threats or other information to the proper authorities.

The free app, called Iowa Rapid Report , is now available in app stores (see image above) and their goal is to get as many school districts in Iowa to join in. Forest City has joined in and we will be rolling this out to students soon. Though the app, reporters can provide basic information for school authorities and local law enforcement to follow up upon. Click here to read more about this .

Parents and community members have asked about our safety protocols in our district. I can assure you that keeping students and staff safe is a top priority. While there are no guarantees, we take measures to reduce the probability of incidents that can harm students and staff. Among others, we exceed the number of required training sessions, work very closely with local law enforcement and have implemented measures such as the new exterior door entry system and security cameras.

It's important to recognize that everyone plays a role in school safety. I truly commend these students in Mitchell County for making a difference!
Mark Your Calendars
A couple of May calendar highlights:

  • Sun. May 12: Baccalaureate
  • Wed. May 15: Grad practice @ 2 p.m. in HS GYM and Education Foundation Awards Night @ 6 p.m. at Boman Fine Arts Center
  • Fri. May 17: Last day of school for seniors
  • Sun. May 19: Graduation @ 2 p.m. in the HS GYM

  • Friday, May 24: Early out 12:10 p.m. Elementary at 12:30 p.m. MS/HS.
  • Monday, May 28: No School Memorial Day
  • Thursday, June 6: Current last day of school. Elementary dismissal at 11:10 a.m. MS/HS dismissal at 11:30 a.m. Lunch will not be served.
Check the "R School" App or the calendar on for all events!

Don't have the app? Download it from your app store today! Look up "R School Activity Scheduler" The icon looks like this:
2019-20 Budget Update
The 2019-20 budget was approved during the March Board of Education meeting. Click below for a great summary of revenue and expenses for our district prepared by Board Secretary Sara Meinders.
Superheroes for Public Education
May is School Board Appreciation Month
These dedicated education leaders serve our community and students without compensation and donate their time and energy to overseeing the direction of our district and Iowa's public education system.

When you see our district's Board of Education members, please join me in thanking them for their service!

As a reminder, information about the Board is located here.

Board of Education Members
Cindy Carter
Bruce Mielke
Dave Bartlett
Pat Hobbs
Eric Kingland
Keila Buffington
Kim Severson

Conditions of Learning Survey
Our schools are getting ready to administer an annual school climate and culture survey called Conditions for Learning to students in grades 3-12. This survey administration is required by the state’s plan to meet a federal law called the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Iowa measures conditions for learning by asking the real experts each year - STUDENTS.  This is their chance to make their voice heard, and we intend to listen.
Surveys are required to be completed by May 31, and our schools plan to conduct the survey after April 24.

An information summary about the student surveys and a written refusal form if you do not want your child/children to participate in completing the Survey are included in the link below.
Summer Breakfast/Lunch Program
Free breakfast and lunch will be served to kids ages 3-18 during the "FOOD'S IN WHILE SCHOOL IS OUT" program
  • Served at the Elementary School
  • Breakfast served at 8-9 a.m. from June 10-28
  • Lunch served at 11-Noon from June 10-August 9
Elementary Receives STEM
Scale Up Program Awards
Click the links below for more information about each of these program awards!
First and fifth grade students worked with Makey Makeys from one of the STEM Scale Up programs.
For five consecutive years, the Elementary school has received STEM Scale Up Program awards from the North Central Iowa Regional STEM Advisory Board of the Iowa Governor's STEM Advisory Council.

This year, two awards were given to be implemented in the 2019-20 school year. The STEM programs are called Computer Science Fundamentals and Light and Shadow.

Both of the programs align with the Next Generation Science Standards at the elementary level and there are eight educators that will be implementing these programs.

Melissa Taft, one of the teachers who helped write the application, said, "Each year we have applied for different programs which helps us to continue to add to our STEM educational materials available for our students at the elementary level."

The instructors will receive information during the next few weeks regarding professional development training.

Taft added "We are very thankful that we have received these awards each year."
Did You Know?
Highlights from around the district
I n the last year and a half, we have recycled about 7,200 markers! Thank you to Missy Erdman who has coordinated this effort on behalf of the district. She recently shipped another 27 pounds of markers to be recycled. Boxes are located in each classroom at the Elementary school. Please donate your used markers of any kind!
Through the AFS Global Prep program, FCHS students have the opportunity to travel abroad for 2-3 weeks during the summer! The following students will travel this year: Isabel Redinger (Argentina), Taylor Tendall (Spain), Abby Wirtjes (Brazil), Micaiah Krutsinger (Germany), Brettin Linder (Ghana), Corah Hauser (New Zealand) and Levi Wood (Egypt).

Also, have you thought about being a AFS host family? Please contact Tami McInroy or Eunice Clouse if you are interested in this rewarding opportunity!
The schools appreciate the many speakers that take the time to speak to students. Here, Troy Thompson, a FCHS graduate and Army recruiter, spoke to 4th and 5th grade students about bullying. Guidance Counselor Nancy Prohaska said, "His stories and message were very powerful and relatable to the students." Thank you to all of all of our speakers!
Our Middle School was honored with a "Collaborator of the Year" award from the American Cancer Society due to their work in promoting policies that will help encourage lifestyles to fight cancer and make Iowa a healthier place to live!
FCHS Speech participant Meggie Kleveland shares the piece she prepared with Good Sam residents. Students often visit different organizations in the community to share what they are working on.
FCMS coordinated donations and 18 soldier care packages were shipped to friends of the school district serving in the military. Marcie Bruns helped the students fulfill this awesome way to show we care!
Thank you!
The district recognizes the following staff who will retire at the end of the school year. Thank you so very much for your service!

  • Greg Richardson: Custodian, 45 years
  • Debra Cunningham: Paraprofessional, 2 years
  • Deb Honken: High School Secretary, 23 years
  • Julie Jefson: Assistant Business Manager, 39 years
  • Kathy Jerome: High School Secretary, 31 years
  • Kim Mollenhauer: Elementary teacher, 37 years
  • Sonja Tiedman: Elementary teacher, 38 years
  • Scott Bertelsen: High School English/Language Arts Teacher, 38 years
  • Jan Rauk: Nurse, 3 years
  • Sheryl Putz: Middle School Teacher, 13 years (and sub before that)
Summer Projects
The district is planning some summer must-do repairs as well as completing a couple of new projects!

In addition to the normal summer cleaning and maintenance, the 40+ year old rooftop HVAC units will be replaced at the high school. There will be roof repairs as well. Tuck pointing will occur at the middle school and high school.

The projects you may notice more include a new preschool playground on the west side of the elementary, constructing a new press box at the high school football field/track and remodeling the high school commons area to include an interior concession stand and a family restroom.

The current high school teacher's lounge will be converted into the concession stand/family restroom space. The concession stand "window" will be directly across the commons area from the gym doors entering our home side stands (where the current large quote is on the block wall).
Forest City Community Schools
(641) 585-2323 District Office 
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