December 2020 Update
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The Forest City Community School District is committed to
providing each student the opportunity for a 21st century education
Hello Forest City School District families:

As we go into the holiday break, I wish to thank everyone for the amazing teamwork and support of one another as we've dealt with this pandemic.

It's difficult to put into words the impact that the pandemic has had on our everyday lives. All of the things we've known as routine, such as school, are anything but.

Through all of this, I couldn't be prouder of our students, our staff and our community.

From my family to yours, we wish you the very best during the holiday and the New Year.

Darwin Lehmann
The Giving Tree
Due to the generosity of many in our community, 191 children will receive gifts of clothing and toys for Christmas.

The Forest City Education Association organizes this very important Giving Tree initiative to support local families each year.

Thank you Lichtsinn's RV, Holland Contracting, Mercy Family Clinic and a donor wishing to remain anonymous donor for partnering in supplying gifts. Thank you to the teachers and FCEA members for taking tags and organizing this special project. Thank you Hy-Vee, Cabin Coffee, Bomgaars, TSB and MBT for hosting the Giving Tree tags.

Thank you COMMUNITY for your support, for shopping and for your monetary gifts and donations.
The gifts were ready to deliver and pick up on December 16.
The Elementary School Giving Tree Team
Their smiles are big under the masks for teacher Michelle Bunger and Ada Ziesmer, daughter of Derek (High School Guidance) and Mallory (8th grade Math).

Ada has an Elf On The Shelf and it asked her to learn about giving so she and her grandma visited Michelle to donate and to thank her for all of her efforts with the Giving Tree project.
Holiday Dismissal

Tuesday, December 22
1:50 p.m. Elementary
2 p.m. Middle School/High School
Coming Soon!
New Middle School/High School
One-Way Traffic Loop
You may have noticed some sign stakes if you've driven by the Middle School/High School building complex recently. As soon as the signs are available and installed, a new one-way and one lane of traffic loop will be in place.

The key change is that you will no longer be able to turn left/west from North Best Street onto K Street. Traffic will now enter the Middle School/High School complex on West L Street and it will be a one-way, with one lane of traffic around the loop until K Street/North Best Street.

The change was made to increase safety for busses and all drivers.
A Note From Glenda Keough...
Lunches are available (no charge) to pick up at the Forest City High School on Wednesdays between 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

High School students can now request "seconds" as they are going through the lunch line. If the student requests seconds, a charge will made to their lunch account.
Free Lunch and State Reimbursement
As you're aware, due to a Federal pandemic program, students are eating breakfast and lunch for free until the end of the school year!

What you may not know, is that the school district is reimbursed only if the student takes a full meal, which is considered to be at least three items of what is offered. For this reason, if a student brings a lunch from home and requests milk, a milk charge of $.50 will be charged to their food service account.

The meal counts for the current school year are significantly less than prior years and we want to ensure parents understand that we are fully reimbursed for all meals served (again the student has to accept at least 3 items) via the Federal lunch program. We encourage all students to eat breakfast and lunch daily to support the Food Service program.

Forest City Committee IDE4All Brings Diversity to District's Libraries
Thank you to this amazing group!
Photo courtesy of Peter Johnson
School App Updates
SchoolMessenger
You may or may not have received repeating notifications from SchoolMessenger's blue app. This has been occurring periodically for several weeks. There is an issue nationally, and they are working on it. You can turn off the app notifications until this is resolved if you wish. Do this by opening the blue SchoolMessenger app<settings<push notifications and turn the notifications off. 

We send the majority of messages directly to email/text and Forest City CSD app and so the blue app is yet another notification of the same message (a storage place). If you turn off the notifications, you may want to check for messages each day. SchoolMessenger asked us to pass along this information and to apologize for the inconvenience!

Forest City CSD App
We have added a few new icons to our free app. The first is "Health" which provides the latest information about COVID-19. The second is "FC Merchandise." When there are online stores open, we will post the links to the online stores in the app too.

There are 3 pages of one-click icons (swipe left) in our Forest City CSD app including: Schools (contact info), Staff Directory, Daily Calendar, Notifications (we send major notifications here as well), News, Health, FC Merchandise, Virtual Back (community events), Menus, Announcements, Handbooks, School Board, Yearly Calendar and links to all of the apps we use.

If you haven't downloaded this app, do so today!
If you have a past due fee balance, you are now receiving text and email reminders.

Payments may be made online or at a school office. Thank you!
Home Connection Program Spotlight
Forest City High School
We've talked a lot about the Home Connection program, and you may be wondering how it is going.

The Home Connection program was established this year and it provides school district families and students with the option of online learning exclusively due to the pandemic. A dedicated staff member, one per building, works with the students/families who choose this option to ensure that the student stays engaged and just has an extra resource in addition to the teachers.

Ali Sundermann is the dedicated High School resource. On average, about 45 high school students participate in the program and every high school teacher balances teaching students in person and online.

As with any new program, there are great learnings and Ali shared the following tips for Home Connection learners in the high school:

DO:
  • Have strong communication with your teachers and home connection coordinators. 
  • Ask for help! If you don’t understand something, email your teacher and ask questions. Set up a GoogleMeet, ask a classmate questions, or come in on Wednesday to get 1:1 help.
  • Find a spot in your house where you can focus on school. This could be a desk in your bedroom, the dining room table, or somewhere in the basement. Find something that works for you and get working. 
  • Stay on top of your assignments. Missing assignments build up very quickly. If you have a missing assignment, get it done ASAP. 
  • Use your time effectively. If you have a free period during the day, use that time to work on any assignments you may have.

DON’T:
  • Skip classes. This will make it harder for you to know what is happening in class. 
  • Ignore emails from teachers. We are here to help you. 
  • Skip material pickup. The materials in your folder are needed for the next week of classes. If you aren’t able to make it on Thursday, let your coordinator know and you can arrange an alternative pickup. 
  • Let missing assignments pile up. This is only hurting you. 
  • Sit quietly on Google Meets. If you have questions, ask! Treat a Meet just like if you are in class. Teachers are there for you to ask questions.

If you have wondered about whether this program is right for your student or family, you can visit with the Home Connection Coordinators:
2021-22 School Year Calendar Approved
The 2021-2022 School Year Calendar was approved at the December 14 Board of Education meeting. As a reminder, the daily calendar of events is located within our Forest City CSD app and on the homepage of our website, www.forestcity.k12.ia.us
Snowy Days...
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Plan For E-Learning Days
As you are aware, we've held up to three E-learning days in past years due to inclement weather and then those days were not added onto the end of the school year.

With the pandemic, schools in Iowa are allowed to utilize e-learning days during inclement weather so please plan on them!
Classroom Highlights
Mr. Harriman's 3rd grade class is participating in a program called Hand2Mind- STEM in Action. For this activity, students worked in groups on 3-5 to develop a "squeaky clean magnet." The overall objective was for the groups to be able to clean a fish tank without getting their hands wet.  

Leading up to the final product, students engaged in the engineering design process, explored magnetic properties of various materials, and designed a magnetic fish tank cleaner. 

The 2nd through 4th grade students wrote Christmas letters to a retired teacher. They also colored a holiday picture. This gave them practice on the friendly letter writing format. 

This will bring great cheer to this teacher!
Physical Science classes (9th grade) tested the paper rollercoasters they built this week! They were looking at the change in energy from potential energy at the top to kinetic energy at the bottom. They also had to explain what other forms of energy could be created.
Not the traditional look to a band concert, but Cory Schmitt and others figured out a way for the students to play! Thank you! If you missed the virtual concert, here's the link!
Coming In January...
Jazz Up January
At Forest City Middle School
As we transition back to school on January 4, students can expect some different activities for the month. Here are some of the activities each day we are planning for:
Mountain Top Monday (motivational activity/video each Monday)
Tunes on Tuesday (music played over the speaker during passing time)
Wellness Wednesday (E-learning day) (get moving with some exercise)
Throwback Thursday (dress up day)
FCMS Friday School Spirit Day Contests between grade levels
Each week in January will also have its own theme based on the qualities that help define us!
WEEK OF JAN. 4 COURAGE
WEEK OF JAN. 11 KINDNESS
WEEK OF JAN. 18 FRIENDSHIP
WEEK OF JAN. 25 CHARACTER
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English teacher Sarah Davis and Science Teacher Levi Nettleton to the High School faculty!

Forest City will host three other schools for a Large Group Speech Contest on January 23. Students are busy preparing! The State Speech contest will take place; however, All State will provide recognition but not hold the traditional event.
John V. Hanson Career Center
Building Underway!
The Groundbreaking ceremony for the John V. Hanson Career Center, a NIACC Regional Education Center, was held on October 26.

The new center, located in the Nerem Industrial Park, Forest City, is on track to open for classes in the fall of 2021 and is the result of NIACC partnering with four area districts: Forest City, GHV, Lake Mills, and North Iowa.

Students in these four districts will be able to take advantage of education and training in four Career Academies: Information Technology, Construction Trades, Advanced Manufacturing, and Health Careers.

This regional center, in addition to the partnership with Waldorf University, provides Forest City students with another amazing opportunity to explore the direction they may want to go after high school.

Thank you to all involved in making this happen!
COVID-19 Updates
Forest City Community Schools
(641) 585-2323 District Office