October 2020 Update
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:

Believe it or not, we just completed the seventh week of our school year. First and foremost, I can't thank everyone enough for the support, teamwork and flexibility as we have worked through what school looks like during the pandemic. We're all thrilled to see the students back in school and in the activities that we can have.

We're never going to be perfect; however, I'm really proud of the progress we have made to serve students onsite or online. Families/students have the choice of attending school in person or online via the new Home Connections Program. If students are ill or need to be at home to quarantine due to the pandemic, the structure we have put in place allows students to continue learning at home.

The progress we've made is a direct result of your feedback. After the school shutdown in the spring, we sent out a survey to students, parents/guardians and staff to see where we needed to improve and this Home Connections concept, of having an additional resource to work with families, came from that. Keep the questions and feedback coming.

We've made other updates too due to the recent update from Iowa Public Health. First, we were already requiring face coverings; however, made the adjustment to define face coverings as masks only due to the guidance Public Health is following. The type of face covering worn by the positive COVID-19 person AND the close contact(s) is a determining factor in whether a close contact needs to quarantine for 14 days. Hopefully this new guidance will greatly reduce the number of close contacts in a school setting.

In the high school, we've added additional areas where students can spread out and eat lunch since this is a time where masks are not worn. It's not as much of a factor in the middle school and elementary due to the amount of time they spend without the masks eating. We look for times to get outside/social distance for mask breaks. We continue to social distance whenever possible and follow all of the other mitigation efforts outlined in our Operations In Support of Public Health document. The kids and adults are doing a really great job with all of this!

Finally, a quick note as we're entering the season with the four letter word that we don't like to hear (s-n-o-w). In the event of inclement weather, we will be able to do e-learning days and those will count toward the number of required school days in a year.

Yours in Education,

Darwin Lehmann
By Dave Bartlett, Forest City Board of Education Chair
October is National Principals Month

The Board of Education wishes to thank and recognize Brad Jones, Zach Dillavou, Ken Baker and Chad Moore for your outstanding work!

Join us in thanking them too!

Use the hashtag #ThankAPrincipal this month on social media.

No school on October 19 and 20 (Teacher Professional Development)
Free Lunch...AND a great time to catch up on past due balances
Breaking News! Free Lunches Extended to the End of the School Year!
All students have been receiving free lunches since September 14 due to the
the Federal Government reinstating the Summer Food Service program. We just received word that the program is available through the end of the school year!
If you have a past due lunch account balance, this is a great time to catch up! You can log into Infinite Campus to see the balance (Food Service tab) or contact a school office.

Payments can be made in Infinite Campus (no service charge to pay online) or you can send payment with your student.

How are students receiving free meals? 
  • The Federal Government reinstated the Summer Food Service program through the end of the school year. Food Service Directors applied for the program.
Does free really mean free? 
  • Regular meals are free. There is a charge for extra main entrees' when available and extra milk.
Do teachers/support staff qualify for free meals? 
  • No, the waiver only covers children’s meals.
Do I still need to fill out my student’s free or reduced meal application?
  • Yes! Your application will determine the status after the waiver expires. Plus if you are applying for fees waiver, this is an extra step.
Reminder Free Wednesday Lunches available at Forest City High School for students
Lunches are available to pick up at the Forest City High School between 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

If you will be coming on a regular basis, please let Glenda know!

email: gkeough@forestcity.k12.ia.is
Donations Support FC Elementary
Several Forest City Community School District Elementary School teachers have been the recipients of classroom resources through DonorsChoose. Teachers submit project requests, post them through DonorsChoose, and the generosity of others provides the monetary funds necessary to purchase the requested materials.  

Some of the projects funded and gifted this fall included technology devices, a whiteboard table, technology carts, musical instruments, interactive games, gift cards for digital resources, flexible seating, and a projector for interactive digital activities, along with many other resources! 

The project requests were funded by family members of teachers, anonymous donors from around the country, and the largest contributor and generous donator, 3M. 3M has been and still is a large donor to Forest City School and schools all across the US. In 2019, 3M funded 364 projects, gave to 348 schools, and supported 362 teachers. In all, 3M gave $57,000.00 to teachers through DonorsChoose in 2019.

Forest City School District is humbled by the generosity of all who have donated to our local teachers! We are grateful for those who believe in the value of education! 
About DonorsChoose
DonorsChoose is the leading way to give to public schools. Since 2000, 4,596,713 people and partners have contributed $1,022,354,302 to support 1,788,008 teacher requests for classroom resources and experiences. As the most trusted crowdfunding platform for teachers, donors, and district administrators alike, DonorsChoose vets each request, ships the funded resources directly to the classroom, and provides thank yous and reporting to donors and school leaders. Charity Navigator and GuideStar have awarded DonorsChoose, a 501(c)3 nonprofit, their highest ratings for transparency and accountability.
Balance Due?

You can check your balances in Infinite Campus:
  • Click here to login
  • To ensure you are up-to-date on the required registration fees, click "FEES" on the left menu.

Payments may be made online!
New! Sally's Sensory Place
Sally's Sensory Space was created in the Elementary School to provide a safe and interactive space for students to regulate their emotions with a variety of tools and opportunities. 

Sally's Sensory Space was named in honor of Sally Agre who taught reading in the small classroom for many of her 50 years teaching at Forest City Elementary. The rooms were painted a lavender blue base and butterflies were incorporated in the room because of Sally's love of the color purple and butterflies. 

When students use the space, they learn to regulate themselves with the help of an adult using Zones of Regulation by Leah M. Kuypers. A group of Forest City teachers were part of a webinar held at Central Rivers AEA last year with Leah M. Kuypers. The space was initiated, designed, and created by a large group of people invested in its development and use. A combined effort by Brad Jones, Missy Erdman, Adisyn Erdman, Nancy Prohaska, Skylar Wood, Waldorf Education students, Tami Dillavou and Aleysha Brandt have brought this beautiful space to life helping students daily to learn the techniques and methods needed to regulate emotions for a successful and positive day.
School Permit Information

If your student wishes to obtain a school permit, you can pick up the required forms at the Forest City High School office or they are also available on our website.

  • The applicant must be enrolled in 9th grade to be eligible for a special minor’s license.
  • The applicant must hold a regular driver’s permit for six months.
  • The applicant must have successfully completed a sanctioned drivers education program.
  • The Principal may consider grades, attendance, and discipline before recommending approval of the application.
  • The student may drive to and from school on a special minor’s license only on the days they are involved in an activity.
  • The names of all students having a special minor’s license and their driving routes will be shared with local law officials.
  • A student found violating the rules of a special minor’s license will have their name and incident forwarded to the Iowa Department of Transportation.

Breaking Ground Soon!
John V. Hanson Career Center
The new John V. Hanson Career Center is getting closer to reality! Construction is expected to begin yet this month. The NIACC Regional Education Center will be located right here in Forest City in the Nerem Industrial Park. The Nerem Industrial Park is located just to the west of CDI near Winnebago and 3M.

The new center 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. This initiative, to build up to three regional centers to support the area’s workforce issues, is a major part of NIACC's recent bond referendum.

Students in these four districts will be able to take advantage of education and training in four "Career Academies" and they are all areas where there's a shortage of workers in North Iowa and around the country. The four areas are: Information Technology, Construction, Advanced Manufacturing, and Health Sciences.

NIACC instructors, and area teachers, will provide high-quality career technical education and the regional center will have similar training equipment as the main NIACC campus.

NIACC will provide funding, oversee construction of the center, and provide educational programs and academic advising for students. The districts will support the educational program and operational costs of the building. 

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. This is very exciting for FC students!
New SEL Program Underway
Over the past few years, the Forest City School District has placed a significant emphasis on Social and emotional learning (SEL), which is the process through which children and adults understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.

The Elementary School is in its third year of PBIS implementation, which is a program that emphasizes positive behavior in a number of different settings. The school provides "PBIS points" to students when they display behavior worthy of recognition. There are prize boxes in each classroom and building-wide celebrations when certain milestones are met too. Mr. Jones said, "We are seeing great results from the program and are looking forward to an upcoming outdoor (weather-permitting) Halloween costume parade and treat day for the students."

In the Middle School setting, Principal Zach Dillavou said, "At FCMS we want to develop positive relationships with students, create a safe, welcoming environment and have 100% of our students and staff experience an enjoyable day at school. We know things will never be perfect but this has to be our goal. Whether it is collecting stress level surveys, having dress up days, playing music during passing time or teaching lessons about the emotional levels in the Zones of Regulation it is all important to building the culture of the school you want to have."

This year, the district has started a new SEL program geared for grades 5-12 called EduGuide. The program, which is about building a community between students and teachers, is underway in the high school. Staff were trained in the new program and the students complete 15-minute computer-based modules once per week.

High School Counselor Derek Ziesmer said, "The staff are looking for ways to bring out every students' strengths and the students are encouraged to take the lead. We're really excited about this program, which is especially important as students are dealing with the pandemic on top of everyday teenage stressors."

All of these initiatives work to improve the environment, relationships and experiences in which the students learn and develop.
Forest City Community Schools
(641) 585-2323 District Office