Jim McGraw Service Awards

It gives me great pleasure to announce the formation of the Jim McGraw Service awards, an annual recognition of Clinton Community School District students that go above and beyond to serve our community.  Each building has nominated a student that represents the spirit of Jim McGraw in terms of public service.  The first class of the Jim McGraw Service Award winners are as follows:

Johannah Baker, Whittier Elementary School

Olivia Calvin, Clinton High School

Tayton Castle, Jefferson Elementary School

Cole Johnson, Bluff Elementary School

Bailey Sandholdt, Eagle Heights Elementary School

Abby Struble, Clinton Middle School

These deserving students will be recognized at the May 14 School Board meeting.


New School District Website

The Clinton Community School District is proud to announce the launch of its new school district website.  The process of developing the new website has been a rewarding and challenging process.  We hope the website will better serve your needs.

Here are some of the features of the new website:

  • Modernized and user friendly site
  • Consistent formatting between the district and building pages
  • Responsive site that adapts to a variety of devices such as phones, tablets, and computers
  • District and Building Calendar of Events using google calendar that can be saved to personal devices and has printing capabilities
  • Meets all federal and state American Disability Act (ADA) requirements

The new website has the same address:  http://www.clinton.k12.ia.us







I am pleased to announce the creation of the Clinton High School Alumni Hall of Honor.  A committee has met multiple times this spring and developed this mission statement:

The Clinton High School Alumni Hall of Honor has been established to recognize those who attended Clinton High School and have distinguished themselves in their careers, communities and personal lives. These individuals shall be held up to Clinton students as examples of citizenship and success.

The criteria for Hall of Honor nominations are:

  • Nominee must have graduated from CHS at least 10 years ago.
  • A person may be nominated more than once.
  • Nominations are considered for 3 years.
  • Nominee must possess outstanding moral character.
  • HOH recognition may be given posthumously.

Nominees will have distinguished themselves in one or more of the following areas after high school:

  • Accomplishments in Academic Fields
  • Accomplishments in the Arts
  • Humanitarian Endeavors
  • Professional Career Accomplishments
  • Public or Community Service
  • Exceptional Contributions to the Clinton School District
  • Distinguished Military Service

The nomination process will be publicized later this summer.  The deadline for nominations for the inaugural Hall of Honor will be November 1, 2018.  The Hall of Honor Committee will screen and make selections by December 15, 2018.  Nominees will be recognized at the Clinton High School Academic Awards Night in April 2019 and also at a community reception.

The Young Americans

On October 7-9, 2018, Clinton Community School District students in grades 4-12 will have an opportunity of a lifetime.  The Young Americans, a performing arts college from southern California will be offering a three day workshop at Clinton High School.  First founded in 1962 by Milton C. Anderson, the group is credited with being the first show choir in America, mixing choreography with choral singing. While experiencing national television exposure early on, The Young Americans now teach music to students in the United States and other parts of the world as advocates of music education in their International Music Outreach Tours.

The three day workshop will cover many of the fundamentals of vocal, instrumental, and dance.  Students will learn a one hour performance throughout the workshop.  But the most important lessons learned in my past experiences with the Young Americans is the passion, self-esteem, self discipline, and teamwork that students will experience over the three days.  A student does not have to have a fine arts talent to grow from this experience.

On October 9, the workshop will conclude with a public performance at 7:00 p.m.  The first part will be the Young Americans, an off-Broadway quality performance.  After intermission, the student participants along with the Young Americans will perform.

Music teachers will be providing information to students during the next two months.  Registration will begin at the beginning of the next school year.  Here is a link that gives you more information about the Young Americans:



Defining ALICE

As mentioned in a previous post, the Clinton Community School District is following best practice in intruder/shooter situations by using the ALICE protocol.  ALICE is an acronym for the following:

Alert:  It is critical for all to be vigilant about noticing any suspicious person or activity and to report to law enforcement or the school administration as soon as possible.  The sooner we know of the threat, the sooner we can put people in better positions of safety.

Lockdown:   The concept of Lockdown has changed over the years, from being quiet and waiting for law enforcement to being proactive by strategically barricading the room, properly using mobile devices to communicate with law enforcement, and planning on Evacuate or Counter procedures depending on the situation.

Inform:  This protocol has changed completely in the last ten years.  In the past schools used “code” words to communicate.  Now best practice is to communicate real-time information so staff and students can make the best decisions possible.

Counter:  Counter is the strategy of last resort.  In the past, students and staff were taught to hide and be quiet.  Now best practice focuses on performing actions that create noise, movement, and distraction with the intent of reducing the shooter’s ability to shoot accurately.

Evacuate:  Again, this protocol has evolved from information gathered in past tragedies.  Real-time information about where one can evacuate to safety is now best practice.

The school district is planning on drills, with law enforcement, so staff and students can practice ALICE at the middle school and high school levels.  These will be announced as DRILLS.  Elementary students will receive training appropriate for their age.  They will not participate in any drills.  Elementary staff will direct students if a real intruder situation occurs.

Clinton Community School District is committed to school safety.  We will continue to work with law enforcement to provide a safe environment for staff and students.

Funding and Flexibility for At-Risk Students—2018 Legislative Priority

Traditionally, Iowa has been a state with relatively low rates of poverty compared to other states.  In 2001, about 28% of students were eligible for Free and Reduced Lunch.  In 2017, this number soared to 41.3%.  For the Clinton Community School District, 60.2% of all our students receive Free and Reduced Lunch.  Also, poverty is no longer concentrated around Iowa’s largest cities.  For example, of the 62 school districts in Iowa that had more than half of their students eligible, 51 are rural school districts.  So how is this impacting funding?

There are two issues with the Dropout Prevention Funding calculation in the state.  First, Dropout Prevention funding is based on total enrollment count, not the percentage of at-risk students.  Second, funding caps range from 2.5% to 5% of the total regular program district cost, based on historical school access to these funds, not based on current needs.

The ability of local school districts to make decisions based on the needs of the students they serve is the premise for increased flexibility in the use of these funds.  The current state requirements limit local school districts, like Clinton, to meet these needs.  Please consider contacting our local legislators about increasing the flexibility of use of these finds to meet our poor and at-risk students’ needs.

Our local representatives are:


New ACT Prep Opportunity for CHS Students

At the Clinton School Board goal setting meeting last fall, the Board indicated they would like more ACT preparation opportunities for CHS students.  As a response to this and using part of the model of the Elliot Test Kitchen in Fort Madison, Clinton Community Schools in partnership with Rastrelli’s Restaurant are providing a new opportunity in ACT preparation.

Starting in March, there will be a four week preparation leading to the ACT test given on Tuesday, April 3.   Here is the schedule:

Sunday, March 4, 6-8 p.m.                   English Review

Sunday, March 11, 6-8 p.m.                Math Review

Sunday, March 18, 6-8 p.m.                Reading Test

Wednesday, March 21, 6-8 p.m.        Science Test

These test prep sessions will be held at Rastrelli’s and they have agreed to provide FREE food during these study sessions.  Prior to each session, students will be expected to attend a session at school on test taking tips for each test and then take a practice test at school.  The Rastrelli’s review sessions will have a teacher go over the practice test answers and explain how each question is answered.

We believe this a great opportunity to support students to do their very best on this college entrance exam.  Thank you to Rastrelli’s and the teachers for providing this opportunity for students.