IOWA BIG CHILDCARE STUDY

One of the selected projects by the Clinton Iowa Big  program is a study to address the shortage of childcare options in Clinton  The more significant question is whether the school district should offer parents an option of childcare to address these availability concerns and for parent convenience.

The students that are studying this issue will be issuing a survey to parents and the community in the next few days.  The survey link will be available through the school email or the district web site.  Among the topics the survey questions will cover are:

  • Interest in before or after school daycare at a centralized school location or at each elementary and/or middle schools
  • Interest in future childcare options at the schools for children ages 0-4
  • Interest in school childcare during the summer
  • Demand, ability to pay, etc.

If the school district decides to provide these services, by code it will be tuition-based.  It is not legal to use PK4-12 funding to supplement childcare services.

Please support these students by responding to the survey.

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A VISION FOR CLINTON HIGH SCHOOL

The Clinton Community School District has hired FRK architects to do a feasibility study of the current condition of Clinton High School.  This study has been completed and the following are the conclusions:

  • The lower part of the academic building was built in 1919 and was not replaced in the 1968 fire.  Therefore much of the structure (and infrastructure—piping, electrical, plumbing, etc.) is 100 years old.  This building has little to no insulation in the external masonry walls, no fire area separation, and no sprinkler system.  The HVAC, mechanical, and electrical systems are 50 years or older, beyond their useful life expectancy.
  • The “shops” building was constructed in 1958.  The roof of this building needs to be replaced.  Much of the flooring is original.  Like the 1919 building, there is no fire separation and it lacks a sprinkler system.  There are also some issues about meeting all ADA standards in the stairways.  The 1958 building has multiple locations of materials that contain asbestos.  The parking lot in this area is steep and not ideal.
  • The 1969 building is the part of the campus that replaced the space damaged in the 1968 fire.  It has little to no insulation and the majority of the roof needs to be replaced.  The 1969 building has no fire separation and does not have a sprinkler system, except in the auditorium.  This building has multiple issues of accessibility.  Materials that contain asbestos exist in this building, as well.  The main entrance is not close to current parking lots on district property.
  • The original 1958 Yourd Gymnasium was extensively remodeled in 2011.  However, it still has little to no insulation in the exterior masonry walls.  Existing upper level exterior windows are original and have little to no R value.  The concourse level of Yourd has had little to no updating since it was built.

This spring, the district will begin the conversation with the community about the best plan to renovate Clinton High School to serve its students for the next 50 years.  There will be several options to consider as we look to the future.

Weather Make-up Days

Last night, the Clinton School Board voted to use Monday, April 22 as a weather make-up day.  The teacher compensation day for parent-teacher conferences this spring will be moved to the end of the school year.

Several parents and teachers have contacted me about the district plan for making up the school days.  As I told the School Board last night, I do not want to put forth a plan when none of us know how many more days we may miss. The administration along with the leadership of the Clinton Education Association have been looking at options to minimize the impact of the calendar.  We have decided that extending a school day or utilizing spring break days for make-up are not viable options for our situation.  Hopefully in a few weeks we will get past this weather and be able to finalize the calendar for the rest of the year.

Although the plan is not finalized, we are targeting that Friday, June 7, will be the last day of school for students.  The district’s calendar will be adjusted once we get through this weather to meet this date.

Clinton Community Schools is committed to doing what is best of students in terms of safety and educational programming.  Thank you for your support.

 

CREATING A BEST PRACTICE HIGH SCHOOL ALTERNATIVE PROGRAM

The Clinton and Camanche Community School Districts are creating a joint high school alternative program for the 2019-2020 school year.  Clinton has offered an off-site alternative program in the past.  As we plan for this program, we want to keep the best aspects of Lincoln,  combine them with best practices in current alternative education, and provide the services needed for students to be successful.

Some of the elements that the new alternative program will provide include the following:

  • Implementation of best educational practices.  The teaching staff will be experiencing blended learning (a balance of on-line and traditional classroom delivery), project-based learning, service-based projects, and work experience opportunities.
  • Additional school supports through state operational sharing.  By Clinton and Camanche school districts agreeing to share this program, we qualify for additional state funding for a social worker and guidance counselor.
  • Inclusion of community agencies.  We have had community agencies in the discussions about their roles in this program.  The hope is to have our local community agencies on site to provide mental health, substance abuse, and other services to our students.
  • Bringing back the successful aspects of Lincoln.  Some students thrive better in a smaller setting.  Other students need an innovative, out-of-the-box approach to education to be successful.  Some students need a real life work experience as part of their high school experience.  Some students need a support system that the “family” program of Lincoln provided.

There is a lot of planning to be done between now and August.  We are excited to work with Camanche in providing better service to our students.

 

Embedded Proactive Mental Health Services in Clinton Schools

The Clinton Community School District is excited to announce a tentative agreement with Life Connections to provide embedded mental health services in every building for the 2019-2020 school year.  We have been experiencing the challenges and needs of students and families and are implementing a more proactive approach in our student services.

Some of the services that Life Connections will provide include the following:

  • Professional training and development on mental health approaches with school staff.  Among the topics that will be covered are mental health first aid, de-escalation, family systems intervention, resilience and trauma care, and bridges out of poverty training.
  • Coaching and mentoring for teaching staff regarding children with mental health concerns.
  • Parent engagement meetings once every nine weeks
  • Aid in de-escalation of situations in classroom settings
  • Integration with the educational and support teams within the school building.
  • Self-care sessions and facilitation of appropriate boundaries training for staff.
  • Group therapy sessions on social skills and mental health management.
  • Management of scheduling and coordination of additional mental health services within the building.

We believe this is the first school district in Clinton County that will provide these student services within the school buildings on a daily basis.  We believe proactive mental health services will put our students and staff in a better position to be successful.

EXTENDING SERVICES TO STUDENTS

The Clinton Community School District is currently having discussions about extending services to students and families.  Among the items that the district is currently considering are the following:

  • Expanding childcare options for parents at the elementary schools.  Given the shortage of childcare options in Clinton County, should the school district offer an option where childcare is made available to families at the school site that their students attend?
  • Offering a Jumpstart program at the elementary schools.  The research is clear that students can drop from 20 to 30% in their academic achievement scores.  These percentages are even higher in low social-economic groups.  A Jumpstart program usually runs 2-3 weeks, from late July to early August, to give students a “jump start” for the upcoming school year and close the summer learning gap.
  • Offering summer school to the middle school and high school.  The middle school summer school program would focus on skill development such as organization, collaborative learning roles, and critical learning strategies.  The high school would focus on credit recovery opportunities.
  • Expanding the alternative school environment.  The Lincoln alternative program served the students of Clinton for many years.  Now the Clinton and Camanche Community School Districts are looking to create the next generation of alternative programming with curriculum that is project-based, blended, and community-based.

I believe any and/or all of these ideas have the potential of being a benefit to our students.  I welcome the discussions as we look to improve the learning opportunities for our students.

 

 

KINDERGARTEN ROUND-UP

The Clinton Community School District will be offering three opportunities for parents and students that will be enrolled in either transitional or regular kindergarten classes on Tuesday, January 22.  The three time opportunities are from 10:00-11:30, 1:00-2:30, and 4:00-5:30.  All sessions will cover the same content, so please select one that best meets our family schedule.

Kindergarten round-up is a great opportunity to get information and have your child experience next year’s teachers and classrooms.  Current preschool teachers will work with the kindergarten teachers that day with students while parents will receive information about transitional kindergarten, registration requirements, introduction of the school personnel, and an opportunity to ask questions.

If you have any questions about Kindergarten round-up, please contact the principal of the elementary school you are anticipating your child will attend next year.  Here are the elementary schools in the Clinton district, principals, and phone numbers:

Bluff Elementary School       Mrs. Kristi Cooley     242-1606

Eagle Heights Elementary    Mr. Rhett Weis           243-4288

Jefferson Elementary            Mrs. Theresa Shultz   243-0479

Whittier Elementary              Mr. Brian Kenney      243-3230

Reminder, there will be no school for current kindergarten or transitional kindergarten on January 22.