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.



Clinton High School is planning to change from the current trimester schedule to a semester schedule for the 2019-2020 school year.  There are many reasons for this change—all for the benefit of students.

  • Philosophically the argument for a trimester schedule is 2 trimesters equals 2 semesters, thus creating opportunity for students to take more courses.  However, over the last fifteen years, Clinton High School has discovered that this is not the case. We have had to change some core classes to three trimesters in order to cover the content.  This adjustment shows 180 days of instruction at 50 minutes each year is more academically rigorous than 120 days of instruction at 70 minutes.
  • Students will have more choices every day.  Clinton High School is looking at a seven period day for next year, along with an early bird period.  This is two more class opportunities everyday which will actually allow more opportunities for elective classes and more choices.
  • Plans are in the works for a future Career and Technical Center for Clinton County, which will serve high school students in five Clinton County School Districts and Eastern Iowa Community College.  This regional career center will offer capstone, high quality programming in advanced manufacturing, welding, auto/diesel, culinary, agriculture, health services, etc.  This will require coordinating schedules and calendars between the school districts and Clinton Community College.  DeWitt, Camanche, Northeast, and Cal –Wheat, as well as Clinton Community College, currently use a semester system.
  • Alignment with Clinton Community College’s semester schedule will also provide more opportunities for concurrent courses, in which Clinton High School students can earn both high school and college credit for the same course.

There is still a lot of planning to be done in terms of curriculum, schedule, graduation requirements, and professional development before next fall.  We will continue to keep you informed through this blog and the high school newsletter.


Now that we are about one-half of the way through the school year, I’d like to get you an update on the international student experience at Clinton High School:

  • Fourteen students took classes during the first trimester.  Two more international students will begin classes the first day of second trimester, November 27.
  • CIEG is allowing the Clinton Iowa Big program to be hosted at the Durgin Center on the New Six Arts International Education Park.  The Iowa Big programs across the state have a premise on being hosted off campus and the Durgin Center will serve as home base as our students.
  • We are still waiting for our I-17 SEVIS application to be amended to include the New Six Arts International Educational Park as an instructional site for Clinton High School.  CIEG has agreed for the school district to offer classes in the state of the art facilities that were renovated by Ashford University.  However, we cannot educate international students in Clinton High School classes other than the 817 8th Avenue address until SEVIS approves amending our application to include the second address.  This amendment was sent in June.
  • The Pangaea International Academy received its Iowa Department of Education accreditation in November.  The next step for Pangaea is to submit its own SEVIS I-17 application.  The motivation for Pangaea to issue I-20 to international students is that federal law allows private schools to offer up to four years while public schools are limited to one year.  Nearly all of our international students are freshmen or sophomores and would like to complete their high school educations through Clinton High School.

Lastly, the international students have blended into our Clinton High School population very well.  I believe as time progresses, the international students will begin to participate more in the extracurricular activities that Clinton High School offers.


The Clinton Community School District is pleased to announce that we will begin a pilot using the Raptor Visitor Management System at Clinton Middle and Clinton High Schools to strengthen our program of campus safety for students and faculty.  Part of keeping students and faculty safe is knowing who is in our buildings at all times, and the Raptor system will allow us to do that.  The Raptor system will better allow us to screen visitors, contractors, and volunteers in our schools and provide us with a safer environment for our students and staff.

Upon entering a district building, visitors will be asked to present an ID such as a Driver’s License, which can either be scanned or manually entered into the system.  If a parent or guardian for any reason does not have a US government-issued ID, the school staff member can use any form of identification and manually enter the person’s name into the Raptor system. The Raptor system will check to ensure that registered sexual offenders are not entering our school campuses without our knowledge.  The Raptor system checks the visitor’s name and date of birth for comparison with a national database of registered sex offenders.  The registered sex offender database is the only official database checked by the Raptor system.  No other data from the ID is gathered or recorded and the information is not shared with any outside agency. Once entry is approved, Raptor will issue a badge that identifies the visitor, the date, and the purpose of his/her visit.  A visitor’s badge will not be necessary for those who visit our schools simply to drop off an item in the office or pick up paperwork.

The safety of our students is our highest priority and the Raptor visitor management system allows us to quickly identify those that may present a danger to our students.  Thank you in advance for your understanding and your support in enhancing the school safety protocols in our district.




New Procedure for Delayed Starts on Wednesdays

As the weather has quickly turned cold, icy, and snowy, the decision to announce a delayed start versus cancellation of school is one a superintendent has to make. Past practice in the Clinton School District has been to cancel the whole day of school on a Wednesday because it is also an early out day for teacher professional development. I believe everyone understands that it would not be worth coming to school if a delayed start would be followed by an early dismissal the same day.
After discussions with the school administrators, the Clinton Education Association, and the district School Improvement Advisory Committee, the Clinton Community School District will implement a new procedure if there is a need for a delayed start on a Wednesday. The district will begin classes two hours late. We will cancel the teacher professional development that afternoon and students will remain in class until the dismissal time of any other day of the week (2:45 p.m. at the elementary schools and 3:35 p.m. at the middle and high school). We believe that the additional contact time with students in the afternoon will make it a productive learning day overall.
Thank you for your support of Clinton Schools!


The Clinton Community School District and the Clinton High School Hall of Honor Committee are proud to announce the inaugural 2019 Hall of Honor Class.  The first inductees are William D. Conner, Sandra Fullerton Joireman, Kyle Ketelsen, Dr. Fred Luthans,  and Krista Voda (Kelley).

William D. Conner was a 1893 graduate of Clinton High School and was a career United States Army officer who became superintendent of the United States Military Academy after originally serving in the Corp of Engineers.  While stationed in the Philippines, he participated in the Spanish-American War and was awarded a Silver Star for heroism in combat.  From 1909 to 1916, he was with the War Department General Staff, was promoted to colonel from the United States, and in 1917. appointed Deputy Chief of Staff of the American Expeditionary Forces.  In July 1918, he was promoted to brigadier general and earned a second Silver Star.  For his World War I service, Conner was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal, as well as receiving the Order of the Bath from Britain.  He also received the Croix de Guerre and was named a Commander of the Legion of Honour from France.  Conner retired in 1938, but was recalled to service during World War II, from 1941-42.  He passed away on June 16, 1960, and was buried at West Point Cemetery.

Sandra Fullerton Joireman was a graduate of the CHS class of 1985 and is currently the Weinstein Chair of International Studies and Professor of Political Science at the University of Richmond.  Joireman has spent the majority of her career working in humanitarian endeavors.  She has published four books including Where There is No Government: Enforcing Property Rights in Common Law Africa (New York:  Oxford University Press 2011) and Church, State, and Citizen (New York: Oxford University Press 2009).  Joireman has written numerous articles on hunger, poverty, property rights, and war in developing countries.  She has served on several organizations, including the African Politics Conference Group and the Editorial Board for Human Rights and Human Welfare.

Kyle Ketelsen, a CHS graduate from 1989, is currently an international opera performer.  Ketelsen’s love for singing began when he was a member of the A’Capella choir under John DeHaan and extended to when he was studying with Albert Gammon at the University of Iowa.  He earned his Master of Music degree from Indiana University under Giorgio Tozzi.  In regular demand by the world’s leading opera companies for his vibrant and handsome stage presence and his distinctive voice, Ketelsen has garnered great critical acclaim for his portrayals in major theaters around the world.  He has won first prize in several international vocal competitions including the Metropolitan Opera National Council, George London Foundation, Licia Albanese Puccini Foundation, National Opera Association, and the Liederkranz Foundation.

Dr. Fred Luthans, a 1957 CHS graduate, has had a distinguished academic career as a teacher, author, mentor, and leader.  Last year, Web of Science, an online scientific citation indexing service, named Dr. Luthans to the “Top 1% Citations” list of researchers around the world in all fields.  In an article in Scientometrics, a peer-reviewed academic journal, a new study of citations over the past ten years in all fields of Business and Economics, also recognized Luthans in the top 1% of all business and economic professors in the world.  Luthans has published over 50 books and 200 academic articles and currently works at the University of Nebraska.

Krista Voda (Kelley) is a 1992 graduate of CHS.  In 2003, after attending the University of Northern Iowa, Voda began her career as a NASCAR broadcaster and co-anchor of Totally NASCAR on Fox Sports Net.  She was also co-host on NASCAR Nation when that show aired on Speed Channel.  Before moving to FSN, she worked at local television stations in Iowa and Kentucky, including WLEX in Lexington.  In addition to NASCAR, she has covered college football (including the Cotton Bowl Classic), the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship, the Kentucky Derby, the World Series, the PGA Championship, and the National Football League.  Currently Voda is the pre- and post-race host for NBC Sports’s NASCAR coverage, which includes hosting NASCAR America on NBCSN.  One of her first radio jobs was working at KROS.

The mission of 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 are held up to Clinton students as examples of citizenship and success.

The induction of the 2019 Hall of Honor will be in conjunction with the Academic Awards night scheduled for April 12, 2019.

RSAI 2019 Legislative Priorities

Clinton Community School District is a member of Rural School Advocates of Iowa.

Rural School Advocates Set 2019 Legislative Agenda

FFA Enrichment Center, DMACC Campus, Ankeny, Iowa October 24, 2018

Representatives from member school districts of the Rural School Advocates of Iowa convened their Annual Meeting on Wednesday, Oct 24, at 4:30 PM at the FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny.  RSAI is beginning its sixth year of advocacy on behalf of the students, parents and communities in rural Iowa, to ensure that all students have access to a great Iowa education, regardless of where they live.  RSAI members include over 100 Iowa school districts, but a few are actually larger districts, such as Davenport. As Dr. Bob Olson, Chair of RSAI and superintendent of the Clarion-Goldfield-Dows school district reminded the members, “this is an organization of rural schools with a common mission of equality, not an organization of small schools.”

School transportation costs were a key focus of the group.  Dennis McClain, Superintendent from Clay Central-Everly Community School District, and at-large representative on the RSAI Leadership Group, shared statistics of the miles traveled getting to and from school.  “For us, those route miles we run to get students to school take away from the instruction we could provide.  This is an equity issue. Our students are disadvantaged because of the funding we must spend getting them to the door.  Isn’t their education just as important as all other Iowa students’ education?”

Tim Mitchell, Superintendent from Riverside Community School District, NW Representative on the Legislative Group, weighed in on the priority of extending the state penny sales tax for school infrastructure and property tax relief.  “The pending sunset restricts our ability to borrow. Schools that need to borrow to do work in the district, will only have property taxes as a funding resource if the penny tax is not extended.”  Many districts buy 1-1 computers out of sales takes fund. A lot of districts have elevated student learning out of this fund. Some districts have been able to lower their physical plant and equipment levy property tax (PPEL) and their taxpayers appreciate that.  All districts are thinking about staff and student security, and the state penny provides a resource for safer entrances, monitoring technology and other safety improvements.

Despite being one of the most complicated school finance issues discussed, student equality of Iowa’s school finance formula rose to a level of top priority for RSAI members. Sandy Dockendorff, school board member from the Danville Community School District and SE Representative to the RSAI Legislative Group, explained, “This $170 difference per pupil has no rational explanation, other than the history of what schools spent when the formula was created in the early 1970s.” “This issue of formula equality is about fairness,” Dockendorff continued. “The way the formula works today, some students generate more than others. . . . SF 455 was signed into law during the 2018 Session.  The state has made a small but lasting commitment to close the gap by $5. The state has a long way to go to close the rest of the gap.”

RSAI members discussed the resources needed to provide a good education for students, including a meaningful increase in the state cost per pupil to make up for lost ground and resurrect education as the number one priority of the legislature. “We have 44 fewer school districts than we did just 20 years ago,” stated McClain.  “School funding primarily pays for people. The teachers, counselors, librarians, administrators, nurses, secretaries, coaches and custodians in our schools.  Low funding inhibits our ability to attract and retain staff and to remain competitive with the private sector in Iowa’s growing economy.”

RSAI members also included the following issues as additional priorities for the 2019 Legislative Session:

  • Funding adequacy and equity for students at-risk of not succeeding in school
  • Funding for 3- and 4-year old preschool at a 1.0 weighting, to help provide full day and cover transportation costs in rural schools
  • Improved instruction and educator shortage, including additional staffing flexibilities, to ensure students in rural Iowa have access to great teachers and multiple opportunities to meet their needs.
  • Extension of the reorganization and whole grade sharing incentives scheduled to expired in 2020.
  • Student mental health services, especially for Iowa’s rural students living in communities without mental health providers.

Position papers on key issues and a Digest of the 2018 Legislative Session are available on the RSAI legislative web page,  or by contacting Margaret Buckton, Professional Advocate, RSAI 515.201.3755



Dr. Robert Olson, Superintendent, Clarion-Goldfield-Dows, Chair, RSAI Leadership Group,, (515) 532-3423

Dennis McClain, Superintendent, Clay Central-Everly, Vice Chair, RSAI Leadership Group  (712) 933-2242

Duane Willhite, Superintendent, North Fayette Valley, Secretary/Treasurer, RSAI Leadership Group (563) 422-3851

Dan Smith, Board Member, Harmony, Chair, RSAI Legislative Group