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Articles from February 2018

Resources for talking to students about violence

Discussing violence with students can be a difficult conversation regardless of age. Members of the district’s counseling staff have shared the following resources from the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) in order to aid in talking with your student.

INFOGRAPHIC: Tips for Talking to Children About Violence

ARTICLE: Tips for Talking to Children About Violence


A message from the Superintendent

Dear Families, Students and Staff,

It has been a difficult 12 hours in the Dubuque Community School District.

Late last night, we learned of a threat to Dubuque Senior High School that started on social media and quickly gained widespread momentum. As it began to circulate, a flood of misinformation also began to surface and determining credibility of the threat became immensely difficult. At that point, we decided to cancel classes at Senior out of an abundance of caution.

Once the decision to cancel classes at Senior was made, it became clear that Dubuque is understandably not immune to the heightened awareness and sensitivities that exist nationally around school shootings. Given student/parent concerns across the district and the clear disruption to the school day that would have undoubtedly been present, we decided it was in the best interest of our students to cancel the day and make it up at the end of the year.

Now, 12 hours later, working closely with the Dubuque Police Department, we are confident in saying that there is no credible threat to our schools. We will proceed with the high school activities scheduled for this weekend and, as a precaution, will have additional security and police officers present at those events. Together, we must be vigilant.

As we reflect on this situation, it is important to reinforce that we will take any threat received as serious until we know otherwise. Anyone who believes there is a concern should report it immediately to an adult for follow-up and refrain from posting/reposting unconfirmed information on social media. When we are able to determine the source of the threat, we will take action to ensure that the individual is held accountable.

As parents, this can be a difficult topic to discuss with your students. Counseling staff will be available in our schools next week (and beyond) for students needing additional support. Later today, we will also post additional resources on how to talk with your student about violence on website at

Throughout this, many students and family members have shared information as the district and police investigated. We are thankful for this information and know that working together in this way is the best way to prevent violence in our schools.

As we move into the weekend, please be assured that we are fully committed to the safety of our students and staff, and we are thankful for the tremendous support we receive from the community in providing a safe learning environment.

Stan Rheingans
Superintendent of Schools


ALERT: No School TODAY, Friday, Feb. 23

There will be NO SCHOOL in the Dubuque Community School District TODAY, Friday, Feb. 23.

This decision comes following a threat late last evening to Dubuque Senior High School, which we have been unable to confirm the credibility of. Following the decision to close Senior for the day, the student/parental concern and significant disruption created throughout the district has led to a decision to close ALL SCHOOLS today.

This day will be made up at the end of the school year, as we believe students will benefit more from a normal school day at that time as opposed a day filled with distractions today.

ALERT: No School at Dubuque Senior High TOMORROW (Friday, Feb. 23)

Late this evening, there have been widespread reports on social media regarding an alleged threat of a possible shooting at Dubuque Senior High School on Friday. Within the last 90 minutes, the district and the Dubuque Police Department have been in close communication.

While we have no credible information suggesting an actual threat exists, we are unable to completely rule it out. Because of this, the district has made the decision to cancel classes at Dubuque Senior High School on Friday, Feb. 23, out of an abundance of caution.

As a district, we take any potential threat to our schools seriously. In this case, because we are unable to completely rule out any threat, we believe cancelling classes Friday is the most appropriate course of action.

We will continue to investigate this situation with the Dubuque Police Department until it is resolved. If it was determined a false threat was made, the district will pursue further action on the individuals responsible.

Conferences/Activities Postponed for Tonight (Tuesday, Feb. 20)

Due to flooding and anticipated freezing on area roadways, the following district activities are impacted for today, Tuesday, Feb. 20.

  • Conference scheduled for tonight at Dubuque Senior High School and Sageville Elementary School are postponed. Schools will contact families directly about rescheduling.
  • All middle school sports and activities for tonight are canceled.
  • The Hempstead varsity girls basketball regional final vs. Cedar Falls scheduled for tonight has been postponed until Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m.
  • The Prescott Elementary School STEAM Club meeting scheduled for after school today is canceled.
  • The Honor Choir rehearsal scheduled for today at Irving Elementary School is canceled.

NOTE: The district received word that the City of Dubuque Leisure Services basketball and after-school programs will be held as scheduled.

Thursday, Feb. 8:
Parent-Teacher Conferences Canceled and No After-School Activities

Due to the impending winter storm, the following activities and events are canceled for this evening, Thursday, Feb. 8:

  • Parent-Teacher Conferences at Audubon, Bryant, Irving, Kennedy, Marshall and Sageville Elementary Schools, as well as Roosevelt Middle School and Dubuque Senior High School are canceled for this evening. THESE SCHOOLS WILL CONTACT FAMILIES DIRECTLY ABOUT RESCHEDULING.
  • There will be no after-school events and activities today in the district (with the exception of a few high school practices immediately after school. Those coaches will contact students directly).
  • The Hempstead High School girls and boys sophomore/junior varsity basketball double-header is postponed until Monday, Feb. 12, at Hempstead.
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Winter 2018 Online Student Art Gallery

The winter 2017 Online Student Art Gallery is now live featuring art from the district’s high school students!

View the High School Gallery

This gallery is a way to highlight the remarkable products of art education in the district. It’s a digital attempt at bringing the work of our student artists at all levels into your home – because art is created for others to take in.