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Articles from December 2019

Art Gallery Featured Image – Spring 2019

Spring 2019 Student Art Gallery Now Live!

The Spring 2019 Online Student Art Galleries are now live featuring art from the district’s elementary, middle and high school students!

View the Galleries

These galleries area 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.

Two State Awards Presented in Dubuque

The 2019 editions of two state-level awards from the Iowa State Education Association (ISEA) have been presented in Dubuque.

2019 TEAM Award Winners

From left to right: ISEA President Mike Beranek, Superintendent Stan Rheingans, Executive Director of Human Resources Phil Kramer, and Dubuque Education Association President Tammy Duehr

The association announced that Dubuque Superintendent of Schools Stan Rheingans and Executive Director of Human Resources Phil Kramer are the 2019 recipients of the Iowa State Education Association’s TEAM Award.

Established in 1990, the ISEA’s TEAM award stands for Together, Educators and Administrators Make it Happen. The award honors school administrators who have worked to create collaborative, collegial working environments for staff in school buildings or districts. Any school administrators, current or retired, are eligible for the award.

Rheingans and Kramer were nominated for the award by the Dubuque Education Association’s executive board with words of praise and enthusiasm for their leadership, support and particular detail to a respectful environment for all.

“It is clear that Mr. Rheingans and Mr. Kramer care deeply about the students and education professionals in their care. They work hard to create a collegial work environment which promotes creativity and learning,” said Mike Beranek, President of ISEA. “At a time when respect and appreciation are sometimes lacking, their efforts are an outstanding example of how strong leadership is both effective and rewarding. We applaud their success in making Dubuque schools an inspiring place to work and look forward to many years of student growth and opportunity.”

Otto Krueger

Otto Krueger

ISEA also announced that Otto Krueger, a student mentor and former member of the Board of the Dubuque Community Schools is a recipient of the Iowa State Education Association’s 2019 Friend of Education Award.

Krueger began mentoring at Prescott Elementary School and was paired with a kindergartner who he helped with reading and other skills. Meeting with the student and his family over the summer, Krueger was able to continue mentoring and helping throughout the next 13 years. Upon graduation, the student will be attending college having grown and thrived with the positive connection and relationship he established with Krueger.

“A good mentoring relationship can make such a huge difference in the lives of our students. The time, energy and commitment that Otto put forth is remarkable and should be honored and celebrated,” said Mike Beranek. “We are so grateful to the many wonderful mentors, like Otto who help positively change the paths of so many young students every day. This is our way to say thank you. We are pleased to be able to honor him with our Friend of Education Award.”

ISEA’s Friend of Education Award honors citizens who give their time and energy, but pays special tribute to one individual or group who has made a significant contribution to education. The award recognizes that education is a total community effort and that we must combine efforts to provide for our students.

Maloney Named District’s Next Director of Activities and Athletics

Joseph MaloneyThe Dubuque Community School District is pleased to announce the appointment of Joe Maloney as the district’s next director of activities and athletics, pending approval by the district Board of Education at its May meeting.

Maloney, who currently serves as principal of Carver Elementary School, will assume the position full-time on July 1. He will succeed Amy Hawkins, who is leaving the position to become the district’s next executive director of human resources.
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Friday Morning Schedule Adjustment Beginning May 17

The following message was sent to district families and staff on Thursday, April 18, 2019

Dear Families,

After the winter we had this year, it was hard to imagine spring arriving – but we made it!

As planned, we are now looking ahead to the calendar for the remainder of the school year. With the last day of school on June 7, we know that there is at least the possibility of some heat-related issues as we near the year’s final weeks.

With our bank of available hours depleted (even after the addition of the extra 25 minutes to the school day), we will move forward with adjustments to the Friday late arrival schedule for the last four Fridays of the year to ensure enough instructional time to meet the state requirement. To accomplish this:

All schools in the Dubuque Community School District will CANCEL the scheduled Friday-morning, one-hour late arrivals on May 17, May 24, May 31 and June 7.

SCHOOL ON THESE FOUR FRIDAYS WILL START ON THE NORMAL MONDAY THROUGH THURSDAY START TIME.

This time will provide us with the flexibility to accommodate any heat issues that may arise.

I would again like to thank each of you for the many accommodations you made this past winter. We look forward to a great spring of learning and I wish you and your student all the best as we complete the school year.

Sincerely,
Stan Rheingans
Superintendent of Schools

District Receives 10th Consecutive Excellence in Financial Reporting Award

The Dubuque Community School District was recently awarded a Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting from the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) for having met or exceeded the program’s high standards for financial reporting and accountability. The award is for the district’s Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for the fiscal year ending in 2018. This is the 10th consecutive year the district has received this honor.

“We are committed to responsibly using and reporting on the financial resources that we are entrusted with,” said Kevin Kelleher, executive director of finance and business services for the Dubuque Community Schools. “Our annual financial report is one tool in doing so and we hope our Certificate of Excellence helps assure taxpayers of our commitment to the highest standards of financial management.”
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Suleyman Named Dubuque Community Schools Equity Director

Taj Suleyman

Taj Suleyman

The Dubuque Community School District is pleased to announce the appointment of Taj Suleyman as the district’s new director of equity, pending approval by the Board of Education at its April 8 meeting. Suleyman will join the district from his current role as equity outreach coordinator for the City of Dubuque.

In this newly created role, Suleyman will serve as a key district leader who embraces and champions the district’s fundamental value of ensuring equity for all. He will be responsible for organizing, coordinating, communicating and managing various facets of educational equity in the district to enhance student learning while collaborating with internal and external stakeholders to maximize the educational opportunities available to each student.

“Taj’s significant leadership experience in creating and managing equity systems combined with his strong relationships across the community make him an ideal fit for this new role,” said Superintendent Stan Rheingans. “He will bring a critical eye to our equity systems with a student-focused commitment that will move the district’s equity initiatives forward with a sense of positivity, optimism and purpose.”
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Music notes

District Honored with ‘2019 Best Communities for Music Education’ Designation

Best Communities for Music Education logo 2019The Dubuque Community School District has again been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. The district is one of 623 schools across the country, and one of four in Iowa, to receive the designation.

The award program recognizes outstanding efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, students and community leaders who have made music education part of a well-rounded education.  Designations are made to districts and schools that demonstrate an exceptionally high commitment and access to music education.

“Music education has long been valued in the Dubuque Community School District and we are pleased to again be honored with the designation,” said Superintendent of Schools Stan Rheingans. “We continue to place emphasis on the important role music and other extracurricular activities play in student success and the development of important real-world skills.”

Mindful Minute

Take a Mindful Minute to see how our classrooms are incorporating breathing techniques into classrooms for student success.

Mindful Minute

REMINDER: New Dismissal Times Begin Monday, March 4

Remember that 25 minutes will be added to the end of each school day beginning Monday, March 4, to make up for instruction time lost due to weather-related cancellations.

A complete list of new dismissal times is below:

SCHOOL DISMISSAL TIME
(BEGINNING MARCH 4)
Audubon 3:35 p.m.
Bryant 3:25 p.m.
Carver 3:55 p.m.
Eisenhower 3:40 p.m.
Fulton 3:45 p.m.
Hoover 3:50 p.m.
Irving 3:40 p.m.
Kennedy 3:45 p.m.
Lincoln 3:10 p.m.
Marshall 3:45 p.m.
Prescott 3:55 p.m.
Sageville 3:55 p.m.
Table Mound 3:55 p.m.
Jefferson 2:55 p.m.
Roosevelt 2:55 p.m.
Washington 2:55 p.m.
Hempstead 2:45 p.m.
Senior 2:45 p.m.
Alta Vista  2:50 p.m.

District Adds 25 Minutes to School Day Beginning March 4

The message below was sent to district families on Wednesday, Feb. 13:

Dear Families,

To the best of my knowledge, today’s school cancellation set the record for the most snow days in one school year. More significantly, these days have come in an unrelenting, continuous stretch of weather that seems to never end.

Please know that we understand the significant impact these schedule changes place on families and we greatly appreciate the accommodations you have made to adjust your family’s schedule.

We certainly share your frustration, but assure you that our ability to safely get students to and from school is our foremost concern. Student safety is the guiding factor in any decision to delay, cancel or release early.

As we look forward, we have two priorities:

  • First, and most important, to ensure that any added student instructional time maximizes student learning to the fullest extent possible.
  • Second, to ensure that we meet the required 1,080 hours of instruction required by Iowa Code.

TO ACHIEVE THIS, WE WILL ADD 25 MINUTES TO THE END OF EACH SCHOOL DAY BEGINNING ON MONDAY, MARCH 4. This additional time will be fully dedicated to academic instruction and content. A list of adjusted end times for each school is below this letter for your convenience. With the change, the last day of school will remain at Friday, June 7.

Please know that we have spent many hours exploring possible options and the impact those options place on families and our community as a whole.

The additional minutes will move us back to positive hours and provide some extra time to accommodate additional weather-related changes. While it has been suggested that we begin by eliminating Friday-morning late arrivals, doing so without adding time to the school day will still not provide enough hours to meet the state requirement. Should weather over the next six weeks deplete the bank of hours generated by adding time to the school day, we will revisit making adjustments to the Friday schedule.

There have been some questions about spring break and the potential of using these days to make up snow days. With spring break on the schedule for the past two years, many families and employers throughout the community have already made travel plans or other schedule adjustments during that week. It would also be impossible to have the 1,800 staff members in place needed to operate our schools.

We have also received a number of questions about conducting e-learning days of instruction. Iowa Code does not allow for virtual-learning days to be counted as required instructional time.

Thank you again for your flexibility and patience during this extreme winter. All of us are eager to have our students return to school.

Sincerely,
Stan Rheingans
Superintendent of Schools

SCHOOL DISMISSAL TIME (BEGINNING MARCH 4)
Audubon 3:35 p.m.
Bryant 3:25 p.m.
Carver 3:55 p.m.
Eisenhower 3:40 p.m.
Fulton 3:45 p.m.
Hoover 3:50 p.m.
Irving 3:40 p.m.
Kennedy 3:45 p.m.
Lincoln 3:10 p.m.
Marshall 3:45 p.m.
Prescott 3:55 p.m.
Sageville 3:55 p.m.
Table Mound 3:55 p.m.
Jefferson 2:55 p.m.
Roosevelt 2:55 p.m.
Washington 2:55 p.m.
Hempstead 2:45 p.m.
Senior 2:45 p.m.
Alta Vista  3:05 p.m.