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Articles from December 2023

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NEW PROCESS: Free Four-Year-Old Preschool Enrollment and Registration, Jan. 8

Enrollment and registration for FREE four-year-old preschool in the Dubuque Community School District will begin on Monday, Jan. 8.

This includes all 12 Dubuque public elementary schools as well as the district’s new preschool center on Chavenelle Road offering preschool through the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program.

NEW THIS YEAR, parents and guardians may enroll students ONLINE beginning at NOON on Monday, January 8, at

All district elementary schools and the district’s main office will have computers and staff assistance available beginning January 8 for families needing internet access to complete preschool enrollment and registration.


Free four-year-old preschool is open to students residing in Iowa who are four by September 15. Proof of age (preferably a birth certificate) and proof of residency are required to enroll a student and may be uploaded during the enrollment application process or provided in hard copy to the district enrollment office at 2300 Chaney Road.

Your student’s enrollment application will not be considered complete until these documents have been received.

For the enrollment and registration process, families should have the student’s main household and health information readily available.


Space may be limited in some facilities and enrollment applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Enrollment for preschool is not based on geography and all sites are open to Iowa residents. Applications will be time-stamped and families will be able to select up to three locations and time slots in order of preference.

Applications completed by January 12 (including submission of proof of age and proof of residency) will be considered in the first round of placement notifications beginning on January 19.

In addition to spots in Dubuque’s public schools, a variety of community preschool partners also offer free four-year-old preschool.


For additional enrollment questions, individuals should contact the district early childhood office at

The Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program for Four-Year-Old Children is funded by the State of Iowa and facilitated locally by the Dubuque Community School District.

NEW Seedlings Preschool Center! Interested?

The Dubuque Community School District is excited to open Seedlings Preschool Center, a new state-of-the-art preschool center in Dubuque’s industrial center for the start of the next school year.

The 18,000-square-foot Seedlings Preschool Center, located in the soon-to-be-renovated former Medline building on Chavenelle Road, will also offer streamlined access to wrap-around child care programming in the adjacent Dubuque Community Y Early Learning Center.


Seedlings was designed entirely with our earliest learners in mind, including:

  • Up to 10 newly renovated classrooms
  • A fully accessible outdoor playground
  • Specially designed sensory spaces
  • Meal service and common spaces
  • A dedicated team of preschool teachers and support staff

Both morning and afternoon preschool slots will be available for families. Enrollment and registration for Seedlings Preschool Cener (and all other Dubuque Community School District preschool sites) is now open at

Wrap-Around Child Care: The Dubuque Community Y Early Learning Center is connected to the preschool center and allows for a seamless transition between child care and preschool programming.


Dubuque Senior High School Attends Iowa Youth Symposium at State Capitol

Outstanding Delegates from Dubuque Senior High School’s Model United Nations club attended the Iowa Youth Symposium at the State Capitol in Des Moines, a dynamic event bringing together young leaders from high schools around Iowa to discuss pressing global issues. There were 208 participants from 16 different Iowa high schools. Students discussed, debated, and collaborated by assuming the role of United States diplomats within the United Nations. The annual Model UN conference commemorates International United Nations Day and the anniversary of the ratification of the UN Charter on October 24, 1945.

This year’s conference featured five committees in which students debated the US position within the UN on reparations, recognition of the International Court of Justice, the growing dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and bans on social media. During committee sessions, students learned about the procedures for engaging in diplomacy and the importance of international cooperation. Participants showcased their critical thinking and negotiation abilities.

The conference featured distinguished speakers, including the Honorary United Nations Day Chair, Jackson Geadelmann who delivered the keynote address. Geadelmann is a current University of Iowa College of Law student and Iowa United Nations Association board member. In his remarks, Geadelmann highlighted the importance of the United Nations to facilitate international cooperation, and especially the need for young people to be involved in building consensus and solving global issues.

During the pre-plenary session, 75 outstanding regional delegates had the opportunity to discuss their position papers and policy proposals with local experts. From Dubuque Senior High School’s Model United Nations club, Owen May, Donovan Dremmel, Olivia Brimeyer, Fred Raymond, Charlie Branscomb, Wyatt Branscomb, Allie Cook, Maura Lawler, Will Wernimont, and Ben Schaefer were selected as outstanding regional delegates to represent Dubuque.

Students participated in roundtable discussions with Dr. Negus Imhotep (chair of the Des Moines Civil & Human Rights Commission), Professor John C. Reitz (Professor Emeritus of the University of Iowa College of Law), Alicia Vastos (Water Program Director for the Iowa Energy Council), Dr. Debra DeLaet (Drake University Political Science Professor), and Dr. Sharonda Woodford (Visiting Assistant Professor of Political Science at Drake University).

Two outstanding delegates were identified in each of the five committees (economic, political, science, social, and technology) for their exemplary leadership, contributions, and ability to build consensus. Ben Schaefer of Dubuque Senior High School was selected as one of two outstanding delegates in the Science Committee and one of 10 students overall.

Dubuque Senior High School’s Model United Nations club provides a setting for young people to learn about the work of United Nations diplomats while engaging in productive discussions with students from around the state. Kristin Weiland serves as the club advisor at Dubuque Senior. Owen May, second year participate in Model UN, said “Model United Nations can help expand your worldview through friendly debate with others…”. Allie Cook started this year as a senior and said “Model United Nations is an enriching experience to learn hands on about the internal workings of international politics. I am so glad I joined because of my newfound knowledge on the subject and the camaraderie that is built within the club.”

For more information about Model United Nations and the Iowa Youth Symposium, please visit Iowa Youth Symposium.

Hempstead and Dubuque Senior Qualify for Girls State Swimming and Diving

High school students from Hempstead and Dubuque Senior recently qualified to compete at the 2023 IGHSAU Girls Swimming and Diving State Championship.

Congratulations to the following students:

State Qualifiers

Hempstead High School

50-Yard Freestyle

  • Kenzie Tomkins
  • Rebecca Roling

Para 50-Yard Freestyle

  • Ally Darter

100-Yard Freestyle

  • Kenzie Tomkins

100-Yard Breaststroke

  • Maisey Duehr

Para 100-Yard Breaststroke 

  • Ally Darter

500-Yard Freestyle

  • Kate Duehr

200-Yard Medley Relay

  • Nora Davis | Callie Dolphin | Emma Oberhoffer | Kenzie Tomkins

200-Yard Freestyle Relay

  • Nora Davis | Callie Dolphin | Maisey Duehr | Rebecca Roling

400-Yard Freestyle Relay

  • Nora Davis | Kate Duehr | Rebecca Roling | Kenzie Tomkins

Dubuque Senior High School

50-Yard Freestyle

  • Annie Gilligan

100-Yard Backstroke

  • Annie Gilligan
  • Kaitlyn Vantiger

100-Yard Freestyle

  • Molly Gilligan

100-Yard Butterfly

  • Evie Hall
  • Savanna Koch

200-Yard Medley Relay

  • Annie Gilligan | Molly Gilligan | Savanna Koch | Kaitlyn Vantiger

200-Yard Freestyle Relay

  • Molly Gilligan | Evie Hall | Savanna Koch | Kaitlyn Vantiger

400-Yard Freestyle Relay

  • Annie Gilligan | Molly Gilligan | Savanna Koch | Kaitlyn Vantiger

Dubuque Senior and Hempstead Students Qualify for State Cross Country

Students from both Dubuque Senior and Hempstead High Schools competed in the Iowa High School State Cross Country qualifying meet to determine their eligibility to compete at the State Championship at Kennedy Park in Fort Dodge on Friday, October 27th.

Congratulations to the following Class 4A student qualifiers:

Dubuque Senior High School


Team Qualifiers

  • Leah Klapatauskas | Grade 12
  • Claire Hoyer | Grade 11
  • Emily Gorton | Grade 11
  • Emma Chesterman | Grade 10
  • Neveah Kessler | Grade 10
  • Briel Bechen | Grade 10
  • Lise Hoyer | Grade 9


Individual Qualifiers 

  • Jack Kirman | Grade 10

Hempstead High School


Team Qualifiers 

  • Keelee Leitzen | Grade 12
  • Julia Gehl | Grade 12
  • Evie Henneberry | Grade 11
  • Maggie Henneberry | Grade 9
  • Mylee Lange | Grade 11
  • Natalie Leitzen | Grade 9
  • Ellie Hermiston | Grade 12


Team Qualifiers

  • John Maloney | Grade 12
  • Charlie Driscoll | Grade 12
  • Owen Leitzen | Grade 11
  • Brandon Kass | Grade 11
  • Micah Fern | Grade 10
  • Zack Johnson | Grade 12
  • Matt Hanselman | Grade 12

League of Women Voters 2023 School Board Candidate Forum

The Dubuque League of Women Voters will host the 2023 School Board Candidate Forum on Wednesday, Oct. 25, at 6:30 p.m.

Members of the public are invited to attend the forum in person, which will be held at the Dubuque Community School District Office at 2300 Chaney Road.


The forum can also be viewed live on Mediacom Channel 16 or 117-6.

Suicide prevention header

Suicide Prevention Event, Nov. 2

Join us for a
Dubuque Community School District
Family Education Series Event

A Message of Hope and Recovery

Thursday, November 2
6-7:30 p.m.
Roosevelt Middle School Lass Auditorium


According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) suicide is the second leading cause of death for youth aged 14-18. In addition, 1 in 5 youth have reported they are seriously considering suicide.

At this presentation, you’ll hear from guest speaker Kristen who will share her story of how she was able to cope and recover from the impact of significant trauma in her childhood. The presentation is sponsored by the Duck Cup Memorial Fund.

The presentation will be followed by a panel of local experts and a question-and-answer session, including:

  • Ann Butzier, Parent and UnityPoint Health Nurse
  • Kristen Nolen, Dubuque Senior High School Brain Health Retreat Room Liaison
  • Dr. Michael Peroski, Medical Associates Psychiatrist
  • Dan Powers, Alta Vista Campus Administrator and Former School Counselor

Local agencies will also be present before and after the event to talk with families and offer resources.