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Dubuque Community Schools to Host Bond Referendum Information Sessions

The Dubuque Community School District will host a series of upcoming community information meetings on the $150 million school bond referendum that will be on the November election ballot.

Sessions will be held on Wednesday, Aug. 30, at Bryant Elementary School; Wednesday, Sept. 27, at Eisenhower Elementary School; and Wednesday, Oct. 18, at Marshall Elementary School. Each meeting will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The meeting will feature information on projects included in the bond referendum, which include:

  • Construction of a new, modern middle school on the Washington Middle School site to replace the more than 100-year-old Washington and Jefferson buildings while ensuring access to similar, high-quality facilities for all middle school students in the district.
  • Addition of air conditioning (and other HVAC mechanical improvements) to all schools in the district currently without it.
  • Construction of a gymnasium addition to Eisenhower Elementary School to eliminate space constraints due to not having a separate gymnasium and lunch/multipurpose room.
  • Construction of a baseball and softball complex with lights, restrooms, and concessions.
  • Land acquisition for a potential future elementary school aligned with geographic population shifts.

At the meeting, the team from INVISION Architecture leading the bond facility project planning will provide an overview of the projects. They will also discuss the financial impacts of the bond, which will not cause the district’s overall tax levy rate to change.

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2023 Mobile Registration + Employment Fair, Aug. 5-10

Need help registering your student?
Looking for a job in an amazing school district?
We are hitting the road and bringing the district to you!

Visit our registration and human resources teams at one of our Mobile Registration and Employment Fair stops throughout the community.

At each stop:

  • Our registration team will be on hand to assist families in completing online registration for the upcoming 2023-2024 school year.
  • Our human resources team will take applications and conduct on-the-spot interviews for a variety of district jobs, including paraprofessional, transportation and food/nutrition positions.
  • Computers with internet access will be provided – and we even have a few treats in store!

Join us at one of the following times:

Saturday, Aug. 5, 11 a.m.- 2p.m.
BACK-TO-SCHOOL BASH: Audubon Elementary School
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BACK-TO-SCHOOL BASH, including the shuttle schedule to get there!

Monday, Aug. 7, 1-3 p.m.
Allison-Henderson Park

Tuesday, Aug. 8, from 3-5 p.m.
Hempstead High School

Wednesday, Aug. 9, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Murphy Park

Thursday, Aug. 10, from 1-3 p.m.
Roosevelt Middle School

We look forward to seeing you!

Dubuque Community School District Adds Competitive Dance to Extracurricular Offerings, Dance Clinic Scheduled for July 20

The Dubuque Community School District has added competitive dance to its high school extracurricular offerings for the 2023-2024 school year, with teams taking shape at Dubuque Senior High School and Hempstead High School.

As part of the launch of these new teams, a Dance Clinic will be held for students entering grades 9-12 at Dubuque Senior and Hempstead on Thursday, July 20, from 9 a.m.-noon at Dubuque Senior’s Nora Gymnasium.

Cost for the camp is $25 per person and reservations can be made at

With the addition of this new activity also comes the appointment of inaugural head coaches for these teams. The district is pleased to announce the appointment of Kylie Goedken as the head coach of the Dubuque Senior High School dance team and Angie Olson as head coach of the Hempstead High School program.

Goedken, a graduate of Dubuque Senior, is owner/studio head director at Xtreme Dance in Dubuque. Olson is a German teacher at Hempstead who brings a variety of competitive dance experience to the role. Both schools will begin competition in the upcoming school year.

District Receives Excellence in Financial Reporting Award

The Dubuque Community School District was recently awarded a Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting (COE) from the Association of School Business Officials International (ASBO) for having met the program’s high standards for financial reporting and transparency. The award is for the district’s Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR) for the fiscal year ending in 2022.

This is the 14th consecutive year the district has received this honor.

“The COE’s mission is to promote and recognize excellence in financial reporting,” said ASBO International Chief Operations Officer/Interim Executive Director Siobhan McMahon. “The Annual Comprehensive Financial Report informs stakeholders about the financial and economic state of the district, making it an important communications tool for building trust and engaging with the school community.”

“We are committed to responsibly using and reporting on the financial resources that we are entrusted with,” said Kevin Kelleher, chief financial officer 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.”

Each year, the Dubuque Community School District manages an overall budget of approximately $190 million. By participating in the Certificate of Excellence Program, school districts submit their ACFR for review by a team of financial professionals who provide feedback to improve future documents. According to ASBO, recognition in the Certificate of Excellence program can facilitate bond rating and continuing bond disclosure processes.

The recognition program is presented by the Association of School Business Officials International and is sponsored by American Fidelity, provider of cost-savings solutions and supplemental insurance benefits.

The Association of School Business Officials International is a non-profit that, through its members and affiliates, represents approximately 30,000 school business professionals worldwide. It provides programs and services to promote the highest standards in school business. Its members support student achievement through effective resource management in various areas ranging from finance and operations to food services and transportation.

Music notes

District Recognized Among 2023 ‘Best Communities for Music Education’

The Dubuque Community School District has been honored with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education.

2023 Best Communities for Music Education (logo)This is the seventh consecutive year the district has received the honor.

Now in its 24th year, the Best Communities for Music Education designation is awarded to districts that demonstrate outstanding achievement in efforts to provide music access and education to all students.

To qualify for the Best Communities designation, the district answered detailed questions about funding, graduation requirements, music class participation, instruction time, facilities, support for the music program and community music-making programs. Responses were verified with school officials and reviewed by The Music Research Institute at the University of Kansas.

Music teachers in the district are congratulated by representatives of West Music on the Best Communities for Music Education Award from the NAMM Foundation

Music teachers in the district are congratulated on the Best Communities for Music Education Award from the NAMM Foundation

Research into music education continues to demonstrate educational/cognitive and social skill benefits for children who make music: After two years of music education, researchers found that participants showed more substantial improvements in how the brain processes speech and reading scores than their less-involved peers and that students who are involved in music are not only more likely to graduate high school but also to attend college as well.

In addition, everyday listening skills are stronger in musically trained children than in those without music training. Significantly, listening skills are closely tied to the ability to: perceive speech in a noisy background, pay attention, and keep sounds in memory. Later in life, individuals who took music lessons as children show stronger neural processing of sound: young adults and even older adults who have not played an instrument for up to 50 years show enhanced neural processing compared to their peers. Not to mention, social benefits include conflict resolution, teamwork skills, and how to give and receive constructive criticism.

About The NAMM Foundation
The NAMM Foundation is a nonprofit supported in part by the National Association of Music Merchants and its approximately 15,000 member companies and individual professionals. The foundation advances active participation in music making across the lifespan by supporting scientific research, philanthropic giving and public service programs.


Summer 2023 No-Cost Meal Options

The Dubuque Community School District will participate in the USDA Summer Food Service Program to provide no-cost meals to students weekdays from July 5-28, coinciding with the district’s Summer Academy Program.

The district will provide no-cost breakfast and lunch to any child 18 years old or under, with no enrollment necessary. No infant formula or infant food will be served. Meals served on site.

Summer Academy meal locations and times are as follows:

Audubon Elementary School
Prescott Elementary School
Table Mound Elementary School
Breakfast: 7:30-8 a.m.
Lunch: 11-11:30 a.m.

Meals will also be offered throughout the summer by community agencies at a variety of locations.


USDA Non-Discrimination Statement

Acceptance and participation requirements for the Program and all activities are the same for all regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability, and there will be no discrimination in the course of the meal service.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination
Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at:

and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866)632 – 9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

1. Mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410

2. Fax: (202)690-7442; OR
3. Email:

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

Iowa Non-Discrimination Statement:

“It is the policy of this CNP provider not to discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age, or religion in its programs, activities, or employment practices as required by the Iowa Code section 216.6, 216.7, and 216.9. If you have questions or grievances related to compliance with this policy by this CNP Provider, please contact the Iowa Civil Rights Commission, Grimes State Office building, 400 E. 14th St. Des Moines, IA 50319-1004; phone number 515-281-4121, 800-457-4416; website:”

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Spring 2022-2023 Student Art Gallery Now Live!

We are pleased to present the Spring 2022-2023 K-12 Virtual Student Art Gallery, highlighting the amazing artwork of our students.

The exhibit features the ability to virtually walk through a curated gallery of work — and we hope you’ll enjoy immersing yourself in the exhibit as the vision of these talented student artists comes to life.


Cassie McDonald Named Dubuque Schools Teacher of the Year

Dubuque Community School District Teacher of the Year Cassie McDonald (right) from Dubuque Senior High School is congratulated by Dubuque Senior Assistant Principal/Registrar Joan Schueller.

Dubuque Community School District Teacher of the Year Cassie McDonald (right) from Dubuque Senior High School is congratulated by Dubuque Senior Assistant Principal/Registrar Joan Schueller.

The Dubuque Community School District Teacher of the Year was named at the annual Educators’ Recognition Reception on May 11, hosted by the Dubuque Education Association.

Cassie McDonald, an English language learners (ELL) teacher at Dubuque Senior High School, was selected for the honor.

McDonald joined the district as a Spanish teacher at Dubuque Senior High School in 2005-2010. From 2019-2022 she also served in that role until 2022 when she taught in a dual ELL teaching role at Dubuque Senior and at the district’s Alta Vista Campus. This school year, she returned to teaching ELL full-time at Dubuque Senior.

Outside of the district, she is an English Speaker of Other Languages (ESOL) instructor at Northeast Iowa Community College, an English instructor in the online VIPKid English Program, and an independent contractor language training tutor for John Deere. She also served as a high school English teacher in Delavan, Wisconsin, from 2002-2005.

McDonald holds a bachelor of arts degree in Spanish and English: Language and Secondary Education from Loras College and a master of education degree in English Language Learning from the University of North Dakota – Grand Forks.

“Cassie McDonald has built a community of caring and learning for her students that helps them gain confidence, find success and feel at home at Senior High School,” said one of McDonald’s nominators. “When most teachers are packing up and heading home for the day, Cassie can be found conducting an after-school study hall/support group for her students to give them extra care and connectedness to ensure they stay on track. She’s a hero for her students, and they would tell you as much.”

Other finalists for the Teacher of the Year Award were:

  • Ann Arnold, Alta Vista Campus
  • Emilie Foust, Table Mound Elementary School
  • Amy Freiburger, Sageville Elementary School
  • Andrea Runde, Hempstead High School
  • Lorlie Ryan, Lincoln Elementary School
  • Kristal Schaul, Kennedy Elementary School
  • Alli Steepleton, Jefferson Middle School
  • Dan Tringale, Jefferson Middle School
  • Karla Weber, Hempstead High School

Also at the event:

Project Rooted received the Friend of Education Award, presented for the organization’s efforts to provide students with access to and education about nutritious foods and fresh, local produce. This happens though the group’s Rooted Boxes, created once a month for first-graders in the district’s elementary schools. The boxes are themed and include a journal; fresh, local ingredients; and a utensil (such as a mini cutting board or portable fork and spoon). The boxes also include Rooted Buck, which are vouchers that can be redeemed at Dubuque’s Farmer’s Market, giving children the opportunity to choose healthy foods while making a connection with local community members who grow/produce it.

Dubuque Community Schools and Medical Associates Form Sports Medicine Partnership

With student health and safety at the forefront, the Dubuque Community School District and Medical Associates have formalized a partnership to provide sports medicine services to high school student athletes.

Dr. Adam Susmarski works with a student athlete.

Dr. Adam Susmarski works with a Hempstead High School student athlete.

Through a memorandum of understanding officially signed by both organizations in January, Medical Associates will provide team medical coverage during Dubuque Community School District sporting events. The partnership began this year with high school wrestling and will include football in the fall, with an option to expand the coverage to additional sports in the future.

“The safety of our student athletes is priority and the district has long been at the leading edge of safety protocols in our athletic programs,” said Joe Maloney, director of activities and athletics for the district. “This partnership moves us forward in our work to ensure the highest quality care available to our student athletes by having a team physician available at our events.”

Dr. Adam Susmarski (center)works with a student athlete along with district athletic trainer Brian Regan, ATC.

Dr. Adam Susmarski (center) works with a student athlete along with district athletic trainer Brian Regan, ATC.

Medical Associates sports medicine provider Dr. Adam Susmarski, DO, FACSM, currently assumes the lead athlete physician role for the

district along with his partner, Dr. Steve Rock, MD. They also provide medical counsel to the district’s licensed athletic trainers as they work with student-athletes.

“Medical Associates is excited to have this opportunity to bring our expertise to work with the student-athletes and athletic trainers in the Dubuque Community School District,” said Susmarski, a sports, spine, and rehabilitation physician. “Our comprehensive team of sports medicine specialists are dedicated to providing the highest quality medical care, where we focus on the safety and wellness of our area’s athletes and the communities we serve.”

Career Hiring Event for Seniors Seeking Full-Time Employment, May 10

Senior Class Career Hiring Event for those seeking full-time employment after graduation (graphic)The Dubuque Community School District will host a Career Hiring Event for members of the Class of 2023 who are seeking full-time employment after high school on Wednesday, May 10, from 5:30-7 p.m. in the Dubuque Senior High School Cafeteria. 

The event is open to all graduating seniors. Registration is requested, but not required.


The event will give graduates looking to move directly into the area workforce after graduation the chance to visit with employers about job opportunities, pay, benefits and more.

There will also be the opportunity for on-the-spot interviews and immediate offers are possible.

Over 30 area employers will be in attendance, including:

  • AY McDonald
  • BEAMS LLC (multiple companies)
  • Bodine Electric Company
  • Brown NationaLease
  • Carpenters Local 678
  • Cottingham & Butler
  • Cummer Masonry Inc.
  • Dixon Tug Service
  • Dupaco Community Credit Union
  • DuTrac Community Credit Union
  • Express Employment Professionals
  • FedEx Ground
  • Giese Sheet Metal Co Inc
  • Grand River Medical Group
  • Hawkeye Care Center
  • Hills & Dales
  • Kloeckner Metals
  • Kwik Stop / Dairy Queen
  • Laborers Local 43
  • Lime Rock Springs Co
  • Lime Rock Springs Co/Pepsi Dubuque
  • McCoy Group
  • Mediacom
  • Medical Associates
  • MercyOne Medical Center
  • Mi-T-M Corporation
  • NICC
  • Paramount Ambulance
  • Progressive Processing (Hormel)
  • Sedgwick
  • Stonehill Communities
  • Sunnycrest Manor
  • Truck Country
  • UnityPoint Health – Finley Hospital
  • Universal Tank & Fabrication


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