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2019-2020 Free Four-Year-Old Preschool Registration Begins Feb. 4

Registration for free four-year-old preschool in the Dubuque Community School District for the 2019-2020 school year will begin on Monday, Feb. 4. This includes Dubuque’s 13 public schools offering preschool through the Statewide Voluntary Free Preschool Program.

Parents and guardians may register students in person at the selected site, beginning at 7 a.m. on Monday, February 4. Proof-of-age, preferably a birth certificate, is required to register a student. A passport or signed immunization record will be accepted if necessary.

Preschools registration paperwork are available online or in-person at elementary schools.
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Dubuque Schools Robotic Club to Host Competition, November 17

11/12/18 – For Immediate Release

The Dubuque Schools Robotics Club will host its first robotics competition of the year on Saturday, Nov. 17, at Dubuque Senior High School’s Nora Gymnasium. Matches in the event, which is part of the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC), will begin at approximately 9:30 a.m. MEDIA ARE INVITED TO COVER THIS EVENT.

Funding for this club, which will have two teams competing on November 17, is generously provided by the McDonough Foundation and Tom Preston-Werner, with both gifts facilitated by the Foundation for Dubuque Public Schools.

According to the FIRST website, FIRST Tech Challenge “are challenged to design, build, program, and operate robots to compete in a head-to-head challenge in an alliance format.” The teams are guided by adult mentors and develop science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills while also doing community outreach, fundraising and marketing for their team.

The student club, which began three years ago, consists of nearly 25 high-school students from Dubuque Senior High School, Hempstead High School and the Alta Vista Campus who meet multiple times each week to practice and prepare.

“FIRST Tech Challenge is more than just robots,” said Ann Arnold, a math teacher and one of the team’s coaches. “Our students learn gracious professionalism, teamwork, collaboration, and real-life 21st-century skills while designing, building, programming and competing with their robots.”

Roosevelt Teacher Named 2019 Iowa Teacher of the Year

Christopher Burke

Chris Burke

Christopher Burke, an 11-year teaching veteran who uses real-world examples to make his mathematics lessons come alive, is the Iowa Department of Education’s 2019 Teacher of the Year, Gov. Kim Reynolds announced today at Dubuque’s Eleanor Roosevelt Middle School.

“Chris Burke exemplifies the great teaching that is taking place in Iowa schools,” said Gov. Reynolds. “His passion for inspiring students to learn math in a real-world context and his enthusiasm for serving as a coach outside the school day underscore the extraordinary commitment of educators in communities across our state.”

Burke, 35, who is also a teacher leader at the middle school, is one of many educators in his family, including his wife, mother and sister. His wife, Betsy, also teaches at Roosevelt.

In the program’s 60-year history, this is the first time a Dubuque teacher has received the Teacher of the Year award.
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No-Cost Summer Meal Programs

The Dubuque Community School District and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Dubuque are both participating in the USDA Summer Food Service Program this summer, which will provide no-cost breakfast and lunch to any child between the ages of six and 18 years old with no enrollment necessary.

The district will offer meals at Prescott Elementary School Monday through Friday between June 13 and July 27, with breakfast being served between 7:30-8 a.m. and lunch being served from 11-11:30 a.m. The Prescott site will be closed from July 2 through July 6.

A variety of additional sites throughout the community will be also offered through the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Dubuque.

View the complete listing of meal sites and times

In addition to these USDA meal programs, the Dubuque Food Pantry at 1598 Jackson Street will offer a free “Lunches to Go” Monday through Friday from June 7 through August 22. No meals will be served July 4. The Food Pantry program is open to any Dubuque-area child through the age of 18 and each child will get their own lunch bag to fill.

Marshall Teacher Named District Teacher of the Year

The Dubuque Community School District Teacher of the Year was named at the annual Educators’ Recognition Dinner on May 10, hosted by the Dubuque Education Association.

Brandi Moeggenberg

Brandi Moeggenberg

Brandi Moeggenberg, a kindergarten teacher at Marshall Elementary School, was selected for the honor. Moeggenberg has taught at Marshall since 2012. “She works magic with her solid, research-based strategies and willingness to do whatever it takes to help her students learn,” said one of her nominators. “She has high expectations for students and they respond in amazing ways.”

Other finalists for the Teacher of the Year Award were:

  • Alicia Bergfeld, a second-grade teacher at Hoover Elementary School
  • Angie Breitbach, a science teacher at Hempstead High School
  • Bridget Daly-Wilhelm, a language arts teacher at Washington Middle School
  • Melissa Fondell, an instructional coach at Table Mound Elementary School
  • Paul Kilgore, an English teacher at Dubuque Senior High School
  • Andrea Leach, a third-grade teacher at Bryant Elementary School
  • Adam Miller, a social studies teacher at Hempstead High School
  • Stephanie Vondal, a fourth-grade teacher at Marshall Elementary School
  • Barbara Vrotsos, a teacher on special assignment (world languages and English Language Learners) at the district-level

At the dinner, two other special awards were presented. Stan Rheingans, superintendent of schools, and Phil Kramer, executive director of human resources, received the TEAM (Together Educators and Administrators Make-it-happen) Award presented to an administrator for exemplary support of teacher success.

Otto Krueger, a long-time School Board member, received the Friend of Education Award. Krueger has mentored a student throughout his entire Dubuque Community School District education and this year, the student will graduate from high school and is prepared to go on to college.


Howes to Become New Washington Middle School Principal

Brian HowesThe Dubuque Community School District is pleased to announce the appointment of Brian Howes as the new principal of Washington Middle School for the 2018-2019 school year, pending approval by the Board of Education at its May meeting. Howes will replace Mark Burns, who was recently named director of secondary education for the district.

As principal of Washington, Howes will be responsible for the strategic and day-to-day operations of the school, which serves approximately 650 students and has 105 professional and support staff. Howes is currently an assistant principal/registrar at Dubuque Senior High School, a position he’s held since 2011. For his work in this role, he was named the 2017-2018 Iowa Assistant Principal of the Year by School Administrators of Iowa.

Prior to his work at Senior, Howes was assistant principal at Hempstead High School from 2010-2011 and previously served as the district’s K-12 science curriculum coordinator, 6-12 math curriculum coordinator, and 6-12 career-technical education (CTE) coordinator.

At the school level, Howes served as an instructional coach and gifted/talented facilitator at Washington Middle School  and science department chair and science teacher at Hempstead High School. He began his career as an eighth-grade science teacher in the Garnavillo Community School District.

“Brian brings a great deal of administrative and leadership experience with him as he takes the helm at Washington Middle School,” said Superintendent of Schools Stan Rheingans. “I’m confident that his energy and enthusiasm for Washington and the district will serve him well in this new role.”

Howes holds a bachelor of arts degree in chemistry teaching, a master of arts in science education degree, and an advanced study certificate (PK-12 Principalship) from the University of Northern Iowa.

Music notes

Dubuque Community School District Recognized as One of the Best in the Nation for Music Education

Best Communities for Music Education LogoThe 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.

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 education has long been valued in the Dubuque Community School District and we are pleased to 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.”


Burns Named Next Director Secondary Education

Mark Burns

Mark Burns

Mark Burns, principal of Washington Middle School, has been named the district’s next director of secondary education, pending approval of Board of Education at its May meeting. Burns, who will assume the position on July 1, will succeed David Olson, who is retiring at the end of June.

As director of secondary education, Burns will be a member of the district’s senior leadership team and will provide administrative oversight of 6-12 programming in the district’s 5 middle and high schools, as well as the Alta Visa Campus. This work will include oversight of the district’s secondary curriculum and assessment efforts, as well as planning, coordination and supervision of a comprehensive professional learning program for staff.

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District Names New Bryant and Kennedy Principals for 2018-2019

The Dubuque Community School District has named new principals at Bryant Elementary School and Kennedy Elementary School for the 2018-2019 school year, pending School Board approval at its April 9 meeting.

Megan Richardson, currently an instructional coach at Irving Elementary School, will assume the principal role at Bryant Elementary School. Brenda Duvel, currently an assistant principal at Roosevelt Middle School, will assume the principal role at Kennedy Elementary School.

“Megan and Brenda have both exhibited outstanding leadership in our district and they possess the skills and enthusiasm we look for in members of our leadership team,” said Superintendent of Schools Stan Rheingans. “They stood out among a pool of extremely strong candidates and we are excited to have them moving into these new roles.”

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