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What's New at Dubuque Community 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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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.

 

February 1 Added as School Day

UPDATE: Friday, Feb. 1, will now be a SCHOOL DAY FOR STUDENTS and the professional learning day for staff is cancelled. Read the full message below.


Dear DCSD Families,

First and foremost, thank you for your flexibility over the past week with weather-related schedule changes. Mother Nature has certainly not been on our side. Weather decisions are among the hardest to make and I assure you that we make them with the safety of our students as our primary concern.

In an average year, we have approximately four cancellations (which is the point we are at as of today). This understandably seems like more than normal this year given the fact that they have all occurred extremely close together.

Looking ahead to another week of bumpy weather, I want to let you know that we are committed to having the last day of school no later than Friday, June 7.

As one step in helping us achieve this, and to get students back to learning as much as possible, we are cancelling the professional learning day on Friday, February 1. STUDENTS WILL NOW ATTEND SCHOOL ON FRIDAY, FEB. 1, OPERATING ON NORMAL FRIDAY MORNING START TIMES.

We will continue to monitor the hours remaining in the year to ensure that we have the 1,080 required. If additional hours are needed, we will explore gaining them back through elimination of some Friday morning late arrivals and will share that information accordingly.

Again, please know of our appreciation for the adjustments you have made to your schedules in order to accommodate the unusually severe stretch of winter weather.

Sincerely,

Stan Rheingans
Superintendent of Schools

Abstract colorful letters

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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Winter Storm Postpones District Events, Jan. 18

Due to the approaching winter storm, the following events and activities in the Dubuque Community School District have been postponed for today, Friday, Jan. 18, and Saturday, Jan. 19.

  • The District Speech Competition scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 19, has been postponed and rescheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 23, at Cascade High School.
  • Special Olympics competition scheduled for Saturday in Eldridge has been postponed.
  • Hempstead High School and Dubuque Senior High School wrestling scheduled for Saturday has been canceled.
  • All ninth-grade basketball schedule for Saturday, Jan. 19, has been postponed.
  • The varsity girls and boys basketball games between Hempstead High School and Dubuque Senior High School have been postponed. The girls game will be made up on Monday, Jan. 21, at 6 p.m. at Hempstead. The boys game will be made up on Saturday, Feb. 2, at 2 p.m. at Hempstead.
  • Bowling for both Hempstead High School and Dubuque Senior High School is postponed. The make-up date is to be determined.
  • MVC men’s swimming scheduled for tomorrow at Linn-Mar has been postponed and rescheduled to Monday, Jan. 21, at 4 p.m. at the Linn-Mar Pool.
  • All middle school events are postponed, including practices.