Monday, October 5, 2015

A Little Bit About a Lot of Things at CCSD - October 2015

CCSD Board of Education

The Carroll Community School District welcomed a new board of education on September 21st. Sworn into office were newly elected board members Gina Badding, Jon Sampson, and Brad Jorgensen. Duane Horsley was elected president of the board and Jen Munson, vice president. The district would like to thank LaVern Dirkx, Dan Tiefenthaler, and Kim Tiefenthaler for their years of service to CCSD by serving on the board of education.

Enrollment

The 1st of October is the cut off day the Iowa Department of Education uses for districts to certify their enrollment numbers. The certified enrollment taken on October 1, 2015, is the enrollment figure that drives the 2016 - 2017 school budget. 

Certified enrollment is different than the actual enrollment in school buildings throughout the school district. Certified enrollment includes all students who attend a public school and who reside within the boundaries of a school district, even if those students do not attend in the district in which they reside. The formula for certified enrollment looks something like this:

Resident students attending school district A

+ resident students who open enroll out of school district A to school district B
+ resident students who are tuitioned out of district A to another district
+ shared time students - students from a parochial school within district A taking classes at the public school
= Certified Enrollment
Carroll Community School District's certified enrollment for October 1, 2015 was 1715, compared to 1691 a year a go. However, the number of students served in 15 - 16 school year is 1718, and a year ago is was 1716. 

Fairview Construction Project

As I am sure most of you have seen the on-going construction happening at Fairview Elementary School. This project began last May by installing permanent walls and doors in the north wing. When the north wing was constructed it was built with the "open classroom" model with partitions between classrooms and no doors. The picture to the right shows Fairview with all the wall partitions gone at the beginning of the construction project. All of this work was done to make classrooms safer and more secure for students and staff.

Before 
After
Another step to improve safety and security at Fairview is the construction of a secure entrance and new offices. When this part of the project is complete the only way visitors will gain access to the building once school has started is through the office.


New office area
The final phase of the $3,000,000 project at Fairview is the construction of the new gymnasium on the east side of the building. Currently the gym at Fairview doubles as a cafeteria during breakfast and lunch time. Originally, the district was going to build a lunch room on the west side of Fairview, but after consulting with the architects for the project, it was more efficient to build a new gym and leave the current gym serve as the cafeteria. The short videos below show the construction company installing the concrete trusses to the roof of the gym. Click on the arrow in the middle of each video to view.












Stay Connected with the CCSD APP

Stay connected when you are on the go with all the school activities, lunch menus, and more with the Carroll Community School District App! The app is available at the App Store and on Google Play. 







Friday, September 18, 2015

A Little Bit About a Lot of Things at CCSD - September 2015

Hiatus 

After a several month hiatus of writing about things happening at CCSD I thought I should get back to sharing some of the GREAT things going on in and around the school district! 

Homecoming Week - September 21st

The 2015 Homecoming festivities kick off on Monday with the Power-puff football games at 8:00 pm following the junior varsity football game. Students at the various buildings will participate in dress up days throughout the week, in addition to window painting at several businesses in the community. The Homecoming parade will begin at 1:30 pm on Friday, September 25th. The parade route starts at the Little League fields just west of Carroll Middle School and runs east on 30th Street to Grant Road. The parade route continues south on Grant Road until it ends at the Carroll Athletic Field (Stadium). The Carroll Tigers football team hosts the Perry Bluejays on Friday night. The Homecoming dance winds up the activities on Saturday night at Carroll High School.

Early Literacy Implementation

The purpose of the Early Literacy Implementation is for all students to be proficient readers by the end of third grade. Here are the specifics for the new law:
  • Iowa Code section 279.68 and 281--Iowa Administrative Code 62 promote effective evidence-based programming, instruction and assessment practices across schools to support all students to become proficient readers by the end of the third grade. General requirements of Iowa Code section 279.68 and 281--Iowa Administrative Code 62 are listed below. All requirements go into effect immediately and are expected to be implemented no later than August 1, 2014 unless otherwise indicated.
    • Provision of universal screening in reading for students in kindergarten through third grade
    • Progress monitoring for students who exhibit a substantial deficiency in reading
    • Provision of intensive instruction – including 90 minutes daily of scientific, research-based reading instruction - for students who exhibit a substantial deficiency in reading
    • Notice to parents that a student exhibits a substantial deficiency in reading, including strategies the parents can use at home to help the child succeed
    • Notice to parents of such a student’s subsequent progress
    • Provision of an evidence-based summer reading program for students who exhibit a substantial deficiency in reading (Effective May 1, 2017)
    • Retention of any student who is not proficient in reading by the end of the third grade, did not attend the summer reading program, and does not qualify for a good cause exemption from the retention requirement (Effective May 1, 2017).
For more information I encourage you to contact Ms. Ruch, CCSD elementary principal, at 712-792-8030 or email at sruch@carrolltigers.org.

CHS Class of 2015 ACT Scores 

There were 68 students out of the Class of 2015 who took the ACT test last year. Those 68 students had an average composite score of 22.9, while the state average is 22.2. Click here to read the entire ACT report the district receives each year. To learn how CHS seniors have scored in past years in comparison to students from across Iowa and around the country, click here.

2014 - 2015 Iowa Core Summary Report

The Iowa Assessments provide each district a report comparing how students performed on the tests to other schools in Iowa and other schools in their Area Education Agency (AEA). To read the report for Carroll Community Schools, please click here. To briefly summarize this report - CCSD students out performed other students at almost every grade level!

Rocket Rally

For the last several years Mr. Duhrkopf and his physics class has made and shot off rockets. This is a huge event at CHS with several other classes coming out to sneak a peek at what is happening. You can learn more about Rocket Rally on Mr. Duhrkopf's website on the Rockets page. You will be able to see several pictures and videos on Rocket Rally. Check out Rocket Cam from Rocket Rally 2015 below.

Walls and Doors at Fairview Elementary

The north wings of the inside of Fairview Elementary received a new face lift over the summer. The portable walls were removed and permanent walls and doors were installed making the classrooms more secure. This was part of a three million dollar construction project that includes a new secure
entrance and office area on the west side of the building. The offices and entrance should be completed by the end of December or first part of January. On the east side a new gymnasium will be constructed and should be completed by the end of the 2015 - 2016 school year. The new gym will prevent having to split the existing gym during breakfast and lunch. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

A Little Bit About A Lot of Things at CCSD - February/March/April 2015

My how time flies! I just realized my last post on the district blog was the middle of January. I apologize for not sharing more news with the patrons of CCSD and keeping up on the district blog.

Contact Your State Legislators NOW!

I am past asking you, now I am begging you to contact your state legislator to set the state supplemental state aid for the 2015 - 2016 school year. This is commonly referred to as the state cost per pupil. The Republican controlled House of Representatives are recommending 1.25%, while the Democratically controlled Senate is recommending 4% in increase per student spending. The difference between these two amounts is $295,977 to the CCSD general fund budget. That is a lot of money to spend on programs for kids! I urge you to visit with as many of your friends as you can and encourage them to contact our legislators about supporting 4% growth in supplemental state aid. With a slight increase in enrollment, this would be a big help to the CCSD budget. ALL students in Iowa need your help NOW. Please remind the legislators they represent us, not the their political party.

Start Date Legislation on Governor's Desk

This week Senate Majority Leader Mike Gronstal lifted the motion to reconsider on SF 227, allowing the bill to go to the governor for his signature. The bill establishes that no school may start prior to August 23 without incurring a loss in state aid. SF 227 does provide a limited waiver authority for attendance centers that operate on a year-round calendar. Under that provision, an attendance center may petition for an earlier start date without incurring financial penalties for the district. To qualify; the attendance center must have at least 10 instructional days per month, eleven months out of the year. This provision is limited only to single attendance centers (not an entire district) and to those buildings which house students in grades K-8. Governor Branstad is expected to sign this bill. Iowa Association of School Boards opposes the loss of local control and fought hard to maintain it, but ultimately the fight proved unsuccessful.

Increase in Statewide Graduation Rate 

The Iowa Department of Education recently released the graduation rates and dropout rates for each public school district in the state. The 2014 four year cohort graduation rate for Carroll High School was 90.74%. The 2013 five year graduation rate was 91.22%. This compares to the statewide graduation rate of 90.5% for the 2014 class and 92.3% for the 2013 class.

Carroll High School's dropout rate was 1.46% compared to the statewide dropout rate of 2.70%. Click here to learn how the graduation and dropout rates are calculated. 

FY 16 Certified Budget

The CCSD Board of Education held a Public Hearing on the proposed FY 16 Certified Budget on April 2, 2015, at 12:00 pm.  The hearing took place in the board conference room at Adams Elementary, 1026 North Adams Street.

The publication of the FY 16 budget calls for a tax rate NO HIGHER than $8.89865/1000 of taxable valuation. Because the Iowa Legislature has not set the supplemental state aid for FY 16 the Certified Budget cannot be finalized, yet school districts must have their certified budget to the County Auditor no later than April 15th. The published budget was calculated using 4% increase in supplemental state aid as this gives the district the highest tax rate of all the available options. Districts must publish the highest tax rate possible as the the tax rate can only be lowered after it is published. Below are links to some of the Certified Budget forms. Again, please keep in mind these are tentative as the Iowa Legislature has not set the state supplemental aid amount.


Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) System

In January, I shared with you the district submitted an application to the State of Iowa Department of Education for a Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) grant. When districts are first in the system the money comes in the form of a grant. The second year a district participates in the TLC system the money flows through Iowa's funding formula.

The TLC grant will generate slightly over $500,000 in new revenue for the district to support teacher leadership positions across the district. The TLC grant is designed to provide effective teachers with leadership opportunities and assists in helping attract promising new teachers to the district while helping retain high quality staff. The overall goal of the grant is to help raise student achievement by providing these growth opportunities for district teachers. Through the system, teacher leaders take on extra responsibilities, including helping colleagues analyze data, collaborate on instructional strategies, provide coaching support, and co-teaching opportunities.

Bipartisan legislation created a four-year process to fully develop the statewide Iowa Teacher Leadership and Compensation System, with the goal of all school districts voluntarily participating by the 2016-17 school year. According to the Iowa Department of Education, “the goals of the Teacher Leadership and Compensation System are:
  • Attract able and promising new teachers by offering competitive starting salaries and offering short-term and long-term professional development and leadership opportunities.
  • Retain effective teachers by providing enhanced career opportunities.
  • Promote collaboration by developing and supporting opportunities for teachers in schools and school districts statewide to learn from each other.
  • Reward professional growth and effective teaching by providing pathways for career opportunities that come with increased leadership responsibilities and involve increased compensation.
  • Improve student achievement by strengthening instruction."
In year one (2014 - 2015 school year) of the TLC system, 39 school districts were approved by the Commission on Education on Leadership and Compensation. In year two (2015 - 2016 school year) another 74 school districts were approved with CCSD being one of them.  An additional 51 school district have been approved for the 2016 - 2017 school year. Here is a list of school districts who are currently participating in or will begin in the TLC system the next two years. You can read the entire CCSD plan by clicking here.

Last Day of School

I know it is a little early to talk about the last day of school, but it will be here before we know it. Barring any Spring snow storms the last day of school is scheduled for Wednesday, May 20th. There will be a two-hour early dismissal on May 20th.























Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Little Bit About A Lot of Things - December 2014/January 2015

Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) System

On December 19, 2014, Carroll Community School District was informed by the Iowa Department of Education it would receive the Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) Grant for the 2015 - 2016 school year. Teacher leadership systems are the centerpiece of Iowa's historic 2013 education reform package. They stand to be the foundation for implementation of other state reforms, such as high academic standards. With higher expectations for all students today, it is critical to better support the complex work educators do.

The Iowa legislature appropriated $50 million dollars per year for three years in order for schools to implement  TLC programs. CCSD did not submit a plan application during the first year. The district did submit an application in October 2014 to participate in year 2, which was approved by the state Commission on Teacher Leadership and Compensation. In year one, thirty-nine school districts had their TLC plan approved out of the 146 that were submitted. In year two, 74 districts had their plan approved for the 2015 - 2016 school year and another 51 districts' plans were approved for the 2016 - 2017 school year.

CCSD will receive slightly over $500,000 to fund the TLC program. These dollars must be used and can only be used for the implementation of the Teacher Leadership and Compensation Plan. The model the Carroll TLC plan is a combination of instructional coaches who are OUT of the classroom 100% of the time, and model and mentor teachers who will be IN the classroom 100% of the time.

Below is a short presentation that gives a brief explanation of some of the important information on the Teacher Leadership and Compensation Planin general and information on the CCSD plan. You can read the entire CCSD plan by clicking here.



Be a Legislative Advocate for Your Child(ren)

I strongly encourage you to contact our local area Legislators prior to or even during the upcoming legislative session, especially, on the topic of per pupil spending. I view this as part of my job and the job of parents. Iowa's total expenditures per pupil have fallen in recent years, compared to the rest of the nation. In just twelve months, Iowa fell from 31st to 37th in per pupil spending as compared to the national average. In 2012 Iowa spent $1,514 less per student than the national average. I find this totally unacceptable. Iowa students, deserve the best education they can possibly get. At $1,514 per pupil less than the national average, it is putting Iowa kids at a severe disadvantage when competing in the global society we live in today. Graduates from Iowa schools are not competing for jobs only against other students in neighboring districts, they are competing against students from all over the world. Iowa can and should do more for the students of this state! Here is an article from IASB (Iowa Association of School Boards) with more information on this important topic.

There are several ways you can advocate for your child with Iowa's legislators. Click here to read ways you can contact your local Legislators (this handout was prepared by IASB) and let them know Iowa kids deserve the best.

Repeat of Weather Related Announcements

This is the time of year I usually get a few questions about weather related announcements. Carroll Community School District uses a notification calling system called Blackboard Connect, formerly called AlertNow. If families have not yet signed up to get notifications from CCSD, you are
encouraged to contact Kerri Ladehoff at Carroll Middle School. Kerri's contact information is kladehoff@carrolltigers.org or 712 - 792 - 8020. She can get you set up on our system. In addition to using the district's notification calling system CCSD will post weather related announcements with the following media outlets:
  • KCIM/KKRL/KIKD radio stations
  • KCCI - TV
  • WHO-TV
  • WOI-TV
  • Twitter - follow rjcordes to get tweets regarding school delays and closures
  • Subscribe to Remind for School Delays and Closures in order 
  • to receive text messages on the status of school. For directions join Remind School Delays and Closures click here.
Sometimes the television stations are bombarded with calls and their system fails or announcments are delayed. The best method to receiving weather related and other messages from the district is through the Blackboard notification system. Tom Reiter, CCSD transportation director, and I hit the roads between 4:30 am and 5:15 am depending on the weather conditions. CCSD often contacts city and county officials regarding road conditions, as well as, road conditions in surrounding districts. The district tries to have a decision made by 6:00 am, but all of that depends on current weather conditions. In some instances the district may run two - hours late in order to "buy time" to determine if weather conditions are going to improve or worsen.

Friday, November 14, 2014

A Little Bit About a Few Things at CCSD - November 10, 2014

The Numbers Are In:

Carroll Community School District certified their enrollment with the state of Iowa on October 15th. The 2014 - 2015 certified enrollment is 1691.28 students, an increase of 15.9 students over the previous year. While the certified enrollment is 1691.28, the district serves 1716.18 school age students. In addition, there is another 171 four - year old preschool students being served throughout the district. The certified enrollment is extremely important number as it is what drives the 2015 - 2016 school budget. CCSD has 90.5 students that open enroll into the district and 65.6 students that open enroll out to other schools.

Congratulations!

Fall Musical

I hope many of you were able to attend the CHS musical on November 6th or November 8th. I am always amazed at the tremendous talent our students have when I attend a production like How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying. Congratulations to ALL students, directors Mr. David Faris and Mr. Doug Sweeney, and set designer Mr. Norval Nissen! Another GREAT performance! (Note: There are far too many students to calculate their GPAs. It is safe to say however, MANY of the performers are honor students!)



Volleyball 

The CHS volleyball team won the Raccoon River Conference Championship this fall! Congratulations to Head Coach Kelli Schulz, all the young ladies involved, and other coaches. Your hard work, aggressive play, and never "give up" attitude were a joy to watch! You had a GREAT season! Oh and by the way, the varsity volleyball team had an average grade point of 3.50.





Swimming

The Carroll High School swim team is consists of swimmers from several high schools in the area. I would be willing to wager there is not another cooperative sharing program in the state that involves as many different schools as the CHS swim team! A team summary was not available at the time this was published. Oh and by the way, the varsity swim team had an average GPA of 3.50.


Cross Country

A special shout out to Chandler Hagen for qualifying for the state cross country meet held in Fort Dodge earlier this month. Chandler finished the 5000 meter (3 miles) race in 17:21.7. Carroll High School students participating in cross country do so through a cooperative sharing agreement with Kuemper Catholic High School. Oh and by the way, Chandler is an honor student!



Football

The CHS Tiger football team had another outstanding year winning the 3A District 2 and qualifying for the state playoffs under the direction of Head Coach Dennis McCartan. This is the 9th year in a row the football team has qualified for the playoffs. That certainly doesn't happen by accident! A lot of time and effort is put in by the student - athletes and coaches during the season and in the weight room during the off-season. Congratulations to all the student - athletes and coaches on a superb season. You represented CCSD with class. Oh by the way, the varsity football team had an average grade point of 3.20!




Picture courtesy of Sunderman Photography
As you can tell there certainly is a lot to be proud of from the students, coaches, and sponsors involved in the various activity programs- both in and out of the classroom!

2015 - 2016 School Calendar Survey

The district will be working on the 2015 - 2016 school calendar in the very near future. Please take a couple of minutes to complete a short online survey. Click here to take the calendar survey. The district will be accepting responses for this survey until 4:00 pm on Friday, November 21, 2014.

Construction of Wrestling Practice Facility

The construction of the wrestling practice facility at CHS is about 98% completed. A facility of this nature has been long over due at CHS. I would encourage everyone to stop out and take a look at the facility anytime the wrestlers are practicing!



BRING ON THE WINTER ACTIVITIES!

Reminders:

  • 2 Hour Early Dismissal on November 12 - Professional Development
  • 2 Hour Early Dismissal on November 26 - No Professional Development
  • No School on November 27 or 28 - Fall Vacation


Friday, October 10, 2014

A Little Bit About a Few Things at CCSD - October 10, 2014

Parent - Teacher Conferences

Next week, on October 13 and October 16, Carroll Community School District will hold parent teacher conferences. There will be two - hour early dismissals on both of those days. In addition, there is no school on Friday, October 17th. Conferences are a good time to touch base with your child's teacher on how he/she is progressing in school.

Virtual Backpack

Just a reminder to students and parents, Carroll Community School District is using a virtual backpack this year to distribute materials that would typically be sent home with students. I would encourage students and parents to check the virtual backpack on a daily basis, just as you would check a real backpack. The district appreciates your cooperation in this matter.  

Weather Related Announcements

Source: blogs.edweek.org
This is the time of year I usually get a few questions about weather related announcements. Carroll Community School District uses a notification calling system called Blackboard Connect, formerly called AlertNow. If families have not yet signed up to get notifications from CCSD, you are
encouraged to contact Kerri Ladehoff at Carroll Middle School. Kerri's contact information is kladehoff@carrolltigers.org or 712 - 792 - 8020. She can get you set up on our system. In addition to using the district's notification calling system CCSD will post weather related announcements with the following media outlets:
  • KCIM/KKRL/KIKD radio stations
  • KCCI - TV
  • WHO-TV
  • WOI-TV
Sometimes the television stations are bombarded with calls and their system fails or announcments are delayed. The best method to receiving weather related and other messages from the district is through the Blackboard notification system. Tom Reiter, CCSD transportation director, and I hit the roads between 4:30 am and 5:15 am depending on the weather conditions. CCSD often contacts city and county officials regarding road conditions, as well as, road conditions in surrounding districts. The district tries to have a decision made by 6:00 am, but all of that depends on current weather conditions. In some instances the district may run two - hours late in order to "buy time" to determine if weather conditions are going to improve or worsen.

Certified Enrollment

Each year on October 1st Iowa's public school districts is known as "count day." The 1st of October is the cut off day the Iowa Department of Education uses for districts to certify their enrollment numbers. The certified enrollment taken on October 1, 2014, is the enrollment figure that drives the 2015 - 2016 school budget.

Certified enrollment is different than the actual enrollment in school buildings throughout the school district. Certified enrollment includes all students who attend a public school and who reside within the boundaries of a school district, even if those students do not attend in the district in which they reside. The formula for certified enrollment looks something like this:

Resident students attending school district A
  • + resident students who open enroll out of school district A to school district B
  • + resident students who are tuitioned out of district A to another district
  • + shared time students - students from a parochial school within the district A taking classes at the public school
  • = Certified Enrollment
While the enrollment is not certified by the state at the time of this publication, CCSD will have a certified enrollment of approximately 1680 and serve approximately 1715 students.

Book Fees

We have a number of families who either did not complete the registration process this summer or did not pay their fees at the time of registration. If you did not register in August or still owe fees please contact Diane Renneke at 712 - 792 - 8001 or email her at drenneke@carrolltigers.org. Fees may also be paid online through the PaySchool program on the district web site at www.carroll.k12.ia.us.

Wireless Access on Activity Bus

At the time of this blog CCSD has one activity bus with wireless access, with the plan to get a few more. The district hopes this will help students with their academics when they spend several hours on activity trips. I hope to be able to report back to you on this issue at a later date.

CCSD App

Don't forget to download the CCSD app from the App Store or Google Play! You can stay on top of all the news on your mobile device. Just search for Carroll Community Schools and you should see this logo:


    

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

A Little Bit About a Few Things at CCSD - September 23, 2014

Teacher Leadership and Compensation Plan 

The Carroll Community School District will file an application with the Iowa Department of Education for Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) Grant. Teacher leadership systems allow teachers to work in greater collaboration with colleagues and school administrators to improve instruction and increase student achievement. The Iowa General Assembly approved $50 million for the first year of implementation. In each subsequent year through 2016-17, another $50 million will be added to the system for a total of $150 million per year, enabling all districts to participate in the program if they choose. Thirty-nine Iowa school districts received the TLC Grant for the 2014 - 2015 school year. Carroll CSD chose not to submit an application for the first wave of the grants in order to better plan and prepare for the second year of the grant.

The Teacher Leadership and Compensation System rewards effective teachers with leadership opportunities and higher pay, attracts promising new teachers with competitive starting salaries and more support, and fosters greater collaboration for all teachers to learn from each other. At roughly $310 per student for TLC, that equates to an increase of funding of just under $520,000 for Carroll Community School District.

The Iowa Department of Education outlined five goals for the TLC System. The goals are:
  • Attract able and promising new teachers by offering competitive starting salaries and offering short-term and long-term professional development and leadership opportunities.
  • Retain effective teachers by providing enhanced career opportunities.
  • Promote collaboration by developing and supporting opportunities for teachers in schools and school districts statewide to learn from each other.
  • Reward professional growth and effective teaching by providing pathways for career opportunities that come with increased leadership responsibilities and involve increased compensation.
  • Improve student achievement by strengthening instruction.
 A TLC planning committee consisting of parents, teachers, and administrators are currently working on the grant application. The School Improvement Advisory Committee (SIAC) will also review the application prior to taking it the board for final approval. If you wish to join us in this work, please contact me at rcordes@carrolltigers.org

CCSD Passes Instructional Support Levy (ISL)

On September 9, 2014, voters in the Carroll Community School District voted to approve the ISL, which assists the district in continuing to provide a world - class education to its students. I want to thank everyone who supported the ISL to ensure adequate funding for education. A very special "THANK YOU" goes to the Instructional Support Levy Committee who worked relentlessly on promoting the levy and getting voters out to vote. This group of passionate parents and citizens went door to door encouraging people to support the vote, held numerous informational meetings on the topic, and campaigned tirelessly in order for the ISL to pass. Thank you to ALL involved. 

Carlie Irlbeck Makes All-American Cheer Squad

I rarely write about individual students on this blog. But this one certainly seemed appropriate. The Universal Cheerleader Association held a camp at Carroll High School and Carlie Irlbeck, a sophomore at CHS, was selected to the All-American Cheer Squad. One opportunity that accompanies the honor of being an All-American Cheerleader is going to London. A trip to London isn't something that many high school students and their families can afford. A trip of this nature has the potential to be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Carlie is working hard to raise the money to cover her expenses. If anyone would like to donate, she has an online fundraiser set up at http://www.gofundme.com/ee4oxw

Kim Tiefenthaler Elected Board President /Duane Horsley Vice President of CCSD Board of Education

At the CCSD annual board meeting on September 22, Kim Tiefenthaler and Duane Horsley were elected to the board president and vice president positions respectively. Mr. Tiefenthaler is beginning his sixteenth year as serving as a board member and Mr. Horsley in his second year on the board.  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Little Bit About a Few Things at CCSD - September 8, 2014

Fast and Furious

The 2014 - 2015 school year is off to a fast and furious start. Each school year seems to be at a pace faster than the previous year! Or maybe the school year goes faster the older I get! Either way I want to thank the students, parents, and staff members for a good start of the school year. You can keep up with all the school activities by accessing the district calendar on the CCSD website. I hope everyone has a GREAT YEAR! Please remember September is the last month the district will print off paper copies of the monthly calendar.

Homecoming 2014

One of more popular activities that is fast approaching is Homecoming. Homecoming Week Homecoming kicks off with an assembly at CHS on Monday, September 15th, during first period.
Other activities planned for the week include dress up days, powderpuff football games, decorating hallways at CHS, float building, parade, and window painting. The Homecoming Queen and King coronation is scheduled for 7:00 pm on Thursday, September 18th, following the Booster Club steak fry. The parade begins at 1:30 pm on Friday, September 19th at the Little League Complex, north of CHS and proceeds to Grant Road until it reaches the Carroll Stadium. Friday evening, the Carroll Tigers will face Humboldt with a 7:30 pm kick-off. Homecoming Week concludes on Saturday night with the Homecoming dance held at Carroll High School from 8:00 pm to 11:00 pm.

Bayer Corporation Donates Trees

With the assistance of Mr. Duane Horsley, CCSD board member, Bayer Corporation donated eight trees to Carroll Community School District. The trees were part of the display Bayer Corporation had in their booth at the Farm Progress Show in Boone. Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, agriculture, and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience, the subgroup of Bayer AG responsible for the agricultural business, is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science
companies in the areas of seeds, crop protection and non-agricultural pest control. The company offers an outstanding range of products including high value seeds, innovative crop protection solutions based on chemical and biological modes of action as well as an extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture. In the area of non-agricultural applications, Bayer CropScience has a broad portfolio of products and services to control pests from home and garden to forestry applications. The company has a global workforce of 20,800 (Dec 31, 2012) and is represented in more than 120 countries.

September Board Meeting Moved

The regular September board meeting has been moved from September 15th to September 22nd. The meeting will be held in the Board Conference Room at Adams Elementary located at 1026 North Adams Street and begin at 6:00 pm.

Martin Brothers Lawsuit

A class action suit was filed by a group in the Adel-DeSoto-Minburn district, claiming that Martin Brothers conspired to restrain competition in the market for the retail sale of food to schools and that Martin Brothers attempted to monopolize that market in violation of Iowa antitrust laws. After consulting with their attorneys, Martin Brothers reached a settlement through mediation. The settlement agreement was filed with the Clerk of District Court in Dallas County on July 31.
Since the story has received a lot of attention lately, here are the key points of the Martin Brothers settlement that you might want to know:
Source:
http://lorenzanadds.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/food3.jpg
  • Responsibility for the settlement is removed from schools.
  • Martin Brothers will pay $1,925,000 to create a settlement fund which will provide monetary relief to the settlement class.
  • The settlement class is anyone who paid for a school lunch between January 1, 2000, and July 31, 2014.
  • A third party will arrange to have notices published in an attempt to reach 88% of Iowa’s residents. This means that notices will be published in 14 of Iowa’s largest newspapers. The notice will direct interested persons to a website.
  • Individuals in the settlement class may complete and submit paperwork to receive reimbursement. Individuals in the class may receive $3.50 for each year they attended a participating school district up to a maximum of $50.00.
  • Any funds remaining after attorney’s fees and class members receive their payments will be paid to participating school districts on a pro rata basis.
For information on how to file a claim in this lawsuit, please check the CCSD website at www.carroll.k12.ia.us or http://iowaschoolfoodsettlement.com/.









Thursday, August 28, 2014

Instructional Support Levy - Information - September 1, 2014

The Instructional Support Levy and What it Means to Our District:
The voters of Carroll Community School District have an important election on September 9, 2014. The school board is seeking to implement a voter approved Instructional Support Levy (ISL). The district believes it is important that everyone understands what impact of implementing the ISL has on the district. First though, one needs to understand a bit about how schools are funded in Iowa.

In K-12 funding in Iowa, dollars used for educational programs (staff and materials) cannot be used for buildings and vice versa. Additionally the state imposes a maximum spending per child each year that cannot be exceeded locally with very few exceptions. One of those exceptions however is through the use of the ISL. Basically, it gives local voters the ability to go above the maximum amount by up to 10 percent, but no further. Local voters can fund this through property taxes, personal income tax surtaxes, or a combination of the two. In our case, the board has decided to use a combination of property tax and income surtax, in order for some of the burden to be taken off of property tax.

As of January 30, 2014, all but 9 of the 338 school districts in the state of Iowa have implemented some form of the ISL. The question you may be asking yourself is, why have so many districts chosen to supplement the amount the state limits us to? Simply, the state maximum amount is not sufficient to provide the level of education that virtually all districts in the state believe is necessary to provide their children. Recent uncontrollable costs like diesel, natural gas and other energy price increases come from the same pot of money we use to fund our educational program. High energy prices compete for the same dollars that would otherwise fund curriculum and textbooks.

The ISL can be funded through all property tax, all income surtax, or a combination of property tax and income surtax. When the ISL was originally created, the state pledged funding 25 percent of the total cost of the ISL. However, this has not been fully funded and since FY 1993, the state share has been frozen or reduced. Since more districts now have the ISL - the freezing of the state share has resulted in districts receiving less and less from the state each year. For FY 2010 the state share was reduced by 8.5% and stood at $13.1 million. With the economic downturn in FY 2011, the state match was funded with state fiscal stabilization federal funds, then completely eliminated in FY 2012. There is no state contribution to instructional support in the FY 2014 school year. The unique aspect of this is that unlike virtually every other section of the finance formula for the general fund, districts are not allowed to make up the shortfall locally. In addition, due to the method of proration by the state, districts with low property valuation receive a higher proportional cut than do property rich districts. But in no case does any district receive the full 10 percent.
In CCSD's case, the dollars will be used for the following purposes: help lower class size, continue to provide students access to college level classes through DMACC, update textbooks, purchase necessary classroom materials, and other General Fund expenditures.

Thank you for taking time to understand the complex world of school finance in Iowa and if I or any member of the school board can answer any questions you may have we encourage you to contact us. My contact information is rcordes@carrolltigers.org or 712 - 792 - 8001.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Welcome Back - August 17, 2014

Welcome to All New and Returning Students to CCSD:
HELLO and WELCOME to the 2014 - 2015 school year at Carroll Community School District! I look forward to seeing all of you students on Tuesday, August 19th. I will periodically (at least once a month) post information on this blog about the GREAT things you (the students), your teachers, and others do in the school district. I will also occasionally post other information pertinent to Carroll Community School District or education in general. I would encourage you to check back on this blog at least once a month to look for updates.

I encourage you to check out the newly revised CCSD website. The website has a great deal of information regarding the school district and all the programs the district offers. The district hopes students and parents find the website easy to use with useful information. Earlier this month I posted on this blog and on the district website information that was typically sent home with students, will now be posted in the Virtual Backpack on the district's website. September will be the last month paper calendars will be sent home with students. You can access the district wide calendar on the website by clicking here. The school is making a conscious effort to reduce the cost of copying and the use of paper. If you or someone you know doesn't have regular access to a computer and the internet, please contact the district office and paper copies will be provided. If you have any ideas to make the district website better, please email me at rcordes@carrolltigers.org.

This past summer has been very busy with several projects happening in order to improve services for our students. Some of those projects include: a new 5th grade pod at CMS, new windows and doors at FV Elementary in the south pods, new administrative offices at CHS, remodeled the existing offices to house the high school learning center, new carpet was installed in several classrooms at Adams Elementary and CHS, new sidewalks were poured at FV Elementary to prevent trip hazards, several roofing repairs were completed, and work continues on the new wrestling room at CHS. All of these projects were done in addition to the general maintenance and cleaning.

The vision statement for CCSD is - Improving Student Achievement - Step by Step! This vision aligns with the district's philosophy on continuous improvement. While our district can celebrate high student achievement, we must always work tirelessly to improve to become better!

I appreciate all the hard work every CCSD employee puts forth in our school system everyday to make it GREAT!

I am looking forward to a year filled with learning, growth, achievement, and life changing experiences for each and every student. I offer thanks to everyone in advance for the great things to come as we make this journey together for the benefit of all our students and our community.

I hope everyone has a wonderful school year and GO TIGERS!
 


Sunday, July 27, 2014

August 1, 2014 - Virtual Backpack

CCSD Moves to Virtual Backpack Concept

Dear CCSD Patrons,

Beginning with the 2014 - 2015 school year, Carroll Community School District will make several changes in how it “conducts business.” One of the more important changes will be the district will attempt to drastically reduce the amount of print material it sends home with students and in the U.S. Mail. There will be a “Backpack” icon on the district's website where the district will post information that was typically sent home with students like letters, notices, etc. This is Carroll Community School District’s “green” approach to distributing information from school sponsored activities. Rather than sending flyers home with students, we are posting such information on this virtual “Carroll Tiger Backpack” website throughout the calendar year to provide access for all. It is estimated that this will save countless hours per year in sorting and handling of these materials, as well as conserves other natural resources. Students/families who do not have a computer and/or Internet access will be provided access to paper copies upon request.


A few reasons why the district is moving in this direction:
  • CCSD is making a serious effort to “Go Green” by becoming a more environment friendly organization!
  • Reduce the cost of printing and postage in order to put more dollars into the classroom for instructional purposes.
  • Parents and district patrons will be able to find information in one easy online location.
  • Due to several budget reduction initiatives the district needs to continue to research ways in which it can become more efficient. 
Examples of items that will no longer be mailed include, but are not limited to:
  • Registration materials for the upcoming school year - other than registration directions.
  • Mid-term progress reports - these are available through the parent portal on Infinite Campus.
  • Quarterly report cards - these are available through the parent portal of Infinite Campus.
  • Monthly school calendars - there will be an online district calendar. The district will print August and September calendars. 
  • Various notices, etc. that have been sent home in the past.
A limited number of print materials may be distributed to students, parents, and/or district residents who do not have a computer and/or Internet access. Request for printed copies of information should be made by calling the Carroll Community School District Office at 712 - 792 - 8001 or the student’s attendance center(s).

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

June 2014 Post

End of the 2013 - 2014 School Year

The 2014 - 2015 school year is in the books. While students and some staff members are off for the summer, many district employees are all ready busy preparing for the next school year. Several exciting events happened throughout the school year at Carroll Community School District. One of the most exciting events for me was the improvement in student achievement from the previous year. Below are links to data from the Iowa Assessments. The charts give historical data from 2004 - 2005 school year through the 2013 - 2014 school year:
The district said good-bye to the 2014 graduates on Sunday, May 18th.  Mr. Dennis McCartan, guidance counselor at CHS gave the commencement address. The district wishes all graduates the best of luck in the next phase of their lives.

Fairview End of the Year Celebration

The staff at FV Elementary have a very unique and enthusiastic celebration and awards program at the end of each school year. This year students could earn tickets for various things as part of the PBIS (Positive Behaviors Interventions and Supports). Below are a few pictures from the "pie throwing" at the end of the year celebration! 

Students singing and moving to the music!
Mrs. Lane with pie in her face!
Transportation director Tom Reiter takes a direct hit with a pie to the face!
Coach Petersen like the pie so much he got two pies in the face!

Instructional Support Levy

The CCSD Board of Education has taken the necessary steps to ask the voters to consider the Instructional Support Levy for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015. This is an important funding stream for the school district and the financial health of the district. Below is some information on the levy:

The Instructional Support Levy and What it Means to Our District:

The CCSD school board is seeking to implement a voter approved Instructional Support Levy (ISL). The district believes it is important that everyone understands what impact implementing the ISL has on the district. First though, we need to understand a bit about how schools are funded in Iowa.

In K-12 funding in Iowa, dollars used for educational programs (staff and materials) cannot be used for buildings and vice versa. Additionally the state imposes a maximum spending per child each year that cannot be exceeded locally with very few exceptions. One of those exceptions however is through the use of the ISL. Basically, it gives local voters the ability to go above the maximum amount by up to 10 percent, but no further. Local voters can fund this through property taxes, personal income tax surtaxes, or a combination of the two. In our case, the board has decided to use a combination of the two.

As of January 30, 2014, all but nine (329 of 338 or 97.34%) school districts in the state of Iowa have implemented some form of the ISL. The question you may be asking yourself is, why have so many districts chosen to supplement the amount the state limits us to? Simply, the state maximum amount is not sufficient to provide the level of education that virtually all districts in the state believe is necessary to provide their children. Recent uncontrollable costs like diesel, natural gas and other energy price increases come from the same pot of money we use to fund our educational program. High energy prices compete for the same dollars that would otherwise fund curriculum and textbooks.

In our case, the dollars will be used for the following purposes: lower class sizes in elementary, maintain high quality programs, continue to offer college credit classes, and other general fund expenditures.

Thank you for taking time to understand the complex world of school finance in Iowa and if I or any member of the school board can answer any questions you may have we encourage you to contact us. My contact information is Rob Cordes, superintendent at 712 - 792 - 8001 or rcordes@carrolltigers.org.