Superintendent’s Message

This school year has flown by and we are in the process of planning for the 2019-20 school year.  Recently the school board passed a district calendar for the next year, which has some changes from previous school years.  In order to assist parents and caregivers in planning, here are the changes that you will notice.

The biggest change in the calendar will be the transition away from the early release Wednesdays.  In the new calendar, students will go full days on Wednesdays and will have no school one Monday per month.  With the exception of September and January, the non-school days will be the second Monday of the month.  In September and January, it will the third Monday. 

This transition is the result of the growth our teachers have made through the process of utilizing the early release Wednesday’s as professional learning communities.    Many staff felt that as we continue to improve in the development of effective instruction and interventions based on our student needs, these monthly meetings will give the time for learning and collaboration both within individual buildings and between buildings for vertical skill development and alignment of strategies. 

Another change is that we sprinkled a few days in the second part of the year that can be utilized for make-up snow days if needed.  Although Keokuk Schools historically has not missed many days due to bad weather, we want to be prepared in the event this year repeats itself.  Hopefully, that will not happen, but if so, we will have several opportunities to make up lost time with these additional days built into the calendar. 

The final change that you will see is a change to daily start and end times at the high school and middle school.  The students at George Washington will continue to start at 7:50 am and end at 2:50 pm.  Hawthorne students will continue to start at 8:00 am and end at 3:00 pm.  The high school and middle school will now start at 8:10 and end at 3:10.  These staggered starts will help our buses and parents who drop off at multiple buildings be able to do so with greater ease.  Additionally, our elementary buildings will be utilizing a phone app that will also assist in making the dismissal for parent pick-up safer and more efficient.  We will be piloting this program at Hawthorne in coming weeks. Thank you for the opportunity to serve the students of this community.  I sincerely appreciate all of the support I have received during these past two years.  I am looking forward to many great things for Keokuk Schools and its students as we continuing rowing the boat together.

Christine Barnes
Keokuk Community School District