SEPTEMBER 2020 DISTRICT DISPATCH
The 2020-21 school year is off and running with several new employees already hard at work. New faculty and staff members include the following people: Jennifer McKearney (Elementary Special Education Teacher), Heather Behrendt (Middle School Mathematics Teacher), Mattisen Moss (Kindergarten Teacher), Jan Ehrens (High School Library Associate), and Mick Hough (School Bus Driver). When the opportunity presents itself, please join me in welcoming these new employees into our school community.
At the regular school board meeting held on Monday, August 10, 2020, the Underwood Community School District Board of Directors approved the school district’s 2020-21 Return-to-Learn Plan/Hybrid Model and also approved utilizing it to begin the 2020-21 school year. Copies of the relevant documents are included in this month’s District Dispatch. School officials including administrators, staff department heads, faculty members, and school board members are continuing to work closely with legal counsel and healthcare professionals to monitor COVID-19 data and respond appropriately to county-wide and, more importantly, local school district safety information. Working hard to provide an environment free from harm or risk for our students, faculty members, and staff members is our top priority.
The summer of 2020 was another busy time in terms of buildings and grounds maintenance improvement projects. I want to extend a special “thank you” to our director of buildings and grounds, Jim Ettleman, and our custodial staff members. They, along with our seasonal staff members, did a great job getting the school district ready for the new school year. Important maintenance tasks that were completed include the following: (1) new high school academic wing carpet; (2) new high school conference room carpet; (3) high school varsity boys’ locker room repair and repainting; (4) high school auxiliary gym floor waxing; (5) high school varsity gym floor sanding, painting, staining, and waxing; (6) new football stadium water pit; (7) high school parking lot repair, sealcoating, and restriping; (8) concession stand bathroom repairs; (9) resurfacing and repainting the high school track; (10) completion of elementary LED light replacement project; (11) elementary multipurpose room ceiling project; (12) completion of middle school LED light replacement project; (13) elementary/middle school parking lot repair, sealcoating, and restriping; (14) middle school heat exchanger replacement project; (15) elementary boiler repair project; (16) high school varsity gym wall pad replacement project; (17) football scoreboard repair project; (18) concrete repair and replacement throughout the school district; (19) touch-up painting throughout the school district; and (20) floor refinishing and general preparation for the new school year.
At the beginning of each new school year, the Iowa Association of School Boards encourages each of us to remember that public education is the foundation of our democracy and a promise we make as Iowans to our children…that a great education helps make dreams come true. Great public schools help children realize that promise and are the key to success in our communities, our economy, and our state. It is up to each of us to embrace that promise. Our investment as Iowans in our public schools matters a lot and is a key difference maker in developing dependable, conscientious, thoughtful, and innovative future generations of Iowa citizens.