AUGUST 2021 DISTRICT DISPATCH
The beginning of the 2021-22 school year will be here before we know it. I hope you are having an enjoyable summer. Registration for all grades will take place at the middle school on Monday, August 2, 2021 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Please keep in mind that we also have an online option for school registration. Go to the school’s website, underwoodeagles.org, and then click on JMC Online Access to get started. If you have any questions, contact the principal’s office where your child or children attend. The first day of classes for students will be on Monday, August 23, 2021. As I write this article, we are planning on all students attending school in-person/all-day/everyday when classes begin. Masks will not be required and the sneeze guards will not be used at the elementary. The school district will remain vigilant regarding any potential surges in COVID-19 positivity rates among students and/or employees. We will follow the guidance of the Iowa Department of Public Health, the Pottawattamie County Department of Public Health, the Iowa Governor’s Office, and the Iowa Department of Education. Adjustments will be made according to guidance from these departments. Communication regarding any changes will be shared through emails, JMC all-calls, and/or published on the school website.
Because of professional development activities for faculty members, we will have a one-hour early dismissal the first three days of school. Otherwise there should be no need for any early dismissals other than our normal early-out Wednesdays. However, if something unusual happens and there is a need to change our normal school day, please tune to the following radio or television stations: KFAB in Omaha (1110 AM), KNOD in Harlan (105.3 FM), KMA in Shenandoah (960 AM), KMTV in Omaha (Channel 3), WOWT in Omaha (Channel 6), and KETV in Omaha (Channel 7). In addition, our school district subscribes to the JMC Instant Parent Contact System. This automated telephone broadcast service enables school personnel to notify all households and parents by telephone within minutes of an emergency or unplanned event that causes a late start, an early dismissal, or a school cancellation. If you have not signed up for this service and are interested in participating, please contact the principal’s office in the building where your child or children attend.
Parents/guardians considering the use of the open enrollment option to enroll their child or children in another public school district in Iowa should be aware of the following information: (1) The last date for regular open enrollment requests for the 2022-23 school year will be March 1, 2022; (2) The last date for open enrollment requests for entering kindergarten students will be September 1, 2022; (3) Parents/guardians whose income falls below 160% of the federal poverty guidelines are eligible for transportation assistance. This may be in the form of actual transportation or in the form of a cash stipend; and, (4) Parents/guardians should be aware that open enrollment may result in the loss of athletic eligibility.
Students whose families meet the guidelines of free or reduced lunch, the Family Investment Program (FIP), or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are eligible to have their student fees partially or completely waived. In addition, students who are homeless or whose families are experiencing temporary financial hardship should contact school officials regarding fee reductions or fee waivers at the time of registration on Monday, August 2, 2021. A partial of full fee waiver does not carry over from year to year. It must be updated annually. Students qualify as being homeless if they are sharing the housing of other people due to the loss of housing because of economic hardship, are awaiting foster care placement, or have been abandoned at a hospital. In addition, students are considered homeless if they are living in a car, a public park, an abandoned building, a bus station, or are migratory and are living in any of the circumstances noted above.
The school district annually involves parents in the development of its Title I plan, the process for the review of its Title I plan, and the process for the improvement of its Title I plan. For more information regarding parental involvement in the development of the school district’s Title I plan, please contact the elementary principal at 566-2326.
Parents/guardians in the Underwood Community School District have the right to learn about the following information regarding their child’s teacher’s qualifications: state licensure status, special endorsements for grade/level taught, and baccalaureate or graduate certification or degree. If the school district must utilize the services of a long-term substitute teacher for four or more weeks and the substitute does not have the specific licensure for the content area being taught, the school district will notify the parents of the students involved in writing. For more information, please contact the Office of the Superintendent; Underwood Community School District; P.O. Box 130; Underwood, IA 51576 (Telephone: 712-566-2332).
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords parents and students over 18 years-of-age (“eligible students”) certain rights with respect to the student’s educational records. Those rights are as follows: (1) The right to inspect and review the student’s educational records within 45 days of the day the school district receives a request for access; (2) The right to request the amendment of the student’s educational records that the parent or eligible student believes are inaccurate or misleading or in violation of the student’s privacy rights; (3) The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s educational records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent; and (4) The right to inform the school district that the parent or eligible student does not want directory information to be released. A parent or eligible student must make such a request annually to the building principal by September first of each school year. Directory information is defined as follows: name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, email address, grade level, enrollment status, participation in officially recognized activities or sports, weight, height, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, the most previous school or institution attended by the student, photograph and likeness, or other similar information.
The Underwood Community School District offers career and technical programs in the following areas: business education, family and consumer science, industrial education, and marketing education. In these career and technical educational programs, as well as all programs in the school district, it is the policy of the Underwood Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, socioeconomic status, or as otherwise prohibited by statute or regulation. For more information or for concerns regarding educational programs and activities, contact Edward H. Hawks, Equity Coordinator. For more information or for concerns regarding employment practices or civil rights grievance procedures, contact Edward H. Hawks; Underwood Community School District; P.O. Box 130; Underwood, IA 51576 (Telephone: 712-566-2332).