JCSD E-Connection

Board updates, news, and events from the around the district

Week of December 07, 2020

Thank you for checking out the JCSD E-Connection! In this newsletter, you will find links to Johnston Board of Education items/decisions, news, and commendations from around the district, and important information for parents/guardians.

All attempts are made to be as accurate as possible at the time of publication. Questions, comments, or concerns can be emailed to the JCSD Communications department at jcsdcomm@jdragonmail.us.

District News & Announcements

Recognizing Great Student Work

Congratulations to Johnston High School senior Karshana Kalyanaraman, who has been named a Semifinalist for the 2021 class of the Coca‑Cola Scholars Program and will move to the next round of the selection process to become a Coca-Cola Scholar and receive a $20,000 college scholarship. Less than 1.6% of scholarship applicants make it this far in the process! Way to go, Karshana! Read more.

Shout out to our middle school mock trial students for competing virtually last weekend in the state meet! Team Purple placed as runner up and students Harrison Burkhardt and Henry Zou received awards for outstanding performances as witnesses! Read more.

Tech Tips and Support for Families

The technology learning curve can be steep and we want to offer support resources for families and students as they navigate online learning. The following resources are housed within our Return To Learn website, under Family Resources:

  • Students or families experiencing technological glitches or navigation concerns within any of the systems above should fill out this form. Once submitted, JCSD is able to prioritize concerns that need immediate attention, and highlight those columns in red. This will allow Edmentum to prioritize those items first, within 24 hours. Other items will be addressed within 24-48 hours.
  • Try updating the iPad IOS: Open Settings > Click on General (left side of the screen) > Select Software Update > Download and Install (If available)
  • Johnston's tech team is available by email at techsupport@johnston.k12.ia.us or phone at 515-270-4926.

Board Highlights from December 7, 2020

The full agenda and minutes of the December 7, 2020 board meeting can be viewed here.


  • 2021-2022 JHS Course Selection Handbook
  • Policy Exhibits 409.2E1 Emergency Paid Sick Leave Request Form and 409.2E2 Expanded Family and Medical Leave Request Form
  • First Reading of Policies 701.3 Financial Records, 701.2 Transfer of Funds, 501.3 Compulsory Attendance, 501.4 Entrance -Admissions, and 502.8 Search and Seizure
  • First Reading of Policies 507.8 Student Special Health Services, 501.7 Student Transfers Out or Withdrawals, 504.2 Student Organizations, 507.2 Administration of Medication to Students, and 507.5 Emergency Plans and Drills
  • First Reading of Policies 505.5 Graduation Requirement, 505.6 Early Graduation, 102 Equal Educational Opportunity, and 500 Objectives for Equal Educational Opportunities for Students
  • First Reading of Policies 604.6 Instruction at a Post-Secondary Educational Institution, 604.7 Dual Enrollment, 604.9 Home School Assistance Program, and 604.11 Academic Competition


  • Approval of Recommendation for Next Return to Learn Plan (not approved).

The board voted down this recommendation and instead, made a motion that Administration apply for a waiver from the Department of Education to remain PK-12 100% online instruction beginning December 14, 2020. (Approved)

Amendment: Move to amend to add the following: If the waiver is denied by Department Of Education the district shall return PK - 12 to 5 day in person learning beginning December 14, 2020. (approved)

  • Approval of Edmentum Usage for Second Semester (approved)
  • Approval of Additional Special Education Teacher & Associates at Timber Ridge (approved)


Superintendent Kacer updated the board on health metrics from Polk Co. and within the district, as related to staff absences. She also discussed substitute teacher/associate pools and availability this year, as opposed to previous years. The numbers of available subs this year is down considerably and that affects our ability to adequately staff classrooms.

Superintendent Kacer asked board members to approve a return to 5-day, in person learning, starting Monday, Dec. 14. as part of an action item later in the board meeting, the board voted down the recommendation in favor of staying in the online learning model.


There will be limited seating in the District Office board room, in a distanced and safe seating style. Seat availability is first come, first seated. Citizens are encouraged to watch the board meetings via the livestream at https://team1sports.com/johnston/. Meetings begin at 6 p.m. There is one December board meeting on Monday, Dec. 7.


Persons are encouraged to send questions, comments and suggestions to our board members. Each board member can be reached by email: Justin Allen; Dr. Jeanie Kerber; Jennifer Chamberland; Dr. Alicia Clevenger; Katie Fiala; Steven Hopper; and Soneeta Mangra-Dutcher.

Johnston Community School District

JCSD Non-Discrimination Statement

It is the policy of the Johnston Community School District not to illegally discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, disability, religion, creed, age (for employment), marital status (for programs), sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status (for programs) in its educational programs and its employment practices.

There is a grievance procedure for processing complaints of discrimination. If you have questions or a grievance related to this policy please contact the district’s Associate Superintendent, Dr. Bruce Amendt, 6510 NW 62nd Ave, Johnston, Iowa 50131, (515) 278-0470, bamendt@johnston.k12.ia.us.