Van Allen Newsletter

A Preview and an Update for Our School Community

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Parent/Guardian Conditions for Learning Survey

Dear Parent/Guardian,

All Iowa public school districts are required to administer an annual school climate and culture survey to students in grades 3-12 called Conditions for Learning Survey. The Survey is designed to measure their engagement in school, safety, and the overall learning environment.

From April 1-29, 2022, parents and families of students in preschool through grade 12 will also have the opportunity to participate in the Parent Conditions for Learning Survey. The Survey contains similar items to those on the Student Survey, focusing on areas that range from student safety to positive adult and student relationships, to school rules and how they are enforced.

The Parent Survey, which is available in English and Spanish, will be accessible to parents or families online from April 1-29. Participation in the Survey is encouraged, but it is completely voluntary, and all questions are optional to answer. A copy of the items on the Survey is available by request. The end of the Survey also asks a few questions that the Department of Education must collect as required to report under Part B of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

Responses to the Parent Survey are confidential and the results are completely anonymous. No names are recorded, and no identifying information is attached to specific responses. The results of the Survey will be provided back to the school to be used with the Student Survey results for identifying areas of strengths, and areas for improvement.

Survey Instructions:

Parent/Guardian Conditions for Learning Survey:

Thank you for your involvement to improve conditions for learning here and throughout the state. Please let us know if you have any questions.


Matt Degner


Iowa City Community School District

Upcoming Dates of Importance/Relevance:

  • No school on Friday, April 22nd
  • No school on Tuesday, May 3rd
  • Our final PTO meeting of the year will occur on Wednesday, May 4th at 6:30pm
  • Spring Fling (hosted by our PTO) on Saturday, May 14th
  • 5th and 6th grade track & field meet at Liberty High School on Tuesday, May 17th
  • 6th grade graduation on Friday, May 27th at 1:30pm
  • No school on Monday, May 30th
  • Last day of school on Wednesday, June 1st (1:55pm dismissal)
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Our District will hold a Kindergarten Round-Up for children who are 5 years old on or before September 15, 2022, and who will begin Kindergarten in the 2022-23 school year.

Date, place, and time:

If you have not yet registered your child for Kindergarten, please contact the office at (319)688-1185 and we will be happy to assist you.

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Liberty Summer Sports Camps

Liberty Summer Sports Camps are now open for enrollment. If your child will be a future Liberty student, they are invited to attend. Please click on the link to register for summer camps.

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Arrival and Dismissal Procedures - (Links, Below)

Specific Car Line Points of Emphasis:

With the early morning temperatures being so cold, this is a good time to share some reminders in regards to our Student Arrival Procedures to ensure that our car line runs as smooth as possible.

    • Supervision begins at 7:40am. Doors to the building and classrooms will remain closed until 7:40. Please be mindful of this time. School begins at 7:55am.

    • Adults should stay in the vehicle when dropping off students. Please have your child as ready as possible when it is time for them to get out of the car.

    • You should NOT bypass the carline to enter (and/or drop-off in) the parking lot.

    • Children should exit the vehicle onto the sidewalk through the passenger side doors; please do NOT allow children to leave the vehicle on the driver's side.

    • Always pull ahead if you are in the right lane and there is a space ahead of you. When it is cold, we allow students to enter the building through the nearest door.

    • Please share this information with anybody who might drop-off students.

Thank you for following these procedures to ensure everyone’s safety and respect everyone's time. Your attention to this, and your patience are appreciated.

The District is committed to providing a safe and healthy learning environment for our students.

When food is served to students in the classroom as a snack, birthday treat, or during a classroom celebration, the following rules apply (ICCSD Wellness Policy 507.9):

  • allow only fresh fruits/vegetables or purchased foods with the ingredients listed (no homemade foods).
  • allow only foods that meet the Healthy Food Guidelines/ Smart Snacks. (the only exception to this would be food-tasting related to district-approved curriculum lessons)
  • not allow foods with peanuts or peanut butter, or foods that were made in a factory where cross-contamination may occur.
  • food that does not meet the guidelines will be sent home.
  • a list of acceptable foods (linked).

Thank you for your attention to this.

Interested in additional resources and supports?

The following resources - Iowa City Area Resources for Students and Families (linked) - are available to assist students and families with academic achievement, mental health, and emotional wellbeing. Additional information on Covid-19 and School Age Child Care assistance are also available.

Let's Celebrate!

Hey Rocket Families, let's celebrate!

Below are two great options to make your child's birthday extra special and raise money for Van Allen!

  1. Birthday Boulder Signup:

  2. Let IC Yards help make your celebration extra special while also giving back to your school. All year long you can enter the code ROCKETS to have $10 of your yard card booking fee donated back to your PTO. Book early to secure your celebration date!


2021-2022 District Calendar

  • The elementary school day begins at 7:55am and ends at 2:55pm

  • Please note that our one-hour early release days have returned to being on Thursdays this year
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Update on Mask Requirements in Schools (3/1/22)

Dear Families and Staff,

This evening, the Board held a special meeting to discuss our District’s current mask requirements. This comes after the CDC recently released updated guidance on face coverings in indoor spaces, including school settings. While the CDC is recommending continued mask use in areas categorized as having high transmission rates, the new guidance states that mask requirements can be relaxed in communities with low or medium transmission rates. Johnson County is currently in the “medium” transmission rate category.

Therefore, the Iowa City Community School District will no longer require face masks to be worn in our buildings, on our campuses, and on school buses as long as our county remains in the low or medium transmission rate category. Should the county move into the high category, this decision will be revisited again at that time. This change will become effective immediately; however, we still encourage indoor mask use for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to our schools, regardless of vaccination status.

Student and staff health and safety continue to be our priority, and our practice throughout the pandemic has been to anchor our health and safety protocols to the recommendations of the health experts. We recognize the significance of this change because of the vital role the use of face masks plays in controlling the spread of COVID-19 within our community. However, we make this decision with the confidence that we continue to follow CDC and JCPH recommendations.

While we are relaxing this individual COVID-19 prevention strategy, it is critical that we remain vigilant as a community to ensure we do not experience another surge in cases. We urge everyone to get vaccinated (and boosted) if eligible and to stay home if sick. We appreciate your support and collaboration in keeping our school community safe.


Matt Degner
Iowa City Community School District

COVID-19 Drive-Thru Testing Site Now Open at Liberty High School (1/12/22)

We are excited to share that our District has partnered with Nomi Health to offer a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site in the Liberty High School parking lot at 1400 South Dubuque Street in North Liberty. The site is now open to the public. Hours of operation will be Monday through Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. Appointments can be made by visiting If you are unable to make an appointment online, you may register at the site.

The drive-thru site will offer both rapid antigen testing (with an average 30-minute turnaround time) and PCR testing (with a 24-48-hour turnaround time). Samples are processed in a CLIA-certified laboratory using FDA-authorized kits. There are no out-of-pocket costs, but those with insurance are asked to bring their insurance card.

Further, we are working with Nomi Health to set up two additional testing sites within our District. We will provide more information to families and staff as soon as those sites are operational.

Updates on Isolation, Quarantine (1/7/22)

This week the CDC released updated COVID-19 quarantine and isolation guidance for K-12 schools. This guidance has also been adopted by IDPH and JCPH. On Monday, January 10, 2022, our District will transition to these updated protocols, which are detailed below. While the CDC has modified quarantine and isolation guidance for schools, we continue to require masks for all students, staff, and visitors to our schools. In addition, we highly recommend that all eligible individuals receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

Individuals who test positive for COVID-19 must follow the below protocols:

  • Stay home for five days.
  • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving after five days, you can return to school on day six.
  • If you have a fever, continue to stay home until your fever resolves and you have been fever-free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications.
  • The same protocols apply for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals testing positive for COVID-19.

If you have been exposed to a COVID-positive individual in your home and you are fully vaccinated and boosted (for those eligible), you are not required to quarantine. However, it is recommended that you wear a mask around others for ten days, monitor for symptoms, and be tested for COVID-19 on day five. Unvaccinated individuals who have a household exposure to someone with COVID-19 must follow the below protocols:

  • Stay home for five days.
  • If possible, take a COVID-19 test on day five.
  • If you develop symptoms, get a test and continue to stay home.
  • If you have no symptoms after five days, you can return to school on day six.
  • Please Note: The above bullets also apply to vaccinated individuals that are eligible for the booster but have not yet received it and those that have not fully completed the initial vaccination process (individuals that have received one of two doses).
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#VanAllenPride - Follow and Like Us

We use these platforms (below) to highlight our accomplishments (including pictures) and share relevant announcements and reminders.

Masks remain a requirement for all students, staff, and visitors to our schools. In addition, we highly recommend that all eligible individuals receive the COVID-19 vaccine. For individuals that have received the vaccine, we strongly encourage you to get the booster. Boosters are now available for those age 12 and older. For individuals five years of age and older who have not yet received the COVID-19 vaccine, this vaccine locator may be used to find a provider near you.

Non-Discrimination Statement

It is the policy of the Iowa City Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability, religion, creed, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and socioeconomic status in its educational programs, activities, or 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 Eric Howard, Director of Equity and Employee Relations, 1725 N. Dodge St., Iowa City, IA 52245, 319-688-1000,
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