JCSD E-Connection

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

Week of June 8, 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

JCSD Return To Learn Update

All Iowa schools district must submit a "Return to Learn Plan" to the Iowa Department of Education by July 1. This plan outlines how they will address disruptions to learning due to the pandemic.

Our teams of administrators, teachers, students, and community members have been digging into what this will look like for students in the Johnston Community School District. Our plan addresses three possible scenarios we believe may happen this fall:

  • Socially distanced in-person learning
  • Required online learning
  • A hybrid of required online learning and in-person learning

Drafts of each learning plan will be presented at the June 22 board meeting. On June 23, the district will be hosting two virtual community forums to present this information and hear from families regarding their questions and considerations for the upcoming school year. Please watch your emails for more information on our community Return To Learn Plan forum!

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Board Highlights from June 8, 2020

The full agenda and minutes of the June 8, 2020 board meeting can be viewed here.


-KTC Start Up and Summer Programming

-Update on Summer Baseball and Softball Programs

-First Reading of Employee Handbook

-First Reading of Policies 705.5 Employee Travel Compensation and 705.5R Employee Compensation Regulation

-First Reading of Policies 403.3 Communicable Diseases; 403.3R1 Universal Precautions Regulation; 403.5 Substance Free Workplace; 403.5E1 Substance Free Workplace Notice to Employees; 403.5R1 Substance Free Workplace Regulation
-First Reading of Policies 404 Employee Conduct and Appearance; 404.R1 Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics Regulation; 404.R2 Code of Rights and Responsibility Regulation

-First Reading of Policies 405.1 Certified Employee Defined; 405.2 Recruitment, Selection and Qualifications of Certificated Personnel; 405.3 Certified Employee Individual Contracts; 405.4 Certified Employee Continuing Contracts; 405.5 Certified Employee Work Day

-First Reading of Policies 405.6 Certified Employee Assignment; 405.7 Certified Employee Transfers; 405.8 Certified Employee Evaluation; 405.9 Certified Employee Probationary Status

-First Reading of Policies 406.1 Certified Employee Salary Schedule; 406.2 Certified Employee Salary Schedule Advancement; 406.3 Certified Employee Continued Education Credit; 406.4 Certified Employee Compensation for Extra Duty; 406.5 Certified Employee Group Benefits; 406.6 Certified Employee Tax Shelter Program

-First Reading of Policies 407.1 Certified Employee Resignation; 407.2 Certified Employee Contract Release; 407.4 Certified Employee Suspension; 407.5 Certified Employee Reduction in Force; 407.6 Certified Employee Early Retirement; 407.7 Employee Incentive- Non Early Retirement

-First Reading of Policies 408.1 Certified Employee Professional Development; 408.2 Certified Employee Publication or Creation of Materials; 408.4 Student Teachers; 409.1 Certified Employee Vacations, Holidays, Personal Leave; 409.2 Certified Employee Personal Illness Leave

-First Reading of Policies 409.3 Certified Employee Family and Medical Leave; 409.3E1 Licensed Employee Family and Medical Leave Notice to Employees; 409.3E2 Licensed Employee Family and Medical Leave Request Form; 409.4 Certified Employee Bereavement Leave; 409.5 Certified Employee Political Leave; 409.6 Certified Employee Jury Duty Leave; 409.7 Certified Employee Military Service Leave; 409.8 Certified Employee Unpaid Leave

-First Reading of Policies 410.2 Summer School Licensed Employee; 410.3 Truancy Officer; 411.1 Classified Employee Defined; 411.2 Classified Employee Qualifications, Recruitment, Selection

-First Reading of Policies 411.4 Classified Employee Licensing/Certification; 411.5 Classified Employee Assignment; 411.6 Classified Employee Transfers; 411.7 Classified Employee Evaluation

-First Reading of Policy 507.9 Wellness and Regulation 507.9R1 Wellness


-Approval of Teaching and Learning Department Restructuring (Approved)

-Approval of District Mission Statement Updates (Approved)

-Approval of JMS Furniture Purchase (Approved)

-Approval of Timber Ridge Carpet (Approved)

-Approval of Johnston Middle School Carpet (Approved)

-Approval of Emergency Generator for the Johnston IT Building (Approved)

-Approval of Superintendent Contract (Approved)

-Approval of Policies 302.4 Superintendent Duties and 303.5 Administrator Duties (Approved)

-Approval of Policies 401.9 Employee Political Activity; 402.3 Abuse of Students by School District Employees; 402.6 Employee Outside Employment; 403.2 Employee Injury on the Job; and 403.4 Hazardous Chemical Disclosure (Approved)

-Approval of Policies 401.1E1 Anti-Bullying/Harassment Complaint Form; 401.1E2 Witness Disclosure Form; 401.1E3 Disposition of Complaint Form; 401.1E4 Discrimination Including Discriminatory Harassment Complaint Form; 401.1E5 Respondent Form (Approved)

-Approval of Policy 401.19 Collective Bargaining Team/Negotiations Team (Approved)

-Approval of Policy 200.1R1 Organizational Meeting Procedures (Approved)

-Approval of Policies 711.7 School Bus Safety Instruction; 711.8 Transportation in Inclement Weather; 711.10 School Bus Passenger Restraints (Approved)

-Approval of Policies 400 Statement of Guiding Principles for Staff Personnel; 401.1 Equal Opportunity Employment; 401.2 Employee Conflict of Interest (Approved)

-Approval of Policies 401.3 Nepotism; 401.6 Limitations to Employment References; 401.8 Recognition for Service of Employees (Approved)

-Approval of Policies 401.15 Equipment Use by Staff; 402.1 Release of Credit Information; 402.2 Child Abuse Reporting; 403.1 Employee Physical Examinations (Approved)


Superintendent Laura Kacer provided the board an update on four major topics: JHS in-person graduation ceremony, the Return To Learn plan, the current state of equity and inclusion action steps in the district, and facility re-opening.

The JHS in-person graduation ceremony will be held June 27 at Dragon Stadium (JHS), starting at 10 a.m. A survey has been sent out to seniors for the RSVP. Each student will be allowed to have up to four guests.

The district's Return To Learn plan was shared with board members to give them an overview of the work being done by the district to prepare for three possible scenarios for returning to school in the fall. Work is being done by district teams to submit plans to the state for required online learning, in person learning, and a hybrid of the two. Going forward, there will be a standing agenda item for Return To Learn with timely updates on the plan and developments.

Ms. Kacer shared the district's statement on recent social injustices and steps moving forward. As part of our new strategic plan, equity is a focus area. District administrators are actively working with interested community members regarding needed actions, areas of concern, and creating a better environment for all students.

Finally, as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, the district will be re-opening the JHS tennis courts, JMS track, and school playgrounds. Signage with CDC guidelines and reminders will be posted. The district office will likely be opening back up in July or August. Protective devices are being ordered for customer-facing areas.

Kacer's presentation is attached to this news item.


Due to COVID-19 precautions and restrictions, all in-person board meetings have been moved to conference line or virtual meetings. Access information is published with the agenda on the Friday before the meeting. Meetings are also livestreamed at https://team1sports.com/johnston/.


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.