Van Allen Newsletter

A Preview and an Update for Our School Community

May 26, 2023 | Volume 19

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🚨 Van Allen News 🚨

ATTENTION 6th Grade Parents!!

Did you know there are REQUIRED IMMUNIZATIONS for all incoming 7th graders?

  • Two more vaccines are required for students entering 7th grade: a meningococcal vaccine (MCV) and a tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis booster (Tdap)

  • Students are not allowed to start 7th grade in the fall without documentation of a MCV vaccine according to Iowa law.

Please check your child’s immunization record or call their health care provider to find out if they have received the Tdap booster AND Meningococcal vaccines (MCV). Make an appointment if needed.

  • Johnson County Public Health provides immunizations and can be reached at (319)356-6045.

  • If your child does not have insurance, please reach out to the Healthy Kids Clinic. Call or text (319)631-3204 to make an appointment.

  • If you have any questions, please contact the school nurse:

Johnson County is offering multiple vaccine clinics throughout the summer! Call and make an appointment today!

Van Allen Ele. Night @ the Cedar Rapids Kernels!

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Order Your Tickets at the Link 👇

The above link will be active until Friday, May 26th at Midnight. Please select the special Van Allen section of 102 when ordering your tickets online. If you do not want to buy your tickets online, you may also purchase them by calling the Kernels ticket office at (319) 896-7560. Please mention that you are with Van Allen Elementary when ordering by phone.)

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Celebration of Learning, Friday, June 2nd

  • This event is for 6th grade students and their families
  • Our Celebration of Learning will begin at 1:30pm

Last Day of School, Tuesday, June 6th

  • One-hour early dismissal, 1:55pm

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

  • Please note that every Thursday is a one-hour early release

🚨 2023/2024 School Year Information 🚨

Pay to Ride Transportation Program

The Iowa City Community School District Transportation Department would like to notify you of the 2023-24 Pay-to-Ride Program. The Pay-to-Ride Program is available to families that do not qualify for mandatory transportation as required by the State of Iowa. The District provides transportation as required by the State of Iowa.

Iowa Code 285.1.a. The Board of Directors in every school district shall provide transportation, either directly or by reimbursement for transportation, for all resident pupils attending public school, kindergarten through twelfth grade, except that:

  1. Elementary pupils shall be entitled to transportation only if they live more than two miles from the school designated for attendance.
  2. High school pupils shall be entitled to transportation only if they live more than three miles from the school designated for attendance.

When measuring the distance to determine eligibility for transportation, the distance shall be measured by using the shortest distance on public roads only. In general, school buses do not travel on private roads/lanes or in private subdivisions. Distance is measured from the student's driveway to the assigned attendance point of entrance.

If you have any questions, before applying, please don’t hesitate to contact me via email at

The Pay-to-Ride Program details are listed below:

  • The program is provided on a space-available, time-available, first-come, first-served basis. Participation is limited according to capacity as determined by the District and is available to students in grades K-12.
  • The program is only available on existing bus routes and at existing stops. No additional routes and or stops will be considered for pay-to-ride students after the deadline.
  • Buses provided specifically for special education students are not eligible for this program.
  • Bus stop locations and times are assigned by North America Central School Bus (NACSB).
  • Availability of seats and location of bus stops is subject to change based on changes in enrollment, boundaries, and other factors determined by the District or North America Central School Bus and can occur at any time. When changes to routes or stops occur, families utilizing pay-to-ride busing will be notified at the same time that the families of eligible students are notified.
  • Students must be picked up and dropped off at their assigned location only. Pick-up and drop-off must be at the same location.
  • Requests for a change in a student’s bus stop will only be honored if the student’s address has changed.
  • No guest students will be allowed to ride along with pay-to-ride students.
  • All students riding the bus are subject to the rules and regulations of conduct and safety established by the District and NACSB. The District and NACSB use video cameras on school buses as a means to maintain a safe environment for students and staff.
  • Refunds will be granted for any unused full trimester purchased for the current school year.
  • No refunds or rate adjustments will be made for days buses cannot operate because of weather or other circumstances beyond the control of NACSB or the District.
  • Payments can be made online via the District’s website. Fee is charged on a per-year basis.

Payment and Fees for Service

  • Pay-to-Ride fee is:
    • $600 per student, per year, round trip
    • $360 per student, per year, round trip, for students who qualify for reduced-price lunch.
    • $0 per student, per year, round trip, for students who qualify for free lunch.
  • Full payments must be made no later than June 8, 2023, to be included on a bus roster for the start of the school year.
    • Applications submitted after June 9th through September 10th will be included on a bus no later than September 25th if space available. Efforts will be made to make placements earlier; however, a date prior to September 25th cannot be guaranteed and remains dependent on space being available.
    • After September 10th applicants will be notified no later than 10 school days from submission if space available.
  • Applications will be accepted after the due date while capacity remains on existing routes. (Note: Students will only be assigned to existing bus stops and routes; buses will not be re-routed to accommodate requests.)
  • Students are not eligible to ride until payment is received and the application is approved.

Application Process

  1. To apply for pay-to-ride busing, please download the following form:
    Pay-to-Ride Student Transportation Application: 2023-2024 Pay-to-Ride Application
  2. Payment can only be made online:
  3. Mail or bring your application and receipt, from MySchoolBucks to the following address:
    Iowa City Community School District
    Transportation Department
    1725 N Dodge Street
    Iowa City, IA 52245

If you are interested in participating in the Pay-to-Ride Program, please return the application and payment no later than June 8, 2023, to be considered for a bus roster for the start of the school year.


Esme Davis, Transportation Manager
Iowa City Community School District

Registration for the 23-24 School Year is Open!

We are excited to announce that registration for the 2023-2024 school year is now open! We encourage you to take this early opportunity to register your students for the next school year.

As a reminder, all families are required to register their students in Infinite Campus for the 2023-24 school year. Please use the link below to register your child(ren). Remember to select the school year “23-24” to register for next year.

Registration instructions for returning families to the District

Families who need assistance with the registration process may attend on-site registration at their home school which will be held this summer. On-site registration schedules will be shared at a later date.

We thank you for taking the time to register your students early as it helps greatly with our staffing efforts over the spring and summer.


Matt Degner
Iowa City Community School District

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🚨 Liberty High School News 🚨

Summer Sports Camps

  • See the link inserted below

🚨 Iowa City Community Schools News 🚨

Iowa City Districtwide Parents Organization (DPO)

The Iowa City Districtwide Parents Organization (DPO) promotes active engagement and awareness at the school and district level through monthly open meetings that include speakers on matters related to education as well as opportunities to interact directly with the ICCSD administration, foundation, and school board.

DPO meetings are your opportunity to:

  • Connect with parents and caregivers from other schools’ parent organizations

  • Find out what is happening in our district directly from the school board and administration

  • Learn from experts about important matters related to children, youth, and education

  • Exchange ideas and gain information on local, state and national legislative issues

General meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month, September-May, at 6:30-8:00 PM. Meetings will be held via Zoom through 2022. Additional information is available on the ICCSD DPO web page including the DPO Meeting Calendar.

ICCSD Foundation

What does the Foundation for ICCSD provide for our students? See below.

How do they do this? It only happens through giving. Donations from you and our community impact every student in every grade at every school. Your help can make such a difference. Please consider giving today.

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Music Auxiliary's Online Donation Campaign

The Iowa City Music Auxiliary is excited to announce our upcoming online donation campaign starting on May 3 in conjunction with the Johnson County Great Give Day. This event brings together donors and non-profit organizations from the community to raise funds for various causes, and the Iowa City Music Auxiliary is proud to participate. Every donation, big or small, from now until the end of the year, will make a meaningful impact and help us continue our mission of fostering a love for music and empowering students through music education throughout all ICCSD schools.

Donate through the ICCSD Foundation by choosing the Music Auxiliary on the campaign list.

The United Way's 2023 Summership Application

The Summerships Committee awards scholarships for the cost of one camp or activity (up to $250) to enable young people to participate in summer activities. Summerships are awarded to Johnson & Washington County students (K-12) who are eligible for Free & Reduced Lunch.

  • The application can be accessed by clicking here.
  • Questions can be directed to our School Family Advocate, Danielle Weipert

Students, Families, and Employees - The Ombuds Office is here to help! Visit to learn more!

🚨 Standing Items within the Newsletter 🚨

Arrival + Dismissal Procedures* - (Links, Below)

Specific Car Line Points of Emphasis/Reminders:

    • Supervision begins at 7:40am. As a result, students should NOT begin to arrive until 7:40am.

    • Students begin to enter the building at 7:50am.

    • School begins at 7:55am. At 7:55am, all students should begin entering the building through the front entrance (east side doors).

    • Always pull forward if/when there is space ahead of you.

    • Drivers should always remain in their vehicle when dropping off and picking up students. Please have your child as ready as possible when it is time for them to get out of the car.

    • Students should enter and exit their vehicle curbside through the passenger side doors; please do NOT allow children to leave the vehicle on the driver's side.

    • At dismissal, please place a visible sign in your vehicle to show the name and grade-level of the student(s) that you are picking-up.
      If you need a sign, they are available in the office.
      If you don't have a sign, a sheet of white paper and black marker will work.

    • Please share this information with anybody who might drop-off and/or pick-up students.

    • For a more comprehensive understanding of our arrival and dismissal procedures, please refer to the documents that are further below within this newsletter.

Abiding by these procedures help us create and maintain a "Safe, Supportive, and Collaborative Culture" (HRS, Level One) at Van Allen and more specifically, "Students, parents, and the community perceive the school environment as safe, supportive, and orderly" (HRS, Leading Indicator 1.1).

Your attention to this, and your patience are appreciated. Thank you.

Van Allen's Morning Car Line Procedures

Cell Phone/Personal Device Policy

Earlier this month, the Policy and Governance committee of the School Board requested that policy for the use of cell phones and personal devices be created for Elementary Schools to begin this school year. The final policy is, which is in effect immediately, is updated on the district website in the Elementary Handbook (linked); it is under personal property on page 10.

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.

High Reliability Schools (HRS) Update

Thank you for taking the time to complete our High Reliability Schools (HRS) survey earlier this year. While reviewing our stakeholder data, it is evident that there is an opportunity for improvement with Leading Indicator 1.6, "Students, parents, and the community have formal ways to provide input regarding the optimal functioning in the school."

As a result, this linked form (also inserted, below) will become a standing item in our newsletter. We will look for additional opportunities to ensure that this form is readily available to you. Please note that submitting an idea to this form does not ensure that it will be implemented. Once we have responses to share, we will plan to include a section within our newsletter dedicated to providing feedback and/or any response in regards to the different ideas that we have received from this form (on a monthly basis).

HRS at Van Allen Elementary
Introducing our Van Allen Support Staff

#VanAllenPride - Follow and Like Us

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

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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,