College Community Selects Angie Morrison as Chief Financial Officer

After an extensive search, the College Community School District has a new Chief Financial Officer. Starting July 1, 2019 and pending Board approval, Angie Morrison will replace Jim Rotter who is retiring at the end of the school year after 30 years with the District.

 Morrison has over 21 years of school finance experience and comes to College Community from the Waukee Community School District where she began in July of 2018 as their Chief Financial Officer/Board Secretary/Treasurer. During her six months at Waukee she has implemented practices and procedures designed to enhance internal controls and improve district communication. She also manages multiple capital projects and is responsible for the budget and financial accounting of district funds. Prior to Waukee she worked from 2013-2018 for the Linn Mar Community School District as their Business Manager/Board Secretary where she was responsible for all day-to-day operations including payroll, accounts payable,and accounts receivable.

“I am very excited to have been offered the CFO position at College Community School District,” said Morrison.“ This is a District that I have always had great respect and admiration for and I did not plan on leaving my position so soon but the opportunity was too good pass up. I have lived and worked in Eastern Iowa my whole life and my husband and I own a home in the College Community District. I feel extremely fortunate to be able to come back to Eastern Iowa and work in such a great district as the College Community School District.”

Morrison, a native Mediapolis, Iowa, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting from the University of Iowa. She is also a graduate of the Iowa School Business Management Academy and holds a School Business Official Authorization from the Board of Educational Examiners. She has also been actively involved in the Iowa School Business Officials Association and served in numerous leadership positions including President. In 2016 she received the organization’s professional leadership award. At the state level, Morrison participated in several Department of Education advisory committees.

“I am excited to welcome Angie to the College Community Schools team,” said Superintendent Dr. Doug Wheeler.“ Angie has demonstrated proven success in similar districts enhancing and developing systems to ensure resources are maximized for student learning.  I am excited to welcome a professional to assist us in building on a tradition of responsible use of public funds through strategic and transparent business practices.”

Student Summer Internships

Workplace Learning Connection is now accepting Summer Internship Applications and students can apply online. Internships help guide a student’s decision-making through these important career exploration experiences.  Please email Mary Gudenkauf, mgudenkauf@crprairie.orgfor additional information. Students should stop by to see Mary for next steps(office is across from The Success Center).

To apply online visit www.workplace-learning.org

Iowa BIG – Teaching kids core academics and 21st century skills through authentic projects with community partners

Check out the latest news on Iowa BIG.  Iowa BIG is currently a partnership of the Cedar Rapids Community School District, the College Community School District and the Linn Mar Community School District.  The Iowa BIG program was created by the community and through the community building effort of The Gazette Company and The Cedar Rapids Community School District.

Iowa BIG, which teaches kids core academics and 21st century skills through authentic projects with community partners, was born in 2012. Iowa BIG now provides this unique, 21st century learning environment to 250 kids in3 school districts (Linn Mar joined in 2016) in two locations. An additional Iowa BIG affiliate serves over 60 kids in the Charles City and New Hampton area.

 I AM IOWA BIG MONTH  –  The month of January is I am Iowa BIG month.  We’re featuring student stories on all of our social media platforms (@IowaBIG on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) every single day during the month of January to showcase the students, projects, and success stories happening at BIG.  We’re featuring students from all three districts and from both Iowa BIG tables (New Bo +Boyson).  Every Tuesday a student from BIG takes over the Instagram and Facebook “Story” for what we’re calling “Takeover Tuesday”to showcase a day in the life of a BIG student.  All of these things are to help reach more students and gain interest right before registration in February.

 PARENT NIGHTS –  We’re hosting an open house for interested parents and students to come and learn more about Iowa BIG.  Meet the staff, get information, and ask questions.  Stop by anytime between 4:30-6:30 PM at BIG on Boyson Monday January 28th or at New Bo Thursday January31st.  We have a brief presentation over the program that will start at5:30.  For additional information, please visit our website www.iowabig.org or email Amanda Zhorne (azhorne@iowabig.org)

ALUMNI CONVENING –  Alumni of Iowa BIG are gathering at the National Czech and Slovak Museum and Library Thursday January 10th.  This event serves as a way to reconnect with old friends and classmates, and network with new ones.  BIG wants to know about the post-secondary journeys of its graduates, and plans to collect information to help better serve the current and future students of the program.  The event had an RSVP that has already ended.

Parent Volunteers Included in School Safety Effort

The College Community School District takes pride in the efforts of all volunteers in the district. From classroom volunteers to special project volunteers, all are valued. “The reason we have volunteers at Prairie is to enhance the educational experience of our students,” said Kathy Waychoff, College Community School District Volunteer Coordinator.

Volunteers play an important role in our district as they support and assist our schools and staff in their efforts to provide educational opportunities for all students. With so many active volunteers who have direct contact with our students, it is imperative that we have policies and procedures in place. “The safety of our staff, students, visitors, and volunteers is our highest priority,” said Waychoff.

To be a volunteer in the district, each individual has to complete an online volunteer registration form through our KeepNTrack software. In 2008, the District implemented KeepNTrack, which is a system designed to screen individuals against a national sex offender database. In the fall of 2017 the district added an additional screening tool with KeepNTrack which allows us to complete a criminal background check on all potential volunteers. Waychoff stated that “our District has made a financial commitment to support this screening system so we can be proactive in our efforts to keep kids safe.” 

Through this system, the applicant simply fills out information about themselves and indicate the schools and areas they would like to support. After submitting their registration form, the volunteer will be notified once their form has been processed. The screening and notification process usually takes 24 hours. Upon arriving at our schools, volunteers sign in at the main office.

Each school year, the database is cleared in June. To keep our system current and up-to-date, the process starts over each July which means volunteers must complete the process for the upcoming school year. 

KeepNTrack also helps our staff identify and track who are in our buildings each day.  The system also allows us to track total volunteer hours given to our district. In the 2017-2018 school year, College Community School District had 1,212 active volunteers with 17,613recorded volunteer hours during the school day. This number does not include hours from events that take place after the school day or on weekends.

“We have such a supportive community here at Prairie,” said Waychoff. “Our volunteers understand it takes a village to support and provide our students with the best educational opportunities possible.  This would not be feasible if it were not for our wonderful volunteers.”

The district would love to have more volunteers to keep enriching our student’s educational experiences. There are a variety of volunteer opportunities for people with different interests and backgrounds. For more information about our volunteer program contact Kathy Waychoff at 319-848-5224 or kwaychoff@crprairie.org

CLICK HERE to apply to be a volunteer.

Article Written By  Morgan Flynn,
District Office Intern, Class of 2019



Important Notice Regarding Asbestos


In accordance with federal regulations regarding asbestos in schools, College Community Schools has important information for your review.  Each year the district is required to inform employees, building occupants, parents, and legal guardians about inspections and surveillance activities that are planned or in progress. 

Click Important Notice Regarding Asbestos document. 

Where are They Now? featuring singer/Songwriter and 2007 Prairie graduate Hailey Whitters

Hailey Whitters – Where are they now?

Where are They Now? Catching up with Prairie alumni as part of its “Where Are They Now?” series. Today we are featuring singer/songwriter and 2007 Prairie graduate Hailey Whitters.   Hailey works in Nashville, TN and has already written a song that was recorded by Alan Jackson.

What year did you graduate Prairie High School?

2007

What activities were you involved in at Prairie?

Dance Team, Cross Country, Show Choir, Student Council

What is your current position?

Singer/Songwriter at Carnival Music

Where is your place of employment?

Carnival Music in Nashville, TN

What are your job responsibilities?

My job is to write songs for artists in country music.

What is your biggest professional accomplishment?

My biggest professional accomplishment to date is having written a song that was recorded by Alan Jackson.

Hailey Whitters with Country Music Singer Alan Jackson

Describe your career/educational path since graduating from Prairie High School.

Post high school,I received a bachelors degree in Music Business at Belmont University in Nashville and went on to be signed by Carnival Music the year after graduating college.

What advice would you give to today’s high school graduates? 

My advice to today’s high school graduates would be to work hard, stay focused on your goals, and seek opportunities outside of your comfort zone.

To learn more about Hailey, visit her website, http://www.haileywhitters.com

Did You know that breakfast is offered daily to all students?

Did you know that breakfast is offered daily to all students at Prairie? Breakfast is served in each building in the cafeteria Monday thru Friday when school is in session.Breakfast is $1.70 for students, $0.30 for reduced students, and $2.00 for adults and guests.  

A breakfast meal includes a main entree, fruit choices, 100% juice, and milk.   

Nutritional Services offer items such as breakfast pizza, mini bagels, french toast sticks, pancakes, cheese omelets,toast, cinnamon rolls, breakfast sandwiches, yogurt, assorted cereals, milk, and fruit choices such as strawberries, bananas, and apples.  

Breakfast Times: 
Crest:  8:30 – 8:55 AM  
Heights:  8:30 – 8:50 AM  
Hill:  8:30 – 8:55 AM  
Ridge:  8:35 – 8:55 AM  
View: 8:35 – 9:00 AM  
Creek:  7:30 – 8:00 AM  
Point:  7:25 – 7:45 AM  
High School:  8:15 –  8:50 AM 

Community and Career Steering Committee Hears from Community Partners

ICR Future Presentation

The Community and Career Steering Committee met for the second time this school year on December19 in the District Board Room. The previous meeting with was held on October 3 at Grant Wood AEA where the committee reviewed priority actions for the 18-19 school year.  The purpose of the Community and Career Steering Committee is increase student community and career experiences in order to prepare students for post-secondary success.

At the December 19 meeting, the Community and Career Steering Committee welcomed community partners from ICR Future, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and Goodwill’s Light Manufacturing Training Program. The presentations allowed the committee to become more familiar with potential community events and partnerships that align with our committee’s charge to increase career experiences and prepare Prairie students for post-secondary success.

“It is important for our District to expand our student’s knowledge of the various pathways to post-secondary success,” said Director of Education and Innovation Tracy Schipper, “This could include apprenticeships, military, college and entrepreneurships.”  

The next meeting will beheld on February 27, 2019 in the College Community District Board Room.  By June of 2019, the Community and Career Steering Committee will analyze community and career experiences data to refine our Iowa Career and Academic Plan.

The latest news from College Community Schools.