Boys and Girls Cross Country Teams Advance to State

Congratulations to both the boys’ and girls’ cross country teams who secured a spot at the state cross country meet! The boys team finished 1st and the girls took 2nd place at the state qualifying meet held in Bettendorf. The state meet is Friday, October 30 at the Lakeside Municipal Golf Course in Fort Dodge.

This year marks the 13th consecutive year the boys have qualified for the state meet the 3rd consecutive state meet appearance for the girls.  

Prairie Crest Construction Update

College Community administrators along with representatives from OPN Architects have been meeting to discuss design and development for renovations and additions to Prairie Crest Elementary School. The October 15 meeting focused on technology, access control and security, and specific needs within remodeled portions of the building (casework, flooring, etc.).  

Over the next few months as part of the design development phase, District personnel along with representative from OPN Architects will focus on developing the final layouts, finishes, systems, etc.  The plans for Crest are expected bid early 2021 with work starting in spring of 2021. Phasing plans for the work will be developed for the work over the next couple months.

Voters in the College Community District passed a $49.5 million dollar bond referendum on February 2, 2016 to address enrollment growth and facility needs at Prairie High School. Funds generated from the bond referendum in conjunction with SAVE dollars also include significant renovations to our three oldest elementary schools, Prairie Crest, Prairie Heights and Prairie View.

Design Work and Development Continues for New 5/6 Building

A representative from OPN showed some interior design options for the new 5/6 building.

College Community administrators along with representatives from OPN Architects and Carl A Nelson & Company met today as part of their ongoing Schematic Design meetings for the new Prairie Creek Intermediate School.  

To date there have been 5 Design Development meetings, Board updates and multiple design consultant meetings.  In addition, there have been numerous topic-specific meetings to address technology, kitchen, and site needs. Today’s meeting focused on finalization of the interior and exterior material/color palette for the 5/6 building. 

On March 3, 2020, voters in the College Community School District approved a $54M bond referendum to construct a new 5/6 building on 80 acres directly south of Prairie Point.  Funds generated from the bond referendum in conjunction with SAVE dollars also includes significant renovations to our current Prairie Creek building in preparation for our 9th graders and district programs. The tax rate will not be increased for these projects which was part of the committee’s original 10 year facilities plan.  

College Community Schools will continue to provide construction updates throughout the construction process.

National School Bus Safety Week

This week marks National School Bus Safety Week. National School Bus Safety Week, is October 19-23 and we want to THANK our bus drivers, bus aides and our bus mechanics for the important work that they do.  The Board of Education, staff, parents and our community recognizes the importance of following safety laws in order to protect children as they travel to and from school.

College Community Schools has 64 buses, 16 vans and 49 total routes that cover 137 square miles.  Our buses travel 680,000 miles annually and transport approximately 4,200 students daily. Please take a moment this week to thank them for what they do to keep our kids safe.

Free Breakfast and Lunch Extended to End of School Year

We are pleased to announce that the USDA extended free meals for all children 18 years old and younger for the rest of the 2020-2021 school year.  The State of Iowa announced on October 14 that our state will extend the free breakfast and lunch meals to all children age 18 and under for the 2020-2021 school year. 

Participation in this program is encouraged.  Participation does not take away from someone else.  Participation helps our program to stay financially viable and to use up the inventory we have so we have less waste.  Participation also helps to extend your budget and saves you time prepping lunches.

College Community to Launch New Website

We are excited to announce that the College Community School District will launch a new District and individual Prairie school websites in the coming weeks. The launch of a new College Community website, including a new address, is the result of a year-long effort to improve the usability and accessibility of our online presence, streamline navigation, and update and revitalize information and resources for our school community.

In order to identify priorities for our new school sites, the district engaged parents and community members, teachers, administrators and other stakeholders through a community-wide survey last school year. The process that followed included interviewing vendors, holding focus groups on design and incorporating current best practices and accessibility standards throughout the rebuild.

“The new College Community website is intended to give our users easier access to the most sought-after information,” said Executive Director of Technology Eric Townsley.  “Efforts have been made by our staff to update and refresh materials, streamline where content is stored, enhance the usability, and provide accessibility of the site.  We are committed to making it as easy as possible for parents and the public to engage with our schools.”

College Community Hosts Kick-Off Event to Celebrate New Agriculture and FFA Program

College Community Schools hosted a Prairie Agriculture Education and FFA Kick-Off Event on October 5 to celebrate the launch of the new Ag program. Starting this fall an exploratory course is being offered to students at Prairie Point Middle School and an Introduction to Ag course to students at Prairie High School. Expanded course offerings are being planned as the program develops and grows.  Currently there are over 110 students enrolled in these classes. 

The program event took place on the property previously owned by the Divishek family. Last year the College Community Board of Education approved the purchase of 155.28 acres.  Superintendent Dr. Doug Wheeler, teachers, administrators, members of the Agriculture Education Advisory Committee, area agriculture industry leaders, and other local supporters were on hand to celebrate the program and supporters of our Agriculture Education and FFA program.

“A great deal of work went into bringing us to this day,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Doug Wheeler. “I want to thank our Agriculture Education Advisory Committee, our School Board, our School Foundation, our parents, our agriculture industry leaders, and our community partners who provided financial support, high quality advice, guidance and advocacy for Prairie to develop an agriculture education program. Their tremendous support will allow us to expose our students to the countless leadership opportunities of FFA. As public schools serving our communities, we need to provide programming where students see themselves as successful right here, which will only strengthen our community and our local economy.  Agriculture is definitely an area where students can find success in our community.”

In April of 2019 an Agriculture Education Advisory Committee was established with membership of current CCSD teachers and administrators, local farmers, area agriculture industry leaders, and other local supporters. This committee commissioned a survey to current students and families about interest in agriculture education. Results of this survey showed a strong interest in providing an agriculture education program.

Welcome – Eric Townsley, Chair of the Agriculture Education Advisory Committee
Dr. Doug Wheeler – Superintendent of Schools
Randy Bauer – College Community Board of Education
Randy Rumery – Prairie School Foundation
Patrick Duerksen – Cargil
Erica Baier – Agriculture and FFA Teacher
Coilee Hynek – Prairie High School FFA Vice President

Dr. Wheeler
Randy Bauer
Randy Rumery
Dwight Hughes
Niki Frese
Patrick Duerksen
Lori Kramer
Erica Baier
Prairie FFA Leadership Team

*Photos Courtesy of Prairie High School Senior Jaymeson Westphal

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Doug Wheeler
School Board President Randy Bauer
Patrick Duerksen – Cargil
Randy Rumery – Prairie School Foundation
Eric Townley – Chair Agriculture Education Advisory Committee
Erica Baier – Agriculture/FFA Teacher
Coilee Hynek – Prairie High School FFA Vice President
Prairie FFA Leadership Team

Prairie Boys Golf Team Earns Trip to State

Congratulations to the Prairie Boys Golf team and coach Erik Columbus who earned a trip to state at the Class 4A district meet held at the Elmcrest Country Club on Monday, October 5. Prairie finished third to earn a team berth with a score of 314. Prairie’s Payton Burns was a medalists finishing in 3rd place overall with a score of 74.

State golf will be held October 9th and 10th at the Des Moines Golf and Country Club.

L-R  Carson Slezak, Carson Smith, Payton Burns, Coach Erik Columbus, Justin Valde, Isaac Meyer, and Tanner Wachtl

Annual Volunteer Events Cancelled

America Reads 2020 scheduled for October 23rd at College Community Schools has been cancelled. Due to CDC guidelines and observing our school guidelines for safety, the America Reads Metro Committee made the difficult decision to cancel America Reads for this year. We look forward to resuming America Reads in all Cedar Rapids/Marion schools in the fall of 2021.

Prairie High School Key Club’s annual Trunk or Treat for all Prairie Elementary students has been cancelled for 2020.  It was a very difficult decision to make but the safety of our students and PHS Key Club members is most important.  We anticipate this event to continue in October 2021.

Nutritional Services Changes and Updates

Starting on October 1st we have a couple of changes taking place for meals.

1)  With guidance from the Dept. of Health, we are switching back to our lunch trays for meal service.  We will still continue to use the silverware/napkin pack.  We will continue to have fruit and vegetable items individually portioned ahead to help with the speed of meal service. All items will still be served by a staff member to all students and staff who come through the meal service line.  Self-service is not available at this time. (Students eating in the gym or classroom will still use reusable clamshell containers.)

2)  Beginning October 1st, an alternate main item will be offered.  Students will need to tell the cooks their milk choice and main option choice.  At the High School we will open the Sub Line.  From that line we will offer made to order subs and salads.

Printed menus for October breakfast and lunch will be or already have been sent home with K-6 students.

Reminder:  All breakfast and lunch meals are free until December 31st or until funding runs out.  All children 18 years old and younger are encouraged to participate in this program.

Seeking employment?  Join our team!!  We are looking to fill part time cook positions.  No experience necessary. No nights, holidays, or weekends. Fun, energetic atmosphere.  Apply today.  Apply here today.

USDA & Iowa Non Discrimination Statements

The latest news from College Community Schools.