Prairie Edge Students and Work Readiness

Students from Shelly Mesch’s Work Readiness class at Prairie Edge have been preparing for life after high school and the world of work.  The class content centers around career exploration including training or skills needed to land their dream job. Classroom coursework included soft skills, workplace communication, teamwork, ethics, professionalism, resume writing, earning money and taxes, and interviewing.   

The culminating activity was a mock interview with Mrs. Gudenkauf, CCSD Career Specialist, where students answered situational questions. Immediately following the interviews, Mrs. Gudenkauf provided real time feedback to the students reinforcing their strengths and made suggestions for next time. The students worked very hard to prepare for this activity and enjoyed having the opportunity to share their learning.

Celebrate Completion of Phase II at Prairie High School – Prairie High School Open House January 30

Community Open House January 30 from 5:30-7:30 PM

The College Community School District is pleased to announce that it will be hosting a community open house on Thursday, January 30 from 5:30-7:30 pm. The open house at Prairie High School will showcase recently completed projects as part of Phase II of the $49.5 million generated by the bond to add classroom space, improve safety and security, reduce operational costs, and increase community access at both Prairie High School and our three oldest elementary schools.

Phase II included the following additions and renovations at Prairie High School.

  • New main entrance and commons area
  • New high school main office
  • New guidance office
  • Additional classrooms
  • Student Collaborations Rooms
  • New School Store
  • New Fitness and Weight Room
  • Gender balanced locker rooms
  • Renovated classrooms

Phase III work has already begun at Prairie High School which includes additional renovations and updates. Construction at Prairie High School is scheduled to be completed in May 2020.

Elementary improvements have begun to address safety and security, finishes, and mechanical systems. Work began last summer at Prairie View Elementary School which included adding interior walls. Work will begin at Prairie Heights Elementary School in the summer of 2020.
 
College Community previously held an open house on November 5 and 8, 2018 to celebrate the completion of Phase I construction projects at Prairie High School. Phase I included the following additions at Prairie High School:

  • Cafeteria
  • Science Rooms
  • Instrumental and Vocal Classrooms and Rehearsal Spaces
  • Varsity Locker Room
  • Concessions

Prairie High School staff, administrators, students and representatives from OPN Architects will be available to answer questions about the new additions and renovated areas as you tour the facilities. Students will also be available to assist with tours and share their experiences in our new spaces.

Prairie Key Club Keeping Busy to Help and Support Others

Prairie High School Key Club continues to offer opportunities for its members to provide service to others. This year Key Club has 146 sophomores, juniors and seniors. These students have volunteered 1,327 hours so far this school year at events at our schools and in our community. 

In addition to seeing these student volunteers at all kinds of Prairie events, you will see them at Gems of Hope, YPN, Families Helping Families, HACAP, our local libraries and many more local organizations. 

The month of December has been especially busy and fulfilling for its members as they have been working on a couple of special projects. Key Club members made 120 holiday cards for local veterans, half of the cards have been sent to the Veterans Home in Marshalltown and the other half to the VA Hospital in Iowa City. 

Another project for its members was donating 40 tie fleece blankets to the Catherine McAuley Center for their Transitional Housing Center.  Each person at the housing center will receive a blanket to keep.  Over the past five years, Key Club has made and donated 215 blankets for the Catherine McAuley Center.

“Helping other people, helping our community, and helping special causes is what we do,” said Key Club Advisor Kathy Waychoff. “We have wonderful students who clearly understand the value of volunteering and serving other people.”

Prairie High School Key Club was established at Prairie High School in August 2011. It is a student-led organization that offers members opportunities to provide service, build character and develop leadership. 

College Community Announces Bond Election to Accommodate Student Growth

College Community Announces Bond Election to
Accommodate Student Growth as Part of 10 Year Facilities Plan

On Monday, December 16, 2019 patrons of the College Community School District presented 875 signatures out of a required 522 that were needed to allow for the opportunity for a public vote regarding the bond referendum.

After signatures were presented, the College Community Board of Education has called for a special election to be held on March 3, 2020 for the sale not to exceed $54 million. Funds generated from the passage of the bond referendum in conjunction with SAVE dollars, would help alleviate capacity issues at Point and Creek as enrollment continues to grow.

Voter approval would allow the district to construct a new 5/6 building on 80 acres directly south of Prairie Point. Funds generated would also allow significant renovations to Creek in preparation for our 9th graders and district programs. Taxes will not be increased for these projects. This project was part of the committee’s original 10 year facilities plan.  

In the summer of 2013, the College Community School Board called for the formation of a committee to create a ten year facilities plan to address the District’s enrollment growth and capacity issues. The Facilities Advisory Committee, which consists of parents, volunteers, teachers and administrators has spent significant time studying the facility needs of the district. The committee reviewed enrollment data, county population growth and reviewed the needs of each school building. After extensive work, the committee made a recommendation to the Board outlining steps to address enrollment growth, overcrowding and buildings in need of renovation. The Board adopted the facilities committee plan proposal in November 2014. 

The ten year plan was divided into two phases, both of which require a bond referendum. Phase I included renovations to the High School and our three oldest elementary schools (Crest, Heights and View). Phase II of the ten year plan includes building a new intermediate school with significant renovations to Creek.  

Phase I of the 10 year facilities plan was to alleviate overcrowding at Prairie High School and address safety and security issues at our three oldest elementary schools. On February 2, 2019 voters passed a $49.5 million dollar bond referendum to add classrooms pace, improve security and increase community access. Work at the high school, which is scheduled to conclude in May 2020, has included adding 20 additional classrooms (13 general, 3 science classrooms, 4 music classrooms), new cafeteria, update library/media center, improve and create gender balanced athletic/wellness/locker areas, new high school entrance, and update family and consumer science classrooms.

Work at our elementary schools began last summer starting with Prairie View Elementary School.  Work at View included adding interior walls, fire and sprinkler systems, upgrading safety systems, new intercom system and improved secure entrance. Renovations to Prairie Heights Elementary will start this year, followed by Prairie Crest Elementary School.

“The construction of a new 5/6 building and moving 9th grade back to the high school campus as they transition to high school is a significant element of the 10-year plan,” said Superintendent Dr. Doug Wheeler. “The addition of a 5/6 building constructed for the developmental and academic needs this age group of learners will assist the district in managing growth and ensuring equitable learning spaces for years to come. Having 9th in proximity to the high school will enhance student experiences through resource sharing and expanded programing while appropriately addressing the needs of students as they transition to high school.”       

College Community continues to grow. Since 2015 enrollment has grown from 5,105 pre-K through 12th grade to 5,800, an increase of 695 students. Enrollment projections adopted by the Facilities Committee estimates that by 2024 the District would exceed 6,000 students. Additionally, several of our communities continue to see growth as new housing developments come online. 

Over the next few months you can expect more information about our March 3, 2020 bond referendum.   

Student Council Clothing Drive

This winter, Student Council has been putting on a clothing drive as part of their service learning projects.  They have collected clothing on “Giving Tuesdays” on each Tuesday the past few weeks and are working toward a goal of collecting 20 boxes of clothing to be donated to Mission of Hope in Cedar Rapids. 

The drive will continue next week, Monday, December 16th through Thursday the 19th.  Gently used clothes can be brought to either high school entrance in the morning before school from 8:00-9:00am.

This is the first year of the drive and in just two days of collecting, Student Council has received 15 boxes of donations! 

Facilities Advisory Committee Petitions College Community Board to Call for Special Election

To meet the growing needs of our students, the Facilities Advisory Committee is in the process of collecting bond petition signatures to submit to the College Community School District Board of Directors to call a special election to submit to the voters of the College Community School District.

The district needs approximately 600 signatures from College Community residents to prove community support and allow for the opportunity for a public vote regarding the bond referendum. Volunteers have been circulating petitions to district residents, and petitions can also be found in each school office. Signed petitions will be submitted to the School Board at their December 16, 2019 meeting.

After signatures are presented, the College Community Board of Education will be calling for a special election to be held on March 3, 2020 for the sale not to exceed $54 million. Funds generated from the passage of the bond referendum would help alleviate capacity issues at Point and Creek as enrollment continues to grow.

Voter approval would allow the district to construct a new 5/6 building on 80 acres directly south of Prairie Point and re-purpose of Creek (9th Grade Center and district wide programs). Funds generated would also allow significant renovations to Creek in preparation for our 9th graders and district programs. This project was part of the committee’s original 10 year facilities plan. Taxes will not be increased for these projects. After signatures are presented to the College Community Board of Education, additional information and project details will be provided to families and residents. You can expect to begin receiving additional information in in the upcoming weeks.

The Facilities Advisory Committee, which consists of parents, teachers and administrators has spent many months studying the facility needs of the district. The committee has reviewed enrollment data, county population growth and reviewed the needs of each school building.

College Community continues to grow. Since 2015 enrollment has grown from 5,105 pre-K through 12th grade to 5,800, an increase of 695 students. Enrollment projections adopted by the Facilities Committee estimates that by 2024 the District would exceed 6,000 students. Additionally, several of our communities continue to see growth as new housing developments come online. 

Prairie Students Selected for Honor Band

Congratulations to 18 students from Prairie High School and Prairie Point 9th Grade Academy who were selected to participate in the Northeast Iowa Bandmasters Association Honor Band to be held at Oelwein High School on Saturday, December 7, 2019.

Students from approximately 60 schools in the northeast Iowa region will perform in one of two 125-piece select ensembles. Selection to this group is a great honor as they will rehearse all day highlighted by an evening concert at 7:00 P.M. in the Oelwein High School Gymnasium.  This year’s NEIBA honor bands will be under the direction of Dr. Danny Galyen from the University of Northern Iowa, and Dr. Kevin Kessler from South Dakota State University.

Congratulations to the following students:

Camden Beightler, Freshman-Trombone

Abigail Bell, Junior-Trumpet

Molly Bourgeous, Junior-Oboe (2nd year)

Alyssa Cassady, Freshman-Clarinet

Kylie Cooling, Junior-Flute

Luka Elges, Senior-Tuba

Lilianna Gimse, Senior-Flute

Tu Ho-Senior, Contra-Bass Clarinet

Sydney Hoffmann, Junior-Percussion

Brody Joens, Senior-Bari Sax

Isabella Koch, Senior-French Horn

Jacob Kruse, Junior-Trumpet

Anna Lantz, Sophomore-Bass Clarinet

Hannah Lester, Junior -Flute

Carlie Mallicoat, Sophomore-Clarinet

Abby Sebetka, Junior-Clarinet (2nd year)

Jonathan Servey, Senior-Alto Sax (2nd year)

Emma Svoboda, Senior-Flute (2nd year)

The latest news from College Community Schools.