District Notices

AWV Educational Philosophy

"A Combination of Excellence"

Educational Philosophy of Ar-We-Va The Ar-We-Va Community School District is dedicated to promoting equal opportunity for a quality public education to enrolled students and toward being responsive to the educational needs, values, and aspirations of its citizens. The board believes that the school has an important role in helping to improve the quality of living in the community. Students of this community have the privilege of participating in formal education utilizing the students' present understandings to help them to grow in the present and prepare for a lifetime in our rapidly changing society. The board believes that each individual should be accepted into the educational program as that individual is, that each individual should be satisfactory adjustments to life. The dignity, the worth, and the uniqueness of each individual and that individual's heritage will be preserved. The Ar-We-Va Community Schools exist to develop and improve the academic instruction, curriculum and facilities so that every individual student will be provided with the opportunity to perceive and develop their potential for the benefit of self and society. A variety of educational experiences will be provided for the individual student in order to develop a positive self-concept and to become more fully aware of the needs of a complex society. These experiences will encourage the development of the students' abilities and identify their interests and goals in life. Each student will develop that ability to read with understanding, write with clarity, communicate with verbal effectiveness and to think and solve problems. An environment will be created within which students will be encouraged to be honest, responsible, and productive citizens in our democratic society.


AWV Mission Statement:

Ar-We-Va will provide each student with a world-class curriculum within a caring environment, preparing life-long learners to be productive, responsible citizens in the 21st Century


Mandated Notifications

OPEN ENROLLMENT

Parents or guardians considering the use of the open enrollment option to enroll their children in another public school district in the state of Iowa should be aware of the following dates:

*March 1, 2017 -- Last date for open enrollment requests for the 2017-2018 school year.

*September 1, 2017 -- Last date for open enrollment for entering Kindergarten students and those students falling under the “good cause” definition for the 2017-2018 school year. Parents or guardians of open enrollment students whose income falls below 100 percent of the federal poverty guidelines are eligible for transportation assistance. This may be in the form of actual transportation or in the form of a cash stipend. For further details, contact the superintendent’s office.

POST SECONDARY ENROLLMENT OPTIONS ACT

The state of Iowa has established a program called the “Post Secondary Enrollment Options Act.” This act makes it possible for the 11th and 12th grade students to take college courses for which the local district is obligated to pay expenses up to $200, not including travel. The course must be one that is not currently offered at the local school and must be nonsectarian. The accepted course must be taken through an eligible Iowa post secondary school. See the counselor for further information.

ANNUAL NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATION

The Ar-We-Va Community School District in partnership with Carroll Community School District offers career and technical programs in the following areas of study:

              Agricultural Education

              Business Education

              Family & Consumer Science

              Industrial Education

              Marketing Education

 It is the policy of the Ar-We-Va Community School District not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, 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: Rachel Merkel or Sharon Stickrod, Equity Coordinators, Ar-We-Va Community School, 108 Clinton Street, Westside, IA  51467, phone 712-663-4311 or email rmerkel@ar-we-va.k12.ia.us or  stickrod@ar-we-va.k12.ia.us.

NOTICE OF NONDISCRIMINATION

Applicants for admission and employment, students, parents, employees, source of referral of applications for admission and employment, and all unions or professional organizations holding negotiated agreements or professional agreements with the school districts are hereby notified that the district does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in admission or access to, or treatment or employment in its programs and activities. Any person having inquiries concerning the Ar-We-Va School District’s compliance with the regulations implementing Title VI, Title IX, Americans with Disabilities Act or Section 504, 104.8, 106.9, Office for Civil Rights Guidelines, IV O, Iowa Administrative Code, 287.12 (8), 95.3, 95.4 (1) & 95.6 is directed to contact: Rachel Merkel or Sharon Stickrod, Equity Coordinators, Ar-We-Va Community Schools, Westside, Iowa 51467 - Phone 712-663-4311.

RELEASE OF INFORMATION

All school parents should be aware that the information listed below may be released to the public in regard to any individual student of the school district as necessity or desirability arises. Any student, parent, or guardian not wanting this information released to the public must make objection in writing to the principal or other persons in charge of the school which the student is attending. It is desirable to renew this objection at the beginning of each school year.

Information: name, address, telephone listing, date & place of birth, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, awards received, most recent previous school or institute attended by the student or other similar information.

ABUSE OF STUDENTS

Pursuant to Chapter 232 of the Iowa Code, abuse of children may fall in either of the two categories: (1) The non-accidental physical injury of a student as a result of the action of an agency employee or (2) Sexual offenses of misconduct as defined by Iowa Code, Chapter 709. The investigators for the alleged abuse of a student by an employee are: Level One - Rachel Merkel, Guidance Counselor - 712-663-4311 & Level Two - Crawford County Sheriff - 712-263-2146.

HOMELESS STUDENTS

In accordance with Chapter 3, Iowa Administrative Code, The Ar-We-Va Schools encourage homeless children and youth to enroll in school. For more information, please contact Homeless Liaison, Mr. Chris Petersen at 712-663-4312 or email cpetersen@ar-we-va.k12.ia.us.

MEDICATION POLICY

Students may need to take prescription or non-prescription medication during school hours. The medication must be prescribed by a licensed medical or osteopathic physician or dentist. Students may carry prescription medication only under special circumstances and only with the permission of the parents and principal. The school must know the medications a student is taking in the event the student has a reaction or illness. Students must provide written instruction for administration of any medication as well as parental authorization and signed request to administer the medication. The prescription and the parents’ signed request to dispense the medication are kept on file in the office from which the medication will be dispensed. Medication is held in a locked cabinet (or refrigerated when required) and distributed by the school secretaries. Medication must be in the original container with the following information either on the container, in the instruction sheet or in the parental authorization: name, phone number, and address of the pharmacy (if applicable); date of the prescription (if applicable); name of the physician (if applicable); and potential side effects. No aspirin will be dispensed at school unless a written permission note from the parent is on file in the school office which will be dispensing the aspirin. The over-the-counter medications must be in the original container. We cannot give any medication that is not properly labeled. The note from the parent must be dated and signed by the parent, and written directions for giving enclosed. These instructions must be renewed at the beginning of each school year and all previous aspirin instructions will be destroyed at the end of each school year.

HEALTH/HUMAN GROWTH AND DEVELOPMENT CURRICULUM

The Ar-We-Va Schools have adopted a sequentially developed Health/Human Development Curriculum for grades K-12. Parents and guardians may have their child excused from the class when human growth and development topics are taught. The students will incur no penalty but may be required to complete an alternative assignment that relates to the class and is consistent with assignments required of all students in the class. Parents wishing to have their student excused from the human growth and development topics should contact the building principal to secure the required excuse form. Information relating to the human growth an development topics and when they will be taught can be obtained by contacting the classroom teacher. In addition, teachers in grades 4 through 8 will send parental notification when human growth and development topics are taught.

WAIVER OF FEES

Students whose families meet the income guidelines for free and reduced price lunch, the Family Investment Program (FIP) Supplemental Security Income (SSI), transportation assistance under open enrollment, or who are in foster care are eligible to have their student fees waived or partially waived. Students whose families are experiencing a temporary financial difficulty may be eligible for a temporary waiver of student fees. Parents of students who believe they may qualify for temporary financial hardship should contact the superintendent’s office. Forms will be available at registration. This waiver does not carry over from year to year and must be completed annually.

ASBESTOS NOTIFICATION

Asbestos has been an issue of concern for many years. The Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act of 1986 (referred to as AHERA) was enacted by Congress. AHERA was designed to determine the extent of asbestos concerns in the schools and to act as a guide in formulating asbestos management policies for schools. We have our facilities inspected regularly by a certified asbestos inspector as required by AHERA. The inspector located, sampled, and determined the condition of hazard potential of all materials in our buildings suspected of containing asbestos. The inspection and laboratory analysis records form the basis of the asbestos management plan. A certified Management Planner has developed an asbestos management plan for our buildings which includes: notification letters, training for our employees, a set of procedures designed to minimize the disturbance of asbestos containing materials, and plans for regular surveillance of the materials. A copy of the management plan is available for your inspection in the Superintendent’s office. Please make an appointment during office hours if you wish to review the plan. We are complying with AHERA and related Federal and Iowa laws and began implementation of our plan on July 8, 1989. We are taking whatever steps are necessary to ensure that our students and employees have a healthy and safe environment in which to learn and work.

DISABILITIES ACT

Ar-We-Va Community School District is committed to complying with the requirements in Section 504 of the Vocational/Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and Americans with Disabilities Act is seeking information from adults with disabilities in our community.

1. Do you have a physical or mental disability, and do you have a child enrolled in our school? (Are you deaf, have a physical disability, or serious medical conditions(s) etc.? We are responsible for providing you access to parent-teacher conferences and other programs and activities, including graduation.

2. Are you or do you know of an individual with a disability that may attend a function in our building (1-graduation ceremony)? We would like to be aware of this in case there are physical barriers in accessing our building. If you have special needs as detailed above, please contact the following: Rachel Merkel or Sharon Stickrod, Equity Coordinators, Ar-We-Va Community School, 712-663-4311.

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It is the policy of the Ar-We-Va 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 Equity Coordinators, Rachel Merkel or Sharon Stickrod, 108 Clinton Street, Westside, Iowa  51467, 712-663-4311.


Anti-Bullying/Harassment Policy

Harassment and bullying of students and employees are against federal, state and local policy, and are not tolerated by the Ar-We-Va School Board. The Ar-We-Va School Board is committed to providing all students with a safe and civil school environment in which all members of the school community are treated with dignity and respect. To that end, the Ar-We-Va School Board has in place policies, procedures, and practices that are designed to reduce and eliminate bullying and harassment as well as processes and procedures to deal with incidents of bullying and harassment. Bullying and harassment of students by students, school employees, and volunteers who have direct contact with students will not be tolerated in the Ar-We-Va Schools or the Ar-We-Va School District.

The Ar-We-Va School Board prohibits harassment, bullying, hazing, or any other victimization, of students, based on any of the following actual or perceived traits or characteristics: age, color, creed, national origin, race, religion, marital status, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical attributes, physical or mental ability or disability, ancestry, political party preference, political belief, socioeconomic status, or familial status. Harassment against employees based upon race, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age or disability is also prohibited.

It is the policy of the Board of Education to extend equal opportunities to all employees and to all applicants for employment who meet the qualifications established for a position for which the application is made. It is also the policy of the Ar-We-Va Community School District to not discriminate illegally on the basis of race, creed, color, ethnicity, religion, national origin, gender, age, marital status (for programs), sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, socioeconomic status (for programs), or physical/mental handicap or disability in its educational programs, activities and employment practices.

 

Wellness Policy

The board promotes healthy students by supporting wellness, good nutrition and regular physical activity as a part of the total learning environment.  The school district supports a healthy environment where students learn and participate in positive dietary and lifestyle practices.  By facilitating learning through the support and promotion of good nutrition and physical activity, schools contribute to the basic health status of students.  Improved health optimizes student performance potential.

The school district provides a comprehensive learning environment for developing and practicing lifelong wellness behaviors.  The entire school environment, not just the classroom, shall be aligned with healthy school district goals to positively influence a student's understanding, beliefs and habits as they relate to good nutrition and regular physical activity.

The school district supports and promotes proper dietary habits contributing to students' health status and academic performance.  All foods available on school grounds and at school-sponsored activities during the instructional day should meet or exceed the school district nutrition standards and in compliance with state and federal law.  Foods should be served with consideration toward nutritional integrity, variety, appeal, taste, safety and packaging to ensure high-quality meals.

The school district will make every effort to eliminate any social stigma attached to, and prevent the overt identification of, students who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals.  Toward this end, the school district may utilize electronic identification and payment systems; provide meals at no charge to all children, regardless of income; promote the availability of meals to all students; and/or use nontraditional methods for serving meals, such as "grab-and-go" or classroom breakfast.

The school district will develop a local wellness policy committee comprised of parents, students, and representatives of the school food authority, the school board, school administrators, and the public, physical education teachers, and school health professionals.  The local wellness policy committee will develop a plan to implement the local wellness policy and periodically review and update the policy.  The committee will designate an individual to monitor implementation and evaluation the implementation of the policy.  The committee will report annually to the board and community regarding the content and effectiveness of this policy and recommend updates if needed.  When monitoring implementation, schools will be evaluated individually with reports prepared by each school and the school district as a whole.  The report will include which schools are in compliance with this policy, the extent to which this policy compares to model Wellness policies and describe the progress made in achieving the goals of this policy.

Specific Wellness Goals

  • specific goals for nutrition education and promotion, (see Appendix A)
  • physical activity, (see Appendix B)
  • other school-based activities that are designed to promote student wellness, (see Appendix C)

The nutrition guidelines for all foods available will focus on promoting student health and reducing childhood obesity in the school district;

The board will monitor and evaluate this policy by reviewing the report on goals presented by the Superintendent annually as setup by board policy

Nutrition Education and Promotion

The school district will provide nutrition education and engage in nutrition promotion that:

  • promotes fruits, vegetables, whole-grain products, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, healthy food preparation methods and health-enhancing nutrition practices;

Physical Activity

Daily Physical Education

The school district will provide physical education that:

  • is for all students in grades K-12;
  • is taught by a certified physical education teacher;
  • includes students with disabilities, students with special health-care needs may be provided in alternative educational settings; and,
  • engages students in moderate to vigorous activity during at least 50 percent of physical education class time.

Daily Recess

Elementary schools should provide recess for students that:

  • is at least 20 minutes a day;
  • is preferably outdoors;
  • encourages moderate to vigorous physical activity verbally and through the provision of space and equipment; and,
  • discourages extended periods (i.e., periods of two or more hours) of inactivity.

When activities, such as mandatory school-wide testing, make it necessary for students to remain indoors for long periods of time, schools should give students periodic breaks during which they are encouraged to stand and be moderately active.

Physical Activity and Punishment

Employees should not use physical activity (e.g., running laps, pushups) or withhold opportunities for physical activity (e.g., recess, physical education) as punishment.

Nutrition Guidelines for All Foods Available on Campus

School Meals

Meals served through the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs will:

  • be appealing and attractive to children;
  • be served in clean and pleasant settings;
  • meet, at a minimum, nutrition requirements established by state and federal law:
  • offer a variety of fruits and vegetables, legumes and whole grains;
  • serve only low-fat (1%) and fat-free milk and nutritionally equivalent non-dairy alternatives (as defined by the USDA);

Schools should:

  • engage students and parents, through taste-tests of new entrees and surveys, in selecting foods offered through the meal programs in order to identify new, healthful and appealing food choices; and,
  • share information about the nutritional content of meals with parents and students. (The information could be made available on menus, a web site, on cafeteria menu boards, placards or other point-of-purchase materials.)

Breakfast

To ensure that all children have breakfast, either at home or at school, in order to meet their nutritional needs and enhance their ability to learn, schools will:

  • operate the breakfast program, to the extent possible;
  • arrange bus schedules and utilize methods to serve breakfasts that encourage participation, including serving breakfast in the classroom, “grab-and-go” breakfasts or breakfast during morning break or recess, to the extent possible;
  • notify parents and students of the availability of the School Breakfast Program, where available; and,
  • encourage parents to provide a healthy breakfast for their children through newsletter articles, take-home materials or other means.

Free and Reduced-Priced Meals

The school district will make every effort to eliminate any social stigma attached to, and prevent the overt identification of, students who are eligible for free and reduced-price meals.  Toward this end, the school district may:

  • utilize electronic identification and payment systems;
  • provide meals at no charge to all children, regardless of income; and,
  • promote the availability of meals to all students.

Meal Times and Scheduling

The school district:

  • will provide students with 10 minutes to eat for breakfast and 20 minutes for lunch;
  • should schedule meal periods at appropriate times, e.g., lunch should be scheduled between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.; should not schedule tutoring, club or organizational meetings or activities during mealtimes, unless students may eat during such activities;
  • will schedule lunch periods to follow recess periods (in elementary schools);
  • will provide students access to hand washing or hand sanitizing before they eat meals or snacks; and,
  • should take reasonable steps to accommodate the tooth-brushing regimens of students with special oral health needs (e.g., orthodontia or high tooth decay risk).

Qualification of Food Service Staff

Qualified nutrition professionals will administer the meal programs.  As part of the school district’s responsibility to operate a food service program, the school district will:

  • provide continuing professional development for all nutrition professionals; and,
  • provide staff development programs that include appropriate certification and/or training programs for child nutrition directors, nutrition managers and cafeteria workers, according to their levels of responsibility.

Sharing of Foods

The school district discourages students from sharing their foods or beverages with one another during meal or snack times, given concerns about allergies and other restrictions on some children’s diets.

Foods Sold Outside the Meal (e.g. vending, a la carte, sales)

All foods and beverages sold individually outside the reimbursable meal programs (including those sold through a la carte [snack] lines, vending machines, student stores or fundraising activities) during the school day, or through programs for students after the school day will meet nutrition standards as required by state or federal law.

Fundraising Activities

There are two types of fundraising – regulated and other.  Regulated fundraisers are those that offer the sale of foods or beverages on school property and that are targeted primarily to PK-12 students by or through other PK-12 students, student groups, school organizations, or through on-campus school stores.  Regulated fundraising activities must comply with the state nutrition guidelines.  All other fundraising activities are encouraged, but not required, to comply with the state nutrition guidelines if the activities involve foods and beverages.

The school district encourages fundraising activities that promote physical activity.  The school district will make available a list of ideas for acceptable fundraising activities.

Snacks

Snacks served during the school day or in after-school care or enrichment programs will make a positive contribution to children’s diets and health, with an emphasis on serving fruits and vegetables as the primary snacks and water as the primary beverage.  Schools will assess if and when to offer snacks based on timing of meals, children’s nutritional needs, children’s ages and other considerations.  The school district will disseminate a list of healthful snack items to teachers, after-school program personnel and parents.

If eligible, schools that provide snacks through after-school programs will pursue receiving reimbursements through the National School Lunch Program.

Rewards

The school district will not use foods or beverages, especially those that do not meet the nutrition standards for foods and beverages sold individually, as rewards for academic performance or good behavior, and will not withhold food or beverages (including food served through meals) as a punishment.

Celebrations

Schools should evaluate their celebrations practices that involve food during the school day.  The school district will disseminate a list of healthy party ideas to parents and teachers.

School-Sponsored Events

Foods and beverages offered or sold at school-sponsored events outside the school day are encouraged to meet the nutrition standards for meals or for foods and beverages sold individually.

Food Safety

All foods made available on campus adhere to food safety and security guidelines.

  • All foods made available on campus comply with the state and local food safety and sanitation regulations. Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) plans and guidelines are implemented to prevent food illness in schools. http://fns.usda.gov/tn/Resources/servingsafe_chapter6.pdf
  • For the safety and security of the food and facility, access to the food service operations are limited to child nutrition staff and authorized personnel.

Summer Meals

Schools in which more than 50 percent of students are eligible for free or reduced-price meals will sponsor the Summer Food Service Program for at least six weeks between the last day of the academic school year and the first day of the following school year, and, preferably, throughout the entire summer vacation.

Plan for Measuring Implementation

Monitoring

The superintendent will ensure compliance with established school district-wide nutrition and physical activity wellness policies.

In each school:

  • the principal will ensure compliance with those policies in the school and will report on the school’s compliance to the superintendent; and,
  • food service staff, at the school or school district level, will ensure compliance with nutrition policies within food service areas and will report on this matter to the superintendent or principal.

In the school district:

  • the school district will report on the most recent USDA School Meals Initiative (SMI) review findings and any resulting changes. If the school district has not received a SMI review from the state agency within the past five years, the school district will request from the state agency that a SMI review be scheduled as soon as possible;
  • the principal will develop a summary report every three years on school district-wide compliance with the school district’s established nutrition and physical activity wellness policies, based on input from schools within the school district; and,
  • the report will be provided to the school board and also distributed to all school wellness committees, parent/teacher organizations, principals and health services personnel in the school district.

Policy Review

To help with the initial development of the school district’s wellness policies, each school in the school district will conduct a baseline assessment of the school’s existing nutrition and physical activity environments and practices.  The results of those school-by-school assessments will be compiled at the school district level to identify and prioritize needs.

Assessments will be repeated every year by the Principals to help review policy compliance, assess progress and determine areas in need of improvement.  As part of that review, the school district will review the nutrition and physical activity policies and practices and the provision of an environment that supports healthy eating and physical activity.  The school district, and individual schools within the school district will, revise the wellness policies and develop work plans to facilitate their implementation.