4th Annual LOC Talent Show, May 9 3:00-6:00 pm

Parents,

Mark your calendars! The 4th Annual LOC Talent Show and Dinner is
scheduled for May 9th from 3:00-6:00 pm.

This has always been a highlight for students to share their talent, cheer
on their fellow LOC friends, and above all have fun with each other.

We will once again, serve dinner at the conclusion of the program.
Families are asked to advise no later than May 1st of their attendance. We
will have a sign-up sheet at the check-in/out table starting Monday, April
22nd. You will need to indicate if you will be attending and whether you
will be staying for dinner.

Students have shared with us their talent they will be performing. We have
already started working with them and will be practicing with them each day
going forward. If we need anything from parents (music, instruments, extra
time to practice, etc), we will make the request.

Thank you for allowing us the opportunity to serve your child (ren).

Mrs. Denniston


Lucas On Campus
830 Southlawn Drive
Iowa City, IA 52245
319-530-3969

Schedule Update

LOC Families,

After our meeting with Superintendent Murley last week, we were encouraged, since it appeared the RFP would be paused while an investigation would occur this week. However, the RFP was published and sent to media sources on Monday, while the LOC board was contacted regarding the investigation on Wednesday.

As it stands now, the investigation is set to be concluded by April 26, the same day proposals are due for the RFP.

We will submit a proposal for the RFP, with the timeline as follows:

  • April 10 – questions are due regarding the RFP process to Joan Vanden Berg. If you do submit questions, we would appreciate if responses were forwarded to [email protected].
  • April 12 – responses to written questions will be provided
  • April 26 – proposals are due
  • April 29-May 1 – proposals reviewed and scored by District team (we are uncertain who is involved)
  • May 2 – applicants are notified

As a reminder, if you’d like to be part of the parent involvement for the RFP, please email Dr. Jenkins.

Regarding the investigation, other than the email on Wednesday, we have not heard anything else about the process. On Wednesday, we requested all documentation to date, including copy of the report the termination decision was based on. Today (April 5) we were informed we will receive a copy by April 12.

Other notable dates:

  • April 8, 7:00 PM – PTO Meeting. Superintendent Murley will be in attendance
  • April 23, 6:00 PM – School Board Meeting – LOC is on the agenda

As always, please let us know if you have any questions at [email protected]. If you have concerns about the process, please email [email protected].

LOC Meeting with the Superintendent

Lucas on Campus families,

This past Friday, March 29, 2019, two of the LOC Board members met with Superintendent Murley. It was an encouraging meeting. Here was the outcome:

  • Mr. Murley stated that the decision to terminate the contract of LOC was based on a report done by district employees. It became very evident during the meeting that due process had not been followed, even though the report stated it had. We have requested a copy of this report, and will receive one once they have removed personally identifiable information.
  • Due to the fact it seems not all information was correct in the report and due process was not followed, Assistant Superintendent Amy Kortmeyer will be conducting a new investigation this week of all sources, including LOC.
  • Once the process is done, LOC board members will meet with Mr. Murley again, and may be able to find corrective actions if issues are found.
  • Mr. Murley will be attending the PTO meeting on April 8 at 7:00 PM to discuss this (in addition to other Lucas concerns)
  • This item is also on the School Board Agenda on April 23, 2019 at 6:00 PM
  • Because of the uncertainty at this point, the district April 1st deadline to inform parents about the 2019-2020 school year has been put on hold this week pending the outcome of the investigation.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to [email protected] or, you may continue to voice concerns to [email protected].

LOC Parent Open Session

Parents,

With all the recent communication by the school district and Lucas on Campus, the LOC Board would like to address parents of LOC families. We have reserved the Lucas gym and multipurpose room this Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 5:30 PM – 6:30 PM for the session, and will provide child care for those who need it. At this session, we would like to:

  • Discuss what we know to this point
  • Answer any questions or concerns you may have
  • Present options for LOC, get feedback, and give a timeline of next steps

As always, let us know if you have any questions or concerns before or after the session, [email protected].

Update for LOC Families

Dear Lucas Families,

With the recent emails from the Superintendent and the article in the Press Citizen about Lucas On Campus, there are sure to be questions and concerns regarding the program and the ICCSD’s decision to terminate our contract. Our email to you laid out our response and what we understand to be the “issues” the district is alluding to in its correspondence.

Above all else, please know that you child(ren) are safe and there are no imminent risks to their health and well-being at LOC! The safety and well-being of students who participate in LOC are always our top priorities and will remain so as long as we operate our program.

We would like to encourage you to voice your concerns regarding the handling of this situation to the ICCSD, as well as what your experience has been with LOC. Our board stands behind our director and staff 100% and know that the district and school board should hear parent voices about the actual positive impact it has on the Lucas community.

You may call Superintendent Murley’s office, (319) 688-1000 to speak with him, or we have created an email, [email protected] that forwards to the Superintendent and district representatives, Lucas Principal, Iowa City School Board, LOC Board, and LOC Director.

Lucas on Campus Board Response to District Communication

Dear Superintendent Murley and Board Members of the Iowa City Community School District,

The Board of Lucas on Campus (LOC Board) is extremely disappointed with the letter that it received last evening terminating the interagency agreement between Lucas on Campus (LOC) and the Iowa City Community School District (ICCSD), but more so in the way the entire situation was handled by the ICCSD. It is our fear that a very big decision is being made on inaccurate and one-sided claims.

The letter that went out to the Lucas community last evening referenced “extenuating circumstances” that gave rise to the termination. The LOC Board is unclear as to the nature of those circumstances, because the ICCSD did not meet with it or the director of LOC to discuss or address them. We have reached out on numerous occasions and were met with no response and cancelled meetings.

A meeting was scheduled in January, which was cancelled by members of the district with less than 24 hours notice. They wished to have Jeremy Tabor to attend, who was unavailable that day.  Another meeting was requested, but the only district representative who responded was Amy Minteer. The next communication from the district was the termination of the agreement.

As a result, the decision to terminate the agreement resulted in us being blind-sided. It was apparently made behind closed doors with unfounded accusations and incomplete/inaccurate information. The lack of respect shown by the ICCSD to LOC is unacceptable. To that end, we would like to address some incorrect and inaccurate information Superintendent Murley has provided to Lucas parents through the email correspondence sent to the entire Lucas Elementary community today, March 14, 2019:

  • “There have been issues with the Lucas BASP dating back to 2014.  This is long before Dr. Jenkins joined Lucas as Principal. The issues were brought forward through District level administrative staff and District level support staff who all, in turn, worked diligently with the Lucas  BASP on site director and the BASP board to resolve.”
    • There were issues were resolved in a meeting with Kingsley Botchway, Joe Pavelich (LOC Board), Elise Denniston (LOC Director), Joan Vanden Berg, and possibly also Amy Minteer regarding a student who was experiencing difficulties at LOC. In the end, the issue was resolved to the satisfaction of LOC and the family.
    • To our knowledge, there are no other issues.
  • “Unfortunately, these issues persisted and rose to a level that required involvement by the Director of Equity, Director of Diversity, Director of Learning Supports, and Coordinator for Youth and Family, among others.”
    • The Director of Equity and Director of Diversity have never discussed any issues with any LOC Board members in the past 3 years.
    • The Director of Learning Supports and Coordinator for Youth and Family attended one meeting in December and despite requesting a follow-up meeting, cancelled and did not respond to future meeting requests with the LOC Board.
  • “They took appropriate steps to resolve these issues and, upon the failure to secure adequate response, recommended to me that we consider termination of the agreement.”
    • Joan Vanden Berg, Amy Minteer and Laura Daily attended a meeting with the LOC Board in December to resolve an issue with a family enrolled in LOC. We met to resolve this issue and we shared our policy with them. The meeting ended with everyone agreeing we needed to meet again, which unfortunately did not happen. The Board has been expecting a meeting to resolve the issues related to this family.
  • “I then worked with District legal counsel to determine if the alleged issues were severe, pervasive, and detrimental to the students at families at Lucas ES.  We both concluded that this was indeed the case and, therefore, we both supported the initial recommendation to terminate the agreement.”
    • These are very serious allegations that are unsupported by facts and border on being defamatory. If the alleged issues are so severe, pervasive and detrimental to the students, why are we allowed to continue operating LOC through August?
    • We also find it interesting that your legal counsel determined alleged issues without communicating with anyone from LOC, including the LOC Director, LOC Board and parents/children.
  • “Dr. Jenkins was included in the work with the BASP to try to resolve these issues and she was interviewed as part of the evidence gathering process.  It was not her decision to terminate the contract.”
    • Principal Jenkins has been unresponsive to the LOC director’s multiple requests for meetings to resolve these issues. The LOC Board has sent emails to Principal Jenkins asking for a resolution which she has not provided.

In conclusion, LOC has been a successful non-profit organization in Lucas Elementary for 32 years, working with several partners such as 4-H, UI College of Nursing, Iowa Youth Writing Project, Iowa Children’s Museum and more. We want to be clear to parents why the ICCSD would want to terminate our agreement with no warning, and no policy violations. Unfortunately, we cannot even advise them on that, because we do not understand what has happened, or why. We have asked Joan Vanden Berg for documentation of any accusations against the LOC Director and/or the LOC Board, and we have not been provided with any. In order to better understand what happened and why, the LOC Board respectfully requests all documentation regarding this decision. Further, we respectfully request that you reconsider this decision. We have been an asset to the Lucas community for decades, and there is no reason to prevent that from continuing.