Welcome Back Dodgers - a message from Dr. Joel
On behalf of the Fort Dodge Schools and all of us who work to support our students, I want to welcome you back for the 2021-2022 school year. As I enter my first year as superintendent of our incredible school district, my family and I could not be more excited for the upcoming school year. We appreciate the community's warm welcome through our transition back to Iowa. When you see me out and about in our schools and community, please don't hesitate to stop me to say hello as I look forward to meeting many more of our families and partners.
The Fort Dodge Community School District is an innovative school community that exceeds expectations, builds meaningful relationships and creates the foundation for all learners to excel. It is evident that our teachers and staff go above and beyond to create a fun, positive and challenging learning environment for all our students. We will continue to maximize the time we have with students to provide meaningful learning opportunities and close any gaps of learning that exist due to the challenges from the past year and a half. The health and safety of our students and staff continued to be a top priority as the district created the reopening plan due to the continued risk of COVID-19 and its variants. While everyone wants to return to a sense of normalcy, we ask that you continue to follow our mitigation efforts to keep those around us safe and healthy.
It is an exciting time to be a part of the Fort Dodge School District. We had a busy summer utilizing our ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) dollars to update facilities and improve the learning environments for our students and staff.
• Air conditioning was installed and the ventilation system updated in the Fort Dodge Senior High industrial technology wing. This update provides for a safer and more comfortable place for students to learn. We are currently working on a plan to provide for air conditioning to the cafeteria and main gym.
• The Early Childhood Center was finished and will open to our preschool, TK and kindergarten students this week. The school was designed specifically for our youngest learners and will provide an engaging learning environment for years to come.
• ESSER funds will be used to make renovations to Cooper Elementary beginning this winter. Air conditioning and improved ventilation will be added, new flooring and ceilings throughout the building, and spaces throughout the building will be updated to better accommodate individuals with disabilities. The completion of this project will mean all of our schools will have air conditioning.
Thank you for your continued support as we strive to do the very best for our students, families and community. Our school district is only as strong as our community and our community is only as strong as our school district. Together we can provide equitable outcomes for every student and ensure that every Dodger has the opportunity and support to be successful. Let's make the 2021-2022 school year meaningful, memorable and successful.
Derrick Joel is superintendent of the Fort Dodge Community School District