Education & Schools
Save for College While Cheering on Your Favorite College Team PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Karen Austin   
Friday, 11 November 2011 13:13

Treasurer Fitzgerald Encourages Iowans to Start Saving by Registering for a Chance to Win a $200 College Savings Iowa Account Plus an Autographed Football

DES MOINES, IA (11/08/2011)(readMedia)-- State Treasurer Michael L. Fitzgerald is encouraging Iowans to think about saving for their loved ones future higher educational expenses while cheering on their favorite college team this fall. "Much like the college football season, the time to start saving for college is over before you know it," Fitzgerald said. "That is why we want families to know it's never too early to start planning for their children's future education."

As a way to raise awareness about the importance of saving for higher education, College Savings Iowa is giving away three $200 College Savings Iowa accounts plus an autographed football from the University of Iowa, Iowa State and the University of Northern Iowa's head football coaches. For more information and to enter the giveaway, please visit

College Savings Iowa is an affordable, tax-advantaged option for families who are saving for their children's higher education. It takes just $25 to open a College Savings Iowa account, and anyone – parents, grandparents, friends and relatives – can invest on behalf of a child. Participants who are Iowa taxpayers can deduct contributions up to $2,865 per beneficiary account from their adjusted gross income in 2011 and there no income or residency restrictions.*

Investors do not need to be a state resident and can withdraw their investment federally tax-free to pay for qualified higher education expenses including tuition, books, supplies and certain room and board costs at any eligible college, university, community college or technical training school in the United States or abroad. To learn more about College Savings Iowa, go to or call 1-888-332-7545.

*Adjusted annually for inflation if withdrawals are not qualified, the deductions must be added back to Iowa taxable income. The earnings portion of nonqualified withdrawals may be subject to federal income tax and a 10% federal penalty tax, as well as state and local income taxes. The availability of tax or other benefits may be contingent on meeting other requirements.

Investment returns are not guaranteed and you could lose money by investing in the plan. Participants assume all investment risks as well as the responsibility for any federal and state tax consequences. If you are not an Iowa taxpayer, consider before investing whether your or the designated beneficiary's home state offers any state tax or other benefits that are only available for investments in such state's qualified tuition program.

Explore Educational Options in the QC PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Brittany Marietta   
Tuesday, 08 November 2011 13:38
Quad City residents are fortunate to have the ability to choose from a variety of educational options for their children.  These alternatives give parents the power and freedom to choose a setting that works best for their children.  Are you aware of the options available in your community?  Join us!

What: Rivermont Open House Coffee
When: Saturday, November 12th - 8:30-11:00 a.m.
Where: Rivermont Collegiate - Becherer Hall - 1821 Sunset Drive, Bettendorf, IA 52722

What: Rivermont Open House
When: Thursday, November 17th - 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Where: Rivermont Collegiate - Becherer Hall - 1821 Sunset Drive, Bettendorf, IA 52722

These informal open houses are fantastic opportunities to tour campus and explore Rivermont's philosophy and curriculum.  Rivermont Collegiate is the Quad Cities' only private, independent, nonsectarian college prep school, serving students in preschool through grade 12.

No appointment necessary!  Brittany Marietta, Director of Admission, will be on hand to provide tours and answer questions.

News from Rivermont Collegiate PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Brittany Marietta   
Tuesday, 08 November 2011 13:06

Dear Rivermont Community:

Professional development is an important facet of Rivermont's commitment to lifelong learning.  Our students, however, are not the only learners.  Our faculty, administrators and trustees also take on this commitment.  The Independent Schools Association of the Central States, ISACS provides valuable professional development opportunities to Rivermont in addition to accreditation services.  Each year ISACS sponsors a conference for teachers and administrators where ideas, best practices, opportunities and challenges are shared.  This is especially beneficial since the participating schools are like Rivermont -- independent, private schools.  This year's conference theme is Innovation:  Thinking Outside the Box and features a keynote from Guy Kawasaki, formerly from Apple, co-founder of and founding partner of Garage Technology Ventures and author of nine books, his newest being Enchantment:  The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions, was released in March 2011.  Also presenting is Jane McGonigal, PhD, a world-renowned designer of alternate reality games - or, games that are designed to improve real lives and solve real problems.  Gaming might seem contradictory to the intellectual pursuits of a college prep environment but Dr. McGonagal reminded us that the opposite of play is not work, it is depression.  She then proceeded to share some attitude altering insights.

This year, Becca Ashby, Colleen McCarty, Carrie Skillin and Kathy Topalian have joined me in attending this 2-day conference in Detroit.  In addition to the two keynote speakers mentioned several other featured speakers and leaders in independent school education are presenting sessions relevant to all aspects of school.  We have already learned much and we still have another full day to go.  We all look forward to returning to Rivermont with some fresh ideas and perspectives.

Last week I shared a list of activities on campus and incorrectly listed the matinee of the Upper School play.  That performance will be Saturday, tomorrow, at 1:30 PM with an evening performance at 7:00 PM.

Here is the list once again with the correction.

  • Friday, November 4 - Murder by the Book - US Fall Play set in our own Mansion, 7:00 PM
  • Saturday, November 5 - Murder by the Book - 1:30 PM and 7:00 PM performances
  • Monday, November 7 - Fall Sports Night, 6:30 PM in the Cafeteria
  • November 7-18 - Iowa Assessments for Grades 2-8 (formerly ITBS) - Get a good night's sleep and eat a healthy breakfast!
  • Tuesday, November 8 - First Middle School Boys Basketball game of season (Away)
  • Wednesday, November 9 - Parents Council Meeting, 8:30 AM in the Cafeteria
  • Wednesday, November 9 - FAFSA Workshop for Senior parents and open to the public, 7:00 PM
  • Thursday, November 10 - Student Hunger Drive Loading Day and Finale Rally at RiverBend FoodBank
  • Friday, November 11 - Veterans Day Assembly
  • Saturday, November 12 - BEST and SSAT exams given at Rivermont
  • Wednesday, November 16 - QC Arts, Jon Faddis Assembly
  • Thursday, November 17 - Public Open House, 6:00-8:00 PM - Invite your friends & colleagues
  • Monday, November 21 - Rivermont performance at Festival of Trees, 2:00-4:00 PM RiverCenter.  Continue the fun with Rivermont Family Dinner Night at Chick-fil-A on 53rd Street/Elmore in Davenport
  • Tuesday, November 22 - First Home game for Middle School Boys Basketball, 4:30 PM vs. Morning Star
  • Tuesday, November 22 - 6:00 PM Alumni Volleyball & 7:00 PM Basketball Game Night
  • Wednesday, November 23 - Grandparents & Special Friends Day, Assembly at 10:30 AM
  • Wednesday, November 30 - First Varsity Boys Basketball Game of Season vs. Scattergood Friends, 6:30 PM (Home)
  • Thursday, December 8 - Winter Concert, 7:00 PM in the Auditorium
  • Saturday, December 10 - Holiday Mansion Open House, 4:00-7:00 PM
  • Wednesday, December 14 - Early School Winter Program, 10:45 AM in the Auditorium
  • December 14-16 - Upper School Semester Exam Days
  • Thursday, December 15 - Public Open House, 6:00-8:00 PM - Invite your friends & colleagues
  • Friday, December 16 - December Break begin at 3:30 PM Dismissal
  • See you back on Monday, January 2, 2012!

No spectators here, only participants!

Jordan Catholic School students share their treats. PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Janine Parr   
Tuesday, 08 November 2011 08:54

Each of us strives to live a saintly life by doing ordinary things in and extraordinarily way. 

The children of Jordan Catholic School today show how little things can make a difference to those who have little or nothing. 

When the gifts are brought forwad; four baskets will be presented to Father, filled with candy that our students have brought in from Halloween.  This will be sent to the food pantry to share with those who are in need.

Lt. Governor Simon to gather ideas on education reform from Quad Cities residents PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Kathryn Phillips   
Tuesday, 08 November 2011 08:49

Will host public hearing, visit new riverfront campus

MOLINE – November 2, 2011. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon, who serves as Governor Quinn’s point person on education reform, will host a Classrooms First Commission public hearing at Black Hawk College this afternoon before taking a tour of a new Western Illinois University-Quad Cities Riverfront campus.

The public hearing, which begins at 11:30 a.m., will provide parents, taxpayers and educators the opportunity to give testimony on how K-12 school districts can improve learning and efficiency. This is the third of four such hearings scheduled this fall by the Classrooms First Commission, a statewide group tasked with finding ways to improve learning and efficiency at the nearly 870 schools districts in Illinois.

“These hearings are all about the commission keeping an open mind and gathering ideas on efficiencies that promote what is best for students,” Simon said. “There is no cookie cutter approach to improving student learning and district efficiency, which is why it is so crucial to get input from as many citizens as possible from across Illinois.”

“The top priority of this commission is to ensure that we are maximizing our resources so that our children have the best possible educational opportunities,” added State Rep. Linda Chapa LaVia (D-Aurora), the House Democrat on the commission. “I look forward to hearing the testimony as we work together to continue to improve our school system here in Illinois and I commend Lt. Governor Simon on her outstanding leadership of this commission.”

Among those scheduled to testify will be the superintendent of Leepertown Community Consolidated School District 175, Amber Harper, who will discuss the challenges her school district has faced in efforts to consolidate.  The district, which is on the state’s financial watch list, will close next school year according to Harper.

Leepertown, in the Bureau County region, has been unable to consolidate with nearby school districts because other schools are overcrowded, lack the funding necessary to absorb additional students and staff, or because legislation would be required for certain proposals such as two non-contiguous districts consolidating.

Because of the financial difficulties Leepertown faces, teachers have been forced to teach several grade levels in the same classroom; but despite these challenges, 85 percent of students met or exceeded state standards on the 2011 ISAT, above the 82 percent statewide average.

“Throughout the nine years I've been at Leepertown, student learning and social emotional support have been the primary focus of the staff, community and board,” Harper said. “Despite the loss of revenue and job positions over the years, and having one of the lowest salary schedules in the state, we have remained focused on our primary reason for being here.”

Also scheduled to testify is Dr. Norm Durflinger, Director of the Center for the Study of Education Policy at Illinois State University, who will discuss aspects of school district consolidation and the state’s existing incentives for consolidation. The superintendent of Bradford Community Unit School District 1 in the Stark County region, Dr. Ellin Lotspeich, will tell commission members about the effects the deactivation of Bradford High School in 2001 have had on the community and other challenges rural schools face.

After the hearing, Simon will visit the site of the future WIU-Quad Cities Riverfront campus, which is located along the Mississippi River in Moline. Phase I, the renovation of a 60,000-square-foot building that once housed the John Deere Tech Center, is nearly complete. Building One on the Riverfront campus will serve as home to College of Business and Technology programs, which includes the new engineering program.

The engineering program offers a plus-two degree program allowing students to complete their junior and senior years at WIU, while completing their freshman and sophomore years at the WIU campus in Macomb or community colleges in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri.

“It is this type of innovative programming we must build upon in Illinois to ensure all of our citizens are receiving a high-quality affordable education,” said Simon, who is working to increase the proportion of working-age adults with a college degree or certificate to 60 percent from 41 percent by 2025.

The three-phase project at WIU will host an initial enrollment of 3,000 students, support 100 jobs, and deliver an annual economic impact of $50 million. The project was partially funded using $57.8 million from the Illinois Jobs Now! capital construction program signed into law by Governor Quinn in 2009.

"It is exciting to watch the community's dream of the Western Illinois University-Quad Cities Riverfront Campus become a reality,” said WIU President Jack Thomas. “We take great pride in serving as the public university choice for the Quad Cities and beyond and we look forward to working with Lt. Governor Simon to continue improving higher education in Illinois.”

Vice President for Quad Cities, Planning and Technology Joseph Rives added, "Western will continue its diligence in working with community leaders and organizations to continue the pursuit of Phases II and III of the Riverfront Campus. We look forward to celebrating the start of classes at our new facility in January 2012."

The Classrooms First Commission members represent various stakeholder groups including teachers, school boards, principals, superintendents, parents and urban, suburban and rural areas. In its first phase of study the commission will collect public input and review local and national research on educational efficiency and student performance.

Tomorrow a fourth public hearing is scheduled in Des Plaines. To view the hearing schedule, watch streaming live video of the hearings, or to fill out an online survey regarding district efficiency, visit


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