Decorah Community School District

 Michael D. Haluska, Superintendent
Kurt MJ DeVore, Director of Information, Systems, & Instructional Technology
Cathy Dietzenbach, Director of Business Services
Lois Kuennen, Administrative Assistant
Darlene Woodhouse, Board Secretary/Director of Human Resources
Kristi Roffman, Food Service Administrative Assistant

Central Administration Office
 510 Winnebago Street, Decorah IA 52101
Phone: (563) 382-4208
Fax: (563) 387-0753

Decorah Community School District is committed to creating a student-centered environment where individual needs are addressed, cooperation and teamwork are valued, competent professionals lead, community partnerships flourish, a commitment to excellence prevails, and lifelong learning continues.  It is the goal of the District to provide a guaranteed and viable curriculum for every student in the Decorah Community Schools.



Measles Case in Iowa

A case of measles has been reported in Iowa.  This is the first case in our state since 2011 and is a good reminder to make sure that your family’s vaccines are up to date.  The measles vaccine is highly effective (the patient with measles was not vaccinated) and all school-aged children should have two MMR doses by the time they start kindergarten. 

If a case of measles is identified in our school, public health officials will require all unvaccinated students and staff to remain at home until 21 days after their last possible exposure to measles.  Please make sure your family is protected.  Vaccines save lives.

For more information on measles, please visit: or contact your local health department.

​​Viking Cafe
Are you looking for a new place to have lunch?
Decorah High students who operate the Viking Cafe
invite you to join them for lunch at one of the best new options in Decorah.
We hope you will consider joining us!

Click HERE for more information.

The last week of school will now be June 3-7.  Due to the 1:30 dismissal on Friday, June 7, we will NOT have a late-start on Wednesday, June 5.  School will begin at 8:00 AM on June 5.  Wednesday, May 29 will be the last late-start of the school year.

Illness and Influenza

Recently the number of students absent with illness has been on the rise.  The illnesses are varied, but Influenza has been present and remains a concern

Please remember that the Decorah School Policy when to return to school is as follows:  Student may not return to school until fever free for 24 hours without the use of Tylenol or Ibuprofen.  This also applies to 24 hours free from vomiting and / or diarrhea before returning to school. 

Symptoms of Influenza can range from mild to severe.  The following are symptoms of Influenza:  fever and or chills, headache, body aches, coughing, stuffy or runny nose, sore throat.  If you suspect that you or your child has Influenza, we encourage you to see your healthcare provider and please be sure to follow the directions given by them.

Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our students and staff healthy! If you have any questions please visit with your healthcare provider or access the CDC webpage regarding Influenza at.

Petition for Enrollment to Mabel-Canton School District




New Superintendent Announced

Image result for Mark Lane Urbandale

The Decorah Community School District Board of Education has selected Mark Lane as the district's next superintendent. He was selected after an interview process which involved more than 80 members of the community.

Mark has served as the Associate Superintendent of Human Resources and Operations for the Urbandale School District for the past six years. He has led multiple district initiatives including Professional Leaming Communities, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support, Teacher Leadership and Compensation,  and strategic planning. He also coordinated efforts that lead to the passage of a bond referendum. Mark was instrumental in the Urbandale School District being honored with Gold Award status from the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence in Education.

A native of Jefferson, IA, Mark started his teaching career in Rialto, CA as a 5-6th grade teacher. He moved back to Iowa and taught 6th grade for the West Sioux School District from 1998-2000 and then taught 5th grade for the Coon Rapids-Bayard School District in 2000-2001. He then became an elementary guidance counselor for the Jefferson-Scranton and later Waukee School Districts from 2001-2006. Mark started his administrative career with the West Des Moines School District in 2006 as an Assistant Elementary Principal. He was hired in the Urbandale School District as an Elementary Principal in 2008 and was promoted to Director of Human Resources in 2013. In 2016, his role changed to Associate Superintendent of Human Resources and Operations.

Mark has two Master of Science in Education degrees from Drake University, and completed the Superintendent Licensure Program at the University of Northern Iowa. He recently began coursework in the Drake University Educational Leadership Doctoral Program, and anticipates completion of all course and dissertation requirements by December of 2021.

Mark and his wife Carla have three children. Savannah, age 21, is a junior at the University of Iowa. Will, age 17, is a senior at Waukee High School, and will be attending Iowa State University beginning in August. Calhoun, age 9, is a third grader.

Walking School Bus

Please click here for information for the walking school bus program.

Potential New
Decorah Elementary School

Click Here for the
City Council PowerPoint Presentation
Monday, February 19

The Promise of Iowa
Why take a stand to strengthen investments in Iowa public schools?


Iowa’s future leaders, innovators and citizens are its children.  They are the Promise of Iowa, and their future is created every day by Iowa public schools in each community.  A strong system of community-based public schools is the best investment Iowans can make to strengthen our economy, create  thriving communities and improve the quality of life for every Iowan.

Iowans have an enduring commitment of support for public education, and our public schools today  have many strengths.  But we can’t rest on our laurels.  State policy makers, locally elected school board  members, educators and the business community all made a shared commitment in 2013 landmark legislation to ensure the next gene ration of Iowa students receives a world-class education.

But in this era of competing priorities and limited resources, state funding has sometimes fallen short in meeting the real needs of our students.  Also, the regulations and structures of how schools are funded are hampering efforts to innovate and maximize resources.  The case must be made to the Legislature that Iowa taxpayers and voters support strengthening investments in our public schools.  Iowa school boards believe funding for our schools must be based on  five  guiding principles.

Invest strategically at the state and local levels.  Improving public education takes strategic  investment, at both the state and local levels, targeting funding toward changes that improve results.  State initiatives must  be adequately funded and supported, as unfunded mandates don’t lead to improvement.  Beyond statewide initiatives, local schools need sufficient funding to meet student needs.  Every school district faces its own unique challenges and each community must set priorities and invest in areas that ensure a strong, efficient and effective public school for every Iowa student.

Allow greater local flexibility to maximize resources.  Local schools need greater flexibility from burdensome restrictions, allowing better efficiency in managing budgets.

Support equity and fairness in funding.  Resolve long-standing inequities in school funding.

Ensure sustainability of funding.  Prevent cuts or eliminations of important funding streams.  

Make state funding decisions on time.  State decisions on school funding must be made  within the timelines set by law.

It’s up to us to fulfill our promise for the next generation of Iowans.

Sign and return the Promise of Iowa pledge form to show your support for strengthening investments in Iowa public schools.

Campaign sponsored by:  Iowa Association of School Boards, 6000 Grand Ste. A,
Des Moines, Iowa 50312

Like the campaign on Facebook:
Follow the campaign on Twitter:
 Follow the campaign on Instagram:

 Wednesday One (1) Hour Late Starts

Each Wednesday, beginning Wednesday, August 29, will begin with a one (1) hour late start for Professional Learning for the Decorah Community School District staff. 

SchoolMessenger Opt-In Form

ONLY use this form if you DO NOT have PowerSchool Parent Portal access.

Please follow the link for the Opt-In Form for school notifications from DCSD.

If you are NOT receiving text messages from DCSD, please send a new text message to 67587 with the message of Yes

Early Dismissal and School Calendar

We’ve had the question arise on our early outs and whether or not they affect our required days of attendance. The simple answer is ,“No.” As per a rewrite of the legislation, all late starts or early outs due to weather are treated in the same fashion they always have been; they count as a full day of school. In other words, early releases due to weather have no effect on our school calendar.

Local radio and TV stations for school related closings:
KVIK - 104.7
KDEC/DC - 100.5 FM & 1240 AM

Lunch Accounts

Click here to log in to your Lunch Account.  Please note, there is a 3.49% fee for all on-line payments!  This is a fee the credit card and on-line service providers charge and not Decorah Community School District.  Payments via e-checks are not available at this time.

Online Payments

Visa, MasterCard and Discover cards are now accepted however e-checks are not available at this time.

Please note, there is a 3.49% fee for all
on-line payments!  This is a fee the credit card and on-line service providers charge and not Decorah Community School District.  Payment via 

e-checks are not available at this time, but will also incur the 3.49% fee through the on-line store.

Please be aware you are always welcome to make any payment by check or cash or via your personal banking e-checking program.

The on-line payment through RevTrak is provided as an option and convenience for those who choose to utilize that feature.

Backpack Program - Food

The BackPack Program is a free program that provides kid-friendly, non-perishable food for students most in-need, to eat over weekends and breaks when school meals are not available and there may be little or no food to eat.

Please carefully consider your family’s economic status and determine if this program is something needed by your children. If the BackPack Program is something your family depends upon, please complete the registration form.

If you are able to make do without this assistance, please allow this program to be used by others.  Registration Form in Spanish.

SchoolMessenger Opt-In Form

It is the policy of the Decorah Community School District not to illegally 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 the district’s Equity Coordinator, Central Administration Office, 510 Winnebago Street, (563) 382-4208.
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