Superintendent's Weekly Update
Weekly Update: Friday, March 27
Dear Grinnell-Newburg Board of Education, Staff, Families and Friends:
Happy Friday! I hope that this weekly update finds you well! I want to thank you for your patience as we navigated learning opportunities, food delivery, iPad deliveries and communication over the last few weeks. Each day we continue to problem solve and work through the unknown. These weekly updates will resume as scheduled on Fridays. On Mondays, I will be sending information out to staff with updates as we continue to navigate during this time of school closure. In the event of an important update, please know that I will send a voice reach to all of our families.
Here are few updates:
Thank you to all who contacted the USDA to help us with lifting the requirement to have students in the vehicle for food pick up service. Now, the State of Iowa needs to implement and provide us with the official notification. It is my hope that we are in the “all clear” by Monday for our next pick up. I will send a voice reach to you if we get the official go ahead for parents to pick up without students. If you do not hear a voice reach from me, then we will need to have students in vehicles for pick up. Let’s hope we are notified soon.
I want to give kudos to our Cooks and Custodians for their assistance with our successful food delivery on Wednesday. We were able to provide 1800 meals for students for the next three days. We dropped off roughly 54 meals to families as well.
Thank you to our principals and staff for meeting virtually to plan and prepare for our students continued learning opportunities. Please know that any software login for your students should be sent to you through google classroom, email, or Infinite Campus. We can not post passwords or login information on social media.
Thank you Tech Team, Principals, and staff for preparing iPad deliveries through pick up or drop off! Amazing effort!
Shout out to Farren Johnson for your art lessons each day! This has been quite the popular activity for many students who are here in Grinnell as well as outside of our school district!
Message from our Tech Director Mindy Kostow: Helpful tips while using your device at home.
On mobile devices, like the student iPad, only use the browser Safari to open the Parent Resource Guide and access any links. On iPads, Chrome is a mobile browser so it doesn't always open the links and if it does open them the formatting may be distorted. Also, it will ask you every time you open a link to get the Google Apps, it is recommended not to use the Google Apps for Docs, Sheets, Slides, Drive, etc. as they do not have the full functionality and cause more issues. In fact, if the Google apps are installed on a mobile device the links will only open in the apps, you don't get to choose what program to open them. The apps would have to be deleted from the mobile device in order for the links to open in the Safari browser. Students can not delete apps, they need to send an email to tech and I can take care of it.
Google had a major outage yesterday impacting almost all of their services (docs, sheets, slides, classroom, gmail, drive, calendar, etc). Although Google reports it is all back up and running, there are still some issues being reported so please be patient.
If student devices are still having issues I would encourage them to restart their device.
I hope this helps to clarify the workflow on iPads and smartphones. GMS students are pretty proficient at step 1 of this workflow already since they have had their iPads since January, but parents may still need some help. At the elementary level this workflow is newer and can be confusing and frustrating to families.
Device Support: (repairs, apps not installing from Self Service, passcode not working, etc)
Students who need device support can email firstname.lastname@example.org (most older students already use this)
Parents who need support please email email@example.com (this email was on the info we sent home with K-4 iPads)
Press Release: From Poweshiek Emergency Management
The Grinnell-Newburg School District has closed all playgrounds for student use during this time as the virus may live on surfaces for a period of time. This also includes outdoor facilities such as athletic fields or track. Open green space may be used as long as there are less than 10 in a group. We ask that you remain off of all ball fields and track. Thank you for your cooperation.
Scouts BSA Troop 313 Assists our Team:
Thank you to Scouts BSA Troop 313 for the use of a canopy for some weather coverage during our sidewalk iPad distribution this week to K-4 students.
We appreciate the generosity.
Art Class Online with Mrs. Johnson
I will continue to update our families on a weekly basis, unless there is a need for immediate notification. I know that this is a time of uncertainty for many in our community. We are here to support you to help ease some of the stress related to our current reality. Please feel free to contact me if you are in need of information or assistance. Have a wonderful weekend.