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Weekly Update: March 10, 2017

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Weekly Update, March 10, 2017
 
Dear Board of Education, Staff and Friends:
 
Did you know that we will be springing forward this weekend?  Don’t forget to turn your clocks ahead as Daylight Savings will begin this Sunday at 2:00 am.   This week’s update includes information from our last board meeting, Bailey Park’s Principal candidate event, professional development activities and much more.   Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions regarding this week’s information.   
 
Meet the Bailey Park Principal “Candidate Night”
The Grinnell-Newburg School District had 22 candidates apply for the Bailey Park Principal’s position.  After narrowing the field to eight, then to three, we decided to move one candidate forward to meet parents and the remaining staff on this Monday evening at 5:30.  Jennifer Donels is the finalist who will be recommended to the Board of Education on March 22, 2017.  Jennifer will bring 7 years of experience as an elementary principal.  She emerged as the final candidate due to her expertise in the area of literacy development, teacher/leadership collaborative skills, connections with families, and her commitment to students.  She is looking forward to being a part of the Grinnell-Newburg community.   Please join me on Mondayevening, March 13, 2017, for the opportunity to meet Jennifer Donels.  This informal meet and greet is opened to the community.   
 
Architects RFQ
Please know that some Architectural firms who are completing the “request for qualifications” packet have requested to tour the buildings.  All firms were required to schedule an appointment if they want to tour the facility.   
 
At-Risk Positions
Each year, the Grinnell-Newburg School District completes a grant application that is submitted to the State of Iowa. This grant provides funding for staffing positions to meet the needs of our “at-risk” students.  This year we have added three new positions to the grant, based upon need.   Our At-Risk application has been approved by the state, and this link describes these three New Positions that will be paid for out of the At-Risk Grant.  
 
Tech/Buildings & Grounds Support
I met with the GNEA to discuss a recommendation that I will be making at the next Board of Education meeting to hire a support position for the technology department.  This needed position would also provide some support to our buildings and grounds department.  Specifically, we discussed how this position would provide additional savings from costs currently spent on outside vendors, etc., and that this hire would not affect the current recommended staffing plan that was presented this past winter.  
 
Professional Development Day Monday, March 6 Highlights
  • Vanguard group met and as part of the discussions, their final project will be to create an i-Tunes course and an iBook for potential publication.   I look forward to seeing their final projects.
  • Tech Integration with Apple Karen continues with staff in each content area.
  • Literacy Planning with a Language Arts Team: Discussions were held regarding best practices for the delivery of writing and reading in grades K-8.  We will be meeting again on April 10 to continue our discussions regarding our beliefs about teaching, reading and writing, while implementing best practices.  These discussions will lead us to the selection of aligned resources that will support our curriculum frameworks.  
 
Admin Meeting
In our Admin Meeting we began to make plans for next year’s professional development, and we discussed ways to better streamline our communication processes.  I also gave the team an overview of the planning meeting I had with the Language Arts Team that was made up of teacher representatives from each building, as we looked at how we can change or improve the Language Arts curriculum.  
 
Americorps Group
I met with Americorps Group leaders this week to find a way to incorporate Bailey Park students in the pilot program they are doing, which is hosted at Fairview.  We were able to find a resolution in which Bailey Park students will be transported to Fairview to participate.  The program currently serves a small group of Fairview students, and will now be expanding to serve a small group of Bailey Park students as well, after school.  
 
Board Meeting
At this week’s meeting of the Board of Education we were able to recognize some wonderful contributors to our community.  
The Poweshiek County Dental Coalition recognized Family Dentistry and Dental Associates for their continued work to provide free dental clinics every year to our students.  
 
Teacher Amy Skouson was recognized by the Grinnell Big Brothers Big Sisters Program for amulti-age cooking event she organized, which provided kids and their mentors with the opportunity to share a new experience, work on collaboration and other social skills, and a boost in self esteem that comes with a job well done.  
 
Student Cecelia Bagnoli was recognized for her role a mentor to 8th grader Ashlee Staerk.
 
Also at the Board meeting, we heard a presentation on the budget from Mr. Gary Sinclair.  We will host a budget hearing on April 12, 2017.  The board will approve the budget that same evening following the hearing.  I also shared with the Board the Career Technical Education plan that is required under new legislation.   We also began a discussion on proposed summer projects.
 
Presentation of Proposed Budget: recommend to approve publication and place proposed budget on public display prior to the hearing (March 27, 2017 to April 12, 2017)  
 
Career Technical Education: This presentation highlights the regional planning group and CTE requirements under the new legislation.  
 
School Highlight
As a part of the school wide positive behavior supports program at the elementary level, students can turn in 100 Tiger Tokens to have a special lunch with Mrs. Seney, sponsored by Michael's Italian Kitchen.
 
Student Lunch Balances Helpful Hint:
Did you know you can customize your notifications regarding your lunch balance in Infinite Campus?  To do so, simply log-on to the Portal.  Click on ‘Notification Settings’ on the left hand side.  Then click the “Low Lunch Balance” checkbox, and using the drop-down you can select the dollar amount you would like to set for your lunch account notifications.
 
The Grinnell-Newburg Schools have a wealth of information found on each of their individual facebook pages!   We invite you to follow your child’s school on Facebook.  Here are the links for easy access!
As always, don’t forget to check the virtual backpack for spring activities for your student.  Students who are 17 years of age or older who are in need of summer work can find a wonderful opportunity as an Americorp staff member.   Take a look and found out how you can develop your leadership skills this summer.   
I hope that our middle school students have a wonderful time at the dance this evening!  
I am looking forward to all of the upcoming concerts next week!  I hope you are able to catch one of the following upcoming events.   
 
Upcoming Events:
  • March 10  7th/8th grade Dance 7:00-9:00 p.m. at GMS Cafeteria
  • March 14   HS Band Concert 7:30
  • March 15  Career and College Planning Night, Financial Aid Night
  • March 16   5-8th Band Concert
  • March 17   Swing into Spring
  • April 1 - Preschool Fair
  • April 1 - 12 - Preschool Registration for Fairview
  • April 13 - Preschool Drawing
  • April 7, Kindergarten round up
 
To view the District Calendar for all our upcoming events, click here.  
Have a wonderful weekend!
 
Sincerely,
 
Janet
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Janet M. Stutz
Superintendent
Grinnell-Newburg Schools