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Weekly Update, February 10, 2017
 
Dear Grinnell-Newburg Board of Education, Staff and Friends:
 
Happy Friday!   The following information was emailed to staff this afternoon regarding steps moving forward as we plan for next school year.  (see note below)
 
I hope that you continue to enjoy our weekly update posts.   Please know that I welcome your feedback!  If you think we are missing key information, or would like to know more about what is going on in the school district, please do not hesitate to ask me!   Feel free to email me at janet.stutz@grinnell-k12.org!  Have a wonderful weekend!
 
Dear Staff:
The Board of Education has approved the staffing package at their January meeting. Following this staffing approval, the administration posted all internal positions created by the staffing plan   The internal postings just closed this past Thursday.   Here are the steps that we will follow moving forward:
February 7, 2017:
1.     Administrative team reviewed all applications for open positions.
2.     Internal voluntary transfers will have an opportunity to meet with the principal for an "interview" in order for the voluntary candidate and the principal/ and or team/ to get to know more about the school/candidate to ensure a good fit. This is the standard procedure for all voluntary internal transfers.
3.     Administration is setting up meetings with those staff members who will be shared with other buildings.   This has occurred for PE and Spanish.  Music will be scheduled soon.
(This is a priority in order to ensure the master scheduling options are in place).  
We are currently setting up a meeting with Bailey Park staff with the administration to discuss first grade options.   Timeline for this will be the week of February 20th.
4.     All teachers who will be shared between buildings, moved to another grade level voluntarily, or involuntarily placed to another position, will be officially notified no later than March 1, 2017.
5.     Principals are reviewing outside applications for any position that has not been filled either voluntarily or involuntarily  (High school science, and one other opening at Davis).
Any further questions should be directed to Dr. Janet Stutz or your building principal.
 
PD Day February 6 Highlights:
Teachers who are members of the Vanguard group met to continue their training to integrate lessons using technology in the classroom.  Our Paraprofessionals participated in crisis prevention and intervention training (CPI) that was lead by our very own, newly certified in-district trainers, Sarah Seney and Heidi Durbin.  We are fortunate to have in-district trainers to provide this training, as we no longer have to send staff outside of the district to receive this training.  CPI intervention strategies are used to de-escalate those students who may be in crisis.  
 
Admin Meeting:
In this week's admin team meeting we continued to work through our staffing needs to begin planning and finalizing placements for the 2017-18 school year.  The admin team is working together admirably to find solutions that are in the best interest of our students and staff, as well as meeting budget targets.  Other topics for this week's meeting included:  Opening day events for 2017-18, next year PD focus and initial planning, literacy resources for writing, and planning for mental health first aid.   We will be reaching out to staff to collaborate together in order to develop these plans further.
 
Lunch in The Independent Learning Center:
I had an opportunity to celebrate with many students during the lunch hour in the ILC room as they celebrated earning a total of 63 credits in just over half the year.  Last year the total amount of credits earned was around 63.  Congratulations to our students!
 
The SWITCH program at Davis
“School Wellness Integration Targeting Child Health” or SWITCH, encourages students to “Switch what they Do, View, and Chew!”  4th grade classes will be participating in a 12 week online program with weekly lessons and goals to meet involving activity, eating well, and having less screen time.  
 
Mix It Up Day at the Middle School:
Students did a fun activity over the lunch hour on Tuesday, mixing up their typical lunch time seating arrangements.  Students were randomly selected to sit in a different seat for lunch.  They were given a list of questions to discuss, each simple and fun.  Students were captivated in conversation with others that enabled them to open up about their own interests and imaginations.  The activity allowed our students to find commonality with others and encouraged new friendships.  I am extremely proud of the way the Middle School is thinking outside the box to foster, inspire, and challenge our students to meet new friends.   Way to go, Middle School!
 

 
Art Club:
I was able to visit with the GHS Art Club this week to explore artistic options to change the logo and graphic on the current GNEE posters.   As you may be aware the GNEE has changed their name to the Grinnell-Newburg School Foundation and have a different logo and website address, GrinnellSF.org. In collaboration with the Grinnell-Newburg Foundation, we thought it would be wonderful for students to participate in this project.   
 
Davis Math Club:
I was also able to visit the She Counts Math Club at Davis Elementary.  The Math Club is open to 3rd and 4th grade girls, and was organized in an effort to promote a love of math at a young age that will hopefully encourage more women to enter the STEM field.  I was very pleased to see so many of our students exploring mathematics.  I am also very proud of our high school students who are volunteering their time to work with our younger students to develop their math skills.  
 
Apple Karen:
I had an opportunity to visit with our representative and liaison from Apple, “Apple Karen” as we affectionately call her, about our current progress with the Vanguard group and professional development training with our staff.   We continue to pursue an integrated approach to technology and instruction.   We will continue to work with Apple Karen for the remainder of this year and propose continued professional develop to establish the next Vanguard group.  It is our hope that we will also train students next year.  Our priority is to build capacity across the district so that teachers learn new strategies to engage students through collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking.  
 
Above and Beyond Recognitions
I was proud to recognize two members of our community at our last board meeting for their service to our community.  Joey Pagliai, for his support and promotion in the area of reading, and Elijah Willig, for the numerous groups and initiatives he has been involved with to bring people together in the community.  They have both done a great service, and made Grinnell a better place.  You can nominate a community member, staff member or student at aboveandbeyond@grinnell-k12.org
 
 
 
Board Meeting February 22 Change in start time 6:30 PM:
Our next Board meeting will be held on February 22, 2017.  The start time will be at 6:30 p.m., as there will be a facilities committee meeting beginning at 5:00 p.m. in the district office to review facility priorities.  At the regular meeting, I will be asking the Board of Education to approve the RFQ for a new architect.  Another item will be to approve a zero cost agreement with Estes construction. Please contact me if you have questions regarding either of these items.  
 
Virtual Backpack:   
Can you believe that Spring is just around the corner?   Find the little league registration packet on our virtual backpack!   Here are a few other activities that are coming up!  Check out the virtual backpack items:
  • MathCounts Competition Series
  • Little League Registration Information
  • Junior Tiger Paws Dance Clinic
  • Send a Little Love to a Teacher!
  • Grinnell Rec Dept. Gymnastics Spring Schedule
  • Pie Judging Contest: Slices for SEG
  • February Activities at the Library
  • After School Code Club
  • Parenting a High Needs Child
  • After Prom,  Description,  Flavors
  • Arts Center Spring Catalog
See the entire list on our backpack!  
 
Upcoming Events:
  • February 11 - Middle School Solo Ensemble
  • February 11 - Speech Showcase- HS Auditorium
  • February 14 - Valentine’s Party at all Elementary buildings
  • February 16-March 23 - MS/HS Art Show at Grinnell Arts Center
  • February 17 - Kindergarten to the Civic Center
  • February 20 - Snow Make-Up Day
  • February 23 - Family Game Night
  • March 6 - Kindergarten Registration
  • April 7 - Kindergarten Round Up
 
I hope you all come out for senior night tonight, as we cheer on all our fine basketball players.  Good luck to all our players!
 
Sincerely,
 
Janet
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Janet M. Stutz
Superintendent
Grinnell-Newburg Schools