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Weekly Update: September 16, 2016

 
Weekly Update: September 16, 2016
 
Good afternoon all,
 
This week has been filled with many activities for our students, principals and staff.
I hope that you enjoy the highlights of this week and please feel free to give me a call if you have any questions.
 
Board Update:
At the Grinnell-Newburg School Board meeting held this past Wednesday, we welcomed Stephen Sieck to the Board of Education.   Welcome Stephen! We look forward to you joining our team.  The Board also approved Barbara Brown to remain as the Board President, and Helen Redmond will serve as the Vice President.   The Board of Education selected their committees and delegates for the year.   At the next meeting they will be approving a board secretary, approve their official publication, and assign a board representative to the Chamber and the GNEE. 
 
Board meetings will remain typically on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month.  A formal calendar with the dates will be provided next week and posted on our website.
 
Professional Development Day
This past Monday staff participated in a professional development that focused on technology integration and essential understandings.   Teachers attended various sessions throughout the day that included: Google classroom, using various applications and tools in the classroom, blogging as a communication tool for parents, blooming into literacy using Book Creator, writing essential questions to help guide instruction and much more.  It was a productive learning day for our staff.  
 
Student Centered Coaching:
Principals and instructional coaches participated in several sessions on Student Centered Coaching this past week.  This model, by Diane Sweeney, will assist our coaches and principals to collaborate together to create an environment that will directly impact student learning.   
 
Round Table Events Next week:
The SIAC committee met together with representatives from our administrative team to develop the program for next week.   On Monday and Thursday of next week from 5:30-7:30 pm, we will welcome parents, teachers and community members to look at the district plan and goals.  We are looking for feedback on the plan, we will be sharing topics for further events that will be forthcoming, and we will share vehicles that we will use to enhance communication.  This event has been posted on our website, sent out via email to all staff, posted in our papers, and I shared the information on KGRN this past week.  
 
Grinnell College Students: 
This week I had an opportunity to speak to the Grinnell College students who are enrolled in the education department and who are pursuing teaching degrees, or higher education degrees.   It is my hope that I motivated them to become engaged in fostering a global economy and to become a part of the educational community.  
 
Course work:
I completed the iEvaluate coursework this week!  Whew!  I want to thank Sarah Seney and Allison Pease for assisting me as I learned the Iowa evaluation system.  It was a lot of work to complete this requirement and I could not have done it without their help.   
 
Senior Chamber:
This past week, I visited with the senior chamber group to discuss the goals of the district and to engage them in our plans.   I welcomed their feedback and I learned that they would like more information about what is going on in the district.  Therefore, I will be sharing my weekly updates with this group, and I encouraged them to volunteer and visit our schools during our PD days.
    
Stakeholder Group Mtg: U of Iowa Remote Education Center in Grinnell:                
I attended this stakeholder group meeting at Grinnell College this week and learned how members of our community, employees and others will have an opportunity to take hybrid courses to complete business degrees close to home.   More information will be coming out soon regarding this wonderful opportunity.
 
AmeriCorps Grant Year Three:                                                                                         
Believe it or not it is time to start working on the next grant opportunity for our summer learning program.  We brainstormed other options to serve our students as well.   I will be assisting in the editing and writing of the grant by adding up to date data and information that is required.   The initial application is due October 6, the final application is due in December. 
 
Mentor Day in Des Moines:                                                                                                       
The SAI mentor day training was very helpful for me.   I learn more each time I have an chance to visit with area superintendents and members of our SAI leadership team.  These days, although they take me out of the district, certainly are valuable for me to pull all that I need to know about Iowa together.  
 
Activities: 
Spending time watching volleyball has always been a favorite activity of mine.   I watched our varsity team this week.   I will also be working the concession stand this evening at the football game.  I hope you stop by to say hello if you are at the game.   I have been visiting classrooms and walking through our schools observing.   My favorite time of the day is visiting schools and watching students learn. 
 
Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions.  
 
Sincerely,
 
Janet