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Weekly Update: January 20, 2017

 
Weekly Update: January 20, 2017

Dear Staff, Board of Education, and Friends:

 

Hard Surface Routes have changed:

I want to thank our parents for their flexibility during a difficult weather week.   We are continuing to perfect our emergency voice reach system so that you are not getting multiple messages.   I apologize for the number of calls you may have received.   We will continue to problem solve this issue.   If you have not yet, please review our website regarding changes in the hard surface routes
 
President’s Day will be a Snow Make-Up Day:
Please place on your calendar that school will be in session on February 20, 2017.  We will make up the snow day from this past week.
 
Admin Team Meeting:  
Assessments: The administrative team met this past week to discuss our assessments, and purpose of these assessments.  Our goals is to re-evaluate the purpose of each assessment, and to identify how we are using the assessment for the purpose of instruction.  For the remainder of this school year,  we will continue screening and progress monitoring, as we develop a plan for next year.
 
Bailey Park Interim Principal Candidate: Nancy Beck
I will be asking the Board of Education to approve Nancy Beck as the Bailey Park Interim Principal at next week’s Board Meeting.  We welcome Nancy back to Grinnell as a principal. Nancy was the former principal at Davis and Fairview Elementary Schools.   We will be hosting “Meet the Principal at Bailey Park” next week.  At this time we are looking at potentially a morning option before school with an assembly for students.  Following Board approval on Wednesday, we anticipate that Nancy will officially start on Monday January 30th. Please welcome Nancy back to Grinnell!   
 
Finance Meeting:
This week the Board of Education’s Finance Committee met to discuss the staffing proposal that is in draft form. I have shared the proposed staff recommendations as a package.  The administration shared the draft of the staffing proposal with the GNEA Board.  The target staffing recommendations will create a shift in teaching assignments for a small number of staff, in order to meet the needs of enrollment while enhancing our programming.  We will be exploring our options to add Spanish at the Middle School and increase PE at the Elementary level, utilizing current staff in the district.  We also know that we will have less sections in some areas due to enrollment, that will cause a shift in teaching responsibility at the younger elementary grades.  This option moving forward will enable the district to reduce the overall budget without pink slipping staff due to the looming state funding concerns.  While change is never easy, I am confident that we can make this shift to benefit students, enhance some programming, and work within the parameters of our funding.  We all need to continue to communicate with our legislators that Funding our Schools in Iowa must be a priority, as our students are the future.   
 
Above & Beyond Nominations
We were able to recognize 3 wonderful nominees at our last board meeting for going above and beyond. HyVee was nominated for the organization’s long-standing commitment to our community and school district, nurse Lisa Leris was nominated for her work with our students and parents, and student Addie Fenner was nominated for her work with our preschool students.  I was pleased to recognize each of these worthy recipients for their continued efforts to make our community and our schools a better place.  
 
 
 
   
If you know of a student, staff or community member that you believe should be recognized, please email the Above & Beyond committee at aboveandbeyond@grinnell-k12.org, and providing the individual or organization’s name, and why your nominee deserves to be recognized for going above and beyond.   
 
SAI Mentoring Meeting:
This week, I had the opportunity to meet with all new superintendents in the State of Iowa to focus on best practices in negotiations, living healthy lifestyles and to collaborate, as I learn the new state laws and funding sources.  This was my final mentor session as a new superintendent.  
 
Participated in MS’s On-Target Committee Meeting:
I had an opportunity to observe the On-Target Focus Meeting at the middle school.  The team has fostered positive interventions to increase attendance, behavior, and culture and climate.  The team continues to celebrate success with students.    
 
Pete From Estes/Facilities Meeting:
Today we reviewed the facility audit with Estes construction.  Next week Estes will share their findings with the Board of Education at the January 25 Board Meeting.  This first step, which will be to identify our needs, will be shared with the board and will focus on the current facility conditions.  The next step will be to gather feedback from the Board regarding priorities from these findings.   Once our findings are discussed, we will then collaborate with Estes to identify what is urgent, required or recommended.   This will then be shared with the board.  Finally, once this has been completed, we will bring forth recommendations on a facility plan and options.    
 
I met with Dr. Kington today.  We meet on a monthly basis, to see how we can help each other in advancing education.  I enjoy our conversations in trying to plan for the future of our students, both at the college and in our district.  
 
Band Boosters will be hosting a Potato Bar at 5:00 p.m. tonight.  I hope to see you at this event.
 
Good luck to our both girls and boys basketball teams this evening, and good luck to all our Large Group Speech participants this weekend!
 
Please remember to visit our Virtual Backpack regularly, as we continue to add new things to it.  

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Janet