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Weekly Update: February 24, 2017
 
Dear Board of Education, Staff, and Friends:
 
Happy Friday!  This weekly update is packed with family events, instructional highlights, celebrations and more.  I hope that you enjoy our Grinnell-Newburg School District’s news.   Please share our updates with friends and family, as we are proud of our students, staff and community partners who make our school district the best place to live and learn.  I hope that you have a spectacular weekend!  Stay warm!  Winter has come back to say hello.  
 
Attendance Month is almost over!  
Most of our schools met their attendance goals this week.  Congratulations to our schools for working hard during a month that was filled with flu and other illnesses, attempting a 95% attendance goal.  Our schools have been very creative in planning their achievement celebrations- for example, Davis elementary will be having a school-wide dance party in the halls this afternoon, celebrating their success. Way to go, Davis!   Hooray to all our students who continue to be on time, attend every day and focus on their academic goals.  Keep up the good work.      
 
AEA Director
This week I met with Sam Miller, Director of AEA 267, to discuss how the AEA can continue to support Grinnell-Newburg Schools.   
 
Literacy Group
A Literacy group will be meeting on Monday, March 6, with our Educational Services Representative from the AEA, Heather Gould, to discuss the needs of Writing and Reading Curriculum and resources for the K-8 level.  Teachers serving on this committee have been contacted by their building principals.  
 
BP Listening Tour
I met with Bailey Park staff at our final first round listening tour, in which teachers and staff members had an opportunity to highlight things that are going well, as well as have an opportunity to address areas of improvement and what we should be focusing on for next year.  
 
Facilities Meeting
The Facilities Committee met with Pete Perez of Estes Construction, to discuss next steps as we prepare a facilities plan prior to making recommendations to the Board of Education.  I will be contacting teachers, the city, community members, representatives from Grinnell College, etc., to serve on a district wide committee that will bring forth a recommendation to the Board of Education that will include a plan for each property.  This advisory group will commence after Spring Break.  If you are interested in serving on this committee please feel free to contact me at janet.stutz@grinnell-k12.org.
 
PTO family connected night:
The Connected PTO hosted a free family game night on Thursday, February 23.  Families could take advantage of a free meal, and had the opportunity to rotate from room to room to play different games with their family and friends.  Connected plans several free family events throughout the year for our elementary families to enjoy.  Anyone can attend Connected PTO meetings, held every other month on the first Tuesday of the month.  The next meeting will be Tuesday, March 7 at 7:00 p.m.

 
Meningitis vaccination for 2017/18 students:
Please note that Iowa law now requires all students who will be enrolling in 7th and 12th grades (beginning with the 2017/18 school year), to receive a meningococcal vaccine prior to the first day of school.  Please note: If a 7th or 12th grade student does not have the required vaccination or a certified exemption on file with the school, they will be UNABLE TO START SCHOOL IN THE 2017/18 SCHOOL YEAR. Further information can be found on the district website located under the Parents & Students/Health Information tab.
 
Principal Interviews for Bailey Park:
We have received 22 applications for the the position of Bailey Park Principal.  We have narrowed the field to 8 at this time.   Next week we will screen these 8 candidates and then narrow the field to four or five in which parents and teachers from Bailey Park will have an opportunity to interview the candidates on March 7.  This group will narrow the field to two finalists.   The finalists will appear at a community event in which community members and teachers can ask questions in an open forum. We will keep you posted as to the date of this event.   
 
Board Meeting
The Board of Education met this past Wednesday to approve a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for a new architectural firm.   The RFQ packet will be due to the district March 14, 2017.  Next Wednesday we will have the facilities assessment  linked to the website and will be available at the Drake Library, District Office, High School Library, and Middle School Library.    The Board of Education approved the Estes Agreement. This agreement will enable Estes to assist the district as the liaison between the architect and the contractor in any future projects.  
 
In other Board news, our guidance Counseling group presented to Board of Education to share how they serve our Grinnell-Newburg students.  Our counselors highlighted how they support our students in the areas of academics, career planning, and social and emotional support.  
(Jill Allen shares community level service support for students)
 
We are very grateful to the Booster Club, for donating more than $40,000 to the school district.  Following this presentation, the Board of Education approved new batting cages for softball and baseball.  
 
We are also grateful to Grinnell College for their donation of $4,000 and an additional $1,500 gift card to Pioneer Bookstore for our High School Library, and to Grinnell Mutual for their donation of $500 for our Robotics Club.  We are so privileged to have such wonderful community organizations supporting our schools.
 
Gina Beck received "The Above and Beyond" recognition at this past week’s Board meeting.  
You can nominate a community member, staff member or student who has gone "above and beyond" for the families and students of Grinnell-Newburg School District. aboveandbeyond@grinnell-k12.org
 
FFA Breakfast- FAA Agricultural week.  Students prepared annual breakfast for staff at GHS.  

 
Genetics Debate at GMS:
Students spent just over a week researching and preparing for a debate on the topic of "The U.S should further expand genetic engineering research." On the day of the debate both teams gave an opening speech, have a crossfire of questions, a rebuttal speech, and a summary speech. Judges for last Friday's debates consisted of one 7th Grade Language Arts teacher (either Heather Moore or Jen Culham), their Language Arts class (divided up to judge only specific portions of the debate), and Josh Ellis.


 
GHS TechTigers:
The Tech Tigers 6-week build season is now wrapped up as of Tuesday evening. The Tigers are in the next phase of planning and preparing until the FIRST Robotics Competition Regional which runs from March 22-25 at the McCleod Center on the University of Northern Iowa campus.  You can stay up to date on their progress by following them on Facebook or visiting their website:https://www.facebook.com/FRCTechTigers/posts/873726882770394:0
 
Thanks to GHS teachers David Winkleblack and Chris Molitor for their assistance.  Also thanks to Image First, Pagliai's, Grinnell Mutual, the Governor's STEM Advisory Council, and all of our sponsor partners for the incredible support.
 
Upcoming Iowa Assessments:
Iowa Assessments are just around the corner.  Please check your updates from your building principal about the specifics of testing time.   
 
Mark your calendar - Thursday, March 2nd
GMS will be having a Rock the Test Assembly for their upcoming Iowa Assessments the week of March 7th - March 9th. 
 
ACT Testing:  
GHS will host an ACT Prep Seminar on Mon. & Tues, March 20 & 21 from 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. in the HS Media Center.  Students who plan to take the ACT at GHS on April 8 must be registered by March 3.  Go to www.actstudent.org to register.
 
Girls Basketball Head to State Tournament:
Congratulations to our Girls High School Basketball team for qualifying for the state tournament.  They will play against Cedar Rapids Xavier on Tuesday night at 8:30 p.m. at the Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.  In the event that they win, they will play on Friday morning, March 3,  at 10:00 a.m. I would like to prepare our families that school will not be in session on March 3, 2017 in order to support our team.  Please  understand that this is the first time in the history that the Grinnell-Newburg Girls Basketball qualified for state. We would like to prepare our families ahead of time to prepare for this day off.  We hope that you come out and join us supporting our team!  

 
Upcoming Events
  • February--- Attendance Month Activities at all buildings!
  • February 20-24th:  National FFA Week (HS Activities)
  • February 16 - March 23:  MS/HS Art Show at Grinnell Arts Center
  • February 23rd - Boys Basketball, District Final vs. Norwalk 7:00 PM
  • February 24 - Tiger Paws Showcase 6:00 pm HS Gym
  • March 2, Bailey Park 1st grade circus shows, 9 am, 10:30 am , 1 pm
  • March 2nd, 3rd, 4th:  GHS Fall Play “Caucasian Chalk Circle” 7:30 PM
  • March 6 - Kindergarten registration
Tiger Paws Winter Showcase:
Tonight at 7pm the Tiger Paws will host the 7th annual Dancing with the Paws Winter Showcase!!  We hope you will come out and support our Tiger Paws!
 
Check out the Virtual Backpack!
 
Sincerely,
 
Janet
--
Janet M. Stutz
Superintendent
Grinnell-Newburg Schools