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Weekly Update: March 17, 2017

 
Weekly Update: March 17, 2017
 
Dear Board of Education, Family and Friends:
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!   This past week has been filled with wonderful performances, activities and events.   I want to thank our community of parents, teachers and friends who have supported our students this past week.   A special thank you to all who attended the Bailey Park “Meet the Candidate” event.   There has been a lot going on these past few weeks and I hope that students will enjoy a wonderful weekend.  It looks like warmer weather forSunday!  I hope you have a chance to get outside and enjoy it!
 
Bailey Park Principal to be recommended:
I look forward to recommending Jennifer Donels as the next Bailey Park principal. Jennifer comes to us from Davis County School District.  She has had 7 years as a building principal and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience.  This past Monday, Jennifer met with parents, teachers and even a few students to answer questions during an informal meet and greet held at Bailey Park.   


 
Intellectual disability level 3 classroom for K-4 students
After reviewing our needs at the elementary level, we realize we have a definite need for an intellectual disability level 3 classroom for students K-4.   Currently we have seven students whose programming needs would fit into this classroom.
This program will be housed at Fairview Elementary, ensuring collaboration with Davis Elementary on students that would be in third or fourth grade.   
 
Admin Meeting
This week the administrative team reviewed summer maintenance work.  We will collaborate with Grinnell Regional Medical Center to coordinate our cleaning schedule at Davis as the summer programs will be hosted there.  
The Apple Distinguished Application process was discussed this week as we plan to complete the application, if invited, over the summer months.   We will also be encouraging staff to take on the challenge to be an “Apple Teacher”.  This eight module lesson activity can be done at your own pace and will develop your computer Apple skills.  Mr. Gruman challenged me to take part in completing the Apple Teacher process.  I am now an Apple Teacher!   I challenge you to become one too.  It is free and all you need is an Apple ID.  See Mr. Gruman or me to help you sign in and learn more.     
Every two years the district is required to complete the Office of Civil Rights Data Form.  This large-scale process will be a collaborative effort over the next month. This report includes all teaching certification information, staff attendance, student enrollment, program enrollment, demographic information, financial resources, and discipline to name a few categories.  This extensive report will take a considerable amount of time to complete.  I want to thank our building administrators and support staff for working through this comprehensive report.   
 
Upcoming Board Agenda:
The Board of Education will hear a presentation on the FY16 Audit Report by Hunt & Associates, P.C.  The Board agenda also lists several new hires.  Thanks to the Board for approving the staffing earlier this year. Due to early staffing recommendations, the Grinnell-Newburg administration had the opportunity to post positions early enough to attract strong candidates.  We have identified many talented individuals to fill our open positions.   On the board agenda you will find a table that explains the position details and replacements.
 
I will be asking the Board of Education to approve the posting of a Systems Technician position.  This position is a new hire.  This employee will assist in networking and managing more than 2,500 computer devices.  They will also assist the Building and Grounds department with technology related tasks such as pulling fiber, projector replacements, PA systems, phone systems, and other software management systems related to our HVAC.   
 
Architect RFQ:
We have narrowed the field to 4!   Over the next few weeks the selected firms will begin to prepare presentations for an interview with the Board of Education in mid April.   I will keep you posted on our progress.  
 
Grinnell College Collaboration:
Monthly, Dr. Kington and I collaborate and discuss ways in which we can continue to support each other's organization.   This week a few of the highlights we discussed centered on the benefits of my Grinnell College intern.  Sadie Tristam has been serving as my intern since January.  Her project focus is to assist us to find the gaps in learning, services, and support for our students who have been identified as SES. We also discussed fall opportunities for staff in each organization to collaborate and learn more about globalization.   
 
New App:
We now have an app for our website, which will make mobile browsing much easier. The app is now live in both stores.
 
Award Received:
Thank you to those who nominated me this past week at the Grinnell Chamber of Commerce Annual Celebration for the “One to Watch” award.   It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the Grinnell-Newburg Community.  I am so thankful for having this wonderful opportunity to serve as the district’s superintendent.     
 
Music Concerts:
This week many of our students took the stage to perform for parents and guests. The high school concert this past Tuesday honored the 2017 seniors.  Mr. Dressler shared with the audience how students collaborated with composer, Ola Gjeilo, to learn his piece, “Meridian”.
Skype with composer
Jazz Band
 Seniors Honored
Seniors were recognized during the performance.
 
Volunteers Needed:   
Volunteers are needed as GHS is hosting the IHSMA Solo/Ensemble festival on March 25thfrom 7:45-12:00 PM and/or 12:30-5:00 PM.  Please email levi.dressler@grinnell-k12.org or roger.henderson@grinnell-k12.org to sign up to volunteer.   
 
GMS Concert Night:
Middle school students in grades 5-8 took the stage to perform for a full auditorium this pastThursday.   It was incredible to listen to talent of our young performers who have grown since this past fall.   
GMS Students
GMS Students
 
School Highlight this week: Davis Elementary
There have been many great things going on at Davis Elementary the past couple of weeks!  Below are some of the highlights.
 
This week, Davis has been taking Iowa Assessments.  Our students and staff enjoyed a special Wizard of Oz themed assembly this past Monday to celebrate some accomplishments from 2nd trimester and to prepare our students for the testing week ahead.  
 


Above are our Character award winners for the 2nd trimester at Davis Elementary.
Above are our Perfect Attendance award winners for 1st and 2nd trimester at Davis Elementary.
 
Virtual Backpack: Update Please be sure to check out the changes!!!  
Please note a change: Screenagers – Due to scheduling issues, this was rescheduled toTuesday, March 21st at 5:00pm  
Other highlights:  Be sure to check out the Ignite program for K-4 students on May 6 (the chance to participate in free mini-courses taught by Grinnell College students), after school coding at the Library, sports camps and much more.  
 
Upcoming Events
  • March 21   2nd grade to Civic Center
  • March 20-24   Accentuate the Positive Week at GMS
  • March 22   Meeting of the Board of Education
  • March 23   HS Music Solo & Ensemble
  • March 25   Solo/Small Ensemble Contest
  • March 27-31  SPRING BREAK
  • April 1   Preschool Fair, Preschool Registration opens
  • April 7   Kindergarten round up
  • April 13   Preschool Drawing

Have a wonderful weekend!

Sincerely,

Janet
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Janet M. Stutz
Superintendent
Grinnell-Newburg Schools