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Weekly Update: September 8, 2017
 
Dear Grinnell Newburg Board of Education, Staff, Family and Friends:
 
Happy Friday!  This week has been another active week for our students and families in the Grinnell-Newburg School District.  It is evident that students are in their routines and many new learning activities are underway.  I hope you enjoy this week’s update.  Please pay special attention to some upcoming activities that are highlighted in this week’s update.   
 
Professional Development for Staff Monday, September 11, 2017:
Teachers and Paraprofessionals will participate in a Culture/Climate activity based upon Marzano’s Research this Monday as a part of their professional development training.   Staff who work with students in grades 5-12 will participate from 8-11 am at the Harris Center 1114 10th Ave (Grinnell College Campus) and staff who work with students in grades PK-4 grade will attend from 12:30-3:30 p.m. at the same location.   Principals will send you detailed professional development information about your sessions in which you are not with the Marzano group.  Staff will collaborate in sessions related to bully prevention, mental health support, curriculum content and crisis prevention when they are not attending the Marzano session.   
 
Staff will receive a separate email today with the Marzano packet for Monday’s session.   Please download the packet to your desktop to be used as a reference.  You will have a printed working copy as well to participate in the collaborative activities with your content/grade level teams.  Phil Warrick, from the Marzano Group, will be leading the sessions at the Harris Center.     
 
Election Day Information from Poweshiek County Election Commissioner:
Next Tuesday, September 12, 2017 is the School Board Election Day.  Elections will be held at the Elks Lodge for all voters this year due to the construction around the Drake Library. The polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 8 p.m. The address to the Elk Lodge is 720 3rd Ave, Grinnell, IA 50112.  
 
Please know that voters are not limited to voting for your district only, but should cast a vote for each open seat, including the three open At-Large seats. 
 
Open Board Seats:
District 1 - Dennis Phelps, Laurel Tuggle - vote for one
District 2 - Helen Redmond - vote for one
District 3 - Emily Guenther - vote for one
At-Large (2 year term) - Stephen Sieck - vote for one
At-Large (4 year term) - Barbara Brown, Meg Jones Bair, Andy Steward - vote for two*
*There are two open seats for At-Large 4 year terms. The two candidates with the most votes will be awarded the seats. Please vote for your top two candidates.
 
Admin Team Meeting/SIAC Meeting
On a weekly basis the administrative team of principals and directors meet to plan for the upcoming weeks.  These weekly meetings assist the administrative team and the directors to ensure that we are streamlining activities, professional development and programming.  Our leaders in the district, after meeting with their building leadership teams, have drafted school goals and action plans that are aligned to the district goals.
 
These building goals were presented to the SIAC committee last night for feedback. We had some wonderful feedback from our SIAC group and they recommended adding a science goal and further develop an action plan in the area of culture and climate that includes parent engagement.   The Building Goals will be presented to the Board of Education for approval next Wednesday with these additions.   Our building goals focus on enhancing our culture and climate within our schools, focus on literacy, math, science and instructional practices.   The administrative team will continue to review our district action plan as aligned to our district goals, to ensure that as a school district we continue to make strides toward enhancing our instructional practices and reach our goals.   
 
School Listening Tours:
This past week, we completed the first of our five listening tours at each school.  The listening tour focus was to ask for feedback from staff on the effectiveness of the AmeriCorp partnership program.  I want to thank our staff for participating in this activity. The feedback that you have or will provide will enhance our program design in the areas of summer learning, attendance, community engagement, healthy reader activities and school readiness.   
 
Learning Environment Session:
It was a another successful evening with the community this past Wednesday as we engaged members in discussions around various classroom learning spaces that foster creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking.  Community members had an opportunity to share what they would like to see in Grinnell that centers on education, and they provided ideas on what our facilities need in order to create learning opportunities for our students.  I want to thank all of our approximately 90 community members who participated during our sessions.     
 
Middle School Retreats:
This Wednesday 5th grade students participated in the Kindness Retreat presented by Youth Frontiers.  Thursday 7th graders participated in the Courage Retreat.   These are high energy days to give students tools to develop empathy, promote kindness & courage, and prevent bullying. It's always an amazing experience for our students to interact with the very talented staff from Youth Frontiers as well as our high school ambassadors. This retreat would not be possible without assistance from our high school ambassadors. They volunteer their day to participate in these retreats with the students and have such a positive impact. Thank you to Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance, the Partner in Education for the Middle School, for sponsoring this event.
 
 
 
Chamber Visits Davis Next Week:
 
The principals will have their administrative meeting at Davis next Tuesday from 8:00-9:30 a.m.  The Chamber Ambassadors will meet with our team at 9:30, to tour Davis School and discuss instructional practices for students in grades three and four.  
 
Kites over Grinnell:
Students in grades Kindergarten through Fourth Grade are decorating their kites in preparation for the Kites over Grinnell Activity that will be held on September 30, 2017, at Ahrens Park from10:00 am- 4:00 p.m.  Thanks to the Grinnell Rotary for donating all of the kite materials and to Leon Drake, art teacher, for facilitating the assembly of the kites!    More information will be posted next week on the virtual backpack about this event.
 
 
Upcoming Dates:
 
 
September 13
 
Meeting of the Board of Education
September 19
 
Fairview Picture Day
September 20
 
Bailey Park Picture Day
September 20
 
Davis Picture Day
September 20
 
Middle School Picture Day
September 27
 
Meeting of the Board of Education
September 28
 
Homecoming Parade
September 29
 
Homecoming
October 3
 
High School Picture Day
 
Have a great weekend!
 
Sincerely,
 
Janet
--
Dr. Janet M. Stutz
Superintendent
Grinnell-Newburg Schools