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Weekly Update: September 15, 2017

Superintendent Dr. Janet Stutz
 
Weekly Update: September 15, 2017
 
Dear Grinnell Newburg Family and Friends:
 
Happy Friday!   I hope that this weekly update finds you well and enjoying this beautiful weather.   The Grinnell-Newburg School District has had yet another packed week of various learning opportunities for our staff, students and community.  I hope that you enjoy this weekly update and I look forward to the upcoming weeks ahead.  There are some pretty amazing things happening in the district!  Check it out!
 
Professional Development Day:
This past Monday, our certified teachers, paraprofessionals and administrators participated in a session on High Reliability Schools.  Staff had an opportunity to learn from Phil Warrick who is a writer with the Marzano Group that actively researched and implemented a High Reliability framework.  Phil will be back on Monday, October 4, 2017 for part two of our training.
 
Board Meeting:
This past week the Grinnell-Newburg Board of Education recognized four Above and Beyond recipients, including GHS student Blake Walker, GHS teacher Michele Barker, and community partners Caleb Elfenbein & Rob Cabelli.  We want to thank them for all they do, whether they are supporting our students and working hard at creating learning opportunities for students, or celebrating our athletic events for others to enjoy.  Remember if you want to nominate a student, staff member, or community member, you can do this at aboveandbeyond@grinnell-k12.org.
 
Dr. Stutz presenting an Above & Beyond certificate of recognition     Dr. Stutz presenting an Above & Beyond certificate of recognition
 
Dr. Stutz presenting an Above & Beyond certificate of recognition
 
The Board listened to the recommendation for the 2017-18 district and building goals.   These goals are in draft form and can be found here.  The administrative team met with the SIAC team last week to gain feedback on the goals for the year.  We will ask the Board to officially approve these goals at the next board meeting.  
 
Good News from our AEA:  
In case you have not heard, a big shout out to our Grinnell Staff in K-6 for their work in the area of literacy!  We also want to thank our AmeriCorps group, summer literacy staff, Drake Library, and many others who assisted our students with growth in the area of literacy.  We have seen a substantial increase in our early literacy data that should be celebrated.  Read the congratulatory Letter from Central Rivers AEA.  Way to go Grinnell!
 
Mayflower Forum:
This past week I had the opportunity to visit a large group at the Mayflower community to present “Visioning: A Plan for an Effective Learning Environment in Our Schools.”  The group participated in similar activities that were completed at our other Learning Environment Engagements. I will be adding their information to our existing feedback.  We now have more than 120 participants who have provided feedback regarding our schools.  It was a fun afternoon.  I want to thank Harriett Aldeberg for organizing this event.  I told them that next time I would come back with my guitar!  I hope to be invited back soon!    
 
Chamber Ambassador Visit Davis:
I want to thank the Chamber Ambassadors for visiting Davis School last Tuesday.  The group had a chance to tour our classrooms and hear a little history about the school, as well as watch students engage in several learning activities.   
 
Kites at Davis with Rotary members:  
This week our Grinnell Rotarians, Parents, and Staff assisted students with putting together their kites for the “Kites Over Grinnell Event” that will occur on September 30, 2017 from 10:00-4:00 PM at Ahrens Park.  The Rotarians donated the materials for the students to build their kites.  
 
Rotary Members helping elementary students to make their own kites

 
Rotary Members helping elementary students to make their own kites
 
Students use iPads to self assess their skills:
Middle and high school students are using Apple laptop and tablet computers in their classes.  The primary computing tool is the laptop.  However, the iPad facilitates additional learning where more portability is needed, where the back camera is useful, and where iPad applications are more readily available.  
 
I am excited to see our teachers getting creative as they use our technology to enhance their lessons.  Ms. Faulkner's students are using iPads to record forehand and backhand shots in tennis. Students will be able to self-assess their performance from their videos, and will examine the videos to reassess and improve their technique.
 
You might also have heard and watched GHS junior Blake Walker's play-by-play of varsity football games, also recorded on an iPad and edited on the laptop.  Another great way to build a skill-set to assist in preparation for an ever changing world.  
 
Students using iPads to record forehand and backhand shots in tennis.
 
Students using iPads to record forehand and backhand shots in tennis.

 
Homecoming Parade Information:  Thursday September 28, 2017
 
Image with information on the homecoming parade route
 
Dollars for Scholars will be selling Hotdogs in front of the high school near the end of the Parade Route.  Following the parade, there will be a pep rally and coronation in the high school gym beginning approximately at 6:30 PM.  
 
Board to reorganize at next meeting:
On September 27, 2017 the “old board” will take their seats for the last time as a group to say goodbye to Jeff Smith, Jonathan Nance and Doug Cameron.  We are grateful for their service and hope that you join us to say thank you to them at their last official meeting.  The “newly elected board” who will take their seats and organize roles and committee work are:  Meg Jones Bair, Barbara Brown, Helen Redmond, Laurel Tuggle, Emily Guenther, Stephen Sieck, and Dustin Smith.  I look forward to working with them and getting to know them.   Link for election results
 
Upcoming Dates: Please visit the Calendar page on our website for further details
September 18 -  Davis Elementary Listening Tour
September 19 -  Fairview Elementary Picture Day
September 20 -  Bailey Park Elementary Picture Day
September 20 -  Davis Elementary Picture Day
September 20 -  Middle School Picture Day
September 25 -  Bailey Park Elementary Listening Tour
September 26 -  CMBA meeting with Davis students, Admin Team, Elementary Teachers & Steering Committee
September 27 -  CMBA meeting with MS & HS students, Secondary Teachers & Facilities Advisory Committee
September 27 -  Meeting of the Board of Education
September 28 & 29 -  Homecoming Activities
October 2 -  High School Listening Tour
October 3 -  High School Picture Day
October 4 -  Middle School Listening Tour
 
There are lots of new events posted on the Virtual Backpack, take a moment to check them out!
 
Have a great weekend, and enjoy this fantastic weather while it lasts!
 
Sincerely,
 
Janet
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Dr. Janet M. Stutz
Superintendent
Grinnell-Newburg Schools