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Weekly Update: October 6, 2017

Weekly Update: October 6, 2017
Dear Grinnell-Newburg Family and Friends,
Happy Friday!  Today has been a historical day for our community.  The Davis celebration brought alumni, community and families together as we reflect upon years past.  I think about all of the past students and teachers who have walked the halls of Davis Elementary School.  Each shaping history and paving the way for what we know as our future.  The young minds of the past from 1917 made Grinnell what it is today.   
I hope you enjoy this week’s update!  It was a memorable week filled with celebration, learning, and hope as the next generation of teachers, community and students continue toward our next 100 years.   

PD Day:
This Past Monday our teachers and paraprofessionals participated in their second session with the Marzano Group.  Staff will be engaging in future discussions and reflection as to how our schools currently align to this researched based model.  As a school district we are always looking to improve our craft.  This framework will assist us as we journey toward this continuous improvement process.     
FV/BP Bullying Prevention Assembly:
R E S P E C T… tell me what it means to me?  Fairview and Bailey kicked off their Bully Awareness month with assemblies this week.  Students participated in learning about Respect and treating others the way you would want to be treated.  I was very proud of our students.  We had our high school students get involved as well, as they taught our Bailey Park Students a cheer!  Way to go Tigers!
Bailey Park Students at their Bullying Prevention Assembly
Bailey Park Students at their Bullying Prevention Assembly
Fairview Students at their Bullying Prevention Assembly
Fairview Students at their Bullying Prevention Assembly
HS Ambassadors presenting at a Bullying Prevention Assembly

Admin Team Meeting:
This week our admin team reviewed the professional development day and discussed sending electronic surveys to students, staff and parents.  This data will enable us to continue our school improvement discussions.  Other items that were discussed were items for the upcoming Board agenda, planning for Monday’s science meeting, safety and security protocols, and planning for the Music Speaks program for our K-4 students.     
Administrative Walkthroughs:
I have scheduled administrative walkthroughs with our principals and directors in order to have time to discuss current building and department goals, and to learn how the year is progressing.   These walkthroughs provide me an opportunity to see our progress and talk about curriculum and instructional needs.  Thank you leadership team for taking the time with me!  What a fabulous team!  
AEA Superintendents Meeting:
This week a group of administrators, counselors, and social worker along with our AmeriCorp grant representative from Grinnell College had the opportunity to hear Manny Scott speak at the regional superintendent’s meeting.  Manny was portrayed in the film “Freedom Writers” years ago.  Manny Scott not only shared his experiences and how teachers impacted his life, but also shares how we as educators can reach out to our youth from many diverse experiences and backgrounds.  His powerful message was heartwarming and I learned even more about our ability to change the lives of children through building those relationships.   
AmeriCorps Listening Tours:
Our AmeriCorp grant writing team met with the middle school this past week to continue to collect feedback on how the grant and program is working for our students.  We have one more school session with the high school that will be next week, before we finalize this round of listening tours.   
GMS Principal Profile:
In the upcoming months, the Grinnell-Newburg School District will be posting a middle school principal’s position to replace retiring Principal Sara Hegg-Dunne for the 2018-19 school year.  I met with the GMS staff this week to generate candidate profile characteristics.  We will be posting for this position later this month.  Our hope is that we have a finalist by the middle of January.  This process will include participation from administrators, GMS staff, parents and the community to find the best qualified candidate for the position.  I will continue to keep you updated on this process.   
Preschool Program Representing Iowa
Miss Jan and Miss Andrea are representing the state of Iowa at the International Conference on Young Children with Special Needs and Their Families in Oregon this week. We are proud of the work that they have done with the Iowa Department of Education to help strengthen the specially designed instruction for our earliest learners!
Preschool Teachers Jan Phifer and Andrea Zhorne representing the state of Iowa at the International Conference on Young Children with Special Needs.
Please note there has been a change to tonight's football schedule: the Freshman game has been cancelled, and the Varsity game will be starting at 5:30 p.m.
Upcoming Events: Please visit the Calendar page on our website for further details
October 11 - Meeting of the Board of Education
October 25 - Meeting of the Board of Education tentative
October 26 - 2 Hour Early Dismissal for Parent Teacher Conferences (2:00-8:00 p.m.)
October 27 - No School, Parent Teacher Conferences (8:00 a.m.-Noon)
Please remember to check our district’s Virtual Backpack for activities and events!
--Janet M. Stutz
Grinnell Newburg Schools