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Weekly Update: April 6, 2018

Dr. Janet Stutz
 
I hope that this weekly update finds all of you rested from your Spring Break activities.  The weather is certainly not cooperating to make it feel like Spring! Let’s hope for warmer weather on the horizon.  We have had quite a week this week as we celebrated academic excellence with our high school students and had an opportunity to hear Mr. Brian Conway speak to our students, a former Grinnell High School Graduate.  Congratulations to all of those students who were honored.
 
2018 Legislative Coffee - 9:00 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church, Grinnell.
Senator Kapucian and Representative Maxwell will be available to speak to the public tomorrow during a legislative coffee at 9:00 at the First Presbyterian Church.  I hope that you will have an opportunity to join me to address HF 2369 that could come up for debate in the Senate next week, and we need you to contact your senators to tell them to oppose this bill. It limits a district to only one bond election per year. IASB is registered against the bill for several reasons that you can share with your senator:
  • This bill takes away local decision-making authority for school boards to plan for votes on bond issues.
  • This bill makes it more difficult for schools to plan for major construction, renovation and repairs because the opportunity for a bond vote is limited to once a year.
  • This bill could increase the cost of elections to school boards because of the potential to need so many different ballots for the municipal, school board and bond election, all of which would now be combined.
Another Bill that is concerning is: HSB 678, the bill that reduces the amount of the commercial property tax backfill from $150 million to $25 million over the next four budget years. While this bill will free up funding for the state's general fund, it comes at the expense of higher local property taxes.
 
Finally: HF 2481 (formerly HF 2438), the bill that extends the state penny for school infrastructure for 20 years.  We hope that this bill will pass.
 
PD Day:
I want to thank the teachers and administrators for their flexibility this week as we had a last minute change for PD, as our trainer was not able to get here due to mechanical plane issues.   Everyone stepped up to help out and we were able to accomplish work on discipline literacy, behavioral de-escalation training, and had much needed time to collaborate in our PLC groups.
 
Admin Meeting:
Our administrative team met this past week to coordinate hiring practice timelines and activities, prepare for the April 18 active shooter training with our Police Department, Fire and EMS services, and focused on Professional Development in the area of literacy. 
 
Academic Excellence Banquet - 2018
Congratulations to our Grinnell High School students who were honored this past Monday night!  
 
Academic Excellence Banquet Year One Honorees
Year One Honorees
 
Academic Excellence Banquet Year Two Honorees
Year Two Honorees
 
Academic Excellence Banquet Year Three Honorees
Year Three Honorees
 
Academic Excellence Banquet Year Four Honorees
Year Four Honorees
 
Guest Speaker at the Academic Excellence Banquet, Davis Elementary Principal Brian Conway
Brian Conway, Davis Elementary Principal and Grinnell Graduate talks to students about Servant Leadership!
 
National Geographic Bee
Congratulations to Alex Smith for qualifying for the National Geographic Bee. Alex checked in to the contest this morning and did very well.  Although he did not advance to the finals, we are proud that he was one of 100 students to advance to this competition. Way to go Alex!
 
Alex Smith, qualifier for the National Geographic Bee


Davis Elementary School prepares for YMCA Camp:
4th grade students at Davis Elementary got a chance to experience something related to YMCA camp.  Kyle Beach from Ycamp in Boone visited with his staff to talk about Native Americans with students.  Each class went through the experience of building a teepee. Our students are very excited to participate in this awesome experience the first week of May that couldn't take place without community support!
 
Davis Elementary students preparing for Y Camp
 
Davis Elementary students preparing for Y Camp

 
AEA Awards Ceremony:
I am humbled that I was nominated for the State’s AEA Friend of Field award this past week at an awards assembly in Des Moines.  I want to thank Central Rivers AEA for submitting the nomination to be considered among the nine AEA’s across the State for this category.  I also want to thank our administrative team, teachers and Board of Education for their continued support in collaborating with our AEA. The AEA is a wonderful resource for us and I am grateful for their assistance in the areas of curriculum, special education, technology repairs, legislative updates, superintendent activities and much more.  
 
Dr. Janet Stutz was honored as A Friend of the AEA
 
Upcoming events: Please visit the Calendar page on our website for further details
April 6 - Meet the Composer Choir Concert
April 10 - Davis Elementary Concert
April 11 - Meeting of the Board of Education
April 12 - Bailey Park Elementary Concert
April 19 - Fairview Elementary Concert
April 25 - Meeting of the Board of Education
 
Don’t forget to visit the Virtual Backpack for new events!  
 
Sincerely,
 
Janet
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Dr. Janet M. Stutz
Superintendent
Grinnell-Newburg Schools