Dear Grinnell Staff, Families, and Friends:
More than half a century ago, Black Americans, putting their lives on the line, pushed our country to be better, to work toward an America where they enjoy the same rights as white citizens. Today, as we look around, demonstrations across the country calling for racial equality make it very clear that Black Americans are experiencing the very same pain that motivated earlier generations to lead a multiracial movement for an America that embodies ideals we hold.
Sometimes in Grinnell, a community where we celebrate being good neighbors, and pride ourselves on looking out for each other, it can feel like we live apart from problems that people in other parts of the country are experiencing. However, people right here in Grinnell have experienced and are experiencing the same pain as Americans across the country. This is not okay. It’s not okay when Black students in our district feel pain as a result of experiences they have at school. Our public school buildings must feel like home for everyone.
Our schools must also prepare all students to live in our racially diverse United States. I have heard from numerous graduates of our district over the past couple of weeks that they are unprepared to understand what we see unfolding as a country. This is not okay. We must do better.
Earlier this week, we were honored to gather a small group of people from across our community—teachers, elected officials, business leaders, parents, students—to brainstorm together and to create partnerships that will help us move forward. In the coming weeks, this small group will grow larger, leading to initiatives in the curriculum, district training, and community-wide social engagement. We are excited about sharing plans with you as they develop.
Change will not happen overnight. But we will change and grow together. We must do this as one community.
The Grinnell-Newburg Board of Directors
Dr. Janet M. Stutz, Superintendent
Online Registration for the 2019-20 School Year is open, and we encourage parents to register early!
Existing Students: Accessing Online Registration from your Parent Portal
For parents of existing students, online registration can be accessed from your parent portal. (If you have not set up your parent portal account, please find the directions at the end of this article.)
Online registration can be handled in the convenience of your home. Please click on the following link to begin the registration process: New Student Registration (Students are considered "new" if there is no family information in our information database. If you are a parent of a returning student, please access Online Registration through your Parent Portal, so as to avoid having to re-enter your information. See directions below.)
We welcome families who have recently moved to the Grinnell-Newburg School District, and encourage parents to contact the building your student will be attending. Parents are invited to schedule a tour of the building, and to meet your student's building principal and administrative staff. Appointments are not necessary but are recommended. Welcome to the Grinnell-Newburg Community School District!
Please note: If you do not have access to a computer, kiosks will be available over the summer at each building for you to fill out your registration application. If you plan to register at a building, please plan to arrive no later than 2:30 p.m. (Buildings are closed for the month of July.) The District will also be hosting a registration night August 1.
In the bottom left hand corner of the page you will find the link for Online Registration. Clicking on the link will open up Online Registration in a new window.
Handy Hints as you are going through the registration module:
When you begin you will be given a Confirmation Number. Please save this number. If you need to stop and return to the application, this will be needed to access your saved application.
To move through each section use the “Next” button. To move from section to section, click on the “Save and Continue” button. Please ensure all information is entered correctly before moving on to a new section.
Fee Payment and Lunch Accounts
After submitting your registration application, please return to your portal account to submit payment for your student’s instructional fees.
Once in your portal account, click on the “Payments” tab to submit your online payment.
**Can be completed after July 1, 2019
**Families applying for Free and Reduced: Please submit all forms before beginning the payment process.
Directions to set up your parent portal for the first time
To set up an account you will need a key code. Key codes can be obtained from your building administrative assistant. Please enter your key code and follow the steps to set up your Campus Portal account. You will be able to create your own username and password.
You will only need to do this once.
Please call 641-236-2700 during regular business hours if you have any questions regarding any of these processes.
Happy Friday! Tomorrow we will celebrate our 2020 Seniors as they officially walk across the stage for graduation! It is finally here and we are hopeful that the weather will hold out! Please remember to socially distance yourself from other families and wear a mask.
Mr. Seney sent further detailed information to our seniors, but here are the highlights for our readers:
After a longer than expected delay, our 2020 Commencement Ceremony is coming up this Saturday, July 11th at 10:00 AM on the High School football field. Our seating arrangements and logistics have changed slightly since the last update sent in May, so please read the following information carefully.
If your student is not participating in the July 11th Commencement ceremony, please contact Mr. Seney via email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible.
Guests are limited to 4 family members per graduate.
Graduates may keep their caps & tassels but must return their gowns & stoles after the ceremony is over
The ceremony will be livestreamed on Youtube starting at 10:00 AM at the following link: https://youtu.be/h7Oawr1jPnk
If there is inclement weather, the decision will be made to cancel the ceremony by 9:15 AM - Notifications will be sent out via email, voice reach, and text to students and parents.
At 10:00 AM, the processional music will start and Line 1 will walk the track to the scoreboard and towards the home bleachers, taking their seats in the chairs on the field in front of the stage.
Once all students have been seated, we will make an announcement to remind people of social distancing rules and Yonatan Ambrosio will open the ceremony. Order of the ceremony:
Welcome - Yonatan Ambrosio
Challenge to the Juniors - Theresa Crawford
Junior Response - Barrett Edwards
Honors Address - Mary Blanchard
Introduction of Speaker - Mr. Seney
Commencement Speaker - Mr. Mick
Awarding of Diplomas - Mr. Seney, Ms. Redmond
Turning of the Tassels - Dr. Stutz
Closing Remarks - Mr. Baker
For Senior Parents and Families
Social distancing measures will be in place at all times. We ask all attendees to self-regulate their distance between other spectators.
All family members and attendees will be limited to 4 per graduate. All family members and attendees should have a ticket, given to your student when they picked up their caps & gowns.
Family members and attendees will be allowed in the stadium starting at 9:30 AM.
All family members and attendees will enter through the main ticket booth of the football stadium and will give their tickets to Ms. O’Sullivan at the ticket booth.
All family members and attendees will be seated in the home bleachers on the west side of the stadium. Yellow caution tape will mark where family members and attendees cannot sit. We will not reserve sections of the bleachers. Only those sections not marked by yellow caution tape may be used.
Once seated, please remain seated until the ceremony is done. Parents will not be allowed to move closer to the field for pictures once the ceremony has started.
After the ceremony has concluded, our Graduates will be dismissed from their seats out of the stadium near the maintenance shed (where they entered).
Once the students have been dismissed, parents will be dismissed from the bleachers out of the stadium at the ticket booth.
On Wednesday, the Board of Education listened to our first overarching draft plan for bringing students back to school. Dr. Graham, physician and medical expert in public health, joined us to answer questions. Her guidance, as well as the Iowa Department of Public Health and other local physicians, has been valuable as we plan for our students returning this fall. The American Academy of Physicians “strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school. The importance of in-person learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020. Lengthy time away from school and associated interruption of supportive services often results in social isolation, making it difficult for schools to identify and address important learning deficits”. We also recognize that we will need to be flexible based upon any outbreak that may occur. We will be looking to our local health experts to guide us in the event that we need to modify our plan. We are doing everything possible with PPE to keep our students and staff safe. We recognize that we will encounter COVID-19 in our schools, however, it is our goal that with the structure in place that we will limit the spread and catch an outbreak quickly. As of today our plan is as follows:
It will be recommended that students in grades PreK-8 will return to school daily from 8:00-3:05 beginning on August 24, 2020. Please watch for instructions from the building principal in early August as to what the schedule will look like that first week of school. Remember that this is the first time that students will be returning to school since March, so we want to ensure that we take our time introducing them to new procedures with the face masks, face shields and plexiglass systems, learning the rules to navigate around the school facility, and expectations as we begin the school year very differently than in past years. Re-building relationships will be our focus as well as getting our students comfortable being back to school.
Upon arrival to school temperatures will be taken at the door entryway that is designated for the grade level of your student. Information about lining up and location will be forthcoming. We encourage families to practice wearing a mask during the summer months. We also encourage families to purchase a cloth mask for students to use and take home each day to be cleaned. The district will be providing a face mask and face shield per student. We are also installing plexiglass shields within the classrooms in order for students to take a break from the face masks and face shields. In the event that a student does not remember a mask for the day, the district will have limited disposal masks for students available. If a student has a health related issue, or has difficulty with a PPE, we will work with individual families to assist you. PPE is a critical component to returning to school. According to our local experts, if you can’t socially distance yourself, you need to be wearing PPE, or sit within the plexiglass system in the classroom. This will limit the spread of the virus and is our best protection.
Students that ride the bus will be required to wear PPE on the bus.
Please know that building leadership teams are working through the schedule and routines and we will be sharing this with our SIAC committee on Monday July 13 to review the specifics related to curriculum, on site learning and online learning in the event that we have to retreat to isolation due to an outbreak. More specific guidance and information will be available to families once this has been finalized. The gist of the recommended structure will include but is not limited to:
Students in elementary and middle school will return with either a face shield, face mask, or sit in an area of the classroom that has a plexi shield desk structure that will provide a break for students from wearing PPE.
Students will be assigned to a class K-8, cluster group, and will remain in that classroom. Breaks, outside activities, and recess will be in place. During recess or PE, students will not need to wear face masks or face shields within their cluster as long as they are outside or active in the gym for class.
Teachers will meet with students and move to the students as needed. Students will not pass in the hallway from class to class during this pandemic in grades K-8 as in the past years. Directions for how to move through the school will be provided by your building principal.
Small groups will be able to attend PE, Music, Art, and recess, however it will be very different as large groups will not be able to gather during the school day.
Breakfast and lunch will be provided as grab and go meals. Students will eat in small groups either in the classroom or other locations of the building in order to socially distance themselves while eating. We are working out a plan to use some of our Plexiglass systems in the cafeteria so that students do not have to remain in the classroom to eat. We will be designating eating locations that will not be in carpeted classrooms as much as possible.
Hallways will be marked with social distancing reminders as well as traffic flow throughout the buildings.
Families that are not comfortable with participating in this environment will need to contact the building principal to discuss options.
Outside visitors will not be allowed in the building. The building principals will provide instructions for other events in which families might need to be present.
In addition, consideration for learning needs for our students with disabilities, English language learners, who are at-risk, or face economic hardships will also be thoughtfully considered in our calendar and plan for instructional days/hours.
The structure for the high school will look different from the prek-8 learning environment as we can not keep students within the same classroom all day due to the graduation course requirements. The building leadership team is working through the schedule details for this structure. We are recommending that students will be required to wear face shields, face masks or sit behind a plexi-glass structure. The students will be in a hybrid model with 50% of the school population on a rotating A/B schedule in class instruction and online learning.
Breakfast and lunch will be provided as grab and go meals. Students will eat in small groups in locations of the building in order to socially distance themselves while eating. The building principal will send out further guidance to families on the details of the schedule.
Families that are not comfortable with participating in this environment due to health related concerns will need to contact the building principal. The same guidance similar to the K-8 will be in place such as small groups for PE and music, hallway traffic between classrooms will be marked with one way travel, no visitors unless the visitor is coming to serve a student need such as counseling, consideration for learning needs for our students with disabilities, English language learners, who are at-risk, or face economic hardships will also be thoughtfully considered in our calendar and plan for instructional days/hours.
We recognize that this is going to be a different start and feel to the school year. It has been challenging for our staff, families and community to live in different times. These recommendations might be more restrictive than other communities or less restrictive. It is a local decision that has been based upon input from our local physicians, IDPH, and EMA community support team. I want to thank all of our staff, community members, Board, and administrators for their tireless efforts to plan to keep our students connected to school in a safe manner.
Please know that we do not have fall sport guidance at this time. I expect to hear about the fall sports season in early August.
There is a SIAC meeting on Monday July 13, at 5:00 via zoom to discuss the return to learn plan.
We have officially opened Online Registration for the 20-21 school year! Please log in to your Parent Portal and on the left hand side of the screen click the "More" button from the menu, then click "Online Registration" to complete registration for next year! Please see the screenshot below to assist you.
If you do not know, or have forgotten your username or password, please contact Amber Rosbon at 641-236-2700 or at email@example.com. Please contact Amber for assistance during the week of July 13 or July 27 or later. Staff will not be able to change passwords during the week of July 20.
Have a wonderful weekend! For your listening enjoyment take a look at these two performances by our Band and Choir done beautifully and virtually.
Please take the time to watch and listen to this video. It is very moving!
Copyright Notice: “When the Earth Stands Still,” by Don MacDonald. © Copyright 2016
by Galaxy Music Corporation, a division of ECS Publishing. www.ECSPublishing.com.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
GHS Band Virtual Grinnell Tigers Pride!
Interested in volunteering for the Grinnell-Newburg Schools? There are many ways that you can help to enrich the educational experiences of our students through volunteering. From reading to a class, to volunteer coaching, to helping out with activities, there is something for everyone.
Applicants would need to submit a volunteer application and a background check. Please download the documents and email them to Judy Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please call 641-236-2700 with questions.
Thank you for your interest in volunteering!