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Weekly Update: November 18, 2016

Weekly Update: November 18, 2016
Dear Board of Education, Grinnell Staff and Friends:
Emergency phone and email test:
This past week, Dr. Stutz sent out a test message via the emergency communication system.   All parents, key community communicators, board, and district staff should have received a voicemail and an email stating that we were conducting a test.  If you did not receive the emergency communication test, please be sure to contact our district office.  A message from the emergency communication system will be disseminated in the event of a school closing or other important district communication that must be communicated in a timely manner.   
Facility Update:
The district administration team and the Estes construction team have completed the walk through of each of our facilities. The field investigation of each facility has been completed with an emphasis on the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing at the middle school and high school.  At this time we are working to prepare an informational document that we will share with the Board at the January Board meeting.   This detailed document will enable the district to make decisions moving forward toward a facility plan.  
Phone update:
We just learned that RHT will be in our district on Monday, November 21 to begin work on our network to ensure the new phone system will be functional.  They will be starting at the Middle School, but will work at least a day at each building over the next two weeks. Please note that this is prep work that needs to be completed before installing the new phone system.  
Tennis Courts:
The final punch list for the tennis courts is being reviewed and completed.   The final surface for the courts will be completed this Spring in order to ensure that new surface in placed during warmer weather to avoid cracking.  
Walk Through of Daycare & Preschool:
This past week I had an opportunity to visit the Grinnell Community Daycare & Preschool located at Ahrens Park.  The tour and conversation about meeting the needs of our families was inspiring.  I was impressed with the programming and the organization.  I look forward to our continued collaboration.  
High School Envelope Project:  
The construction has commenced once again.  This time the color options are almond and terracotta.  I have attached a few pictures so you can see progress.  We have also started the painting of the south doors to match the accent color terracotta.  The project is moving quickly.  We will continue to keep you updated on the progress.   
Refugee Quilting Project:
In the High School Life Responsibilities class, instructed by Amy Skouson, students utilized dollars from the GNEE Grant Foundation to make quilts for refugees new to Iowa. They had an amazing guest speaker who inspired them to create beautiful quilts.   We are very proud of our students in this class for their successful contribution to serve others in the State of Iowa who are in need of help.   Students showed off their quilts to a community group of GNEE representatives, parents, and staff this past Monday November 14th.   They prepared a short presentation for the community group and had an opportunity to answer questions.   What inspired me the most about this visit was the passion and dedication that each of these students demonstrated.  There passion was catchy.  I want to thank the GNEE and Mrs. Skouson for tapping in to the students talents and skills that ultimately helped another person who was in need.   We are all so proud of our students.  

Understanding your child’s assessment informational meeting:
An informational meeting will be held on November 30th 2016 beginning at 6:00 PM-8:00 PM at the High School for all parents of children in grades K-12 who would like more information regarding student assessments.   We hope that you will be able to join us for this event.  
Math meeting:
Just a reminder that the 4th and 5th grade teachers will be meeting in the district office from 8:00-12:00 on  Monday to discuss math skills between the 4th grade to 5th grade curriculum.  I look forward to working with everyone.  
Desk Audit:
This year, the State of Iowa has implemented a new audit for districts to complete.  This audit collects various documents to demonstrate compliance in regard to the website, policies, and curriculum.  We are working to collect the documents and upload them to the State by December 15.
Virtual Backpack
Check out what is new for students!
I hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend!  Stay warm.
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