Weekly Update: September 30, 2016
Weekly Update: September 30, 2016
Dear Board of Education, Grinnell Staff and Friends:
Happy Friday! Welcome October!
I remember when I was a teacher how I use to spend every September 30th changing my bulletin boards to depict the fall season that was upon us and all of the festivities. Homecoming, October Fest, pumpkin events, raking leaves, sporting events, and of course Halloween were among some of the favorite fall activities that students enjoyed when I was teaching in the classroom. Not much has changed since those years of long ago. Students here in our community are excited about the upcoming Homecoming week festivities. These festivities will be yet another first for me that I will look forward to here in Grinnell.
This week I will highlight some of my activities. I have attached Monday’s professional development schedule if anyone would like to stop by to see our teachers focused and learning. Our director from the AEA will be visiting on Monday with me and I hope to show case some of our excellent staff development that will be going on in the district.
On Monday I met with the Chancellor from Iowa Valley and Maryann Nickels before attending a session with local legislators regarding funding for our Community College and our continued efforts to partner with the community college. Funding was our focus. We had an opportunity to discuss how we are working together to offer programs that will meet the needs of our local businesses.
I am a guest speaker at the Midwest Social Worker’s conference at the end of October in IL. The topic is suicide prevention and awareness. I have been working with Erika’s Lighthouse for the last three years, following the suicide of a 5th grade student in 2013. We later implemented the AnnMarie legislation. I have been asked to speak to this large group on the implementation of the law. I have recently shared an article that I have submitted to the State of Iowa’s department of mental health and suicide prevention. This topic has become more relevant as the community suffered the loss of Dr. Knobloch. The CEC group had discussions last month about how we could raise awareness about mental health concerns. It is my hope that the previous work I have been engaged in can be of assistance.
GNEE: October is the Big Give Month to GNEE. The district office is working to provide staff with an option to donate to the GNEE through a monthly payroll deduction. We will have forms ready within the next week or so for those who wish to donate in this manner to this group who give so much back to our district. All mini-grant applications are due by October 15.
Facility Audits: We continue to work through the facility audits. It is my hope that I will have a few of the summaries done over the weekend. I will be meeting with a representative this Monday from IASB/PMA/iCat, who will review what we are working on, and offer assistance and further guidance to ensure that we are on the right track.
11th Avenue: Dustin Smith and I met with Russ Behrens and Rachel Kinnick to discuss the property on 11th Ave (Telecomm building), as we have an interested buyer for property. The facilities committee will be scheduling a meeting in the upcoming weeks to discuss some options, to make a recommendation to the Board regarding the property.
AmeriCorp Grant: This week we dove into the data to assist in writing the AmeriCorp grant. What I have learned is that we need to establish a data warehouse as soon as we can to collect, gather, and aggregate our data for analysis. I believe that we will be able to use our Infinite Campus to be the assessment warehouse. Our draft for the grant has been completed and the AmeriCorp team will be making edits and finalizing for submission on October 6.
School Visits: The facility audits are certainly fun, but walking through the buildings and seeing our instruction in action is by far the most fun! I had a chance to spend some time at Davis and in the High School this week walking through the building and seeing instruction in action.
Homecoming is next week: We will line up for the parade at 4:45-5:30 at the Telecomm building. Aussie will be walking with me to show off some of her talented tricks during our parade.
Upcoming Board Committees: We are working on scheduling a Finance Committee meeting and a Facilities Committee meeting in the upcoming weeks. We will keep you posted.
Have a wonderful weekend!
Please feel free to call me if you have any questions.