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Weekly Update, July 15, 2016
Dear Grinnell-Newburg Board of Education,
Typically you will find that the Weekly Update following a Board meeting will be rather light on content.   I have a few ideas that I would like to share this week with the Board that relates to communication that will enhance our community relations as well. 
“8” ways to know when you are on the go:  We are in the process of identifying several ways in which parents can find out about school related events in a variety of locations.   Here are the vehicles that we will use to help parents find out about weather related cancellations, upcoming events, school district information, etc…
All 8 of these will be used when there is a weather related emergency or cancellation.   Voice reach will be used on those occasions, such as weather related events or when critical information must be communicated immediately.     
Voice Reach
Email blast
Website/Virtual Backpack
Local media   (upcoming events or other school information)
Mass Text messaging
Virtual Backpack:
Over the last week, I have had some community groups ask about the district assisting in advertising fundraisers, programs for students, or other activities.  How does one pick and choose?   How can we make it easy for our parent groups, community groups, or organizations to recruit students to participate in community events?  Since students are with us most of their day, it makes sense to me that community groups would like to use the school as a vehicle for getting information home to parents.   In order to build positive community relationships and assist our children to participate in a variety of events, I have an idea that can serve the community groups.   Rather than several paper fliers going home in a backpack with students, why not host a “virtual backpack?”   Parent groups can send electronic files to us in which we can place in a Google folder.   Once a week, a link, will be included in my weekly parent e-blast communication, which will take parents to the virtual backpack.   This way, we can support our community as one vehicle for communication and save a few trees in the long run.     Becky and I will work out the details and work with our administrative team as we begin the virtual backpack.    We recognize that we may have to tweak our board policy regarding fliers and we may have to send some fliers home as we start up the “virtual backpack”, or for parents who may not have access to email, but in the long run this service to our community who are trying to host great activities for our students is a need.  
I look forward to your thoughts about these two ideas as we work on enhancing and improving our communication with the public.  
Superintendent highlight activities this week:
  • I visited the Police and Fire Station prior to our retreat that was held at the Public Safety Building. 
  • KGRN radio talk
  • Hosted the admin retreat that culminated with a luncheon at my home
  • Visited the Grinnell Arts Center: looking forward to the play this Sunday, Animal Facts
  • Attended the Rotary meeting
  • Developed a plan for working through bus behavior concerns
  • Continued to meet with Administrators 1:1
  • Developing communication plan and virtual Backpack
  • Preparing for the the facilities walk through
Mediacom:   Amy and Lisa have been working on clarifying our bill for mediacom.  We will have a summary of our findings next week. 
Parent group regarding filtering/iBOss:  Our hope is to host a parent meeting the first week of August.  I will keep you posted on this development. 
Enjoy your weekend.   I am looking forward to a visit with my daughter and her husband this weekend.  They will be attending the Sunday Play with us.   
Next week:  I am out of the district at superintendent meetings on Monday and Tuesday.  On Thursday, Lisa and I will be attending a Forecast 5 training session. 
Please take a look at your calendar on July 25 at 8:00 am.   We would like board approval on a few hires.  One is the middle school admin assistant that we would like to start on August 1.  Let me know if this would work for you.   If not we can find another time.  
Janet M. Stutz
Grinnell-Newburg Schools
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