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Weekly Update, January 6, 2017

Weekly Update, January 6, 2017
Dear Board of Education, Grinnell Staff and Friends:
Happy New Year Grinnell-Newburg!   Welcome back to school.   It is my best hope that you had a wonderful break spending time with family and friends.   It has been a very busy week, and I am enjoying being back into the swing of things.   Here are a few highlights from this week.   
Course Registration for 2017-18
All of our materials to help students register for their courses are on the GHS Webpage including directions for students (a "how-to" guide), the 2016-17 Course Handbook, as well as a few other tidbits of information.  The registration portal on Infinite Campus will close on January 20th so students will not be able to make changes to their course requests after this day.
Monday's PD plan for staff:
This coming Monday, January 9 will be another Professional Development day.  The elementary buildings will be working with the AEA on Science Rotation, Assessments and Standards Scores, and Technology Integration. In the afternoon they will work in their Professional Learning Community (PLC) groups.  The Middle School will be engaged in Technology Training.  The High School will continue working in the AIW Cross Content Groups and Technology Integration in the morning, and PLC Groups in the afternoon (Science PLC will meet with the AEA).   Elementary PD  Middle School PD  
Tiger Talk
KGRN, Sports Broadcaster Chris Varney, and Grinnell Activities Director, Chris Coffman, have partnered up to form "Tiger Talk". This live monthly show will take place at a sponsor's location, and will feature Varney & Coffman discussing and promoting the Grinnell Activities Department. If anyone has a question or a topic they would like to hear about, please submit your questions to kgrnsports@yahoo.com or come and ask during the show. The first show will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 11th at 1:00 at Grinnell Sporting Goods, which is located at 1020 Main Street. Go Tigers!
Curriculum and Superintendent’s meetings:
This week the highlight of both the curriculum meeting and the Superintendent’s meeting revolved around potential changes in legislation.  Discussions were centered around collective bargaining, health insurance, The Smarter Balance assessment, and ESSA.   At this time there are several groups that are planning advocacy days with legislators in the upcoming months.  The idea is to continue to focus on “The Promise of Iowa” and funding.   I will continue to keep you posted if there are substantial changes or bills presented that would have an impact on our district. 
Administrative Meeting Highlights:
The Admin Team met this week to begin developing a plan for staffing for the 2017-18 school year to support the roles vacated by our retirees.  We will continue to work toward a plan, and will be presenting a draft plan to the board on Jan 18, and then asking for approval on the 25th.
January School Leader Update:
We have been mentioned in the January edition of School Leader Update, for our induction in the AP Honor Roll.  There is a short article about the six Iowa schools who received the honor.  You can read the whole article here, found on page 5, titled Iowa districts honored for Advanced Placement work.  
Iowa Superintendent representative at MSSA at conference next week:
I have been nominated to the Midwest Suburban Superintendent Association to represent the State of Iowa.  I will be attending the first of two conference next week.  I am honored to represent the state of Iowa, and am eager to participate in this event as we discuss current educational issues and effective practices.   Please know that during my absence Mr. Conway will be available on Tuesday, and Mr. Seney will be available on Wednesday-Monday.  Please feel free to email me if you need to reach me.  I will be checking in daily.   
Bailey Park resignation
On January 4, 2017 the Board of Education accepted the resignation from Mr. Mark Ernst, principal at Bailey Park.  Please know that we will be making every effort to fill the vacancy as soon as possible.  During this transition, Sarah Seney, Brian Conway and I will be assisting Bailey Park staff, students, and parents.
Please bear with us while we perform some maintenance and give our website a facelift.  There are a few tweaks that still need to be made, but in the meantime, please feel free to peruse through what we have finished so far.  We hope you like it, and that it is reorganized in a way that is more helpful for you to navigate through it.  www.grinnell-k12.org  Please send any additional suggestions or changes that you would like to see to my assistant Becky Nance at becky.nance@grinnell-k12.org.
Timer at Boys swim meet
I had a fantastic time volunteering as a timer at a boys swim meet this week.  We have a great group of swimmers this year!
Best of luck to our GHS Debate Team at the State Debate Tournament today and Saturday in Ankeny!
Have a safe weekend,
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