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Weekly Update: January 27, 2017

Superintendent Dr. Janet Stutz
Weekly Update: January 27, 2017
Dear Board of Education, Grinnell Staff and Friends:

February is just around the corner!   Take a look at the final January activities going on this weekend before you flip that calendar.   

  • GHS Debaters travel to Iowa City today and tomorrow!  
  • Basketball “Hoops for Hope” event tonight!
  • Conference Boys Swim meet in Newtown tomorrow.
  • Wrestlers at the conference at Dallas Center Grimes
  • Winter Whirl on January 28th
​February Upcoming Events:
2 Hour Early Dismissal - February 2
Parent Teacher Conferences - February 2, 2:00-8:00 pm
No School - February 3
Parent Teacher Conferences for K-8 Students - February 3, 8:00 am - 12:00 pm
Parent Teacher Conferences: (Taken from the Learning Community online resource tool Kit)
Parents and Teachers can make the most out of your parent teacher conferences next week through a partnership that will aide in student success.
    For Parents:
  • Prepare questions in advance.  What groups has my child been assigned to?  Is my child finishing the work assigned in class?  The most important question of all is “How can I help my child at home?”
  • Let the teacher know if there is a particular topic you want to discuss.  
  • Be specific.  Bring with you any work that is of concern.   Ask the teacher to describe your child’s strengths and weaknesses.  Ask to see your child’s work.
  • Exchange information.  Let the teacher know about any situation at home that may affect your child’s school work, such as a death in the family, a new baby, or a change in day care arrangements.
  • Take notes.  Your conference may result in several actions for both you and the teacher.  Taking notes will help you remember what was discussed and what was agreed upon.
  • Be positive:  You and the teacher are a team.  Positive comments such as “How can we solve this problem working together?”
  • Discuss the whole child.  Your child’s social and emotional development is as important as academic success.  Include questions about her interaction with other children and willingness to participate in class discussions.
  • Leave with a plan.  The conference should end with a clear statement of what you will do and what the teacher will do.  Schedule follow-up meetings or telephone calls to be sure the plan is working.
    For Teachers:
  • Be prepared and focus on the learning that is going on in class.
  • Provide strategies for parents on how they can help their child at home.
  • Ask specific questions that can help you understand how you can better assist the student in class.
  • Exchange information positively!
  • Take notes and follow up on any parent questions.
  • Find a win-win solution.
  • Have a plan moving forward that will help the student be successful.
Hard Surface Bus Schedule:  
A decision as to whether to continue the Hard Surface Bus Schedule will be made this Sunday night.  I want to thank all our parents for working with us to ensure all our students arrive safely to school.  We hope to be returning to our regularly scheduled routes in the very near future.  
Consortium meeting:  
The team met together this week to review guiding principles of how the consortium will function and organize based upon mutual agreements on how the program is implemented from year to year.   We have posted for a primary position for next year.   Also Newton will be opening a middle school section that will begin this February.   Principals should contact Dr. Stutz if they have any questions regarding placement of students in the program.  
Admin Team Meeting:
The Admin Team met this week to prepare for the presentation to the Board on the 25th asking for approval of the staffing plan for the 2017-18 school year to support the roles vacated by our retirees.
Board Meeting 1/25/17 Highlights:
Estes Construction representative, Pete Perez, discussed the facility findings and presented the informational document to the Board. The document is available in the district office for anyone to review.   A copy of the document will also be made available at the Library. As soon as we receive the electronic link to the document, it will be available on our website.    Estes Construction will collaborate with the administration to identify priorities prior to making any recommendations. Our Board of Education will be sending questions regarding the findings to Dr. Stutz over the next few weeks.   
Staffing Report:
The Board of Education reviewed and approved the staffing package for next school year.    The shift in staffing will enable us to maintain current programs. Please know that this shift will cause some staff to be shared between buildings, or cause a shift in a teaching assignment.    The good news is that we accomplished this without pink slipping any staff member, or further reducing staff.    This shift will enable the district to save approximately $500,000 out of the general fund. If you have questions regarding this report, please feel free to contact Dr. Stutz.  
Meet the Interim Principal:
Thursday morning we gave Bailey Park students, parents, and staff a chance to meet the new Bailey Park principal.  Retired Grinnell-Newburg Principal Nancy Beck will be filling in as interim principal for the remainder of the 16-17 school year. Please join me in welcoming Mrs. Beck.  She is eager to jump into this supporting role, and looks forward to getting to know everyone better.
Large Group District Contest last weekend:
I want to thank the Grinnell students and staff for a wonderful experience that I had at this event.  I was very proud of our Grinnell students.  It is evident that their hard work and practice paid off.  I had an opportunity to meet many students, staff and families. #Wearegrinnell Tiger Pride at its best!  Congratulations to all of our participants on a job well done!  Thank you to our faculty for your commitment and gift of time to make this event happen.   
Enjoy your weekend!  Hope to see you at all of the fun events this evening. 
Janet M. Stutz
Grinnell-Newburg Schools
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