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Weekly Update:  March 24, 2017
Dear Grinnell-Newburg Board of Education, Staff, Families and Friends:
Spring Break will officially commence beginning on Monday, March 27-31.   It is my best hope that everyone enjoys a restful week spending time either traveling, reading, relaxing or devoting  time to family and friends.  Wherever you spend this time, I hope that you enjoy it.   I am not certain the weather will be completely cooperative, but it looks like a few warmer days mid-week might come our way.  I would encourage everyone to invest some time away from the screen.  Think about enjoying activities outdoors, weather permitting, reading a good book, or dedicating time trying a new activity.     
As our students head into Spring Break next week, please know that the district office will be closed on March 31, 2017.  Enjoy your break!  Be safe!
Board Meeting:   
At this week’s Board meeting the Board of Education listened to a stellar audit report!  I want to congratulate our Chief Business Official, Lisa Johnson, and her department’s team for a successful audit.  The Board approved the audit following the presentation.   A new position for the systems technician was also approved to be posted.  This new technician will work closely with our building and grounds department as well as our technology department.  The job description for this position can be found here.
Volunteers Needed:   
Volunteers are needed as GHS is hosting the IHSMA Solo/Ensemble festival tomorrow from 7:45-12:00 PM and/or 12:30-5:00 PM.  Please email levi.dressler@grinnell-k12.org or roger.henderson@grinnell-k12.org to sign up to volunteer.  Good luck to those participating in the Solo Ensemble Contest!  
Highlight from the Iowa Association of School Boards:
Fiscal Year 2017
The Iowa Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) met today and lowered state tax revenue estimates for the current year (FY 2017 – the year endingJune 30, 2017) by requiring an additional cut of $131.1 million beyond what the legislature de-appropriated earlier this year. While there is growth in state revenues from FY 2016 to FY 2017, the growth is very slow – much slower than anticipated in December, thus the reduction in the REC estimate from December to March.
Governor Branstad has issued a press statement stating:
“Our Iowa economy is growing. But the challenging farm economy, with commodity prices below the cost of production for far too long, has hit our state revenues. Iowa is prepared. The State of Iowa has hundreds of millions in the cash reserve account – the state’s savings account. Gov. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Reynolds propose using our savings in the cash reserves, rather than additional budget cuts, to meet our current fiscal year needs. The State has already made cuts to the current fiscal year budgets but with just over three months remaining in the current fiscal year, additional cuts are not feasible. The Governor and Lt. Governor are committed to reimbursing the cash reserve account in the budgets to be passed this legislative session.”
It is our understanding that the legislature will approve the use of reserve funds to balance the FY 2017 budget.
An Act of Kindness:  GMS students special celebration bring joy to all.    
This past week a GMS parent shared a wonderful story with me regarding three students who carried out an act of kindness for her special needs child.   She explained that her son’s birthday would take place over Spring Break, and three middle school students surprised her son with cake, balloons, presents, candy, and cards telling him how wonderful he was and that he had such a wonderful smile.  She shared that “as his mom I can't tell you how touched I was. These three wonderful students made my son feel so special.”  Mom included a few pictures that made her son’s day.  She concluded her email saying, “Thanks from a tearfully happy mom and her excited little man.”  Stories like this one remind all of us that small acts of kindness can create much more than a positive atmosphere, but can truly touch our hearts.   I want to thank this parent for sharing her story with me.  I am so very proud of our GMS students.  Random acts of kindness can create a culture and climate that can foster positive change.  

Bailey Park students Engaged in Math Activities:
The Bailey Park staff planned an eventful math day full of hands on activities and lessons centered around math.
Upcoming Events
  • March 25 - Solo/Small Ensemble Contest
  • March 27-31 - SPRING BREAK
  • April 1 - Preschool Fair
  • April 1 - 12  Preschool Registration at Fairview
  • April 7 - Kindergarten Round Up
Please enjoy your Spring Break!  It is hard to imagine that there are only 9 weeks left in the 2016-17 school year!  Time has flown by and I am truly enjoying every minute of it!  I hope you are too.  
Janet M. Stutz
Grinnell-Newburg Schools
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