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Weekly Update: August 4, 2017

Weekly Update August 4, 2017 
Dear Grinnell Newburg School Board, Staff, Families and Friends:
Happy August! This is an exciting time for our administrative team as we are wrapping up final plans to open the 2017 school year for new teachers and staff! Principals have just returned from their summer breaks and are diving in to prepare for the first day of school. This weekly update has information to assist our families in what to watch for in the next coming weeks. At any time, please feel free to contact your building principal if you have specific questions regarding the start of school.  
School start/end times Correction:
Last week I had an error in my message to families about school start times.  The 8:00 start time is for all schools except the High School.  The High School times have not changed.  They will still run E2 in the morning as usual.  All High School Schedules (master class schedules and bell schedules) can be found on the High School Webpage here.   Please contact your building principal if you have questions regarding the general school schedule.   (See student schedule class list information below).  
Student Class Lists:
Please know that the parent portal will open on August 15th for students and parents to view their schedules and assigned teachers.  We continue to register students and are making some schedule adjustments to accommodate new students and to meet current student needs.  Thank you for your patience as we complete this process.   
TAG Program:
I will be sending out a letter regarding the TAG services to all families, prior to August 15, that will further detail services for our TAG students.  As you may be aware, we have not been able to hire a candidate to replace our teacher on leave.  We are working with staff to identify those who are interested in securing the TAG endorsement.  This will enable us to build capacity throughout the district so that we are timely in our service delivery for students not only for the 2017-18 school year, but for future years in order to meet our students needs daily.  Our TAG teachers have done an amazing job serving our students here in Grinnell.  We recognize the need to encourage more staff to obtain the endorsement in order for students to have the support more frequently.  
Here is where we are at in our planning.  Please know that I will continue to update you in the next few weeks as we finalize the details.  Our TAG teacher, Gina Beck, will be serving students in grades 3-6 for next year.  She will serve ELP, math and reading enrichment.  Mr. Conway and Mrs. Hegg-Dunne have collaborated with her to create a schedule to meet the needs of our TAG students at these grade levels.  They are in the process of finalizing the service schedule.      
Our students in K-2 will receive services in a variety of ways in the general classroom through differentiation of instruction, and guided math and/or reading through classroom small group activities based on skills and readiness. Teachers will collaborate with our instructional coaches to develop instructional strategies to meet the needs of identified students. Subject or skill acceleration may be used for those students who demonstrate the need.   Mrs. Donels and Mrs. Seney will be working with staff to support our TAG students to ensure that our TAG students are challenged on a daily basis.   
Our students in grades 7-8 will have compacted math courses as in the past.   We have identified a staff member who will be obtaining the TAG endorsement to ensure that we can work with our identified students in the area of English Language Arts or ELP, through WIN time and course activities.  Students who need further subject acceleration in either math or English will be determined based upon the individual student need.   
High School students will have access to AP courses as well as college credit courses as available.  Students who qualify for these programs have been identified.  
I want to thank all of our parents for your patience and understanding as we work through this shortage.  I also look at this as an opportunity to try to find a way to enhance services through building our capacity of endorsed TAG instructors.  
Opening Days for all Staff:
Mid week all staff will receive a welcome back letter with agendas for all opening day activities.   Also watch for information coming out about teacher and para computer pick up from Amy Harmsen, our tech director, prior to the opening day event.   
Just a reminder new teacher orientation is August 16-17.  All Staff will engage in the kick off event at the high school on August 18 beginning at 7:45 am. Please know that all offices will be closed from 7:45-10:30 a.m. on the 18th for our opening day event, as all district employees will be participating in these activities.   
Building principals will be emailing specific agenda items and trainings for the 21-23 for all staff.   Be sure to watch for this email.  This will provide greater detail for individual schools.  Please contact your building principal after this information is disseminated next week if you have further questions.   
Have you completed your Parent Registration yet?
The first day of school is just around the corner, and like you, we are completing our preparations for the upcoming school year.  If you have not submitted your online registration application yet, please hop on your Parent Portal to submit your application.  Our staff is continuing to process the incoming applications- a huge thank you to all those who have submitted already!  
Upcoming Events:
August 9 - Meeting of the Board of Education
August 15 - GHS New Student Orientation
August 21 - GMS New Student Orientation and 7th & 8th Grade Orientations
August 22 - Open House for Bailey Park, Fairview, Davis, and  5th & 9th Grade Orientations
August 23 - 6th Grade Orientation
August 24 - First Day of School
August 30 - Classroom Learning Environment Session - please join us for one of these events!
September 6 - Classroom Learning Environment Session - please join us for one of these events!

Have a wonderful weekend!
Dr. Janet M. Stutz
Grinnell-Newburg Schools
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