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Weekly Update: October 19, 2018

Dr. Janet Stutz

Weekly Update: October 19, 2018

I hope this weekly update finds you well!   It is during this time of the year that I feel we have some time to get caught up from the opening of the school year.  Staff and students are in full swing of their routines and students are engaged in a variety of learning opportunities.  


This week the school board met during a Board Workshop to discuss facility priorities and needs of our current school buildings.  The finance board committee also met to review current finances and review projected forecasts.


Board Workshop Session:  

During the Board Workshop CMBA and Bluestone presented to the Board the facility priorities.  The overall conclusions indicated that the district should consider spending a minimal of 3 million dollars of SAVE to fix items that would threaten the operation or function of the school facility such as electrical panels and or boilers.  If this equipment were to fail, the building would have to shut down.


Please know that there would not be any consideration at this time for any new upgrades to school facilities as our priority will be to keep schools running, until another option for facility plan is determined.  The architectural team and Bluestone will be evaluating our school facilities further to take a closer look to identify any envelope issues that may impact the school’s operations.


Our available SAVE/PPEL dollars are limited. The Board will review recommendations from our engineers in order to be ready to bid by January.  


  • Current funding capacity is the only funding available. $5-6 mil in current funds

  • $2.1 mil per year (SAVE/PPEL) $600,000 is currently used for annual needs (ie. Busses, computers, software, etc) $1.5 mil available

  • $42-48 mil in current facility needs


Based on the current ages of your school facilities (all older than 40 years) CMBA/Bluestone recommend allocating funds to immediate needs, yearly expenditures, and growing an emergency fund.  

  1. Consideration:  Separate funding

  2. Phase 1 – allocate percent of current fund balance for immediate use on critical items

  3. Phase 2 – allocate percent of yearly SAVE/PPEL balance, for yearly maintenance

  4. Emergency funds – Remaining funds to be maintained/grown as an emergency fund


Overall emphasis will be on maintaining and repairing


Maintain vs update                                                                                                               

·       Maintenance: sustains (recommended, does not mean best practices)

·       Updates: improvements


Repair vs Replacement                                                                                                                     

Overall strategy will be to repair if size-able cost savings are seen in order to allow broader scope of work


In order to determine what items are needed per phase we would recommend categorizing into  (hvac/electrical/plumbing) and (all other items). These two categories we would prioritize as follows.


Prioritization (HVAC/Electrical/Plumbing)                                                                                           

·       Primary (failure would cause entire facility shutdown)

o   Boilers

o   Main electrical distribution systems


·       Secondary (failure would cause portions to be unusable)

o   AHU (air handling units)

o   Heat Pumps

o   Branch electrical

o   Plumbing

o   Controls

o   VAV


·       Tertiary (localized failures)

o   Equipment

o   Communications systems                   


Consideration: Phase 1 - Focus solely on primary systems needs


Consideration: Phase 2 - Secondary/tertiary systems paid by remaining funds as needed and integrate into 5-year facility plan


Please know that this strategy is a temporary fix.  We will be engaging our community in further conversation about a plan that the community will support in the future.  


Next Steps: Community Planning Process

November 8  6-8 PM at Bailey Park

November 10 10-12 am at Grinnell Middle School


We would like to invite the Grinnell Community to attend one of two meetings in which the goal is to plan for future listening tours and community engagements.  These planning meetings are to generate ideas on how to collect information from our public regarding school facilities and plans. I envision these meetings as a discussion from our public to identify what dates should we host the meetings, what process should we use to collect ideas from our public about a facility plan, and other information that may be needed to bring a variety of stakeholders to the future listening tours and engagement activities.   


We will be providing a link next week with a Google form for our community who cannot attend this planning session to provide further input.    Please check out our Facebook page, Twitter, and our district website to stay in tune to our facility planning and future engagement sessions.


Parent Teacher Conferences: October 25 & 26


October 25 - 2 hour early dismissal for students

    Parent/Teacher conferences are held from 2:00 - 8:00.  


October 26 - No school

    Parent/Teacher conference are held from 8:00-12:00.


Middle School Conferences - Parent Teacher Conference sign up were sent via email last Friday, October 12th.


High School Conferences - There are no appointments.  Teachers will be located in the cafeteria or in their classroom, and parents are welcome to just stop in and visit with whomever they like.


Senior Night Football:
Congratulations to our Tiger Football Team as they beat South Tama last Friday Night at their final home game 48-13.   We celebrated our seniors with a win!

Senir football night


tiger paws at football game

cheer at footall game


Sonora Grange Donates Dictionaries to Davis Elementary 3rd Grade Students:

Our third graders were lucky enough to have our local Sonora Grange donate dictionaries again this year. This is an annual tradition where every third grade student receives one. We are lucky for the community support!

Donation of dictionaries


Tiger Paws:

Tiger Paws received 4th place in hip hop, 3rd place in pom and 1st place in coed at our first time appearance at the Iowa Spirit Spectacular!

Tiger Paws with Trophies


Origami in Art:

We were so lucky to get a visiting student from Grinnell College to come in and teach our 2nd grade classes about origami. Machiko is from Tokyo, Japan and the students have really loved having her come in and teach them traditional origami techniques. She will come in for a second time at both Fairview and Bailey Park in November.

Oragami art

Learning oragami


Don’t forget to check the Virtual Backpack!


Upcoming Events:


Monday, October 22    5:00    JV Football @ Pleasantville


Tuesday, October 23    7:00    Volleyball @ Independence


Thursday, October 25    5:00    Girls Varsity Swimming @ Home


Saturday, October 27        Girls & Boys Varsity Cross Country @ Fort Dodge


Have a wonderful weekend!  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.






Dr. Janet M. Stutz

Grinnell-Newburg School District

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