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Weekly Update: January 31, 2020

Janet Stutz

Weekly Update: January 31, 2020


Dear Grinnell-Newburg Board of Education, Staff, Families and Friends:

The month of January has swiftly rolled by and we were fortunate to escape with only a few weather related incidents. I am most certain that we are not out of the woods yet, but I am going to be optimistic. I have set up an early morning practice coach/sponsor group text if morning practices will be canceled. I will let our coaches/sponsors know by 5:15a.m. if we are considering a delayed start or potential cancellation. They will then reach out to participants. Please check with your coach or sponsor for more information on how you will be informed in the event that morning practice is canceled. 

Thank you to our families and staff for taking the time to collaborate at conferences!   

No school Monday, February 3 for teacher professional development:

Monday our staff members will be engaged in professional development activities. Principals will be sending out the schedule to our employees for this Monday.   


Reminder: February 17 will be a snow make up day for students and staff.


Meeting with our legislators as bills are being developed!

This week I had an opportunity to spend time with many legislators discussing public education and priorities to meet the needs of our students. The following priorities have been established by the Iowa Association of School Boards:


  • Support continued funding to ensure that all 4 and 5-year-olds have access to the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program.

  • Supports an increase in funding from the current weighting of 0.5 to 1.0 full-time equivalent to increase the ability of districts to provide services such as full-day programming and transportation to ensure that all 4 and 5-year-olds have the ability to attend the Statewide Voluntary Preschool Program.

  • Districts should be given maximum flexibility to assign costs to the program.


Supports efforts to establish comprehensive community mental health systems to offer preventative and treatment services and comprehensive school mental health programs that include:

  • In-school and telehealth access for students to mental health professionals;

  • Creation of a categorical funding stream designated for mental health professionals;

  • Reimbursement by Medicaid and private insurers for in-school services;

  • Ongoing teacher, administrator, and support staff training to improve the awareness and understanding of child emotional and mental health needs;

  • Integration of suicide prevention and coping skills into existing curriculum;

  • Expanding state-funded loan forgiveness programs to include mental health professionals who agree to provide services to schools; and

  • An ongoing mental health resources clearinghouse for schools and community providers.


Supports a school foundation formula that:

  • Provides sufficient and timely funding to meet education goals;

  • Equalizes per pupil funding;

  • Provides a funding mechanism for transportation costs that reduces the pressure on the general fund and addresses inequities between school districts;

  • Includes factors based on changes in demographics including socio-economic status, remedial programming, and enrollment challenges;

  • Reflects actual costs for special education services;

  • Incorporates categorical funding in the formula within three years; and

  • Includes a mix of property taxes and state aid.


Supports setting supplemental state aid:

  • At a rate that sufficiently supports local districts’ efforts to plan, create and sustain world-class schools;

  • For FY 2021, by January 31, 2020; and

  • For FY 2022 and future budget years, at least 14 months prior to the certification of the school’s district budgets.

Setting supplemental state aid within the statutory requirements allows districts to make sound financial decisions on programs, staffing levels, and providing the best possible education to all students. IASB supports a formula driven method for establishing the supplemental state aid growth rate if it is not set within the statutory requirements. 

It is a little early in the session to know what bills will be moved out of sub committees.  I think we will have more information in the next few weeks. Other items that have been discussed are: bond elections and dates, teacher shortage concerns, and room clears and discipline to name a few.  


Attention Staff - looking for your feedback:

I will be sending out a Google form to gather information about how I can better serve you! I will be looking for some feedback on the weekly update, information that staff would like to see that will assist them in your work, and general feedback on how we can improve! Thank you for all you do and I look forward to hearing from you! 

We will also be setting up round 2 of listening tours with the superintendent! These will be held during February and March for all five buildings.  


Wrestling Highlights: 

Our Tigers continue to be rockstars on the mat! We are very proud! Eli Rose earns #100 win and Brock Beck breaks GHS school record of #166 wins (Brody Beck) by earning his #167 win.   

Eli pinsWrestling 2020Beck 2020Beck break pin record


Potato Bar and Jazz!  What could be better? Thank you Music Boosters for your support!

Jazz BandJazz Band 2020

Jazz Band 2020Potato bar and Jazz bandPlaying Jazz


Other Great News!

Congrats to our FFA's Swine Judging Teams who placed 1st & 8th out of 60 teams at the Iowa Pork Congress on Friday - Jack Nickel was 2nd out of 252 students in the state! 

Congrats to our Large Group Speech team of whom 17 out of 19 teams (entries) advanced to the State Contest in Cedar Rapids on February 8th!

Congrats to our 6 kids who were selected for the Southeast Iowa Honor Band - Liz Ashing, flute; Josiah Bailey, tenor sax; Alex Barr, bass trombone; Ellie Durr, bassoon; and Timo Mobley-Benoist, euphonium. 


LINK After school and PD Programming:

LINK Information


Upcoming Events:

Friday, January 31

No School - Parent/Teacher Conferences 8:00-Noon

9:00 Scholarship Workshop @ GHS Media Center

4:45 JV Boys & Girls Basketball @ DC-G

6:00 9th Grade Boys Basketball @ DC-G

6:15 Girls Varsity Basketball @ DC-G

7:45 Boys Varsity Basketball @ DC-G


Saturday, February 1

State Jazz Band - Clear Creek Amana

10:00 Varsity Wrestling Conference Meet @ Indianola

10:30 Varsity Boys Swimming Conference Meet @ Coe College

12:30 Varsity Boys Basketball @ Wells Fargo Arena

9:00 Winter Whirl


Monday, February 3

No School - Teacher Professional Development

5:30 JV Wrestling Invitational @ DCG-Meadows Gym


Tuesday, February 4

4:45 JV Girls & Boys Basketball @ GHS

5:00 JV Wrestling @ Bondurant-Farrar

6:00 9th Grade Boys Basketball

6:15 Varsity Girls Basketball @ GHS

7:45 Varsity Boys Basketball @ GHS


Thursday, February 6

4:30 8th Grade Boys Basketball @ GMS

4:30 7th Grade Boys Basketball @ Knoxville

4:45 JV Girls Basketball @ GHS

6:15 Varsity Girls Basketball  @ GHS

7:30 Variety Show @ GHS

Have an amazing weekend!  Happy February! Will the ground-hog show its shadow?  What do you think?


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