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Weekly Update: April 3, 2020

Dr. Stutz

Weekly Update: April 3, 2020
Dear Board of Education, Staff, Families and Friends:


As you may have heard, Governor Reynolds announced yesterday that schools in Iowa should remain closed through April 30th in response to the COVID-19 crisis. While we are disappointed knowing that it will be several more weeks before we see our students, the safety of our community and state comes first.


Our board will review options outlined by the Iowa Department of Education for continuing learning during the closure, and consider which is the most appropriate path forward for our students, families, and staff. We want to ensure that we have the ability to provide high-level teacher and learning experiences.   We are also working on finding a resolution to assist families who may need Internet access.  We are working hard to provide engaged activities for all students.


The principals are currently working with their staff to plan for our students.  We are working through the Department of Education template and will keep you informed early next week as to our recommendation to the Board for approval.   Please know it is our expectation that we will see a combination of Voluntary and Required participation in our district. Guidance clearly allows us to meet the requirements under these two categories.   If we did not provide any support, we would be required to make up all of this time. I think that there was some confusion after the announcement. After several meetings with area superintendents and the Department of Education, it was clear that the path we will take will ensure that we meet the guidelines so that we do not have to make up this missed time.  Beginning the week of April 13, 2020 you will see more specific directions for learning, participation, lessons, feedback, formative assessments, and much more for your student to learn and grow. We will release the plan at our upcoming Board meeting on Wednesday.  


We know that you have many questions. Rest assured that as soon as we have more specific information about how we will move forward with learning, we will share it with you. I’m committed to ensuring that every student in the Grinnell-Newburg School District receives the education that they deserve.  Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions.


Pick up Meals and delivery:


Due to the amazing participation over the last two weeks for our meal pick up program, we have discovered that we need more storage, prep space, and a more practical distribution area to continue to serve our families safely and efficiently. Therefore, starting on Monday, April 6th, we will be moving meal distribution to Grinnell High School and will no longer be distributing at Davis School. Deliveries of meals will continue as planned. 


We encourage people to continue to sign up for curbside pick-up via this form. If you already filled out the form for Davis you don't need to fill it out again. Please email emergencymeals@grinnell-k12.org with questions.   


We will continue to serve on Mondays and Wednesdays, but are changing the time from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm.


Meal Pick up will take place in the West Parking Lot, Auditorium Entrance, under the awning.   Please see the map below for driving instructions. Please remember to remain in your vehicle, place your vehicle in park, open your passenger side window, and open your trunk or gate from inside your vehicle.  You are not required to have your student with you to pick up meals. 


This food program is available for all income levels. Anyone with children who are age 1-18 can receive meals. We hope that all of our community will benefit from this service.  


Map High School


Grace Mcilrath, a junior at GHS, was awarded the highest achievement a student can receive nationally from the Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards: the gold medal for her piece, "The Letters of Lord Lavender". The photo from the state award ceremony in March; Grace Mcilrath is on the left and Claire Baechtel is on the right.

Writer GHS 


Virtual Band:

Mr. Dressler had the opportunity to host a virtual band lesson and invited a composer to work with students.   Here are Mr. Dressler’s thought about the activity:  


“I invited Randall Standridge, the composer of our marching band show "Phoenix Rising," to visit with the band about writing his show, his thoughts on this time we are in, he gave some awesome advice about taking control of the things we have control of and not worrying about the things we can't control, and we also had a bit of time for students to ask him questions. It was truly an amazing time seeing the band students interact with the composer and to see and hear from my band students. I sure miss them! I have attached a couple of pictures of the interaction today.”

Virtual Band Meeting


Let’s Bake!  
Last week Ms. Skouson started a GNCSD Virtual Baking Club and invited high school students and community members to join. Pretty much it's just a place for students and others to show off their baking done while at home.  Ms. Skouson is posting a baking challenge each week. She is challenging elementary and middle school students as well as high-schoolers. Come on and Let the Baking Begin! Here is the link https://www.facebook.com/groups/GNCSDBaking


Just a reminder…… 

Please continue to remind your students not to gather in large groups, keep social distancing, wash hands often, and stay off the playground equipment.   Be safe, be healthy, stay home!  


Have a wonderful weekend!  



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