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Weekly Update: May 15, 2020

Janet Stutz
Weekly Update: May 15, 2020


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

This week I had an opportunity to work with our District leadership team to begin our planning process as we think about our return to school this August. We are looking at a continuum of learning plan in order to be prepared for conditions related to COVID-19 this August.

Our vision for this plan is: 

  • The Grinnell-Newburg School District will embrace learning opportunities for students in a required continuous environment that will blend lessons virtually, and on site as allowable, through a continuum model.  It is our vision that students will be provided choices, voice, and ownership in their learning through access to key essential concepts that will internally motivate students to be engaged in learning. 

I want to thank our District Leadership Team for your thoughtfulness, creativity, and dedication to plan for our students.  


To our Guardians, Community members, Staff, Students and stakeholders: 

We will be looking for feedback from our community of guardians, students, staff, and stakeholders to gather data on how we can support you better as we face challenging times and plan for our return to learn this August. Please watch for this survey toward the end of next week. It will be called COVID-19 Support Survey.    

Summer School Fun!  

Several Teachers are working on virtual enrichment summer learning activities beyond our current offerings for SLICK, Credit recovery or identified extended summer learning that is already in place. Please watch for an email within the next few weeks about possible summer learning extension opportunities for your student. Courses will be held in June or August.     Students who participate in June will be able to keep their devices through June 26. Students who participate in August courses will be able to pick up a device in early August. 

Pick up and drop off of student items and computers:

We will have information coming out to our families about this process. Watch for an update next week!  

Graduation Update, Awards, Scholarships for our Seniors Plans:

The Grinnell-Newburg School Board hosted their bi-monthly meeting on May 13, 2020. One item on the agenda that was up for discussion were plans for graduation. The Grinnell-Newburg Board reviewed plans to host a July ceremony that was developed based upon feedback from our seniors and guardians. After further discussion, the Board charged the administration to plan for a live ceremony, Saturday, July 11th, 2020 at 10:00 a.m., held on the football field with social distancing seating for graduates and parents. This plan will be pending a review by Emergency Management and the Iowa Department of Public Health. In the event that COVID-19 in our area would prevent us from hosting a live graduation ceremony, then a virtual ceremony will be held at the same time. Mr. Seney will be contacting graduates to set up times with seniors for this activity.    

“Virtual” Commencement Tapings

When:  Monday, June 8th - Wednesday, June 10th

Where:  GHS Big Gym

* Students will sign up for a time to be taped “walking across the stage” in the gym

**  This will be done IN ADDITION to our live ceremony on July 11th (in case we cannot hold a live ceremony). Even if a live ceremony is permitted, this is an additional ‘momento’ for our graduates.  


  1. The ceremony is voluntary. If a student chooses not to participate, they will receive their diploma via mail.

  2. Parents, guardians, and graduates who are sick or symptomatic must stay home.

  3. Attendance is limited to the graduate and no more than 6 family members (all-inclusive of parents, guardians, & siblings).

  4. Video tape made of “individual” seniors receiving their diploma in the HS gym from Mr. Seney (name read, tassels turned, etc.).

    1. Students will have their caps & gowns available to them at that time to wear while receiving their diploma

    2. Parents & family members can attend for pictures, etc. 

    3. On the video, a “Senior Profile” will include awards received, scholarships, best memories, famous last words, future plans, etc.   

    4. Senior Speakers (Honors Speakers) will pre-record their speeches for the video 

    5. Once we determined graduation requirements satisfied - starting with students who are currently finished and going until those who need courses - as late as June 10th).

  • Again, this will be done by a videographer and edited into one long “virtual” graduation production for students & families.


“Virtual” Senior Awards Night

When:  Saturday, June 13th, 6:00 PM 

  1. Senior awards, recognitions, and scholarships will be announced as a live stream on social media (GHS Facebook page & YouTube).  

  2. Counselors and administrators will read the scholarship details and announce the winners from the HS Auditorium 

  • All scholarships, awards, and honors earned will be listed in the 2020 Commencement Program as they are traditionally each year. 


“Live” Commencement Details

When:  Saturday, July 11th 10:00 AM 

Where:  TT Cranny Field (HS FB Field) 


  1. The ceremony is voluntary. If a student chooses not to participate, they will receive their diploma via mail.

  2. Parents, guardians, and graduates who are sick or symptomatic must stay home.

  3. Attendance is limited to the graduate and no more than 4 family members (all-inclusive of parents, guardians, & siblings).  The ceremony will be live-streamed for relatives to view on the GHS Facebook page and YouTube.  

  4. Attendance limitations will be strictly enforced by the administration and law enforcement for safety purposes. 

  5. Students will enter the stadium through the ticket gate entrance and will begin lining up at 9:30 AM on the track (more details will be provided & social distancing will be adhered to).  

  6. Parents will enter the stadium near the maintenance shed driveway (where the football team enters the stadium) and take their seats on the north side of the field. 

  7. At 10:00 AM, “Pomp & Circumstance” will begin the ceremony and the graduates will walk to their seats on the south end of the field. 

  8. Once the graduates are seated, the normal order of Commencement will take place starting with the opening remarks and speeches, followed by the awarding of diplomas, and the closing remarks. 

  9. Once concluded, the Seniors will be dismissed by rows out of the stadium through the ticket booth entrance and the parents will be dismissed by row out of the stadium by the maintenance shed.  

  10. Please see the map for the ceremony set-up.     

graduation map


Inclement Weather Plan for Commencement 
  • Please be aware that if inclement weather occurs on the morning of Saturday, July 11th, we will move the Commencement ceremony to the big gym. 

  • If this occurs, the announcement will be made via email, voice reach, and social media by 9:00 AM on Saturday, July 11th. 

  • ALSO, please be aware that moving the ceremony to the big gym will limit each graduate to 2 family members in attendance to adhere to social distancing rules.  No exceptions will be made.

  • Again, the ceremony will be live-streamed for relatives to view on the GHS Facebook page and YouTube. 


Memories of Together Times 2019-2020


readingnew year photo


recesscross country


Footballfarmers market



parade 2019



band ms




Bball 2019Friday High Five


We miss our students and families!  We hope that you are well and let us know how we can help you during this challenging time!




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