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Weekly Update: June 12, 2020

Janet Stutz

Weekly Update: June 12, 2020
District Statement: We must do better
Dear Grinnell Staff, Families, and Friends:


More than half a century ago, Black Americans, putting their lives on the line, pushed our country to be better, to work toward an America where they enjoy the same rights as white citizens. Today, as we look around, demonstrations across the country calling for racial equality make it very clear that Black Americans are experiencing the very same pain that motivated earlier generations to lead a multiracial movement for an America that embodies ideals we hold.


Sometimes in Grinnell, a community where we celebrate being good neighbors, and pride ourselves on looking out for each other, it can feel like we live apart from problems that people in other parts of the country are experiencing. However, people right here in Grinnell have experienced and are experiencing the same pain as Americans across the country. This is not okay. It’s not okay when Black students in our district feel pain as a result of experiences they have at school. Our public school buildings must feel like home for everyone.


Our schools must also prepare all students to live in our racially diverse United States. I have heard from numerous graduates of our district over the past couple of weeks that they are unprepared to understand what we see unfolding as a country. This is not okay. We must do better.


Earlier this week, we were honored to gather a small group of people from across our community—teachers, elected officials, business leaders, parents, students—to brainstorm together and to create partnerships that will help us move forward. In the coming weeks, this small group will grow larger, leading to initiatives in the curriculum, district training, and community-wide social engagement. We are excited about sharing plans with you as they develop.


Change will not happen overnight. But we will change and grow together. We must do this as one community.




The Grinnell-Newburg Board of Directors

Dr. Janet M. Stutz, Superintendent


Join our Team:

The District is looking for participants who are interested in working on our Diversity Team as mentioned in our district statement. We are organizing five committees. Curriculum, Training, Social-engagement and outreach, Communication and Media, and Partnerships. If you are interested please contact your building principal, or Amber Robson at amber.robson@grinnell-k12.org. You may also contact me at janet.stutz@grinnell-k12.org.

Return to Learn for this August:

Parents please know that we are working through the return to learn plan and preparing a document that will keep you informed over the summer about the expectations for what school will look like this fall. We have three options: Continuous learning that will be virtual only, Hybrid-that will be a combination of in school or not in school with various groups, or with parents who choose to keep their children learning at home, and all students returning on-site.  The actual implementation of the plan will depend upon the CDC guidelines, Iowa Department of Public Health recommendations, and the Governor’s proclamation for school operations this fall.  


We are planning for all three so that in the event COVID-19 spikes in our area we can easily flow between all three plans. The Hybrid model has been challenging to split our district up due to parents needing to return to work, day care challenges, teachers who have children at home and can’t be in two places on a split shift, and transportation to get students to school in families.  


Therefore, the Hybrid model for our district will be: All students will return to school wearing a mask, temperatures taken, hand washing, and social distancing especially during lunch time, and students whose parents are not comfortable sending students under these circumstances will have lessons delivered virtually.  


This is what we know as of today! It may change come August. At this time, we would like you to prepare your child for the following:

  • Use cloth masks as much as possible to get used to wearing one (We are exploring clear masks, face shield options too). 

  • Practice hand washing.

  • We will be sending a survey, by building, to families to ask if you will keep your student home for a virtual continual learning this fall if we implement the hybrid options. 

  • Transportation in town:  At this time, we can only put 14 students on a bus unless everyone wears a mask. Transportation in town may be limited and routes are being changed based upon current student information. Please know that seats will be assigned for all students. Therefore, last minute bus route changes will not be allowed unless approved a day ahead of time to ensure a seat location.  

Our health and safety committee will be coming together later this month and coordinate with our Emergency Management and Iowa Department of Public Health to prepare a question and answer document for returning to school, as we published for summer baseball and softball. 


The guidance changes often. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through planning for this fall. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions. 


Summer Activities:

At this time, we have opened the track to walk on (Please remain off the field and stadium) tennis courts, and playgrounds. We have signs posted to remind you to social distance, encourage hand washing, remain home if you are not feeling well, cover your cough or sneeze with your elbow, and to follow the CDC guidelines.  


July Activities:

We are working through the recent guidance for band/music lessons. We anticipate that this will be the next opening beginning July 1. I will keep you posted. At this time, we have not made a decision on open gyms. Currently the Kriegel gym is not available due to bleacher replacement and the need for it to be painted. We do not have any information at this time about summer camps. We will keep you posted on this as well.   


2020 Senior Honors Night taking place on Saturday, June 13th @ 6:00 PM.  

This will be live-streamed from the High School Auditorium and although students & parents won't be present, we'll be announcing awards and scholarship winners at that time.  


The link (https://youtu.be/MZDP4TMWjL0) will be posted on the GHS Facebook Page and on the GHS Counseling Facebook Page.  


Again, this will be a live event and after the event has concluded, you will use the same link (https://youtu.be/MZDP4TMWjL0) to watch this as a recorded event.  


Please feel free to send this link to friends, family, and relatives. 


Have you completed your census?

Currently Grinnell is at 70.2% completion rate as of today and we would like to see this continue to increase. This census will assist our school district to have information regarding the number of children in the district. Thank you for completing the census survey!   


People can complete the census online at  https://2020census.gov/, via mail or by calling 844-330-2020.  


Virtual Graduation:

Congratulations to our graduates! Many have already participated in the virtual graduation and we look forward to our live ceremony on July 11, 2020. Here are a few photos! Thank you parents for sharing with us! 

Virtual Graduation

Beck Grad


Hull Grad

Olivia 2020Beck Family

Graduation 2020


Have a wonderful weekend!





Dr. Janet M. Stutz
Grinnell-Newburg School District
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