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Weekly Update: July 24, 2020

Dr. Stutz

Weekly Update: July 24, 2020


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

Happy Friday! I hope that this email finds you well! This week our Board approved our return to learn plan for this fall. The plan allows flexibility and affords us the opportunity to move fluidly through either a continuous learning environment, hybrid model, or onsite. Every day we learn more information from the Department of Education, Iowa Department of Public Health and our own local physicians. We need to be ready, at any time, to learn in one of three environments. 


On July 2, 2020 we officially introduced the idea that if families are not comfortable returning to on campus activities, that they should notify their building principal to be on the list for online learning options that would be provided by the district. Offering this opportunity enables students to stay connected with staff and students. This came about after further clarity from Senate File 2310 and our understanding of FERPA, FAPE and ADA accommodations to meet the needs of students if they can not be on campus due to health reasons or other concerns from our families. I apologize for the evolving and developing plan. We want to ensure that students and families are comfortable with learning. Please recognize that we are learning more each day through these challenging times. We continue to gain further information about the effectiveness of face masks, and alternative measures such as face shields and plexiglass barriers. I am grateful to our local physicians, EMA and the Iowa Department of Public Health for their guidance and support. 


Right now many parents want to know the specifics for what online learning will look for our students who would like to participate in this program. I ask that you please be patient with us as we navigate the specifics to ensure that the online experience will be engaging, active, and connected and further developed from last Spring. We know more now than we did when we first tried it this past Spring. We are in a much better place. We have had some wonderful summer activities over the last month, staff have participated in further professional development and we continue to get support from Central Rivers AEA. The Return to Learn Plan for Continuous Learning has information that outlines the basics, and staff are working to further develop how online learners will connect with staff and students. Recently, senate file 2310 has provided much more clarity. We learned more about FERPA, FAPE, and ADA and how this affects students returning to school whether they are online or on school grounds. I apologize if you feel frustrated about what it will exactly look like. Please know that our administration and staff are working hard and will provide guidance to you in the next few weeks. We are examining ways, based upon staff and family feedback, on how to ease some time for staff to plan for online students. We are exploring an earlier dismissal for students and will keep you posted on start and end school day times next week. If you are interested in the online option only, please email your building principal by August 1, 2020.   


Return to Learn Plan can be found via this link.  

This is a working document. It provides student and staff experiences if we are in a continuous learning environment, hybrid model, or on site learning. We will update the information in the upcoming weeks for families that choose the our district provided online option.    


Students will receive a face mask, face shield and will have an opportunity to sit behind a plexiglass structure to provide breaks. Temperatures will be taken at the door upon entry and building principals will be communicating with families about which door your student will enter.  


Signage will be displayed reminding students to wear a mask or face shield, socially distance themselves as they move through the hallways, and be sure to wash their hands regularly. We will have hand sanitizer available in the classrooms. Breakfast and lunch meals will be a grab and go set up for students.    


We expect to return on campuses August 24, 2020, however please watch for information as building principals are working on a plan to bring students back gradually to this new environment during the first week of school. Students have been out of the classroom since March 13, and it is important that we build relationships, assist them to understand new routines, and to feel comfortable in a setting that is different from last year. The “way we do school”  for prek-8 students will be to attend each day in a cluster classroom. They will have breaks, be able to move in smaller clusters to PE, music or other courses as needed to meet their needs. Recess will be in place and students will not have to wear a mask while outside for recess, or in PE as it is not recommended and social distance measures will be in place.  Building principals are working with staff to place students into classrooms.  


High School students will attend school on an A/B schedule. Information regarding this schedule will be sent out to parents at the beginning of August. Students will be required to wear a face mask, face shield, or have an opportunity to sit behind a plexiglass system to provide breaks.   


Online Registration:  Please complete the online registration for your student attending on campus or online only.   All students must register whether you are online or on site. . 

We have officially opened Online Registration for the 20-21 school year! Please log in to your Parent Portal and on the left hand side of the screen click the "More" button from the menu, then click "Online Registration" to complete registration for next year! Please see the screenshot below to assist you. Registration needs to be completed and approved before the Free and Reduced application is available. If you are having issues, please contact the Administrative Assistant from your building for additional assistance. On-site registration will take place on August 3rd from 4-6 if regular business hours do not work. We will be putting in safety measures, which will be communicated at a later date.

Parent Portal


If you do not know, or have forgotten your username or password, please contact Amber Robson at 641-236-2700 or at amber.robson@grinnell-k12.org


Families that wish to pay their fees will be able to do so beginning this Monday, July 20, 2020.  


I will continue to send voice messages out to our families in the upcoming weeks. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns. We are here to support our families during these challenging times. 





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