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Weekly Update: January 8, 2021

Janet Stutz
Weekly Update: January 8, 2021

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

I hope that this update finds you well as we begin in 2021. This week has been a difficult one as many of us watched the tragic events at our Capitol. I watched in disbelief and immediately my thoughts were focused on how do we explain this to our students? How do we ensure that our students feel safe especially during unprecedented times? I want to thank our principals, social workers, and counselors for tapping into resources immediately for our staff as students entered the doors the next day.   The National Association of School Psychologists has disseminated a resource that may be helpful if your child has questions. Please take a look at it here. Another resource that is available is available at our AEA Central Rivers here. This website has a wealth of additional resources through drop-down tabs located at the top of the page. Please contact your school’s principal or counselor if you need any assistance with your student during this time. We are here to support our families.  


Yesterday, I sent a notification to our community that we will be suspending GHS Boys Basketball and GHS Wrestling until January 15 due to COVID-related quarantine and illness.   This safety measure is to ensure that we limit the spread of the virus. Please see this link here for more information. 


Knocked Your Socks Off: Please keep those nominations coming in! I am booked with interviews until February, so if you do not see your nomination right away, do not fret!   Keep reading and watching for it!  Send your nominations to janet.stutz@grinnell-k12.org


Kim Sieck, You have knocked your socks off!   

Preparing meals for students on a regular basis is what keeps our lead cook Kim Sieck hopping in the kitchen. She shared with me that this brings her joy every day.  She began with our school district in 2006 and started as a cook in 2007 and hasn’t turned back. She did share that she misses making homemade cookies from scratch for her students due to our challenging COVID protocols. I asked her what are some of the students' favorite foods, “Crispitos, French Toast sticks, tacos, and more”. She is currently covering at the middle school right now and it is a team effort! Together we make it happen for the students every day. Kim was essential this past summer assisting in organizing the summer pick-up program. Her nomination stated “She is doing a fantastic job in keeping the meal pick-up and deliveries sorted out during this trying time. I am honestly in awe how she keeps everything sorted out!” Way to Go Kim.  

Kim SieckBreakfast with Kim


High School Paraprofessionals: You have knocked your socks off! 

The High School Para team works closely together to ensure that students who have special needs are taken care of on a daily basis. This year this group has taken on a team approach to meet the needs of students before school, during supervision times, and class time. Their nomination read: 

“The HS paras are the unsung heroes of the school and knock my socks off with their hard work. I personally couldn’t function without the help of all the paras.  During our recent virtual learning, they were zooming in classes with their students, taking notes, and assisting with assignments and quizzes. Once our “school” day was over they were setting up meetings with students to assist in homework completion and preparing things for the next day's lessons.

When we are face to face they are in the classes daily, taking notes, reading books along with the students, helping classroom teachers modify assignments as they go, and helping with anything the teachers may need. As a special education teacher, the paras help me get progress monitoring collected, check assignments, updating folders, and monitoring student behaviors. The paras are a major part of our wonderful Special Education Department”! The one thing that brings our Para team the most joy? “Working 1:1 on with our students that have the desire to learn.”


Way to go Team!  

High School Para Team

Cathy Wise, Lisa Kriegel, Monica Moyer, Markie Koepp, Sixta Hernandez, John Doorenbos, 

Shelley Lacina, Tlana Astelle, Samantha Mielak, Nicholine Junge, Faren Garland (not pictured)

Rebecca Talk, you have Knocked your Socks Off!

Rebecca is a teacher at Fairview Elementary School! She was nominated by three families in our district all within a week apart. Mrs. Talk is new to our school district this year by the way of Texas and she loves teaching. “Just walk into her room on any given day and the energy she brings to the classroom is amazing. Students are tired at the end of the day because they had fun, and may not even realize how much they learned in a day.” Mrs. Talk is creative, energizing and fosters a learning environment that feels like family. What brings Rebecca joy is “watching the excitement of my students having fun while learning. My job at this young age is to ensure they love to come to school”. She also stated that she is so grateful for her team and how supportive they are when she brings ideas to plan. “I felt so welcomed to Fairview and found great support from my colleagues and our building principal, Mrs. Seney.” One of her nominations stated, “I have never seen a teacher so involved with her kids and have so much love for them. She’s an amazing person. My aunt passed unexpectedly and it was very hard on my family let alone my child and she was there for us every day sending videos letting us know that she was thinking of us and providing words of encouragement and strength. As my youngest daughter says, Mrs. Talk’s classroom is her home away from home”. Way to Go Rebecca!

Mrs. TalkGrinch Day


District Phone Lines:

Hooray! It looks like the District extensions and phones will be completed today! We thank you for your patience as we patiently waited for Mediacom to bring fiber to our office. We are located at 925 Broad Street! You can’t miss us! Feel free to mask up and stop in to say hello! 


COVID protocols reviewed for spectators:

The Little Hawkeye conference is reviewing the recommendations from the Governor's office regarding spectators. We will share an update about spectators prior to the next Girls Basketball home game.  


Here are some highlights from Girls Basketball against Norwalk last week.  

Girls Basketball 2021Girls Basketball highlight


Upcoming Events:


Friday, Jan. 8th

Girls JV2/JV/V Bball @ Norwalk- 4:45


Saturday, Jan. 9th

State Debate- Virtual Competition

B Swim @ DSM Hoover- 12PM


Tuesday, Jan. 12th

B Swim @ Vinton-Shellsburg

G JV2/JV/V Bball vs Pella- 4:45


Have a wonderful weekend! Please be safe and stay healthy. Wash your hands, socially distance, wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance, use hand sanitizer, do not attend large gatherings especially while eating so we can limit the spread of the virus. I do see the light at the end of the tunnel. As vaccinations become available for our staff, I am hopeful we will be able to get back to some sense of normalcy in the future. I will be working with IDPH on the vaccination rollout for staff once it becomes available. We are hopeful that we will be included in the next tier.  






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