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Grinnell-Newburg CSD


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Dr. Stutz

Weekly Update: January 15, 2021


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

Happy First Virtual Snow Day! I often am asked about how this decision to call a “snow day” is made. Many steps are taken to ensure that we make the best decision possible either in the evening before the snow day or the early morning. Any time that there is a possible snow event, our Transportation Director, Buildings and Grounds Director, area superintendents and I begin communicating as early as 4:30 am. Thank goodness I am an early morning person!  We examine forecasts, several sites, wind, roads, snow amounts, country roads, and potential for either clearing up, or deteriorating conditions. It is a challenge, and we attempt to make the best decision for our students and staff safety. This year, we have an opportunity to continue learning virtually. I am not certain if this will continue yet into the future, but for this year it is an option. I recognize that students may be disappointed not to have a full day off to be out and enjoy the snow once the weather settles. I am hoping however, they took a break and tested out the new white snow at some point during the day!  


Thank you for your patience and understanding as we make these decisions. They are tough calls, and I recognize how difficult this can be on our families when we change the routine! The good news is that we do not have to make this day up in June.  


Just a reminder
Monday, January 18, 2021: No School in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.


Board of Education Update: 

This past week the Board of Education participated in a Diversity Equity and Inclusion Training with Dr. Stephanie Jones from Grinnell College. Dr. Jones has also been working with our staff on curriculum and DEI and well serves on our REDI team. We are looking forward to this ongoing priority commitment for our district for many years to come. Thank you Dr. Jones for your expertise and assistance as we create action plans not only for our students and staff but for our community!   


We are grateful to an Anonymous Donor who paid the entire 5th-grade class instructional fees of $6,240. Wow, thank you!  


The Board extended the FCCRA extension Plan (COVID Leave) for staff through a resolution through March 31, 2021.  This can be found on this past Board agenda. If you have any questions regarding this leave, please contact Jerica Latcham at the District Office. 


21-22 School Calendar:

The calendar has been posted for the 2021-2022 school year for feedback.  Calendar  Please feel free to send any comments or questions to janet.stutz@grinnell-k12.org. We will be accepting comments through Wednesday, January 20, 2021.  Grinnell staff should access the Google document that was sent to submit your feedback there.  

T-Moblie Grant for hot spots!   

Congratulations Mindy Kostow on being awarded a T-Mobile grant to receive additional hotspots for our district to ensure that all students and staff are connected! Way to Go Mindy! More information will be coming to families who are in need.   


Knocked Your Socks Off Recognition!   

Keep those emails coming into janet.stutz@grinnell-k12.org! We are so excited to share the stories of our employees!  


Rita Mertens:  You have ”Knocked your socks off” and have been nominated by one of your families this week! I had an opportunity to speak with Rita who has an incredible journey before arriving in Grinnell-Newburg School District! Did you know that she began her education as a student at Bailey Park? She also had an opportunity to teach in Korea where she fell in love with teaching! Upon her return, she worked with students in town who had special needs and therefore completed her teaching degree!  She has worked in all three of our Elementary buildings and this experience has helped her to get to know many students and staff! Rita’s nomination read: “She is always a kind and supportive teacher to my student.  Even when the other kids were out of school because of the pandemic, she took time each day to help my child with their work. As a single working mother, this has helped so much.” Mrs. Mertens has built amazing relationships with her students and she finds joy in teaching every day.  Congratulations Rita!  



nails reward

Ms. Mertens with a student who had earned "nail day" and asked that she do her nails as well so they could match. 

Sandra Gruman, you too have knocked off your socks!  

Mrs. Gruman, Bailey Park Teacher, was nominated by one of her families too. She comes to us with many years of experience in teaching. Her care and kindness to others are notable. Sandra is known for her kind heart, her willingness to step in to help others, and her creative instructional practices. “I never see her without a smile”. Her nomination read, “I am so grateful that my child is with her every day. She has helped my child in so many ways.” Mrs. Gruman teaches students first hand that it is ok to make mistakes and we are all in this together to learn.   She finds joy in ensuring that students “experience positivity and attempts to open the world of learning.” It is her goal to help students to “see themselves as learners for the rest of their lives. “She shared that she is learning too. She has been trying new things using technology so that students can see her as a learner. She sees how technology can be a teaching tool, not just a learning tool. Every day she wants her students to also see her as an avid reader and writer!   Way to Go Sandra! You have knocked your socks off!  

Mrs. GrumanGruman kids


Stella Anderson, Davis Elementary School Teacher, has knocked off her socks too! Her nomination was sent in by one of her students who were grateful for how much she helped him get access to a book he desperately needed for social studies! How special is that for a student to nominate their teacher! “She cares about our learning and having all we need to learn.”   When talking to Stella, her smile was catchy! I couldn’t help but to smile back and listen to what joy teaching brings to her every day. “It is those ah-ha moments when learning clicks and you see the child’s eyes light up when they know they got it!” Mrs. Anderson teaches math! Many students may enter her classroom that has a fear of math!  Her mindset, “well, we are going to change that”! She continues to foster a love of math for her students!   Way to go Mrs. Anderson!

 Stella AndersonReading Mrs. Anderson

Jim Dunne:  Iowa Football Hall of Fame Coach is recognized by GNCSD Board

All 34 of Jim Dunne's varsity football coaching career came at Grinnell, where he spent 11 seasons as an assistant under Steve Kriegel and then 23 as an award-winning head coach. Dunne won nine district titles and recorded a 174-67 record as a head coach, twice a coach of the year finalist, and Class 3A's coach of the year in 1998. Grinnell was the Class 3A runner-up in that 1998 season, tying their best finish in program history. His Tiger teams went to the playoffs 15 times and included 59 all-state players throughout his tenure.


At this time the Grinnell CSD and Grinnell School Board would like to recognize my colleague, my mentor, my friend, Jim Dunne with this plaque for his induction into the Iowa Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.


Jum Dunne

Student News:   

Way to go Alex Smith for being selected to serve as a member of the Iowa High School Athletic Association’s Student Advisory Committee. Alex is one of about 12 high school students who will serve on this advisory committee. We congratulate you on your selection!   

Alex Smith


Upcoming Events:


This evening's GBB Games have been cancelled against OSKY.


Saturday, January 16

V Wrestling @ Marion- 9:30AM


Monday: No School Martin Luther King Day


Tuesday, January 19

7th B BBall vs Pella- 4:30

8th B Bball @ Pella- 4:30

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

V Swim @ Ottumwa- 5:30

B 9/JV/V BBall @ Norwalk- 



Thursday, January 21

B Swim @ Indianola- 5:15

JV/V Wrestling @ Newton- 6:30

B 9/JV/V BBall vs Nevada- 4:45

G JV/V Bball vs Nevada- 4:45

Have a wonderful Three Day weekend,
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