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Weekly Update: January 29, 2021

Jnaet Stutz

Weekly Update: January 29, 2021
Dear Grinnell-Newburg Board of Education, Staff, Families, and Friends:


This week I have been paying very close attention to the legislative action that is occurring in both the House and the Senate. Primarily, “Option for in-person instruction” and “School Vouchers”. 


The first bill, SF 160 Parent Option for in-person instruction, was signed by the Governor today. What this means is that if parents would like for their child to attend school every day, and not virtual or on an A/B day, they can. The two-week planning time to make this happen for students to return to the high school is very tight depending upon the number of families that would choose this option to return daily. We hoped that once staff was vaccinated, we could begin to bring all students back daily and gradually during the third trimester. This bill cuts this timing a little short. 


Here is our current reality: The Grinnell-Newburg staff will begin the first round of vaccinations on February 9th. The rollout will take time, approximately 4 weeks for round 1 as we have 240 staff members who are signed up to get the vaccine. We hope that all employees who wish to receive the vaccine will be able to get it over time by the first week of March. Then we will begin round two. Staff will be notified weekly as to when they are to attend.   


Knowing this information, I will be sending out a survey to our high school families and all families who attend school virtually to take a poll to see who is interested in coming back by the date of the law, possibly February 15, 2021. This new law affects the high school and those who attend school virtually. Please know that you are not required to attend every day through the end of the school year, however, you have the option to do so. All other students are already here each day. This will enable us to plan accordingly.  I hope that families who want to be back full time on-campus might consider waiting for that natural break of the third trimester. However, we will work with you to meet your needs and follow the law. 

Please watch for the link for a return to school “Parent Option” survey on Tuesday afternoon, February 2, 2021. 


School Choice Voucher Bill


The second bill that is very important to pay attention to is Governor’s Omnibus School Choice Bill: SF 159.  This bill has passed out of the Senate education committee and is moving quickly. The gist of this bill, as I have shared with our legislators:  School vouchers or Educational Savings Accounts (ESAs) are not about school choice, but rather about funneling money to private entities that can avoid serving the needs of all students from different races, ethnicities, religions, academic abilities, or with disabilities. I asked our representatives to consider these few points: 

  • Public dollars should go to public schools. Taxpayer money needs to have accountability and transparency. Under a voucher system, taxpayer money would not be accounted for and up to the discretion of a student’s parents or guardian.

  • This bill will hurt rural Iowa Public Schools due to the decrease in enrollment that would impact funding. 

  • This limited voucher program may seem innocuous but experience tells us that this is the first foot in the door for a full-scale voucher program.

  • Taxpayer dollars should be used for education that is inclusive of all students. 

Please feel free to contact our legislators to state that we do not support a voucher program for Iowa students.  Our students already have open enrollment choices and this bill will take away funding to support our students in our schools.  


GNSF Board Thank You:  Thank you Malissa Juni for recognizing our Foundation! 

I am so thankful for all of the support GNSF has given Grinnell Middle School throughout the pandemic. Internet access for those previously without has been amazing! It provides equitable learning opportunities for all of our students. 


In addition to internet access, you have provided GMS with a variety of safety supplies. The air purifiers, disinfectant wipes, and masks have helped keep the students and staff healthy. The Glo Germ Gel and black lights provided each cohort group with memorable lessons on the spread of germs and the importance of washing hands or using hand sanitizer correctly. I have attached a couple of pictures so you can see some of your contributions in action. 


I am so proud of the work GNSF has done for all of Grinnell's PreK-12 students!

Thanks again!


Donated masksblacklight hands under blacklight


Activities: It was such a joy to be out this week and take a few snapshots of our athletes as they participated in basketball and Senior night for wrestling.  I was so fortunate to take a snapshot of our future Grinnell-Tiger Wrestlers who came out to say hello and wish our Seniors well!  They are adorable!  


Boy BasketballBoys Basketball 2021Wrestling 2021Cheer SeniorWrestling Senior 2021Senior Cheet 20212021 SeniorRose Senior 2021Senior wrestling night 2021Kamrin 2021Senior wrestling 2021WrestlingWrestling 2021future wrestlers

                                                                                                                        Future Grinnell Wrestling Tigers!!!! 

Girls Basketball 2021


Upcoming Events:


Friday, Jan. 29th

B 9/JV/V BBall @ PC- 4:45

G JV/V BBall @ PC- 4:45


Saturday, Jan. 30th

East IA Debate Tournament- Virtual Competition 8:45

V Wrestling LHC Meet @ Newton- 9:00

B Swim Conference Meet-@ Boone 11 PM


Monday, Feb. 1st

B 9/JV/V Bball @ Knoxville- 5:00

B 7th BBall @ Indianola- 4:30


Tuesday, Feb. 2nd

B 8th BBall @ Norwalk- 4:30

B 9/JV/V BBall @ Indianola- 4:45

G JV2/JV/V BBall @ Indianola- 4:45


Thursday, Feb. 4th

8th B BBall vs Knoxville- 4:30

7th B Bball @ Knoxville- 4:30


Friday, Feb. 5th

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

G JV2/JV/V BBall vs Norwalk- 4:45


I hope that you have a wonderful weekend. Please know that snow is predicted for tomorrow afternoon and it could potentially begin with freezing rain before turning to snow. Be safe.   


I will be highlighting  “Knocked Your Socks Off” next week!  I apologize for the delay! Watch for next week’s highlights. Keep submitting those to janet.stutz@grinnell-k12.org


Don’t forget to check out the Virtual Backpack!!





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