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Weekly Update: May 21, 2021

Janet Stutz
Weekly Update: May 21, 2021
Dear Grinnell-Newburg Board of Education, Staff, Families, and Friends:


This week we have experienced yet another quick curve ball as we navigate an already challenging school year. The news of the HF 847, which indicated that masks were no longer allowed to be mandated, quickly sent me into emergency mode to inform families of the immediate measure, without consideration of time for families to process with students.  This was concerning especially because only a few days ago we were examining the CDC guidelines that clearly states to keep using our mask measures until the end of the school year. This immediate change placed students and staff in a situation that was confusing and not certain on how to move forward.     


Wearing a mask, although now optional as we can no longer require it, is still the best form of protection until all of our students are vaccinated. We are so close to having our vaccine clinic on June 3, 2021, for students ages 12 and up. It was evident that some students who still wanted to wear them felt pressure from peers to not wear one and vice versa. Placing our students in this dilemma has created confusion, worry, and uncertainty for many. I wish we would have had more time to prepare our families. A lesson learned here is that as a community we all have a different view about masks vs. no masks. The key to guide our students is to have conversations at home and to let them know that no matter what others may think about our own decision, we need to be respectful and not pressure others in an already confusing situation. I recognize the concern that our families have regarding this new legislation. We have been placed in a difficult spot navigating yet another change. I appreciate your patience during these sudden changes that have affected us all as we search to find a quick solution. Please understand that our safety measures for hand washing and cleaning will remain in place until further notice.   


Board Meeting this week:

Please know that we will not have a zoom option for the board meeting this week.   We will be meeting in the Boardroom at GHS. We, unfortunately, will not be able to provide this service due to some conflict of schedules.   The Board will determine future meetings if the zoom option will continue over the summer.


Board Work Session:

The Board Work session will be held on June 2, 2021, in the GHS library. I will be sending out a priority list of items for consideration and will ask our staff to add any additional items to the list.  This draft list will be discussed at the work session as we create a plan for the next three-five years. We will invite the public to watch this session and at the end of the session offer feedback.    


Summer School Enrichment Sign Up is Here: 


Summer School Enrichment Catalog 


Take a look at some of the opportunities for all students this summer at various locations throughout the district! Sign Up Here! The programs are free to all Grinnell-Newburg Students. 


Summer Meal Information will be published next week!!


Bailey Park Second Grade Students advocate for new playground equipment in the Park.   

This morning I had the opportunity to talk with our second-grade students about their desires to have a new playground in Bailey Park. We brainstormed reasons why we need to advocate for a new playground, what types of equipment should be considered, and how we can go about the process to one day have a playground that meets the needs of students with disabilities while supporting a playground that is larger for students in second grade. Our next steps will be to write a letter to the city and to the Board of Education to see how we can implement this project.   This was a wonderful learning experience in the area of civics and literacy!   

Bailey Park ideasBailey Park tallkDr. Stutz at Bailey Park

Knocked Your Socks Off!

Please consider sending an email to janet.stutz@grinnell-k12.org to nominate a staff member who has knocked their socks off! Each week we continue to share these amazing stories of staff members whose nominations have been considered for the award. We have had many and will continue to share these stories throughout the school year weekly. This week we are sharing two recipients!

Damian Imhoff: Congratulations Damian you have knocked your socks off!  Damian is the Behavioral Interventionist at GMS. Damian’s recommendation states, “Damian is committed to helping students be the best version of themselves every day. His communication with parents and families strengthens the relationship between school and home. His sense of humor and love for music helps to lighten tough moments. He wears many hats throughout the day and wears them all well, (but not in the building:)  He is a great Teammate”. Damian finds great joy in his work at the Grinnell Middle School. He especially enjoys building relationships with students and building trust. He has the opportunity to see students grow academically and socially over the course of four years. He stated that he feels blessed to work with a good team at GMS and he has never had a day where he did not want to be at work, working with students and staff. He is truly grateful for the support and guidance the counselors and administrators provide so that he can be successful at supporting students and paraprofessionals. Way to Go Damian!  

ImhoffImhoff 2021


Nicole James, you too have knocked your socks off!  Nicole is new to her position at GMS as a new leader. Her nomination read, “ Nicole has been a strong leader and has helped bring our Success Program to a higher level. She excels at developing positive relationships with students. She leads the staff well with her work ethic and calm energy. She has been a tremendous asset to GMS! Nicole shared that she feels very fortunate to be around such wonderful students and staff all day long. She enjoys the staff and students and enjoys providing the support that they need to be successful in their classrooms and with students.   She has watched students achieve their goals and grow over the years. Nicole brings additional insight as a new administrator to the team. Her thinking outside of the box and ability to problem solve is admired. Way to go Nicole!  


Nicole JamesJames 2021


State Track Meet: Congratulations to all of our student-athletes who are participating in the State  Track Meet!  Below are some photos and highlights.  Way to go Tigers!

Girls state track

Boys state track

Thursday’s Results: 

Aaron Campbell finished 15th overall in the discus. 

Gavin Cooper missed opening height in the high jump. Finishes around 20th. 

Mary Jacobson finished 23rd in the 3,000. 


Friday’s Results:

Hannah Kling finished 23rd in the shot put. 

Boys 4x200 ran the fastest time of the year to finish in 11th overall. 

Oliver Louden finished 21st in the shot put. 

Girls 4x100 also ran the fastest time of the year to finish 12th overall. 


Upcoming events Saturday:  Good Luck tomorrow!!! Go Tigers!

Kayla Sieck in the 800 and 1500. 

Braden Penyich in the 1600. 


Girls Soccer

The Grinnell girls soccer team hosted their 1st Annual Faculty Appreciation Night on Tuesday, May 18th on their last home game and senior night! Each member of the soccer team chose a different faculty member within the K-12 school district ranging from teachers, cooks, bus drivers, social workers, at-risk teachers, paras, secretaries, substitutes, and the list goes on. Coach Gielau states, “I started this event back in Denver, IA, I wanted to bring attention to our soccer program and invite each player to ask a faculty member that has been an inspiration to them to be their guest and watch them perform in the "outside" classroom. This helps them reconnect with those adults who have made an impact in their lives. I felt that this year, more than any year I've done this, was so important to show the faculty that they are appreciated and that students remember how you made them feel. We all know this year has been tough on us all and this was a nice reminder that we are doing so much good with our students and faculty. The girls can't wait to host this next year and get more faculty and student-athletes involved! Thank you so much to those who came and supported their student-athletes through the rain in their "outside classroom".


Girls soccerSoccer nightGirls senior soccer nightTeachers recognition 


Celebrating Seniors! Best of luck to each of you! 

Girls soccer seniors


Roger Hendersonconducts his final concert at GHS and students pay tribute to him!  

HendersonChoir 2021


Awards 2021Choir 2021Henderson Recognition


Are you in need of assistance to stay connected?

Emergency Broadband Benefit Program:  The Emergency Broadband Benefit Program is a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) program that provides a temporary discount on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income households. If your household is eligible, you can receive:

  • Up to a $50/month discount on your broadband service and associated equipment rentals

  • Up to a $75/month discount if your household is on qualifying Tribal lands

  • A one-time discount of up to $100 for a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer (with a co-payment of more than $10 but less than $50)


Upcoming Events:


Friday, May 21st

B/G State Track- Drake Stadium


Sat. May 22nd

B/G State Track- Drake Stadium

B Tennis Sub state vs Shenandoah @ Pella 9 AM

G Tennis Team Regional vs Columbus Catholic 9 AM


Monday, May 24th

G Tennis Regional Team- 9 AM

Byrnes Park, Waterloo

JV/V Softball @ PCM- 5:30PM

Boys Sub state Soccer vs Newton- 5 pm

Ahrens Park


Tuesday, May 25th

Baseball DH vs Albia-5:30


Weds. May 26th

G Soccer Regional Tournament

@ Williamsburg- 6 PM


Thursday, May 27th

B Soccer Sub State- TBA

JV/V Baseball @ West Marshall- 5:30

JV/V Softball @ Monte- 5:30


Have a great weekend!  Let’s hope for some sun!!!



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