Superintendent's Update: December 1st, 2023
Weekly What’s Going Well:
Happy first Friday of December to our Grinnell-Newburg families! My weekly update video guest was Principal Kevin Seney as he talked about What’s Going Well at the High School. Please check it out to learn more about the recent Pride Assembly and other great things happening at the High School.
This week we will take a look at what the directors have to say about what is going well in each of their areas as well as some great things happening at each of the schools!
Our drivers always work very hard to make sure kids get to school and home safely and in a timely manner. Their willingness to get students to every event after school and every field trip during the day is very much appreciated. I also want to thank the drivers who substitute for route drivers when they are gone. That particular job is not easy and constantly changing. Those drivers do a great job adapting to those situations. We have a great team! - Transportation Director Chris Astelle
School nutrition staff are required to have up to 12 hours of training every year. Our staff has completed all of the required training at this point in the year. This is important because it shows their dedication to remaining up-to-date on food safety procedures for the safety and well-being of the students and staff we feed every day. - Food Service Director Kim Sieck
Day in and day out there is a custodian at every building. Every day they are making sure the students and staff have a safe, comfortable, and clean place to learn. They have done a fantastic job at filling in where needed when others are out, and working together as a team!
Fun Fact- Every weekend and holiday a custodian goes through each building to check doors, boilers, pumps, chillers, leaks, refrigerators, and freezers. - Director of Maintenance Shawn Edelen
Grinnell athletes and coaches went a whole year without any ejections. We are one of the 168 schools, which calculates to 46% of the IHSAA membership, who had no student-athletes or coaches ejected during the 2022-2023 school year. To go an entire year and not have one flagrant, unsportsmanlike act during any of our competitions is certainly something to be proud of. We continued this pattern without having any during the fall 2023 season. This is a testament to our athletes, coaches and supporters of Grinnell Athletics. Go Tigers! - Activities Director Chris Coffman
The new EverAlert System that was installed this past summer at all five schools has combined bells, schedules, daily announcements, instant messaging, one-way paging, consistent cross-campus time, emergency alerts, and weather into one pane of glass. Our office staff in all buildings have jumped on board to learn this new system and are being creative in finding ways to have less disruptions during class by sending instant messages to panels instead of paging, using zones to target specific areas of the buildings, and creating schedules for bells to only ring in necessary spaces all while keeping staff and students informed and accounted for. This upgrade in our district has allowed for less time and money to be spent troubleshooting and repairing five systems that were far beyond their expected life. We look forward to continuing to grow and implement this system to its fullest potential. - Director of Technology Mindy Kostow
Testing Emergency Messaging System
On Monday, December 4th we will be testing the district wide emergency notification system. Please be on the lookout for emails, text messages, and calls to ensure you will be properly notified in case of school closures for inclement weather. If you have any questions or problems, please reach out to Katie Osborn firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Radon Testing at Elementary Buildings
The week of December 4th, our Facilities team will be placing radon testing devices in each classroom in our elementary buildings. These devices will be sent for processing to ensure each room is below threshold levels. This testing is in response to a 2022 Legislative bill that requires all schools to test for Radon levels every five years.
Preschoolers getting a great start to their educational journey
This year across all of our preschools in the district we have 29 3-year olds and 99 4-year olds enrolled in our program. We know that quality early learning is vital to get everyone off to a successful start.
Tiny Techies Wraps Up Fall Session at Bailey Park and Fairview
This fall we offered Tiny Techies after school at both Bailey Park and Fairview Elementary. This was an optional after-school program for 1st and 2nd graders that offered opportunities for kids to experiment and play with technology without being in front of a computer. Students practiced computational thinking and problem-solving skills, creativity, and working together. This was all done through hands-on activities that kept them moving, building, and thinking. Examples of Tiny Techies activities include: “where are the computers around us?”, pattern recognition, exploring electricity using conductive playdough, Snap Circuits, Cubetto robots, Cubettos, BeeBots, Sphero Indis and programming concepts.
3rd and 4th Graders at Davis are celebrated for showing that Character Counts
Students were invited to share a mug of hot cocoa with Principal Conway as a celebration of each of these students displaying great character in the first trimester of the school year.
Mr Conway leads an assembly highlighting student accomplishments
Congratulations to the GMS November STRIVE Students of the Month!
5th Grade: Patrick Janicki, Lyla Norris, Kimber Barnes, Cooper Muckler, Everett Litton, Wren Haenfler
6th Grade: Finn Herbers, Mya Hart, Ady Hankins, Sloane Donahoe, Fiona Grout, Cameron Sandeno
7th Grade: Preston Best, Brendon Hoth, Emma Gnau, Tessa Jones, Acadia Robinson, Lauren Janicki
8th Grade: Ava Seney, Ruby Zimsen-Campe, Cooper Wiese, Merry Poush, Max Bartlett, Jack
A Day in the Life of a 7th Grader
The 7th grade Reading and Language Arts students are working on The Giver Pre-Reading Stations. Students learned about different types of genres, participated in an anticipation guide, discussed differences between utopias and dystopias, and learned how communities use rules to keep order.
Upcoming Music concerts
Monday, December 11, 7:30 PM GHS Winter Concert
Tuesday, December 12, 6:15 PM 5th & 6th Grade Band & Choir Concert
Friday, December 15, 7:00 PM 7th & 8th Grade Band & Choir Concert
The Virtual Backpack can be found here:
The Activities Calendar can be found here:
Have a great weekend!
Steven H. Barber