Superintendent Stutz’s Weekly Update 02-17-2018

Dear Board of Education, Staff, Families and Friends:
Our thoughts are with the Parkland Florida school community. This tragedy has resulted in many parents asking questions about our own schools and the safety of our students. Parents have also expressed a desire to know specific measures that we have set in place to ensure student safety. What drills do we do? How do our students know where to go or what to do? Please know that the safety of our students is a top priority, so each time there is violence on a school campus, it prompts us to pause and reflect on our safety measures, such as our secure entryways and the standard response protocol we have in place. This also reminds us how important our efforts are to invest in forming trusting relationships with and among students in our schools. Students need to follow directions and practice procedures while listening during our drills.
This morning I gathered our leadership team and our police department to discuss some of our parent emails and concerns, and to once again review our procedural safeguards. Our students participate in drills throughout the school year. It is understandable that parents want to know specifics, but please know that some details can not be advertised or publicised with specific information, for safety reasons.   Each situation or incident is different. Depending upon where the incident occurs, we must respond in a manner that uses common sense:  Hide, flight, fight.  Our teachers review scenarios and discuss this as a team knowing that procedures are in place, but that we need to think quickly and respond while directing students away from an incident to safety or by remaining hidden.
You will find that some of our procedures will be tightened up. We will be ensuring that all visitors come through the main entrance. When you buzz in, please know that you will be asked to state your name and the reason for your visit. Upon entry, everyone must report to the main entrance to sign in and receive a visitor’s badge. If you are in the hallway as a visitor please know that our staff may approach you to assist you to find your way. We are asking that you talk with your student about not opening the door to let someone in to a building, even if they know them. We also ask that you talk to your student about reporting any concern or suspicious activity to a teacher, parent, adult, or the police. We all have a role in sustaining a safe learning environment. If you or your child see something out of the ordinary or concerning, say something to someone as soon as possible.
I recognize that there is always a sense of uncertainty.   We continue to collaborate with our emergency personnel through scenarios and table top discussions regarding safety.  This is an ongoing activity.   Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns.

No School this Monday, February 19th for Presidents Day.

KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION

When: Monday, March 5 from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Where: Grinnell High School; outside the auditorium (west doors)
What to bring:  Updated immunization record and birth certificate
If you have questions, please contact Fairview Elementary at 236.2780 or Bailey Park Elementary at 236.2770.

K-2 to the Civic Center

Our K-2 students had the most wonderful opportunity to go to the Civic Center this week to see the performance Air Play. Through the generous donation of an anonymous community member, our students had a wonderful time and got to experience art & culture that they might not have otherwise been exposed to.  I want to express a big thank you to every parent, teacher, and community member whose commitment to our students provides such wonderful opportunities to help our students learn, grow, and become lifelong learners!
K-2 to the Civic Center
K-2 to the Civic Center

GHS Variety Show

Grinnell Students Got Talent!   The variety show this past week was spectacular.   I am so proud of our students and our music department.   Here are few photo highlights:
GHS Variety Show GHS Variety Show
GHS Variety Show GHS Variety Show

8th Grade Boys Basketball

I had an opportunity to watch our 8th grade boys basketball team play against Pella.  Great job guys!
8th grade boys basketball

Central Iowa MathCounts Competition

GMS took 12 students to the Central Iowa MathCounts Competition. Bridget Blanchard took 10th place individually competing against 300+ mathletes. Bridget will advance to state competition for the second consecutive year. The team of Bridget Blanchard, Thea Larson, Ella Stephens, and Tristan Willenbring came in 12th place.

Central Iowa MathCounts Competition

Central Iowa MathCounts Competition

For GHS students

The Grinnell AmeriCorps Partnership’s Summer Learning team is looking for summer members. 40 Summer Learning Corps member positions are available.  Corps members will provide fun literacy-based activities for elementary kids here in Grinnell. Questions can be directed to Liz Hansen at hansenel@grinnell.edu. You must be 17 prior to the start date of June 4, 2018 to apply.  The application deadline is Friday, April 6. Please visit the Virtual Backpack for more information, and to see all available programs for our students.

Healthiest State Initiative

Congratulations to Fairview Elementary for being selected as the runner up for the healthiest school in Iowa’s Healthiest State Initiative awards. Great job Fairview for your initiative, and keep up the great work!
 Healthiest State Initiative Runner Up
Robotics Team
Good luck to our robotics team, as they head up to Cedar Falls this weekend to test out their robot in a full-sized scrimmage with other teams from around the state.
Robotics Team Robotics Team

Large Group Speech

Good luck also to our Large Group Speech Students! Our Ensemble Acting group will be traveling to Ames to perform at 12:45 in the Alumni Building for the All-State Large Group Speech contest, with their performance of “Seascape with Sharks and Dancer.”  Break a leg!

Wrestling State Tournament

Sophomore Brock Beck has advanced in the state wrestling class 2A tournament again today.   After losing his first match, Brock has won his last two matches which ensures he will make the medal stand.

Girls Regional Tournament this Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

Doors open at 6:00 pm.  Best of luck to our Girls Basketball Team- Go Tigers!  See you there!
Upcoming Events: Please visit the Calendar page for more details
February 19 – No School, Presidents Day
February 23 – Tiger Paws Winter Showcase
March 8-10 – The Little Mermaid Performance
March 26-30 – Spring Break
There are new items up on the Virtual Backpack, don’t forget to take a look!
Have a great weekend!
Sincerely,
Janet

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