I want to give a welcome to all of our future Christine Grant Elementary students and families. I am very honored to be the first principal of Christine Grant and look forward to working with you all in the creation of a positive learning community. The opportunities are endless as the establishment of traditions, celebrations, and culture within and beyond the walls of the school occur during this planning year and beyond.
We will get to know each other on many levels as planning occurs over the next year and, of course, once the school is open. During this next year, I will be assisting at both Garner Elementary and Penn Elementary. This will be terrific as I also will get to know many of our Christine Grant students and families!
Feel free to contact me with any questions.
Ken Turnis, Principal
We have a few updates to share regarding our Grab & Go meal service program. Since the beginning of our school closures in March, we have served over 250,000 free meals to local children and we are excited to announce that we will be able to continue providing meals to students beyond the end of the school year.
Our Return-to-Learn planning and preparations continue across the District as we look ahead to safely welcoming our students and staff back in August. Our families and staff understandably have questions as to what this will look like and we hope to provide information and clarification to help ease minds as we prepare for our return.
Our planning and preparation for safely returning to school in the fall continue across the District. This week, we shared an update with the Board that included the Return-to-Learn recommendations that have been made to date. This update represents months of work by multiple teams, all focused on preparing for the reopening of our schools for the 2020-21 school year. The Return-to-Learn teams, as well as updates and information on the Return-to-Learn planning process, are available at www.IowaCitySchools.org/ReturnToLearn.
Yesterday, the Iowa Department of Education (DE) released its Reopening Guidance for Schools. We have been evaluating this guidance to determine its alignment with the Return-to-Learn work which is actively taking place in the District. Our research and planning over the last few months lead us to believe that additional safety mitigation efforts above what the DE is suggesting may be necessary to safely reopen our schools. Although the DE’s guidance provides some clarity, there are still many unknowns when it comes to how school will look in the fall. We will continue to utilize the recommendations from the CDC, IDPH, and JCPH as our plans take shape.
Today, we have officially reached the unconventional end to this history-making school year. The circumstances over the last two and a half months were something we never could have predicted, and were certainly less than ideal; however, the incredible strength and resiliency of our community have become more apparent than ever. For this, we could not be more proud.
The Iowa City Community School District is committed to being part of real, systemic improvements to life in Johnson County, Iowa, and we are part of the “Project Better Together,” an initiative to help our community recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The first step in making change is creating a new story about what we can be. We have to see and believe in a new picture that we can collectively work toward.