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Superintendent News & Views
December 31, 2017

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Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at Gladbrook-Reinbeck Schools! I hope our students are all enjoying their break from school and finding an opportunity to rest and rejuvenate in preparation for their return to school on January 3.

I'm pleased that we haven't had any big snowstorms or ice storms that have disrupted our school schedule yet this school year. It's always great when we can make it to Christmas break without a weather-related cancellation. Parents, teachers, school administrators and even many students agree while we don't like disrupting our schedule and taking away scheduled learning time due to severe weather, we understand that there are times that safety simply must come first.

While we try to keep disruptions and calendar changes to a minimum, there are times when changing our schedule at the last minute is simply the right thing to do for the safety of all. Our school district is responsible for transporting hundreds of young people every day. We need to consider the safety of everyone concerned when making the decisions about school cancellations, delays, or early dismissals.

As Winter progresses, there will be days when decisions of this nature will need to be made. Fortunately, there is no need to sit by the TV or radio waiting to find out if school has been canceled or delayed. Anyone who takes the time to sign up can have real-time notifications sent directly to you on your cellular phone, smartphone, or computer. Gladbrook-Reinbeck utilizes a system called IOWA SCHOOL ALERTS to send an instant text message or email when a decision needs to be announced. Iowa School Alerts is available to anyone who may be interested, whether or not they have children in school.

If you subscribed to Iowa School Alerts last year or earlier this school year, you don't need to subscribe again. If you're unsure whether you're signed up, check your phone to see if you received text notifications from the school on August 23 and on September 22. We used the system to announce early dismissals on those dates (due to a water main break on August 23 and excessive heat on September 22). If you're still not sure, it doesn't hurt to take 60 seconds and sign up again. The link to subscribe is tinyurl.com/GR-Notifications and it takes a minute or less to sign up.

While it's great that we've made it to Christmas break without a snow day, keep in mind that Winter actually just began on December 21 so there is plenty of time for Mother Nature to hit us hard with snow, extreme temperatures, ice, and reduced visibilities. Be sure to get signed up for Iowa School Alerts today so you don't miss out on an important announcement!

2017 has been a great year for all of us at Gladbrook-Reinbeck Schools not just weather-wise, but educationally as well. We're looking forward to another great year in 2018! I encourage you to visit my blog at rebelsupt.blogspot.com/ to keep up-to-date on my activities and opinions as your superintendent in the coming year. You are also welcome to follow me on Twitter (@DavidRobertHill) where I will occasionally post updates, photos, and other information not found on the blog.

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