Grinnell-Newburg School Foundation Emergency Fund

GNSF, in collaboration with the Grinnell Newburg School District, is requesting funds to provide resources for the GNCSD students, teachers, staff, bus drivers, custodians, paraeducators, and administrators to return to school safely in August.

The GNCSD mitigation plan to prevent the spread of COVID-19 was developed in consultation with Grinnell physicians Dr. Lauren Graham, with input from Drs. Jennifer Paisley and Ryan Dalby-Albright, highlight the critical need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in order to bring students safely back to our schools. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “the AAP strongly advocates that all policy considerations for the coming school year should start with a goal of having students physically present in school.” The importance of in-person learning is well-documented, and there is already evidence of the negative impacts on children because of school closures in the spring of 2020. As social distancing will be difficult to achieve in our school buildings, students must be protected by limiting the spread of the virus via using a face mask, face shield, or another type of barrier. The need and increasing costs to provide PPE will be expensive for schools as they enter a stressed marketplace. Our youngest students and teachers will need see-through high-quality face shields to offer face to face collaboration in the classroom.

In partnership with Grinnell’s ASI Signage Innovations, District superintendent, Dr. Janet Stutz, ASI Director of Digital Media Ben Latimer, and Grinnell-Newburg Technology Integrationist Bill Gruman collaborated to design plexi-shields to keep students and staff safe. This T-Shaped device will enable students to work comfortably without the need for continuous PPE wear. The total cost of the desk shields is estimated at $34,000. Additionally, funds are needed for our five school buildings to conduct deep cleaning on a daily basis. This includes the purchase of hand sanitizers, no-touch thermometers, gloves, disinfectant wipes, tissues, cleaning supplies, and the resources required to clean a school after a confirmed case.

Your support of the safe return of students to our schools is greatly appreciated.