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Education in Grinnell


At the heart of any great community is its educational system. Education has been a significant part of Grinnell since the first public school was built in 1855. From that time, Grinnell has grown, now proud to support its five preschools, an excellent public school district, an alternative high school, a parochial school, a community college, and one of the leading private colleges in the United States.

High School

The Grinnell-Newburg School District is a prekindergarten through 12th grade public education institution composed of three elementary schools, a 5-8 middle school, and a 9-12 high school that brings students, families, educators, and community members together to create an environment of lifelong learning, achievement, and excellence. Quality, caring teachers, dedicated staff, and supportive families are the hallmarks of our district, which serves 1,700 students from Poweshiek and Jasper counties. It is the 53rd-largest of 362 public districts in Iowa.

Academics, fine arts, and athletics are highly valued and passionately supported. Comprehensive programs are available to all students in these areas. Recent construction of a new fine arts/physical education complex, along with a new science wing and renovated career and technical education classrooms, was supported by a $4.2 million bond issue, by $5.6 million in sales tax, and by $3.8 million in private donations.

The Central Iowa Christian School, established in 1983 and located on the west side of town, offers kindergarten through eighth grade education.

Grinnell College

Iowa Valley Community College, began offering continuing education programs in Grinnell in 1981. The satellite school now offers college credit as well as continuing education classes at its location on Highway 6 West.

Construction began in October 2007 on a $2.5 million, 11,000-square-foot expansion of the Iowa Valley Grinnell campus. The addition includes six new learning studios, as well as significant improvements to the existing facility. Since opening in January 2002, the original 27,000-square-foot facility has seen significant enrollment growth. It is hoped that the expansion will open up scheduling in the existing building to enable Iowa Valley Grinnell to offer additional career-technical degree programs in the Poweshiek County area and increase opportunities for business and industry training.

Grinnell College pursues its mission by educating young men and women in the liberal arts through intensive mentoring and the open exchange of ideas. Bachelor of Arts degrees are available in 25 majors from three divisions, including humanities, science and social studies. The campus is set on 120 acres in northeast Grinnell and includes a 365-acre environmental research area west of town.

Approximately 1,600 students are enrolled at Grinnell College, which offers small class sizes to ensure individualized attention and allows students a personalized college experience.

The state’s three universities and several private colleges, many located within an hour’s commute by interstate or state highways, are also easily accessible from Grinnell.

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Grinnell College