Thursday, October 24, 2013

October 25, 2013

District Perspective
Superintendent John Carver
Twitter: johnccarver

SKYPE: johnccarver

2020 Howard-Winn: 21st Century Learning
It is exciting to walk into classrooms in Cresco, Elma and Lime Springs and see the learning, creativity and imagination.  You can feel the energy as you enter the room. Many times students (and teachers) are so engaged they do not even notice you.  It is so cool that when you are noticed, student want to show and tell you what they are learning. One can sense a real pride and ownership as accomplishments are shared. Howard-Winn is moving in a good direction.

Assessing 21st Century Learning
One of the 21st Century Learning System Design Essential is to move from data to telemetry.  Data is a historical piece of information, a grade on a paper or a test result. The problem is that there is a time delay between when the work was done and the students receive any evaluation or feedback. Think back to when you were in school and the number of days it was before you got test results.  What we are trying to figure out is how we can get real time assessments on student learning so we teachers can make real time instructional decisions. We believe using technology and online assessments can make this a reality. Stay tuned........more information will follow.

Howard-Winn Selected by State for Competence Based Education
Howard-Winn will join Cedar Rapids, Collins-Maxwell, East Union, Marshalltown, Mason City, Muscatine, Nevada, Spirit Lake, and Van Meter to explore and
develop Competence Based Learning (CBE).  The foundation of this work is grounded in creating real world learning for students so that they can demonstrate the acquisition and application of skills and knowledge. This supports the Secondary School's G2 and "Project Lead the Way" work.

What this means is learning and assessing student learning will go beyond a "paper and pencil test" letter grade (based on a percentage of point earned) to students demonstrate mastery. You either know how to do something, can show you know how or you don't.  An exciting component of the Howard-Winn application will be to not only connect and learn with Iowa Schools, but thanks to Fred Bramante of the International Center for Leadership in Education, connect, collaborate and learn with New Hampshire CBE ROCK STAR Pittsburg Community School District. This work has the potential to transform teaching and learning!  This is a step forward in preparing and empowering Howard-Winn Cadets to compete and contribute globally.

The Culture of Learning
In a letter to the editor of the Cresco Times Plain Dealer last week, a question was raised about bullying. The Howard-Winneshiek Community School District takes bullying and harassment very seriously and will not tolerate it in any form or fashion. At Howard-Winn we have worked hard to established a culture of learning that reflects the pillars of Character Counts: Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring and Citizenship. Students are taught what bullying is and how it is not cool. Procedures and protocols are in place and the District has not hesitated to involve community resources up to and including law enforcement. 

One thing to remember is there are two victims in bullying, the person being bullied and the person doing the bullying. It is crucial that the person being bullied tell their teacher, the counselor or principal and a written statement be created. Due process must be followed and all parties involved, students as well as parents, be part of the solution.  The second part of the equation, the bully, must also be addressed.  People become bullies because of low self esteem or some other need missing in their life. Again students as well as the parents must be part of the solution.   

It is truly unfortunate that bullying and harassment occurs in schools, workplace and communities. I personally am committed to addressing this concern and stand ready to be part of the solution. I invite others to join me.  Office 563 547 2762 

Board of Education Goals 2013-2014
Two of the Board of Education Goals for 2013-2014 is to "increase the visibility of the Board" and "create an inviting and contemporary culture for learning" Action steps for the Board to meet these goal include: visiting classrooms once a quarter, review and implement a Communication Plan, attend and connect with Local, State and National School Board meetings as well as connect and build relationships with municipal, county and state governments to address the quality of life.

This past week Director Doug Berg and Board President Scott Fortune attended a special Ridgeway City Council meeting focused on the Ridgeway School building and Director James Kitchen attended the Cresco City Council meeting. Together we have unlimited potential.

Final Thoughts.............
  • The LOGO designs are "off the hook".  Keep them coming. 
  • Enjoy the thrill of learning.
  • Be watching for news and updates on our Howard-Winn's attempt to set the Guinness World Record for most people wearing a pilgrim hat. 

October 25 Felderman

Crestwood Secondary Schools (7-12)
Tim Felderman
Twitter: tfelderman78

Events for the Week of October 28 - November 1, 2013
Monday:         g2 Presentation at 12:15 pm
Tuesday:        NICC Program Fair - Sophomores
                       HS Climate/Culture BLT at 3:20 pm
Thursday:       JH Climate/Culture BLT at 3:20 pm

g2 Presentation Day
What:          You are cordially invited to attend the presentation of the projects prepared
                   by the g2 students of Crestwood entitled: Cresco, A Great Place to Visit. 
When:         Monday, Oct. 28 at 12:15 p.m.
Where:        Crestwood High School, Room 32
Response:  Please RSVP to Julie Carter

Remind me, what is g2?  
g2 is the Global Generation coursework at CHS. The CHS g2 program offers an individualized learning environment that is engaging for all students. Teamwork with teachers and students sets the stage for increased community connections and collaboration. Relevance is at the forefront of the effort in all classes. Rigorous skill building provides the foundation for post-high school training. The authentic learning requires students to draw from real-world learning. Students are expected to participate in both individual and group learning. Individual learning will support and contribute to the group’s final product. Students will be expected to utilize resources including, but not limited to, secondary research, primary research, experts in applicable fields, and research conducted by the students. While most of the course will involve students working collaboratively to solve real-world problems, there will also be times where a more traditional approach will be needed to impart necessary information.

Teacher Inducted into Hall of Fame 
Shelly McAllister will be inducted into the Northwest Missouri State University's Sports "M" Club Hall of Fame on Friday. Shelly was one of two pitchers on the 1984 softball team. This team captured the school’s first MIAA title in the sport of softball. They outscored their opponents 158-57 on their way to compiling a 23-14 overall record. The Bearcat pitchers gave opponents fits all season holding them to a measly .196 batting average and recording two no-hitters. After capturing the MIAA crown the team went on to compete in the NCAA Division II Regional in Nacogdoches, Texas. Congratulations Shelly!

7-12 Academic Building Leadership Team
The 7-12 Academic BLT met last week to set priority areas for academic work for the year.  The two major areas will be:
  • Infusion of Common Sense Media into curricula
    • Work will include how to involve the eight themes across the curricula since technology usage does not just occur in the core academic areas.
  • Proper usage of Schoology as an instructional tool 
    • Work will involve the development of "This is how you will..." statements for teachers. For example, "This is how you to students everyday, publish assignments, etc."   
Consensus was that self-directed Professional Development will continue. The next meeting will occur on Nov. 5 at 3:30 p.m.

NICC Program Fair
Sophomores will be attending the Northeast Iowa Community College Program Fair on Oct. 29. This is an opportunity for students to explore the types of coursework they should anticipate taking at a community college as they work toward their post-high school education. 

JH/HS Career Day
April 9, 2014 will be the JH/HS Career Day at the High School. Nearly 100 employers will be present for students to learn more about careers in Northeast Iowa. 

October 25, 2013 Greg.Adams Admin.Update

                                            Greg Adams
Grade 2-6 Principal (Crestwood, Elma, Lime Springs/Chester)
Twitter  @GregAAdams7     #2020HowardWinn

Red Ribbon Week
Monday – Respect Ourselves and Others be Drug Free!
It is Red Ribbon Week, so what better way to start off Character Counts week by celebrating being drug free and respecting ourselves and others?! Thank you to Howard County Sheriff, Mike Miner, and Deputy Sheriff, Adam Hanson, for coming to the school and presenting red ribbons with "Our School Rocks...Bully & Drug Free" messages. Making that connection and establishing that relationship is important.

Character Counts Week
It was great to see everyone dress up in colors and themes for Character Counts Week.
Monday - Yellow for respect.
Tuesday - Red for caring.
Wednesday - Green to show that we are responsible.
Thursday - Purple to show that we are active citizens and global learners.
Friday - CADET Blue for fairness and being trustworthy.

Grade 4- Kim Kerian's class learning during #GeniusHour
Student in Kim Kerian's 4th grade classroom publishing their first book!
Evacuation Drill
Thank you to all students and staff for their cooperation with our evacuation drill on Wednesday. The purpose of the drill is to provide an organized method for evacuating the building and accounting for students.  

4th grade to visit State Capitol and Science Museum on Oct. 24th.

Three C's for Teacher Leadership: Culture, Collaboration, Cultivation
Julie Wilson, Shirley Sovereign, Kim Kerian, and Greg Adams attended this conference on Thursday in Des Moines. The activities and goals are listed below:

During this interactive workshop, participants will explore the evolving roles of teacher leaders — including the bold brand of the TEACHERPRENEUR — and their often untapped potential to help in transforming schools.

Activities will focus on framing plans for a teacher leadership compensation system, including the following:
  • tools necessary for administrators to assess how "ready" their school culture is for integrating teacher leadership into the system,
  • models of successful teacher leadership,
  • actions of leaders who are supporting and expanding teacher leadership opportunities,
  • and concluding with elements necessary for the three Cs to lead to systemic changes.
An addition to the day will be a brief Q&A with Ryan Wise and Peter Ansingh from the Department of Education. Both DE representatives will be present throughout the day so come prepared with any questions you may have.

MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support)
We continue to revise the K-5 schedule at Crestwood to provide 90 minutes of core instruction in literacy and 60 minutes in math each day.  

Spirit Night is Oct. 25th
Thank you to Nancy Henry and our music department for teaching our students the school song. We have begun each day by singing the Crestwood Fight Song and the plan is to gather as many as possible to sing the song as LOUD as possible prior to Friday's home football game vs. Vinton-Shellsburg. Here are the words so that all are familiar.


  • The nurses have been in contact with public health and are planning a flu based clinic here at the school to try to immunize as many students and their families as possible.  The dates for the flu clinic will be Oct. 28th from 3:00-5:00 p.m. at the elementary/jr. high and on Oct. 30th from 2:30-3:30 p.m. at the HS. The consent, payment etc. will be handled by Community Health so if any of your parents have questions please refer them to Howard County Community Health by calling 563-547-2989. The families have received this information in an email or letter. This will be like other community flu clinics, we are just holding it here for convenience.
  • Finalize teachers' Individual Career Development Plans
  • Finalize SINA plans for the Nov. 1st submission to the Iowa Department of Education
  • Nov. 4th and 7th are parent-teacher conference dates

October 25 Shirley Sovereign

PK-1 Principal/Director of Teaching & Learning
Shirley Sovereign
Twitter:  ssovprincipal
SKYPE:  shirley.sovereign

Report Cards and Parent-Teacher Conferences 
Report cards will be sent home to parents on Oct. 30. The electronic scheduler for conferences is available. Parents are invited to schedule conferences for their students. If parents do not have Internet access or have difficulty scheduling, they should call the school office for assistance (563-547-2300).

Picture Retakes
These will be held on Oct. 29th. Students should return the pictures that are to be replaced, or the order envelope, if students were absent when pictures were taken in September.

Red Ribbon and Character Counts Week
  • The Howard County Sheriff's Department arranged to have officers visit the classrooms at Cresco, Elma and Lime Springs/Chester to present the students in grades K-5 with their red ribbons. We appreciate Sheriff Mike Miner for arranging this and making this personal contact in each of the elementary classrooms.

  • Mrs. Tiffany McCabe organized Character Counts activities for the week. Students and staff wore different colors to emphasize the Pillars of Character for the significance of each day of the week.
                   Monday - Yellow for being drug-free and respecting others.         
                   Tuesday - Red to celebrate caring about each other.
                   Wednesday - Green to show responsibility.
                   Thursday - Purple to recognize that we are global citizens.
                   Friday - Cadet wear to show school spirit, fairness and being trustworthy.

K-12 Evacuation Drill
A practice was held for evacuation of the buildings on the K-12 campus. Students, staff and teachers did a thorough job of following the Emergency Crisis Plan. We will continue to conduct drills to practice all of the emergency procedures involving fire, tornado, shelter-in-place, lockdown and evacuation throughout the year.

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
The K-8 PBIS Team met this week to discuss activities for the first acknowledgement of the year. This will culminate on Nov. 15th with a celebration on Nov. 20th. Students have been working hard to earn Cadet Pride tickets during the first quarter. Mr. Wiley and Mr. Anderlik attended a PBIS training meeting recently in Elkader. Thanks to Mrs. Tiffany McCabe and Mr. Scott Wiley for continuing to serve as PBIS coaches for the K-8 building.

A teachers' meeting was held this week to discuss various topics pertaining to the preschool program. The Preschool Parent Advisory Committee is in the process of being formed for this year. Two meetings of this committee are held each year to gather parent feedback and direction for the program. The first meeting is being planned on Nov. 21. Teachers are in the process of completing the first Teaching Strategies GOLD assessment. This will be discussed with parents during the upcoming conferences. The teachers and associates completed their renewal of Pediatric CPR training this month. This is required every two years in our program.

In literacy, the students are working on the theme question: What can I find out about the world around me? This has caused the students to become more observant of their surroundings. Teachers are exploring with the students how they use their senses (seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, and touching) throughout the day. Kindergarten students are continuing to learn the letter sounds through the Jolly Phonics program. The students are learning about beginning sounds in words. They are using iPads and the app, Doodle Buddy, to practice sounding out and writing words. 

First Grade
All first grade students in the district went on a field trip to the Children's Museum of LaCrosse on Oct. 17th. The Humane Society of LaCrosse presented to the students on safety around animals. The students had time to explore all levels of the museum and do hands-on experiments related to the science curriculum. This was an awesome field trip for the first graders!



Athletic Director Jim Obermann
Twitter:  jobermann

A cold turn to the weather makes me think about the winter sports seasons ahead, and behind-the-scenes preparations have begun for these upcoming seasons. However, much excitement remains for the fall sports...

*The volleyball team, after a strong showing at the conference tournament, is preparing for their opening round regional game vs. New Hampton at New Hampton next Monday, Oct. 28. Game time is 7:00 p.m.

*The football team, having already secured a playoff berth, is using Friday's game vs. Vinton-Shellsburg as fine-tuning for their opening round playoff game, which will be on the road next Wednesday, Oct. 30. Game time will be 7:00 p.m. and the opponent will be posted Saturday morning. Check my Twitter account or the Cadet Sports Twitter account for our opponent Friday night or Saturday morning. A sign of the strength of our conference in football is the fact that six of the seven conference schools are still in contention for a playoff spot.

*The boys and girls cross country teams are preparing for their state qualifying meet on Thursday, Oct. 24. The deadline for this post was before the meet results were available. The cross country teams have had a very nice season and are hoping for the best against some of the best 3A teams in the state. Results will be posted in next week's update. In related cross country news, members of the jr. high girls cross country team traveled to Saydel last weekend for the Washburn Jr. High State Cross Country Classic and won the 7th Grade 3A title. Members of this championship team were Hope Dohlman, Taylor Shelton, Sarah Mashek, and Kenedy Gaul. Sami Bigalk also competed well in the 3A 8th grade division. A big congratulations goes out to Coach Karen Steffen and her girls. They had a great experience and represented Cadet Nation very well.

*I also want to take this opportunity to thank all of the Crestwood staff and community members who have worked at Crestwood athletic events during the fall. I couldn't do my job without you. So thank you scorekeepers, chain gang crews, officials, ticket sellers, announcers, supervisors, and anyone else I may have missed. And thanks to the kitchen staff who prepare the after school snacks for our athletes.

I look forward to seeing you down the tournament trail............

Friday, October 18, 2013

October 18, 2013

District Perspective
Superintendent John Carver
Twitter: johnccarver
SKYPE: johnccarver

Learning the Skills to Learn
21st century learning is not quiet, neat, passive, top down, sitting in rows, memorizing facts and figures. It is debate and discourse, messy, active, collaborative, flexible use of time and space and the application of facts and figures. Giving students real world tasks, empowering them, and tasking them to be creative and imaginative to solve the task excites them. My observations are that younger students in this modality have confidence, ownership in their learning and a sense of accomplishment.  Older students resist this type of learning. They are uneasy taking ownership of their learning and they fear not doing it "right".  They have been conditioned to play it safe, be told what to do and how to do it. This causes dependency and kills creativity.  This condition is also found in adults. 

Learning is learning and at Howard-Winn the expectation is that all staff members embrace new thinking and model for our students 21st century learning. This means there will be debate and discourse, mess, collaboration, and new thinking on how to use time. The kids are watching and learning from us.  As adults our "real world challenge" is to redesign teaching and learning. Know that you are empowered to be creative and imaginative to solve our task.

Positioning Howard-Winn for the Future
The State of Iowa as well as the Howard-Winneshiek Community School District, again this year is experiencing a decline in population. This has been the trend stretching back to 2006-2007. The bottomline is that Howard-Winn is in competition with every other region of Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin (as well as the Midwest) for  business, industry and workers.
Frank and focus conversations must occur.  We have before us an opportunity with unlimited to potential to transform NE Iowa! Business, industry, elected city and county officials, along with the School District, planning and acting together, will make this happen. Networking, supporting each other, thinking outside of the box, and being creative and imaginative with focus on the quality of life, will create a synchronicity that will attract opportunities and families to the region.  People want to go where the fun is and we want the fun and excitement to be here!

Howard-Winn's responsibilities is to adapt and be flexible with current realities and the accelerating rate of change so as to fulfill the mission to prepare and empower students to think creatively, serve, contribute and succeed locally and globally . With declining enrollment and resources we have to think and do things differently.  

Howard-Winn Campuses: Cresco, Lime Springs, and Elma
Instruction, class size and allocation of resources are the determining factors in charting a course forward for the District. As Superintendent it is my responsibility to review these areas and make recommendations to the Board of Education. At the December Board meeting, a recommendation will be made on the Howard-Winn Campus in Elma. Board action on this recommendation will impact and help to shape following recommendations. 

The work of the Governor's STEM BROADBAND Committee continues.  With a December 1st deadline for legislative proposals  several themes of need are emerging.  Check out the new website for up to the date news and information.

IOWA Hunger Summit
The Iowa Hunger Summit gathers leaders from across Iowa representing community organizations, business and industry, state and local government, social agencies, churches and religious communities, schools and universities, and other individuals and groups that lead or participate in projects to confront hunger. It is sponsored by the World Food Price Foundation which is made possible by the works of Norman Borlaug.  Howard-Winn Food Service Director Cheryl Dickman attended the event to represented the District. Full circle: Howard-Winn attends an event connected to Dr. Borlaug Howard-Winn graduate and be recognised as receiving the Gold Award, Healthier School Challenge.  COOL!  

Howard-Winn Cadet LOGO Update
New submissions for consideration


  • If you are on Twitter must follows is include: @NickFerrie @ToddKnobloch. They are some of the MANY ROCK STARS at #2020HowardWinn
  • Congrats and THANK YOU to Coach Obermann and the many volunteers who helped to host the Conference Cross Country meet this past Tuesday at the Cresco Country Club.  Amazing to watch the CADETS run!
  • Congrats to the Marching Cadets for their Division 1 rating in State Competition. We are so very PROUD.
  • Hard to believe we are closing in on the end of the 1st quarter. One fourth of the school year is about up. WOW!
  • It goes without saying.....our cheerleaders ROCK!  
  • Good Luck Volleyball players with upcoming regional play! Go SPIKE Win!
  • Though a loss, the Football Team played with heart and character. Impressive.  Good Luck this week!