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!

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