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. 

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