Friday, December 20, 2013

December 20, 2013

Academics ~ Activities ~ Arts ~ Athletics
Crestwood Secondary Schools (7-12)
Tim Felderman
Twitter: tfelderman78


Special Events for the Week of January 6 - January 10, 2014
Monday:         Classes Resume - 2nd Semester

g2 Presentation Day

Freshman students in the g2 Program presented their "Myth Buster" videos on Tuesday. Topics included:
  • Sticky Situation
  • Click, Click, Boom!
  • Cutting Fruit   
  • The Hardhat Dilemma 
  • Soda Explosion   
  • Fruit Charger 
  • Coke Launcher

Competency Based Education Meeting 
Agenda for the December 18 Iowa CBE Collaborative Meeting:
  • Welcome and Overview
  • What Does CBE Look Like? 
  • Ning Tutorial  
  • How Does the Collaborative Function?   
  • Phone-a-Friend - Discussion Time with Other Districts     
  • Phone-a-Friend - Processing in District Teams
  • Connections and Reflections
Final Report of Competency Based Education State Task Force

Objectives of the Collaborative: The collaborative will develop a statewide network of CBE districts to study, take action, monitor results, adjust actions, and learn together in order to describe key structures, policies, and best practices for transitioning from the current educational system to a competency-based system that increases the number of students who meet college- and career- ready indicators at all grades. The collaborative will:
  • Investigate, develop, and implement competency-based educational pathways for students
  • Establish demonstration sites among the participant schools
  • Define college- and career-readiness consistent with deeper learning
  • Identify college- and career-ready indicators
  • Develop model competencies and performance assessments
  • Identify appropriate assessments (formative and summative) and tools to monitor learning
  • Identify professional development needs for educators to make this transformation in their districts
  • Develop models for community and parent engagement 
  • Facilitate seamless transitions within the PK-12 system
  • Facilitate seamless pathways to college and career 
  • Create tools and processes to document and share results, challenges, and lessons learned from implementation
  • Describe the learning environment needed to accomplish these goals for students
  Spirit Lake High School

2012-13: Core Courses are CBE
First Semester
Second Semester
*Not yet proficient at semester
8 (7%)
13 (12%)
*Must retake a core course (Ds/Fs)
5 (4.4%)
10 (9%)
Non-CBE Ds/Fs
33/20 (20%)
43/28 (28%)

2011-2012: No CBE Courses

*Must retake a core course* (Ds/Fs)
15 (16%)
30 (32%)
Ds or Fs
46/19 (20%)
82/35 (38%)
* In a CBE course, Ds and Fs are not awarded. The student is simply not yet proficient and must work on the competencies that are not yet proficient or retake the course.

K-12 Spanish Position Update
Mr. Josh Shimak will fill the role of the K-12 Spanish position for the 2nd Semester. He will serve as a long-term substitute. Mr. Shimak will teach courses to Kindergarten, 2nd grade, 4th grade, Elma, Lime Springs/Chester, and High School students.


Teachers hosted the #cadetnation Holiday tree in their rooms during December.  
Teachers were asked to decorate the tree with items from their teaching area. 

December 20, 2013 Greg.Adams

Greg Adams

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

Happy Holidays

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! May everyone enjoy time with friends and family, while finding time to relax for a moment.  

Looking ahead...

We know that the future of the district will mean that all students will be educated with the same grade level in the same building, with one or two grade levels being in Lime Springs. We look to teacher input when working through the final configuration. We also know that there are still parts of the equation to figure out as we work ahead. I value your input and ideas and you may reach me at 563-547-2300 or the email above. 


I highly encourage you to check out all the great learning activities that are happening within the Howard-Winneshiek CSD each day at #2020howardwinn. It is exciting to see our new technology used to enhance education rather than merely substituting technology for textbooks.

The Big Blast

Inflatable Climbing Wall

In celebration of a successful fundraiser, all PK-5 students in the district were treated to a gymnasium full of fun in the form of inflatables, music, dancing, popcorn, and juice. Those selling the most items were treated to limo rides and Subway sandwiches. Thank you to all that supported the fundraiser which funds district-wide field trips. Thank you to The Chip Shoppe for their quality products.

4th Grade Mini-Society

Congratulations to our 4th grade students and teachers for all of their work with their mini-society. Students created products to sell and then displayed their items for parents and faculty to buy. This was an excellent lesson in creativity and math. Thank you to all who helped make this lesson possible.

January 2- Apple trainers will provide instruction that will build on previous training in August. Focus will be on using technology to enhance higher levels of learning rather than substituting paper for technology. Check out #2020howardwinn on Twitter to see ways in which this is already happening.
January 3- Teacher work day in preparation for 2nd semester.
January 6- Welcome students back for 2nd semester.

January 13, 2014 Board Meeting (Preview)
School climate updates: Counselors & Success Coordinators will describe school climate survey results, referral data, and ideas for student involvement.
K-5 MTSS Schedule: Elementary teachers will describe how they are meeting the needs of all students through this year's MTSS (Multi-Tiered Systems of Support) schedule. You may have read or been told that your child's schedule has changed this year. The intent is to identify learning needs and address them in smaller groups. Students may move to different grade-level rooms and be taught by different teachers during this "Cadet Time."

December 20, 2013 Shirley Sovereign

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

Happy Holidays
I wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I went through the Discovery Center last week and saw Mrs. Vandervort and some students building this tree of books in our library. It reminded me that the holidays are a personal feeling of joy in being with our families and celebrating the traditions we cherish. May students, teachers and members of the community feel joy in this Christmas season and the relaxation of winter break before 2014 begins.

Second Semester
Teachers will return on January 2nd for a day of Apple Professional Development sessions. January 3rd will be a work day on grades, report cards and preparation for the second semester. Students will return to school on Monday, Jan. 6th, and report cards for elementary students will be sent home to parents on Monday, Jan. 13th. 

Interventions and Collaboration
Progress continues to be made on implementing intervention time for students and collaboration time for teachers. Mr. Josh Shimak has been hired as a long-term substitute to fill the position of K-12 Spanish teacher for the second semester. Heather Klenke will begin teaching technology classes in grades 3 and 5. Mrs. Deb Larson will be providing an additional PE time for some 1st grade sections. Adding Spanish, technology and PE classes will allow a fifth exploratory to be offered in grades K-5. Teachers have received the new schedule that will begin on Jan. 6th.  

With these changes, students will have additional opportunities to learn Spanish and technology skills. First graders will have more time for physical development and fitness. Progressing to fully implementing Response-to-Intervention (RtI) or Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) underscores our goal to provide all students what they need, when they need it. Regardless of whether that involves extra support or extra challenge, the intervention time is created to meet those needs.  

One of the indicators of a successful intervention program is that teachers have time to collaborate and plan together so interventions can be done well. Teachers at each grade level have been working hard to improve the means of flexibly grouping students and tracking individual reading comprehension skills so interventions can be done effectively. We are looking forward to the results of this work second semester. 

Extending a warm welcome to Mr. Shimak as he joins the Howard-Winn team. He will be teaching HS Spanish three periods a day in combination with serving grades in the elementary.      
District preschool students went on a field trip last week to Decorah. After reading several stories by author/illustrator Jan Brett, the students enjoyed seeing her exhibit at the Vesterheim Museum. The preschoolers were able to play with several story-related artifacts, read a story in a Norwegian house and look for shapes in Jan Brett's beautiful illustrations. Other preschool happenings throughout the district include reading Gingerbread Man stories, making gingerbread cookies and making gingerbread houses.  Preschoolers are studying healthy foods and "sometimes foods" (like gingerbread cookies). Students in Lime Springs/Chester had a special visit from a dental health nurse. A special holiday activity in some classes will be to have a Polar Express Pajama Day.

Big Blast
The Chip Shoppe Company hosted a mega-party in the K-8 gym on Dec. 17th. All district students in grades PK-5 participated in this celebration. Students were able to play on inflatables that filled the gym and have a dance party. Some students earned a limo ride and lunch for the amount of sales, and limo rides were held between the Big Blast class parties. Students really enjoyed the activities! Student field trips are funded from the profits earned through the Chip Shoppe fundraiser. 


First Grade

This week, students were doing water explorations as part of their unit in science. This photo was shared by Mrs. Voves on Twitter.

Mrs. Kuhn's students practiced beginning and ending sounds this week using "Fishing for Phonics."

Transforming Education at Howard-Winn
Several meetings have been attended by district teams during the last couple of weeks.  The dedication and forward thinking of HW teachers is evident in the action planning that is occurring.
  • The Iowa Core Math Investigations Team received their last day of training in Calmar this week. The teacher-leaders involved are Michelle Timp, Joellyn Berg and Becky Halverson. They spent three days doing an in-depth examination of the elementary math standards and the teaching strategies to be used. Teachers throughout the state are participating in these Iowa Core meetings to "unpack" the standards in both math and literacy.
  • The second in a series of meetings for Competency Based Education (CBE) met this week in Des Moines. Our district received a grant to participate in this collaborative. We have eight teachers and two administrators attending. The big take-away from the meeting this month was for our team to hear what other districts are doing. We heard several times over that the first step is to implement standards-based grading and then to move to competencies. Several groups talked about the 3 steps to learning and how these relate to CBE: Acquisition, making meaning, transfer/performance.