Friday, January 31, 2014

January 31, 2014 Shirley Sovereign

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

Dream Big, Grow Here
On Jan. 24, Heather Suckow, Melissa Vobr, Director of Kessel Kids, and Megan Merkel gave a presentation for the Dream Big, Grow Here Contest. These individuals are on the committee for the Natural Playground Project at the Cresco Early Childhood Development Center. Their presentation was done before a panel of judges in competition for a $5,000 grant. The project qualified for this presentation by winning the voting contest with 4,287 votes. The presenters competed against other non-profit and for-profit businesses. Feedback from the judges was that Mrs. Suckow, Mrs. Vobr and Mrs. Merkel gave an excellent presentation though they did not receive the grant. Thank you to the team for their hard workThank you to Jason Passmore, Spiff Slifka, John Carver, Clint Farlinger and Kerry Fretheim for providing the team with practice and feedback while preparing for their presentation.  
Presenters: Heather Suckow, Melissa Vobr & Megan Merkel

Plans for the Natural Playground at the Cresco Early Childhood Center

100th Day of School
The 100th day of school was a moving target for teachers to plan this year with all the school cancellations. These celebrations were held on a few different days among the district classrooms. The Cresco Kindergarten celebrated on Jan. 30. The students rotated among the four classrooms working on different stations. The stations included: 100th day crowns, necklace making, making trailmix, stamping to 100, 100th day glasses, money hats, painting 100 gumballs, 100 stickers and 100th hidden number design. The students practiced making 10 groups of 10 in order to count to 100. As you can tell in the photos, the students had lots of fun! A big thank you to the volunteers who came to help with the 100th day activities!


Study of Student Management Systems
A task force has been formed to study JMC, our current student data system. Members of the staff including the data manager, teachers, counselors, secretaries, tech department and administrators are studying systems to serve the changing needs of our district. The management system is used for everything from keeping daily attendance to compiling data for state reporting. Both the study of Competency Based Education and various needs expressed by teachers lead to this study. The task force met this week to determine the needs and to schedule presentations from various vendors of student management systems to compare the services available.

Grow Howard County
The Task Force Howard County will meet again on Feb. 1. The meeting will be held at NICC-Cresco from 9:00-11:30 a.m. The agenda includes broadband internet and Home Base Iowa. 

Competency Based Education 
Several administrators and Department of Education consultants participated in a phone conference this week to address the tasks of the Iowa CBE Collaborative. Transforming education is complex and EXCITING!   

I will share one of the principles of CBE that is considered necessary in order to personalize learning for our students: 

      Students Advance upon Proficiency
  • Students advance to higher-level work upon demonstration of proficiency of competencies rather than according to age or seat time.
  • Students are evaluated on performance and application.
  • Students will master competencies and earn credit or advance in content at their own pace. They will work through some competencies more rapidly while taking more time to ensure proficiency on others. 
Events Next Week:
  • Registration for Preschool and Kindergarten for 2014-2015, Feb. 3-7, 2014.
  • On-line scheduling for Parent-Teacher Conferences opens on Feb. 3, 2014 at 9 a.m.   


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