Friday, February 28, 2014

JCC February 28, 2014

District Perspective
Superintendent John Carver
Twitter: johnccarver
SKYPE: johnccarver

How cool is this! Mrs. Bohr's 8th grade students' examining actual Moon rocks! 

Special THANKS to NASA #coolscientists.

Studying the Moon! Locally learning globally!

shared via TWITTER

Celebrating Success
Celebrating success and accomplishments is important. For those being recognized it is an affirmation of hard work and dedication, it also inspires others with a "if they can do it, so can I" mind set. As the oldest of four kids growing up in Urbandale, my parents instilled in me the importance of supporting my brothers and sister. As a family we celebrated each others accomplishments. This meant, as a family, we went to ball games, wrestling matches, track meets, plays and dance recitals. Time, distance and cost was never a factor.

As a teacher and a coach, I included this thinking. In the classroom and on TEAMS I coached, we supported each other. Students, Coaches, Directors, Sponsors and fellow teachers as well as patrons and parents, celebrated together. If one had success we all had success!

Howard-Winn is a family. It is my desire that as a District and community, the norm becomes celebrating and lifting up all accomplishments. Along with sports, FFA, Music, National Honor Society, theatre, speech and academic accomplishments all need to be celebrated.

I learned a long time ago that to get support you have to give support. I know the Girl's Basketball TEAM is proud of the Wrestlers who competed at State. And I know the Wrestlers are excited for the Girls as they get ready for State Basketball Tournament, and both the Girl's Basketball TEAM and the Wrestlers are excited for the Boy's Basketball as they advance in Tournament play.

Howard-Winn is a special place and with have much to be proud of. It's GREAT to be a CADET

2013-2014 School Calendar Adjustments
Because of weather and State tournament play there are several School Calendar adjustments:
  • We will have class Monday, April 21, 2014 (Monday after Easter). 
  • The last day of classes for students is Monday, June 2, 2014 
  • Teacher's last day of service is Tuesday, June 3, 2014 

Additional Information:
  • The Girl's second tournament game is Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 3:15. With the Girl's victory, Pep buses will be offered. With an afternoon start time, classes Thursday will begin at the usual time. Those wishing to attend the Game will be dismissed at 11:30. Those not attending will remain in class. 
  • Boys Tournament games begin late afternoon, Tuesday, March 11. Watch for updates. 
A special THANK YOU to the Crestwood All Sports Booster Club for their outstanding financial support for Pep Buses. You are an important part of the CADET TEAM! 

Dr. Borlaug Statue unveiling: We are now"GOOD TO GO!"

Thank you, ThankYou, Thank You!  
A special THANK YOU to these friends and community members for their financial support to make this happen. With Cresco Bank and Trust's help, the trip for the FFA members is now covered! Again THANK YOU!
Patti Bryant                       John Carver (Decorah)                         Upper Iowa Tool and Die
LaDene Reid                     Lowell Sovereign                                  Hvitved & Associates
Lime Springs Beef             Bonair Enterprise                                  Bill Kruse
Hawkey Sanitation            Marlene Michel                                     Mehmert Tiling   
Gerald Keune                   Thomson Charitable Trust & CUSB        Jeri Andera
Cheryle Riehle                  Howard County Farm Bureau                Cresco  Kiwanis 
Cresco Bank and Trust

"Shout Outs"
Way to go 2014 State Wrestlers: Brandon Mayer 4th place, Hunter Slifka 3rd place and qualifier Chase Lienhard!

CADET Girl's Basketball: ON TO STATE! GREAT job to the Coaches and player on a fantastic season! TAKE STATE!

GOOD LUCK to the Boy's Basketball TEAM in the Sub-State Final against Waverley Shell-Rock at New Hampton Monday evening. 

THANK YOU BUS DRIVERS! This has been a very tough winter and the driving conditions have been challenging. OUR BUS DRIVERS ROCK!

Learning at Howard-Winn...........
4th Graders learning how to use their MackinVIA accounts to download books to their iPads. EXCITED ABOUT READING!

Showcasing student learning via TWITTER

Can you feel the excitement? 
2020 Howard-Winn

February 28, 2014

Crestwood Secondary Schools (7-12)
Twitter: @Crestwood_HS


Special Events for the Week of March 3 - March 9, 2014
Tuesday:        No School
Wednesday:   Competency Based Education - District Level Work - All Day
Thursday:       7-12 Academic BLT Meeting - 3:30 p.m.
                      Sub District FFA Leadership Contest - 4:00 p.m. - New Hampton
Friday:            Wrestling Border Battle - 7:00 p.m.
Saturday:        NEIBA Jazz Pestival
                      Junior High Musical - 7:30 p.m.
Sunday:          Girls Basketball Pep Rally - 2:00 p.m.

End of 3rd Quarter
Due to the amount of snow days during the 3rd Quarter, the end of the Quarter will now be March 14. Grades are due to the K-8 and HS Offices by 3:30 p.m. on March 19.

How to Escape Education's Death Valley
Sir Ken Robinson outlines three principles crucial for the human mind to flourish -- and how current education culture works against them. In a funny, stirring talk he tells us how to get out of the educational "death valley" we now face, and how to nurture our youngest generations with a climate of possibility.  

Iowa Assessments
6th through 11th grade students will be taking the Iowa Assessments (formerly ITED/ITBS) on March 18th and 19th. Testing will occur in the morning. Students who take NICC courses during the morning - you will be required to attend the Iowa Assessment tests. 
Seniors are not required to be at the High School during the testing time. More information will follow with detailed information and agendas.

The next #cadetnation Day is Friday, March 7.  
Remember to show off your blue and white! 

What is this "Flipped Learning" you speak of?

Technology helps with practices on snow days
The following was a part of Mrs. Day's blog post from this past week... 

Good Luck at the State Girls Basketball Tournament!

February 28, 2014 Greg.Adams

Greg Adams

Grade 2-6 Principal 

(Crestwood, Elma, Lime Springs/Chester)
Twitter  @GregAAdams7     #2020HowardWinn

Looking ahead...District Redesign

We now know that all 4th grade students will be educated in Lime Springs beginning next fall. Now the conversation turns to the logistics of making this happen. 

The next steps will be determining the number of sections and supports for each grade level. The intent will be that the teaching and learning at Lime Springs will follow the same model with the same supports available to all other grade levels.

Thank you to everyone for your time, input, and professional courtesy as all points were discussed.

Monday, March 3
Tuesday, March 4:         No School: Girls 1st round game at State
Wednesday, March 5   
Thursday, March 6
Friday, March 7
March 10: School board meeting @ Cresco
March 10-21: Iowa Assessments (formerly ITBS & ITEDs)
March 14: End of Quarter 3
March 26: Elementary report cards will be sent home
April 7-May 2: Spring MAP Tests

Kindergarten student amazed by the 3D printer.

Parent-Teacher Conferences
Thank you to all parents and students that attended parent-teacher conferences over the last two weeks. Our ability to work together toward the common goal of a successful child is very exciting. 

Pinnacle Magazine Sales
Students in grades 6-8 will be participating in magazine/food sales through Pinnacle Fundraising. The funds are used for field trips for our students. More information to come in upcoming updates.

Time for Kids

Students in 4th and 5th grades received information on Thursday to begin a short fundraiser for the magazine Time For Kids. Classrooms will receive paper and online versions of the magazine tailored to their grade level.

ALiCE Training
Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, and Evacuate are the components of ALiCE training. Members of the Howard-Winneshiek School Security Team participated in training provided by law enforcement officials at Elkader on Feb. 24. This training complements our security measures in place by providing staff with options in the event of an emergency. The next steps include staff training and basic supplies. 

K-5 groups researching!
Check out the engineering of these ramps!
2nd grade reading with a new app!
4th grade coding!
Exciting Winter Sports Season!
It has been a very exciting winter season to be Cadet! Congratulations to all sports programs and their student-athletes and coaches. The hard work and preparation has created exciting postseasons. Enjoy the moments!

February 28, 2014 Shirley Sovereign

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

The weather continues to be a challenge, but this has not dampened our school spirit! Congratulations to our Wrestling, Girls' Basketball and Boys' Basketball teams on their accomplishments! I am very proud of these students for their skills, hard work and dedication! 
Howard-Winn libraries have gone digital! In the past few weeks, the library staff has been working with to access ebooks in our library catalogs through their portal and app, MackinVIA. They provided the district with about 40 free ebooks per library to get us started, and we will be purchasing more this year. Students with iPads can read them with the MackinVIA app, and students with computers can read them directly online. Students have been introduced to the books and app during library classes and can now use the ebooks to read-to-self or to each other in the classroom. They can also access them through the Howard-Winn media center website on any computer, any time.


A Howard-Winn leadership team attended a workshop in Elkader this week featuring Clarity/BrightBytes. This is a tool school districts can use to examine their data on technology integration. The data was gathered during online assessments of technology integration in December. The team received instruction on using a template to interpret H-W data and how to take advantage of the information to create action plans for next steps. Howard-Winn's results will be compiled and compared with regional and national data.

Data Management System Committee
A team of teachers, administrators and tech director are meeting to determine the needs and effectiveness of our current student data management system. The group has focused their investigations on questions such as: What are the current needs for managing student data in our school district? What are major determining factors of the Committee's work in selecting a system? What features is the Committee looking for in a system?   

This week, the Committee heard presentations from JMC (current system used at HW) and PowerSchool. A presentation by Infinite Campus will be scheduled.

Preschool Field Trip
Students are learning about dental health this month, and Cresco preschoolers went on a field trip to Oak Creek Dental. The students learned the reasons the hygienist wears gloves and a mask, how the dentist chair works, how the camera works to put pictures of teeth on the computer, about the x-ray machine and special coat to wear when getting x-rays, x-ray images on the computer, special light to see teeth, tools used during an examination, that children have 20 baby teeth and adults have 32 permanent teeth, and the steps of an examination: observing for cavities, cleaning teeth, flossing, and a fluoride treatment. Then they got to take turns brushing the teeth of the patient-of-the-day, "Al the Alligator." Students have the opportunity to apply what they learned back in their classrooms through dramatic play in the "Preschool Dental Office."
Learning about the mirror tool.
Raise your hand if you've been to the dentist before.
Flossing a "patient's" teeth in the preschool dentist's office.

Parent-Teacher Conferences
The second evening of conferences was held on Feb. 25th. Student-led conferences are held in many classrooms during the winter conferences. Teachers and students put a great deal of work into preparing and rehearsing for these conferences. Students take these very seriously! Thank you to parents for attending the conferences both evenings and keeping close connections with teachers.

Report Cards
The decision was made to extend the third quarter by a couple of days due to the number of snow days. The quarter will end on March 14th, and report cards will be sent home on March 24th.

Iowa Assessments
Students in grades 3-11 will be taking this statewide assessment during March 10-21. These tests serve as our district's report card at the State level. It is always the hope that we do not have weather interruptions during this time or many student absences due to illness.        

Friday, February 21, 2014

JCC February 21, 2014

District Perspective
Superintendent John Carver
Twitter: johnccarver
SKYPE: johnccarver

Howard-Winn kindergarteners working hard during Math time. EXCITED about learning! Thanks Mrs. Franzen for sharing via TWITTER. You and your students ROCK!

Its NOT where it is learned, but what is learned! 
The waterline break in Lime Springs early Wednesday morning was a challenge that together we met and overcame. At 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, the decision was made to bus Lime Springs students and staff to the Cresco K-8 campus. In the span of minutes, using social media, local TV and radio, the word was spread and buses rerouted. Together, Lime Springs and Cresco students, Kindergarten through 5th grade, started classes on time in Cresco. It was way COOL to see the students and teachers share the adventure, come together and learn. Creativity, flexibility and imagination was showcased by ALL! Secretaries, bus drivers, cooks, as well as teachers, along with the parents, demonstrated for the kids how to adapt and go! It was very COOL to see the elementary kids and teachers come together almost seamlessly. My take away from all of this was an affirmation that "it's not where it is learned, but what is learned". My respect and admiration goes to Mr. Adams, Mrs. Sovereign, elementary teachers, and all of the support staff. You guys ROCK! 

All you see is Howard-Winn. Lime Springs + Cresco = CADETS

TIME does not equate to LEARNING
From Wednesday's Lime Springs waterline break to Thursday's blizzard, life and learning in rural NE Iowa is an adventure. 
  • Parent-Teacher conferences have been rescheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 25th, 2014. We will follow the Thursday, Feb. 20th schedule.  
  • The loss of instructional time due to late starts and school closings is of concern and under review. More information and updates will follow.  
  • "Old thinking" was so much time = so much learning. High school credit was/is awarded not only on the "grade" but how much time spent physically in class, in the "seat". Old thinking is that time and learning are NOT flexible. If you do not "learn it" in a set time you fail. There is no opportunity to "relearn". This paradigm needs to change.  
  • With the technology capabilities of Howard-Winn, "e-days" are being explored. It has been shared with me that there would need to be some kind of "assurance" that kids were online and learning. Another contributing factor is high speed, robust and reliable Internet connections district wide. If the kids are off-site, they would need to be connected. This is all "on the radar"! Updates will follow.  
Is College the "Silver Bullet" for "success"?
Every parent wants their kids to be happy, successful, and find a good job or career. Howard-Winn understands this and wants this for your children as well. This is reflected in the District's Mission and Vision statements. It is our purpose in being. That being said, for our young people to be successful, we must look forward to see what is on the horizon. It has been said many times before, that the jobs/careers our kids will have are yet to be created. So how do we get our kids ready? Teach them how to THINK. 

Additionally we know that Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) are the crucial 21st century skill sets. Check out our progress thus far.

Computer Numerical Control (CNC) is the application of STEM and connects Computer Assisted Drafting (CAD) and Computer Assisted Manufacturing (CAM). These are exciting, cutting edge, emerging careers that will be in high demand.  

Howard-Winn and Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) are planning and preparing training programs beginning in the fall that will have the potential to empower kids with employable entry-level CNC skill sets right out of High School. VERY COOL! More information will follow. 


 Howard-Winn 5th graders and 8th graders designing robots.  

Dr. Borlaug Statue unveiling

Plans are going forward with Crestwood FFA members representing Howard-Winn, our community and our region at the Norman Borlaug statue unveiling in Washington, D.C. on March 25th. I am excited to travel with seniors Kaytlin Langreck and Kayleigh Hauber as well as juniors Natalie Knobloch and Abby Hauber. It is very much appreciated that Kayleigh's mother Jamie will chaperon.

A special THANK YOU to these friends and community members for their financial support to make this happen. We are close to covering the estimated trip costs!

Patti Bryant                       John Carver (Decorah)                         Upper Iowa Tool and Die
LaDene Reid                     Lowell Sovereign                                  Hvitved & Associates
Lime Springs Beef            Bonair Enterprise                                   Bill Kruse
Hawkey Sanitation            Marlene Michel                                      Mehmert Tiling   
Gerald Keune                   Thomson Charitable Trust & CUSB         Jeri Andera
Cheryle Riehle                  Kiwanis                                                 Howard County Farm                                                                                                         Bureau

Grade Level Campuses for 2014  
Planning is underway for bringing all grade levels together for the fall of 2014.  
Grade Level Campuses:
  • Elma, Lime Springs and Cresco will all have pre-schools.
  • Grades K-3, 5-8 and 9-12 will be on the Cresco Campus.
  • 4th grade will be located in Lime Springs.  
Next steps include:
  • Teacher and classroom assignments (March-April)
  • Campus Open Houses (April-May)
  • Draft Bus routes (May-June)
  • Transfer of grade level materials (June-July)
  • Finalize Bus Routes (July-August)
  • Classes begin (August)

Shout Outs

  • Cadet Girls Basketball: WAY TO GO GIRLS! You make us all proud!
  • Cadet Boys Basketball: GOOD LUCK as you begin State Tournament play!    
  • Cadet Wrestlers What a wonderful season! BEST OF LUCK to Brandon Mayer, Chase Lienhard and Hunter Slifka at the State Tournament! Seize the moment. 
  • THANK YOU to Lime Springs Public Works and Mayor Barb Robinson for your diligence in getting the water back on! We VERY much appreciate your efforts!   
One last thought..............
The Howard-Winneshiek vision is to discover, develop and expand passions, creativity and strengths.......

Check out what CADETS are doing:
  • 9th grader Casey Ollendieck's passion is medicine and he wants to become a doctor. He recently attended the Congress of Future Medical Leaders workshop in Washington D.C.
  • Donaldson Manufacturing was so impressed with Sophomore Gretchen Vandervort and her work in the Discover Center that they would like her to do the same in their plant office!  
  • Junior Shane Trautsch's passion for working in Virtual Reality has provided him the opportunity to travel and represent the Virtual Reality Educational Pathways (VREP) program in Pennsylvania.  


February 21, 2014

Academics ~ Activities ~ Arts ~ Athletics
Crestwood Secondary Schools (7-12)
Twitter: @Crestwood_HS


Special Events for the Week of February 24 - March 2, 2014
Monday:        A.L.I.C.E. Training - Elkader
Tuesday:       1 Hour Early Out Schedule - 2:15 p.m. Dismissal
                      Parent/Teacher Conferences - 3:30-7:30 p.m.
                      Grand Meadow HS/NICC Visit
Wednesday:  3 Hour Early Out Schedule - 12:15 p.m. Dismissal
                      Iowa Youth Survey Data Review/Keystone AEA - 9:00 a.m.
                      JMC/PowerSchool Presentations - 1:00/2:15 p.m.
Friday:          Mountain Climber Nominations Due
Saturday:      District Individual Speech Contest
                     Tri-State Honor Band - Decorah

Anytime, Anywhere: Online Learning Shapes the Future
Schools and districts around the country are discovering the benefits of online learning.

Competency Based Education Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)

What does Competency Based Education teach students about the real world where it’s necessary to do one’s best?
In the world beyond the walls of the school, only people who master certain information or skills are able to receive certain privileges. This system puts more focus on student learning with multiple attempts for success. It is actually a more accurate reflection of real-world experience, where a person must meet a certain standard before receiving certain privileges.

Some “real life” parallels are the ACT, SAT, or professional exams—even the driver’s test. There are no penalties for the number of attempts on these tests, but failing them gets expensive and wastes time. A person who truly wants the privilege becomes intrinsically motivated to succeed because he or she wants the benefit that goes with passing the test, i.e., getting accepted into a good college, getting licensure in a certain profession—or driving a car.

If homework and practice do not count as part of the student’s grade, how will we promote the importance of homework? How will we motivate them to complete it and turn it in?

When teachers return homework to students with a grade, most students shove it in their backpack or binder and never look at it again. Imagine the enhanced learning opportunity for the student if instead, the teacher returned the homework with two or three meaningful comments rather than a grade?

As teachers, we realize that homework and practice tied directly to learning targets is an important component of student achievement. So when teachers use homework as a mechanism for extensive and timely feedback to the student, it conveys the message that homework is important and necessary.

Providing students with nonjudgmental written or verbal feedback enables teachers to formatively assess student understanding and provides the student safe opportunities to practice without judgment.

Why are we allowing students to turn in late work or re-do work without penalty of a zero? How does this teach responsibility and accountability?

In a standards-based system, the emphasis is on learning. When a student doesn’t do the work, the inherent consequence is that he or she doesn’t learn the content or practice the skill.

When we do not allow a student to turn in late work or re-do work, we deny that student the opportunity to grow character traits that are vital to student achievement, such as perseverance and persistence.

If a teacher doesn’t accept late work, the teacher sends the message that the assignment had little educational value. It’s as though the teacher is saying, “It’s okay if you don’t do the work, and it’s okay if you don’t learn the content or skill.” As professional educators working to prepare students to successfully navigate the 21st century world, we can no longer accept these messages.

Granting a reduced grade or zero doesn’t teach responsibility to students who are not intrinsically motivated. It actually allows the student to avoid the accountability of demonstrating what he or she has learned, and it teaches them to shrug off important responsibilities. 

How many school districts in Iowa are utilizing this system?
This map represents Iowa school attendees at the standards-based grading conference at Grant Wood AEA Spring 2013.
Growing Up STEM - As A Girl
Iowa State University Computer Science major Cassidy Williams was often the only girl in the room. She shares her story of pursuing her passion as a model for encouraging women in STEM.

Mountain Climber Nominations
Reminder: Mountain Climber Nominations are due on Feb. 28. This award seeks to recognize students who have overcome difficulties to succeed academically, behaviorally, or with overall citizenship. The award is focused not on students who necessarily achieved at high levels, rather students that have overcome difficult situations.

February 21, 2014 Greg.Adams

Greg Adams

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

Looking ahead...District Redesign

We now know that all 4th grade students will be educated in Lime Springs beginning next fall. Now the conversation turns to the logistics of making this happen. 

Thank you to everyone for your time, input, and professional courtesy as all points were discussed.

Monday, February 24
Tuesday, February 25: Parent-Teacher Conferences
Wednesday, February 26: 12:15 p.m. Early Dismissal. Teacher In-service
Thursday, February 27
Friday, February 28
March 10-21: Iowa Assessments (formerly ITBS & ITEDs)
March 14: End of Quarter 3
April 7-May 2: Spring MAP Tests

STEM Day! 
The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Day for all district 3rd - 5th grade students.
Activities included:
3rd Grade- Bubble Bonanza
Creating different shaped bubble wands- will it change bubble shape? -Mrs. Adams

Can you stack bubbles? -Mrs. Kerian
4th Grade- Invasive Species
Teamwork. Building towers to save the animals. -Mrs. Suckow
Building traps for an invasive species.  -Mrs. Fravel
Traps to catch invasive Cane Toads. Great collaboration ideas on improving the traps.  -Mrs. Suckow
5th Grade- Shake Things Up 
Planning to develop earthquake-proof buildings.
STEM activity + student creativity = great thought/designs. -Mr. Knobloch 

Designing earthquake tables
Mrs. Wilson's young engineers!
Shaking Things Up with Howard-Winn STEM Day by Keri Schatz

Parent-Teacher Conferences

Feb. 20th conferences have been rescheduled to Tuesday, Feb. 25th at all Howard-Winneshiek Centers. Scheduled conferences will be the same as those that were previously scheduled for the 20th. Please enter the scheduling program or contact office secretaries to make changes.

Lime Springs/Chester Students to Cresco due to Water Main Break
Our Lime Springs friends fit right in with us today! Great day learning together. -Mrs. Kerian
New friends read together.  -Mrs. Einck
The City of Lime Springs was working on a water main break on Feb. 19th, and there was no water pressure until the repair was made. Lime Springs/Chester students were bused to Cresco for the day. Since it was difficult to bring all materials along for the day, students brought their iPads and then were divided among the various classrooms. This allowed them to participate in the day's activities and for their classroom teacher to flow from room to room and co-teach. 
I would like to thank everyone for their cooperation in making the day go so well. Thank you to our students, teachers, transportation department, and food service department.