Friday, February 28, 2014

February 28, 2014 Shirley Sovereign

PK-1 Principal/Director of Teaching & Learning
Shirley Sovereign
ssovereign@howard-winn.k12.ia.us
Twitter:  ssovprincipal
SKYPE:  shirley.sovereign 







CADET PRIDE!
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! 
 
MackinVia
Howard-Winn libraries have gone digital! In the past few weeks, the library staff has been working with Mackin.com 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.

Tech-Clarity

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.        







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