Friday, March 28, 2014

March 28, 2014

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


Special Events for the Week of March 31 - April 4, 2014
Monday:         Simon Estes Assembly - HS Auditorium - 10:00 a.m.
                       Competency Based Education Team in New Hampshire through Wednesday
Tuesday:        Crestwood FFA Banquet - Heritage Events Center - 6:00 pm
Thursday:       Junior High Fundraiser Concludes - Turn In Order Forms
                       Keystone AEA Principal's Professional Development - 9:00 a.m.
Friday:            JH/HS Student Services Meetings - 1:00 p.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Saturday:        Annual Jazz Spotlight - 6:30 p.m.
Sunday:          Annual Jazz Spotlight - 1:00 p.m.


Congratulations Dr. Norman Borlaug!

Youth Frontiers Character Challenge of the Week

Mountain Climber Award Selections
2014 Awardees recognized this week: 
Cheyann Courtney
Arielle Engelhart
Hailey McCalley
Adam Panoch  
Sarah Pira
Logan Wiedeman
Paige Wemark


Northeast Iowa Family STEM Festival

Iowa Youth Survey Data Review
Keystone AEA personnel met with Crestwood Junior High and High School Guidance Counselors and Success Program staff this week. Further discussions revolving around student-to-teacher relationships data from the Iowa Youth Survey were the focus.

Items discussed:
  • Crestwood High School's student-to-teacher relationship data comparison to other Keystone AEA high schools.
  • A student focus group that will define what students want student-to-teacher relationships to look like at the Junior High and High School. This group will be led by Amy Holst from Keystone AEA.
  • A student presentation to staff about the need for improved student-to-teacher relationships. Data and indicators will be a focus of this presentation. This will occur at the end of the school year.
  • Information regarding parental contact and the expectation going forward to develop positive student and parental image of school. This consists of each teacher making positive, authentic contact with at least two families/students per midterm (four per quarter). Contact may consist of phone call, email, postcard, face-to-face, or letter.

1:1 Device "Roll-in"
Plans are being developed now for 1:1 laptop "roll-in." The annual process will occur on May 15 for Seniors and starting June 2 for 7-11 grade students. Laptops will be processed in homerooms for High School students and 8th period for Junior High students.

More details and guidance will be provided as the dates approach.

Friends of Howard-Winneshiek Foundation:                      
Board members and officers were elected at the meeting held this past week:
Regular Board Members                                      Ex-Officio Board Members:
Joe Braun - Secretary/Treasurer                      
   Tim Felderman
Scott Thomson - President                      
            Clint Farlinger
Bryan Sheehy -
Vice-President                             Wendy Schatz
Bruce Weigel                        
Melodee Balk                          
Michelle Midthus
Nick Ferrie
Tanya Riehle
Libby Schwade

The Sign is Up!

New Format for #iaedchat
How often can you ask questions live to the Iowa Director of Education from your living room? With the new format to Sunday night's #iaedchat conversation, the 4th Sunday night of each month will be a Google Hangout question and answer session with various educational leaders. This past week's session was with Dr. Brad Buck.

Seven Reasons for Standards-Based Grading   
The following information is the third of a seven-part series 

Reason 3: We Can Control Grading Practices 
One of the biggest sources of frustration in schools today is the sense that we are at the mercy of factors we teachers cannot control. We cannot control student socioeconomic levels, school funding, our salaries, our teaching assignments, increasing class sizes, difficult parents, or a host of other important issues. However, we can control how we assess students.

When I approached my principal and district officials with the idea of using an experimental grading system, I received support and encouragement from all of them. In addition, a number of colleagues have been intrigued and want to make standards-based grading work in their classrooms.

If a teacher must use a point system to satisfy an administrative mandate or to use a particular grade book, that teacher can still use a standards-based system. The crucial idea is to use a system that is not based on the inappropriate use of averages. The system must not allow students to mask their level of understanding with their attendance, their level of effort, or other peripheral issues.

I have found that avoiding point values that might appear in a traditional percentage-based system is helpful because parents and students can get confused if they see numbers that look like what they've seen in the past but refer to a different scale. Teachers who have to assign points can avoid this confusion by using completely different numbers. A point value in the range of 1 to 10, for example, would not have the strong associations of a point value of 85, and thus would not be as easily misinterpreted.

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