Friday, May 30, 2014

JCC May 30, 2014

District Perspective
Superintendent John Carver
Twitter: johnccarver
SKYPE: johnccarver

Pictured in front of the one room school house Norman Borlaug attended, the class of 2020! This fall they will be in 7th grade!
Getting ready for 2014!
Beginning now, we are getting ready for new campus grade level assignments. Last Wednesday, K-5 students and parents got a chance to visit the Howard-Winn Lime Springs and Cresco campuses to see where the "action" will be this fall. 
During the day, the class of 2023 (this fall's 4th grade) had a field trip to Lime Springs and in the evening an "ice cream" open house was held in Cresco and Lime Springs. For 2014-15 grades K-3 and 5-6 will be in Cresco and the 4th grade will be in Lime Springs.  Exciting times are on the horizon!

Last Weekly Update till August!

Summer is here, the school year is about over, and this will be the last "Weekly Update" till August. It's always such a joy to share each week the exciting teaching and learning going on at Howard-Winn. This summer will be VERY busy as buildings are cleaned, classrooms readied, and upgrades are made to the buildings. New doors on the east side of the Cresco K-8 campus, baseball / softball scoreboards erected as well as sidewalks and painting will all be happening. The District Office will be open all summer so please stop by and say "hello". Have a wonderful summer. Be sure to support the Baseball and Softball teams and .....GO CADETS! 

Beginning, Middle and End
Like a school year, everything runs in a cycle with a Beginning, Middle and End. 
Tuesday, June 3, 2014 marks the "End" of one cycle for several dedicated retiring Howard-Winn educators. Their commitment and service to the children of Howard-Winn stands as a testimonial that learning is exciting, challenging and FUN! Howard-Winn students have gained and grown as a result of having known these role models as teachers, coaches and in some cases, friends. We celebrate with you as you retire and are excited for you as you go onto your next "Beginning". You have made a difference. Best wishes to ALL!  
Growing and going. As a District, we are at the "Beginning of the Beginning" of our next chapter: to change education. We have forward momentum and are picking up speed. I believe we are well on our way of "hitting the mark" to be totally transformed by 2020, and that the class of 2020 (this fall in 7th grade) will be the best prepared kids on the planet when they graduate! As I have told folks, we have many "Norman Borlaugs" walking the halls of Howard-Winn right now.

This is an exciting adventure and I am humbled and honored to be sharing this experience with Howard-Winn students and staff. To ALL, please know you have my deepest respect and it is an extreme pleasure, both personally and professionally to learn and create with you.

Rest, recharge and get ready for what is next!

Shout Outs!
  • GREAT JOB CADETS at the State Track Meet! Very Proud of you !
  • GOOD LUCK to the Softball and Baseball TEAMS as they begin their seasons! Enjoy the moment!

Way to GO Savannah Lentz! Take STATE!

Students working up to the last day of class! Leveraging creativity, imagination and passion!  These CADETS are on the move!

CADETS in Washington D.C. 8th graders stay in touch with classmates back at Howard-Winn via TWITTER. 

Last days of learning at Howard-Winn looks like this.......

Some of the Howard-Winn Pre-Schoolers......ready to take on the world!

Have a wonderful Summer!

May 30, 2014

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

Special Events for the Week of June 2 - June 4, 2014 
Monday:        One Hour Early Out Schedule - Students Must Stay for Laptop Roll-in 
- JH:  Computer Roll in - 8th pd students stay in the class for roll-in.  Laptops stay in room.
- HS: Computer Roll in - Homeroom at 2:15.  Laptops stay in room
Tuesday:        Three Hour Early Out Schedule
- JH:  Students report to 8th period class - finish roll in - report to Awards Ceremony
- HS: Students report to Homeroom - finish roll in and locker clean out - End of the Year Activities at 10:11    
Wednesday:    No School - Teacher Professional Development
8-9 am                 7-12 Teacher Self-Directed PLC Sharing - HS Media Center
9-10 am               7-12 Comp Based Education Plan - HS Media Center
10-11:30 am        7-12 Student-Staff Relationships Presentation - HS Media Center
Check-out            No earlier than 3:00 p.m.

Youth Frontiers Character Challenge of the Week

Howard-Winneshiek can not express our gratitude enough for the years of service and endless of dedication provided by this year's retirees.  The students guided, mentored, and taught by the following staff members are the lucky beneficiaries.

Steve Anderson
Deb Larson
Jenny Matt
Karen Nance
Pam Spindler
Mary Stevenson
Jane Ullom
Delrae Wolter


What Can Our Students Accomplish?
@HistoryinPics on Twitter posts various powerful and entertaining historical photographs.  An image stands out this week.

The Golden Gate Bridge is heralded as one of the top ten construction achievements of the 20th Century.  During its construction from 1933-1937, the Golden Gate Bridge's builders introduced many innovations, but perhaps the most impressive was the precise and efficient technique they used to construct the massive cables.

This American landmark was designed and constructed with tools considered primitive in today's society.  Howard-Winneshiek's students are designing and constructing detailed, structurally correct items with collaborative skills, technology infusion, and problem solving not thought of in 1933.  

Our task as educators is to continue to push the envelope, not apologize for taking risks, and demand high expectations.  Yes, the path to high expectations is not the same for every student.  But remember...if there were one way to construct a bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge would not be existence. 

“Mile Markers”
Mr. Carver recently requested a list of accomplishments from the 7-12 staff.  The following is not inclusive of all of the great accomplishments.  I apologize if I left off an item.

Wow, look at the following list.  
  • Project Lead the Way offerings at JH and HS with provisional certification after 1st year.  Development of plan of action to achieve full certification
  • g2 program initiated at the High School
  • Competency Based Education grant awarded.  Attend monthly meetings in Des Moines.  Actively participate in large group and work group planning.  
  • CBE planning meetings to develop a course of implementation of the work.
  • Work trip to Pittsfield, NH to learn more about CBE environment with Howard-Winn, NICC, Keystone AEA,  and Iowa Department of Education staff
  • 7 initial awardees of Mountain Climbers program
  • 7-12 Academic BLT and 6-8/9-12 Culture/Climate BLTs
  • Transitioned to different P/T Conference format for 6-8
  • Developed Schoology teacher protocols
  • Formalized weekly 7-12 Guidance Counselor meetings and weekly 9-12 Student Services meetings
  • 6 visits to neighboring schools promoting CHS/NICC course offerings
  • In-house free student counseling through Northeast Iowa Behavioral Health
  • CNC coursework leading to certification in Cresco
  • Development of Summer Home Visit program for incoming freshman
  • Development of GAME:IT 1 and 2 courses as well as Computer Programming course
  • Visual reminders of student voice - front windows, art displays, 5 W’s of Life
  • New door name plates
  • Development of 7-12 Academic Profile as well as other community promotional materials
  • Recruited at the UNI Career Fair
  • Inclusion of NICC and other community resources at 9-12 P/T Conferences
  • Expansion of Back to School Open House
  • Continuation of freshman Respect Retreat
  • Development of Crestwood HS Twitter account
  • Development of #cadetnaton t-shirts and #cadetnation Fridays
  • Facilitation of 5 courses based on Standards Based Grading
  • Use of teacher Individual Career Development Plan to guide professional development
  • Redevelopment of Friends of Howard-Winn Foundation - board members, officers, public relations
  • Input and promotion of 1:1 Laptop program and writing of AUP
  • Coordinate efforts to address school relationships through the Iowa Youth Survey and Keystone AEA.  Conference held with JH and HS students to gather their input.
  • Determined of new data management system - PowerSchool
  • Use of technology to streamline procedures (Beginning of the Year, End of the Year, meeting agenda, Field Trip Request form)
  • Administered additional funding to support district goals for classroom needs
  • Development of collaborative, student centered learning spaces
  • 5-12 Grade Career Fair
  • Revised NICC class schedule coordinate with CHS schedule
  • Review of new safety procedures through the ALICE program
  • Development of line item budgets for 7-12
  • Development of Self-Directed PLC’s with protocols and end of the year showcase of learning

...And the Curtain Closes for the Year
As the 2013-2014 school year closes, we pause to reflect on what just zipped past us.  There have been moments of frustration, laughter, and shear exhilaration.  Howard-Winneshiek experienced the highest of highs (Girls State Basketball Tournament) and the lowest of lows (loss of a student to start the school year).

Many times over the past 3 years I have been asked the question, “How did they do (it) in your last school?” or “How did you do (this) with your other staffs?”  I do not like answering these questions.  Not every staff is the same; not every situation is the same.  This can be an unfair comparison.

This week I did make the comment, “I am not the same administrator I was seven years ago.”  A very true statement.  I find myself not as bound by policy or regulation or the “norm.” I feel empowered to try new practices to improve the culture of the buildings. Excuses are not accepted – rather solutions to previous roadblocks are expected.

Howard-Winneshiek staff truly works in an environment that wants change, focuses on students, and aspires to achieve greatness.  Staff still has work ahead.  We need to show students how to think and not settle.  We need to continue to work with students to go beyond traditional thinking. The mindset is being set that students have different options to guide their learning.  This must be developed and nurtured – a delicate undertaking.

“How did they do it in your last school?”  They NEVER would have considered what Howard-Winneshiek takes for granted.


May 30, 2014 Greg.Adams

Greg Adams

Grade 2-6 Principal 

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


June 3- Last student day. This will be a 12:15 p.m. dismissal.
Report cards & testing results will be found in your child's backpack in one envelope.
June 4- Last official teacher day.
August 21- 1st student day of the 2014-2015 school year. 

There may be 4 days of school left, but we are still learning and creating! #2020HowardWinn #alwayslearning #prezi
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If you are counting...from June 3, there will be 79 days until school begins. Enjoy the break and catch up on those projects and activities that you were planning. It is a great time to learn and explore our outdoors and to read a great book! 

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 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 in the district. We also are working at determining the model that best serves our 6th grade students. 

Transportation plans are still being developed and will be shared once complete. Initial plans include separate 4th grade routes so that the school days are the same length. It is also noted that early supervision will be needed for students at bus pick-up points.

Teachers and Class Lists for Next Year
Teachers are in the process of creating class lists for next year. The class lists will be shared during the Open House nights that begin the school year.

New Teachers!
We are in the process of interviewing for Special Education, Spanish, and Dean of Students/Activities Director. It is exciting to meet our applicants to see their desire to teach and to share our vision for the Howard-Winneshiek CSD. 

The following have been approved to join our team next school year. Welcome!
  • PK-1 Principal/Director of Teaching & Learning- Sara Grimm
  • Elementary/Junior High Vocal Music Instructor- Schyler Bieber
  • Elementary Band Instructor- Meghan Ringeon
  • High School Science Instructor- Ben Hanson
  • High School Special Education Instructor- Alicia Martin
  • High School Special Education pending-
  • High School Math pending board approval-
Room Assignments
Crestwood Elementary classrooms may be found in different areas of the building. Rooms will be arranged during the summer so that grade-level groups are located near each other. See the diagrams below.

Learning about eagles at the National Eagle Center in Wabasha #2020HowardWinn @GregAAdams7
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Lime Springs 1st graders feeding fish at the "Fish Hatch"/"Fish Hatch Tree"/"Fish Hatchery"! #2020howardwinn
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Presenting flower project and many students using iPads to record presentations.#2020howardwinn
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Coding spheros to change color and make shapes. #2020howardwinn
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Open Houses
I hope everyone enjoyed the time to visit the open houses at Crestwood and Lime Springs on Tuesday evening.

Next year's 4th grade students visited Lime Springs for a chance to meet their teachers, meet all students at their grade level, take a building tour, participate in a library scavenger hunt, created artwork to decorate the halls for next year, and played games. Thank you to teachers, Kevin Carter, Dory Fravel, Kirstin Kerian, and Lorrinda Kisley. 

May 30, 2014 Shirley Sovereign

Cadet Time reading

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

Preschool End-of-Year Celebrations
The Lime Springs/Chester program was held on May 22.  Students sang songs with actions in the gym.  Students showed their portfolios to their parents and were able to take them home.  There were 14 students who attended preschool in Lime Springs/Chester this year.  Thank you Mrs. Marr, Ms. Caffrey and Ms. Harkin for a great year! 
Preschool students received their certificates during the program in Lime Springs.
The Cresco Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten program was held on May 28 before a crowd of about 250 parents and grandparents.  Students were featured in a video where they told their name and what they want to be when they grow up.  Students sang, danced and received their certificates.   There were 65 students attending preschool this year in Cresco.  Thank you Mrs. Holthaus, Mrs. Merkel, Mrs. Tieskoetter and Mrs. Vsetecka.  Thanks to preschool associates Mrs. Ferrie, Mrs. Hansmeier, Mrs. Miller, Mrs. Bronner, Mrs. Dohlman, Mrs. Brace, and Mrs. Sheehy.  Thanks to Mrs. Serfling who served in Mrs. Merkel's room most of the school year.  
Cresco students singing and dancing the "Tooty Ta" during their program.

Elma's end-of-year celebration was held on May 29.  The students did a great job of singing.  My favorite song was "Pete the Cat."  Thank you to Ms. Burke, the classroom associate, Mrs. Shackleton, and students for a great year!
Elma preschool students posing with their certificates

May 30th will be the last day for all Howard-Winn preschool classes.

Open House Events
Students in grades 1-3 and 5-6 next year were able to visit the Crestwood Elementary and JH on May 27 along with their parents.  There were 60 parents and students who toured the Cresco K-8 building.  Thank you to the teachers who were available during the evening for questions.   Families with students in 4th grade for next year visited the Lime Springs/Chester building at the same time.
Grades K-3 and 5-6 for 2014-2015
Grade 4 for 2014-2015

Camp Read S'more
The last month was filled with activities to promote reading with "Camp Read S'more."  Mrs. Shekleton, Teacher Librarian, organized the events and classroom teachers assisted with the many activities.  These included a walking trip to the public library, keeping a recording sheet of fun places to read, and having special guest speakers such as Angela Bries from the Nature Center.  At the end of "camp", parents were invited in to a "read-n-feed" with their students, with s'mores in a bag as a treat.  There were parents and students reading throughout the school and on the playground for this event on May 23rd.  Students are encouraged to keep the reading going throughout the summer.  

Parents & students in the Discovery Center
Reading outdoors on a beautiful day

State Fair Projects
Mrs. Dory Fravel's students in Lime Springs/Chester completed State Fair projects last week.  These projects were on display in the gym for students and parents.

First Grade Field Trip
Students went on a field trip this week to Lake Meyers and the Decorah Fish Hatchery.  All 1st graders in the district had the chance to combine hands-on science activities with lots of learning and fun.  It was a beautiful, summer-like day and perfect for an end-of-year field trip.

Thank You All!

Most of you know I'll be retiring at the end of this school year.  I want to thank the students and teachers over the years for being such a special part of my life.  Thank you to parents for sharing your children.  They have been a joy to work with, and I will miss them the most.  Thank you to my fellow administrators and to the school board.  Your commitment to kids is extraordinary!  I look forward to watching the district lead the way in education on a global level.  I will be out in the community supporting Howard Winn all the way!  Many are asking me what I'm going to do in retirement.  I think this is the best advice I have I'm going to take it!