Saturday, May 10, 2014

JCC May 9, 2014

District Perspective
Superintendent John Carver
Twitter: johnccarver
SKYPE: johnccarver

Learning at Howard-Winn:
It's all about RELATIONSHIPS

Howard-Winn, Part of The "BIG" Picture
In just a few days we will celebrate the graduation of the class of 2014. These outstanding young people have unlimited potential and are going into a world full of opportunities and challenges. Families, the communities, and the Howard-Winn schools, have worked hard to prepare these kids for the next chapter in their lives. I am convinced they will do GREAT things.

As we say good-by to the seniors, and close in on the end of the school year, it's good to pause, reflect, look up and see the "BIG" Picture around us.

Howard-Winn, like everywhere else, is experiencing change. Shifts in populations, aging work force, jobs, quality of life and climate change are some of the many dynamics in play. Going forward, one thing is for sure, change is not going to go away and if anything is going to accelerate.

Honor the past and embrace new thinking
Howard County and the communities that make up the Howard-Winneshiek Community School District have a rich history of achievement and accomplishments. CADETS have gone on to become leaders, serve others before themselves, and make positive contributions to society. Now is the time for all of us to come together, look forward and have the courage to transform.

Realities: Recruit Millenniums
  • NE Iowa, and specifically the Howard-Winn School District, is experiencing population change. Our region, like all of rural Iowa is shrinking.
  • We have jobs, but the challenge is finding workers. We have more jobs than workers to fill them.  
  • Many workers do not live in the Howard-Winn School District and are driving as much as 50 miles a day, one way, to work.
  • CADETS are getting a great education, going to college, and in many instances, not coming back to Howard County. These young people are seeking opportunities elsewhere.
  • To meet employment needs, increase student population, and reverse the trend of rural Iowa shrinking, families must be recruited to the region.
In January stakeholders came together and have been meeting monthly to brainstorm and take actions to GROW HOWARD COUNTY (and specifically the Howard-Winneshiek Community School District). Elected state, county and local officials, business and industry leaders, along with the Howard County Economic Development TEAM have been working diligently to "make things happen".
  • Identify employment opportunities in the region with existing companies (as well as newcomer Lime Springs Beef with projections of 80 new jobs).
  • Apply for Home Base Iowa designation which we will receive during the Howard County Fair. This program will list jobs in the region on a website veterans can access.
  • Realizing that regions of the future will be built around BROADBAND high speed internet connections, "Grow Howard County Task Force" working with Connect Iowa, evaluated local internet capacities. From the study it was discovered that Howard County (and Howard-Winneshiek students at home) did not have adequate BROADBAND access. The Task Force is working to address this by: networking with Governor Branstad and State Legislators, building new relationships with local providers (OmniTel), and are exploring Federal funding for build out to unserved and underserved areas.  21st century worker can live anywhere!
  • Endorse a study of available housing, specifically starter homes and rental properties. This would support families being recruited.
  • A realization the "international workers" may well be coming with their families to fill jobs and be part of our community. 
This is an exciting time!

Howard-Winn's Role
Howard-Winn's role in recruiting families to grow the region is grounded in "providing a quality service" and in our motto: 2020 Howard-Winn. That direction being by the year 2020, when our 6th grade graduates, CADETS will be the most sought after young people on the planet, "prepare and think creatively, serve, contribute and succeed locally and globally".  Specifically Howard-Winn will aggressively continue to move forward to transform teaching and learning.  New thinking, personalized learning and empower students requires new structure. No one, globally, has this figured out. This is our opportunity to lead.  

Specifically this will mean that Howard-Winn will look different in the weeks and months to come. Communication, flexibility and courage to think "outside of the box" is crucial  Learning will look different, but the District commitment to "discover, develop and expand passions, creativity and strengths" will remain constant.  


Dollars for Scholars
Last Wednesday evening's Dollar for Scholars event was amazing! Over $200,000 was awarded to the class of 2014. Over the past 20 years, Crestwood Dollars for Scholars has presented $2.1 million dollars to graduating seniors. This is so COOL! THX U!

Meals from the Heartland: Howard County
Last Wednesday a vision was shared with Howard-Winn, to provide 50,000+ meals to feed the hungry. It was great to have Pam Carver provide details about this chance for all of us in the region, young and old, schools and communities, to come together to to do good work! Just think how cool this will be, that during the Norman Borlaug Harvest Fest, to make a difference by package meals to feed the hungry.  

Before us a twofold adventure: secure contributions for the food product and recruit volunteers to package the food.

"Denim for Dollars"  May 19-23, at a contribution of $5 a day, ($25 total), teachers will be allowed to wear jeans to work for the week.  Checks preferred, written to "Meals of the Heartland".  This is contribution is tax deductible and a 503c will be issued. More details will follow.  

Be thinking how we can involve the kids, our neighbors and our friends.  Please feel free to share your thoughts and questions with Pam Carver 515-201-8219    

Des Moines Register Northeast Iowa 2014 Academic All State
Congratulations to CADET Rachel Sticka for being recognized for her academic achievement by the Des Moines Sunday Register, 2014 Academic All-State. Rachel is the daughter of Ron & Elaine Sticka of Cresco.


  • The Vocal "pre contest concert" Monday was "off the hook".  GOOD LUCK to both the Instrumental and Vocal Music programs at State Contests Friday night at Decorah High School. #PROUD 
  • The weather has not cooperated this year for our Track and Golf TEAMS. Despite the elements, you have modeled CADET PRIDE and Determination. Good luck in upcoming Conference and State competition. 
  • This was the LAST FRIDAY for the class of 2014. Graduation will be Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 2:00 in the Crestwood Gym.  CADETS FORWARD!
  • Plans are underway to check in iPads and Laptops for the summer.  STUDENTS BE SURE TO SAVE YOUR STUFF!  Devices will be re-imaged over the summer. 
  • THANK YOU to Howard-Winn Technology EXPERT Harold Jensen for your support in facilitating SKYPE video interviews and conferencing.
  • Be sure to read about our Pk-1 Principal / Director of Teaching and Learning, Shirley Sovereign, a kid centered, instructional leader!  

Happy Mother's Day
enjoy upcoming 

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