Friday, October 17, 2014

JCC October 17, 2014

District Perspective
Superintendent John Carver  
Office 563 547 2762
Twitter: johnccarver
SKYPE: johnccarver

2014-15 Certified Enrollment
This week we certified Howard-Winn's enrollment for the 2014-15 school year. A decrease in enrollment was anticipated. Our enrollment went from 1297.01 students to 1243.73 students, a decrease of 53.28 students.  Each students generates $6,489 in State Aid which translates into $345,733.  
It is important to note that presently the District is financially positioned well, but we must look to the future. The Board will have a work session 6:00 pm, Tuesday, October 21 at the Ridgeway Community Center, to discus enrollment, its financial impact and begin to identify strategies going forward. Gary Sinclair, from the Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB), will be present to assist in looking at 5 year scenarios. In looking at 5 years out, the District is positioning to be proactive.

In all that is discussed, the number one priority is providing our young people with an outstanding education and fulfilling the current District mission: to prepare and empower our students to think creatively, serve, contribute and succeed locally and globally.

The bottom line is that as a region we are shrinking. Information from the "Howard County Housing Needs Assessment", commissioned by the Grow Howard County Task Force,  illustrates this reality. 

We have two choices: do nothing and continue to shrink or think "outside the box" and look for opportunities to grow. Being a "Home Base Iowa Community" (, bringing in high speed BROADBAND Internet access, developing strategies to recruit families to fill current job openings and look to bring in new employers are positive steps froward. More information will follow.

The federal No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act requires schools to assess all students annually. It mandates that all schools receiving Title 1 funding, that students must be 100% proficient in the Iowa Assessments by the year 2014. 

Crestwood Elementary has been designated as SINA-4 (year four) because our 3-5th grades did not make Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) in the area of Reading. Our students did make significant gains in reading proficiency growing from 70.6% in the 2012-13 school year, to 72.34% proficiency in 2013-14. However ALL students are still not proficient. 

As a SINA-4 school, Howard-Winn is mandated to utilize this school year as a planning year to develop strategies to increase student growth in the area of reading.

Teachers, Administrators and Keystone AEA representatives have collaborated to develop the plan. The focus and direction is to expand teacher leadership, responsibilities and expectations, as well as restructuring descriptions for educational leaders. The intended outcome will be clear expectations in which all will be held accountable for, consistent literacy instruction, and accomplishing an increase in student achievement in reading.

The Board of Education tentatively has approved the SINA plan and the district is now seeking public input. Visit the Howard-Winneshiek School District webpage or Facebook page to review the SINA plan and share your thoughts and comments. Your thinking and viewpoint is valued and appreciated.

Howard-Winneshiek or Crestwood? Branding the District
For the past two years the Board has been having discussions on the name and identity of the School District. There is a disconnect between "Howard-Winneshiek" and "Crestwood". Folks around the State know about the Howard-Winneshiek School District but do not know that Crestwood is the high school. In Athletic contests folks know about Crestwood High School but do not realize it is part of the Howard-Winneshiek Community School District. Case in point: at the Girl's State Basketball Tournament last year folks did not know that Crestwood is the high school at Howard-Winn.

As the District works with County and communities officials to recruit families to the area, there has been reflection and thinking of "rebranding" Howard-Winn. The purpose being to create a unified identity for the District. Having "Crestwood" serve both as the name of the District as well as the High School has been lifted up as a possibility. What are your thoughts? Visit the Howard-Winneshiek School District webpage or Facebook page to share your thinking. 

What learning looked like this week at.......

"Shout Outs"
  • A "BIG SHOUT" this week goes to Senior Volleyball, Cross Country, Football, Cheerleading, Band and Color Guard TEAM members.  Know that you have "left your mark"  and hopefully made many positive memories. Keep moving FORWARD!
  • THINK GREEN! The Hydration Station was a GREAT IDEA! Located by the Gym in by the Lunch Room, students can refill water bottles and help to eliminated waste from disposable plastic bottles.  By refilling, to date,  CADETS have eliminated over 5,000 disposable bottles.  OUTSTANDING! 

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