Friday, October 24, 2014

JCC October 24, 2014

District Perspective
Superintendent John Carver  

Office 563 547 2762

Twitter: johnccarver
SKYPE: johnccarver

School Delays and Cancelations Due to Weather
We are entering the time of year where weather conditions can impact classes and school start time. Transportation Director Brian Swestka and I begin checking roads starting at 4:00 a.m. A decision to modify the day will be made by 6:00 a.m. and will be communicated via Twitter, Iowa School Alerts and posted to the school webpage and Facebook page. Local TV and Radio stations will also be notified.   

To sign up for Iowa School Alerts go online to

Board Workshop: Enrollment Impact
As has been reported, the certified enrollment decreased 54 students this year. This number is used to determine State Aid, per pupil funding for the 2015-16 school year. 

The Board met in work session last Tuesday evening at the Ridgeway Community Center to review current conditions and look to the future. Working with Gary Sinclair from the Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB), the Board looked at several scenarios and 5-year projections. In that there are many "moving pieces" to the equation, the bottom line is student enrollment and what allowable growth (increase in state aid) is over the years to come is critical.  

Going forward, it is crucial to be proactive and strategic. My biggest "take away" from the workshop was Mr. Sinclair's direction to: spend different, spend smarter and spend less. In addition to this I would add to work collaboratively with area business and industry to lift up the region, the quality of life and actively recruit families to the area. All of which have potential to make a difference.   

It is important to note that the District has several revenue streams and these funds are restricted in their use. The General Fund (which is impacted by the certified head count) is used for salaries and operating expenses and the one reflected in the scenarios. 

In the weeks to come the Board and Administration will be reviewing and identifying options and actions. In all of the work to be done, the driving question for the District will be to do what is best for kids.  

Food for thought. From the District's perspective it was determined to best serve the kids instructionally, grade levels were consolidated with the 4th grade in Lime Springs and K-3, 6-12 on the Crestwood Campus. It is noted and respected that some parents chose to enroll their students at Notre Dame rather than have them ride the bus to Lime Springs. In conversations with several patrons over the last few days, it has been shared that, "It is OK for the outlying area kids to be bused to the Crestwood Campus, but there is disappointment that some parents would not want their children bused to Lime Springs." It will be difficult at best for us to go forward with an "us against them mentality" CADET NATION = respect, support each other and pull together. Change is hard. 

The District will follow established protocols, procedure, law and will respect parent choice. It will also continue to provide a world-class education and provide students opportunities to locally learn globally. One thing for sure is the rate of change is accelerating.    

More information and updates will follow.

If at any time you have questions, do not hesitate to contact me. Your thinking is valued and appreciated. John Carver 563-547-2762    

"Out-of-the-Box" Thinking = Opportunities
Prior to the Workshop in Ridgeway last Tuesday, the Board toured the new Shrimp Farm being built in the Ridgeway School. It was simply amazing. Talk about "thinking outside-of-the-box"!  45+ tanks are in place, water is being prepared and very soon you will be able to "walk in" and purchase fresh shrimp. Amazing possibilities are all around us! 

"Shout OUTS"
  • This week's SHOUT OUT goes to Keri Schatz, Howard-Winn's Public Relations coordinator. She is telling Howard-Winn's story and coordinating media relations. Go to  and read about: Elementary students taking a virtual field trip, Howard-Winn Preschool winning a STEM grant, and Howard-Winn students taking a tour of the new CNC lab as well other very cool happenings.  THANK YOU Keri! 
Learning at Howard-Winn last week looked like.........

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