Tuesday, November 25, 2014

JCC Nov 28, 2014

Howard-Winneshiek Community Schools

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

Happy Thanksgiving!
Tis the season again for feast, fellowship, and fun! Please take time to enjoy family, friends and reflect on all the opportunities and blessings in your life!  We are blessed to be living in the United States and specifically blessed to be here in IOWA. Have a wonderful break!  

The holiday season brings with it many memories, emotions and feelings.  For some this time of year is "bitter sweet" as loved ones and past holiday celebrations are thought of and remembered.  For others it is a time of excitement as new adventures and memories are created. With both, take in and enjoy the experiences. Life is so full of possibilities and opportunities. It is important we recognize and honor the past, live in the moment and dream, plan and work to the future.  It is GREAT to be alive!  

Change is perhaps the one thing that is a constant these days. As been shared in previous communications, mobility of families, declining student enrollment, decreasing school funding are all impacting how we serve the children of the Howard-Winneshiek Community School District.  Declining enrollment is not only happening at Howard-Winn but throughout rural IOWA and rural America.   

A patron shared with me last fall that: "It is a given that everything is shrinking". His words to me were: "Don't focus on that, but focus on how to give our kids the BEST education". I believe Howard-Winn is doing just that.  

Consolidating grade levels in Lime Springs and Cresco was a positive step forward instructionally.  Preliminary feedback from teachers indicate grade levels no longer feel isolated and there is an ability to plan strategies to better serve kids.  Collaboration amongst grade level teachers is powerful.  The innovation and creativity happening at Howard-Winn at Crestwood High School and at the Crestwood and Lime Springs elementary campuses is impressive.  Howard-Winn teachers are ROCK STARS. 

Our efforts to prepare, empower and position kids to compete in the 21st century was affirmed last week with Howard-Winn being included at the White House Connect Educators Summit.  Howard-Winn kids are receiving an education that gives them a competitive advantage. 

In the days and weeks to come recommendations and strategies will be presented to the Board of Education to address funding and enrollment concerns. There are many moving pieces to the equation.

Information presented indicated that cuts need to be made.  It makes sense that as student enrollment changes so too must the District change.  The balancing act is to make reductions that do not affect instruction and continues to "give our kids the BEST education".  In IOWA, parents have choices as to where to send their children to school. Academically we want parents to choose Howard-Winn.  

That being said, to achieve reductions, all programs and services, including facilities and staff needs will be reviewed.  This will include looking at the Lime Springs campus and discerning exactly what District-wide staff are needed.  Everything is and will be examined.

A teacher shared with me recently that despite all the "pineapple upside" we had the end of last year, everything seemed to work out.  I wish I could say we are done with "pineapple upside" for a while, but that would not be true.  We continue to be in a state of change and as such must continue to be flexible, adaptable and "think outside-of-the-box". 

For what it is worth, I feel blessed and humbled to be at Howard-Winn and to be sharing the experience with you.  Together we will do great and wonderful things for kids! 

District Advisory Committee
The Board has created, and I look forward to working with, the District Advisory Committee. The purpose of this committee is to give reflections and perspectives of District initiatives and direction. 
District 1~ Karlos McClure
Alison Holten
Daniell Gosch
Darin Schmauss
District 2 ~ Scott Fortune
Warren Steffen     
Lee Lindstrom  
Jeff Zak
District 3 ~ Jim Kitchen
Jeanette and Jay Burns
Kelly Olson Jessen and Brian Jessen
Melanie Fousek and Clint Fousek 
District 4 ~ Duane Bodermann
To be announced
At Large ~ Doug Berg
Mike Conlan  
Bruce McConnell
Jeff Meinecke

Gifts from the heart, food for the spirit:
Santa Holiday Parade food drive!
Last October, during the Norman Borlaug Harvest Festival, around 700 volunteers came together for the purpose of packaging meals to feed the hunger in Northeast Iowa and beyond.  

Thousands benefited and were fed however, the need continues. As we enter the winter months, many of our neighbors depend on the Cresco Food Pantry and your help is needed.

Bring your can goods and non-perishable food items!
Friday, November 28 at 4:00 during the Santa Holiday parade. Pam and John Carver will be in the parade to collect your food items. Collected donations will be shared with the Cresco Food Pantry and the Midwest Mission. 

Family and friends, we have so much to be thankful for as we enter the holiday season. Begin the season of giving by giving nonperishable foods during the parade!

Instruction Hours Worksheet

Learning looked like this last week at Howard-Winn!

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 28, 2014

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

Special Events for the Week of December 1 -  December 7, 2014
Monday:           Howard-Winneshiek/NICC 2015-16 Planning - 9:00 a.m.  
Tuesday:          Local CBE Meeting - All day (8:30 a.m.)
Wednesday:    Admin Meeting - 7:45 a.m.
                         Howard-Winneshiek/NICC CBE Planning - 1:00 p.m.
Thursday:        Visit to Kingsland, MN Schools (PLTW Computer Science) - 7:30 a.m.
                          7-12 Academic BLT - 3:30 p.m.
Friday:              Counseling/At-Risk Weekly Meeting - 1:00 p.m.

Youth Frontiers - The Character Challenge

All State Selections
Congratulations to Ashley Madsen and Megan Wilkes on their selection to All State Band.  Ashley earned first chair in her French Horn Group! 

Junior High Science Fair
The science fair will be held in the High School Student Center on February 2, 2015 from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. The displays will be available for public viewing during this time. There will be around 100 displays. Each display will be judged by two different judges from the community. Community members are encouraged to visit displays and ask students about their work. The top three projects from each grade will move on to the State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa in March located in Ames, Iowa.

Displays from last year's Junior High Science Fair
FFA Updates
FFA members and parents can now get regular updates to FFA activities.  By inputting the following information into a text message, you can get instant information sent directly you.  Please see Mr. Adams for more information.

PLTW Full Certification
Congratulations to Nick Ferrie, Justin Denner, Karen Steffen, Chris Lentz, the PLTW/NICC Partnership Team, and students for completing full Project Lead The Way Certification!  Junior High and High School students receive hands-on learning through Design and Modeling, Automation and Robotics, Intro to Engineering and Design, Principles of Engineering, and starting next fall - Computer Integrated Manufacturing.

Reminder:  #cadetnation Fridays are the first Friday of every month. This is a way to show your Cadet spirit. Remember to wear your #cadetnation t-shirt on Friday, December 5.

Terese Jurgensen - 11/25/14


Terese Jurgensen (Mrs. J.)
Principal 2-6; 
Director of Special Education

Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving!  The word itself brings smiles to our faces. Good food, good friends and good times spent with those we love! As for me, I am thankful for the Howard-Winneshiek Community Schools, students, staff and families for welcoming me here as a part of our amazing school district!
Over the last few days, I have been asking our students what they are thankful for. There were so many great responses, that I felt it would be fitting to share them with all of you. I wish I would have written down all of the student's names, but even without them, it is my wish that it will be a blessing to you, the reader.
  • I am thankful for all of the good food I will share with my family!
  • I am thankful for my new puppy!
  • I am thankful for my teacher!
  • I am thankful that I have a new set of boots!
  • I am thankful for my mommy who is healthy now!
  • I am thankful for good books to read!
  • I am thankful for recess!
  • I am thankful for turkey!

Elementary Weekly Announcements:
Starting the week of December 1st, we will be creating and sending weekly announcements to all staff members to share with their students.  Our first one shown here, was created by four Lime Springs 4th graders. This video will be shared out to staff members, so they can share it with their students at their discretion!  We would not interrupt our student academic instruction. The students came up with the messages they share.  They were awesome, and I am so thankful for each one of them!

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Grimm - 11/25/2014

PK-1 Principal/Director of Teaching & Learning
Sara Grimm
Twitter:  saramarleygrimm
SKYPE:  saramarleygrimm

Happy Thanksgiving!
Enjoy your time with family and friends and have a wonderful holiday.

"I think a hero is any person really intent on making this a better place for all people." -- Maya Angelou

Our transitional Preschool students made their first class book of the year. Students each contributed a page by sharing about a job and tools used in that job. They then drew a picture to go with their words. All of this was done on the Smartboard and printed out to make a class book for the room.

Some preschool students have been reading a lot of books about food and nutrition and they have been making their own books too!  They read two books about messy mice, “Lunch!” and “Mouse Mess”.  They used dot painters and watercolor paint to make their own messy mice and then labeled it with food that was the same color as the paint. They’ve read four books by Laura Numeroff: "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie", "If you Give a Moose a Muffin", "If you Give a Cat a Cupcake", and "If you Give a Pig a Pancake".  Each student picked which book was his or her favorite.  The children then chopped carrots, potatoes, and celery to make vegetable soup. They cooked their soup in the crockpot and ate their soup as they read the book “Growing Vegetable Soup”.

The kindergarten classes are getting ready for Thanksgiving.  One class read "Run, Turkey, Run".  In this book, Thanksgiving is only a day away. Can Turkey find a place to hide from the farmer searching for a plump bird for his feast? If the farmer doesn’t fall for his tricks, there’s only one think left to do . . . run, Turkey, run!  After reading the story the class did a literature extension activity.  Their page said, “Save a turkey, eat more _____.”  The students got to fill in the blank.             
Save a turkey eat more soup and grilled cheese!

First Grade
First Grade continued their unit in social studies:  "Life Long Ago" and learned about the first Americans.  They learned about two Native American groups: the Chippewa and the Cherokee.  They further learned about the Pilgrims and how they came to America and settled in Plymouth.  They also compared life today to life long ago.  Here is their paper bag turkeys that they made as they finished up.

The first grade students have also been working on solving number stories and sentences using a "part-part-total" diagram. To reinforce this concept they worked with dominoes since they are already divided into two parts.  Students also worked with dominoes to play a new game called "domino top it". Each player takes a domino and counts the total number of dots. The person with the higher number of dots wins!

Students at Crestwood Elementary were invited to join in a “DOOR WAR”.  The classrooms decorated their classroom doors for the month of November.  The theme was "Thankfulness”.  Pictures of the doors were posted in the cafeteria and students voted for their favorite.  The top three doors received prizes.  There were many awesome doors.  GREAT JOB students and staff!

Hilsabeck 11/28/14

Activities Director/Dean of Students
Brian Hilsabeck
Twitter: @BrianHilsabeck
Cadet Week Ahead:

Monday 12/1-

Tuesday 12/2- JH Wrestling @ Charles City 4:15
                        GBB HERE JV/V vs. PDC  6:15
                        BBB @ Cedar Falls 9/JV/V 5:00
                        Wrestling JV/V @ Osage 6:00

Wednesday 12/3- JH AD Meeting @ NH 10:00am

Thursday 12/4- JH GBB 7th @ Oelwein 4:15
                                        8th HERE vs. Oelwein 4:15
                         GBB 9/JV/V @ WSR 5:00
                         BBB JV/V HERE vs. SW 6:15

Friday 12/5- 4th Grade Concert @ L.S. 7:00

Saturday 12/6- GBB JV/V HERE vs. SW 5:00
                         BBB 9/JV/V @ Caledonia 3:00
                         9th GBB @ Fillmore Cent. 10:00
                         Varsity Wrestling @ Indee Tourney

 TEAM Members need to understand the importance of PRACTICE LIKE YOU PLAY.  Because you do PLAY LIKE YOU PRACTICE.  Keep working hard teams!

 All about ATTITUDE!  Losing is a part of life and it WILL help you LEARN and become a stronger person in the long run.  Accept it, learn from it, and GROW.

Enjoy all your high school experiences while they last.  TIME goes by QUICKLY!

Have a well deserved/refreshing Thanksgiving Break! 

Continue Ahead Cadets!

Friday, November 21, 2014

JCC Nov. 21, 2014

Howard-Winneshiek Community Schools
District Perspective
Superintendent John Carver  

Office 563 547 2762
Twitter: johnccarver
SKYPE: johnccarver

Howard-Winn: Transforming Teaching and Learning
The Howard-Winneshiek Community School district is on the move. During the last 8 days: 
  • Howard-Winn was lifted up as one of the "25 Districts Worth Visiting" http://gettingsmart.com/2014/11/25-districts-worth-visiting/
  • The accomplishments and hard work of students and staff in becoming #FutureReady was shared at the White House in Washington D.C. http://kimt.com/2014/11/19/north-iowa-superintendent-at-national-summit-on-school-technology/
  • Howard-Winneshiek Board of Education Director Karlos McClure introduced a resolution at the Iowa Association of School Board (IASB) State Delegate Assembly Wednesday, that BROADBAND Internet access become a priority of IASB in the upcoming Legislative session. Proposed Resolution New A: "Supports legislative action to develop and deploy in urban, suburban and rural communities affordable, robust, and reliable high-speed broadband internet access." The resolution was seconded by South Winneshiek Board of Education Director Arnold Kriener and overwhelmingly passed by the entire Delegate Assembly.  
Because our thinking has changed, we are now seeing opportunities to better serve our students. There is a synchronicity happening and we are being attracting, and are being attracted to, others who are thinking differently. This is an exciting time to be in education and an exciting time to be at Howard-Winneshiek!

"Take Aways" from being at the #Future Ready conference in Washington D.C. 

The "Future Ready" event was specifically designed to bring together and spotlight Districts from across the United States that are: 

  • Fostering and leading a culture of Digital Learning.
  • Helping schools and families transition to high-speed connectivity. 
  • Empowering educators through Professional Learning Opportunities. 
  • Accelerating progress toward universal access for all students to quality devices. 
  • Providing access to quality digital content. 
  • Offering digital tools to help students and families. 
  • Sharing with other districts and helping them transition to Digital Learning. 
I have many "take-a-ways" from connecting and sharing with 100 leading, innovative school districts from across the Nation. From Hawaii to Alaska, from California to Maine, from North to South, from big to small, from urban to rural, Howard-Winn is "right in the mix" for transforming teaching and learning. 

Beginning with the Howard-Winneshiek Board of Education, their commitment to change and expectation to prepare students for the 21st century is energizing and inspirational. Students who are eager to learn and contribute to life. Forward thinking Educators who are reflecting on their instructional practices and working hard to create new structure and protocols for learning. This along with supportive business and community partnerships is an almost unheard of reality from which to build from.  

With the iPads, laptops, Apple TV, 3D printers, robots, Internet access, Virtual Reality, Social Media, technology is being seamlessly embedded into instruction, empowering kids to achieve and be creative. Our teachers are leading the way! 

It was a joy to tell the Howard-Winn story and share classroom "Tweets", YouTube videos, and other artifacts. It was shared that not only is Howard-Winn providing access to quality digital content, but learners are also creating content! Summit participants where beyond impressed with the cooperation and relationship with Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC). Many were envious of this partnership and how it provides our students opportunities to earn prerequisite college courses as well as career pathways for entering the workplace. Real world experiences through FFA and its participation with Lime Springs Beef had people speechless. 

Student enrollment, poverty, and diversity were common issues identified amongst all participants. Secretary Duncan stated that this fall, minority students attending public schools outnumber white students. White students were now the minority.  

Technology and BROADBAND internet access was cited as redefining what "work" looks like, impacting jobs, family mobility and reshaping the landscape of the country. All of these are on Howard-Winn's radar. 

The bottom line is Howard-Winn and the CADETS have positive forward momentum to reaching the goal that by 2020, our students will be the most recruited kids on the planet and have unlimited opportunities. Many are watching us, encouraged with our progress, and are supportive of our efforts! The CADETS are on the move! 

Shout Outs!

  • THANKS to all who made FALL Parent Teacher Conferences a success. It was exciting to have conversations with parents about their children's accomplishments. Good Job to ALL! 
  • WAY TO GO Ashley on earning 1st chair French Horn at All State Band! YOU ROCK! 
  • Shout Out and praise to paraprofessional Becky Todora. It has been shared she does a fantastic job EVERY day of the week in helping students! She is truly dedicated to her one-on-one student and to ALL who attend Crestwood Elementary. THANK YOU! 
  • The musical "Guys and Dolls" was FANTASTIC! Great work cast and crew!
  • Be sure to purchase your Madrigal Dinner tickets!  A night of "feast and follie" you would not want to miss!
  • WAY COOL to have students share Friday over the lunch hour! 3D printing, Video production and Virtual Reality. The CADETS have it going on! 

This is what learning looked like last Monday at Howard-Winn!

One last thing........
Gifts from the heart, food for the spirit…….Santa Holiday Parade food drive!
Last October, during the Norman Borlaug Harvest Festival, around 700 volunteers came together for the purpose of packaging meals to feed the hunger in Northeast Iowa and beyond.  

Thousands benefited and were fed however, the need continues. As we enter the winter months, many of our neighbors depend on the Cresco Food Pantry and your help is needed.

Bring your can goods and non-perishable food items!
Friday, November 28 at 4:30 during the Santa Holiday parade. Pam and John Carver will be in the parade to collect your food items. Collected donations will be shared with the Cresco Food Pantry and the Midwest Mission. 

Family and friends, we have so much to be thankful for as we enter the holiday season. Begin the season of giving by giving nonperishable foods during the parade!