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"
  • The accomplishments and hard work of students and staff in becoming #FutureReady was shared at the White House in Washington D.C.
  • 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!

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