Friday, November 14, 2014

JCC November 14, 2014

Howard-Winneshiek Community Schools
District Perspective
Superintendent John Carver  

Office 563 547 2762
Twitter: johnccarver
SKYPE: johnccarver

This last week Howard-Winn observed Veteran's Day.  Ceremonies and remembrances where held at Crestwood High School, Crestwood K-3/6-8 campus and the 4th grade campus Howard-Winn campus in Lime Springs.  We all very much appreciated the service and contribution of those who have, and are presently serving in the military and especially the sacrifices of their families and love one. THANK YOU for securing and safe keeping our freedoms. 

Going Forward
Lots of things will be happening in the next few weeks and months.  Besides the evolution of teaching and learning so as to prepare and empower our children for their future, the District will also be strategizing and identifying actions to address declining enrollment and our financial future.  

Current Realities and Conditions
  • Students at Howard-Winn today are receiving an outstanding education. The focus and commitment of the District is to: "discover, develop and expand passions, creativity and strengths" and to: "prepare and empower our students to think creatively, serve, contribute and succeed locally and globally." This is happening.
  • Howard-Winn is a very large land mass school District, 462 square miles.
  • There has been historical, continuing years of declining student enrollment.
  • Students enrollment drives State funding. With a decrease in student enrollment means a decrease in State funding. 
  • 48% of the families in the District qualify for Free and Reduced Lunch assistance.
  • As enrollment decreases, outlying schools/campuses financially cannot continue.
  • Closing outlying schools/campuses means transporting students to different/central attendance centers.  
  • Closing outlying campuses/schools does create hardship for the communities in which the schools were located. There is a sense of loss.   
  • Choices: Under Iowa Open Enrollment Law parents do have a choice as to what school District their children attend. Should a parent choose to have their children attend a District other than Howard-Winn, transportation is the parent's responsibility. 
  • There are two scenarios before us in regard to student enrollment: 1. Enrollment will continue to decline or 2. Families are retained/recruited to the region. It is important to note that retained or recruited families, school choice is determined by parent choice. 
Emerging/Proposed Actions for Board Consideration:
In that the District is in a good financial position today and next year, the bottom line is that there needs to be adjustments made to ensure the solvency of the District into the future. 
  • All programing needs will be reviewed. Dollars spent need to be strategic  and leveraged.
  • We need to think "outside-of-the-box" and reached out to neighboring Districts to "brainstorm" on possible sharing of programs and resources. South Winneshiek CSD has formally asked to have conversations to explore possibilities. 
  • This school year there remains a pre-school in Elma. Review should this continue. 
  • Review closing/continuing the Howard-Winn 4th grade campus in Lime Springs. All students to attend the Crestwood K-8 campus?  
  • Review and evaluate the physical condition of the Crestwood K-8 campus. 
  • Review of the status of maintaing a pre-school in Lime Springs.
  • Adjusting staff to align with the decline in enrollment.
  • Ensure that District facilities are well-kept and are inviting. Funding for Buildings and Grounds is a different revenue stream than salaries and operations.  Salaries and operations is the revenue stream we are concerned with.   
  • The District connects and collaborates with community partners so as to actively recruit families to the region.  This includes addressing education, housing, jobs and BROADBAND internet access. 
More information will follow. To keep informed be sure to read the "Weekly Administrative Update". Please know your thinking is valued. Do not hesitate to call or e-mail your questions and perspective.  

John Carver, Superintendent of Schools
Office 563 547 2762

Scheduled Board Meetings
The Howard-Winneshiek Board of Education meets the second Monday of the month. In an attempt to be accessible to patrons, meeting sites are rotated throughout the District. It need be
noted that the Community Center in Ridgeway is not available the 2nd Monday of the month due to the Ridgeway City Council meeting. The Ridgeway Community Center has/can be used for Board Workshops (These are open to the public). 
Regular School Board Meetings:
December 8 at Lime Springs Elementary School
January 12 at Chester Community Center
February 9 at Crestwood High School
March 9 at Elma School
April 13 at Lime Springs Elementary School
May 11 at Chester Community Center
June 8 at Crestwood High School
July 13 at Crestwood High School
August 10 at Crestwood High School

Howard-Winn is transforming teaching and learning
Moving into the second year of our K-12 1:1 initiative, our rate of change is accelerating exponentially. What we are doing and working towards goes beyond use of technology but to redesigning and transforming teaching and learning. Howard-Winn teachers are change agents. 

Our forward progress is being tracked at the highest levels and next week we will have an opportunity to share our story in Washington D.C. 125 School superintendents from across the country, including Howard-Winn, have been invited to the White House to share the accomplishments and challenges of creating 21st century learning. Collaboration between Howard-Winn students, parents, teachers, Board of Education, Administrators, Northeast Iowa Community College, business and industry, is creating something new with unlimited potential and implications. We are the "tipping point". 

Stay tuned. More to follow.

Teacher Leadership and Compensation (TLC) Funding
The Teacher Leadership and Compensation System rewards effective teachers with leadership opportunities and higher pay, attracts promising new teachers with competitive starting salaries and more support, and fosters greater collaboration for all teachers to learn from each other.
The overriding philosophy of the system is multi-pronged, but boils down to this: Improving student learning requires improving the instruction they receive each day. There is no better way to do this than to empower our best teachers to lead the effort.
Through the system, teacher leaders take on extra responsibilities, including helping colleagues analyze data and fine tune instructional strategies as well as coaching and co-teaching.
Bipartisan legislation created a four-year process to fully develop the statewide Teacher Leadership and Compensation System, with the goal of all school districts voluntarily participating by the 2016-17 school year.
Howard-Winn has assembled a TEAM to explore this initiative and look to design a structure that supports our efforts to transform teaching and learning. Investigation and planning is underway and our application is due in October of 2015.  Acceptance of the Howard-Winn plan could generate $400,000 in funding.  Updates and additional information will follow. 
District Advisory Group
The Board of Education has established a District Advisory Group made up of parents and patrons. The purpose of the Group is to seek input and perspective on direction and initiatives as the District goes forward.  Members where appointed by the Howard-Winn Board of Education and will serve 1, 2 and 3 year terms. District 1: Alison Holten, Danielle Gosch and Darin Schmauss.  District 2: Warren Steffan, Lee Lindstrom and Jeff Zak. District 3: Jeanette & Jay Burns, Kelly Olson Jessen & Brian Jessen and Melanie & Clint Fousek. District 4 TBA.  At Large: Mike Colin, Bruce McConnell and Jeff Meinecke. Meeting times are being scheduled.  Watch for updates!  

"Shout Outs"
  • "BREAK A LEG"  Be sure to check out the Crestwood High School Drama Department's production of "Guys and Dolls" this weekend.  Three stage performances of “Guys and Dolls” will take place in the High School Auditorium. Shows are set for Friday, Nov. 14 and Saturday, Nov. 15 at 7:30 p.m. There will be a matinee showing on Sunday, Nov. 16 at 2 p.m. Cost is $5 for adults, and $3 for students. Over 40 students are involved and I have seen some of the rehearsals. OMG! IMPRESSIVE!
  • Congrats 2014 National Honor Society InducteesSeniors Brady Bergan, Shayla Murphy, Riley Galvin, Caitlin Ondrashek, Elizabeth Larson, Kimberly Weigel, Juniors Jared Bergan, Skye Meinecke, Kendra Berns, Michael Ollendick, Brittany Carolan, Michaela Pinter, Jessica Carolan, Devon Rice, Matthew Goodman, Hannah Sheehy, Dalton Kerian, Meredith Sheehy, Trevor Malven, Tiffany Weinacht, Austin McConnell, Ryan Wilson, Ellen McConnell, Michaela Wiltgen and Jessica McGee.
  • Congrats to the McCarville family on the arrival of 6 lbs. 7 oz. 19 1/2 in. long, Landree Jo McCarville. Another future CADET! Miss Landree and Mom are doing fine!
  • Congratulations to Crestwood JV Basketball coach Rick McCarville s a recipient of the Roushar-Evans Service Award for the Northeast Iowa Region presented by the Iowa Basketball Coaches Association.
  • Junior High winter sports in underway!  GOOD LUCK to CADETS!
Be sure to catch "GUYS and DOLLS"
this weekend!

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