Friday, November 7, 2014

JCC November 7, 2014

Howard-Winneshiek Community Schools
District Perspective
Superintendent John Carver  
Office 563 547 2762
Twitter: johnccarver
SKYPE: johnccarver

It is EXCITING to see kids EXCITED about learning. In the "old days" when students did homework it was for an audience of one, generally the teacher. Today, we are quickly moving to a point where student work is not only shared with the teacher and classmates locally, but with other learners globally! Knowing this, students are thinking, putting more effort and reflection into what they create. Students are taking ownership in their learning and have pride in what is created. They are engaged and want to share what they have created. Again, it is EXCITING to see kids EXCITED about learning! THANK YOU teachers! 

THANK YOU to our Veterans! 
Tuesday, November 11th we will all take time to say THANK YOU to those who have served in our Nations military. Your sacrifices and the sacrifices of your families and loved ones is truly valued and appreciated. THANK YOU for protecting our freedoms and for keeping us safe. 

Rebranding the District 
We closed the Rebranding survey last Friday with 265 responses. The question was: 
As the District works with County and community 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 as both the name of the District as well as the High School has been lifted up as a possibility. What are your thoughts? 

There were a total of 265 responses.

There were 154 responses (58%) in favor of using "Crestwood" for the name of High School and for the District. Some of the thinking shared was that "Crestwood" is already used for the High School and the K-3/5-8 buildings. Lime Springs would be still called Lime Springs School, but Crestwood CSD would be added.  

There were 85 responses (32%) to keep everything as it is. It should be noted that several of the "keep it the same" responses indicated they were concerned with the cost. Actually there is very little cost involved. Stationary and envelops are all computer generated and printed. Diplomas and other documents use Crestwood and Cadets. The only thing that would really need to be changed would be the signage on the highway and the buses. Both of these can be done at nominal cost.  

There where responses (3%)  to rename everything "Cresco" and 18 "others" responses (6%) calling for a new name altogether with consideration given for using Dr. Norman Borlaug's name. The important thing to note is that our mascot will be and is "Howie" and the High School is and will always be called Crestwood. Any change would be to drop Howard-Winneshiek and use Crestwood as the name of the District.  

Why even have the discussion? As has been noted, Howard-Winn as well as school districts in the conference and throughout rural IOWA are facing either a decline or no student enrollment increase. The reality is that folks are having fewer children and are moving to urban areas where it is believed there are more opportunities. Just last year, Howard-Winn had a graduating class of 107. Kindergarten this fall is 71 students. This is a decrease of 36 students and illustrates fewer families with fewer kids and/or moving away.
The story to tell is that there are jobs, opportunities and a family focused quality of life in rural IOWAThe fact is that we have more jobs available than people to fill them and that we are in competition with other regions, rural and urban, to recruit families. This competition is fierce and much is at stake.

The District's role is to provide kids with THE BEST education, empowering and preparing them for the 21st century. Our efforts to transform and do this are lifted up each week in the Administrative Update and our actions are followed at the highest level. Teachers and staff are doing a phenomenal job!  Academically, with our partnership with Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC),  few can replicate what is happening at Howard-Winn. This gives us a competitive edge. Sharpening our brand with a name change can add to our advantage. Interesting to note that when kids graduate, the diploma says "Crestwood" and there is no mention of Howard-Winneshiek.  

The Board of Education will review the responses and continue the discussion. Tentatively a decision will be made in December. A hardcopy of the survey and the comments are available to be read at the district office during business hours. 

THANK YOU to all that took time to fill out the survey! Your thoughts and reflections are valued and appreciated! Go CADETS!

"Shouts Outs!"
  • Bus Drivers THANK YOU for getting the kids safely to and from school despite weather conditions! 
  • Food Service/Team Nutrition THANK YOU for feeding us good food! Nutrition ROCKS!
  • District Office Staff THANK YOU for seeing to it we get paid on time!
  • Buildings and Grounds staff THANK YOU for keeping the buildings and bathrooms clean! 
  • Our Teacher Associates ROCK! 
  • Tech Department THANK YOU for keeping us "plugged in and connected" to the world wide web!  
  • Secretaries ROCK and keep us going in the right direction. You create and find order from the chaos! 
  • Teachers and coaches THANK YOU for making a difference!
  • "A BIG SHOUT" to our Booster Clubs! Your efforts and contributions make Howard-Winn special. 
  • Students THANK YOU for your efforts and commitment.
  • Parents THANK YOU for giving us the opportunity to work and learn with your children.
All of us together, we are 

Some of the COOL happenings at Howard-Winn this past week! 

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