Friday, December 5, 2014

December 5, 2014

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

Special Events for the Week of December 8 - December 14, 2014
Monday:           Law Enforcement Meeting - 9:00 a.m. 
                          Listening Post - Cresco Public Library - 6:00 p.m.
                          School Board Meeting - Lime Springs - 7:00 p.m. 
Tuesday:          Keystone AEA Meeting - 9:00 a.m.
                                      Iowa Safe and Supportive Schools Webinar - 1:00 p.m.
Wednesday:     3 Hour Early Out - Teacher Professional Development - 12:15 Dismissal
                                      Admin Meeting - 7:45 a.m. 
                          Iowa CBE Advisory Meeting - Altoona - 1:30 p.m.
Thursday:        Iowa CBE Collaborative Meeting - Altoona - All Day
Friday:              Counseling/At-Risk Weekly Meeting - 1:00 p.m.
Saturday:         Madrigal - Heritage Events Center - 6:30 p.m.
Sunday:            Madrigal - Heritage Events Center - 12:30 p.m.
                                      Madrigal - Heritage Events Center - 5:30 p.m.

Youth Frontiers - The Character Challenge

CBE Update
The local Competency Based Education Team met this past week to discuss the following topics:

  • What is the Assessment of Competencies? 
  • How do we define adequate progress through the new system? 
  • How do we present new information to staff? 
  • What are our Grading Philosophies? 
Assessment of competencies will occur as follows:
  • Rubrics will be used to evaluate performance indicators as defined under competencies. 
  • Assessments can be averaged or may replace previous scores to determine indicator scores. 
  • Indicator scores are averaged to determine the competency score. 
  • In order to receive credit for a course, all competency scores must be at least a '2'. 
  • The number of assessments per indicator is teacher-determined. 
  • Assessments may cover multiple indicators and/or competencies within multiple subject areas. 
The following scale will be used to assess: 
          0-did not turn in
          1-needs work
          3-above proficient

Grading Philosophies
1. We believe students should be allowed multiple opportunities in various ways to demonstrate their understanding of classroom competencies. Therefore, reassessments will be encouraged and allowed after the relearning process for full credit in all content areas in grades 7-12. 
2. We believe students’ grades should reflect what they actually know and can demonstrate on a classroom assignment or assessment tied to a specific competency. Therefore, extra credit will not be used.
3. We believe students learn at a different pace and ‘when’ students learn isn’t nearly as important as ‘if’ students learn. Therefore, after working with their teacher, students will not be academically penalized for turning in late work on an alternate date.
4. We believe students must acquire certain skills to be a successful citizen; however, we also believe that a grade must reflect what students know and can demonstrate when it comes to specific academic learning standards. Therefore, non-academic indicators such as simple classroom participation, behavior, work completion, attendance and other non-academic indicators will not be included in students’ academic grades.

NICC Competency Based Education Update
Howard-Winneshiek administrators met with Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Kathy Nacos-Burds and Department Deans Jeff Murphy and Todd Ecklund this week. The meeting provided a great opportunity to give updates and continue to develop a cohesive Kindergarten through Grade 14 experience for our students. We will continue conversations with NICC in regard to preparation for CBE implementation. It was very pleasant to find out that NICC/Howard-Winneshiek is the only school district and community college partnership in Iowa discussing CBE work.

Student Led Conferences
The purpose of a student-led conference is for the student to take the lead role in a presentation that articulates his or her academic, personal and social growth. Each student creates a portfolio that contains a collection of work, reflections and evidence of their growth over time to be used as a communication tool regarding their learning.

Student-Led Conference Sample Agenda
I. Introduction

  • Student introduces her/himself 
  • Student introduces parents, advisor, and guests 
  • Student goes over the expectations 
II. Objective
  • Student explains her/his purpose of the SLC - Sample purpose: “My purpose today is to share my academic, personal and social growth.” 
III. Portfolio Presentation
  • Share and reflect on goals 
  • Discuss graduation progress 
  • Community service progress 
  • Share and reflect on work samples 
IV. Questions & Answers
  • Student responds to questions from all attendees 
V. Recap & Concluding Thoughts
  • Student thanks everyone for coming 
  • Advisor addresses any other questions/concerns

PLTW Computer Science Tour to Kingsland Schools
Students, teachers, NICC personnel, and Howard-Winn administrators visited the Kingsland School District – Spring Valley, Minn., this week. The purpose was to view their PLTW Computer Science course offerings. Kingsland students, teachers, and administrators graciously shared time to discuss the first level course - Computer Science and Software Engineering (CSE).

CSE implements the College Board’s 2013 CS Principles framework. Using Python® as a primary tool and incorporating multiple platforms and languages for computation, this course aims to develop computational thinking, generate excitement about career paths that utilize computing, and introduce professional tools that foster creativity and collaboration. This course can be a student's first course in computer science, although we encourage students without prior computing experience to start with Introduction to Computer Science. CSE helps students develop programming expertise and explore the workings of the Internet. Projects and problems include app development, visualization of data, cybersecurity, robotics, and simulation. The course aligns with CSTA 3B standards.


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.

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