Friday, December 5, 2014

JCC Dec 5, 2014

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

10th grader Abbe Foote starting her day at Crestwood High School. 

White House Reflections
It all seems "surreal" to have been at the White House and spent time with President Obama, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Department of Education staff and 99 Superintendents from across the United States. I continue to process all that I saw and learned. I think the "bottom line" is that the "printing press" moment we are at is causing deep systemic change and NOBODY has it figured out. There are several common emerging realities. EVERY Superintendent I talked with is concerned about their students. 
  • The change in enrollment, either declining or increasing, caused by the mobility of parents seeking jobs and opportunities creates stress on the system. The challenge: to redesign the system to be flexible so as to serve kids and prepare them for 21st century realities.
  • Poverty. Students provided digital devices, connected to the internet, with a teacher that can facilitate learning, has the potential to "level the playing field". The challenge: Districts being able to provide devices, connect to the internet, and retrain teachers to embed and leverage technology to enhance learning. 
  • Districts that are being innovative are seen/feel like they are "lone wolfs". The challenge: overcome 20th century "old thinking" held by parents, legislators, and traditional educational systems (K-12, Colleges and Universities). With each group, it is very hard for folks to leave what they know and in some instances, fear is almost is paralyzing.  
How does that connect to us at Howard-Winn?
We are going through population shifts. Howard-Winn has a 48 percent "Free and Reduced" lunch population. We are working hard to create a new system of teaching and learning, and to be in that condition by the year 2020. EVERYONE in the system is working hard to embed and leverage technology and is thinking differently. From the teachers to buildings and grounds to food service, there is forward momentum. Because Howard-Winn is moving and thinking differently, there sometimes is a feeling of being a "lone wolf". With declining enrollment and population shifts, like other rural Iowa school districts and regions, the fear of the unknown and letting go of the past is extremely hard. What I do know is that our young people are watching us and how we deal with present challenges. What I also know is that not only are our young people watching, we are being followed at the highest levels and that they wish us success.  CADETS FORWARD!

District Advisory Committee
The Board created District Advisory Committee had its first meeting this past week.  Items discussed included rebranding of the District and school finances. The group's thinking will be shared at the December 8 -  7:00 p.m. School Board meeting in Lime Springs. 
District 1 Karlos McClure         District 2  Scott Fortune       District 3  Jim Kitchen
Alison Holten                                Warren Steffen                          Jeanette and Jay Burns
Daniell Gosch                               Lee Lindstrom                  Kelly Olson Jessen and Brian Jessen
Darin Schmauss                           Jeff Zak                                     Melanie and  Clint Fousek 
District 4 Duane Bodermann   At Large Doug Berg
To be announced                         Mike Conlan
                                                     Bruce McConnell
                                                     Jeff Meinecke

School Finance Update
During the District Advisory Committee meeting last Wednesday, Board Secretary/Business Manager Clint Farlinger shared updated finance information. Crucial to note that with no adjustments, by 2018, the District will not be in a good financial position. This means that with fewer students and fewer $$ the District must transform. Specifically this means how we do business, Howard-Winn 4th grade Lime Springs campus as well as staff. 

This topic will be part of the Superintendent's report Monday night and also the focus of an upcoming Board Workshop tentatively scheduled for Thursday, December 11 at a site TBA.   

Good Things are happening at Howard-Winn 4th grade campus at Lime Springs
Senior Jenna Alstad shared with a staff member, observations from being on the Howard-Winn 4th grade campus at Lime Springs. She loved being at Lime Springs and thought the whole idea of one grade in a building was amazing. She thought it must be really good for kids. She said the 4th grade was good at asking questions,etc and thought that some of that must come from being comfortable with those around them. I very much appreciate this being shared with me. My compliments to the 4th grade TEAM.  

"Shout Outs"
  • GREAT Concert last Monday Night! 
  • WAY to Hustle CADET Basketball! Keep moving forward!  Good Luck in your upcoming games! 
  • THANKS to our School Nurses for updating Crestwood Elementary staff on medical protocols. NICE VIDEO! 
  • CADET Wrestlers your hard work and competitive spirit is inspiring!  GOOD LUCK this season! 

Way to Go Kate Grover! 
Collegian RODEO look out! Congratulations and Good Luck!

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

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