Friday, January 30, 2015

January 30, 2015

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

Special Events for the Week of February 2 - 8, 2015
Monday:          Junior High Science Fair - 5:30 p.m. - HS Student Center
Wednesday:     3 Hour Early Out Schedule - Professional Development
                          Admin Meeting - 7:45 a.m. 
                          District Advisory Committee - 6:00 p.m.

Reminder:  #cadetnation Fridays are the first Friday of every month. This is a way to show your Cadet spirit. Remember to wear your #cadetnation t-shirt on Friday, February 6.

Youth Frontiers - The Character Challenge

Vocal Music Booster Club Omelet Breakfast
The Choir Booster Omelet Breakfast will be held Sunday, February 1 from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in the Crestwood High School Cafeteria. The price is $6/person. This includes a made-to-order omelet, cinnamon roll, fruit and milk, coffee, and juice.

Put Crestwood on the International Map
donate vitamins to Guatemala. Spanish teacher Kris Ward will be going to Guatemala in February to work as an interpreter at a medical mission clinic and there is a great need for vitamins to distribute to the people who come to the clinic. These vitamins help to support the overall health of Guatemalans who live in the San Raymundo area. They are very thankful for the medicine and what a simple way we can make an impact. Refuge International is sponsoring the trip. Check their website at

Honor Roll Change
Effective Fall 2015, Crestwood Secondary Schools will not be utilizing an Honor Roll. This is due to the implementation of Competency Based Education for the 2016-2017 school year. The one piece of the transition to PowerSchool for 2015-2016 would be to upload templates for the Honor Roll. It has been deemed unnecessary to complete this step with CBE on the horizon.

Student Led Conferences
Students have been working hard in preparation for their Student Led Conferences (SLC) during Parent-Teacher Conferences in February.

As a reminder:
  • The purpose of SLC is for the student to take the lead role in a presentation that articulates his or her academic, personal and social growthEach 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. In essence, students will be completing a mini-interview to their parent/guardian.
  • Students are REQUIRED to participate in the SLC. Parents/guardians are welcome to participate. If a parent or guardian cannot participate, a relative, neighbor or any adult should plan on attending. If no arrangements can be made, the student should contact their Homebase Advisor.
  • Students/parents/guardians will sign up for SLCs using the Conference Scheduler as done in the traditional Parent-Teacher Conference format. 
  • The SLC will be conducted with the Homebase Advisor. All classes will be conducted under the supervision of the Homebase Advisor. 
  • 15 minutes will be allotted for each SLC. 
  • If a parent/guardian needs to meet with a other teachers, this can still occur. Time will be allotted each night of Conferences. 
  • More information on how to schedule will be sent to parents/guardians in the next few weeks. 
  • If a student chooses to not participate in SLC and there is no alternative arrangements made with the principal, students' diplomas could be held or students may not advance to the next grade level.

State CBE Collaborative Update
The Howard-Winneshiek Competency Based Education (CBE) team attended the monthly State CBE Collaborative Meeting in Altoona. 

Agenda for the day:
  • Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions 
  • Performance Assessment Project 
  • Genius Hour for Districts

During Genius Hour time, the Howard-Winneshiek team discussed the current state of implementation of CBE at the 7-12 grade level.

Scary and Challenging Times....
The change that is occurring at the Secondary School level is scary and difficult work.  Current items in play:
·      Competency Based Education implementation
·      PowerSchool implementation
·      Technology (1:1) integration
·      Regional Schools collaboration
·      Student Centered Classroom design
·      Student-teacher relationship building

There are many unknowns in the change that is occurring. This is unchartered territory. No other school has undergone the implementation curve we have the past 4 years. Being the frontrunners for instructional design for the 21st Century, Crestwood teachers are completing work that has not even been dreamed about by other schools. No other school in the state of Iowa is developing a systemic Competency Based Education model for its students.

We must fight the fear of the unknown as we look ahead as a collective staff. Yes, this is not easy work. Yes, we will stumble. Yet, we will persevere. It was shared with me this week, “(we are) not asking for perfection, we are asking for proficiency.”

As educators, we hold dear in our belief that students can and should achieve at high levels.  Teachers know students should be evaluated on performance and transfer of knowledge gained. Teachers continue to expand learning opportunities for students to develop and apply skills to real world situations. 

We must hold our heads high as we represent our students, communities and school. Others are watching us at a local, regional, state, and national level. There is a reason why other schools ask about what we are developing. There is a reason why universities visit our campus and want to share our story with their students. We cannot allow ourselves to use fear as a shield to avoid progress.

Your work is noble and honorable. We must celebrate successes, understand challenges, and use our collective will to develop an educational system designed for students’ needs in college, careers, and citizenry.

Regional Schools Principals Meeting Update
Administrators from Decocrah, South Winneshiek, Turkey Valley, New Hampton, and Howard-Winneshiek met this past week to set in motion partnerships between our districts. Items discussed and commonalities found:
  • Devoting 1 day per month to a common Professional Development Day to collaborate between Districts.
  • Formatting a common Daily Schedule between the schools to include Homebase/Advisory time.
  • Develop a common template to display course offerings between the schools. 
Future items to review for commonalities:
  • Grading philosophies
  • Curriculum guides
The next meeting is scheduled for February 10 at NICC-Calmar.

Money Smart Kid Essay

ISU Extension in Howard County and C US Bank have teamed up to offer Money Smart Kid  2015 ESSAY Contest.  The essays submitted will be judged locally and all essays will be submitted to state level judging.  Local winners will get $100 second prize and $200 first prize.  The essays judged state level will have one winner and that garnishes $1000 College Savings Account prize.

Grades 7-11 may apply.  Essays need to be turned in to the Extension Office by March 13, 2015.   

Money Smart Week in Iowa and around the nation is being celebrated April 18-25, 2015 and we will have some other things at the libraries and grocery stores for adults.  This effort is to help raise awareness of money savings! 

Questions? Please call: Sue Barnes, ISU Extension Howard County at 563-547-3001 

Safe and Supportive Schools Stories
Recent comments about the positive connections being made between students and teachers....

(STUDENT) shared with me today the positive email that (TEACHER) had sent her and her mom. She was grinning ear to ear and was so proud of herself! She took a screenshot and posted it to her mom's FB page. They do not have Internet at home and mom doesn't check emails. She said her mom will see it on FB, on her phone and be proud of her.    What a great program!

I'm glad we're doing this. Something so simple, yet rewarding for both student and teacher...

Student Tax Forms 
Please be aware that some of your high school students may receive a 1098T tax form in the mail to their home address. Please advise students, * UNLESS THE STUDENT/FAMILY IS PAYING OR HAS PAID FOR THE COURSE - THEY DO NOT NEED TO PROCESS THESE FORMS. As NICC has more students opting to pay for college classes on their own during the school year or during last summer, 2014 term; more of the tax forms are being mailed out.

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