Friday, January 9, 2015

January 9 2015 JCC

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

BRR.....Winter is here!

Second Semester 2014-15 began with really cold temperatures and blowing snow. Please
know student's safety is our number one priority. My "rule of thumb" is if I would not send my children out into the cold, I will not ask you to send yours. We start checking road conditions around 4:30 a.m. on mornings in question and will make a decision prior to 6:00 a.m. Generally we will always begin with a 2 Hour Late Start and re-evaluate weather conditions prior to 8:30 a.m. 

School Webpage, Facebook, Twitter, text messages, and local media are used to communicate the status of classes.  Please note that there may be a time delay with text messages and local media.

This year we are operating on "hours of Instruction" instead of "days". Time will need to be made up if we exceed the remaining 12.5 hours.   

Howard-Winn CADET Writers ROCK!
Students from Crestwood Elementary participated in Mrs. P's nation-wide story writing contest. It is fantastic that two of the five finalists in the competition are from Howard-Winn: Mrs. Midthus's 3rd grade and Mrs. Kerian's 3rd grade.  This is OUTSTANDING!

2015 Howard-Winn: Next Steps
It is important to realize that we are on a journey, one with many steps. The thinking is that each step taken will effect the next step to be taken. We must be strategic and flexible so that we can maneuver and adjust as we go forward. Each step forward will give new perspective, options and challenges.   

First up will be the direction with the Howard-Winn Elma and Lime Springs campuses. At the January board meeting it will be recommended to the Board of Education that all Howard-Winneshiek School Operations in Elma cease at the end of the 2014-15 school year and that selling of the building be explored. Also it will be recommended that the 4th grade in Lime Springs be relocated to Cresco and the preschool at Lime Springs remain operational for the 2015-16 school year. The projected savings with these actions is estimated at $250,000. 

Next we will reach out to neighboring school districts and NICC to begin conversations on how we can move forward together. The first meeting will be at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 10 at the Community Center in Protivin. Board Presidents and Superintendents from South-Winn, New Hampton, Turkey Valley, Decorah, Riceville and representatives from NICC (including Dr. Wee) have been invited. Other districts will be reached out to. This is the beginning of the beginning.

Simultaneously, internally, Howard-Winn will look at and review every aspect of our current structure. The priority will be on continuing to move forward teaching and learning, but look to reduce expenditures. As has been shared we are looking at $750,000 in reductions.  

Allowable Growth and Enrollment
Allowable Growth and Enrollment determine school funding. 

Allowable Growth is established by the Legislature and the Governor. It is crucial that this be set early in the Legislative session so we can plan. Presently the talk is anywhere from 6% to 2%. It goes without saying that anything less than 3% would have dire consequences. Contacting Legislators and the Governor will help to shape this decision. 

Enrollment for the purpose of funding will not be established again until the fall of 2015. That number will be used to determine funding for the 2016-17 school year. Strategic thinking is that providing a quality education, second to none, will attract students.  
Additionally the District will network and grow relationships with business and industry to recruit families.     

As has been mentioned, 2015 has unlimited potential. We do have challenges ahead, but we also have opportunities to create something new. Something I continue to reflect on is that our young people are watching us. They are seeing how we conduct ourselves and how we address challenges, embrace change, and create new. Perhaps this might be one of the most important lessons we teach our children.

Follow the weekly update and stay informed. Do not hesitate to get involved. I welcome your questions and reflections.  

District Advisory Meeting 
6:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 7, 2015  at the K-8 Discovery Zone
This meeting was canceled due to the weather. It will be rescheduled.  

District Network Meeting
9:00 a.m. Saturday, January 10, 2015 at the Community Center in Protivin.

January Board Meeting
7:00 p.m. Monday, January 12, 2015 at the Community Center in Chester
Time is allocated at the beginning of the Board Meeting for public comment. 

Even on Snow Days, CADETS are Learning!

  • Way to go CADET Wresting! Continue to aggressively move forward! 
  • Wonderful effort by the CADET Girl's Basketball TEAM. Poise and Powerful!
  • Keep Hustling CADET Boy's Basketball! Work hard, play hard, have FUN! 
  • A SPECIAL "SHOUT OUT" to our Bus Drivers and Custodians. Your efforts to keep us safe and warm are very much appreciated!  THANK YOU.   

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