Friday, February 27, 2015

JCC February 27, 2015

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

Flexible space, comfortable chairs, sharing a book with a friend. This is 21st century learning! READING ROCKS

CADET PRIDE "March Madness"
Congratulations to the Girls Basketball TEAM. These young ladies have had a wonderful season and now will represent CADET NATION at the STATE Basketball Tournament. Unselfish TEAM work, poise and confidence, these young ladies are very special!

Game ONE is 3:15 p.m. Tuesday March 3, at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines. Howard-Winn will have classes on Tuesday. Students wishing to attend the game will be excused with a note from their parent. Pep buses have been arranged. 

Game TWO is 5:00 p.m. Thursday, March 5, again at Wells Fargo. Classes will dismiss at 1:00 p.m. to facilitate travel; to Des Moines. 

Good Luck to the Boys Basketball TEAM as they continue State Tournament play!  A victory over Decorah on Thursday, February 26 moves the CADETS on to 6:30 p.m., Monday, March 2 at the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids for the Sub State game.  

Challenges and Opportunities
Focus and dialogue continues between Turkey Valley, South Winn, New Hampton and Howard-Winn.  

A working DRAFT of the 2015-16 has been created. This goes on the assumption that
the Governor and Legislature will allow schools to start on Monday, August 24th.  

The 1st semester would end Tuesday, December 22nd, 2nd semester would begin Monday, January 4th. The last day of classes 2nd semester will be Tuesday, June 1st. Teacher Work Days would be June 2nd and 3rd. The District will again use "Hours" of instruction.  

Teacher Professional Development would be one full day a month instead of 2 half days per month. Going to one full day would be a saving in transportation costs.  

The final say on the 2015-16 start date is up to the Legislature and Governor Branstad. 

The Secondary Principals and Counselors have created a daily "bell schedule" for the High Schools.  It will be an 8 period day with 1-3 period and 6-8 period being the same on all four campuses.  Periods 4-5 need to be modified at each site so as to accommodate the lunch schedule. 

The next meeting of the "Collaborative" is scheduled for Saturday, March 7 at 9:00 at Turkey Valley. 

K-8 Room assignments for the 2015-16 school year
Grade Level representatives began meeting this past week to review and make recommendations for 2015-16 room assignments at the Crestwood K-8 building. It is EXCITING that the 4th grade will be relocating to the Crestwood Campus.  I was very impressed with the reflective, problem solving thinking of the group.  The servant leadership of the TEAM is greatly valued and appreciated.  More information to follow.

Next District Advisory Meeting Wednesday, March 4, 2015  

Things to think about.........
I have had several folks stop in and see me about all of the change going on.  Conversations have ranged from "will I have a job next year?" to "what should I be doing now?". Both are good questions. 

To the first question there is not a clear answer today. There are so many variables in play right now, most of which we have no control over. That being said the thinking should be to enjoy the moment, do the best that can be done in the situation we are in. Stay positive and keep the faith that all will work out for the best. It will.

To the second question, seek out and embrace new thinking. Do not wait. The experiences and opportunities one can learn from being here at Howard-Winn are valuable. Connect and network with educators. Learn from them and become part of the change conversation. Doing so will reveal opportunities and change you. Again stay positive.

The final thought is our young people are watching us. They are learning from us on how to deal with change and challenge. This is perhaps one of the most important lesson we can teach them. I am confident you all are bing positive role models.  

This is what adventures at Howard-Winn looked like last week.......

She asked him to PROM and he said YES! 

February 28

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

Special Events for the Week of March 2-8, 2015
Monday:         Howard-Winnesheik CBE Update Phone Call - 2:30 p.m.
Wednesday:    Administrative Meeting - 7:45 a.m.
                         North Fayette Valley HS Visit - 9:00 a.m.
                        CBE Stakeholder Engagement Meeting - 1:00 pm.
                         K-8 Building Room Reconfiguation Meeting - 3:40 p.m.
                         District Advisory Meeting - 6:00 p.m. 
Thursday:       Teacher Leadership and Compensation Grant Meeting - 3:30 p.m.
Friday:             Weekly At-Risk/Guidance Meeting - 1:00 p.m.
Saturday:        Junior High Musical - 7:30 p.m.
Sunday:          Junior High Musical - 2:00 p.m.

Youth Frontiers - The Character Challenge

Costa Rica Meeting 
Reminder there is a Costa Rica meeting on Sunday, March 1st at 5 p.m. in the high school cafeteria!

Each student should attend with at least one parent.

Bring your medical insurance cards and a copy of your passport (if you have it).

End of 3rd Quarter
Due to the amount of snow days during the 3rd Quarter, the end of the Quarter will now be March 10. Grades are due to the K-8 and HS Offices by 3:30 p.m. on March 11.

How to Escape Education's Death Valley
Sir Ken Robinson outlines three principles crucial for the human mind to flourish -- and how current education culture works against them. In a funny, stirring talk he tells us how to get out of the educational "death valley" we now face, and how to nurture our youngest generations with a climate of possibility.  

Iowa Assessments
7th through 11th grade students will be taking the Iowa Assessments (formerly ITED/ITBS) on March 11th and 12th. Testing will occur in the morning. Students who take NICC courses during the morning - you will be required to attend the Iowa Assessment tests. 
Seniors are not required to be at the High School during the testing time. More information will follow with detailed information and agendas. 

Community Input

During this Fall's Listening Posts, the question of “Why aren’t all students succeeding in our current system?” was posed.  The following are responses from the community.
  • Every youth has a different style of learning.  Classrooms with 20+ cannot reach every youth to their potential.
  • The careers of the 21st century and beyond have not yet been created.  We and our upcoming generations need to create them.
  • Student haven’t learned that things can be better.  They are stuck in a rut.
  • Little or sparse family support due to jobs and earning a living.  Thus, not enough time spent with child for help with homework or life lessons.
  • No relationships/dialogue between businesses and educators.
  • Because that is the way it has always been done.
  • Want someone who likes me.
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, March 6.

Terese Jurgensen

Mrs. Jurgensen - happy and excited for Cadet Nation!
                         GO CADETS!
It has been an exciting couple of weeks for the Crestwood Cadets! We had six wrestlers compete at State Wrestling and now our girl's basketball team will be competing at the state level next Tuesday. To make things even more exciting our boy's basketball team will be playing at the US Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Monday night for substate play after a win over Decorah!  Exciting times for the Cadets!  As exciting as sports are (I am a huge fan of athletics), I am equally as excited about the exciting learning experiences our students are having at Crestwood Elementary!  Here are just a few....

A happy group of 3rd grade students cheering on Cadet Nation @ Pep Assembly, Monday, February 23rd

Focus on Math
Mr. Sorenson teaching ratios & proportions 
to 6th grade students
I spent a good portion of my week visiting and observing classrooms during their math block of instruction.  I saw phenomenal learning experiences, student engagement and real world math.  To the left here, Mr. Sorenson, 6th grade teacher, is using his car, which uses an additive to the gasoline, to teach the students how to configure proportions in real-world experiences. At Crestwood, I often here the terms:  math answer and real-world answer.  These terms allow the students to think outside of the math problem and carry over the learning to application of their lives.  It makes sense!

Students Learn Math
Here are two other examples of how students are learning math at Crestwood Elementary. To the right, two 2nd grade boys are engaged in a program that helps them to remember their math facts while driving race cars! The young lady below is working on math facts during her daily rotation of math in Mrs. Tuchek's classroom. Each way is equally important as it engages the brain in different ways, reinforcing the learning! Our classrooms have engaged learners! #2020Howardwinn

Crestwood Elementary Students Grades 3 - 6 
Partner Together to Teach Test-Taking Strategies 
for the Iowa Assessments

Mrs. Jurgensen inviting students to partner together
to share out test taking strategies for the
Iowa Assessments - March 10th, 11th & 12th

Special Reading Activities Coming to Crestwood!
Mrs. Shekelton, with 5th grade students this week.  She was
a substitute teacher for Mrs. Halverson.
One student, pictured here stated, "She is a great teacher!"

Starting Monday, March 2nd through Friday, March 6th, Crestwood Elementary will be celebrating Read Across America and World Read Aloud activities in their classrooms and during Library Time in the Media Center. 

Mrs. Shekelton has created learning centers with a Dr. Suess theme for all of our students to learn from and to enjoy. The teachers and students are excited about the activities and look forward to this event every year. During the Month of March, please be sure to read a good book with your children!  

Research proves that if students read an additional 20 minutes a day, outside of school, it will make their ability to read and become productive citizens a reality. 

Grimm 2/27/2015


PK-1 Principal/Director of Teaching & Learning

Sara Grimm
Twitter:  saramarleygrimm
SKYPE:  saramarleygrimm

One of the most important things your child can do to achieve academic success is also one of the most basic: going to school every day. In fact, research has shown that your child's attendance may be the biggest factor influencing her academic success.

Benefits of daily attendance
  • By attending class regularly, your child is more likely to keep up with the daily lessons and assignments, and take quizzes and tests on time.
  • Achievement: students who attend school regularly are more likely to pass reading and math assessments than students who don't attend school regularly.
  • Opportunity: For older students, being in school every day gives them a chance to learn more about future opportunities, and to take the important exams they need to build a successful academic record.
  • Being part of the school community: Just by being present at school, your child is learning how to be a good citizen by participating in the school community, learning valuable social skills, and developing a broader world view.
  • The importance of education: Your commitment to school attendance will also send a message to your child that education is a priority for your family, going to school every day is a critical part of educational success, and that it's important to take your responsibilities seriously including going to school.

What you can do
As a parent or guardian, it is possible to plan ahead in order to limit your child's absences, make school attendance a priority, and help your child from falling behind if it is necessary to miss a day of school. You can do this in the following ways:
  • Help your child get to school on time every day. Babysitting, problems with a car or late bus, and the weather are not permissible reasons to miss school. Frequently coming to school late may also be noted on your child's permanent record, and will make it difficult for your child to stay caught up with the first lessons of each morning. Teach your child how to set and use an alarm clock, and keep the television turned off in the morning.
  • Follow the school's guidelines and attendance policy, and report excused absences immediately. At the beginning of the school year, review the school's rules and make sure you understand whom you need to call if your child is going to be absent.
  • Check homework. Check each night to see that your child understands and completes the day's homework assignments.
  • Take an active role. Stay involved with your child's daily experiences at school by asking how the school day went, and then listening carefully to what your child shares with you both the successes and struggles. Make it a point to meet your child's teacher and friends.
  • Locate potential sources of anxiety. If your child frequently appears upset or reluctant to go to school and cannot tell you why, schedule an appointment with his or her teacher or school counselor to talk about possible sources of the anxiety.
  • Keep updated on school events and announcements. Read the school documents that your child brings home and take note of important announcements and dates, such as back-to-school night and parent-teacher conferences.
  • Try to limit the amount of time that your child misses school due to medical appointments or illness. If possible, avoid scheduling doctor's appointments during the school day. Allow your child to stay home only in the case of contagious or severe illnesses.  Students who miss days, weeks, or months of school at a time will have a difficult time passing their courses and catching up to their peers.
  • Schedule family events with your child's school schedule in mind. Plan holiday celebrations or family trips during weekends or school vacations. In the case of family emergencies or unexpected trips, talk to your child's teacher as far in advance as possible and set up a way that your child can work ahead or bring important homework on the trip.
  • Plan ahead. Encourage your child to prepare for the next school day by laying out clothes the night before and helping to fix lunches.
  • Promote good health. Make sure that your child eats a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, and has opportunities to exercise every day through a sports team or playtime outside.
  • Create a restful environment. Finally, make sure that your child can relax before bedtime by doing something quiet like reading rather than doing something stimulating, like watching television or playing video games. Ensure that your child gets enough quality sleep ideal amounts range from 8 to 12 hours. Getting enough sleep will help her get up on time, be refreshed in the morning, and feel ready for a full day of learning ahead!

By making your child's school attendance a priority, you will be taking an important step in supporting your child's school success, and setting a good example. Remember every day counts!

Do your kids like to learn about nature, science, or the outdoors?  Check out these websites:
National Geographic Little Kids features games, crafts and recipes, science, videos, and animal information. It's perfect for the 5 and under crowd.

Games, videos, information, cool photos, and more will keep your kids engaged and learning on this educational site.

Please make sure that your child is properly dressed for our weather. If you make sure that they wear a coat, hat/headband, boots and gloves to school, we will try to make sure they wear all of these items outside for recess.

This is also a good time to review the guidelines we use for going outside for recess. Keep in mind it is our goal to get students out into the fresh air and provide them an opportunity to get physical exercise and socialize with their friends. Students will go outside for recess unless the temperature or the wind chill is below 0. Medically it has been proven that cold, crisp air does not cause colds or viruses. In fact, limited exposure to fresh air throughout the day has been proven to be beneficial to good health.

We will expect parents to use good judgment concerning the outer clothing a child wears to school. (Please mark all your child’s outerwear with first and last name.)

Snow pants and boots are required to play in the snow.

Are you stuck inside because the weather is too cold to go out and play? If so, it is an excellent time to practice your math facts. You can make your own flashcards using any scrap paper at home or even take a blank sheet of paper and time yourself to see how long it takes to write your facts. If you have internet access there are many math fact websites that you can use to practice your facts (just GOOGLE math facts).


Preschool Program-Wide PBIS
Staff Member Highlight
Megan Matt is a 1:1 para-professional at the Crestwood Early Childhood Center. Mrs. Matt has worked to form a positive relationship with her student by recognizing and praising the student’s continued accomplishments. She also provides positive feedback to other students in the preschool program when observing the program’s expectations of being safe, kind, and respectful.

During afternoon centers the students were able to use beads to start making bracelets and necklaces. If the students chose to make something they finished them this week. They were also able to use different shaped sponges to paint with. 

For snack the students painted a piece of white bread with milk colored with food coloring. After they had their bread painted they toasted them, and once they were toasted the students could still see the colors they put on their bread. The students had hot chocolate with their toast, and while they were enjoying their snack they watched a short movie. 

Students have also been practicing writing the numbers 8 and 9. The rhyme for 8 is “Make an S and do not wait. Go back up and that’s an eight” and for 9 is “A loop and a line that’s a nine.” Students also explored building with ice. Students first tried building with just different shaped blocks of ice and then they added snow and salt to see if they would make building with ice easier. They discovered that the snow helped the ice stick together when building, and the salt helped it stick if they used a lot of it.

Transitional Kindergarten
Students learned more about machines through literature exploration and group discussions. Non-fiction books guided their learning. The students began planning their own machine creations. These will be “built” with Mrs. Sorenson’s 5th grade buddy class.  Students will be doing activities related to our Gizmos and Gadgets study.

In today’s world of kindergarten, there is much more rigor in the curriculum. Students are immersed in a balance of whole-class, small-group, and individual instruction, along with higher expectations for literacy development before first grade. Teachers work very hard to allow time for students to build foundational skills for literacy and math, as well as, to build classroom routines. A critical component for student success is providing opportunities for students to practice their skills.  Giving your child many opportunities to read and show what they know will help them to improve their skills and become a more successful reader.

First Grade
Figuring out which is the quicker way to solve addition problems: a calculator or our brain