Saturday, March 14, 2015

JCC March 13, 2015

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

Friday morning learning! 
This is what you saw if you were in the 6-8 grade hallway last Friday!  2020 Howard-Winn students are moving from being consumers of content to creators of content. Connecting and learning is happens everywhere, not just limited to being in a "classroom".  Our rate of change is accelerating exponentially! 

This has been a GREAT week of Music!
The Junior High Musical last week was FANTASTIC! Saturday and Sunday, Junior High vocal students "brought it"!  What a show. And the Band Concert Thursday evening was phenomenal! The finale was just like being in the "Rainforest" at Disney World. VERY COOL!  CADETS have Talent!  

Author At Howard-Winn
Last Thursday author Geoff Herbach spent the day at Howard-Winn connecting and interacting with students. 

Many students have read Mr. Herbach's books and are discovering the thrill and enjoyment in expressing themselves through writing.  

Students commented it was WAY COOL to have Mr. Herbach at Crestwood! They very much appreciated his sharing! 

Next Steps:
March Board Meeting
The Howard-Winneshiek Board of Education met last Monday in Elma.  Part of the evening work was to take actions to continue to position the District for the 2015-16 school year. There are many things "in play" and the "landscape" continues to change. As has been mentioned, several things are out of our control.

Looking at $750,000 in cuts, the Board reviewed cost reduction actions to date and voted unanimously to freeze Administrative salaries for 2015-16 school year. Salary negotiations continue with the Howard-Winneshiek Education Association (HWEA). Even with "across the board" wage freezes, staff reduction will still be needed. At the State level, there is NO compromise in sight. Indications today is that there will be either a 1.25% or 0% increase. Both of these are not good for us. More information will follow. 

Calendar Update
It appears that school will start either Monday, August 24 OR Monday August 31 (September 1), depending on what the Governor and Legislature decide. In either case, first semester will end after Winter Break, in January. The District will use HOURS, over 180 days of instruction. This will allow us to build in time for weather delays (it is the strategy used this past year). The teacher contract is/will be 192 days. Information will be shared as it is made available. 

Howard-Winn Elma Campus
Discussions are ongoing with the Elma City Council in reference to the Howard-Winn Elma Campus. There is interest by the city of Elma in the buildings. A final decision will be made and presented at the April School Board meeting. (7:00 pm, April 13, 2015 at Lime Springs).

Room Assignments
Staff have been meeting to review and explore options with relocating the 4th grade to the Crestwood Campus. There are several scenarios emerging. Final room assignments will be made later this spring and off course are still subject to change. It needs to be noted that changes in elementary class sizes will impact room assignments.

Howard-Winn Lime Springs Campus
With the 4th grade relocating to the Howard-Winn Crestwood Campus, the direction forward with the Howard-Winn Lime Springs Campus is also ongoing. A proposal from the District to the City of Lime Springs is on the horizon. Action on this item will come soon.  

Preschool at Howard-Winn Lime Springs Campus
A Howard-Winn Preschool classroom at Lime Springs for the 2015-16 school year will be based on enrollment. A decision will be made this spring. Should enrollment not support programming, students will be relocated to the Crestwood / Kessel Kids campus.

Staff Reductions
It has already been mentioned, even with a pay freeze, staff reductions will be made. All areas are under review and everything is on the table. Elementary and secondary class sizes and leadership structure will/may be impacted.

So what are the next steps?
The Board will decide if reductions are to be made over two years or one. The thing to keep in mind is that as long as enrollment falls, cuts/reductions will continue. My recommendation, based on what is known today, make the full reduction for 2015-16, positioning the District for 2016-17.  

I am greatly impressed with those of you who have come forward with ideas, suggestions and commitment to think "outside of the box". Your commitment to create and exceed inspires me! We are, and will do GREAT things for kids!

Learning at Howard-Winn last week looked like.......

Using Legos to build props, students created videos to tell the story of "The Three Billy Goats Gruff" 

Can you spot the teacher?

6th graders sharing in their "book clubs". READING ROCKS!  Can you spot the teachers? 

Get out and enjoy the spring weather!

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