Friday, March 27, 2015

Terese Jurgensen 3/27/15

"Building Our House Upon the Rock"
In the face of funding instability in the Iowa Legislative Branch, the fact that financially we are trimming dollars off of our budget, and the fact that student numbers are going down in the State of Iowa...I am still convinced that we are going in the right direction at Howard-Winneshiek Community Schools! I told our elementary students recently, I would put our elementary school "up against" any school in the state for our progressive education. This is true in general education and is true in special education. All students deserve and will receive a Free and Appropriate Education at our school. It is my goal, as the Special Education Director for the district, to continue implementing second order change to provide the best services for our students who struggle with learning. Research shows, and our elementary students in special education, prove that students learn the best in the Core + More. Therefore, as we move forward for next year, the co-teaching model will be implemented and taught to all teachers, general and special education,  to close the achievement gap for our students. It is an exciting time for our district, and I am encouraged from our Pre-School through our high school, that although education around us, seems like it is on shifting sand, at Howard-Winneshiek, we are building our house upon a rock that will stand!

Moving Forward in Special Education
Co-Teaching Model for Howard-Winneshiek Community Schools
What Does it Look Like?
What do Co-Teaching and Collaborative Consultation look like? Co‐teaching and collaborative consultation are Iowa’s approaches to reaching students with diverse needs in integrated classrooms. The models began as ways to help students with special needs be more successful and have access to the same teachers and curriculum as their non‐disabled peers. However, the models have been adopted for other diverse populations including at‐risk students, gifted and talented students, and English language learners.

The best approach to implementing these models is to use both of them as a continuum of services depending on the needs of student populations, teacher schedules, teacher skills in co‐teaching and instructional strategies, and other influencing factors. Co‐Teaching is defined as two teachers physically present in heterogeneous classroom with joint and equal responsibility for classroom instruction. Iowa has adopted the Marilyn Friend co‐teaching model and approaches as follows:
• One teach, one observe: One teacher provides instruction, while the other observes student learning to assess learning and gather data.

• Station teaching: Teachers are at stations and students move from station to station.

• Parallel teaching: Teachers simultaneously provide instruction through use of such structures as split class, cooperative learning, and lab settings. Teachers can provide the same or different content during parallel teaching.

• Alternative teaching: One teacher instructs a large group and the other teacher instructs small flexible student groups.

• Teaming: Teachers jointly present the same content at the same time through such structures as “tag team,” “speak‐and‐chart” and other teaming structures.
We will be revisiting and updating our Special Education Direct Service Plan in May. If you would like to be a part of this team of teachers, administrators, parents and community members, please be sure to contact me, Terese Jurgensen, to be a part of this experience. (563) 929-6344.

After-School Tutoring a Huge Success!
Our after-school tutoring program was a huge success this year for grades K-6. We had a total of 50 students participate throughout the winter months, to help support students in the areas of reading and math. This number is up from the last two years, where we had approximately 30 students benefit from the outstanding program that was provided by Educare and taught by 17 highly qualified teachers from our district and some who had retired. One of the questions many people had was, will this program be continued next year, and so I have added the last part of the article that will be in our local newspaper and written by Keri Schatz, our media consultant.

"The funding afforded to the Howard-Winn CSD to use by the State of Iowa came from SINA dollars. To qualify for these dollars will depend on our Iowa Assessment scores from the 2014-15 school year,” said Jurgensen. “I am very proud of the hard work and efforts by our teaching staff and especially by our students this year [regarding] the assessments we took during the weeks of March 10-20th. The after-school tutoring opportunity will be determined by these assessments. As always, we will be quick to share out the results of the assessments with the Howard-Winneshiek Community School District.”

Jurgensen further acknowledges the parents and caregivers of students who helped build the success of the tutoring program. “They supported their children by signing up for the program, picking them up afterwards, and encouraging them to do their very best work!” she said. “I would also like to recognize the hard work of Lynn Murray and our teaching staff, because without them, the success of the program would not be made possible.”

Pictured here are the amazing teachers who made our after school
tutoring program a huge success!

Shown above are two third grade students who are working on their coding skills in Mrs. Midthus's room.

To the left is a group of students in third grade who are enjoying a snack as they talk about the books they are reading in book club!

Above: STEM activity in Mrs Tuchek's 2nd grade classroom. I love the look on these boy's faces.

To the left are a group of students working on math skills during after-school tutoring.

I have heard many students comment they will miss tutoring after school!

There will be no school next Friday, April 3rd
or the following Monday, April 6th

Let's cross our fingers & welcome spring!

Enjoy your week!
Please call or email me
if you have any questions 
or concerns!

Terese Jurgensen

No comments:

Post a Comment