Friday, April 3, 2015

JCC April 3, 2015

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

CONGRATULATIONS to Howard-Winn Kindergarten teacher Michelle Timp! Last Tuesday she was recognized with the Golden Apple Award from KIMT TV channel 3!  

Spring is FINALLY here!
It is WONDERFUL to have warm weather finally here! The light rain Wednesday night will "green" everything up. I hope you all have an opportunity to enjoy family and friends with the upcoming four day weekend. Stay positive, smell the roses, and keep moving forward. With deep respect to all!  

Negotiation Update
There are three employee groups at Howard-Winn that qualify for collective bargaining: bus drivers, teachers and clerical/associates. All other employees are considered "at will". The bus drivers are in the second year of a multi-year contract. Teachers and clerical/associates groups are currently in the negotiation process.

Membership in these associates is a choice by employees. Not all employees belong to the associations, but by law the District is required to negotiate with the designated associations.

As has been shared previously, with declining enrollment and the Legislature not setting any increase in school funding, Howard-Winn along with many other districts are facing financial challenges. Faced with a projection of $750,000 in reductions the district direction is to position itself to be strategic. Ideally the desire is to make the reduction over time and not in a one year jump. It remains to be said if this can be accomplished. 

Because of the Budget Guarantee, Howard-Winn will receive the same amount of state funding this fall as we did this past year + a 1%  increase. This is a one-time event due to the decline in enrollment. The intent and design of the Budget Guarantee is to give districts 12 months to make financial and resource adjustments. That being said, the increase in funding to Howard-Winn is roughly $84,000.  

Going Forward
There are several funding streams that support local school districts. The General Fund is responsible for all operational costs which includes employee salaries, supplies and other operational costs. This is the fund in which we are needing reductions in. Roughly 74% of the general fund goes to salaries.  

The District has been taking actions to address this concern. Every department is looking at ways to reduce operational costs. In addition administration and director salaries have been frozen for the 2015-16 school year. Also an early retirement policy was instituted which 3 employees elected to participate in.

It is important to note that teachers are on a salary schedule. The concept that every year in the district, a teacher moves up a step. Teachers who earn graduate credits may move over a lane. 

Keeping in mind we have a total of $84,000 in new money, in negotiations with the teachers, the Howard-Winneshiek Education Association (HWEA) opening proposal includes language items and a 6% increase in wages. This is roughly a $430,000 increase for teacher wages. The District's opening proposal was to freeze wages. An agreement has not been achieved. The Districts current stance is to age the salary schedule which is $159,700. Note that this is $75,700 more than our new monies. 

The District is looking to make reductions and cost savings in other areas as well. That all being said, we will spend into our cash reserves. That is "one-time" money.

If the enrollment continues to decline, and the State Legislature does not increase funding to schools, the condition of reductions and redesign will continue annually. 

Financial information is posted in the District Office for public review during business hours.  

Calendar Update
It appears that the Legislature has set the start date for the 2015-16 school year as Monday August 24. Work is now underway to finalize the Howard-Winn School Calendar. Calendar concepts were discussed at the April District Advisory Council meeting. Strong input from patrons indicated a desire to move away from "early outs" to "all day" teacher inservice learning. The emerging concept is that because the district will operate on "hours" the thinking is that teacher PD would move to a monthly "all day Monday" format. This would afford families an opportunity for a three-day weekend. A working draft is being finalized and will be posted and shared next week for input. 

7-12 Principal Search

Tim Felderman has been selected to become the next high school principal with the West Delaware Community School District in Manchester, Iowa. Mr. Felderman has served the Howard-Winneshiek Community School District for the last four years and his service is greatly appreciated and valued. We wish him well in his new adventure.

The search is underway for Crestwood's next 7-12 principal. Applications will be accepted through Friday April 17 with the selection process to begin April 20. Currently the position is listed on the Teach Iowa website and it will be advertised in the Sunday Des Moines Register.  

Apple Computer visits Howard-Winn
Charles Duarte, from Apple Computer, toured Howard-Winn last Tuesday. Mr Duarte visited 
classrooms at the K-8 Building, Crestwood High School, Kessel Kids Child Care facility and 
the Cresco Northeast Iowa Community College campus. The District is being 
considered for recognition by Apple Computer. GREAT Teachers, GREAT Kids doing 
GREAT work!

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

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