Saturday, May 30, 2015

JCC May 29, 2015

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

Last Thursday students completed the 2014-15 school year. It was a year of excitement, achievement and adventure.  Now that it is "in the book" planning and preparation for the 2015-16 school year is in "full swing".  Summer is here! 

Mr. Trende and the buildings and grounds TEAM is busy cleaning, waxing floors, painting, moving classroom items and making repairs and
upgrades to the buildings. These project are made possible with funds from the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) and SAVE dollars. Funds do not come from the General Fund. Physical plant items being addressed include: 

  • replacing lighting control board in the auditorium
  • roofs on the mechanical penthouses at the High School
  • Wall padding at the K-8 Gym
  • Replace the bleachers and the gym floor at the K-8
  • Playground and parking at the Early Childhood Center
  • Softball lights and resurfacing the track.   
Mr. Swestka and the Transportation TEAM are servicing buses and planning bus routes. June and July is a VERY busy time of year!  August 24 will be here before we know it! 

Howard-Winn: 2015-16 Preview
"Back to School" Night and Secondary Laptop "roll out": THURSDAY AUGUST 20, 2015 
Freshman Orientation: WEDNESDAY AUGUST 19, 2015
1st day of classes: Monday August 24, 2015 (T - 85 days and counting!)

Grade Level Assignments
This fall, Kindergarten through 12th grade will be at the Crestwood Campus in Cresco. Kindergarten through 8th grade will be located in the K-8 building and grades 9-12 in the High School building. District Preschool classrooms will be located at Kessel Kids with a Preschool classroom at Lime Springs.  

Servant Leadership
Mrs. Grimm will serve as PreK-6 Principal, Mr. Rogne will serve grades 7-12 Principal and Mrs. Jurgensen will serve as the Director of Special Education and Students Services. 
Activity Director duties will be absorbed internally with Mr. Carver and Mr. Rogne evaluating head coaches and programs.

Family and Consumer Science / Business
This Fall, Howard-Winn and New Hampton will be teaming up to provide Family and Consumer Science and Business Education classes. As classmates, Howard-Winn and New Hampton students will connect via technology and explore, learn and create together.  

Meet the Instructors:
Mrs. Donna Schmeidel joined the New Hampton CSD as the FCS teacher in 1996 to present.  She holds a BA & MA in Family Consumer Sciences Education from UNI.  She currently teaches Foods, Advanced Foods, FCS I, Family Relations.  In addition, she teaches early childhood Infant & Toddler Care  & Education, Curriculum I & II, and Child Health Safety & Nutrition for NICC for college credit.  She loves to work with high school students because she sees the incredible potential in each of them.

Mrs. Schmeidel is married with two grown daughters and a second grandchild on the way.  In her free time, she tries new recipes, travels, and loves to sew for her family.  Her most recent goal is to become a great quilter. 

Kathleen Ayers joined the New Hampton CSD as a business instructor in 2009. She graduated from UNI with a BA in Accounting.  She was an accountant for 20 years and decided to go into teaching and received a MA in teaching from Viterbo University. She has taught at the Fredericksburg and Crestwood High Schools before returning to her hometown of New Hampton. She has taught Accounting I and II, Software Applications I & II, Entrepreneurship, Web Programming, and Photoshop for the New Hampton High School.

She loves music and sings jazz and plays tenor sax in a local band named "Don't Quit Your Day Job Big Band”.  She also is a jazz singer in " The Bill Shepard Big Band" and "Combo" and is in many community plays.  She is an avid gardener.  She is married with 2 grown children and her first grandchild on the way.

More information will follow. Please direct any and all questions in reference to these classes to Howard-Winn Supt. John Carver cell 515 229 6917 Office 563 547 2762   

Norman Borlaug Harvest Fest Meal packaging event this fall:
Way to go CADET NATION! 

THANK YOU to all who participated! Elementary students raised $3345.82 and Howard-Winn staff raised  $1260.00 for a total of $4,605.82.  Keith and Ellen Denner have pledged to match every dollar raised by CADET NATION up to $5,000. The goal this fall is to package 200,000 meals (half of them staying in NE IOWA!). Further donations or question can be directed to Pam Carver at

To All
Have a wonderful summer! Enjoy family and friends. Please know it is my honor and pleasure to serve the Howard-Winneshiek Community School District .  

Be sure to stop by the Howard-Winneshiek booth at the Mighty Howard County Fair and the Winneshiek County Fair. 

Maybe we will see you at breakfast or lunch!

Have a wonderful summer 

John Carver      

Friday, May 29, 2015

May 29, 2015

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


Youth Frontiers - The Character Challenge

Fall 2015 and beyond... 
As the Secondary School transitions to a new principal, the efforts of teachers will carry on into the future.  Meaningful, thought-provoking, collaborative work has been undertaken which will be lasting during this transition.  Major emphasis during the upcoming year will still revolve around:
  • Competency Based Education
  • Student-Teacher Relationships
  • Connections to Business and Industry
A celebration of past successes and highlights of future work:
    • Summer of Listening/Listening Posts - COMPLETED
    • Early Out Wednesday Revised Schedule - COMPLETED
    • Trial Instruction Areas (PBL, Flipped, Exponential, etc) - COMPLETED
    • Student Led Conferences - COMPLETED
    • Credit Recovery Plans - COMPLETED
    • Grading Philosophies/Practices - COMPLETED
    • Writing Competencies/“I Can” Statements - NEARING COMPLETION
    • 21st Century Cadet Skills (Over arching Graduate Skills ) - COMPLETED
    • Develop Rubrics – AIW Format
      • End of Spring 2015 PD Day
    • Competency Recovery Plans
      • Students, teachers, and parents will work together to target areas of future growth to attain a specific skill.
    • Athletic Eligibility
      • Crestwood students will be held to a high standard of academic achievement while not being penalized for a different assessment system.
    • Homeroom each day
      • Committee of Teachers to Establish Curriculum
    • Completion of Competencies
    • Completion of Rubrics
    • Site Council
    • Restorative Justice
    • Competencies in Place
      • Grades 7/8 in 2016-2017
    • Different Reporting Method
      • Report Card and Transcripts
    • Grade Status
      • Defined as 2 years to complete JH competencies
      • Year 1,2,3,4 in HS  - 4 years to complete HS competencies
    • Advancing Upon Proficiency
      • Student who shows proficiency in course competencies before the halfway point of the course can enter a new course with teacher discretion.
      • Student who shows proficiency in course competencies beyond the halfway point of a course can not enter a new course or teacher discretion.
      • Student who shows proficiency in course competencies before the halfway point of the course can work on Competency Recovery Plans (CRP) from other courses.  Agreements should be made between teachers. 
Crestwood Secondary School has completed heavy work the past 4 years.  Through the collective and collaborative efforts of students and teachers, the successes of the past will serve to be a basis of future promise and hope of a academic system which is truly student centered.

Terese Jurgensen, Final Weekly Update for the 2014 - 2015 School Year

Looking Towards Summer Programming
We had an amazing school year at the Howard-Winn CSD! Highlights for me were: #1 The Students! #2 The Staff! #3 The Parents/Community Members! Thank you for making me feel so welcomed and appreciated throughout this school year. It has been a wonderful experience to see our students learn and grow academically, emotionally, and socially. In this, the final weekly update for the school year, I would like to highlight summer programming that will prepare for the upcoming school year in the area of our behavioral supports, special education programming and parent networking. 

Special Education Service Delivery Plan
The Howard-Winn CSD will be updating our Special Education Service Delivery Plan in the fall of the 2015. The purpose of this plan is to outline how our services will be provided to our students. As I have mentioned earlier in my blog, there are critical programming pieces that we want to provide our students in order to close the achievement gap. The first and probably the most critical is to include our students in the Core Curriculum in the areas of Reading, Writing and Math. Research proves that when students are pulled out of the core, they do not progress at the same rate, in fact their progress to close their gap is much slower, if it happens at all in their lifetime. In order to make this happen, we will be moving towards a co-teaching model. Another exciting change is that in grades 7-12, students will have a Transition Period, working closely with their teachers for the specially designed programming needs, completing progress monitoring and ensuring that organization and supports are in place for increased learning. 

To prepare for the updating of the Special Education Service Delivery Plan, we will be hosting two meetings for our community members, especially special education parents/caregivers to get their input and to provide them an open forum to discuss their personal experiences - Likes & Wishes - if you will, to help us improve our instruction and services. The date of the first meeting is listed here. The 2nd meeting will be scheduled at a later date. 
Special Education Parent Support Meeting We Want to Hear Your Voice!

Date:  Thursday, July 30th 
Time:  7:00 p.m.
Location:  Crestwood High School 
Confirmation:  Please call Terese Jurgensen (563) 929-6344
New 5th Grade Students Sign Up for Band!
5th grade students from the spring concert
Mrs. Meghan Ringoen has brought many new and wonderful experiences for our elementary band students. In order to support our future band students, instead of waiting for the fall to have them try out and choose instruments, Mrs. Ringoen partnered with a local instrument store and students chose their new instruments to begin practicing this summer instead of waiting for the start of the school year. This is a fabulous idea and in speaking with Mrs. Ringoen, she was excited by the numbers of families who came to the band try-out on May 26th. "We had about 30 families attend the try-outs and choosing of instruments last week. The students and parents were very excited about this opportunity and we have 20 students signed up for summer band lessons!" I also had an opportunity to talk with some of the parents and students and one student said, "I can't wait to choose my instrument, I will practice every single day!" His mother responded, "Yes, you will!" 

Global Social Thinking Conference
This summer I am really excited about attending the Global Social Thinking Conference. Social Thinking is a very different concept than just teaching Social Skills. Social Thinking lessons are designed for individuals with social learning challenges, including those with: Asperger's Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorders Levels 1 and 2, Social Communication Disorder, PDD-NOS, ADHD, Non-Verbal Learning Disorders, Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder, twice exceptional, social anxiety, head injury, etc. and those with no diagnosis who struggle with significant behaviors. One of our goals in the elementary school is to incorporate a Behavior Intervention Room, where students who struggle with these challenges can receive 30 minutes of direct instruction to help them become more successful in the classroom. We will also be utilizing Virtual Social Thinking Groups, art, drama and groups to support our students socially and emotionally. 
Teachers Working Hard for the
2015 - 2016 School Year!
Mrs. Adams working hard - "Looking forward to seeing you in the fall!"

Mrs. Wilson & Mrs. Suckow planning new math lessons!
"See you soon...future students!"

Mrs. Kerian surrounded working on new STEM Projects!
"Looking forward to learning with all my new students!"

Mrs. Sorenson re-organizing & planning!
"We had a great year with 5B & looking forward to a new school year!"

This is my last weekly update as the Elementary Principal for Grades 2 - 6 

Thank you for an amazing year!

Mrs. Jurgensen

Grimm 5/29/2015

PK-1 Principal/Director of Teaching & Learning
Sara Grimm
Twitter:  saramarleygrimm
SKYPE:  saramarleygrimm

The 2014-15 school year has come quickly to an end and we have so many things to be thankful for! Each student’s accomplishments bring them certain pride for achieving their goals. Thank you for sharing your child with us at Howard-Winn. We believe in our kids and we care about them as individuals. They are what makes Howard-Winn the wonderful place it is. For those of you leaving the elementary at the close of this year, I know that all of us here send your family our warmest regards, wishing your family much happiness and continued success at your next school or at the junior high if you are going into 7th grade. For those of you returning to Crestwood Elementary in August please know that we are excited about continuing to be part of your lives. We’re all doing the work of teaching and learning because we desire to make a difference, one child at a time. So here’s wishing you all a safe and refreshing summer holiday!! 

Summer is a great time to spend time with your kids playing and learning. Summer vacation is fun, but it actually has a negative effect on a child's learning, unless parents are proactive about offering enriching activities to their children. The good news is that you don't have to break the bank or lose your sanity to come up with fun educational activities for your kids this summer. Here are a few things that you can do with your kids:

1. Create a book together- write and illustrate your own short stories. Kids who are encouraged to imagine their own stories can benefit from writing and illustrating short books. Supply art supplies to your junior author to boost the fun and creativity.
2. Go on a scavenger hunt- Aside from the fact that they're just plain fun, scavenger hunts are challenging and engage a child's critical-thinking skills. Instead of just providing your child with a list of items to find, give him or her a list of clues. This will encourage your child to think about their tasks rather than just compile a bunch of paper clips, crayons or toilet paper rolls.
3. Develop and Perform a puppet show- If you don't have any puppets, that's OK. Your child can make sock puppets and a cardboard puppet show stage as part of the fun. Encourage your child to come up with character traits for each of the puppets, and help him or her to create a play with a beginning, middle, climax and ending.
4. Build a Fort- This is a great way to encourage your youngster to use spatial reasoning and geometry skills. You can follow a fort-building guide if you were born without spatial reasoning skills, or you can toss a bunch of supplies out the back door and tell the kids to get after it.
5. Host an at-home science camp- You probably already own everything you need to create a science lab in your home. Go to the Exploratorium website for activity ideas — there are enough science activities available to fill up a whole summer's worth of camp.
6. Teach fractions through cooking- Sitting down to learn fractions is not usually fun, but it can be. There is one area of the house where fractions are consistently used — the kitchen! Teach fractions to your kids while you prepare a recipe together. This website has recipes with fractions to help you on your mission.

It's time to say good-bye,
Our year has come to an end.
We've made more cherished memories
And many more new friends.
We've watched them learn and grow
And change from day to day.
We hope that all the things we've done
Have helped in some small way.
So it's with happy memories
We send them out the door.
With great hope and expectations
For what next year holds in store.
Have an awesome summer—
We’ll see you next year!

Enjoy your day!  ~Mrs. Sara Grimm, Principal