Friday, May 1, 2015

Terese Jurgensen - April 30, 2015

         Wrapping up the 2014 - 2015 School Year !

Mrs. J. and a 3rd grade student reading a story together.
It is so hard to believe that we are looking at the final three weeks of school for the 2014 - 2015 school year!  I have been a Cresco resident for 9 months, and I feel so at home here. I truly enjoy the community and as one of the elementary principals, love seeing the elementary students and families at local shops and events. It has been a wonderful school year, and I have been truly blessed serving the Howard-Winneshiek Community Schools as the 2-6 Elementary Principal. As many of you may have heard, I will be serving in a different capacity in the 2015 - 2016 school year. My new role will be Director of Special Services. I will continue to be Director of Special Education and additional responsibilities will be the administrator of  At-Risk Services, including discipline of the school district and areas of the activities director needs. My office will be in the high school building, but I will continue to help manage significant behavior needs in the elementary school as well. I am very passionate about student needs in these areas and previous life experiences have prepared me for these roles. As the elementary principal these past months I want to thank the outstanding teachers and staff members who have been such a joy to work with and serve. I wanted to share just a few pictures from the school year. I hope you enjoy them and they make you smile as much as they have made me!
Julie Wilson - Norman Borlaug Day

Mr. Sickles - Homecoming!
Mrs. Galvin - School Spirit!
Homecoming 2015       

Mary Watt & Mrs. J. - Starting to Dress Alike!

Each and Every Child - State of Iowa Special Education Newsletter

Tips for Summer Learning 
Making summer fun - and educational
Summer is a time of fun. But it’s also a time where students can lose as much as one month of the previous school year’s lessons. Called the education slide, there are ways to prevent it. Try these suggestions:
  • Encourage reading. Studies show reading six books will maintain the child’s literacy level; more will actually increase the child’s literacy skills. Make sure the child is reading at his or her skill level, and that the books match the child’s interests.
  • Make math a game. Measure things in the yard. Add and subtract while shopping or driving.
  • Do fractions while cooking.
  • Make learning an adventure. Every outing, from parks to museums, can be places that stimulate critical thinking.
  • On a family trip? You can teach math with menus, geography with the route and spelling with names of places along the way.
  • Have the child keep a journal. Writing will help keep a child’s language skills sharp.

Have a great summer!

 And keep the slide exclusively on the playground.

Bringing the World into the Classroom

Mrs. Sorensen's  5B Class in Iowa led a Skype meeting, catching up and sharing about topics we're discussing in science and social studies with students from New York. They shared the progress on the Friendship Bracelet Challenge. They were invited to help make over 300 friendship bracelets to share with our New York 5B Class in Ethical Culture School and their friends at Lerata Elementary in Kenya, Africa. The kids were proud to update each other that together we've made about 175 bracelets.  

Finally, the 5B Iowa students reviewed online chatting rules and expectations about safety before they began their partner chats using TodaysMeet in 10 different groups. It was a fantastic session! We plan to meet a few more times and then end their year with a Kahoot Quiz on information from 5th grade core subjects!


 1,130 Iowa Teachers have gotten Pink Slips

Southeast Warren Schools Pink Slipped all Employees

LIBERTY CENTER, Iowa —Iowa schools have to submit certified budgets Wednesday for the next school year, but state lawmakers still haven't agreed how much money those schools can spend. This has prompted one school district to take an unusual action. Southeast Warren School District is preparing for the worst case scenario by giving all its employees pink slips.

“None have received them yet, [but] all of them will,” said Delane Galvin, the district’s superintendent.
Meaning, all 100 staff members in the district will be notified their contracts are not being renewed as part of a worst case scenario budget put together by district leaders, who said the move will give the district flexibility as they wait to hear how much supplemental state aid they'll receive.
By law, certified public employees have to be notified by the end of April if their contract is not going to be renewed.
“So if the budget isn't set, we don't know what we can fund and what we can afford for staff. We're notifying everybody and once the budget is set, then we can recall them,” Galvin said.
Teacher Shelley Mitzelfelt says teachers in the district are now left searching online job sites just in case, all because of failures by state legislators.
“The tension's pretty thick. People are very concerned,” Mitzelfelt said.
The deadline for districts to have preliminary approval of their budgets is Wednesday, so all eyes were on the state Capitol Tuesday.
I share this news story to say we are not alone. This has been a very difficult time for all of the staff and community in the district. I have never seen or experienced anything like it in my working career and have had many sleepless nights thinking of our teachers, staff, students and community we serve. The financial issues at the state level make me question my Iowa values when, as a little girl, I believed I was learning in the best educational state in the country. As a community and district it is my hope that we will reach out to our state legislatures and speak up for our children. I was a missionary for several years reaching out to the homeless and hurting people across the globe. Today, as an educator, I know and believe with all of my heart that public education is the greatest mission field in the world. We are giving hope and creating futures for our children, the next generation that deserves the opportunity to become what they are created to be. 
Receiving a pink slip for any teacher is heart-breaking, even if they know they will be called back. For the teachers and the staff that received pink slips in our district, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart and express that I appreciate your service, your commitment, your love, passion and excellence to the students and community at Howard-Winneshiek Community Schools. 

 Have a wonderful week!

If you have any questions or comments please email or call!

Terese Jurgensen


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