Friday, May 29, 2015

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

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