Friday, August 14, 2015

August 14, 2015

PK-6 Principal
Sara Grimm
Twitter:  saramarleygrimm
SKYPE:  saramarleygrimm

Wow -- I cannot believe the summer has ended and we will soon be starting a new school year. We are looking forward to an exciting year. I hope you have had an enjoyable summer and are ready to send your children back to us well rested and ready for a new school year. August is a time for new beginnings. Unlike people in business and industry, educators have the luxury of a new start each year, and for me the beginning of each school year is a very special time. 

Our mission is to prepare and empower our students to think creatively, serve, contribute and succeed locally and globally. We want all children to learn and succeed in life. You, the families in the communities we serve, enhance the high quality of our school. The school can only take partial credit for our level of student achievement. You have high expectations for the school and your children’s performance, and we applaud those expectations and welcome your involvement. That being said, I would like to congratulate the Preschool and Elementary staff, students, and parents for all of your work making our school the best that it can be!

Teaching Staff for 2015-16

There have been a few changes in the elementary. I have moved from Preschool-Grade 1 Principal/Director of Teaching & Learning to Preschool-Grade 6 Principal. A few teachers have also moved grade levels so with the start of the new school year we would like to announce the teaching staff assignments for this year. 

Early Childhood Staff
Lime Springs Preschool:    Kristi Holthaus
Cresco Preschool:             Megan Merkel     Sally Tieskoetter
Transition Kindergarten:  Shari Marr

Crestwood Elementary Staff

Kindergarten:  Paula Galvin         Julie Franzen        Michelle Timp     Lois Leifeld
First Grade:    Kris Voves           Casey Rausch        Joellyn Berg
Second Grade: Krista Tuchek     Michelle Ihde       Karen Kuhn         Kelly Buehler
Third Grade:    Melissa Adams    Kim Kerian            Michelle Midthus 
Fourth Grade:  Katie Mahr          Lorrinda Kisley     Jenny Vsetecka
Fifth Grade:    Heather Suckow  Kelly Sorenson     Julie Wilson
Sixth Grade:   Jason Sorenson    Carrie McCarville   Kerry Fretheim
School Social Worker: Denise Headington
Guidance Counselors:   Tiffany McCabe       Doug Sickles
Success Program:        Keith Anderlik
Nurses:    Chris Bourassa         Amy Drees       Diana Huhe
TAG:   Todd Knobloch
Title I: Lynn Murray   Tami Foster             Jan Cray                 MaryEllen Vachta
Special Education:       Marsha McCabe      Mary Watt              Linda Walter  
                                   Stacie VerMeer       Jessica Cummings   Dory Fravel
Library:  Denise Shekleton
Art: Rebecca Ortner
Band: Meghan Ringoen
Music: Schyuler Bieber
PE: Tom Schmauss       Oakleigh Natvig       Keith Slifka   Shelly McAllister

Back to School Night

The first opportunity for parents and students to meet the teachers and see their rooms will be August 20th, 2015 at our back-to-school night for students in grades 1-6. Please mark your calendars for this event, which will take place from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. There will be refreshments in the cafeteria and the Scholastic Book Fair will be open for book browsing and purchase.

Our new art teacher . . .

Rebecca Ortner has taken over the elementary art program. Mrs. Ortner graduated from Northwestern College in Orange City. She previously taught third grade at Notre Dame Catholic School in Cresco. She is very excited to join the Howard-Winn family and continue her teaching career here. Mrs. Ortner and her husband live in the Chester area. She is looking forward to continuing to build the art program and providing our students with varied enriching experiences. We welcome Mrs. Ortner.

Class Assignments

Each spring, there is considerable discussion about placing children in classes for the next school year. This is a matter that we do not take lightly at our school, and the staff and I spend countless hours in forming well-balanced classes in which all children will have an opportunity to learn and to grow in their academic and social skills.  

It is hoped that a frank review of our procedures for class placement of students will prevent the need for parents to individualize their concerns or make requests for specific teachers.  

When classes are structured, we follow a clear set of guidelines. Classes are formed into deliberate heterogeneous groups with the following in mind:

  • an even boy-girl balance
  • a full range of aptitudes within each class
  • an even proportion of abilities and learning styles across the classes at each grade level
  • an equal number of pupils in each class on a grade level
Once these factors have been considered, teachers begin to build a class of children who show promise of working well together. At this point, attempts are made to match pupil and teacher personality and style. Quite understandably, these decisions are based upon observations made by the teachers during the course of the year. While we welcome your input about your child’s individual learning needs, we trust that you understand that your comments constitute just one of the many factors that we consider in forming classes. The final decision on class placements resides with the school. Thanks for your support.

Enjoy your day!  
~Mrs. Sara Grimm, 
Crestwood Preschool & Elementary Principal

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