Friday, August 28, 2015

August 27, 2015

Invitation to a Special Education Parent meeting on:

Thursday, September 10th @ 7:00 p.m.
Crestwood High School Media Center

Engaging, sentimental, hilariously funny, and thought-provoking are the words I would use to describe one of this past summer’s exciting new movies, Inside Out by Disney’s Pixar studios. What I loved the most about this movie is the engaging way the film reveals the role of our brain and the critical role that the Executive Functions of the frontal cortex partner with the emotional regulation center of a child’s brain to impact her behaviors. The movie is a must see, but as much as I love the movie, this article is not a movie review, but rather an invitation to all parents, grandparents, and caregivers of children who receive special education services at Howard-Winneshiek Community Schools. 

During this school year, we will be reviewing our Special Education Service Delivery Plan, which simply put, is how we educate our students who have an IEP (Individualized Educational Plan). As a school district, our vision is to provide the very best specialized direct instruction for all of our students while providing the Common Core from our highly qualified teaching staff in the general education classroom, simply put, “The Core + More.” As we review our Service Delivery Plan, we are asking for parent input while providing Parent Professional Development in the area of Executive Functions. 

Perhaps you have never heard of the term: Executive Functioning Skills. If you have not, you are not alone. Over the course of the last few years, I have been privileged to provide professional development in this subject area for countless parents and professionals who are not familiar with the term, yet after every training a common theme resounds, “Wow! This makes total sense! I need to learn more!” I felt the same way several years ago as I attended trainings, read articles, and utilized strategies to teach students how to pay attention in class, organize their homework, self-regulate their emotions, turn their homework in on time, initiate a task, and the important skill of how to work in groups.

Kelly Video 2

Does this sound like something you would be interested in? If so, I invite you to be a part this exciting event! The agenda for the evening will be to: 1. Receive valuable input on HWCSD Special Education Services; 2. Overview of Executive Functioning Skills; 3. Parents will complete an informal executive functioning assessment for their child(ren) and learn valuable strategies; and 4. Have a good time of sharing and learning together! All caregivers will leave with materials and supports for their child(ren). 

If you would like to be a part of this exciting evening, taking place on Thursday, September 10th at 7:00 p.m. at the High School Media Center, please contact Terese Jurgensen, Special Education Director for Howard-Winneshiek Community School District.

Our First Week of School!
We had an excellent first week of school for the entire district. All of our staff worked very hard to support student achievement. At the secondary level, it was super fun for me to meet students, watch our teachers set high expectations and welcome students to the new school year. Mrs. Hartman and Mr. Sickles, secondary counselors, diligently worked with students and staff, putting students into classes of their choice and meeting with countless parents. Mr. Rogne, our new secondary principal, jumped in feet first, meeting with students and staff building the foundation for the most important facet of education - relationships. 

Deb Porter Day

Today, instead of going through my syllabus and expectations and rules and taking attendance and stuff, I asked my kids 10 questions and they wrote their answers on notecards. While they were doing that, I went around and talked to each and every kid. Some more than others. BUT. I made sure to talk more to the kids I didn't know, especially those new to the district. I spent extra time with the kid taking speech for the 3rd time. I laughed with my contest speech kids (we start mid-November in case you didn't know). I asked about vacations, jobs and family. Tonight, I am exhausted, but happy, and can't wait until tomorrow. How was your day?
At the elementary level, Mrs. McCabe and Mrs. Grimm, and all of the staff continued to support our PBIS building level expectations, and it was evident as students had an amazing week! A highlight for me, was working with the Success Team in both buildings supporting student achievement by beginning our Child Study Team Meetings, working with parents, students and school creating collaborative problem-solving plans in the areas of Skill & Will. Tonight will be our first Crestwood High School football team, and it should be a great night of meeting and sharing with our community. 

Keith Anderlik, Success Team, is surrounded by Mrs. Adams' 3rd grade class.
Mr. Anderlik is a cornerstone to positive relationships @ Crestwood Elementary.

Success Team - School & Parents Collaboration!
Here is a text message I received from a happy parent, who collaborated with our elementary success team to support her son in the Skill of Transition and the Will of positive attention to support his need of getting to school on time:

"Thank you Success Team to partner with us to be a part of our son's team. We are so proud of him and thankful to be at a school with a staff who cares so much to help him, instead of just writing him off as a "bad kid." The plan we developed together does not just support him, but our whole family too." 

Meet the School Board Candidates

Tuesday evening, August 25th, community members gathered to hear six school board candidates share their views on important school issues. The evening was very well attended, and the candidates shared their thoughts, plans and why they have chosen to run for school board. Please remember to vote on Tuesday, September 8th.

Have a great week! 
If you have any questions for me, Terese Jurgensen, do not hesitate to contact me: 
 school: (563) 547-2300 (ext. 207) 
cell: (563) 929-6344

Mission Statement
Our mission is to prepare and empower our students to think creatively, serve, contribute and succeed locally and globally.

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