Friday, November 13, 2015

Terese Jurgensen ~ Director of Student Services

                           Howard-Winneshiek High School Choir embraces Veterans's Day

Veterans Day Celebrations!

The Veterans Day Celebrations across the day on Wednesday, November 11th were inspirational and touched our entire community. Starting in the morning, the Secondary Building held a Veterans Day Assembly. As the veterans marched in and in one voice we said the Pledge of Allegiance, my heart swelled with thankfulness for the gift of living in this wonderful country. During the years of 1989-1992, I did not live in the United States of America, but overseas and in Montreal, Canada. The most vivid memory for me of this time was in Prague, Czechoslovakia. My living quarters were a campground and on July 4th - Independence Day - I looked up at the stars, my heart yearned for home, missing our great country and all of the freedoms we take for granted.

The Veterans Assembly reminded me clearly of this time, and as the young people listened and asked questions of our Veterans, their responses were of awe and wonder. The speakers were all a big hit, but I really enjoyed Marshall Rogne, Chris Rogne's, brother. He told the students when one asked him, "What do you say when someone tells him thank you for serving our country?"

                               He said his response is ..... "It was my pleasure."  

Marshall Rogne is shown here in the upper right hand corner and also
on the bottom left hand corner. The pictures were made by Crestwood
Elementary Students. There were over 65 Veterans who ate lunch with
one of their loved ones on Veterans Day. 


Drama Department Presents Oklahoma!

On behalf of the cast and crew of the musical, I would like to invite you to come and see this year's musical,  "Oklahoma", either Friday at 7:30 at on Saturday at 7:30 or on Sunday at 2:00. The cost is just $5 for adults and $3 for students. Our dress rehearsal went really well last night-I am very proud of these students. Please consider spending a couple of hours with us this weekend.   ~Karen LeFebvre   

Perfect Attendance!

Please watch for our local paper to have the pictures of our 219 elementary students who had Perfect Attendance 1st quarter! Unfortunately, the secondary students (due to our new PowerSchool system) were not able to be accounted for. When the announcement came over about perfect attendance, this wonderful group ran over to my office and so we gave them Cadet Pride water bottles and took their pictures! I know that we had countless students grades 7-12 who had perfect attendance, and we are so proud of them! Look forward to perfect attendance recognition for 2nd quarter. 

Attendance Review Committee
According to Iowa Law, it is required by every school to review their attendance policy, at the minimum, every 5 years as is required by 281-IAC 12.3(2). Therefore, our school district has started this process. 

On Wednesday, November 11th, a group of elementary and secondary staff collaborated with parents, business and community members to review the Attendance Policy Revisions that have been on-going conversations at Howard-Winneshiek Community School District. There were key reasons each member joined, but one of chief concern were the problems in our local workforce having extreme issues with employees getting to work on time and for simply going to work. One business partner stated that their "Number one concern and question during their interview process is one of attendance. They want to know if the person interviewing has good attendance at school and in the workforce." 

The next meeting will be on Wednesday, November 18th at 2:45. All community members are invited and encouraged to attend. The HWCSD wants to extend a sincere THANK YOU for everyone engaged in the revision our our attendance policy review. 


Special Education Law Conference

As mentioned last week, in my update, I attended a Tri-State Special Education Law Conference in Omaha, Nebraska. It was an unforgettable experience as school lawyers from all over the nation met and educated administrators, special education teachers and other lawyers from the tri-state area. I left with excellent materials and inspired that we are doing what is "right for kids" who have special education needs. Some of the topics of interest is in regard to LRE - Least Restrictive Environment. At one time, special education students could not be in general education classrooms, but were rather, "pulled out." At HWCSD the vast majority of our students receive general education instruction as well as Specially Designed Instruction every day.  We like to refer to this as the Core+More. We believe special needs students belong in the classroom and our data, for academic growth in the areas of reading, writing, math and behavior is supporting this. 

During the past year, there were several legal cases involving 
schools that did not have students in the Least Restrictive Environment.

Featured Student

I would like to give a big Shout Out to this young lady who is making excellent choices for her future! She is a wonderful person whose future will be in working with young children 
or the elderly. 

If you have any questions or would like to reach me for any reason, please contact me at 
My cell number is (563) 929-6344.

Have a great week!
Mrs. Jurgensen

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