Friday, December 18, 2015

JCC December 18, 2015

Happy Holidays
The next Administrative Update will be January 8, 2016
District Perspective
Superintendent / Activities Director
John Carver
Office: 563-547-2762
Twitter: johnccarver 
SKYPE: johnccarver

As we approach the Holiday season, I want to personally wish the BEST to Cadet Nation! 

Looking back over the past twelve months we have accomplished much and faced many challenges. From increasing academic achievement scores to moving all the students to the Cresco Campus to being recognized by Apple Computer as a District Of Distinction for  "innovating learning and teaching and compelling evidence of success" the Howard-Winneshiek Community School District has positive momentum. 

Looking forward to the second semester and 2016, many challenges and opportunities are up ahead. That being said, we have so much to be thankful and humble for.  Wonderful young people, courageous educators, committed support staff, caring and support parents and community, Cadet Nation is a very special place! Happy Holidays. Rest, Relax and Recharge for 2016! 

Every Child Succeed Act (ESSA) 
Last Thursday at the White House in Washington D.C. Presidents Obama signed into law the Every Child Succeed Act which replaces No Child Left Behind. Two important features of the new  include:
  • Ensures that vital information is provided to educators, families, students, and communities through annual statewide assessments that measure students' progress toward those high standards.
  • Maintains an expectation that there will be accountability and action to effect positive change in our lowest-performing schools, where groups of students are not making progress, and where graduation rates are low over extended periods of time.
Iowa, and specifically Howard-Winneshiek, has a long standing commitment of being transparent about student academic achievement at schools and specifically attendance centers.  Mandated in 2013 by the state legislature, the Iowa Department of Education was directed to create a rating scale for each attendance center (school) elementary, junior and high school in the state.  The findings were released Wednesday, December 13 and can be found at this site 
No Howard-Winn attendance center was labeled as "Needs improvement" or "Priority"
Crestwood Elementary was rated "Acceptable". It is important to note that this score card is a comparison of Crestwood Elementary to all other Iowa elementary schools. A point of strength for Crestwood Elementary is the number of students proficient. 

Students entering school in elementary come with different academic skill set starting points. They come in either "ready to read" or "ready to learn to read". 

Crestwood Elementary teachers do an outstanding job in closing the achievement gap and getting kids to proficiency.  

Having time to collaborate, review student achievement design instruction and interventions,  supports students learning.  

Crestwood Junior High was rated "Commendable" with the point of strengthen being the number of kids proficient. 

The area of growth is College and Carer Readiness.  The work we have done in starting Project Lead the Way classes in junior high, exposing kids to the world of work and careers will pay dividends.  

Waiting till high school  to get kids thinking about what they want to be is too late.  A recent thought was shared with me that jobs or careers many of our 7th and 8th graders will be in have yet to be invented.  

Howard-Winn thinking is "teaching kids the skills to learn", prepares and positions them for their future.  
Crestwood High School was rated "High Performing". What this means is that Crestwood High School is in among the top 13% of all High Schools in the state. This is outstanding.  

The "big take away" from this information is systemic. Students entering Howard-Winn in elementary then through Junior High and into High School, over time, grow, become proficient, graduate, with a good start to enter the world. 

The bottom line is that CADETS are moving forward.  

We are making good progress towards  the year 2020 with Howard Winn students being the most recruited, best prepared kids on the planet!.  

Looking to 2016
As we move into the new year and Iowa Lawmakers converge in Des Moines, school funding for 2016-17 school year will be addressed again.  There is talk of little to no increase to schools for the upcoming year.  This is not good. 

Every school district in Iowa is now feeling the "pain", Howard-Winn is not alone.  The Waukee Community School district growing 650 students, but because of State funding, will lay off teachers and cut over a million dollars from its budget. The same thing is happening in West Des Moines.  Challenges are ahead.  

Beginning in January, conversations and planning will begin again at Howard-Winn for further reductions. The challenge will be to maintain the level of programing and excellence in face of dwindling financial resources.  If funding for Education in Iowa remains the same as the previous year, the landscape for teaching and learning across the State will change dramatically. More information will follow.

Learning at Howard-Winn last week looked like.........

Activity Calendar 
Monday, December 21
 NICC - Winter Break
 9th grade Boys/Girls BB vs South Winn (H)
 Band Booster Meeting @ CHS Music Room
 5th & 6th grade Christmas Concert @ CHS
Tuesday, December 22
 NICC - Winter Break
 V Wrestling @ Crestwood
 JV BBB vs West Central (T)
 V BBB vs West Central (T)
Wednesday, December 23 to Monday, January 4         Winter Break
Saturday, January 2, 2016
 9th grade BBB vs MFL Mar Mac (H)
 JV BBB vs MFL Mar Mac (H)
 V BBB vs MFL Mar Mac (H)
Monday, January 4, 2016
 Choir Booster Meeting
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
 7th grade BBB vs Charles City (T)
 8th grade BBB vs Charles City (H)
 9th grade BBB vs New Hampton (T)
 9th grade GBB vs New Hampton (H)
 JV BBB vs New Hampton (T)
 JV GBB vs New Hampton (H)
 V BBB vs New Hampton (T)
 V GBB vs New Hampton (H) 1/2 time performance
Thursday, January 7, 2016
 Youth Wrestling Night announced at CHS during Oelwein dual
 7th grade BBB vs North Fayette (T)
 8th grade BBB vs North Fayette (H)
 JV/V Wrestling vs Oelwein (H) Senior Night
Friday, January 8, 2016
 End of 2nd Quarter/1st Semester
 9th grade BBB vs Waverly-Shell Rock (H)
 9th grade GBB vs Waverly-Shell Rock (T)
 JV BBB vs Waverly-Shell Rock (H)
 JV GBB vs Waverly-Shell Rock (T)
 V BBB vs Waverly-Shell Rock (H)
 V GBB vs Waverly-Shell Rock (T)
Saturday, January 9, 2016
 Dorian Vocal Festival @ Luther
 9th/10th grade GBB tournament @ Sumner-Fredericksburg
 Flanagan Tournament @ Crestwood
Sunday, January 10, 2016
 Dorian Vocal Festival @ Luther
 Harold Nicols Memorial Wrestling Tournament @ CHS

Have a safe and Happy New Year!
See you in 2016! 

December 18, 2015 - Crestwood Secondary

Crestwood Secondary Schools (7-12) 

Chris Rogne, Principal
office: 563-547-2764
Twitter: @chris_rogne

Events for the Week of December 19th - January 2nd              
Saturday, December 19th:
                   Wrestling @ Battle of Waterloo 
                   Cheerleading Competition at the University of Minnesota
3:15            JV girls BB @ Osage
4:30            Varsity girls BB @ Osage

Monday, December 21st:
6:15            Home 9th girls BB vs. South Winneshiek
7:15            Band Booster Meeting in the CHS Music Room
7:30            Home 9th boys BB vs. South Winneshiek

Tuesday, December 22nd:     
5:30            Home Varsity Wrestling vs. North Butler and South Winneshiek
6:15            JV boys BB @ West Central
7:30            Varsity boys BB @ West Central

Wednesday, December 23 - Sunday, January 3rd:
                   No School - Winter Break

Saturday, January 2nd:
12:00          Home 9th grade boys BB vs. MFL Mar Mac
1:00            Home JV boys BB vs. MFL Mar Mac
2:30            Home Varsity boys BB vs. MFL Mar Mac

Monday, January 4th: 
                   Classes Resume

Friday, January 8th:
                     End of the First Semester

Know Your Constitution Finalist
Amber Mast and Isaiah Passmore have been named as finalists in the Know Your Constitution Program. They have been invited to represent Crestwood High School at the annual Know Your Constitution Luncheon held in West Des Moines. Amber and Isaiah are 2 of the one hundred finalists who were selected from the more than 1,000 students across the State of Iowa who participated in the “Know Your Constitution” Project. The luncheon features The Honorable Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins as the keynote speaker.

The “Know Your Constitution” Project is designed to enrich students’ understanding and appreciation of the Constitution. The students participating in the project were required to familiarize themselves with Constitution related issues.  A quiz was completed by each participating student. An essay question accompanied the quiz in case of a tie. This year’s essay topic involved a Constitutional question focused on the admissions process in higher education, specifically racial preference in evaluating candidates – similar to the on-going United States Supreme Court cases involving the University of Texas.

Congratulations Amber and Isaiah. 

First Semester Ends on January 8th
The end of the first semester is quickly approaching. At both the Crestwood Junior High and High School, we have a Success Team that closely monitors students grades, attendance, and other factors that are critical to a student's academic success. Students with grades at risk of failing check in and check out with members of the Success team who are available to assist them with classwork and be a liaison with the classroom teacher.

A question was recently raised on the number of students receiving an "F" in Crestwood classes. Below is a recent grade distribution for current 2nd quarter grades.

At the secondary level, of the 3,729 total classes that students are involved in at this time we have 232 "F's". That equates to about 6%, of classes all students are taking. That is not 6% of students, rather a percentage of all courses of students are taking. Those are not final grades, just a snapshot of where they sit at this time.

This is in contrast to 1,630, or about 44%, receiving A's at this time. We have many, many students succeeding at a high level.

These numbers do not reflect students dual-enrolled in NICC courses.

Access the student and parent sign in here:
With access to our on-line student management system, students and parents know in near real time what their grades are. There is no reason for surprises at the end of the grading period. Access to PowerSchool provides students and families real time access to attendance, school progress, and current Crestwood grades. Automatic email notification is also available through PowerSchool, this feature allows attendance and grade information to be emailed to you on a regular basis.

Please contact the office if you would like assistance setting up the access to PowerSchool.

Meet Ms. Parks

What grade levels and subjects do you teach?
9 - 12 Special Education

How many years have you been an educator? How many years at Howard-Winn?
19 years in education and 17 of those years at Howard-Winn.

Where did you attend college?
I've attended college in numerous places. I earned my undergraduate degree in Elementary Education at Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. I obtain special education endorsements from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. I earned my Masters at University of Northern Iowa in Special Education with a consultation emphasis. I later obtained endorsements in secondary mathematics, reading, and language arts.

Was there a particular event or person that inspired you to become an educator?
I really enjoyed my 2nd & 4th grade teacher (same person). She just really showed me at such a young age what school was all about.  

What is your favorite thing about Howard-Winn? 
I like the supportive nature of the staff and students.

Any words of wisdom or advice?
Work as hard as you can and never give up. Always believe in yourself.

More about Ms. Parks: 
I have family here as well as in Minneapolis. I have a new neice to cherrish and watch as she grows up. I enjoy cooking and traveling. I've had the pleasure of stepping foot and spending some time in all 50 states of the United States. I especially love visiting lighthouses.

The Big Rocks of Life

At the end of each year I think about the many "things" that have passed and wonder if I accomplished all I had planned for the year.  During that time of reflection I am reminded of this story by Dr. Stephen R. Covey.  It has been a helpful story for me, one that I will never forget and believe is worth sharing...

One day this expert was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive home a point, used an illustration I’m sure those students will never forget. After I share it with you, you’ll never forget it either.

As this man stood in front of the group of high-powered over-achievers he said, "Okay, time for a quiz." Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide-mouthed mason jar and set it on a table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar.

When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, "Is this jar full?" Everyone in the class said, "Yes." Then he said, "Really?" He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the spaces between the big rocks.

Then he smiled and asked the group once more, "Is the jar full?" By this time the class was onto him. "Probably not," one of them answered. "Good!" he replied. And he reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in and it went into all the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, "Is this jar full?"

"No!" the class shouted. Once again he said, "Good!" Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked up at the class and asked, "What is the point of this illustration?"

One eager beaver raised his hand and said, "The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard, you can always fit some more things into it!"

"No," the speaker replied, "that’s not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all."

What are the big rocks in your life? 

As you reflect on this past year and get ready to go through this new year, think of the “big rocks” in your life as the things you can do to make this a happier and more productive year for yourself and others. What are your big rocks?
 Time with your loved ones? Your faith, your education, your finances? A cause? Teaching or mentoring others? Remember to put these Big Rocks in first or you’ll never get them in at all.  List your big rocks, not only for this holiday season, but also for the new year to come.

Have a peaceful, blessed holiday season.

Jurgensen 12/18/2015

Crestwood High School 37th Madrigal Performance

 African Christmas Carol

 The music is unbelievable! It makes me so happy every time I listen to it, sorry the video is sideways just to good not to put in my update. I loved this song and especially loved the expression on the students' faces as well as Mrs. LeFebvre. Click on the link above and close your eyes and enjoy this amazing song, alive with the rich, sweet voices of our high school students. Merry Christmas!

I took several pictures of the unique, beautiful wardrobes the students wore. Dawson Gosch entertained the audience all night along with two other students as the Court Jesters. Unsuspecting guests were greeted and were made to ride a trusty "steed" or others were given a "crown" to wear! Dawson did not make me ride a "horse" in the dining room, but did give me the honor of becoming royalty...if only for a few moments! From the entertainment to the delicious food the guests enjoyed, it was dinner theater at its best! We are so blessed at Crestwood to be a part of a school district that offers such a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the heart of Christmas. Merry Christmas everyone!

“Though Madrigal is a lot of work, I believe it will be something that the students will remember as one of the highlights of their high school years.” Vocal Director Karen LeFebvre (shared through HWCSD Release)

Attendance Matters!
 Policy Spotlight

States will be required to report chronic absenteeism rates to the federal government, and school districts will be allowed to spend federal dollars on training to reduce absenteeism, under a sweeping education bill signed into law by President Obama last week.
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act or No Child Left Behind, represents the first time that federal education law specifically mentions this measure of attendance. Chronic absence differs from truancy in that it tracks both excused and unexcused absences. (This is a powerful change in policy!)
Its inclusion reflects the increasing awareness in Washington and across the country that chronic absence is a key indicator for assessing school and student success.


       For Parents & Senior Students who have an IEP :


Crestwood PTO
Crestwood Schools is excited to announce that a new Parent Teacher's Organization (PTO) has started providing additional supports to teachers and students. Last night, 12/15/15, was the 1st meeting I attended, but it will not be my last! The energy and passion for our school district was evident and lots of exciting ideas and opportunities for community involvement at Howard-Winn were discussed. Shown above were some of the members organizing the T-Shirts that were designed and sold for school support. If you are interested in joining or want more information, please contact the elementary office for more information ~ (563) 547-2300! Thank you all PTO members for your time, talents, passion for kids and support!

The Executive Functioning "Corner" 

Over the last eight years, I have made the point of learning everything I can about executive functioning and which processes are located in the frontal lobe of our brain. It is interesting to note that a child's frontal lobe which supports both cognitive and behavioral functions of our brain, does not fully develop until approximately 25 years of age. We know, that just like our bodies are closely connected (Remember the song...the hip bone is connected to the leg bone!) our brains are just as connected...if not more so. My point is the frontal lobe does not work alone, but each of the brain's functions are closely related and are meant to work in harmony. Let's take a closer look at a common struggle for many students and adults: ADHD. There are many ways educators and parents can support these learners. 

The following is a summary of Dr. Marty Burns' webinar “How Do ADD, Dyslexia, and Auditory Processing Disorder Overlap?”. Read below for the key takeaways, or view the recording now.
I read this article this week and was reminded of a student I worked with in a previous district. She struggled a great deal with maintaining focus and attention, especially when it came to math. Not only did she not like doing math, but a greater struggle for her was maintaining focus and attention during this core subject. One day, instead of giving her fidgets to keep her fingers busy, or asking her to "sit still" we gave her a large ball she could sit and bounce on. All of a sudden, math became something she loved! She would bounce Up & Down, Up & Down for a solid two minutes. When the timer went off, she stopped bouncing, and without getting off of the ball, she would do math for 5 minutes and then back to bouncing. Believe it or not,  it really worked for her! The important lesson here is not the bouncing, but never give up looking for and trying strategies to help your child(ren) be successful in school. For my ideas or any questions you may have, please call me and we can set up a time to meet to discuss an array of strategies for student success!


                                  During the PTO meeting I had the joy of showing 
                                some of the elementary students the videos from
                                the U.S. Department of Education. The faces of joy
                                & excitement when they saw themselves in the 
                                video was so fun! "Exciting - Surprising - Fun!" were
                                the words of these 3rd grade students!

Have a wonderful week!
If you have any questions or need to reach me,
Terese Jurgensen,
Please do not hesitate to call or email me!
(563) 929-6344