Saturday, January 9, 2016

January 8, 2016 Preschool & Elementary

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

Happy New Year!

Dear Crestwood Families,
Welcome back to Crestwood for the second half of our school year. We have had a great first semester and we look forward to the rest of the year. A new year always gives us the opportunity to reflect upon what we have done well and what we can do better. Have you been trying to figure out a new year’s resolution? If the answer to the question is yes, I have a great suggestion for you. How about setting plans to help your children experience greater school success in 2016? 

Here are some ideas to be sure your child is successful in school.
1. Monitor your students’ school work. One way to do this is to have them check in with you after school and share how their day went. A good opening question to help them communicate about this is to ask, “What did you learn in school today?” If you get a vague answer, follow-up by asking them about specific subjects such as: math, reading, or science. You can also check the teacher's website, blog, Facebook posts, or Twitter feed. These can be great conversation starters to find out what's happening in your child's classroom. Another important way to monitor their work is to have them share any school papers they brought home and discuss them together. You can further monitor by checking on their homework. While parents should never do homework for their young people, it is sound practice to help them if they are struggling, check it over for them once they are finished and help to answer any questions they may have.

2. As you know we have been focusing on attendance this year, so making sure your children get to school on time is key and a great resolution. The more students are in school, the higher their achievement. Children cannot learn if they are not in school. In addition, poor attendance causes students to get behind in their learning and catching up can be very difficult when they return. In fact, poor attendance is often the first step to students being unsuccessful at school.

3. Reward their efforts. Rewarding students for high grades is not as effective as rewarding them for their effort. Students are always trying and want to make you proud. Therefore, the best way to motivate further effort is to notice it, to praise it, and to reward it. This does not have to be a purchased reward. Reward them by spending time with them doing an activity of their choice (watch a movie, read a book, play a board game, go sledding, build a snowman).

4. Finally, be involved! How important is parent involvement in their children’s education?Study after study shows that it may be the top factor leading to student success. At Crestwood, we offer many opportunities to be involved in your student’s education. Please join us whenever you can. Join our PTO, volunteer for special activities in your child's classroom or volunteer by doing things at home for the classroom.

If you have any questions please feel free to contact me.

Sara Grimm

School Cancellations

Cancellation of school takes place only during circumstances such as extreme weather, equipment failure, or public crisis. The school board and administrators are aware of the hardship which can be caused by an abrupt cancellation. Therefore, school will not be cancelled unless a significant safety risk has been created by unusual circumstances.

School closings will be posted on the school website, http://www.howard- It is also possible to sign-up for an alert through the school. Please call the school office if you need assistance with this 563-547-2300.

We are concerned about sending children home in cases of storms or other emergencies before the school day is over. Please make arrangements for such emergencies including:
1. Prior to early dismissals due to weather, please inform the school where your child should go if school is dismissed early for emergencies.
2. Instruct relatives, friends, or neighbors at whose house you expect your child to stop.
3. Instruct older brothers, sisters, or friend’s children to take custody of the younger child whether in town or on the bus route.

Cell Phones and other Electronic Devices

Many students have been showing off their new electronic devices that they received for Christmas this year. With these new devices coming to school it would be a good time to remind everyone about the policy regarding these devices. The use of cell phones and electronic devices will be allowed during the school day for instructional purposes under the supervision of teachers in the classroom. Cell phones should remain in backpacks unless the student has been given permission from the teacher to use it. If a parent wishes to have their student use a cell phone to contact then, this needs to be done before or after school hours or with permission from a teacher.

Students found to use electronic devices inappropriately, shall be subject to disciplinary action, and in cases where a law may be violated, law enforcement may be contacted. Students need to remember that whatever they put on a personal electronic device could end up anywhere so they need to use the devices appropriately. Devices operated inappropriately shall be confiscated until a parent/guardian is contacted. Also please remember to be responsible with them, as the school is not liable if they are lost or stolen.


The Howard-Winneshiek Schools want parents/guardians to feel welcome in our school and to witness the engaging activities taking place in our classrooms. The safety of our students is of utmost importance. All visitors, including parents, are required to report to the office to sign in. Our doors are locked, so you must be buzzed in from the front entrance. This is done so that we are aware of all the people in the building and also so that our staff and students know that you have checked in at the office and that you are ok to be in the building. A visitor, at the discretion of the principal, may be required to present a photo ID. If you choose to visit your child during class time, the following procedures apply:

• The teacher must be notified at least 24 hours in advance and approve the timeframe in which a parent intends to visit their student’s classroom.

• Parents must sign in through the office. No person, other than the student’s parent/guardian will be allowed to see the student without the parent/guardian’s written permission or the parent/guardian being present.

• Classroom visits or observations are limited to 45 minutes per visit.

• Classroom visits or observations will be permitted as long as their duration and/or frequency does not interfere with the delivery of instruction or disrupt the normal school environment as determined by the principal.

• This policy does not apply to those who, by law, are permitted to visit with children.

• Younger brothers or sisters are NOT allowed to visit school unless accompanied by their parents. Children who visit alone with one of our students must be similar in age to the student they are visiting and must have teacher permission before doing so. 

• If you plan on eating lunch with your child please notify the office at least 24 hours in advance to allow the cooks to plan food amounts accordingly. 

• If you plan on visiting the school more than once we ask that you complete a background check.

Cold and Flu Season
The cold and flu season is upon us. If your child experiences any flu-like symptoms, we ask that they stay home from school. They may return to school 24 hours after their fever is gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol. If your child is vomiting, they need to have been able to keep food down for 12 hours prior to returning to school (so vomiting the night before, no breakfast and returning to school is not acceptable). Teachers are prepared to help students catch up upon their return.                                                          

Releasing Student from School
Any student leaving the school at any time other than dismissal time must be released through the office and needs written permission from a parent/guardian before leaving the school. If a child is to leave school in a way other than which he/she is accustomed to, he/she must have written permission. Going home with another student or staying in town are examples of children leaving school other than in the accustomed manner.

Snow Day Activities

With the possibility of upcoming snow days some suggestions about how to spend the day might be useful. Here are a few suggestions for sprinkling some reading and writing in-between sled rides and hot chocolate.
1. Getting ready for any winter storm usually includes a trip to the grocery store. Use these simple ideas to focus on vocabulary and math skills at the grocery store. 

2. Do you subscribe to a newspaper? If so, dig out the paper from the snow, and try a few of these newspaper ideas for developing research and comprehension skills. It might be fun to write a review of your favorite sledding hill or creating a recipe for the best hot chocolate. 

3. Time on your hands means a chance to take a fresh look at your home library. Spend an afternoon with your child sorting through books and organizing them in a meaningful way. Donate any books they’re ready to part with and make some room for new ones! 

4. Ready to get creative? Let your creativity flow by thinking like an inventor. Being curious and making mistakes are all part of the fun. 

5. Last, don’t forget to spend time reading aloud. This one activity can make a huge difference in your child’s literacy growth. Remind yourself of some of the simple yet powerful things to do while you read aloud. 

Substitute Teachers and Associates Needed
Do you like working with children and helping them learn? Do you enjoy working in a high-energy, creative learning/working environment? If your answer is "YES" we need you! Howard-Winn is looking for substitute teachers and associates to work in our classrooms. In the absence of the regular classroom teacher or associate you would be helping students to learn subject matter and/or skills that are required for curriculum lessons and providing meaningful instruction for our students in their classrooms. If interested please submit a letter of application and a resume to: Superintendent, 1000 Schroder Drive, Cresco, IA 52136

Classroom Redemption Contest

The Crestwood Cadet PTO is sponsoring a Classroom Redemption Contest. The classroom that brings in the most redemption items (boxtops, labels for education and milk moola) between now and January 29th, will win a class party. Be sure to ask friends, neighbors and out town and in town relatives to start collecting on your behalf.


January 11         No School (Teacher Inservice)
January 12         Beginning of 2nd semester
January 25         No School (Teacher Inservice) 

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