Friday, February 26, 2016

Terese Jurgensen ~ Director of Student Services ~ February 26, 2016


                                                    Cadet Council
The students told me to open my eyes! 
We had a big week at Crestwood and among the many events to report out to our Crestwood Family, one of the most exciting I would like to highlight is the beginning of the Cadet Council. Many school districts have student councils that are chosen through a vote by their peers. Often, the students chosen are those who may not represent the entire student body, but throughout this year, a conversation by our Building Leadership Team and Secondary Staff is that at Crestwood High School, we wanted a diverse group of students to collaborate and to share the voice of our student body. On Wednesday, February 24th, this group of creative/passionate for Crestwood students met for a full day of leadership training and to problem solve which topics they would like to work on for the remainder of the school year. 

Students share ideas and thoughts on Attendance Policy Revisions
An additional focus for empowering our high school students is that we value their voice on important issues that affect all students in the district. Their first mission was to valuable input to our Attendance Policy Revisions that we have been working on throughout the school year. The students looked at 5 issues of attendance:
  1. Excused Absences:  What is acceptable?
  2. Unexcused Absences:  How many should be allowed per semester?
  3. What do we do about students who skip classes?
  4. What would be positive supports/outcomes for students who don't skip classes? 
  5. How to create a positive school climate ~ school spirit
Additional conversations throughout the day included, but were not limited to sharing ideas and collaboration on improving school spirit for all students, increasing communication, creating student-led study groups, homecoming 2016 and home base ideas. One idea that the student body will immediately benefit from will be students reading announcements during home base. Of course it will be more than just a reading...it will be creative and fun! I am super excited about all of the great benefits that will result from this group of students!





“It is not enough to simply listen to student voice. Educators 



have an ethical imperative to do something with students, 



and that is why meaningful student involvement is vital to 

school improvement.”                                               ~Adam Fletcher

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Lexi shares the power of music and sports!
As I browsed the rows and rows of outstanding science projects on Monday and Thursday evenings during Parent-Teacher Conferences I kept humming one of my favorite songs, "She blinded me with science!" There was an outstanding representation of science projects including experiments, hypothesis, inventions and problem solving models. The junior high students spent several months working through the seven step scientific method, actively pursuing their personal passions, interests and problems they were interested in solving. It is a very detailed process and one that is critical at Howard-Winneshiek Community Schools where we value and are imparting a Future Ready student who can actively engage in higher order thinking.  A huge Congratulations to all of our students for work well done!


Howard-Winneshiek Students Compete

@ Rube Goldberg Contest!

Looking good, Crestwood!

On Monday, Feb. 22, an inspiring group of students participated in the Rube Goldberg Contest. Rube Goldberg machines are complicated inventions which perform simple operations. The task of this year’s competition, “Open an Umbrella,” encouraged teamwork and out-of-the-box problem solving. “We had a great time being in this event and it gave me lots of new ideas and new ways of problem solving,” said Tamara, one of the students pictured above. Mrs. McConnell, a high school teacher who brought the above team to the event said it was a great deal of fun and the students did an outstanding job. Other teams from Howard-Winn also participated in the event. 
Nine teams participated in the event: Forest City, Howard-Winneshiek (2), North Butler, North Union, Northwood-Kensett, Osage, Rockford, St. Ansgar, West Central Maynard, West Fork and West Hancock. 
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It was a wonderful experience this week being a part of judging the subdivisions of FFA Contestants in the hopes of participating in state contests for FFA. Led by FFA Sponsor, Mike Adams, countless teachers and community members participated in this exciting event on Tuesday, February 23rd. 

Pictured to the left here is school board member, Todd Hill, who is a Crestwood graduate along with Nick Ferrie and another community member preparing to judge contestants of excellence. 




Below is a picture of the high school media center that was packed with community members who believe in the positive impact FFA has on the life of a young person as well as on communities. 

Is it Skill or is it Will? 
A Closer Look at ADHD
This is a  powerful short film that gives viewers a glimpse into the daily struggles of kids with ADHD. Created by Swedish filmmaker Erik Rosenlund, the animated short is called "Falling Letters" and depicts a day in the life of a young student with ADHD, from his classroom challenges and distractions to social issues with his peers.
You will see the Swedish word: Bokstavsbarn in the video - translated it means, "FALLING LETTERS."

But the poignant ending shows how much a supportive parent or caregiver can enhance the lives of kids with these kinds of disorders. Students with ADHD struggle but there are definitely SKILL based strategies we can teach them to make their lives and their educational journey meaningful. 

Truly beautiful
Have a wonderful week! 
If you would like to reach me,
Terese Jurgensen
Please do!  I love to hear from you!
 @TereseJurgensen
tjurgensen@howard-winn.k12.ia.us
(563) 929-6344


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