Friday, August 19, 2016

August 19, 2016 Preschool & Elementary

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

Dear Parents and Students,
Only a few short days and the 2016-17 school year will be underway.  This year we will be having Back To School Conferences rather than an Open House.  We made this switch in order to better establish communication between parents and teachers before the school year starts.  On Tuesday, August 23rd from 10:00-6:00 individual parent-student-teacher conferences will be held.  Please bring your child to meet their teacher and talk about the upcoming school year.  If you have not yet signed up for a conference time, please contact the office 563-547-2300.  The Scholastic Book Fair will be open during conferences for book browsing and purchase.


The halls have been empty this week, but that will soon come to an end and WE CAN'T WAIT!  We are so excited to welcome students back for the beginning of the 2016-17 school year.  Our custodial staff has been working incredibly hard getting our building and grounds ready for the students to come back.  A big shout out to Larry Trende and his staff for their work, our building looks great!  We have undergone a facelift of sorts as many classrooms have new paint and some new furniture.  Our classrooms are looking great and we can't wait to share them with students!  You will also notice new hallway banners and nameplates outside classrooms.  We hope that this helps you to find your way in the building.

The first day of classes for Howard-Winn students 
for the 2016-17 school year will be 
Wednesday, August 24th, 2016.

Teacher Meetings
You may know that teachers have been working in their classrooms to get ready for the students' return, but you may be wondering what exactly is it that teachers do during those inservice days? Well . . . many teachers have been coming in steadily since the beginning of August. Even though their contracted time doesn't start until August 19th they have already put in many hours prepping and preparing. They move furniture, organize their classroom structure and get their supplies ready. They create bulletin boards, label items with student names, begin creating lesson plans for instruction, and meet with their colleagues to plan for meeting student needs. Once all staff return together we will be holding meetings and trainings before the students are here to help teachers prepare for the school year. Items teachers worked on during the August 19 & 22 inservices included: 
  • Growth Mindset
  • Addressing challenging student behaviors
  • PLC Meetings (Professional Learning Communities--teachers will be meeting with their grade level/subject teams to create schedules, plan activities, and write curriculum)
  • Professional Development (professional growth targets to improve their teaching)
  • Student Achievement Goals for the students their classroom, their grade levels, and the building
One of the topics that teachers are studying this year is Growth Mindset.  Teachers will be incorporating strategies that help children deal with challenge and difficulty, because we all know that learning is hard work.  When presented with a difficult task there seems to be two reactions that typically take place, a fixed mindset reaction or a growth mindset reaction.
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Teachers will be planning and implementing Growth Mindset discussions, lessons and activities that will help children learn that the brain becomes stronger when it grapples with problems.  Students will learn that the more they work at something the more connections the neurons in their brains are making and that the struggling will make them smarter.  Learning is hard work, but together we can work to be stronger and smarter.

All classes begin promptly at 8:15 a.m. in the morning. Students who arrive at school other than by bus should not arrive before 7:45 a.m. There is no supervision on school grounds until 7:45 a.m. For safety purposes, all entries to the school are locked at 8:30. After 8:30 visitors need to enter the main doors by the office and check in with the office secretary.

Arriving to school safely is very important. If your child is walking to school, they should use crosswalks when crossing streets. If your child is riding a bike to and from school, please remind them to ride with the traffic on the right hand side of the road. Bicycles should be walked across the street at all stoplights on the way to and from school. If you are dropping off or picking up your child, please drive your car up to the curb on the right side so the children will not be running between or in front of cars or across the street. There is a large painted crosswalk area in the front of the building. This is to ensure that students walking across the street from the parking area are visible and can cross safely. There is no parking or dropping off of students in this crosswalk area in front of the building. If you need to park your car, the parking lot in front of the building will have parking spaces for you to use.

Students also need to remember to stay on the sidewalks after being dropped off at school. Do not race the bus or car to the corner and do not run on the area between the sidewalk and the road or the area on the other side of the yellow line.

All classes end between 3:20-3:25 in the afternoon. Parents who are picking up their child should wait outside the building for their children to be dismissed. Please do not disrupt the classrooms by going to their classroom door.

Notes from parents are required if the student is doing something after school which is a change from normal plans. Students will not be allowed to do anything different without the office being notified by the parent or guardian. This includes having your child picked up by someone who doesn’t normally pick them up, walking home with a friend, or riding the bus home with someone. This policy is to protect your child and to keep them safe.

Elementary Moves to 6-day Cycle
The elementary has been studying our schedules for exploratories (art, music, and p.e.). We want to give students more time to fully develop their talents and have time to explore in these classes.  This year we have decided to pilot a move to a 6-day schedule that allows each of the homeroom classes to have art, music, and p.e. 2 times every 6 days for 40 minutes each. This will increase the class time minutes from a maximum of 1,710 minutes this year to 2,240 minutes next year.  It is our hope that this will allow the teachers to more fully develop their curriculum and give students a more in-depth experience.  It will also remedy the problem of students always missing the same exploratory if it is on Mondays when we have Teacher Inservice.  Your child's homeroom teacher will be sharing this schedule with you during your Back To School Conference.

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 Collection
The Crestwood Cadet PTO continues to sponsor a Classroom Redemption Collection. Students are encouraged to ask friends, neighbors and out town and in town relatives to start collecting on your behalf.  Funds raised from these efforts are used to purchase materials, supplies, and other things for the building and students.  Please be generous in your support for our PTO.


August 23           Back to School Conferences (set up individual conference times by calling                            the office if you have not already done so).
August 24           First Day of School 
September 6      Elementary Pictures   

Northeast Iowa Community College is hosting the 12th Annual Fall Fest on Thursday, September 8, 2016 on the Calmar Campus from 5-8 p.m.! 
Event description for newsletter:
12th Annual Fall Fest  • Thursday, September 8, 2016  •  5-8 p.m.
Northeast Iowa Community College, Calmar campus

Bring the whole family to a night of fun and community! Enjoy food, inflatables, rides and carnival games for kids of all ages. Musicthroughout the evening. It’s the kick-off to fall you don’t want to miss! Learn more at

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