Friday, September 9, 2016

September 9, 2016 Preschool & Elementary

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

Dear Parents and Students,
Thank you for an excellent week of hard work, cooperation, and lots of smiles.  Our school year has started off with great communication and teamwork as we all get used to routines and learn more about each other.  Thank you for reaching out to our teachers to help them learn more about your child and what helps them learn best.  We look forward to partnering with you this year to provide excellent opportunities for us all to learn and grow together.

Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO)
If you are a parent of a Crestwood Elementary School student, we would like to invite you to be a part of a new Parent-Teacher Organization. The first meeting for the year is on Tuesday, September 13th at 6:30 in the Elem/JH Discovery Center.  If you would like to participate, contact Kelly at (563) 387-7358 or

Homemade Treats
Birthday treats may be brought to school, but, because of food allergies, all treats must be pre-packaged and not homemade. Treats must all be NUT FREE.

The Howard-Winneshiek School Board adopted the following guidelines for preschool through 12th grade students for any type of food brought to school to share.
-Pre-packed, commercially prepared foods and bakery items are acceptable with an ingredient label on it.
-Properly washed fresh fruits and vegetables may be served.
-Non-food items are a suggestion for distribution at class parties, celebrations, etc.
-Classroom food preparation is allowed under supervision of the classroom teacher. 
If you send birthday treats, please make sure there are enough for the entire class. Suckers should not be sent due to safety reasons. Please do not send gum, as gum chewing is prohibited in elementary. Further, it is important to be respectful and observant of any student allergies and restrictions in sharing treats. 

In order to prevent hurt feelings, birthday invitations are not to be distributed at school unless each student is invited (all boys or all girls depending on the sex of the birthday child). The school recommends that overnight parties for students take place on non-school nights.

                                                 REMINDER . . .

The Crestwood K-8 building is PEANUT and TREE NUT FREE due to serious allergies in multiple students. Please do not bring any products to school containing peanut butter or
peanuts. (NOTE: there is a new product that is made with sunflower seeds instead of peanuts and is nut free. This is an acceptable alternative, but please send a note to your child’s teacher letting them know you are using this substitute
so they don’t confuse the two.)

Bicycles may be ridden to school in the fall and spring. It is the parents' responsibility to make sure their children understand and obey the traffic safety rules. Bikes are to be walked on and off the school grounds and parked in or near the bike stands. Riding of bikes during recess is not permitted. We noticed that many students are not following bike safety rules when riding. Please review the rules with your child at home.

ST Math
Have your children been talking about JiJi the penguin? She has entertained the students on screen while they work on their math and the students have amazed us with their math skills! This instructional software is designed to help all students reach math proficiency through self-paced, visual, mastery-based objectives. It is closely aligned to state and Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and integrates with our core instruction. 
Topics Covered include:

Counting and Numbers
Understanding Addition and Subtraction
Greater Than, Less Than, Equal To
Foundations of Place Value
Shapes and Position
Sorting and Classifying
1st Grade
Addition and Subtraction
Place Value Concepts
Comparing Numbers
Equal Shares and Partitioning
Creating Composite Shapes
Measurement Concepts
2nd Grade
Place Value Bundles
Addition and Subtraction Situations
The Number Line
Equal Shares and Partitioning
Time and Money
Composing and Decomposing Numbers
3rd Grade
Multiplication and Division Situations and Relationships
Rounding and Place Value
Concepts of Area and Perimeter
Volume, Weight and Time
Number Patterns
4th Grade
Extending Place Value
Fraction Addition and Subtraction
Patterns in Number and Shape
Comparing and Rounding
Angles, Lines and Symmetry
Fractions and Decimal Notation
5th Grade
The Place Value System
Operations with Whole Numbers and Decimals
Fraction Multiplication and Division
The Coordinate Plane
Patterns and Relationships
Comparing and Rounding Decimals
6th Grade
Proportional Relationships
Fraction Division
Properties of Operations
Negative Numbers
Coordinates and Distances
Decimal Operations

The program currently serves over 800,000 students and 31,000 teachers in 2,500 schools across 40 states. 

Instructional Coaches
Teachers in the Howard-Winn district have a new resource to help them improve student achievement. We have 3 instructional coaches (Heather Suckow, Kelly Sorenson, and Kim Kerian) who are available to meet with teachers and discuss teaching practices. Pictured below is teacher Lynn Murray (left) and instructional coach Kim Kerian (right) who were meeting to talk about elementary literacy. Howard-Winn was able to secure a Teacher Leadership Grant to fund the instructional coaches and other Teacher Leadership roles in the district.

Crestwood Elementary Title I
  • Is a Federal Program with funding based on the number of students qualifying for Free or Reduced Price Lunch
  • Uses the Leveled Literacy Intervention Program with Direct Instruction in:
    • Phonemic Awareness
    • Phonics 
    • Fluency
    • Comprehension
    • Vocabulary
    • Sight Words
    • Reading Strategies
    • Writing
    • Fiction/Nonfiction books
  • Individualized Reading Levels
  • Teachers are certified with Reading Endorsements and/or Reading Recovery Training
  • Classes include individual or small group instruction 
  • Teachers collaborate with classroom teachers
What will my child learn? 
  • Phonics- Students learn letter sounds, letter combinations, phonics rules, etc.
  • Phonemic Awareness- Students learn to manipulate sounds in words.
  • Fluency- Students reread books, both in school and at home, to practice reading fluently, with expression and proper phrasing. 
  • Instructional Leveled Reading- Students progress through leveled readers at their instructional level.
  • Comprehension, Decoding Skills and Reading Strategies- Specific skills and strategies are taught and reinforced.
  • Multi-sensory Learning- A variety of materials are used to meet the needs of the auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners.
How Does Your Child Qualify?
Assessments are given each spring to all K-2 students to determine eligibility for the following school year.  Assessments may include
  • MAP - Measures of Academic Progress
  • FAST Screening
  • Multiple Assessments
  • Observation Survey
  • Teacher Judgment
   First, second, and third grades are given top priority when deciding who will be served. 

What can you do to help?
  • Read to your child, modeling fluency, phrasing, and proper expression. 
  • Listen attentively to your child as he/she reads daily. Talk about the book.
  • Be encouraging.
  • Help your child to read print in their world: signs, cereal boxes, etc.
  • Build a love of reading by having your child see you as a reader.

Elementary Attendance Policy

“A school district's primary obligation is the education of its students.”
“School districts may define by policy what are excused and unexcused absences. The
determination of whether an absence is excused is made by the school, not by the parent.”
(In re Donald and Katherine Blaess, 4 D.P.I. App. Dec. 118 (1985).

● Starting in kindergarten and through 3rd grade, if a student is absent from school (excused or unexcused) more than 9 days per semester, it greatly affects their ability to learn to read.
● By 6th grade, absenteeism is 1 of 3 signs that a student may drop out of high school.

Attendance Policy Revisions:
1. The Howard-Winneshiek School Board approved a new Attendance Policy in accordance with the new Every Student Succeeds Act in July, 2016. 
2. This policy review and update(s) took over one year and parents, businesses, community members, teachers, students as well as administrative staff had valuable input to these changes and updates.
3. To see and download the entire policy – please see our Student Handbook that is located on the website. You can find it under Centers – Click on Elementary.

Key Points & Excused Absences:

If your son/daughter is going to be absent – please call the building secretary prior to 8:00 a.m. 
It is the responsibility of the parent to notify the student’s attendance center as soon as the parent knows the student will not be attending school on that day. If parents do not call, the school will attempt to contact the parents. We do have an answering machine on at all hours to take messages.
If your son/daughter is sick and is going to a doctor (physician, chiropractor, dentist, therapist etc.) in order for the absence to be counted as excused, a doctor’s note must accompany the child upon return to the school.
Student Illness - after 3 days, a doctor’s note must accompany the child upon return to the school district. If obtaining a doctor’s note is a financial hardship, the family may bring their child to school and the school nurse will do a well-child check.
Legal Obligations - To be counted as an excused absence, a building administrator must be notified to verify the absence as excused.
Family Emergencies - To be counted as an excused absence, a building administrator must be notified to verify the absence as excused.
Recognized Religious Observances
Family activities/vacation - A parent conference with the administration prior to the activity/vacation is required for an excused absence.
If a student is absent (tardy) over half of the morning or half of the afternoon, he/she is counted absent for that half day. These times for 1⁄2 day absent are as follows:
● Morning K-6; 1/2 day absent if arriving after/leaving before at 10:00 a.m.
● Afternoon K-6; 1/2 day absent if leaving before/arriving after 2:00 p.m.

Administrators serve as Truancy Officers. The building administration, guidance counselors, Success Team members, school nurse, family case manager and/or other community human resource personnel may receive referrals of students who have an unusually high rate of absenteeism, including excessive morning absences/tardies.

Letters will be sent home if a student has excessive unexcused absences. The first letter is sent at 5, the second will be sent at 8 and accompanied by a school meeting and if a student has 10 unexcused absences, a letter will be sent home, a meeting scheduled, and a copy of all attendance letters will be sent to the Howard County Attorney. 

We will be regularly recognizing students that have positive attendance in our local newspapers and social media presence!

For further clarification or to answer any of your questions, please call Terese Jurgensen, Director of Student Services or Sara Grimm, PK-6 Principal at (563) 547-2300.

Cell Phones/Electronic 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 parents wish to have their student use a cell phone to contact them, this needs to be done before or after school hours or with permission from a teacher or coach.

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.

Change of Address, Telephone or Employment
It is very important that every student maintain an up-to-date address and telephone number record at the school office. Notify the school immediately if you have a change of address or telephone number during the school year or if you change places of employment.

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, substitutes would be helping students to learn subject matter and/or skills  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 of town and in town relatives to start collecting on their 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.

Here's what we've been up to this week . . .


Our preschool students started school this week, and they were very busy getting into the school routine and making new friends.

Transitional Kindergarten

One of the first skills students are working on is to master writing first names. Students who already have this mastered will begin practicing on their last name. Students were also introduced to Cadet Pride.  The school-wide expectations are caring, respectful, responsible, and trustworthy. These will be our framework for classroom rules and behavior expectations. 


I pledge allegiance to the flag...

In art, students draw beginning of the year self-portraits

First Grade

These 1st Grade students learn about read-to-self as a part of their literacy rotations.

Greeting our classmates and working on eye contact is all part of creating a positive classroom atmosphere.

1st grade "word detectives"!

Second Grade

These students are working on growth mindset!

Good readers "tune into interesting words".

Third Grade

Is the mystery object an egg or a seed? Students designed an experiment to figure it out.

Students notice and practice more efficient ways to read a 100's chart
+ and - by 10 and + and - by 1

Practicing whole body listening

Reviewing hundreds chart patterns by playing Give the Dog a Bone.

Fourth Grade

Students got to go on a field trip this week.  Here they are taking in the beauty of Hayden Prairie!

Students were lucky enough so see a smooth green snake. 
They were told that Hayden Prairie is the only place in the whole state of Iowa that these snakes live!

An interesting tour of the mill, the jail, and the old house at Lidtke Mill!

Fifth Grade

5th graders making a hypothesis in penny experiment.

Sixth Grade

Students participated in the STEM Olympics

Learning new things from one another in their All About Me House

Working together in science class to solve the complex problem of Saving Fred the worm.

Exploring Iowa Children's Choice Award books

Donor's Choose for our stand-up desks!

Rachel Myers from Howard County Farm Bureau Outreach talking to 
#2020HowardWinn elementary teachers about #AgInTheClassroom


September 12    School Board Meeting 7:00 p.m.
September 13    Crestwood Cadet Parent Teacher Organization Meeting at 6:30 p.m.
September 15    DOT Day (wear polka dots to school)
September 16    Norman Borlaug Field Trip (5th Grade)
                           TK & Kindergarten Grandparents Day 

No comments:

Post a Comment