Friday, March 3, 2017

Terese Jurgensen ~ Director of Student Services/Special Education ~ March 3, 2017

Illinois Computing Educators ~ICE~
A Howard-Winneshiek team comprised of John Carver, Sara Grimm, Heather Suckow (instructional coach) any myself presented at the ICE17 Conference in Illinois this week. To my knowledge, there were over 2,000 educators attending the conference from Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and possibly other states. "ICE is dedicated to being the leader in supporting and promoting innovative education for all. We strive to offer and promote innovative practices to the educational community. We believe learning can be enhanced through the use of technology." 

There were also countless educational computer-based sales initiatives touting the next, "best and biggest thing!" As always, when I leave Howard-Winn and listen to other districts tell their story and where there district is with 21st Century Education, I am pleasantly surprised. I say surprised because of the fact that so many learning initiatives that we take for granted are, not only "unheard of" in other districts, but are not allowed. One example is when Heather Suckow was talking about STEM grants she had written which allowed our school to receive free Robots and other technologies. A teacher who was at our presentation was told that she "would get into trouble" if she did something like that. That is why I am so blessed to be a part of this school district that is seeking to empower teachers, parents, students, community to be self-directed learners. This is an exciting place to be!

As always our goal is to continue to grow, improve and learn. I often refer to the Plan - Do - Study -Act Model of K. Edward Deming. At Howard-Winn, we are not afraid to fail, but look at failing as a part of the process. Mr. Carver addressed the "Big Picture" of the District, Sara Grimm outlined leadership process, curriculum, PLC's, the focus on relationships and our teachers allowing Growth Mindset to permeate their classrooms. Heather Suckow explained our Teacher Leadership Program and also Skyped back here to Howard-Winneshiek to have Kelly Sorenson and Kim Kerian share wonderful programming that they are a part of with Luther College. The day was capstoned by a virtual tour of the school, so that ICE participants could see the classrooms, technology, teachers and students during a regular class day at school. For my weekly update, I am sharing some of the highlights from the powerpoint that I presented.

The focus of the work I shared is how to make meaningful, second-order change in a school district. We believe that meaningful relationships, supporting their social and emotional well-being is a capstone to education. Supporting students social and emotional need does not happen during a 10 minute guidance lesson, but indeed is woven into the fabric of our school district.

Have a great week!  

If you need to talk with me, Terese Jurgensen, please don't hesitate to call me at (563) 929-6344 or by email at 

Have a great weekend! GO CADETS!

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