Friday, April 28, 2017

Terese Jurgensen ~ Director of Student Services/Special Education ~ April 28, 2017

Deb Day, Mrs. J. and Mrs. K. giving out cupcakes to the beautiful prom goers!

Crestwood High School's Junior and Senior Prom on Saturday, April 22nd, was filled with beautiful dresses, handsome tuxes and happy students! It was a Night in Paris, and my hat goes off to the Prom Committee and the hard work of the Crestwood Junior Class, parents and Mrs. Kirsten Schultz.  

The favorite part of my evening was helping to line up the students in the order they were to be announced. It was super fun to see everyone looking so dressed up and in their amazing prom attire. I had to share with the girls that I have never owned a dress that glamorous and even my wedding dress was bought off the rack for $80! Super fun night! 

The gym was filled with grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, students young and old to watch the Grand March. As the students lined up, some were super nervous, scared they would trip on their heels or turn the wrong way when announced. Everything went smoothly, as Mr. Scott Wiley announced their names.  To the right are Casey Ollendiek and Kayla Lentz in the pretty pink mermaid dress. There were lots of mermaid dresses that evening and they are my personal favorite!

Ryan McCarville was a "rockin" DJ for the Night in Paris prom. The dance floor was always full and the students had a wonderful time! The After-Prom party, hosted by parents in the community was also well-attended and the kids told me on Monday all about the "Cash Cab" game hosted by Kelly and Duane Bodermann along with other fun activities. 

There was an unofficial vote on "Best Dressed" for the 2017 prom. Obviously, our dashing young man to the right here ~ Scott Wiley ~ won the vote by a landslide! Mr. Wiley was also the official MC for the Grand March. Stunning!

Professional Learning
Howard-Winneshiek CSD and its staff are always wanting to grow and learn. This week, we interviewed for two special education positions and one ELL Coordinator position. It was a thrilling experience and the quality of teachers who interviewed was truly overwhelming. One constant that I heard from each candidate that interviewed was that "They were looking for a place that was willing to grow, change, and improve best practices for kids!"  Sounds a lot like the Growth Mindset that permeates our teaching and support staff at Crestwood. This is truly a special place to grow and learn as an educator and a person. I like to share my personal learning experiences, and how I am growing as an educator in my weekly update. Dana Schon, an educational leader who is employed by School Administrators of Iowa were talking this week, and she challenged me to look into John Hattie's work of Visible Learning. Here is an excerpt on Hattie's work:

Hattie Ranking: 195 Influences And Effect Sizes Related To Student Achievement

John Hattie developed a way of ranking various influences in different meta-analyses related to learning and achievement according to their effect sizes. In his ground-breaking study “Visible Learning” he ranked 138 influences that are related to learning outcomes from very positive effects to very negative effects. Hattie found that the average effect size of all the interventions he studied was 0.40. Therefore he decided to judge the success of influences relative to this ‘hinge point’, in order to find an answer to the question “What works best in education?”
Hattie studied six areas that contribute to learning: the student, the home, the school, the curricula, the teacher, and teaching and learning approaches. But Hattie did not only provide a list of the relative effects of different influences on student achievement. He also tells the story underlying the data. He found that the key to making a difference was making teaching and learning visible. He further explained this story in his book “Visible learning for teachers“.
John Hattie updated his list of 138 effects to 150 effects in Visible Learning for Teachers (2011), and more recently to a list of 195 effects in The Applicability of Visible Learning to Higher Education (2015). His research is now based on nearly 1200 meta-analyses – up from the 800 when Visible Learning came out in 2009. According to Hattie the story underlying the data has hardly changed over time even though some effect sizes were updated and we have some new entries at the top, at the middle, and at the end 
Here is what Hattie found as the #1 indicator of student achievement:

1. Student Self-Reported Grades

Self reported grades comes out at the top of all influences. Children are the most accurate when predicting how they will perform. In a video Hattie explains that if he could write his book Visible Learning for Teachers again, he would re-name this learning strategy “Student Expectations” to express more clearly that this strategy involves the -
Teacher finding out what are the student’s expectations and pushing the learner to exceed these expectations. Once a student has performed at a level that is beyond their own expectations, he or she gains confidence in his or her learning ability. "THIS builds GRIT!" (my words here :)
TEACHERS: Example for Self-reported grades: Before an exam, ask your class to write down what mark the student expects to achieve. Use this information to engage the student to try to perform even better.
What is important about Hattie's work, is not that a student "doesn't care or doesn't have motivation," what matters is how WE - THE EDUCATORS - build the motivation!

Have a great week! If you need me, Terese Jurgensen, please do not hesitate to call 
(563) 929-6344
 or email me at

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