Fall activities highlighted

—Football, cross country, volleyball, band, play featured
Cresco - Activities Director/Dean of Students Caleb Shaeffer gave out kudos to all the fall activities taking place over the past few months during the regular Nov. 19 Howard-Winneshiek Community School District meeting.
He noted Football Coach Skip Eckhardt was Class 2A, District 3 Coach of the Year, the team had 14 all-district players, Crestwood was 5-0 in district play, making them district champs and a state playoffs qualifier.
“I couldn’t go to sleep after Homecoming! The crowd was into it. The players were into it,” the A.D. said.
Crestwood Girls Cross Country won five meets as a team, placed third in the Conference Meet as a team, qualified for State, finished ninth (top 10) for State and had two top 15 finishers at the State meet. The boys had several all-conference runners, two state qualifiers and was fourth at a conference meet.
In volleyball, the girls had a 3-3 conference record, giving them third, an overall record of 15-19 and had two all-district selections.
“The Cadet Marching Band helped create an awesome atmosphere on Friday nights before, during and half-time of our home football games,” Shaeffer said. They placed 1st in Class at Linn-Mar and Algona and earned a Superior Division 1 Rating at State Marching Contest.
He also stated what a great job the music department did in the fall musical, “The Addams Family.”
“I was happy with our competitiveness and their drive all fall. It was fun!”
• The board agreed to 7-12 Principal Chris Rogne’s recommendation to allow nine of the 91 seniors to be early graduates if they complete their requirements.
• Pinter was awarded the contract for snow removal.
• Board member Alison Holten asked Transportation Director Brian Swestka if he had any interest for driving bus after an increase of pay. “Yes! I’ve had 4-5 applicants,” he said. Finding substitute drivers is a hardship for most area districts.
• Samantha Rasmussen, K-12 ELL (English Language Learner) Coordinator, spoke at open forum. She is advocating for an ELL Associate/Translator for the district. 
She said, “I'm here today to advocate for the approval of the ELL Associate. I understand it’s easy to be skeptical with the ups and downs of the (Lime Springs) beef plant. However, only one of our ELL families work there. Our families have been here, working for farmers, before the plant opened last summer and will continue to be here, even if the plant closes again.
“I’m trusting that the data was shared with you by administration. In addition to those numbers, I want you to think about the people: the students, families and teachers those numbers represent. 
“Just today, I had a parent texting me at 6:30 in the morning, concerned about her son getting from class to class. That same student got lost in another building, unable to ask for help. We also had a tornado drill in which the student didn’t know the directions being given. That’s a lot of anxiety in one school day for a student. This is just a small snapshot of what goes on everyday for our students.
“When you go to vote tonight, think about the students. Put yourself in the shoes of these parents, imagine not knowing what your child’s school is sending home every day. Consider the teachers, who want to meet the needs of students and families but are struggling to make that happen. Look at the data, but think about the people behind the numbers.”
• School Budget Review Committee (SBRC) application was approved for additional spending authority of $74,023.20 for Increased Enrollment; $107,956.80 for Open Enrollment Out; and $3,015.76 for ELL Beyond Five Years; for a total of $184,995.76
• On a vote of 3-2 (Alison Holten, Toni Johnson and Karlos McClure against and Duane Bodermann and Todd Hill in favor) approving the open enroll in and outs was voted down. The paperwork received from adjoining districts for the requests was late in getting to the office. 
Superintendent Ted Ihns had stated, “Paperwork they received in August, we are just getting the paper now.”
At least one family open enrolling out had a fairly reasonable explanation for being late. They had other children open-enrolling out and assumed any children starting school would be part of the package. That is not the case. Each student has to have paperwork filled out for him or her. That paperwork will then follow them throughout their school career.
Ihns conceded if a student is already attending, How-Winn’s vote is moot, if everything came in on time at the incoming district.
• In Ihns’ report, he said there is a new student organization — Robotics. It is taught by Mr. Knobloch. “He ran with it and got a NASA grant for $6,000 for start-up. He has 15 students. They will build a robot and enter it in competitions.”
During the Iowa Association of School Board’s annual convention, board members visited different schools and saw different learning spaces, which may aid the board in making decisions on updating the H-W campus.
Ihns explained the district conferences took place at the beginning of the month. “I am always impressed by the percentage of parents who show up. In pre-kindergarten through sixth grade, the participation was 95 percent!” For grades 7-12 it was 75 percent. “Other places I’ve been, 7-12 was at 30 percent.”
Johnson asked some questions about the process for the secondary classes. In elementary, parents heard what teachers had to say about how their child(ren) is doing. In seventh grade and up, the student takes ownership and tells the parent(s) and homeroom teacher what his or her successes and failures are.
Johnson said the process was a big change for her. Principal Rogne will try to explain the procedure before the next conferences.
The next meeting is scheduled for Dec. 17 at 5 p.m. It is early due to a Christmas music festival. 

Cresco Times

Phone: 563-547-3601
Fax: 563-547-4602

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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