Job shadowing benefitial

Maddie Fitzgerald told about her job shadowing experience.

Maddie Fitzgerald told about her job shadowing experience.

By Marcie Klomp

It is said a person changes his or her career seven to 10 times. Some eighth grade students at Crestwood Junior High have already changed their career once or twice without even getting a pay check!

Thanks to the new job shadowing and I Have a Plan programs, students can learn early on if the career they think they are interested in is something they want to pursue.

Guidance Counselor Doug Sickles explained that when John Carver first came on as superintendent, he spoke to Sickles about “taking learning outside the school.” Job shadowing became his goal, and it has worked out well for the students.

Several of them attended the Howard-Winneshiek School Board meeting on April 22 to tell board members about their own job shadowing experience.

Alyssa Osmonson was one of the students who learned what she did and didn’t want to do with her life. She explained before job shadowing she wanted to be a teacher but after following a nurse around for the day, she decided that was the career she wanted, although not in the post-surgery ward. With that knowledge, she can now take classes in high school that will help her reach her goal.

Others who spoke were Blair Bodermann, who job shadowed P.E. instructor Mrs. McAllister; Tracy Martinek, nursing; Hunter Dybevik, auto body; Shaunna Erickson, choir; Katelyn Sikyta, medical; Maddie Fitzgerald, welding and vet clinic; and Colton Wiley, coop elevator.

Sickles concluded, “We took a survey, and not one kid said it was not a valuable experience for them.”

When Carver later addressed the board he said, “You saw a lot of the kids’ projects. I don’t know if you grasp the significance. When I went to school, a project was created for a teacher in that 40-minute period.” Now kids are leaving the classroom.

• In other business, Supt. Carver reminded the board he had made the recommendation to have Elma’s fourth-fifth grade students attend either Cresco or Lime Springs-Chester for 2013-14. He also recommended to deny any LS-C students from going to Elma or Cresco so class numbers will stay stable.

• Teachers Kim Kerian (third grade) and Kerry Fretheim (fourth) spoke on the Edmodo (the Facebook of schools) program. They explained how they can interact with their students in school and out through Edmodo.

Kerian said she will give an assignment to the students for homework and have them turn it in to her—all via the computer. She can tell before class which students understand the homework and which ones don’t. For class the following day, the teacher can group kids together as needed, based on their grasp of the content.

She also gave out assignments on snow days. Carver added, “I’ve asked the state board of education ‘If we can prove the kids are working, does it count as a snow day?’ They keep telling me they’ll get back to me.”

• High School Principal Tim Felderman spoke about the death of a student, Daniel Schroetter, and what a great success prom had been. He confirmed that Doug Berg will hand out a diploma to his son, and Karlos McClure will hand one out to his granddaughter at the graduation ceremony.

• Jane Ullom and Chris Lentz spoke about crisis management. The team has made some progress over the past few years. In February, brochures were handed out to parents about what to expect from the school during an emergency.

Ullom added, “Our goal is to practice a complete high school evacuation by the end of this year. We have three or four businesses in town that will take students. Parents will have to bring an ID to pick up their child.”

Concerns for the crisis team are getting cameras working properly inside and outside the school buildings. “We also need to get doors and windows numbers,” Ullom stated. That way law enforcement can easily identify where an incident may be taking place.

Board member James Kitchen asked about the ease that people can get in the attendance centers. Lime Springs-Chester and Elma Elementaries keep the doors locked and have a bell system to let visitors in. The buildings in Cresco do not have that option yet.

• Supt. Carver explained that by Iowa law, school has to start Sept. 1 unless the board passes a resolution to let it begin Aug. 22, 2013. The legislature will vote on whether to continue letting schools start earlier. It is also looking at allowing schools to have class for a certain number of hours instead of days.

• A new computer programming class will be added for next year at the high school. Student Hunter Praska explained, “We would have it be more student-led. The course would be taught in the Python language.” Board member James Kitchen said, “I like the kids leading the way. Keep up the good work.”

Member Scott Fortune noted, “I can see the VREP (Virtual Reality Education Pathfinders) kids going with this.”

• The board authorized the purchase of two new buses. Kitchen voted nay because he would rather see the old buses sold to the public rather than traded in.

• The regular meeting for May was changed to the 20th, since the fourth Monday was Memorial Day.




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