Supt. will make recommendation on schools at December meeting

Bekah Johnson and Kaytlan Langreck speak to the board as Board Secretary Clint Farlinger listens. The girls asked it the class of 2014 could go on a class trip to Chicago. The board gave their approval.

Bekah Johnson and Kaytlan Langreck speak to the board as Board Secretary Clint Farlinger listens. The girls asked it the class of 2014 could go on a class trip to Chicago. The board gave their approval.

By Marcie Klomp

Supt. John Carver has promised, since he came to Howard-Winneshiek CSD in July 2012, he would not close any school if a recommendation was not made by December. Well December is approaching, and he commented at the Oct. 14 board meeting a decision had to be made on how to move forward. “Quality of service. Quality of education. Can we give the best at the various campuses? I’ll have a recommendation for the board on how to move forward, and [the board] can act as they see fit.”

The recommendation is for all the campuses. This came after he gave a breakdown of the enrollment at each building:

High school (grades 9-12)—424

Junior high (6-8)—287

Cresco Elementary (PK-5)—391

Cresco Early Childhood—63

Elma (PK-3*)—33 plus 12 four-year-olds for a total of 45

Lime Springs-Chester (PK-5)—77 plus 12 four-year-olds for a total of 89

Total students is approx. 1,300

* Grades 4-5 at Elma were short on students so parents were asked to send their children to Cresco or LS-C for 2013-14.

• In other business, Marsha Headington resigned from food service. New hires are Judy Johnson as cook, Kirstin Kerian as junior sponsor, Tim Danielson as 7th grade girls’ basketball coach and Dan Duerre as maintenance.

• Approved field trips were for a Math League Competition on Nov. 1; a Cresco first grade field trip to Children’s Museum of LaCrosse on Oct. 17; and Lime Springs-Chester Elementary skate in Chester on Nov. 15.

Libby Schwade asked permission to take Spanish students to Costa Rica in 2015. The last trip was in 2012 and was independent of the school.

Board president Scott Fortune mentioned, “I still have parents say what a life experience it was for their kids.”

Seniors Bekah Johnson and Kaytlan Langreck addressed the board to see if it would allow seniors to attend a class trip to Chicago. The girls saw it in other yearbooks and felt it would create good memories. The cost would be about $550 from March 8-11, and students would only miss two days of school.

Carver noted, “I’ve taken kids to Washington, D.C. and New Orleans in 30 years and have never had a bad experience. I would support their recommendation.” He added, “I would suggest taking a board member, teacher and administrator.”

Carver also commented H-W is the first district he has been in that has the board approve field trips. “Usually only out-of-state trips are brought before the board.”

• High School Principal Tim Felderman and others are looking at a better way to teach Spanish. Initially, the district had a sharing agreement with Riceville that did not work out. The community college and ICN also did not work. They went with a different program that was more self-directed and not as productive for students.

For second semester, the district is looking at changing the class.

A possible solution would be to hire a Spanish teacher for the high school who would also teach at Cresco Elementary, which would help fulfill some SINA (School In Need of Assistance) requirements.

• Carver gave an update on the physical plant assessment explaining Larry Trende and his team has worked hard to address concerns including air quality, Cresco walk-in cooler, playground at LS-C is up and running, chimney has been installed at LS-C, boiler in Elma in working order, window kits were installed at Elma, blinds were ordered for around district, new locks were installed at high school and being upgraded at K-8, security lights installed, among others. Still needing attention is the exterior of the K-8 building and getting energy efficient windows.

Fortune wants the board to have a plan on what needs to be accomplished. He said, “We need to decide how to reinvest into the facilities.” A date when the plan will be revised will be given in November.

• The next meeting will be Monday, Nov. 11 at the Elma Elementary School, starting at 7 p.m.

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