Update given on H-W expansion

—Finally adding exit to K-8 parking lot, after 30 years
CRESCO - Facilities Director Larry Trende told Howard-Winneshiek CSD board members at the March 20 meeting the new gym was enclosed except for the west side, to leave room for dropping concrete on March 30.
At that time, the old lockers were getting re-installed. “We’ve been renting space to store the lockers for the past year at about $350 per month,” he added.
“Things are winding down. We will be having some concrete work done this summer. That includes the K-8 parking lot.” 
The statement brought smiles to the audience members. The parking lot will be squared off, and the northwest side will have an exit. Quite a few extra parking spots will be added.
At the start of the 2023-24 school year, instead of cars parking along the driveway to pick up their kids, they will have to park in the parking lot. The only vehicles to park in the driveway will be buses and deliveries, no student pick ups.
The concrete work will also include the road between the K-8 and high school and Kessel Kids. 
• In other business from the meeting, Supt. Kris Einck gave up his spot for reporting to allow Tyler Wedemeier, who will start July 1 in the newly-formed position of middle school principal/middle school activities director. 
He stated he attended Luther College. His wife is from Decorah. They have three children and live between Ridgeway and Decorah on an acreage. 
He is currently teaching in Decorah, but Wedemeier noted he wanted to work at How-Winn because,  “The people here are for the community.” Einck told the board, “We are super excited to have that young man here.” 
• Einck’s report included the Cadet Capital Campaign, which has raised $599,245.
Spring break will begin April 7 with no school for students on April 10-11
Snow days have been Dec. 5, 9 and 16, Jan.19, Feb. 22 and 23, an early dismissal on March 9 and late start on March 10. The district still has 19.7 hours remaining for snow days. Currently, the students’ last day of school is Tuesday, May 23.
• Sherri Penney of Iowa Women’s Foundation spoke to the board on behalf of Kessel Kids. She was hired by the state to help school districts work with childcare providers, such as Kessel Kids, to help them provide enough childcare for the needs of the community. 
Since COVID there have been many childcare facilities close. In the last 10 years, this area has lost 57% of its providers. Two from Cresco closed just last month. “You are in a childcare desert,” she told board members.
She said Riceville is one of the nearby schools that took over a childcare center, and it is working for them.
When asked, Kessel Kids Director Melissa Vobr replied, “Our waiting list is constant. Currently we have 15-20 families waiting. We get 2-3 calls a day.”
No action was taken on the information.
• Secondary principal Lisa Dursky and staff continue working on Standards-Based Grading.
SBG is a reorganization in education that focuses on learning and helps increase achievement. It includes updated instructional practices to better engage students and foster a positive environment. 
Adam Skoda and Perry Kessel have both spoke to Kiwanis members about happenings at the high school, included the Cadet Zone and eSports.
• TK-6 Principal Doug Sickles said classes celebrated Read Across America Day.
Some teacher and English Language Learner (ELL) students are experimenting with translator earbuds. The teacher wears one and speaks English. It is translated into the chosen language of the student. [Isn’t technology amazing!]
• A public hearing was held regarding the 2023-24 school calendar. There were no comments, and it was approved.
Einck said the only date that wasn’t on the calendar was graduation. He explained there is a limited amount of time that seniors can be let out of classes before the rest of the school, and he is looking into the requirements.
• The swimming agreement with Decorah was approved. Only 3-5 students from H-W swim on Decorah’s team.
• The board approved the University of Northern Iowa student teacher agreement. Einck joked, “We don’t turn down student teachers. That’s an interview.” Schools hope the future teachers will eventually choose them.
• The board approved the purchase of a new Blue Bird propane school bus for up to $140,000. All the buses are in good shape, but the district has not purchased a new one in a few years and administration wants to be proactive rather than reactive.
“We have found that by mandating the use of seat belts, it keeps the kids from being disruptive, since they have to stay seated,” the superintendent explained.
• By Iowa law, schools cannot purchase 12-person passenger vans brand new. They can purchase them used, or they can purchase a 10-person model. The board authorized the purchase of the bigger van for up to $50,000, if one comes up for sale.
• The 2024 high school band trip to Kansas City, Mo. was approved.
• The board approved new media center furniture at the high school for nearly $16,000, to which Dursky gave a loud,  “WooHoo!” The library has had the same wooden tables and chairs since it was opened, in 1969.
• Resignations included Alicia Denner, Secondary Special Education Teacher; Darin Ferrie, Assistant Varsity (JV) Girls Basketball Coach; Rodney Hodges, High School Custodian; Kim Lehmkuhl, H.S. Musical Director; Veronica Cole, Jr. High Cheerleading Coach; and Larry Trende, Assistant Girls Wrestling Coach.
New hires were Ricky Delatorre, Food Service Dishwasher; Amanda Gossman-Bakke, Jr. High PE/High School Health; Tammy Larson, Elementary/Jr. High Secretary; Brandon Meiners, Head Baseball Coach; Kally Miller, Elementary/Jr. High Secretary; Jaime Rein, Secondary Spanish Teacher; Tom Schmauss, transfer to High School PE teacher; and Merry Wilcox, High School Custodian.
The next board meeting will be Wednesday, April 12 at 4:30, with a tour of the expansion after the meeting.

Cresco Times

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

Cresco TPD
214 N. Elm Street
Cresco, IA 52136

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