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District : Howard-Winneshiek Community School District

State : Iowa

Level : P-12

District Enrollment : 1,001-10,000 students

Community Type : Rural

Related Tags : 1:1 Initiative, community engagement

21st Century Learning Systems

The Howard-Winneshiek Community School District is a 426 square mile, rural NE Iowa district of 1.200+ students with 48% Free and Reduced lunch.

The Challenge

Howard-Winneshiek faces several challenges. Like much of rural Iowa and America, declining enrollment and budget concerns along with affordable housing has created an urgent, reality for change. The closing of outlying elementary schools and consolidation of classes into the county seat town of Cresco, has generated fear and grieving but also courage and vision. The direction forward is to organically create a culture of innovation and creativity that keeps and draws young people to the region.

The Solution

In the face of these challenges and realities, Howard-Winn has come to the realization for the need to “think outside of the box”, vision what 21st century learning systems needs to be and has committed to making vision a reality.

Thus far we have identified eight “System Design Essentials” of which one is embedding technology into instruction.

Howard-Winn has completed year two of a K-12 1:1 deployment with tablets in grades K-6 and laptops in grade 7-12. We are have found that a digital device, in the hands of a learner, connect to the internet, with a innovative, entrepreneurial teacher who can leverage social media and technology is THE game changer.

In addition, the last 24 months:

#2020HowardWinn brand was created. This reflects the District’s commitment to be a transformed operational 21st century educational system by the year 2020 (The year our 8th graders graduate from High School) and that the Cadet class of 2020 be the best prepared kids on the planet.

They leveraged Social Media tools to connect Howard-Winn students to other learners, experts and practitioners globally.

Digital tools have moved learners (students and teachers) from being consumers of content to sharing creators of content. Over 100 videos have been posted to YouTube over the last 24 months.

Eleven IOWA schools joined together to pilot and make operational Competence Based Education.

They have been collaborating with Northeast Iowa Community College, business and industry, to identify critical emerging 21st century jobs and careers. Together, they have developed, implemented and begun to “roll out” Project Lead the Way classes and career pathways that result in work place readiness certificates. This has increased access to post secondary learning opportunities for High School students. This translates into an estimated savings of $687,662.00 in tuition through concurrent enrollment at the NICC Cresco center. Pathways include: STEM Advanced manufacturing and construction technology, Agriculture and animal sciences, automotive technology, power mechanics and transportation, business communication and marketing, education human and public service, health sciences, and information technology.

Additional Resources

From Howard-Winneshiek Community School District:

From the U.S. Department of Education:

District Point of Contact

John Carver
Phone: 563 547 2762