Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Schools
By Brad Sellner, Superintendent
Independent School District 2687, serving the communities of Winsted, Waverly, and Howard Lake, is dedicated to providing the best possible education for its youth. With that commitment, we strive for quality and opportunity for each student in every offering and activity of the school.
The school district comprises an area of about 115 square miles, primarily in Wright County, with a portion located in McLeod County, and a small portion in Carver County. District 2687’s nine-12 high school is located between Howard Lake and Winsted on Wright County Road 6, and its five through eight middle school is located in Howard Lake. The k-four elementary and preschool facilities are located in Waverly and Winsted.
In 2012, Humphrey Elementary in Waverly received the National Blue Ribbon Award, and in 2013 Winsted Elementary received the National Blue Ribbon Award. Winsted Elementary was also recognized as a Minnesota School of Excellence in 2013.
These are some of the highlights of our district:
• Extended-day kindergarten for all students offers traditional curriculum enhanced with activity/exploratory stations, physical education, library, art, and recess.
• Small class sizes and an environment that fosters good teacher-student relationships and allows for individualized attention to students. Small class sizes help create an opportunity for all students to participate in activities, too. This allows children to work with other community members, connecting and making long-lasting friendships. Teachers and staff are kind and caring, so students feel protected and safe as they learn. Safe and convenient bus transportation is provided.
• Strong focus on academics at all grade levels, proven by student scores on state tests that are consistently at or above state average; ACT scores are consistently at or above national and state averages; graduates qualify for colleges of their choice. Elementary and middle school systems help prepare students for high school and beyond.
• Excellent music program, including annual elementary musicals. Middle and high school students can continue in music, through band, choir, jazz and pep band, marching band, and individual band lessons. Top honors have been won by large groups, ensembles, and soloists each year.
• A strong Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) program offering school-year and summer activities that are fun and educational, and services such as early childhood screening, parent and child activities, parenting information, and new baby welcome packets.
• Preschool for 3-to 5-year-olds located at Humphrey Elementary in Waverly and at Winsted Elementary is educational, nurturing, and fun. Curriculum includes a focused approach on learning, and a strong emphasis on literacy skills. Transportation is provided; limited scholarships are available.
• School Age Care (SAC) available for students grades k-six before and after school, and some non-school days, located in both elementary schools (through community education); provides homework assistance, fun activities, and is convenient for busy families. Transportation is available to and from all schools in our district.
• Community education activities, education, recreation ,and special events for birth to age 5, youth k-12, and adults.
• Adult volunteer program for parents and community members to volunteer in the classroom, help with school activities, and work on projects in their homes.
• Strong middle school, grades five-eight, that provides a supportive transitional environment in which students can achieve their full potential through a variety of exploratory opportunities. Also, an enriching advisory program to meet student’s needs. Two computer labs and Smartboard technology used in many classrooms.
• Strong foundation of high school courses in math, science, social studies, language arts, physical education, technology, and healthy living, complemented by a wide array of electives such as EMT-first responder, where students can earn First Responder Certification; CSI: classroom (forensic science); animal science; floriculture; desktop publishing; pottery; Spanish; music-choir and band; and many more.
• Wide variety of Advanced Placement (AP) courses and College In the School courses in agriculture and mathematics are available in the high school, as well as tech college credit courses that are available through our partnership with Wright Tech Center.
• High school offers a nationally recognized FFA program that includes consistent state and national award winners. HLWW FFA was named the premier chapter of Minnesota in 2007. In 2010, the program received a farm-to-school grant, and built a greenhouse.
• An alternative learning program (ALP) was formed for students in grades nine-12 to help them reach graduation standards and achieve credits using an online curriculum.
• Boys’ and girls’ sports teams that encourage participation and achieve success. Middle school sports that focus on fundamentals and skill-building; high school athletics include baseball, basketball, wrestling, golf, track and field, volleyball, gymnastics, football, cross country, and softball. There is an opportunity for all students to participate.
• High school extracurricular activities that meet a wide range of interests, including Knowledge Bowl; student council; National Honor Society chapter; drama; Yearbook Committee; Letter Club, Speech, Outstanding Drama department; annual musical production; frequent state honor-winners in one-act competition including highest honors.
• Many technology upgrades and advancements. Over 40 Smartboards in classrooms around the district. Wireless capabilities added throughout the high school. Google Chromebooks provided to all ninth grade students in 2013, and plans to expand this 1:1 technology initiative in the coming years.
• Involved, caring parents and supportive community members. School events well-attended by parents, grandparents, and friends. Many opportunities for parents and community members to be involved and to support students through parent advisory committees, traveling sports teams, field trips, Laker Pride, district curriculum advisory committee, etc.
• Special activities to expand student interests and experiences such as student councils, after-school activities, English learners, special programs to assist and encourage healthy students, sixth-grade Deep Portage outdoor experience, fourth-grade fishing expo, and many others.
• Generous, supportive community that awarded over $32,000 (2012-13) in local scholarships to graduating HLWW seniors each year.
• Our schools have financial strength to further improve the learning environment. New and remodeled facilities greeted families beginning in spring 2008 with a new nine-12 high school, and remodeled elementary schools. In fall 2009, through much community support, the local levy was renewed for a period of 10 years.
• New middle school facility to open in fall 2015! Facility will be connected to the high school and will house grades five through eight. Also, it will include the expanding of the high school fitness room, wrestling room, auditorium, and a three-court gymnasium.
We have the programs, staff, and opportunities children need for education, development, and growth. The wisdom of our experienced staff and the enthusiasm of our new staff create a learning environment for student success. Many of our staff members are returning to earn their master’s degree. We’re proud of our school district and how we make the grade for the families of this community every day. Please contact us at (320) 543-3900 with any questions, or for more information check our website at www.hlww.k12.mn.us.