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 high school for grades nine through twelve, is located between Howard Lake and Winsted on Wright County Road 6, and its middle school for grades five through eight, is located in Howard Lake. The kindegarten through fourth grade elementary and preschool facilities are located in Waverly and Winsted.
Our schools have financial strength to further improve the learning environment. New and remodeled facilities greeted families beginning in spring 2008, as we moved into a new nine through 12th grade high school and remodeled elementary schools. In fall 2009, through much community support, the local levy was renewed for a period of 10 years. In 2013, the addition of a new middle school was approved by voters, and construction completion is expected for fall 2015.
These are some of the highlights of our district:
• Humphrey Elementary (2012) and Winsted Elementary (2013) each received the National Blue Ribbon Award.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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.
• 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. The curriculum has a focused approach on learning, and a strong emphasis on literacy skills. Transportation provided.
• School Age Care (SAC) is available for students in grades kindegarten through six before and after school and on non-school days, located at the middle school and sponsored by community ed, provides homework assistance, fun activities, and is convenient for busy families. Transportation after school to the SAC program is provided.
• Community education activities, education, recreation, and special events for birth through five, youth kindegarten through 12th grade, and adults.
• Adult volunteer program parents and community members volunteer in the classroom, help with school activities, and work on projects in their homes.
• Strong middle school, grades five through eight, that provides a supportive, transitional environment in which students can achieve their full potential through a variety of exploratory opportunities. An enriching advisory program is also offered to meet student’s needs. Two computer labs, mobile labs, and Smartboard technology are 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.
• Advanced Placement (AP) courses and College In the School courses are available in the high school, as well as technical college-credit courses which are available through our partnership with Wright Technical Center.
• Involved, caring parents and community school events, well-attended by parents, grandparents, and friends; parent advisory committees, traveling sports teams, field trips, Laker Pride, District Curriculum Advisory Committee, etc. many opportunities for parents and community members to be involved and to support students.
• 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.
• 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. A greenhouse was added in 2010, as well as a farm-to-school grant recipient allowed for the planting of a one-acre garden.
• An Alternative Learning Program (ALP) was formed for students in grades nine through 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, fall cheerleading, 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, drama, Yearbook Committee, Speech Team, trapshooting, Letter Club, etc. Outstanding drama department, annual musical production, frequent state honor-winners in one-act competition, including highest honors.
• Generous, supportive community that has awarded more than $40,000 (2013-14) in local scholarships to graduating HLWW seniors each year.
We have the programs, staff, and opportunities that 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. Contact us at (320) 543-3900 with any questions; or for more information, check our website at www.hlww.k12.mn.us.