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 a high-quality education for its youth. With that commitment, we strive for excellence and opportunity for each student in every offering and activity of the school district.
The 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 9-12 high school and 5-8 middle school are located between Howard Lake and Winsted on Wright County Road 6. The k-4 elementary and preschool facilities are located in Waverly and Winsted.
Both Humphrey Elementary (2012) and Winsted Elementary (2013) received the National Blue Ribbon Award from the US Department of Education. Winsted Elementary has also been recognized as a Minnesota School of Excellence in 2014 and as a Reward School by the Minnesota Department of Education in 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2015.
Some of the highlights of our district are:
• Small class sizes and an environment that fosters good teacher-student-parent 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 kids feel protected and safe as they learn.
Safe and convenient bus transportation is provided to all resident students and some non-resident students.
• A strong focus on academics at all grade levels is 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 schools help prepare students for high school and beyond.
• An 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 are won by large groups, ensembles, and soloists each year.
• A strong Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) program offer 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 are located at Humphrey Elementary in Waverly, and at Winsted Elementary; educational, nurturing, and fun. Curriculum with a focused approach on learning, and a strong emphasis on literacy skills. Transportation provided; scholarships available.
• School Age Care (SAC) is available for students grades k-6 before and after school and some non-school days, located at the new middle school through HLWW Community Education; provides homework assistance, fun activities, and is convenient for busy families. Transportation available to and from all schools in our district.
• HLWW Community Education activities, education, recreation, and special events for birth to age 5, youth k-12, and adults.
• Indoor track, gym, and fitness center memberships offered to students, adults, families, and seniors through community education.
• 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 5-8, 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 students’ needs. New middle school facility (2015) provides a quality educational setting, and Smartboard and Chromebook technology is used in all 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.
• Superb high school advisory program (Ramp Up To Readiness), guiding students on post-high school planning, career choices, college application, and other “real-life” skills needed to succeed in today’s world.
• Wide variety of Advanced Placement (AP) courses and College In the School (CIS) courses in agriculture and mathematics are available in the high school, as well as technical college credit courses that are available through our partnership with Wright Technical 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, HLWW FFA worked on an addition of a greenhouse the the school, and was a farm-to-school grant recipient.
• An alternative learning program (ALP) was formed for students in grades 9-12, to help them reach graduation standards and achieve credits using an online curriculum and is housed at the Meeker and Wright Special Education Cooperateive (MAWSECO) in Howard Lake.
• 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 kids to participate.
• High school extracurricular activities that meet a wide range of interests, including Knowledge Bowl, student council, National Honor Society, speech, clay target, drama, yearbook, Letter Club, and more. The outstanding drama department hosts an annual musical production and is a frequent state honor-winner in one-act competition, including highest honors.
• Many technology upgrades and advancements. More than 75 Smartboard systems in classrooms around the district. Wireless capabilities added throughout all district schools. Google Chromebooks provided to all 9-12 students at the high school and ALP.
• Involved, caring parents and supportive community members. 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.
• Generous, supportive community that awarded more than $35,000 (2014-15) in local scholarships to graduating HLWW seniors each year.
• Our schools have financial strength to further improve the learning environment. New and remodeled facilities exist throughout the school district; elementary schools (2007), high school (2008), middle school (2015), and MAWSECO (2015). In 2009 and 2011, through much community support, the local levies were renewed for a period of 10 years.
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 college 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) 543-4646 with any questions, or for more information, check our website at www.hlww.k12.mn.us.