Members of the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted (HLWW) School District administration team are Jennifer Olson, elementary principal; Scott Berning, activities director; Jason Mix, high school principal; Michelle Johnson, food service director; Jolie Holland, district registered nurse; Brad Sellner, superintendent; Margaret Marketon, community education director; Nicole McKee, transportation director; Jim Schimelpfenig, middle school principal; Kelli Westling, elementary dean of students; and Linda Wharram, special education coordinator.
Information updated February 2021
By HLWW School Staff
Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted Public Schools – ISD #2687
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), grades Pre-K-4, have received the National Blue Ribbon Award from the US Department of Education. Humphrey Elementary was recognized in 2018 for progress in mathematics by the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). Winsted Elementary was recognized as a Minnesota School of Excellence in 2014, and as a Reward School by MDE in 2011, 2012, 2014, and 2015.
Small class sizes and an environment that fosters good teacher-student-parent relationships, 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.
The Middle School, grades 5-8, provides a supportive transitional environment in which students can achieve their full potential through a variety of exploratory opportunities. Also, an enriching advisory program is offered to meet students’ needs. The middle school facility provides a quality educational setting where Smartboard and Chromebook technology is used in all classrooms.
The High School was honored by being named one of “America’s Best High Schools” by US News and World Report in 2016. Out of over 21,000 high schools, HLWW High School was ranked in the top 11 percent in the nation. HLWW High School earned a Silver Medal.
A strong focus on academics at all grade levels is proven by ACT scores which are consistently at, or above, national and state averages. Our graduates qualify for colleges of their choice.
The High School offers 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; nursing; and many more.
A wide variety of Advanced Placement (AP) courses and College In the School (CIS) courses in agriculture, Spanish, 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 in Buffalo.
Also offered is a nationally recognized FFA program that includes consistent state and national award-winners. The HLWW FFA was named the premier chapter of Minnesota in 2007 and 2017. In 2010, HLWW FFA worked on an addition of a greenhouse to the school, and was a farm-to-school grant recipient, which helped with the establishment of a 5+ acre garden on the school site.
A advisory program guides students on post-high school planning, career choices, college applications, workforce and military options, and other “real-life” skills needed to succeed in today’s world. An alternative learning program (ALP) formed for students in grades 9-12, helps students reach graduation standards and achieve credits using an online curriculum. The ALP is housed at the Meeker and Wright Special Education Cooperative (MAWSECO) in Howard Lake.
A generous, supportive community awarded nearly $60,000 in 2019-20 for local scholarships to graduating HLWW seniors.
A strong Early Childhood Family Education (ECFE) program offers 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.
Educational, nurturing, and fun preschool for 3 to 5 year-olds is located at Humphrey Elementary in Waverly, and at Winsted Elementary. Curriculum has a focused approach on learning, and a strong emphasis on literacy skills. Transportation provided; scholarships available.
School Age Care (SAC) is available for students in grades K-6 before and after school and some non-school days, located at the Middle School through HLWW Community Education; providing homework assistance, fun activities, and convenience for busy families. Transportation to SAC is 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, are ongoing.Indoor track, gym, and fitness center memberships are offered to students, adults, families, and seniors through Community Education.
Adult volunteer program makes it easy for parents and community members to volunteer in the classroom, help with school activities, and work on projects in their homes.
Athletics and activities
An excellent music program, including annual elementary musical performances, is offered. Middle and high school students (Grades 5-12) 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.
Boys’ and girls’ sports teams encourage participation and success. Middle school sports 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 meet a wide range of interests, including Knowledge Bowl, student council, Minnesota Honor Society, speech, clay target (fall and spring), drama, yearbook, Letter Club, broadcasting club (KLKR), dance, robotics team (new in 2020) and more. The outstanding drama department hosts an annual fall musical production, spring play, and is a frequent state honor-winner in one-act competition, including highest honors.
A district-wide enrollment of more than 1,250 students in K-12, shows our District is continuing to grow. With teachers and staff that are kind and caring, kids feel protected and safe as they learn. Safe and convenient bus transportation is provided to all resident students and some non-resident students.
Many technology upgrades and advancements are in place. Smartboard systems are used in classrooms around the District. Wireless capabilities are available throughout all district schools. Google Chromebooks are provided to all students in grades 5-12 at the middle/high school and ALP.
HLWW Schools have involved, caring parents, and supportive community members. Our school events are well-attended by parents, grandparents, and friends. There are parent advisory committees, traveling sports teams, field trips, Laker Pride, district curriculum advisory committee, as well as many other 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 student choices, sixth-grade Deep Portage outdoor experience, fourth-grade fishing expo, and many others are available.
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 operating 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 and enthusiasm of our staff create a learning environment for student success. Many of our staff members are returning to college to earn their master’s degrees and beyond.
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 out our website and Facebook at www.hlww.k12.mn.us.