Kuna School District Updateksd1
Inspiring each student to become a lifelong learner and a contributing, responsible citizen

February 28, 2018


The Parkland High School shooting has caused each of us reason to grieve and take special notice of the safety of our children and educators in our schools. We share your concern.

Our number one responsibility is to keep all students and staff safe while they are in our care, and we go to great lengths to make sure safety is the priority in all of our schools. As always, we value the partnership we have with the Ada County Sheriff and the City of Kuna and the time together to regularly review and improve all of our safety protocols and plans. A key component of all of our safety plans involves providing each of our schools with access to School Resource Officers who are highly skilled and experienced police officers with expertise in school safety.

While we can never be too vigilant in regards to the safety of our children, we know that we are not alone in the work of ensuring safe learning environments. Should any of you hear unsettling information, we encourage you to immediately report this information to the police and/or a school or district administrator. We take all tips provided to us about potential threats to our campuses seriously, and our police partners investigate and act on all tips according to investigative protocols.

An example of this type of partnership and response occurred on Friday, February 23, 2018. Last Friday, we received a tip from a teacher that a student threatened to “shoot up the school.” School administrators and police officers immediately investigated the threat which resulted in the confinement of the student who made the threat. The Kuna School District, Kuna Police, and the student’s family have all worked together on a safety plan that ensures the student will not return to Kuna High and will not have access to students. Once the investigation began and police were working with the student’s family, the immediate danger was over — but much more work needed to be done. Given that this was an active investigation, we were not able to communicate to you or the public until the issues were resolved.

Should you or any of your students ever be in any immediate danger of a threat, you will be notified immediately through a school meeting, phone calls, texts and emails, and we will act with our police partners to ensure you and your students’ safety.

Our practice to notify you with as much information as we are legally allowed to share, we realize that this approach may be frustrating to you at times. Please know that we would never knowingly put you or our students in harm’s way. If we ever have a doubt of the safety of any situation, our practice is to put safety first.

Thank you for your partnership in the good work of educating our children.

In service,

wendy signature


Elementary and Middle Staffing Update
I continue to hear that many of you are feeling the stress of not knowing the results of the staffing process. While I am unable to take away the stress of the current unknown, I can tell you that we are working collaboratively and intentionally to provide everyone with their first or second choice as indicated from the survey each of you completed.

A bit about the process
Our process was designed behind this driving question: Based on the reconfiguration of zones and the FTE allocation available, how might we best place teachers that honors their wishes while also creating the best environment for kids?

Who is involved?
School principals, district administrators and a KEA member are involved in the process. The KEA member does not make decisions but rather is serving as a gatekeeper of the process.

Round One - rough draft of placements: no final determinations have been made
The goal of round one was to create a rough draft where all continuing contract, certified employees were placed in their first or second choice. Every school was listed on the board with the number of open positions available for each grade level or content area. Each person’s name and priorities were listed on a magnet and magnets were placed within the open positions and placed according to his/her first or second priority.

Round Two - final placements
The goal of round two will be to review any changes to student enrollment as a result of open enrollment approvals and adjust staffing placements from the rough draft according to the FTE allocated for each school. The deadline for open enrollment closed on Feb. 28, and all applications will be approved or denied on March 5. Round two will also include placing all classified staff in their first or second choices.

Once all of our team members have been placed on the board, the team will review the placements according to the standards developed by the Staffing Solution Team:
Fair & Equitable
Best for Children
Best for Staff
Can Replicate (when the next high school opens)
Before informing our team members of their 2018-19 placements, an objective team comprised of a KEA leader and a member of HR will complete a final review.

How will you be notified?
Principals will meet with each member of their current team to inform them of their 2018-19 placement. In addition, each person will receive a letter notifying them of their placement.

Two items from the staffing timeline have finished since my last update. The administrative team has reviewed all of the survey results and has created all initial placements. In addition, the open enrollment window closed today. On Monday, administrators will meet to review all open enrollment requests and the staffing team will then meet again to adjust the current staffing placements.
March 5 Open Enrollment Requests Approved or Denied by Administrators
March 12 Using Enrollment Estimates, Adjust Staffing Placements as Needed
March 19 Finalize staffing placements and have neutral party review decision to ensure it aligns with requests and standards
March 21 Announce staffing placements for 2018-19

Idaho Educators Needed to Score ISAT Summative Assessments
Measurement Incorporated is seeking Idaho educators to score student responses on the upcoming ISAT assessments in ELA/Literacy and Mathematics, developed by Smarter Balanced. Readers/Evaluators are trained for a specific grade or content area and must be able to accept and apply the scoring criteria as directed and maintain consistent and reliable scoring results throughout the project. Readers/Evaluators also must be willing to operate in a repetitive task situation and maintain confidentiality. Requirements are as follows:

Bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or an equivalent foreign degree verified by an educational equivalency agency recognized by NACES
Completion of a successful interview and satisfactory professional references
Access to a home computer, high-speed internet access, and a work area that can be secured
Pay: $12.95 - $15 per hour

For more information and to apply, click on the appropriate link below:
New applicants
Returning applicants

The Kuna Way Awards
Please help me to celebrate our colleagues who are examples of practicing the Kuna Way. If you know of someone who should receive this award, please nominate this person by sending an email to Cheri Carr.

December Kuna Way Awards

Putting kids first and doing whatever it takes to help students succeed
Cathy Beals, Admin. of Curriculum & Assessment
“Cathy worked with numerous admin and staff to put together the new curriculum and registration guide for the two middle schools for next year.”

Collaborating to solve problems, to make decisions, to reach win-win decisions and to continuously improve to make our system better for kids
Paul Souza, KMS Principal; Deb McGrath, Teed Principal; Brandon Crusat, CP Principal; Ken Lilienkamp, ST Principal; Kevin Gifford, Reed Principal; Donene Rognlie, Hubbard Principal; Kimberly Barker, IC Principal, & Bill Deakins, Ross Principal
“These pioneering principals have spent countless hours in staffing placement meetings collaborating with one another to ensure placement needs not only meet our standards, but their own careful and thoughtful consideration as well. They have also shown incredible zeal as they have all worked tirelessly and earnestly, in showcasing their schools for next year.”

Leading from where you are
Shelley Hopkins, KEA President
“Shelley testified before the Idaho House of Representatives on behalf of the Kuna Education Association and Idaho Education Association, and led other teachers in doing the same as they testified against the bill HB 590, the Guided Education Management Act. We are very proud of Shelley.”

Working hard and having fun together
Pete Noteboom, Emily Leckie and Jodi Anderson, Melissa Roper, KMS
“These rock stars worked extra hours to support Paul Souza and KMS in putting on numerous nights at the different elementary schools at the “Get Ready Set Go Middle School” nights to prepare those new middle school students for next year.”
Jennifer Monserat & Justine Burgess, Silver Trail
“Jennifer and Justine stepped in to fill Ken’s shoes during an emergency and were able to put together a fabulous showcase night at Silver Trail Elementary in his absence.”

Taking care of each other and ourselves
Elizabeth Thompson
“Elizabeth has gone the extra mile in representing the Kuna Education Association at the Staffing Placement Meetings. She has guarded the personnel requests in a private and professional way, representing their best interests, and effectively maintaining the “gatekeeper” role at the meetings.”

Preserving our professional capital and promoting professionalism
Kara Skaggs, Crimson Point Teacher & Trevor Barker, KHS Teacher
“Kara and Trevor have demonstrated amazing leadership in our elementary & secondary Social Studies curriculum work and textbook adoption process.”

rumor Rumor Mill
Have You Heard a Rumor and Want to Know the Answer? Post your question on our website!

It is easy for rumors to get started in light of all the questions and concerns employees and parents have regarding the Kuna School District. If you've heard a rumor that you'd like to get an "official" response on, we encourage you visit the "Rumors, Questions and Feedback" link on our website.