Superintendent's Messages

From the Desk of Superintendent Johnson

wendywebThe following articles are the Superintendent's messages to employees of the Kuna School District. These messages are sent frequently during the school year and include the following sections: Celebrations, Updates, Professional Opportunities, and Rumor Mill. Other messages are sent out as needed and may be included here.

Superintendent Update August 06, 2018

 

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

August 6, 2018

“Trade your expectations for appreciation and the world changes instantly.” --Tony Robbins

Team,

We are putting together the final touches to our facilities and grounds for the 2018-19 school year. School administrators, counselors and office managers have returned from summer break to ensure that the school year starts strong when everyone returns on August 20.

District teammates have been hard at work all summer making improvements. Please give a shout out to our maintenance, grounds crews and business partners for all of their hard work. I would also like to express my appreciation to the many teachers who moved classrooms and the moving crews who helped move boxes and furniture over the summer. Your dedication to making sure the school year starts well for kids is remarkable!

The following is a “short” list of the work that has been completed or in progress:

KHS
parking lot addition complete
foundation complete for addition--masonry crew began Aug. 6
New High School
traffic study complete with ACHD so the next step is Planning & Zoning review
Ron Poultin with LKV Architects will present the conceptual design during the Aug.14 board meeting.

KMS
painting (inside and out)
extended resource bathroom addition complete
flooring
gas line to feed new boiler ready to go
new water cooler drinking station.
bike racks repainted
new garbage cans out front
additional lockers

FMS
new air handler up and should be running in the next week
gym painted as well as some hallways and classrooms
in-ground sprinkler installation in progress
new carpet in two wings
boys and girls locker rooms redone with new lockers
Aug. 16 - bid for addition is due

IC
new roof
new sidewalks
painting of classrooms
painting of front office
new carpet in many classrooms
fencing coming in Sept.

Ross
in-ground sprinklers installed
painting and new flooring
painting of building
updates to some bathrooms
new security doors/swipe cards
new additional cameras
bike racks repainted
fencing coming in Sept.

ST
excavating and footings for addition in progress 
firewall in progress

Reed
firewall will be done prior to staff returning (been very challenging to get sub contractors in the valley’s competitive construction environment)
bike racks repainted

While it is tempting to look at what isn’t done and be upset or to be frustrated at some of the temporary inconveniences that some of the construction may cause us, please help me to celebrate all that has been accomplished this summer. We have more exciting work yet to do to improve our facilities for student learning. With the help of our community and all of you, we are building upon the legacy of learning in the Kuna School District.

In service,

wendy signature


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Summer High School Graduation Celebrated on July 30
This summer, a phenomenal group of educators have remained on campus at KHS offering students a chance to recover credit or even earn additional credits to get ahead. The culmination of our students' and teachers' hard work was celebrated on Monday, July 30. Eleven graduates received a diploma from Kuna High School. Thank you to our summer school educators for helping students this summer.

Transportation Challenges Result in Changes to School Schedule
In early June, our transportation department notified me that they would not be able to stay to the past school schedule unless we added 10 more busses to the fleet which would have cost around $1 million. A combination of adding 500 sixth graders to the secondary routes from the elementary routes and new subdivisions that we are transporting to because of growth, made keeping the past schedule impossible.
Even if we could have added the 10 additional busses, it would not have changed the amount of time some students were on busses to and from school. We have had many complaints about how long students are riding the bus. Some students are on the bus for 1.5 hours, so our goal was to make bus routes shorter as we investigated a solution to the issue.

A team went to work using an interest-based process to solve the challenge and worked all summer to figure out something that meets the interests identified. Interests identified were as follows:

No more than 15 minutes different from current start time and length of school
First Pickup after 6:00 am
Last drop off before 5:00 pm
Last drop off in the morning at least 5 minutes before school start time
1st pickup in the afternoon at least 5 minutes after school ends
Last afternoon pickup less then a hour after school ends
Consider after school activities and transportation issues with going to 4A
Times work within the Transportation Department structure (no additional busses)

Given the tight timeline, one of the biggest concerns was keeping the schedule close to what we currently have--particularly for parents. (Just so you know, one of the solutions that was presented that appealed to everyone was starting elementary at 9:00, but given that it didn't fit into our interests, this was not pursued. We did agree that we would put a larger team together during the school year to investigate this and other ideas so that we can get feedback from all stakeholders.

New Schedule

Kuna High School
Students, 7:45 - 3:10

Staff, 7:30 - 3:30

IPHS
Students, 8:15 - 2:30

Staff, 7:30 - 3:30

KMS & FMS
Students, 7:45 - 2:45

Staff, 7:30 - 3:30

Elementary Schools
Students, 8:30 - 3:30

Staff, 8:00 - 4:00

Administrative Changes
The late resignation of our AD has caused a bit of a domino effect. Pending board approval, I’m excited to announce the following administrative changes:

Dave Beymer will serve as the District AD. His leadership has allowed us to go into fall student activities confidently, competitively and safely. This move left an opening at IPHS.

Angelie Bauer
will serve as the principal of IPHS. Angelie has a distinguished history as a very successful secondary educator, including earning her stripes by working in both Boise and Kuna summer school alternative programs as a teacher in Boise and a teacher and administrator in Kuna. Most recently Angelie has served in the assistant role at Reed Elementary.


Justine Burgess will serve as the Dean of Students at Reed Elementary. Justine most recently has been a 4th grade teacher and teacher leader at Silver Trail Elementary and is finalizing her administrative certification.

Guidelines for Painting Your Classroom
This summer we had an amazing paint crew who spent countless hours repainting numerous classrooms, gyms and outside areas throughout the district. The crew followed professional guidelines (masking, drop cloths, avoiding outlet covers, etc.). Additionally, neutral colors were chosen for ease of upkeep (dark or strong colors require primer and numerous coats). However, there were classrooms in the district that did not receive new paint. Knowing that, some teachers may request to paint their classrooms. If you want to paint your classroom, please work with your designated site administrator and consider the following guidelines:

Use latex paint products in eggshell or satin finishes
Use drop cloths to cover the floor prior to any painting
Tape off all baseboards and ceiling tops prior to painting
Please remove power outlets before painting walls and then put them back

Supply Money for Non-Administrative Certified Staff
One of the items added to the 2018-19 Master Contract was supply money going directly to teachers. Every year a portion of the district supply budget will be allocated directly and equitably to employees to assist in paying for individual supply needs. The Association will be involved in determining the yearly amount allocated.

Important Dates Coming Up in August
14 School Board meeting, 5:30 pm at the District Office Conference Room
15-16 New Teacher Orientation
20 KSD Staff Welcome Celebration, 1:00 - 3:00 at the KPAC
21 K-5 Back to School Night, 4:30 - 6:30 pm
23 First Day of School
27 First Day of School for IPHS students

 

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.

Q. Why do elementary teachers have to teach students for 15 additional minutes? Don't we have more than enough instructional hours?
I think the first thing to keep in mind is that we have two separate calendars--teachers and students.

Teachers are compensated for a 185 calendar which is composed of 8 hour work days with 60 minutes of prep time and 30 minutes for lunch. The teacher calendar includes the following:

172 Student Contact Days (the student calendar)
6 Scheduled Professional Development/Work Days
1 Comp. Day - Exchange for Parent/Teacher Conference
6 Holidays

Student time can and does fluctuate every year depending on the calendar and transportation schedule. In regards to state time requirements for students, no ceiling exists but a floor does; in other words, we must meet a minimum total instructional hours for grade bands of students but there is no maximum. Most schools far exceed the minimum instructional hours. Ours has historically been pretty close to the minimum but it depends on which grade band. (Please note that the state minimum was established long ago and has no real research to its design. Rather, it was a way for the state to establish a set of guidelines for equity among districts.)

In negotiations several years ago, we added 12 more minutes to the teacher's contract--often, meaning 12 minutes to students' day so that we could "compress" the number of days staff worked. The total calendar for teachers used to be 190 with a 7 3/4 hour day and now it is 185 with an 8 hour day--172 of those days are with students.

Q. So with the new start and end times, will I have to stay really late or come really early to attend meetings?
A. In regards to after school meetings, meetings do not need to go late into the evening or begin before dawn in the morning. Each school will work with their teachers to develop meeting schedules that will work for staff at that school. For example, some elementary principals were discussing using the morning for meetings instead of after school because teachers were used to school starting earlier.

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Kuna Mission and Vision

little-professorMission

The Kuna School District inspires each student to become a lifelong learner and a contributing, responsible citizen.

Vision

Working together with parents, community resources and educators, each student who graduates from the Kuna School District will have the knowledge and skills necessary to be able to have the future he/she desires.