Superintendent Update December 17, 2015

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

December 19, 2015

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” –Eleanor Roosevelt


Last Friday, as a part of a grant, I traveled with a group of teachers, administrators and a board member to visit Innovations Early College High School in Salt Lake City. Innovations is a public high school that serves as a choice to students from the three main Salt Lake City public high schools. Innovations is designed with a different approach for the students it serves. The school is open from 7:00 am - 5:00 pm, and students can choose what times they attend as along as they clock 6.5 hours per day. Students primarily work at their own pace via an online curriculum and are supported by teachers and tutors within the classroom as they traverse through mastering standards. Additionally, the high school is housed within a community college so the goal of many students is that they will earn an associate's degree by the time they graduate high school.

While we have seen some of these models in other school systems, what impressed me the most was the conversation I had with my KSD team after our tour. I was thrilled to hear the ideas generated for how we might create more options for students and their families so we can best meet the needs of all the students we serve. Our conversations were supported by the hope and creativity of all of those in the room. After reflecting on our conversation later, what I experienced was a process of “liberating” our school system after years of numerous failed and confined reform efforts at the state and federal level that left many of us abandoning whole child approaches to education for drill and kill.

We are doing great things for kids in the Kuna School District. I know many of you have visions of doing even more and serving kids in different ways. I’m encouraging those of you who have ideas for how we might better serve our children to dream fearlessly and share these ideas with those around you. We have examples all around us of how the fearless dreams of our talented educators have become realities for students. The high school developed career pathways, KMS has a robotics class and a project-based, integrated curriculum team called Synergy, Teed and Silver Trail have Junior National Honor Society, Indian Creek and Ross are investigating a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) focus, Initial Point is investigating a better connection of their students to careers, Reed developed a dual language program that spread to the middle school, Crimson Point and Kuna Middle School are investigating standards-based grading, our principals and building administrators are working together on professional development around the Danielson framework, and a cross-district team is learning how to offer coding to kids.

Dreaming fearlessly is not limited to our educators. Our Transportation, Maintenance, Custodial and Child Nutrition teams have combined job descriptions to be able to offer full time jobs to keep good employees. HR and Technology collaborated to create an emergency text messaging system for parents and employees. And these are just a few of the many dreams that started with a small group of people dreaming fearlessly to help our system improve to better serve our children.

Please keep dreaming fearlessly and share your best practices with one another. We need your creative ideas to continue to make the Kuna School District the best place for children to obtain their education. Your energy and enthusiasm for continuous improvement is an inspiration to me. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

In service,

wendy signature


updatelogo Updates

Thank You for Supporting Students

As a result of the hard work of many people in the district and community, 119 families and over 345 children received Christmas this year through a variety of programs. Many thanks to our Social Workers and Social Work interns to coordinate resources to ensure that everyone will have a good holiday season this year.


Operation Decoration Completes 4th Year

Sixth-graders from Reed and Silver Trail elementary schools partnered with the city and local shops to bring some Christmas cheer to Main Street. Special thanks to Reed teacher Wava Kauffman for connecting students to this valuable community service project. 


Like Us on Facebook and Instagram and Follow Us on Twitter

The school district facebook page has 117 new followers this month! If you haven’t connected with the district via social media, please follow the Kuna Jt. School District on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you have information you would like to share on the page please let Cheri Carr, Brittany Regli or Dave Reinhart know.




kuna wayThe Kuna Way Awards
Please help us to celebrate our colleagues and community partners who are examples of practicing the Kuna Way. If you know of someone who should receive this award, please nominate this person via the website feedback link.

Collaborating to solve problems, to make decisions, to reach win-win decisions and to continuously improve to make our system better for kids:
Mike Wiedenfeld for saving our district $11,000 by analyzing the bill from the Boise School District.

Shauna Peace and David Reinhart for all the work in getting Schoolmaster text service online.

Kelly Stephens for continuing to go above and beyond. A few weeks ago, we had three buses down and needed two for activity transportation on Thursday. The wrong parts were delivered on Thursday morning so Kelly drove out to Boise and got the correct part and had the buses ready to go by the time the kids needed to travel on Thursday. He continually is stepping up to help.

Putting kids first and doing whatever it takes to help students succeed:

Brian Graves and Michelle Graves for providing extra support to the volleyball girls during the state tournament.

Andrea Weaver stepped up to the plate when her fellow colleague was out for an extended period of time. She tested students for annual and tri-annual reviews, wrote IEPs, and facilitated the IEP meetings in her colleague's absence. These weren't even her students. She is extremely dedicated and always smiling. And by the way, she's working on her doctorate all at the same time!

Kathy Purin for all her hard work in helping our seniors be successful in planning their futures. She put on a fantastic event for seniors to apply for college and reached the goal of having 90% of seniors apply for college. She is a ROCKSTAR at Kuna HIgh!
Sam Simpson and Jayne Jensen for helping a special needs child with his first bus ride to school.

Leading From where you are:
Laurie Weatherby for coordinating the Veteran's Day Assembly.

RaNae Jones for stepping up to the plate to help coordinate Hubbard and Teed’s beginning of year Box Top drive. This is a massive undertaking with over 12,000 box tops collected, cut apart, and submitted before the deadline. She rallied all the teachers and students to bring get them excited! She enlisted the help of her students as well. In addition to this, RaNae also started a writing club during lunch two days a week for 6th grade students. She gives up her own time to have kids who are excited about writing come in and work on their pieces.

Our four amazing nurses who serve our 5300 students! Alicia Jordan, Rana Brown, Shannon Kessel, and Susan Simpson for coming in before their contracts started to assure that all of our students start school immunized. This is the first time we can say that all of our kids are immunized or have an exemption on file. They organize vision screenings, flu shots, and the mammogram bus for all of our schools. Alicia worked to update district policies and held an office in the Nation School Nurse Organization.
John Cuevas for arriving every morning before 6:00. He shovels sidewalks, sands walkways, and greets our students and parents. He's also an amazing person who helps with any task large or small. We appreciate all he does for us, with a smile on his face. Our students and staff love, Mr. John.

Jessi Jensen for being awarded the $ 10,000.00 grant from Boise State Social Work.

Cheri Carr for putting together the district office staff bios and pictures so our district employees are able to better know the district team.

Take care of each other and ourselves:

KMS Team Sequoia student Yazmine Stephens won a free helicopter ride and donated it so that an elderly man with inoperable brain cancer could have one last dream come true. 


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.