Superintendent's Messages

Superintendent Update March 31, 2016

 

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

March 31, 2016

“ Collaboration is the best way to work. It’s the only way to work, really. ” ― Antony Starr, actor


Team,


Last week, the Southern Idaho Conference Superintendents (SIC) and leaders from Idaho Business for Education (IBE) came together to write an oped which has appeared in the major papers across the Treasure Valley. Since many of you were on spring break last week, I’ve reprinted it in my monthly update as follows:

WORKING TOGETHER TO MOVE IDAHO EDUCATION FORWARD
Thanks to a significant investment from the Legislature, successful implementation by local school leaders, and hard work from our students Idaho is leading the nation when it comes to high school students getting a jump start on their postsecondary education.

In 201415, Idaho’s 11 th and 12 th Grade students earned more than 100,000 college credits through the state’s Dual Credit program. The early success of this program is a good indicator that we can make progress towards preparing students for college-level work.

What’s even more impressive is the rapid increase in student participation in these courses and tests. In 201415 Idaho kids took more than twice the number of Dual Credit courses and Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) tests than they did in 200809.

The State Board of Education research shows that students who participate in Dual Credit, AP, and IB coursework are much more likely to go on to college. In 2015, 71% of students taking Dual Credit coursework enrolled in college within a year of graduation, while only 45% who had not taken Dual Credit coursework enrolled within 12 months.

These advancements were made possible because of a collaborative effort to support a program known as Advanced Opportunities. In support of Governor Otter’s Education Task Force Recommendation to “ provide all students advanced opportunities by expanding postsecondary offerings while in high school,” legislators passed legislation to provide funding for high school students to take college level coursework, and it is paying huge dividends.

Working together, the State Department of Education, the State Board of Education, Idaho Business for Education, the Idaho Education Association, the Idaho School Boards Association, the Idaho Association of School Administrators, and Idaho’s universities and colleges have supported increases to the funding for Advanced Opportunities as the program has developed.

Through this program, students can receive funding to pay for college coursework offered at a reduced rate by Idaho colleges and universities and college level tests offered by the College Board.

Besides giving students a jumpstart on college, another advantage of the Advanced Opportunities program is that it is saving parents and students millions of dollars in tuition. That’s because the state picks up much of the cost of these credits which satisfy college graduation requirements. In fact, we have many high school seniors across Idaho who are earning their college associate’s degree even before they pick up their high school diploma.

We are early in this work, and the progress thus far is impressive. By continuing to expand these opportunities to more students, and building on this momentum, the future will brighten for our students and state. Though this improvement has not yet impacted our state’s postsecondary goon rates or remediation rates, which have been unchanged over recent years, we expect to see progress in these areas as we go forward.

As Superintendents and Business Leaders, we know there’s always more work to be done in better preparing our students for college and career. A better educated workforce will contribute to an improved Idaho economy, and to the future economic wellbeing of the state. That’s why we are all working together to ensure a positive future for our young people and for our great state.

SIC Superintendents:
● Pat Charlton, Vallivue
● Rich Bauscher, Middleton
● David Peterson, Nampa
● Rich Raimondi, Bishop Kelly
● Don Coberly, Boise
● Mary Ann Ranells, West Ada
● James Gilbert, Mt. Home
● Jodie Mills, Caldwell
● Wayne Rush, Emmett
● Wendy Johnson, Kuna


Idaho Business for Education:

● Bob Lokken, Executive Director
● Rod Gramer, President

 

In service,

 

wendy signature


 

updatelogo Updates

2016-2017 School Year Calendar Finalized
You can find the 201617 calendar on our website. The calendar committee is meeting to develop the 201718 calendar so that we are always at least a year ahead so that all of us can better plan.

Summary of Educational Legislation
This year’s legislative session was a positive one for K12 education. Legislators passed a 7.4% budget increase to the state’s education budget from last year’s budget which is a combination of catching up from the budget cuts they made during the recession and current improvements. One of the communication challenges school districts face is explaining how changes to the state’s education budget impact local districts. I will attempt to simplify by explaining that 7.4% increase in a state budget does not equal a 7.4% increase to a district . However, after years of cuts to education, this year’s legislative session was a positive one for education.

To help everyone understand the state impacts to our district, we are in the process of putting together this information. We did share an early prediction with our board on March 8. A video of the initial budget explanation can be found at this link. Now that the legislative session is over, my team and I will be providing a more accurate update in future board meetings and in future communications with you. The following is a short summary of the legislative changes and their associated state budgets:

1. Fully funded the second year of the career ladder for teachers and included pupil services staff to the ladder. This increased the state budget allocations for salaries by $41.5 million.
2. Restored operational funding to 2009 levels. Operational funds are the monies that are used to cover costs for heating, maintenance, benefits, transportation, overage costs of salaries, etc. Districts will now get $25,696 per support unit (during the lowest point of the recession it was $19,626) which translates to the increase to the state’s budget of $27.3 million.
3. Literacy intervention for grades K3. The increase to the state’s budget is $9.1 million.
4. $8 million was set aside in the state education budget to pay for a possible settlement over the Idaho Education Network contract mess.
5. $2 million for expansion of the state’s STEM educational opportunities which includes Idaho’s STEM Action Center.
6. $570,000 to establish a new state school security office which will be staffed with five people who will inspect schools every three years.
7. 3% increase to the multiplier for classified and administrative salary apportionment.
8. $1 million to provide extra money for virtual schools and alternative schools that take on additional students during the academic year.
9. $5 million added to the Idaho Opportunity Scholarship and $1 million to fund Advanced Opportunities for high school students.

Employee of the Year Nominations Open through April 15
The Kuna School District and Kuna Educational Association invite your nominations for KSD educators and employees who deserve to be recognized for their contributions to the children of the Kuna community. Anyone can submit a nomination for any/all of the following positions by completing an electronic form starting today through April 15, 2016.

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:

Ruth Hammond for going the extra mile to assist her team.

“This last month she changed or reviewed every single classified employee in payroll to make sure they were properly coded. She did this purely to help the business department as the coding did not impact payroll. It might not sound like a big thing, but it is a lot of work and it is going to have a huge impact on our ability to budget this year.”

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

Deb Bradburn for her leadership with senior projects.

“She has been going all out not only doing her instructional coaching job, but also getting senior projects completed, scheduling presentations, dealing with students and parents, as well as planning ahead for next year!”

Cathy Beals, Cheri Carr, Shauna Peace, Jeff Long and Matt Rauch for helping with kindergarten registration.

“They are simply awesome!”

Ann Marie Cotterrell for providing positive experience for a student who needed extra support.

“She is new to our lunchroom and in her first week, she also took on the additional responsibility of supervising a student who needed an alternative to the playground. She allows this student to help in the lunchroom during cleanup and does extra things to help them get their exercise.”

 

Take care of each other and ourselves:

● Extended Resource Teacher David Ward and his team for doing a fabulous job providing such strong support to the intern teacher this spring.

“I feel so fortunate to work with such amazingly talented individuals, and I wanted you to see a glimpse at how others are also seeing them. It's exceptional!”

“He stepped up to help the staff and students at Teed. He is putting the extra effort in to help the students as well as other staff. He is a great leader for the Kuna School District. Great leadership for his team at Hubbard. Without this kind of leadership, we would not be able to run our class as awesome as we do without David Ward’s leadership.”

Larry Rogien and Karri Townsend for stepping up and helping a colleague.

“Both Larry and Karri stepped in and helped cover for me while I was out on maternity leave. They took on extra assessment cases, on top of their regular load, and I have gotten so much positive feedback from my teachers about their helpfulness and cheerfulness with the extra work. Thank you Larry and Karri!”

Angelie Bauer, Ian Smart and Alex Jensen for coordinating a fundraiser for a Bishop Kelly colleague who is battling cancer.

“These three are the true example of the Kuna Way we take care of one another and that includes our colleagues from other districts. What amazingly kind and generous support! We are proud to call these leaders our friends.”

 

Preserving our professional capital and promoting professionalism:

Ross Elementary choir and teacher Jennifer Sanders for a great performance at the Steelheads hockey game.

“They were awesome! The kids were well behaved, got to their spots on time, and sang great. The crowd gave them a huge round of applause when they finished. I heard several comments from people sitting around me about how impressed they were. Jennifer does a great job with that program.”

Robert Callaway for working hard to make sure every event runs smoothly.

“He runs his rear end off during the week, and on Saturdays he make sure every event runs smooth. Some days it's a 8 hour shift other days it is 12 hours or more. All of the bookings from the KPAC to the commons and gyms are taking care of by him. He is the Kuna Way.”

● KSD Social Work Intern Anna Coate for being accepted to the University of Washington for her PHD work in social work.

“Anna has had some impressive offers over the past month. There are approximately 200 schools on the national listing of top graduate schools for social work. Anna applied to Boston University which is number #6 in the ranking and was accepted. She also applied to the University of Washington which is #4 on the list and was accepted. She is planning to attend the University of Washington beginning in July with the expectation that she will continue on to receive a PHD in social work. She is a good student and has done a good job in her KSD internship, as have all six of the assigned interns in KSD.”

 

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. Are we running a levy or bond soon?
A. The School Board and district leaders have been reviewing needs and revenue projections over the last three months. Videos of these presentations are available on the district website and can be accessed at this link.

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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.