Superintendent's Messages

Superintendent Update November 4, 2016


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

November 4, 2016

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is su ccess.” – Henry Ford


A Task Force of patrons, parents, business owners, students and employees have been working diligently on the development of our ten-year facilities plan. As with most complex issues needing solutions, we are following our interest-based problem solving process to find solutions to the variety of interests within the community.

Step 1: Define the Problem/List the Issues
Many of us don’t have to look far to see that the school district is once again experiencing growth. The district enlisted the expertise of Planner Jane Suggs of WHPacific and LKV Architects to assist the Task Force to both understand the growth and design of solutions to address the increase in enrollment. Through a two-month research process, Planner Suggs presented two growth scenarios. One scenario included an average of 300 homes per year for the next ten years and another scenario included 400 homes per year for the next ten years. The committee determined to use the 400 per home per year with a conservative .65 student per household multiplier to determine the increase in students enrolling in our district.

The following are the current challenges the Task Force is tackling:
● An increase of 2600 students in our schools over the next ten years, with an estimated 700 new students projected to enroll in the next three years
● Of our three secondary schools, KMS and KHS are over capacity
● Of our seven elementary schools, Silver Trail, Teed and Reed are at capacity and Crimson Point and Initial Point are near capacity
● Hubbard, Indian Creek and Ross have some capacity
● Current facilities need an estimated $4 million in critical repairs

Step 2: Determine Interests
The Task Force is currently soliciting the interests of community members, employees and students through a survey. Your specific and thoughtful responses will help us determine what facility improvements are necessary in order to develop a learning environment which is supportive of the educational philosophy, programs and needs of our schools. You can find the link to the survey at the following: or by going to our district website for Facebook page.

Step 3: Develop Options
The Task Force has brainstormed several potential solutions but wants to hear from the public before moving forward. One solution that we spent some time investigating was to expand the existing high school. The primary issue with this solution is that the core infrastructure--hallways, cafeteria, bathrooms, gym space, etc.-- was built for 1600 students. Given the inability to add to the core infrastructure, adding on to the existing high school is not an option.

Step 4: Develop Standards and Evaluate Options
While we have not reached these steps yet in our process. Some examples of possible standards might be ideas such as “must not raise taxes” or “must be long-term solutions” or “must consider location of growth.”

Step 5: Select a Solution
The goal of the Task Force is to present a recommendation to the school board in the December 13 board meeting with the plan of a possible bond election in March 2017.

While working toward solutions is often a messy task, I have faith in the process of working together to meet the varied needs of our students. I am thankful to the Task Force for their dedication to this difficult work and to all of you for your honest feedback and the creative solutions. Our Kuna community does the right thing for our children.

In service,

wendy signature


KSD Hits 60% SAT ERW Target Ahead of Schedule
The SATs are designed to assess what students know and how well they can apply their knowledge. Because of this, it is one of the most widely used measures of academic readiness for college. The SAT evaluates English reading and writing as well as math skills that are critical for success in college and careers in today’s global economy. In 2015, the Kuna School Board set a goal that by 2020, the percentage of 11th grade students scoring at a college/career ready score on the

satSAT will increase as follows:
a. Reading/ELA from 38% (2014) to 60%.
b. Math from 38% (2014) to 60%.

In 2016, the SAT went through a change in which English reading and writing were integrated into one test. Last year’s juniors met the 60% ERW target!

Want to Know More About School Finance?
In an effort to provide more understanding about how our schools are funded, our Business and Finance Manager Adam has been converting presentations used during community meetings to short videos. To view these videos, go to this link.

Third Thursday Community Meetings
The third Thursday of each month has been designated for community level meetings. All are invited to attend to discuss solutions and timelines for addressing facilities needs, how we might plan for the future of our students, funding issues, new programs, curriculum changes and updates, and handling growth in our district.. We will host them at each of the schools within our district. All meetings begin at 6:30 pm. The following is the schedule:

● Nov. 17, KHS Library
● Dec. 15, KMS Library
● Jan 19, Silver Trail Cafeteria
● Feb. 16, Crimson Point Cafeteria
● March 16, Ross Elementary Library
● April 20, Reed Elementary Cafeteria
● May 18, Indian Creek Elementary Gym

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 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.

KWA September 2016

Putting kids first and doing whatever it takes to help students succeed
● Angela Sewell - Child Nutrition
○ I t’s not unusual for any of our staff to put our kids first each and every day. When Sherry Thiessen was injured at Reed, we discovered that we did not have the right amount of ham thawed out for the next day that was needed. Angela stepped in and spent most of the night rounding up enough ham from each school that was already thawed and sliced...thus saving the day. I want to thank Angie for putting kids first, running around the District long after our students are in bed getting their rest, making sure that we were ready for lunch the next day.”

● Yvonna Bocci & Brenda Saxton - Transportation Department
○ “ I just wanted to send a quick note to tell you how much I appreciate the great job the transportation department is doing. At the beginning of the school year, I was very concerned about my child's bus stop and the fact he had to cross our very busy street. Yvonna and Brenda were very willing to help me and made adjustments to his bus route to help keep him safe. I know they have a hard job and just wanted you to know that as a parent, I think they are doing a great job.”

Collaborating to solve problems, to make decisions, to reach win-win decisions and to continuously improve to make our system better for kids
● Tiffany Wilson from KMS
○ “ She is always going out of her way to support students. She greets them every morning with a smile. She also is a critical part of our Check In Check Out system. This is where she shines she makes genuine connections with students. She goes on her own time to the store to make sure students have rewards that they will want to earn. She is a great support system for our students who most need it.”

Hayley Horning from DO
○ “Hayley spent hours organizing all of the Alt Assessment lists. She confirmed that the IRI and ISAT Alt. for all students that were on the spreadsheet, matched the Alternative Assessment Program in Schoolmaster.”

Leading from where you are
● Alex Jensen - Crimson Point Dean of Students
○ “ Alex has spent extra hours riding the bus to help solve problems that students were having on the bus.”

Working hard and having fun together
Martin Smalley - Maintenance -
○ He stepped up and helped us run down to Utah and save the purple S10 from jail! He was more than willing to do what he needed to get the truck here and currently is changing the oil!

KSD Grounds Crew - Mel Ricketts, Charlie Roberts, Karl Abel, Keola Keliikuli -
○ “They came in on Labor Day, and worked a full 8 hours to play catch up. They have been working so hard with just the three of them since the Grounds Department has been super short handed. They go out of their way with no issues, always working hard!”

Preserving our professional capital and promoting professionalism

● Dana Miller - 3rd Grade Teacher at Silver Trail
○ “Dana has been an invaluable asset as our ELA DCC facilitator. Under her guidance, we've mapped our curriculum at all grade levels, completed a year-at-a-glance document and have a timeline for curriculum adoption. She's helped us work as a cohesive unit across the district. Thank you!”

KWA October 2016

Putting kids first and doing whatever it takes to help students succeed
● Laurie McCord - KMS 7th Grade Teacher
○ "When more students qualified for Accelerated Math than seats were available in the classes, Laurie volunteered to take extra students so students could be challenged in math. Laurie currently teaches 43 students during 4th block!"

Randi Davis - Crimson Point 3rd grade teacher
○ Building rapport with students - “Randi has a behavioral issue student in class and went to his football game on a Saturday morning to support him and let him know she cares.”

Cyndi Drake - Art Teacher at KMS and April Peterson KMS Band & Choir Teacher
○ “Each of these individuals continuously push themselves in their own learning so that they can better support students and make them more successful. After a recent professional development on DOK, both of these teachers reached out requesting even more information to deepen their understanding and have requested feedback on the their work, all in the interest of deepening student learning. The work they have done in this area is impressive and it makes me proud to be their colleague!”

Kacy Dines, Kinder Grow Director, and her amazing Kinder Grow
Team, Tawana Christensen, Lori Hartzmann, and Christina James, are truly putting kids first.
○ “During the month, this program was one of just one of three 21st Century Grant programs highlighted in the entire state of Idaho. Because of this awesome job, they were visited by an accountability team from Washington D.C. They were there solely to observe the program and find out what is working well. It was stated during this visit how amazed they were at the program itself and its seamless integration and support in the district. This is very high praise for all of these staff members! Our entire district should be proud of what they are doing for kids.”

Collaborating to solve problems, to make decisions, to reach win-win decisions and to continuously improve to make our system better for kids
● Ami Brogdon - KMS 7th Grade History Teacher
○ "Amber Orozco's classroom at the middle school is an old computer lab, which is significantly smaller than a standard classroom. When the 37th student was added to Ms. Orozco's 3rd block History class, Ami Brogdon stepped up and invited Amber to move to her room during Ami's prep time, set up a space in her classroom for Amber's materials, and offered to work in the room as much as possible to help Amber manage all 37 kids."

Teed ERR Team, Nate Leslie, Christina Compton, Jen Mayes, Ryndi Smith, and Jake Lorentz, are AWESOME!
○ “They have worked tirelessly the last several weeks to revamp their extended resource classroom. They have instituted a wonderful schedule that has really improved the time allotted to work with each student on individual academic needs. As a team they were able to create this schedule while also balancing the medicaid and billing schedule needs that are also important. Each of these individuals give it their all each and every day so their kids can succeed! They are truly an awesome team.”

Leading from where you are
● Coach Deb Bradburn and the KHS Varsity Volleyball Team - Fall Academic State Champions!
○ “Thank you for establishing this culture! Coach Bradburn, thank you for ensuring that not only are our girls rock stars on the court but are also rock stars in the classroom.”

Working hard and having fun together
● KHS Staff & the KHS Cast Students
○ “A big shout out to our Kuna staff! Twelve teenagers from Germany stood at the Boise
Airport who did not want to leave Kuna and our high school. They enjoyed the variety of classes we offer, the host of school activities Kuna students are involved in, and the music we play in school. They had fun at the football game and the homecoming dance. But above all, they loved our school spirit. They have seen American high school life depicted in the movies, but to experience of all these events first hand was so much more fun and authentic. Thank you for supporting this exchange and making them feel welcome.”

Taking care of each other and ourselves
● Lori Johnson and Linda Walker - Teachers at Ross
○ “Took the time to go out of their way to compliment Sara Silva (the lead custodian at Ross) which did so much to elevate her spirit and made her feel appreciated!

Teed 3rd grade team - Tamara Fadgen, Kristi Anthony, and Becky Parker
○ “They helped and assisted one another and the long-term substitute while one of their teammates was on maternity leave since the start of school. They did everything from lesson plans, helping assist with teaching, to working with the substitute whenever she needed assistance, while also maintaining and running their own classrooms. Great examples of helping one another!”

Preserving our professional capital and promoting professionalism
● Dana Miller - Silver Trail 3rd Grade Teacher; Kristy Overton 4th Grade Teacher; and Justine Burgess 5th Grade Teacher
○ “All three of these teachers received “Donor Choose and Cap Ed” Grants for chrome books and writing material.”

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.

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Kuna Mission and Vision


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


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.