Superintendent's Messages

Superintendent Update December 15, 2016


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

December 15, 2016

“It is a blessing known to generations of students whose lives have been transformed by people who had the courage to teach—the courage to teach from the most truthful places in the landscape of self and world, the courage to invite students to discover, explore and inhabit those places in the living of their ow n lives..” – Parker Palmer, The Courage to Teach


Both of my parents were educators. My mother retired as a long-standing 4 th grade teacher in Emmett, and my father taught Chemistry at Boise High before leaving the profession to join his father in agri-business. Those of you who have parents as educators or are currently parents who are educators, can usually recite the topics of most dinner conversations. Dinner at my home meant rehashing the day—how the kids did, what stupid things administrators did, issues with parents, concerns about students, celebrations, etc. 

When it came time for me to make a decision as to what I wanted to be when I grew up, I decided I would be anything but a teacher. I had always loved the creative world of writing, reading, art and music, so I decided to become an English major which caused much worry in my mother who pictured me living out of my van while attempting to support myself as a writer.

So why did I become an educator when I vowed that I would not? After all, I watched my parents being consumed with their work—nights and weekends filled with grading papers and planning, attending student activities and professional development. I came to realize that even though teaching was filled with challenges for them, it was also filled with joy. My parents loved their work. Being an educator wasn’t just a job to my parents; being an educator brought them happiness and meaning--they inspired the future. They loved their work so much that out of their four children, three of us became educators.

Fast forwarding to today, our state and our nation is facing an “education pipeline crisis.” In other words, universities have seen a steep decline in the number of students who choose education as a major. School districts across Idaho and the country are struggling to find people to fill the positions that are being left vacant with the retirement of the baby boomer generation. Without educators who love children and love learning and bring those two passions together to inspire the future, every profession is at risk. Educators inspire our next generation of scientists, engineers, doctors, lawyers, welders, veterinarians and teachers.

This last decade, we have lived through some of the most difficult challenges that those of us in public education have ever seen, and we have challenges ahead. My continued prayer is that we will guide each other to grow gladly and confidently together through our challenges so that we will continue to inspire our students, especially those who we see filing our shoes one day by choosing education as a profession. We, and those who support this most important work to educate every child, must continue to be ambassadors for the public good.

May you all have a joyful holiday season.

In service,

wendy signature


School Board to Hold Special Session on Facility Task Force’s Recommendation
The School Board will meet at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, December 20 in the District Office conference room to once again review the Facility Task Force’s recommendation. The Board will vote on the proposal. A video of the presentation from last Tuesday’s board meeting, including the slideshow, is available on our website.


School and Department Meetings Scheduled for After the Holiday Break
We know that the changes that have been proposed by the Task Force will affect each person differently. When you learned about the proposed changes, some of you were immediately excited while some of you were fearful. As I stated in the employee meeting on Tuesday, we will work with your supervisor to schedule time to meet with you in small groups to review the proposal, answer questions and elicit your help in the work ahead.

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:

● Dec. 15, KMS Library - focus on Task Force's recommendation
● 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 November 2016

Putting kids first and doing whatever it takes to help students succeed
Rhonda Brown - Silver Trail
○ “I would like to nominate Rhonda Brown, one of our interventionist. Rhonda is constantly going above and beyond to make sure students succeed and always come first. She's constantly reviewing curriculum to make sure she's understanding and teaching correctly, working way past contract time to finalize lesson games & copies. She gives up lunches and preps to work with students to give them extra practice and she helps create schedules that work best for teachers to help work best for kids at all levels. She's constantly checking data to make sure her kids are growing and if they're not, she's planning how to make sure they do. Rhonda is truly an example of putting kids first and doing whatever it takes to help them succeed. We're so blessed to have Mrs. Brown at our school!”

Tina Grieve - Reed Teacher
○ “She discovered that one of her students needed a new pair of glasses and arranged for them to be provide through the Children's Fund. That wasn't all. She personally went to Walmart and picked up the glasses for the student and paid for them upfront with her own money. She will be reimbursed by the Children's Fund but she went out of her way to make it happen for a parent who wasn't able to take care of the need.”

Collaborating to solve problems, to make decisions, to reach win-win decisions and to continuously improve to make our system better for kids
Cindy Smith - Title 1 Teacher at Crimson Point
○ “As we have been refining our MTSS process and how we meet all students' needs through implementing Switch, Cindy has been invaluable to make this successful. She is always willing to help grade levels look at data, brainstorm what works best for student learning, and make adjustments as necessary. She ALWAYS has a smile on her face and works hard for win-win solutions for everyone. We LOVE having her as part of our Crimson Point team!”

Leading from where you are
Dalton Bell - Sophomore student at KHS
○ "I was so impressed and encouraged tonight. There was a young man at McDonald's when we were there getting dinner, he wasn't eating he was just playing on his phone alone. A few members from the football team came in and we're eating. One of the boys went over and offered him two cheeseburgers from their meals. After he left I asked who he was. Dalton Bell, thank you for looking out for another young man and brightening his day. I am so impressed and very blessed to have witnessed your caring and friendly spirit. Turns out, the young man they gave the burgers to did not know him or the others. So very kind!!!”

Working hard and having fun together
Carma Cox - Secretary at Silver Trail
○ “Every month Carma comes in on the weekend and decorates the office into a different theme for each month. She is very creative and always keeps our office up to date.”

Taking care of each other and ourselves
Brenda Saxton & the Transportation Staff
○ “For working to provide emergency transportation for children in need to get to their school or origin after they were placed in temporary foster care.Their hearts are big and so willing to help students have stability and support.”

Preserving our professional capital and promoting professionalism
Dave Beymer - KHS Vice Principal
○ “Dave did a FABULOUS job building capacity for using Plato - it is a great, free underutilized resource. Thank you for your leadership in getting this training happening. Thank you for also reaching out to KMS and IPHS.”

Jennifer Sanders - Music Teacher at Ross
○ “a HUGE congratulations to Jennifer Sanders and the INCREDIBLE Ross choirs!!!! They sang incredibly to a packed house last night (October 18th). Ross kids have Spunk, they have enthusiasm, they were incredibly well behaved and respectful! They were skillfully directed, and they represented your school very well. Jennifer and the entire staff, THANK YOU for what you are doing for these kids.”

KWA December 2016

Putting kids first and doing whatever it takes to help students succeed
Ashlee Girard, Kim Riggs, Tami Evanow, Shana Kerbs at Silver Trail
○ “For receiving grants for Chromebooks and PE Equipment”

Jodi Anderson at KMS
○ “She is always putting kids first and it shows everyday. Over the Thanksgiving break she went to a student's home to drop off a Thanksgiving meal. Even when she is not at work she still cares for these kids.”

Collaborating to solve problems, to make decisions, to reach win-win decisions and to continuously improve to make our system better for kids
Kevin Lindquist, Dave Bradburn and Shelly Flowers
○ “They have organized the pickup and storage and disposal of 20 pallets of old curriculum materials,”

Leading from where you are
Caleb Milay (KMS)
○ “Caleb has tackled our upgrade to AIMSWEB+ with a vengeance! This move to AIMSWEB+ ended up being more of a change and challenge than anticipated, resulting in a huge learning curve for everyone. Caleb has spent time learning the system so he can better help his students by identifying their areas of strength and weakness to inform his instruction. And, he's sharing his knowledge with the staff, helping to build our capacity with this new system. What I love most is the positive attitude with which he has approached this challenge! His exploration and efforts have helped all of us! Thanks, Caleb!”

Rachel Cyr (Ross)
○ “Rachel is a rock star! When our district joined the other SIC Districts to participate in a fifth grade Direct Writing Assessment, Rachel not only volunteered to be one of five scorers from Kuna (Thanks also to Tami Christensen, Astrid Ferrel, Jennifer Dolan, & Rebecca Newcomb), but volunteered to be a table leader. This required that she develop an extra day of plans so she could attend an "extra" training day where she worked with other leaders to identify rangefinders and practice sets to help the entire field of scorers norm their scoring. And to top it all off, she was sick on the two scoring days, but toughed it out as she knew the other scorers at her table were relying on her expertise and knowledge to lead them. Thank you, Rachel! Now we have the knowledge she gained from the experience right here in Kuna!”

Working hard and having fun together
Sammie Hamilton - Hubbard ERR
○ This amazing woman has done more than anyone I have ever know for her students, co-workers, school, friends and so much more. Not only does she love her job (and shows it everyday) but, she acts on it as well. Her ability to work with all the children of our school is amazing.She has stepped up to also help Teed with endless hours of Medicaid billing. She helps every chance she can, and never complains about any of it. She has also helped me personally. As a co-workers for four years now, I have gained a friendship for life in her. After recently having foot surgery and having a cast for 2 weeks, she has helped me beyond belief. As a mom with 4 young children, and a husband working on the road, she has spent endless hours helping me through this time. To cooking meals, transporting my kids to sports activities, to taking them to and from school. Sammie Hamilton goes above this award in so many ways. I am honored to work with her here In Hubbard ERR.

Taking care of each other and ourselves
Reed 6th Grade Students
○ “Today was Operation Decoration for Reed's 6th grade students. This is a tradition our teachers started a few years ago in partnership with the city. They help the city with their decorations at the park and offer to paint the windows of Kuna businesses with holiday messages. It is amazing to see 90 6th graders all over town providing a service like this. Channel 6 will feature this on their newscast”

Preserving our professional capital and promoting professionalism
Skyler Krall - KHS Jazz Band Teacher
○ “On behalf of the membership and staff of the Idaho School Boards Association, we would like to thank Skyler and his students for performing at ISBA’s Annual Convention. We received many wonderful comments about the performance. The Jazz Band students were extremely talented, well mannered, and the perfect addition to the Convention. We appreciate your student’s willingness to perform at this very important event and share their remarkable talents. We also appreciate your efforts in teaching these wonderful students and your willingness to bring them to the ISBA Convention. You are all fine representatives of the Kuna School District.”

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.