Superintendent Update January 09, 2017


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

January 09, 2017

“New snows and blue toes. Fine and dandy for Valentine candy. Snow spittin'; if you're not mitten-smitten, you'll be frostbitten!” – Old Farmer’s Almanac


The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicted an above-normal snowfall this year and below-normal temperatures. The Almanac sure was right! We have been involved in history-making experiences this last week. Not only have we experienced record-setting snow in the valley, but our school district, and school districts surrounding us, have experienced a record-setting number of emergency closures due to snow and ice. Predicting weather and road conditions is a challenge, particularly in our district which spans two counties and can experience different conditions from one end of the school district to the other. Regardless of the challenges, the safety of each of our 5,500 students is the Kuna School District’s priority. While we have much winter ahead, I’m hopeful that our snow days are behind us.

Our district has never had to make-up days because of emergency closures. Even so, the State Department of Education allows school districts approximately two days to accommodate for emergency closures such as snow days, and we haven’t gone over two days. When schools go beyond the two days allotted for emergency closures, school districts have to make-up the time. In our case, we have missed a record-breaking five days of school this year and need to make up three days of instruction.

A small group met with me this morning to review the results from the Snow Day Recovery Survey that was distributed via email and social media. The group reviewed the survey results and identified the following interests that our solution should ensure: maximize time for instruction before state testing, keep the basic start and end dates of the calendar, and add instruction before graduation--graduation is a fixed date with the Idaho Center so instructional time must be made up before May 22.

Guided by the input from our community and our interests, the solution-group made the following additions and adjustments to the 2016-17 calendar:

1. Add January 16, Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a full day of instruction

2. Add February 21 as a full day of instruction and move the originally scheduled teacher in-service day to President’s Day, February 20

3. Add April 28 as a full day of school for all grades
Note: this is the day that was scheduled for 6th and 8th grade portfolio presentations and kindergarten open house. We will still require 6th and 8th grade portfolios, and principals will work together to find solutions to help 6th and 8th teachers assess the portfolios, reschedule the school tours and reschedule the kindergarten open house

While I am hopeful that we have seen the last of the snow days for the year, the trusty Old Farmer’s Almanac may prove otherwise. If we do have more snow days this year, we will adjust some Wednesday collaboration times to full days of instruction. Wednesday collaboration time is valuable cross-grade level planning time for our teachers which ultimately translates into quality instruction for our students.

Thank you for your patience and support during these history-making times.

In service,

wendy signature


School Board to Unanimously Approved Task Force’s Recommendation
The School Board unanimously approved the Facility Task Force’s recommendation in the special session on Tuesday, December 20. A video of the presentation explaining the plan 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:

● 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

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.