Superintendent's Messages

Superintendent Update March 10, 2017

 

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

March 10, 2017

“An investment in knowledge pays the best in terest.” – Benjamin Franklin

Team and Friends of the Kuna School District,

Team and Friends of the Kuna School District, I grew up in Emmett and when I was in high school, many of my fellow students did not plan to get additional education beyond graduation. At that time, my classmates planned to work for the sawmill in town like their parents and grandparents before them. However, about ten years after I graduated from high school, the mill closed and many of my classmates were disillusioned with their choices because they were out of work with no transferable skills to another industry. I don’t want this to happen to our students in the Kuna School District.

Our mission in the Kuna School District is to inspire all our students to become lifelong learners and contributing, responsible citizens. In order to live our mission, we are on a trajectory to better prepare students to enroll and complete postsecondary education--whether postsecondary translates to a four-year college degree, a two year-college degree or a technical program that leads to a certification. Our industry partners have emphasized the need for a more highly skilled workforce, and we have listened to this need by implementing career pathways and dual credit and career certification opportunities in our high school. Once in high school, students have the opportunity to enroll in one of 13 career pathways that will guide their coursework. We have grown from zero dual credit opportunities for our students in 2005 to 111 courses today with over 2647 total enrollments in these courses. We are proud that almost all of our students have at least one college transcripted credit when they graduate from our high school. Just as important, we have over 60% of our students involved in extracurricular activities such as sports, music, FFA, HOSA and a wide array of studentleadership.

Successes in our high schools are also the direct result of successes in our elementary and middle schools. Our teachers are working hard to ensure that our students have the necessary foundational knowledge and skills in language arts, math, science, social studies and the arts to be able to fully participate in their high school education. Fall to winter benchmark data show that our teachers are significantly closing the gap in reading and math foundations.

Recently, I visited with a mom whose son graduated last spring. She was so excited to tell me that at semester, her son went from freshman status to sophomore status because of the dual credit courses he took while at our high school. Her son is interested in the medical field and will have to earn a Master’s Degree so this will save him some time and money to achieve his goal. Our early analysis shows that the more dual credit courses a student takes in high school, the more likely a student is to enroll in postsecondary education.

I am very proud of the work we have done in the Kuna School District. Even though our student population has doubled over the last 15 years, we have doubled our efforts to improve our system so that students graduate competitively.

However, what we are doing isn’t enough, and we have much work still to do. We know that we must work together with our community to change mindsets that high school is not enough for today’s workforce. We know that our students are making decisions about whether or not they are “college material” at or before 8th grade. We know that the students who are enrolling in college aren’t always finishing. We know that we have not adopted curriculum in over 10 years. We know that updated curriculum resources requires technology tools to support student achievement. We know that our facilities aren’t always adequate to accomplish our educational goals. We know that we have critical repairs needed at almost all of our existing facilities. We know that our high school and middle school are over capacity and that four of our seven elementary schools are nearing capacity. We know that we are expecting an additional 700 students to our schools in the next three years. We know that if we aren’t able to adequately address the increase in student enrollment, oureducational goals will be impacted.

Last fall, we worked with a Task Force of diverse stakeholders to review the projected growth, the state of our facilities and our educational goals to establish our 10-year master plan. Through much dedication and late nights, the Task Force made the following recommendation which will be on the March 14 ballot:

$40 million Bond
● Build phase 1 of a second comprehensive high school that will include career and technical education
● Add a multi-purpose athletic room to the existing high school
● Convert an existing school to a second middle school
● Add 4 classrooms to two elementary schools
● Invest in critical repairs to almost all schools in the district

$2.5 million Supplemental Levy
● Invest in curriculum, technology and safety

This year was the first time in our district’s history that we purchased portable buildings to house students as a short-term fix to our overcrowding. On Tuesday, our community has an important decision to make about the educational opportunities we want for our children. Do we want our legacy in the Kuna School District to be portables and overcrowded classrooms that are in disrepair without teaching materials or do we want our legacy to be learning environments that will best prepare our children for their future--a future that they are preparing for now.

In service,

wendy signature


 dyk

Details about March 14 Election on School District Website
We are making every effort to provide factual information and details on all aspects of the upcoming bond and supplemental levy election so our patrons have information to make an informed decision when they vote. Information on the March 14 election can be found by clicking here.

 

Grant Application for Teachers
The Boise-Kuna-Meridian Unit of the Retired Educators Association (REA) of Idaho is offering three $500.00 grants for the 2017-18 school year for teachers to enhance their classroom activities. The grant application must be submitted by April 3, 2017. The grant awards will be announced in May 2017, so that the award winning teachers can prepare for implementation during the fall of the new school year. Grant recipients will present the results of their program at the May 2018 REA Luncheon.

To access the grant application go to idahoretirededucators.org . Click on Boise-Kuna-Meridian and at thebottom of the page is the teacher Grant Application on-line form. Questions may be addressed to: Charlotte Moore at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 362-2133.

KWA February 2017

Putting kids first and doing whatever it takes to help students succeed
Anita Edwards - Music/Band Teacher at Teed Elementary
○ “Anita has the largest band program in the district for the elementary level. She is amazing with our 6th grade students and sees every student 3rd through 6th grade at least twice a week! She goes above and beyond to helps students as well as giving up her lunches to provide extra support for them. She has purchased a ton of instruments with her own money so that she can loan them to students who can't afford to buy or rent their own but want to be in band. She does all of this without even a budget for her program!”

KHS Counseling Department - Bailey Bunn, Twila Hall, Jessica Bakotich, Heidi Beers & Lori Smith
○ “The KHS Counseling department is absolutely amazing. Not only do they juggle the needs, wants, and desires of all 1500+ KHS students, they take care of the staff as well. With the high school's goal to increase support for students through the MTSS program, the counselors have taken on even more contact with parents and organizing all the grades and nuances to helping students succeed. Without the ladies in the KHS Counseling department, the high school would be spinning in circles. Thanks, rock stars!”

Collaborating to solve problems, to make decisions, to reach win-win decisions and to continuously improve to make our system better for kids
● Yvonna Bocci & The KinderGrow Bus Drivers - Naoma Babbitt, Bill Roe, Brenda Morris and Nancy Weisenburger
“Yvonna and the KinderGrow bus drivers are always solving problems and helping us make our bussing system easier for our KinderGrow students. The beginning of every KinderGrow session brings lots of new situations and problems. Yvonna and the KinderGrow bus drivers are always there to help us problem solve and make it easier for the KinderGrow program to be successful! The bus drivers always have a positive attitude about going back to pick up another student or take back a student that came on the wrong day. We appreciate everything that Yvonna and the KinderGrow bus drivers do for KinderGrow! We couldn't do it without you!”

Leading from where you are
Andrea Willasden - Instructional Coach at Hubbard/Teed
○ “This year there has been a lot on Andrea’s plate and yet she still manages to give us all as much knowledge as she can. When it comes to aimsweb, or running groups, or ideas on how best to handle a tricky student, she always has advice to give and can be a supportive shoulder to lean on. She makes sure that when we come to her with an issue we leave with a solution, and that we feel better about the challenges we may face tomorrow. To me, leading from where you are means that you do what you can to help and support your coworkers and the students you come in contact with on a daily basis, and I genuinely feel that Andrea does this everyday.”

Working hard and having fun together
Donene Rognlie - Hubbard/Teed Principal
○ “It has been quite the winter for us. Many snow days and plenty of challenges that come with it. Here at Hubbard we have an amazing principal. Although this winter has challenged us, Donene Rognlie has shown AMAZING leadership.We truly are a family here at Hubbard/Teed and Donene makes sure that happens. From winter days with her out helping cover duties, or making sure the kids get from the bus to buildings in the morning safely, and even her shoveling and Ice melting the sidewalks. She even made homemade hand warmers for staff that had outside duties. We also had the scare with the lockdown at Reed. I have never seen an Admin. So involved in reassuring staff, parents and students of their safety. She personally checked in on classes, walked around reassuring parents in the morning drop off as well. Leadership and love for her job, this school, her staff, her students shines in her everyday, and I am proud to be an employee of this Hubbard/Teed family because of this wonder woman.”

Trisha Brinkley & Madison Thurston - KHS Seniors
○ “As a coach, I’m grateful that these full time high school seniors devote their time to coaching youth volleyball. They both stayed late after a tournament on a Saturday at KHS to help me take down all of the volleyball courts and clean up the gyms. I'm very thankful for them both!”

Taking care of each other and ourselves
Destiny Bachman - KHS Senior
○ Destiny posted this on her FB page and as her teacher, I believe this is truly what we want our students to be about…..”"This kid in my study skills class is super sweet and honestly super quiet. Today he totally opened up to me and was just telling about everything he's been through and how it makes him feel. It was honestly really heartbreaking to hear I'm so glad he felt comfortable to talk to me out of everyone in the class. The moral of the story is you never know what people are going through and you should always be nice because they could be dealing with things that are absolutely heartbreaking. Always help them even if it's simply listening"

Patti Schmidt - IPHS Counselor
○ “While Patti is part of our team to provide support for students and families, she also provides support for the staff of IPHS. She can recognize when someone might not be having the best day and finds the time to talk with them and offers words of support and even suggestions to put into action. A staff member recently lost a family pet in an awful accident that was witnessed by their children. The children were obviously struggling. Patti gave the staff member an idea to help their children hold on to the good memories of the pet.”

Preserving our professional capital and promoting professionalism

Andrea Randall - Silver Trail; Arielle Jensen - Reed; Heather Griffith - Teed
○ “Many teachers are very busy working on DCC committees and school committees. The DCC really needed some teachers to look closely at our elementary social studies curriculum, which is often very neglected. These three teachers volunteered to spend a day organizing K-5 social studies into a clear sequence through the grades and aligning unit topics to existing resources. They had many great ideas and provided incredible instructional leadership for this subject. They invested their time and expertise into our professional capital.”

Caleb Millay - KMS Teacher
○ “Caleb is a leader in promoting professionalism. He promotes professionalism through his actions. He is professional in/out of the classroom. He is the assistant coach for High School girls basketball, he is the 7th Grade Math chair, he continues to master AIMSweb Plus and be a leader and professional within our district. He promotes professionalism everywhere.”

Melissa Stoddard - KMS Teacher
○ “Melissa is always professional in all of her actions, whether it be dealing with students or other staff. She demonstrates preserving professional capital because everyday she is working with students using data to drive instruction, she deeply understands the value in educating students and she is working hard in many avenues to ensure that their education is the best. She is leading the way with our Schoology implementation throughout our building. She demonstrates all the characteristics of preserving professional capital within the Middle School building.”

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

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.