Superintendent Update April 12, 2017


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

April 12, 2017

“The secret to change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new .” – Socrates

Team and Friends of the Kuna School District,

On behalf of the school board and the children of the Kuna School District, thank you to all of you who voted on March 14. By creating the learning environments that will best prepare our children for their future, Kuna citizens are leaving a legacy for generations of children.

We are grateful to the many involved citizens who donated their time and talents to educate our community about the details involved in both the bond and supplemental levy. Thank you.

We take seriously the responsibility to be good stewards of these funds and will ensure that we will continue to be transparent throughout the process. In collaboration with our architects, we will be putting together a project plan, and once approved by the board, we will publish the plan on our website and social media. As is our policy, all expenses are approved by our school board, and anyone will be able to get updated reports on progress regarding the projects and the costs of those projects from our website.

We are excited to get started on our projects, and our patrons should see projects begin this summer. Our very tentative​ timeline is as follows:

Spring/Summer 2017
● Form solution teams (land acquisition, 6th grade transition elementary, middle and high school design)
● Purchase math curriculum and technology tools
● Put together project plan for all bond projects
● Begin deferred maintenance projects at schools

Fall 2017
● Continue the work of solution teams and form rezoning and staffing solution teams
● Begin process for additions to KHS, Silver Trail, Reed and Teed

Winter 2017
● Continue the work of the solution teams with the goal of having each team present their recommendations to the school board no later than the December board meeting
● Begin bid process for new high school

Spring/Summer 2018
● Groundbreaking of new high school and begin remodel of Teed

Fall 2018
● Transition 6th grade to middle school
● Open Teed as our second middle school
● Construction of new high school continues

Fall/Winter 2019
● New high school opens

While the bond and supplemental levy provided a framework towards a more detailed plan, aspromised, we will develop the details by bringinging our educators together with our patrons in what we are calling “solution teams” to find collaborative and thoughtful solutions as we design schools for our children.

So how can you get involved? We have created five solution teams to address our educational challenges, and we need your involvement The solution teams are as follows:

1. 6th grade to middle school - has formed and already met twice
○ The team has identified 5 overarching interests to address and will be brainstormingsolutions that address the interests. They will then be sending out a parent survey to get input.
2. Programming and design of new high school and middle school and placement of Teed students - first meeting is tonight
3. Property Acquisition - has formed and met three times
4. Rezoning - will form in August
5. Staffing - will form in September

If you would like to get involved in one of the solution teams, you can notify the principal of your school or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

If you cannot serve directly on one of the solution teams, you can still be involved by providing much needed feedback to community surveys that our solution teams will be creating. You can also be involved by educating others and dispelling rumors with facts.

These are exciting times, and when you look back in 10-15 years, you can say you were a part of the KSD legacy!

In service,

wendy signature


Administrative Changes
In an effort to serve children, families and teachers better, I am in the process of making some changes to the administrative support in the Kuna School District. With the challenge that all students will learn at high levels and be college and career ready, the principal has transformed from that of a manager of a school whose primary focus is to provide reactive services to that of an instructional leader of the school whose primarily focus is on proactive responsibilities.

In addition to ensuring that our principals are able to focus their efforts on improving student achievement, I am also working to assist our children, families and staff to begin the adjustment to some of the changes that will be implemented in fall of 2018 when we move 6th grade students to middle school and open our second middle school. With these two goals in mind, I am restructuring administrative support at Hubbard, Teed and Indian Creek and Ross elementary schools.

Changes at Indian Creek, Ross, Hubbard and Teed
Next school year, we will no longer have one principal leading two schools. Kimberly Barker will serve as the principal of Indian Creek Elementary (K-3), Cindy Orr will serve as the principal of Ross Elementary (4-6), and Donene Rognlie will serve as the principal of Hubbard Elementary (K-3). Building Administrator Josh Noteboom will continue to serve both Hubbard and Teed during the 2017-18 school year.

Deb McGrath to Lead as New Principal of Teed Middle School
We are preparing now to ensure that our second middle school has a positive transition for children, families and staff. Principal Deb McGrath will be the principal of Teed Middle School in 2018-19, and she will begin this new position by serving as the principal of Teed Elementary (4-6) for the 2017-18 school year. Hiring her now will allow me to provide leadership to the existing staff and to begin planning for the transition of Teed from and elementary to a middle school.

New Kuna Middle School Principal to Be Hired
Moving Deb from Kuna Middle School will leave an opening for a new principal, and we will begin the process of finding the right person to lead the talented staff and students. The job description for this position will be available soon through our KSD internal communications. Teacher leader Neva Noe will assist me to put together a hiring committee composed of staff from KMS. I will reach out to my Parent Advisory Council to get names of parents to be involved as well.

Jim Obert Serves as Bond Project Manager
I am also happy to announce that Technology Administrator Jim Obert will take on the responsibility of our Project Manager while also continuing to serve as our Technology Administrator. The Project Manager represents Kuna School District in the implementation of the 2017 bond. Jim will be the link between the District, architects, the City of Kuna and any Construction Managers/General Contractors.

The Kuna Way Awards
Please help me to celebrate our colleagues 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 March 2017

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

● Patricia Roberts and the Middle School Kitchen Staff
○ “Fractions and persuasive writing is not always the easiest things to teach in 3rd grade. However, when you can combine them and add pizza, kids LOVE it! Patricia helped coordinate us using the ovens to bake pizzas that the kids actually created themselves, dough and all. Students had to write persuasive letters to persuade her to allow us to celebrate our fractions unit by making pizza. It was such an authentic learning experience for them! I am very blessed to work with Patricia and her staff to do whatever it takes to help ALL kids in the district, not just the ones they serve at the Middle School. I appreciate them going ABOVE and BEYOND to allow enjoy this special treat. Thank you!”

● Tracy Olson - Windermere Real Estate & Book it Forward! Idaho
○ Donated books to our middle school - thank you for keeping literacy alive!

Collaborating to solve problems, to make decisions, to reach win-win decisions and to continuously improve to make our system better for kids

● Mike Borzick - City of Kuna Planning & Zoning
○ “Mike printed out numerous Building and Development Maps pertaining to Kuna and the growth that is coming as we discussed the need for a Bond/Levy for our election. He gave up his time to work on our Task Force and has continued to meet with us on a regular basis to provide support and help.”

Leading from where you are

● Brenda Saxton - DO; Val Swanson - DO; Ben Gleaton - DO
○ “When Teed office was flooding, these three came in after hours and helped to mop it up and get everything cleaned up and ready so school could be ready for kids on Monday.”

Working hard and having fun together

● Community Election Volunteers -
○ Amber Abercrombie
○ Ginny Greger
○ Brenda Blitman
○ Sharon Fisher
○ Teri Reno
○ Lori Blattner
○ Malu Mulholland
○ Jen Leuck
○ LaDonna Tuinstra
“When I think of a group of women that not only know how to work hard, but have fun together while accomplishing a task such as this important Bond/Levy Election - I think of our Community Election Volunteers! We could not have done it without your hard work. It was imperative in helping our community understand the facts. I’m excited to continue to work with all of you to design the schools and programs that will best serve our children. The next stage of our legacy begins!” 

Taking care of each other and ourselves

● Mark Ehlhardt - The UPS Store
○ “Mark stands ready to assist the Kuna School District with all of our printing needs and usually does so at the lowest cost possible. However, he was especially helpful during the recent election as he assisted community volunteers in sending out postcard reminders in favor of the School Bond/Levy. He went above and beyond his normal business convention to clearly demonstrate what it means to “take care of each other and ourselves” - thank you for exhibiting the KUNA WAY!” 

Preserving our professional capital and promoting professionalism

● Aaron Mills - IPHS and Erica Holley - KHS
○ “These two high school government teachers have helped us figure out how to use Schoology to easily give the new state required civics exam to all high school seniors. They are fearlessly leading the way to meet this state requirement in a way that uses the exam and the data to guide meaningful civics education.”

● Alyssa Townsend
○ “In February, Alyssa Townsend testified before the House and Senate Education Committees of the Idaho Legislature in favor of funding for Early Childhood Education in Idaho. She represented herself, our school district and educators with passion and professionalism.”

● Brian Graves & Kathy Purin - KHS
○ “Last Friday I stopped by Kuna High School to watch the Higher Ed Days event planned by the KHS counseling staff and sponsored by IACRAO. I was thrilled by the obvious focus KHS has created on providing students with essential information to help them plan for life after high school. The event was organized in a College Fair format allowing students the opportunity to ask questions and gather flyers and handouts to be read at a later time. Kathy Purin and the college and career advisors shared details of their work and the first time opportunities planned this year. Ambitious plans for campus visits will be a highlight for students; some who may never have had that opportunity. I was also impressed by the positive and polite conversations I had with students during the college fair and in the auxiliary lunchroom. It is clear the staff at Kuna High School has successfully created a positive climate for learning and a focus on providing opportunities for all students. Rest assured, I will share my incredible experience at Kuna High School with many others!

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.