Superintendant Message (September 02, 2010)
School is off to a great start! Thank you to everyone for ensuring that students were ready to learn on Monday.
As we are all aware, many of the supports that we rely on to do our jobs have been decreased as a part of budget reductions. Because all of us are doing more work for less pay, I want to remind all of us to be considerate of and patient with the people supporting our systems. Please assume positive intentions when working with each other and be honest with the person directly if he/she doesn’t meet your expectations.
And remember, a simple thank-you goes a long way.
Thank you for all you do for the children in this district. Enjoy the long weekend.
Celebration of Our Superheros!
If you have a celebration that you'd like to share, we encourage you visit our news web site and select the "Rumors, Questions and Feedback" tab. Congratulations to the following amazing members of the Kuna School District:
- District nurse Alicia Jordan successfully passed her exam and is now a Nationally Certified School Nurse, certified by the National Certification of School Nurses. According the NCSN, “Professional certification in school nursing provides an ongoing, quality credentialing process for eligible school nurses. Certification represents a national standard of preparation, knowledge, and practice.”
- KHS science teacher DaNel Huggins led two of her students to win recognition in the American Association of Physics Teachers High School Photo Contest. Senior Joshua John Garcia placed first for his photo entitled Slap Shot and junior Ellen Alice Eichelberger won an Honorable Mention for her photo entitled The Kay Effect. To view Kuna’s winning photos, go to the following website: http://www.aapt.org/programs/contests/winners.cfm?theyear+2010
District Office to Move to Support Services Facility
- To cut costs, increase efficiency and improve support to our schools, the District Office staff is moving to Support Services during the last weeks of September. Chief of Police Kody Aldrich and the Kuna City Police will rent the current district office facility which will continue to further our partnership with the local police and maximize taxpayer dollars. This move is the first major step to consolidating all district services to the Support Services facility on Porter Road. Technology, Assessment and Major Projects will continue to be housed at the Technology Center on 4th St. I will continue to keep you updated on the status of the move.
New Help Resources Website: http://helpdesk.kunaschools.org/
- All of our student services departments are doing more with less this year so we need to use the most efficient means to communicate concerns. In order to maximize efficiency and ensure that we don’t have multiple people working to resolve the same problem, please us official lines of communication to report issues.
- Use the link to the Helpdesk on your desktop or save the following URL http://helpdesk.kunaschools.org/to your favorites. At this site you can…
- Request help for technology, copier and maintenance issues.
- Access resources such as how-to manuals.
- Check-out equipment such as technology tools and science kits.
- You can also email the Helpdesk for technology-related issues. A simple e-mail to help desk, allows your issue to be quickly recorded, helps ensure each request is answered and prevents multiple people from working on the same problem.
Open Enrollment Time for Benefits
- The deadline for adding family members to any part of your health, vision or dental plan is September 15 for a September 1 effective date. Remember family members can ONLY be added during open enrollment, unless they lose their coverage involuntarily at another time during the year.
- The deadline for payroll deduction changes is October 15 in most cases.
- Now is also the time for you to…
- contact reps of our approved payroll deduction companies to apply for additional individual coverage plans and/or retirement accounts. Attached is an updated list of approved payroll deduction companies along with their contact information.
- apply for additional life insurance.
- check your W-4 withholdings, home address and phone numbers, and beneficiary information to make sure all are up to date.
Clarification about Confusion Over Health Benefits Deductible
- During negotiations last spring, the team agreed to a change in our health benefits deductible from the current $500 to $1,000 starting January 1, 2011.
- Because of some of the insurance pool’s misrepresented information, we were informed in August that the deductible change would take place in September. This means that Blue Cross would begin charging an additional $500 deductible from September 2010-January 2010, even though employees had already met their $500 deductible for the benefit cycle.
- This break in our agreed understanding was extremely upsetting to all of us, so we are meeting with Blue Cross today to listen to other options to deal with this issue. We will be sending an update after this meeting.
Have You Heard a Rumor and Want to Know the Answer? Post your question at KSD News!It is easy for rumors to get started in light of all the questions and concerns employees and parents have regarding the future of the Kuna School District. If you've heard a rumor that you'd like to get an "official" response on, we encourage you to visit news web site. Select the "Rumors, Questions and Feedback" tab.
- Rumor: Is the State collecting teacher evaluation data on us this year?
- True. Although the state is collecting all teacher and principal evaluation data through the I-SEE data tool, I believe items such as evaluations are a local issue. It is the responsibility of district leadership to stop all potential disruptions from the state and federal government at our door. I will keep you up-to-date on this issue as I learn more. In the meantime, keep focused on doing the best for students. For more information about the state’s longitudinal data system, please refer to the SDE website, http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/isee/.
- Rumor: I hear the strings class in the middle school is having issues with budgeting for the teacher? I think it would be in the best interest of the district to continue the program at the lowest cost possible in order to keep these low budget programs running.
- False. Our former strings instructor retired last spring. KMS Principal Deb McGrath’s goal is to have this position filled no later than September 15. In the meantime, a well qualified substitute is teaching the strings course.
- Question: I was wondering if I could get some information on the new Kuna elementary. Any help would be appreciated.
- Answer: After the start-up delay on the new elementary, we are progressing rather quickly. The site pad is ready and the following are currently in progress:
- Rock sawing sewer on site Pouring footings & stem walls
- Plumber has started in slab plumbing in the kitchen area
- Three large seepage beds are finished and plumbed for drainage water
- Idaho Power will start to the site after the holiday.
- There is a signed contract for water and sewer in the new Mason Creek Rd. that will start construction soon.
- Construction of domestic water onsite will begin after the holiday.