Superintendent Message (March 9, 2011)

Team,

The Community Education Celebration was a success! Thank you to the KEA leaders who organized it and thank you to everyone who attended. The number of teachers, support staff, parents, students and community leaders who attended was reinforcement to me of the hard work that our employees do for the children of our community. The work that all of you do for children should make the people who speak out against public education think twice before participating in the negative press about the education profession. We know we are never done in our challenge to continue to improve student achievement, but I can't think of a better group to have by my side as we continue to pursue excellence. Let's all keep our heads held high. Thank you!

Jay Hummel's signature


Celebration of Our Superheros!

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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:

 

  • The following was sent to me by Mrs. Sobolewski , a 6th grade teacher at Crimson Point:

" I would just like to take a moment and say how much I appreciate working in the Kuna School District. During the past several weeks, we teachers have gone through a lot of stress and felt attacked by many in the media and under-appreciated by politicians. While enduring these hardships, it has been comforting to know that we work for a district that supports and appreciates all of the staff while looking out for the best interest of our children. Thank you so much for understanding our profession and showing how much you care about each individual. I feel truly blessed to be a part of such an outstanding school community."

  • Congratulations to Wally Hames and Kuna Middle School for being selected to join the 2011 Walmart Oratory Fellows. KMS represents one of only five schools in the U.S. to participate in the fellowship supported by the Ford's Theatre Society. Mr. Hames students will join students from the following schools:
  • -Central High Schoolk, Capitol Heights, MD-HD Woodson Senior High School, Washington, DC-Springfield, NE-Independence, MO

The goal of the project is to engage students in under-resourced schools in rigorous, performance-based learning, linked to language arts and history standards and to incorporate performance and oratory into teachers' pedagogical repertoire in order to strengthen critical literacy, comprehension and oral and written expression.



Updates

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  • Updates on Elementary Staffing

Our elementary staffing process appears to be complete. Principals will be announcing their final placements tomorrow. Thank you for your patience and understanding during the entire process!

 

Any positions that were not filled or that may be opened in the future may be filled using our typical transfer process. The transfer process is as follows:

- If a contracted teacher wishes to be considered for any position that may become open at a specific school/grade level or an opening already posted, they need to send an email to Susan Crew, Human Resources Mgr., stating the location and grade level/assignment they are interested in.

- The transfer list is confidential and shared only with building principals. This list merely alerts the principal that a current employee may be interested in an opening and that this person should be contacted and/or given an interview.

- The transfer list does not guarantee the employee will be given the position.

- Human Resources will send the list directly to the principals weekly, as updated. The principals then contact Human Resources before filling the position to make sure they have contacted those interested in their opening.

- The teacher may be added or deleted from the transfer list by sending Susan Crew an email.

If you have any questions, please contact Susan Crew, Human Resources Mgr., at the District Office ext. 1207.

 

  • Supplemental Levy Update

Last night Kuna School Board Trustees unanimously approved to ask voters for a $1.5 million per year supplemental levy for the next two years to help offset state funding reductions to education. For the last two years, the Kuna School District has operated with a $1.1 million supplemental levy which voters approved in May 2009. The levy will expire this year.

Trustees reviewed the results of the March 3 community study circle and discussed the following options:

  • no levy
  • replace the existing $1.1 million levy
  • increase to a $1.5 million levy
  • increase to a $1.95 million levy

If approved, the $1.5 million levy would cost a property owner within the Kuna school district about $156 per $100,000 of taxable value.

The supplemental levy election will take place from 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 17. All registered voters who are residents living within the Kuna School District may vote. Unlike past school elections, voters will vote at their typical precincts.

  • Professional Development Opportunities

What's Education For? March 12, 8:00 - 3:30

Boise State Writing Project Director Jeff Willhelm will present what the Common Core Standards and the Senior Project mean for Idaho's Teachers, K-12. The cost is $20 and includes lunch and materials.

For more information and a complete agenda, please check out the following site: http://bswproject.com

Mathematical Thinking for Instruction (MTI)

  • MTI Credits

We are currently waiting to hear back from the SDE on how they will handle the MTI course. We hope to have an update soon.

  • Summer MTI Courses

Summer course schedule will be posted to the MTI website on March 15. Registration will open on April 4. The registration link can be located at the following URL: http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/math/mti.htm

  • Mathematical Thinking for Instruction (MTI) Follow-Up Opportunities

The following website has information about MTI follow-up opportunities: http://tinyurl.com/MTIfollowup . Newly added are two follow-up courses, each worth one credit as well as a workshop on middle school assessment. If you're interested in attending, just contact the person listed with the class.

Sustainable Forestry Tour

  • For teachers and counselors
  • June 21-24, 2011
  • Based out of Post Falls, Idaho
  • All expenses, including travel, paid!
  • Two optional UI credits are available
  • Explore forests with foresters; tour a sawmill, paper mill and seedling nursery; climb on high-tech timber harvest equipment; see the Science Technology, Engineering and Math of forestry and forest products manufacturing first hand; view a fire-fighting demo; learn about careers; and network with fellow educators in beautiful, inspiring surroundings!
  • Apply at www.idahoforests.org/tour.htm. Deadline: 3/31/11

Project Learning Tree (PLT)

Professional Development classes for educators and others who work with youth.

  • Variety of topics addressed in different workshops: trees, forests, recycling, energy, aquifers, STEM, communities, wildlife, ecosystem services, early childhood and more.
  • Already had PLT? Think again! Check out our list of workshops—each title worth a different credit. Materials are continuously created, updated and revised. All activities are correlated to Idaho Content Standards.
  • Levels: Early childhood. PreK-8. 9th-12th grade modules on a variety of topics. Abundant online activity support at www.plt.org.
  • Sign up on-line or via mail. www.idahoforests.org/plt1.htm.

PLT Field Trip Transportation Funds

  • Who is eligible? Idaho educators who have taken a PLT workshop and/or attended the Sustainable Forestry Tour
  • What is it for? Taking students on a field trip to a certified tree farm. Enjoy a spectacular day learning in the forest!
  • When? Funding is available only in 2011. Field trips can take place spring, summer or fall.
  • Who is providing the funding? The Idaho Tree Farm Program is providing the funds, via a grant from the American Forest Foundation.
  • Interested educators should contact: Jennifer Childers, Jennifer_Childers(at)rileyandassociates.biz, 208-667-4641

IHC Summer Teacher Institute on the Cold War

Idaho teachers of all grades and disciplines are invited to apply for the Idaho Humanities Council's 2011 weeklong summer institute, titled Are You Now or Have You Ever Been...Fear, Suspicion, and Incivility in Cold War America, scheduled for July 24-29, 2011 at the College of Idaho in Caldwell. Successful applicants will receive lodging and meals, texts, and the opportunity for optional college credit. Those traveling more than 250 miles one way may be eligible for a modest travel stipend. Teachers interested in applying online or want more information about the institute should visit www.idahohumanities.org or contact Idaho Humanities Council Grants Officer, Cindy Wang at cindy(at)idahohumanities.org. The application deadline is April 1, 2011.

Never Again Now - Holocaust Educators Network

With the sponsorship of the Holocaust Educators Network from New York, the Boise State Writing Project, and Boise State University, we are proud to offer a six day teacher workshop called "Never Again is Now: Using the Holocaust to Examine Ourselves Our Humanity, and Our Communities." If you teach the Holocaust or other social justice issues, do we have the course for you! We would like to extend this to educators from all across the state and we can help with housing for out of town participants!

- The "Never Again Now" course will take place from Sunday, June 12 - Friday, June 17th in Boise. The course can be taken at a reduced rate for three graduate credits, but you can also opt to just take it just for the fabulous experience. I can't even stress how excited we are about this and how amazing the opportunity is going to be. Participants will be treated to:

  • a presentation by "Echoes and Reflections" which is a joint program between the Anti-Defamation League and Yad Vashem (the book of resources they give you alone would cost $100 but participants will get it for free)
  • a presentation by nationally renowned author and speaker, Linda Christensen, an expert in social justice in the classroom
  • a speaker on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
  • a session with Holocaust survivor, Rose Beal.
  • Participants will also receive hundreds of dollars of books and other resources on human rights, the Holocaust, and social justice in the classroom.

- If you teach the Holocaust and other social justice issues, you can't pass this up. We still have space, so get those registrations done and send them off to angela.harvey(at)boiseschools.org

Word by Word

A writing conference for readers, writers, teachers, and librarians of children's literature and sponsored by Utah/Southern Idaho SCBWI and Boise State Department of Literacy. Speakers include literary agent Jennifer Rofé, Scholastic VP and Group Publisher Lori Benton, BSU education professor Maggie Chase, librarian Angela Kerber, and authors Judy Cox, Carol Lynch Williams, and Sydney Salter.

  • When: Saturday, April 16, 2011, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm
  • Where: Boise State University, 1910 University Dr, Boise, ID 83725, Student Union Building, Jordan C Ballroom
  • Book signing by authors, Friday, April 15, 2011, 7-9 pm, Rediscovered Bookshop, 180 N. 8th St, in Boise between Main and Idaho
  • Attendees seeking college credit must pay BSU for credits AND pay registration fees to SCBWI. Register on BroncoWeb for BSU credit, (or at book signing for in-service credit), AND at SCBWI.org for conference.
  • For more information on speakers, manuscript critiques, credits, and registration, visit SCBWI, Regional Chapters, Utah/Southern Idaho, then Regional Conference.

 

Grant Opportunities

CapEd Grants

Deadline: ongoing October - April

CapEd is offering a grant program is an effort to help teachers and students explore additional educational opportunities they might not otherwise enjoy. Each month during the school year (Oct - Apr), CapEd awards outstanding teachers with grants to pay for programs, materials, field trips, or special projects for the students in their classrooms. $2,250 is awarded monthly, with a $750 maximum per individual grant. To apply or to learn more, visit http://www.capedfcu.org/resources/teacher-grants/. Only teachers in certain regions of the state are eligible.

IEA Cold Hard Cash Awards

Deadline: ongoing

The Idaho Education Association is offering Cold Hard Cash awards for Idaho classrooms. The IEA will draw eight winners each month from September through May. Each winner will receive $50 to be used to upgrade his/her classroom. The entry form is available at http://idahoea.org/explore-iea/cold-hard-cash/. Just click on the "Cold Hard Cash" icon and submit your completed form. If your name is drawn, you will receive a check from IEA to use in your classroom. If you don't win, your name will be placed in the drawing for the next month. Please note: Only "New Teachers? (those in their first through fifth year of teaching) are eligible to win.

INL STEM Classroom Grants

Deadline: March 31, 2011

The Idaho National Laboratory is now accepting applications for its Mini Grant and Extreme Classroom Makeover Grant programs. Teachers at Idaho public and private elementary, middle and high schools are eligible to apply for the grants, which are designed to boost science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) instruction. INL's Mini Grant program provides teachers up to $2,000 to fund STEM-related technology or lab equipment, material for special projects, or professional development. INL also is awarding two $10,000 Extreme Classroom Makeover grants to support instructional resources, materials and laboratory equipment used to integrate STEM concepts across all disciplines. To submit an application, go to www.inl.gov and click on "Education."

  • Other Opportunities

Nominate an educator for Teaching Tolerance Award-

The Southern Poverty Law Center's Teaching Tolerance program is seeking nominations for the Teaching Tolerance Award for Excellece in Cultuarlly Responsive Teaching, which has been created to recognize outstanding teachers and promote their practices in the nation's schools. Five winners will be selected to receive $1,000 at an awards ceremony in Washington in late 2011. An expert panel of scholars and National Board Certified teachers will pick the winners. Teachers are invited to apply for the award at www.tolerance.org/award.

The deadline for applications is June 1, 2011.

-All teachers are eligible for the award and need not make use of teaching resources developed by the SPLC to be eligible for the competition.

 

Arbor Day Photo Contest

  • For Idaho 5th - 12th grade students
  • Students submit digital photos of what they see when they ?Look to the Forest.?
  • First place in each division: Cash and a nice tree for their class to plant.
  • Grand prize: A camera, tree to plant and trip to the Capitol for the state Arbor Day celebration!
  • More information and online submissions: http://www.idahoforests.org/photocontest.htm
  • Deadline: 4/4/11

 


 

Rumor Mill

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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.

Archived Superintendent Messages

Budget Reduction, Submit Ideas Here

Free and Reduce Meals - Apply Online

KMS 1:1 Learning Project