Superintendent Message (November 17, 2011)
November 17, 2011
Thank you for your support during our recent community meetings. We had approximately 90 people attend the various meetings we held. As you know, the focus of the community meetings was to share the state of the school district and receive community input on possible restructuring of our system in light of the ever decreasing budget. We have completed all of our community meetings and are preparing for the next phase which involves a smaller, working committee who will review the suggestions from our community, research possibilities, and make a recommendation to our school board.
In addition to parents, city officials, business representatives, school board members and administrators, we want teachers and support staff to be involved. If you are interested in participating as an active member of this committee, please send Wendy Johnson an email.
We will be meeting in the evening in order to accommodate schedules. Our first meeting will be Nov. 29 from 6:00 - 7:30 at the District Office Conference Room. We are planning a fairly rigid agenda for the first meeting. In the first meeting, we will review and organize the survey data, look for themes, and then divide the larger team into smaller groups to further research each areas of focus. Future meeting times and dates will be determined at this first meeting. Please enjoy your much deserved Thanksgiving break. Thank you for all that you do for children and for each other.
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:
- Congratulations to everyone who participated in Rake Up Kuna. The 350 volunteers served 48 homes and raked over 700 bags of leaves. Thanks to KHS teacher Angela Hemmingway for her assistance in coordinating this effort.
- Last week, the KMS Writing and Robotics class, taught by Val Miller, presented to the State Technology Task Force.
- This quarter, every student at KMS is completing a community service project through their advisory. Students research, plan and implement their project. Thanks to KMS teachers who are working so hard to model the importance of serving the community.
- Office Max awarded Reed teacher Susan Helton with the Day Made Better award. Helton received $1,000 in supplies from Office Max and also earned $2,000 for her school. Thank you Susan for being a wonderful person and educator. We appreciate your 23 years of dedication and hard work on behalf of children.
- A parent wrote, “Shauntel Atchley [Crimson Point] is the north star. She's always there and always shining for my child."
- Initial Point High School senior Language Arts and history teachers, Katie Baun and Josh Mason, have combined forces to help students complete their senior projects. Some of the student projects include students making and collecting fleece blankets to donate to a local hospital’s pediatric ICU and a penny drive to raise money for food for the animal shelter. Principal Ken LilienKamp wants to thank his entire Silver Trail Elementary staff for working so hard to make Silver Trail Elementary an awesome place for students to learn. “We brought a new school together with very few hitches. They are awesome!”
- Last night the KHS National Award winning FFA teams were highlighted on KTVB. To watch the coverage, click on the following link: http://www.ktvb.com/news/FFA-students-at-Kuna-High-School-reaping-rewards-133930033.html
- Thank you to all of the teacher leaders who are assisting in the improvement of our system. A huge thank you to our Reading Coaches, Math Facilitators, Intervention Teams, School Leadership Teams, Instructional Coaches, Equity Coaches, Mentors, DCC and SAC Teams. Your leadership is one of the main reasons why student achievement continues to climb in the Kuna School District.
National Teachers Initiative
Is there a teacher who changed your life? To honor a teacher and find out more about the national Teachers Initiative, please visit http://storycorps.org/initiatives/national-teachers-initiative/.
Quarterly Writing Assessment
The Quarterly Writing Assessment web site is ready for teacher to use. The icon should already be on teacher's desktops tomorrow. The instructions for using the tool are located at http://news.kunaschools.org/technology/index.php5/QWA.
District Climate Survey
District Administrators and KEA leaders have joined together to gather data regarding the positive things happening in our district as well as the challenges our employees face. We plan to work together to find solutions to the challenges our employees face. Please take the following anonymous survey to provide the team with feedback: http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22DUQ8GXT7A
Professional Development Opportunities
If you would like assistance with research, instructional strategies, classroom observation and feedback, planning lessons, looking at student work or need a second teacher to help in your classroom, Kelly Walton wants to help you. To contact her, please email
. We are also working on establishing a “help desk” sort of tool for teachers to access instructional coaching assistance. More to come on this…
CapEd Teacher Grant ProgramsCapEd’s Teacher Grant Program supplies educators with much-needed funds in the classroom. This program awards teachers for finding innovative and unique ways to educate students. Applications are due the 10th of each month. Individuals may apply for up to $750. Additionally, Idaho Athletic Club has partnered with CapEd to provide a $750 monthly grant to a P.E. Teacher, Coach, Trainer or Athletic Director. Applications for both grants are available at the following website: http://www.capedfcu.org/resources/teacher-grants/
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 visit http://news.kunaschools.org/. Select the "Rumors, Questions and Feedback" tab.
Rumor: Is it true that Indian Creek and Ross are listed for sale?
Answer: False. Some community members have suggested that the district close Indian Creek and Ross Elementary Schools, sell them for profit or rent them to another organization. The working committee will review all suggestions and research the feasibility before making any recommendations to the school board. The KSD Board of Trustees will get feedback from our community on all of the recommendations from the working committee before making any decisions. A final decision on this suggestion will not be made until February or March.
Rumor: Has the board has already decided to implement a year-round schedule next year?
Answer: False. Some community members have suggested that a year-round schedule will save the district money. The working committee will review all suggestions and research the feasibility before making any recommendations to the school board. The KSD Board of Trustees will get feedback from our community on all of the recommendations from the working committee before making any decisions. A final decision regarding a year-round schedule will not be made until February or March.
Rumor: Is the district cutting more days from the calendar this school year?
Rumor: Why is the district requiring employees to assist the high school with their senior project when budgets are tight? It seems like a waste of money to have to hire all those subs.
Answer: The district is not requiring employees to do this. Rather, like all student performance projects, we strongly encourage our employees who can assist to do so. The high school staff needs people to serve as judges for senior projects. If you are interested in helping judge senior projects, please contact Anna Lovelady. In the spring, we will also need people to assist teachers to evaluate 6th grade portfolios as well as both 7th and 8th grade learning portfolios.