Superintendent's Message (January 20, 2012)
January 13, 2012
The KSD Climate Survey that we asked you to take before the holiday break had record participation! Over 250 of you took the time to share your thoughts and concerns. Please see the attachment to this message, containing a condensed version of the survey results.
In short, you clearly report the challenges we are facing. Over the last three years, our salaries and benefits have been reduced, class sizes and job responsibilities have increased, supplies and equipment have been cut, and administrative and operational supports have been stretched to the limit. All of this collectively has produced a more difficult work environment, with predictably high stress. Ironically, this is exactly the opposite of what we were able to accomplish in the three years before the erosion began.
So what am I doing about your concerns? First, I’m feeling thankful for the fact that you still believe we are listening; otherwise, so many of you would not have been forthright and honest with your feedback. Your input and insight throughout this difficult time has helped us make strategic reductions, intentionally spreading out the overall impact. Second, I’m working with KEA leadership, administrators and our Board to pull together all the feedback we received from our staff and community meetings and this survey to make the changes we believe we should and can take today. For example, overwhelmingly the top concern expressed was for more time. This is a top priority as we start the process of building next year’s calendar. I appreciate the individual attempts being made at our schools to create more collaborative work time, but a district-wide approach is needed. Finally, I am meeting with KEA leadership on Monday to review the survey together to discuss further action we may need to take.
On February 1, a special "work session" board meeting will be held at 6:00 PM, when a number of facility, calendar, and technology issues will be discussed. We do not anticipate any major decisions will be made that evening, but the purpose of this meeting is to get more specific about our recommendations so decisions can be finalized in the coming months.
As always, my door is open to you. If you have ideas, concerns or successes, please stop in or send an email my way.
Celebrate KSD’s Superheroes!
If you have a celebration that you'd like to share, we encourage you visit http://news.kunaschools.org/ . Select the "Rumors, Questions and Feedback" tab.
Congratulations to the following amazing members of the Kuna School District:
- Federal Programs Director
Arnette Johnson, Special Education Coordinator Russ Hammond and KMS teacher Sharee Adkins. Through their combined efforts of seeking out and writing grants, the SDE awarded our district $345,000 in Title III grants over the next three years. This was the first time that the SDE has awarded three grants to one district.
o "Toolkit" grant, $15,000 every year for three years
o "Co-Teaching" grant, $75,000 every year for three years
o "Enhancement" grant, $25,000 every year for three years
- The following students for winning Kuna’s Down Home Country Christmas Youth Essay Contest:
1. Chase Bybee- Hubbard
1. Maya Rosenberg- STrail
2. Carly Pearson- STrail
3. Jackson Graves- ICreek
1. Addi Frisch- Reed
2. Olivia Coburn- STrail
2. Carson Steiner- STrail
3. Hunter Higbee- Reed
| Grade 4
1. Morgan Erickson- Teed
3. Kacie Andrus- STrail
| Grade 5
1. Gage Wilson- Teed
2. Benton Higbee- Reed
3. Diana Pigulko- CPoint
| Grade 6
1. Jamie Sugai- STrail
2. Ariana Reisenauer- Reed
3. Austin Evans- STrail
| Grade 9-12
1. Kaytee Shelp- IPoint
2. Konner Major- IPoint
3. Michael Riley- IPoint
| Overall Grand Prise Grades 9-12
- KHS teacher Angela Hemingway received teh award of BSU adjunct professor of the year.
- KHS teachers and administrators figured out a way to introduce more teacher collaboration time in their week by instituting a late start every Friday. By starting first peroid 30 minutes later and eliminating advisory on Fridays, teachers have from 7:30-8:20am each morning to collaborate with one another. We are hopeful that KHS has helped pave the way for other schools and the district to find more time during the day for professional development and collaboration.
- Kuna Middle School wrestlers won their 31st straight district championship.
- The Idaho High School Activities Associan awarded the KHS Girls Cross Country team as the fall sports Academic State Champions. This award is presented to the varsity team in each classification that achieves the highest cumulative grade point average. The team had a combined GPA of 3.918!
- Kuna softball coaches AJ York who teaches at KMS, and Josh Mason, who teaches at IPHS, were recent recipients of the Commercial Tire/Cooper Tires "Be True to Your School" award. Mason and York both received the award "for thir patience and for inspiring the Kuna players to be the best people they can be as well as players." http://www.fox9now.com/community/bttys/135559583.html
- Recently, the Idaho Stampede named Kuna High School Coach Deb Bradburn as the area high school "coach of the week." She will be honored at the CenturyLink Arena in an upcoming game where she will be awarded $1,000 in behalf of Kuna High School athletics.
- Kuna High School Women's Choir lead by KHS teachers Brandi Cook and Corrina Steinback was selected out of 46 choirs to perform at the 2012 Idaho Music Educators Biennial Conference April 19-21 in Coeur d'Alene.
- Thanks to everyone who helped with the first round of KHS Senior projects. The fist attempt was a success for students as the following data shows:
o 78% or 215 students out of 276 students are proficient or above
o 8% or 23 students out of 276 students are basic
o 11% or 31 students out of 276 students did not present
o 2% or 7 students out of 276 students results were inconclusive because the judges could not come to consensus on proficiency status
- Thank you to Kuna patron Lee Glover for his dedication to the performing arts. He donated $500 so that the upcoming musical would be able to use prtable microphones for the performance. For past performances, Lee has also purchased a sound board for a floor level set up, batteries, cables, and other miscellaneous items for use in the auditorium. Lee has also given countless hours of training to students.
- Katie Baun, a Language Arts teacher at Initial Point High School, is celebrating the following students for winning the opportunity to publish thier poetry in A Celebration of Poets;
o Angellica Barrell
o Emilie Johnson
Students Come First (SCF) Impact on KSD and Employee Meetings on January 23 and February 2 (attachment)
At the January 10 board meeting, school district administrators presented an update on the State’s SCF initiative and its impact on the Kuna School District. The School Board, working with the various school and district leadership teams, will need to make numerous decisions over the course of the next few months. Included in this update is a copy of the presentation which outlines the components of the SCF plan, how that will impact the KSD, and what decisions the School Board will need to make. Two employee meetings are scheduled to discuss these issues. You may attend either January 23 at the KHS Commons at 3:30 or February 2 at 3:30. The meeting will last about 45 minutes.
Boys & Girls Club Presenting to Planning and Zoning (attachment)
The Kuna Boys & Girls Club committee will be presenting a Development Agreement and request for approval of a lot line adjustment and rezone of the property next to Butler Park before the Kuna Planning and Zoning Commission on Thursday, January 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Kuna City Hall. Attached is a letter sent to patrons. Please let parents know about this important meeting.
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 Programs
CapEd’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
CapEd High School Video Contest
High school students are encouraged to create a short video answering the question “What would you do with $300?” Student videos will be entered for your chance to win $300 as well as $500 for your school. More information can be found at https://www.capedfcu.org/contest/
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: My son is an eight grader in the Kuna Middle School. He has come home complaining about how cold the school is everyday. He has been told they are keeping the heat down to save money due to the budget crunch. This is ridiculous. Do we want our children thinking about how to stay warm or do we want them to be warm and comfortable and able to think about their studies? Something needs to change!!!!
Answer: KMS classrooms have their heat set to 70 degrees and have the ability to turn them up to 74. Students are allowed to wear a sweatshirt or sweater in class if they are cold. Since KMS is an older building, they do have occasional issues that our maintenance department does an excellent job of correcting.