Superintendent Message (February 19, 2012)
February 19, 2012
Team, As you may have heard, three of our long-standing leaders are retiring this year. Greta Ankeny, the Principal of Indian Creek and Ross, Edd Story, the Dean of Students at KHS and Russ Hammond, the Special Education Consultant will all be retiring at the end of this school year. We want to thank them for their many years of service to the teachers, parents and students of our district. I imagine in the coming months, we will be notifying you of retirement celebrations.
When any personnel change happens in the district, we take the time to reflect on how we may need to offer services in a different way. After reviewing the needs of the district and schools, we have made some changes to two of the positions. The Special Education Consultant position currently filled by Russ has been changed to a Special Education Director and the Dean of Students position currently filled by Edd has been changed to an Instructional Specialist position. The Indian Creek and Ross Principal responsibilities will remain the same. The job descriptions for all of these open positions are attached to this communication as well as posted in your school's break room.
If you are interested in applying, please send a letter of interest to Susan Crew at the District Office by February 24, 2012. Some of you may also be interested in serving on hiring committees. I've asked principals to recommend people to serve on committees. If you would like to serve in this capacity, please notify your principal.
Enjoy the three-day weekend. 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:
Congratulations to the following amazing members of the Kuna School District:
- Wally Hames would like to acknowledge KHS AP Government teacher Erica Holley for her great work with students, “A little bird flew into my room this morning and had me look at a link on YouTube for a project done in AP Government. This is incredible, Erica! I love to see the kids having fun and learning something at the same time. This video is so wonderful!” Matt Krumm agreed, “Your design of this type of assignment and vision for collaborative learning set up not only your class to learn from this type of work but also the classes of others. Even my advisory sophomores have heard about this video and are ASKING to see it. I equate this to my students ASKING to learn about the Bill of Rights. I've never experienced students asking to learn about this document. The kids did a great job but your vision of the assignment deserves major props. It is so great to work with great people like you.” You can watch the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yBx4Xhnujr4
- Thank you to Coach Rusty Frisch from Shana Kerbs, “I have had this uneasy feeling since Dylan shared the news of your resignation as the football coach. I think it is a bit of guilt, as I never shared how much our family appreciated your hard work and amazing efforts towards this program. I can't thank you enough for your dedication to the few young men that stepped up for Kuna Football. It's easy to quit, give up and complain when things are hard; many families did that. But, the boys that were lucky enough to stick with you the past two years have learned life lessons that can only be gained in a football program like yours, based on strong character. I look back and see so many positives changes such as: developing a strong summer program with camp and workout opportunities, team building - leading to new friendships across the entire program, high expectations for all players, some amazing skill improvements for some young men, community building outside of school, efforts to place players at the next level and one of my favorites, the Mom's Breakfast. Even though Dylan will be graduating, I am sad that I don't get to see the next phase of your program. I think great things were just about to happen!”
- Thank you to Crimson Point teacher Tom Harris from parents Jake and Angie Miller, “…Mr. Harris took time out of his Saturday to help our daughter with her math problems. I would like to note while he was teaching our daughter, he was very patient and encouraging. It is rare for a teacher to care as much as Mr. Harris did and also to take time away from his day off to help our daughter. Mr. Harris should be commended for the job he is doing.”
- Congratulations to KMS teacher Wally Hamesfor being selected as an Oratory Fellow for the Ford’s Theatre. As outlined in the press release, “Originally developed in spring 2009 as an elective English course in a Prince George’s County, M.D., high school, and piloted nationally with funding from the Walmart Foundation in spring 2011, the program now expands to a full school-year program providing resources and support for oratory integration to participating middle and high school classrooms across the nation. The program uses the words and speeches of great American orators like Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass to strengthen students’ speaking, writing and leadership skills. The 2011-2012 class of Oratory Fellows includes Mike Buchanan (Keya Paha County School, Springview, N.E.); Jennifer Erdtmann (Bridger Middle School, Independence, M.O.); Laura Fuchs (H.D. Woodson Senior High School, Washington, D.C.); Wally Hames (Kuna MS, Kuna, I.D.); and James Rossi (Mother Seton Academy, Baltimore, M.D.).” Recently, KMS Principal Deb McGrath encouraged employees in her school to “pick a person you work with that you admire, appreciate, have noticed doing something great for kids or others, and tell them that you appreciate them.” The following is a list of some of the comments that were shared:
- From Brian Graves to Laurie McCord: “Ms. McCord I admire your hard work and dedication for always doing what is best for each of your students individually even if it means working late, early and very hard. I appreciate your dedication and creativity to reach each of these wonderfully different and challenging students. I have noticed so many great things you do for our KMS kids and we are extremely lucky to have you at KMS.”
- From Laurie Rice, “Thank you Mr. Hood and Mr. Boland for all you do for kids and me.”
- From Terri Fahrner to Brian Graves, “Thanks to Brian for always doing whatever I ask of him for students who aren't working in class or misbehaving. You willingly take them on and do what needs to be done to help the students succeed. You make my job in the classroom easier and help me make it a better place for teaching and learning. I appreciate you.”
- From Tonja Morgan to Melynda Gissel, “Melynda is such a joy and BRIGHT LIGHT to have a KMS. She is such an asset to our school. Thank you for always being a positive influence. I appreciate all you do for KMS & our students. We are extremely fortunate to have YOU.”
- From Tamara Jensen to Pascual Flores, “Thank you for everything you do not only to help students and staff but for your great smile everyday when I come in the building. No matter what the task, you do it willingly and with a smile. You are an inspiration to me and others!”
- From Melynda Gissel to Pascual Flores, “Pascual is so supportive with lunchroom duty in the mornings. He is always there to help others and to also help students be responsible for picking after themselves. It is always nice to see him by the door when the bell is about to ring.The stampede is about to begin and he keeps everyone calm.”
- From a recent website submission regarding KHS Cheer Squad, “I was at a High School Cheerleading competition at Capital High School February 4th. I was very impressed by your CO-ED squad. I have been to many competitions over the years and seeing your guys perform and perform well was quite enjoyable. I hope they inspire other guys in the Valley to cheer...Their tumbling was great and they got some good air on the boy basket toss...Keep up the good work...”
Quarterly Writing Assessment SystemPlease be aware that the QWA system has been updated with current class and course enrollment information from Schoolmaster and is ready for teachers to enter Quarter 2 scores. Official documentation for QWA can now be found in the district's how to site, http://howto.kunaschools.org.Nominate a Teacher Super HeroTeachers are Super Heroes in every way! Students, teachers and parent can nominate and show their support of a great teacher by nominating them in the National Education Association’s Classroom Hero website, http://classroomsuperheroes.com/>
Professional Development Opportunities
MTI Webinars Scheduled for Spring
The Mathematical Thinking for Instruction (MTI) Spring 2012 webinars are designed to support school personnel in implementing the concepts and instructional strategies from the MTI course. In addition, the webinars focus on building familiarity and understanding of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) by examining strategies, models and contexts that support their implementation. You can participate in the webinar as a group (such as a grade-level team) or individual. All webinars will be archived online within two weeks of the webinar at http://www.tinyurl.com/mtifollowup in case you miss one. To register, please left click on the words "Click here to Register" which correspond with the desired webinar. If this does not work, visit the MTI Follow-Up Opportunities webpage at https://sites.google.com/a/boisestate.edu/mti-support-opportunities/home/ and click on the "online" link.
||5:00 PM - 6:00 PM (MST) 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM (PST)
||Multiplication: Strategies, Models, Context & the CCSS, 3rd - 6th Click here to Register
||5:00 PM - 6:00 PM (MST) 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM (PST)
|| Addition: Strategies, Models, Context & the CCSS, K-3rdClick here to Register
||5:00 PM - 6:00 PM (MST) 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM (PST)
|| Expressions & Equations, 6th-8th Click here to Register
||4:45 PM - 5:45 PM (MST) 3:45 PM - 4:45 PM (PST)
|| Division: Strategies, Models, Context\ & the CCSS, 3rd-6th Click here to Register
||5:00 PM - 6:00 PM (MST)
4:00 PM - 5:00 PM (PST)
| Subtraction: Strategies, Models, Context\ & the CCSS,K-3rd
Click here to Register
||4:45 PM - 5:45 PM (MST)
3:45 PM - 4:45 PM (PST)
| Mathematics Instrictional Practices, K-8th Click here to Register
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/
INL Offers Classroom Mini Grants and Classroom Makeover Grant to Enhance Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education for Idaho Students
Idaho National Laboratory (INL) has announced two grant programs for 2012 in support of excellence and innovation in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. Applications are currently being accepted for INL Classroom Mini Grants and the INL Extreme Classroom Makeover Grant. Funding for the grants comes from Battelle Energy Alliance, which operates INL for the U.S. Department of Energy. The 2012 INL STEM Mini Grants will provide funds to enhance public and private elementary, middle school and high school programs. Teachers can apply for up to $1,000 to fund technology, lab equipment, classroom resource, and material for special projects. This grant cycle has $54,000 available for teachers statewide. The INL Extreme Classroom Makeover Grant will provide funding to a teacher or school to transform a classroom into a 21st century STEM learning environment. The $10,000 award will support classroom instructional resources, materials and laboratory equipment used to integrate STEM concepts across all disciplines. INL will award one Extreme Classroom Makeover grants. Completed applications must be received by March 31, 2012. A panel of judges will evaluate the applications based on specific criteria. Teachers are required to provide information on how learning objectives and curriculum concepts will be enhanced and how the project or program will improve student interest and achievement. Grant recipients will be announced in May 2012. Grant applications are available at the following website: https://inlportal.inl.gov/portal/server.pt/community/education/679/k-12_stem_classroom_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: will we have block schedule next year?
Answer: The current plan is that we will have block scheduling at KHS next year.
Rumor: Is there a map of the district's boundary lines online?
Answer: No, the boundary map is not currently on our website. When we transitioned to our new website, some of the links were broken. We should have the link to the boundary map up in the coming week. You will be able to locate the map by using the "District" link at the top of the website.
Rumor: I am so furious right now with this school district. In tough economic times you are sending little first graders door to door asking people to buy $6.00 worth of stuff for nearly $20.00 so that they can buy a "Touch Screen TV" for Silver Trail Elementary. Why in the world would they need that? Why don't you use your leftover BOND MONEY that you are so willing to throw away on other things throughout the district. Wasn't that BOND MONEY for building and stocking that school with their needs? I bet you won't be willing to post this Comment/Question because it will make you look bad!!!! I thought they made the schools stop doing fundraiser a while ago.
Answer: We have asked schools to be careful about fundraisers but because of the current economic hardship on our schools, we have not eliminated fundraisers entirely. In the case of Silver Trail’s cookie dough fundraiser, this is an activity that the Silver Trail PTA has coordinated to help the school purchase SmartBoards for the classroom. SmartBoard are interactive, electronic whiteboards. As with all fundraisers, students are never required to participate in the fundraising and are told not to sell items door-to-door but to ask family and friends. As to the question regarding bond money, the School Board is in the process of deciding how to use the remaining bond funds. In 2007, voters approved the bond funds to construct Silver Trail, Initial Point, add the Performing Arts Center and classrooms at KHS as well as complete a list of major repairs. At that time, Smart Boards were not including in the list of projects.