wendywebThe following articles are the Superintendent's messages to employees of the Kuna School District. These messages are sent frequently during the school year and include the following sections: Celebrations, Updates, Professional Opportunities, and Rumor Mill. Other messages are sent out as needed and may be included here.


 Kuna School District Updateksd1
Nov. 1, 2018

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” - Pericles

Team and Friends of the Kuna School District,

A few weeks ago, at the age of 97, my grandmother passed away. Even though 97 is an amazing amount of time to be alive, Grammie’s loss has been devastating to me. When conducting an oral history of my grandmother’s life about 15 years ago, I uncovered a piece of her life that I did not know. My grandmother revealed that she always wanted to be a kindergarten teacher. She made several attempts to fulfill this dream, but whether it was because she was needed at the farm because her father was ill, the onset of WWII and her increased responsibilities at home, or putting her children’s needs ahead of her own, life’s challenges prevented her vision for herself from becoming a reality.

She often joked that she went to the “school of hard knocks,” but that didn’t stop her from being a teacher. Next to my mom, my Grammie was my first teacher. She taught me the typical things you teach a child, and she also taught so much more. Because of her, I can make amazing Christmas sugar cookies, ride a horse, tend sick livestock, balance a checkbook, kill a rattlesnake, make biscuits by hand, don’t say anything, unless I have something good to say, make homemade gravy, make something from nothing and the list goes on and on and on. Most importantly, she taught to love unconditionally (though I still need much work in this area).

Grandparents are a special blessing in our lives. When parents are in the midst of life’s challenges in raising their children, grandparents bring patience. Anytime I was having a challenge, I could reach out to my grandmother, and she offered a listening ear, sound advice to move forward, a small lesson to reinforce the right decision and food. After each one of these sessions, she would end it by saying, “no matter what, remember I always love you.” This kind of love gave me confidence so I believed that I could do anything.

Grammie’s life was certainly not easy. With the challenges she faced, she could have easily become negative, allowing life’s challenges to eat away at her optimism; instead, she chose to see the good in every situation and in every person. I truly believe that her positive outlook and love of others was the reason for her longevity.

While my grandmother never officially became a teacher, she saw to it that each of us was able to make our own visions for our life a reality. I hope she was able to find her legacy in us--no small coincidence that her daughter and three of her four grandchildren became teachers.

Educators are also a special blessing in our lives. And so is it that we all find ourselves with the same challenge in this great work of educating generations of children--to love unconditionally while we teach children what they need to know all while having that special patience that our students’ parents may not always have the time to give. The work we do is the work of legacy--of making our students believe that they can do anything in this great life. Our lessons are imprinted on our student’s hearts and minds for their lifetime.

In service,

wendy signature




new update


Strategic Plan Update
Our updated strategic plan is posted to our website. As with all effective plans, this is a living document that will be updated as work progresses. In each month’s Superintendent Update, I will be sharing portions of the plan. Please don’t hesitate to share your ideas with me.

Goal 1, Indicator 1: As a result of collaboration with several committees, the board approved a revision to this indicator. The primary reason for the change was to broaden our definition of success indicators after high school as well as further define indicators during high school that would be quantifiable measures of success after high school. Previous to this revision, the indicator was only tracking enrollment within college. The change is as follows:

1.1. By 2023, 80% of students will graduate from KSD future ready as defined by the following:

After High School During High School
a. % enlist in the military
b. % enroll in a 4-year or 2-year program
c. % enroll in a service program
d. % receive a positive placement into career                                     
e. % graduate with a GEM certificate or an associate’s degree
f. % participate in career and technical educational training programs (capstone completion)
g. % participate in apprenticeship program
h. % pass the CTE-recognized workplace readiness exam
i. % receive an industry-recognized certificate
j. % take a college-level class (dual-credit) while in high school

Public School Funding Formula Committee Update

A more complete draft of of the new school funding formula has been created. Our district was able to review and provide feedback to the first draft. You can also view the agendas and video of the state meetings here.

Important Dates Coming Up in November
Note: you can also check the KSD PD and Events Calendar in Your Google Calendar
1 DCC Meeting
2 Calendar Committee Meeting
5 Elementary Administrative Tactical Meeting
6 Negotiations Meeting
7 Get Ready to Learn, Kuna Community Collaborative
9 KHS Veteran’s Day Assembly
12 Administrative Strategic Meeting
13 School Board Meeting
14-16 Idaho School Boards Association Conference
19-23 Thanksgiving Break
26 Supt. Advisory Council Quarterly Meeting

The Kuna Way Awards
Please help me to celebrate our colleagues who are examples of practicing the Kuna Way. If you know of someone who should receive this award, please nominate this person by sending an email to Cheri Carr.

Kuna Way Awards September 2018

Putting kids first and doing whatever it takes to help students succeed
Sandy Harwood
"Sandy has been the long term sub as a BI para for a student with the most intense needs at FMS. After that assignment, she supported a student in crisis at Ross and did so well supporting him until we can have a CBRS on him. Next is a kindergarten at Indian Creek who needed more adult positive feedback to his appropriate responses to transition or non preferred tasks. Sandy has been steady working with our most challenging students and has had such a positive approach to supporting them. It is always challenging to being a sub as a support for our most neediest students in self management, but Sandy does whatever it takes to help these students succeed."

Collaborating to solve problems, to make decisions, to reach win-win decisions and to continuously improve to make our system better for kids
Melissa Stoddard, Laurie McCord, Teila Seabright, Jerri Amendola, Natasha Ward and Taylor Sisson
For working as a team to determine student needs in math, and arrange students in groups to ensure they feel success - continuously making our math systems better to help kids succeed!

Leading from where you are
Lance Tidwell
"I want to give a huge SHOUT OUT to Lance Tidwell one of our maintenance staff. He and I were talking one day about how the gym was so dark at FMS. The next day, Lance took it upon himself to change out all of the burned out or damaged lights in our gym. Thank you Lance for leading from where you are."

Working hard and having fun together
Yvonna Bocci - Transportation
“Yvonna remains positive and nice when dealing with transportation problems. This year especially, she has gone above and beyond to protect the Kuna kids and get them where they need to be with limited resources. She has made the Kuna transportation a win-win. Always staying positive and extremely nice anytime you are in contact with her. I always say to myself when I hang up the phone after talking to her, "she is the SWEETEST and always goes the extra mile!..." We appreciate how hard she works, always HAPPY to help with a SMILE on her face. KSD is lucky to have her paving the way to get students to and from school safely. Thank you Yvonna!!”

Taking care of each other and ourselves

Kim Bekkedahl - Asst. Superintendent
"Kim Bekkedahl has gone above and beyond with communication and working to find solutions with transportation problems. We appreciate the teamwork and hard work this group has persevered through." ~Reed Elementary Staff

KSD Transportation Department

"The transportation department has many challenges to face this year, yet they continue to find ways to make routes and systems fit the needs of students and staff. We appreciate their hard work. THANK YOU!!" ~Reed Elementary Staff

Preserving our professional capital and promoting professionalism
Christy Hall
"Christy is responsible for the screening of our preschoolers and making sure their scores are archived so we can follow these kiddos and find if they are scoring at benchmark, using Fall IRI Istation scores. She also came to assist on her own time in the presentation of Collective Impact of Get Ready for School Kuna! at the CEC conference at the beginning of October. Christy is well deserving of this Kuna Way Award. Thank you for all that you do Christy!"

Matt Rauch

"Matt researched the student ID numbers of 80 preschoolers who participated in our Get Ready for School Kuna! last spring and found their IStation Fall scores. Because of this, we were able to share this data to our presentation at CEC at the beginning of October. The best part, is that this group met our Board goal of scoring 67% at benchmark. Thank you Matt for always being a team player and promoting professionalism through your actions!"

Andrea Weaver

"Andrea presented her IStation Interventions to CEC conference held October 4 & 5. She met with me for two hours to identify her learning goals and the outline of her presentation, on top of her busy schedule as .5 RR teacher and .5 Preschool teachers. She has such curiosity on improving outcomes for our students with disabilities and works very hard on her own time to satisfy this curiosity since it affects her practice immediately. She is a great example of one who preserves her professional capital and promotes professionalism." ~Ludee Vermaas


rumor Rumor Mill
Have You Heard a Rumor and Want to Know the Answer? Post your question on our website!

It is easy for rumors to get started in light of all the questions and concerns employees and parents have regarding the Kuna School District. If you've heard a rumor that you'd like to get an "official" response on, we encourage you visit the "Rumors, Questions and Feedback" link on our website.