KSD Board Report
Message from Trustee Grant
What questions, concerns do you have about growth?
We’ve been very concerned about residential growth in our community and the school district’s ability to serve an influx of new students coming our way. We don’t want our classrooms to become overcrowded and find ourselves asking voters for very large property tax bonds.
I want to be clear: The School Board and School District have no legal authority to deny residential developments. It rests solely with the City.
We’re getting mixed messages about how the City considers the impact on schools in its approval of new housing developments. We have been blamed for the growth in Kuna. (Reminder: We don’t approve new subdivisions, the City does.) We have been told that new projects have been approved because the school district didn’t weigh in on the proposal.
In response, the district began sharing information with city decision makers about the impact of proposed developments. We are supportive of projects where developers are willing to voluntarily help reduce the burden by providing land for new schools or funding to pay for new buses or in other ways that reduce the cost of growth for our taxpayers. For some proposed developments, we are clear that our schools cannot serve the influx of new school-aged children without taxpayers shelling out for new classrooms through new bonds.
The district documents its stance in formal letters and Educational Impact Statements to the City much like other entities that are affected by the growth like Ada County Highway District (ACHD). District staff attend all meetings for the Kuna Planning & Zoning Commission and Kuna City Council testifying when allowed.
Now, we are hearing that the City can’t consider the information the school district provides as a deciding factor in approving development. The message from the City seems to be: “We don't care if the schools are overcrowded. We don't care if property taxes have to go up. We don't see either of these things as our problem.”
We’ve scheduled a joint meeting for March 10, 2022 with the City Council to talk about growth and how we might better work together to manage growth to meet the needs of children and our taxpayers.
You also can email city decision makers:
Zone 2 has changed
In most Idaho school districts, trustees represent a specific geographic area or zone. State law requires that the boundaries of these zones be reviewed and revised if needed to reflect changes in population.
This happens after every decennial U.S. Census. Our community grew a lot in the past 10 years and changes were made to help balance the zones. Those changes were approved by the State Board of Education last month. You may click on the map to review the zones.
If you've shifted into this zone from another, welcome to Zone 2! If you would like to continue to receive your former trustee's newsletter in addition to mine, you can sign up here. As we transition information to the new zones, errors may have occurred. If you notice an error, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.
Thanks for joining the study circle!
Pledge of Allegiance
Communications & Celebrations
Kuna High Strength & Conditioning Coach honored
High School Coordinator Brian Graves introduced Strength & Conditioning Coach Josh Bravo. Josh was named Coach of the Year for Region 5 of the The National High School Strength Coaches Association (NHSSCA). Region 5 includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. NHSSCA gives this regional award annually to a High School Strength and Conditioning Coach in recognition for his or her coaching achievements and passion for the profession.
Kuna Way Award
Superintendent Wendy Johnson said this month the district would recognize our substitutes and our staff who filled in for absent colleagues during the peak in COVID cases in January. (You are welcome to submit Kuna Way nominations using this link.)
Study Circles & Community Engagement Update
Study Circles - Superintendent Johnson shared a report on the Jan. 31 Study Circles including themes identified from the notes and oral reports from each of the five groups facilitated by the trustees. She said the next step is for the feedback to be reviewed by the strategic planning group and for them to make revisions and additions and bring their updated plan forward to the Board to review in April or May. Feedback from participants about the process we used during the meeting was positive.
Community Engagement - Communication Director Allison Westfall reviewed the tentative schedule for engagement opportunities noting the Board will meet with city leaders in March and the fall likely will include a opportunity around the capital plan. Trustees discussed whether to hold a session in April. She shared that their second newsletter gained more views and she and Vice Chair Thomas discussed strategies to reach other patrons.
Trustees Thomas and Nixon attended the National School Board Association Advocacy Institute Jan. 23-25 in Washington D.C. They shared some highlights from the opportunity including:
Networking with trustees from across the U.S. School Districts. They found most districts are facing the same issues including the teacher shortage and access to all families to technology.
The need to advocate with our Federal congressmen on fully funding special education.
Boards need to be purposeful and intentional in their work.
The board is on the right track engaging the community and needs to continue to be transparent about our district and schools, to listen and to engage patrons and parents.
The speakers were very good including Dr. Adolph Brown III who shared the “3 E Rule,” for our expectations of high school graduates to be: enrolled, enlisted, or employed within three years of graduation.
Appreciation for the advocacy of NSBA for the needs of public education.
As a follow up, Trustee Thomas said she would draft a letter to Idaho's Rep. Russ Fulcher, who serves on the education committee urging support for fully funding special education. The letter would also be sent to our two senators.
Robert's Rules of Order
Vice Chair Thomas shared that future meetings may include a short lesson on Robert's Rules of Order, which is used by the Board in its meetings.
Trustees removed new policy 923 from the Consent Agenda for a needed revision and approved all other items which included:
NEW BUSINESS, DISCUSSION, AND/OR ACTION ITEMS
Good of the Order
- Vice Chair Thomas shared that reaching out to Jason Knopp, a Melba trustee and Idaho School Boards Association Board President, who is also a trainer for ISBA, to schedule a session on Board Basics.
- Superintendent Johnson shared that at the Board's request, a Joint Meeting between the Kuna School Board of Trustees and Kuna City Council to discuss growth, will be held 6 p.m. March 10 at Swan Falls High School.
Next Regular Meeting
March Regular Board Meeting
Tue, Mar 8, 2022, 06:30 PM
Kuna School District, 711 East Porter Street, Kuna, ID, USA
I love our community and am grateful to represent the patrons of Zone 2. I have served on the Kuna School Board since 2014. My family and I became residents of Kuna in 2007 when I opened my dental practice (Avalon Dental). We have triplets that are enrolled at Kuna High School and our youngest attends Reed Elementary. Over the last 12 years, I’ve coached a number of seasons of football, basketball, and track, and I have enjoyed getting to know the kids in this community that I represent. You can reach me at email@example.com