#KSD Ready & Resilient
Update from Kuna Superintendent Wendy Johnson
A simple plea: Help us keep our students in school
I am grateful for the opportunity this week to sit down with some of our students to check in with them about our hybrid model, remote learning, and more. Among the questions, I asked them "what's working well for you," "what are challenges," "do you feel safe," and more.
The students I listened to shared they feel safe; they are grateful for their teachers and support staff; they are grateful to be at school, grateful to see their friends, and they learn better at school.
Our learners shared that "being a student" is challenging on days when they are learning at home.
Their deepest desire is ours -- to keep our schools open to in person learning.
That's our plan and below I'm resharing our calendars for December and we are looking forward to welcoming students back after Thanksgiving.
Our plan is to not close the district as a whole like we did last March. We want to stay open and rely on short term closures as individual situations happen.
Inside our school walls, we are doing our part: physical distancing, wearing masks, washing/sanitizing our hands, staying home when we are sick. These safety protocols help prevent spread at school.
Staying open will depend on ensuring we have enough teachers, staff, bus drivers, nutrition staff, etc. -- to operate safely.
Our team is going above and beyond to make this plan work. This week -- we saw the paraprofessionals at Reed, which needed to temporarily close, and one paraprofessional at Hubbard shift to provide substitute support at Kuna High and Kuna Middle, allowing them to stay open.
"KHS was able to have two in-person days because the Reed staff helped in such a selfless way," said Principal Graves.
Just like we are uniting as one team to keep our children and staff safe inside each of our schools, we need to see our community unite around these simple steps and drive down the spread of the virus.
All schools in our valley are facing the same challenge. This week, I joined education leaders and health department leaders to implore our community to unite with us so we can stay open. Our letter is below.
I would be grateful for a community united around a common goal keep our schools open for our children.
Please enjoy this time. We've included in this update tips for celebrating the holiday during this unusual time.
Special thanks to...
- Kelly Hineman
- Jayne Jensen
- Samantha Lovelady
- Courtney Pape
- Amanda Peterson
- Rosario Peterson
- Felicity Skyving
- Melissa Silva
- Jeff Virgin
Thanks to Ben Gleaton and Kim Bekkedahl for helping Hubbard with lunch duty!
CTE programs, instructors recognized!
Two of our Career Technical Education Programs were recognized by the Idaho Division of Career and Technical Education.
The Kuna High School CTE Business Management Program received a $5,000 "Program Quality Initiative Award" from the Idaho Division of Career and Technical Education by meeting the criteria of a high performing program.
In addition to that award, the staff received national recognition for 13 students who were recognized as placing in the top 10% of all students across the US in the MBA Research-High School of Business Program.
The funds will be used to expand equipment in the new entrepreneurial lab that collaborates with Graphic Design students on community business projects.
Kudos to Sandra Wheeler, Joe Kleffner, and Julia Sharkey.
KHS CTE Agriculture program received four $10,000 awards, one for each instructor, from the Idaho Division of Career and Technical Education. The awards were given after an assessment of the overall quality of the agriculture program and individual instructor performance through the Idaho Quality Program Standards (IQPS) program.
The $40,000 will be used to further support KSD students by purchasing new equipment and supplies, as well as providing funds to support continued professional development for the agriculture instructors.
Kudos to Danielle Reynolds, Shawn Dygert, Joe Blackstock and Travis Edwards.
Tips for celebrating the holiday and preventing the spread of COVID
I appreciate that health experts have offered tips for keeping our loved ones safe during the holiday with different options for celebrating. You can learn more here,