KSD Board Report
Message from Trustee Nixon
Trustees share growth concerns with city
I want to thank all of you who took time to share your concerns about the growth in our district. Please know that I took time to read each and every response.
It's no secret that our district is concerned about residential growth and its impact on our schools. We are not opposed to growth. We don’t want our classrooms to become overcrowded and find ourselves asking voters for very large property tax bonds.
We've been frustrated with the residential development approval process and appreciate that city leaders were open to meeting to clear up misunderstandings. (We sought your feedback to prepare for the meeting, and shared your concerns with the City. Thank you!)
Thursday, the Kuna Board of Trustees met with Kuna City Council and Mayor in a special meeting. Most of our conversation was about growth in the community and how it impacts our schools. (You are welcome to watch the video of the meeting below.)
During the meeting, trustees asked questions and identified several areas that we want to hear more from the city at future meetings including:
- City decision makers can pause proposals when services aren't available or insufficient to meet increased use. An example here would a development may not move forward when sewer service isn't available in the area. School services and capacities should be considered and given the same weight in decision making.
- We continue to need clarity on the process and when the district should weigh in on the impact of proposed developments.
- More diversity in housing is needed to ensure a mix of high, medium, and low density developments. Larger homes with bigger lots are needed to keep families in our community as well as affordable housing for young families.
- The district and city should work together to change laws to:
- lower the super majority requirements to pass for bonds for new schools and
- allow for impact fees for schools.
Improving city/district partnerships
The school district partners in other areas with city and trustees discussed ways to improve those efforts including:
- Both the City and the District value our School Resource Officers. Under the current SROs cost sharing agreement, the district pays the majority of the SRO costs. In other communities, cities provide greater financial support for these positions in their school district.
- The strategic plans for both the City and District include a focus on improving early learning opportunities for our families. Since the loss of a city staffer, the City has not been represented in the community group leading this work.
- In the absence of parks and recreation space and facilities, the district provides its fields and gyms to help support city and community programs. In the past, the City contributed more to the management of these groups.
Both groups wanted to continue the conversation and a consensus was to meet quarterly.
I really felt it was a great start for both boards and look forward to working together with the city council to do the best for our community. If you have any feedback, please feel free to contact me.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
COMMUNICATIONS & CELEBRATIONS
Kuna High School wrestling coach Pat Owens thanked trustees for their support. The team placed 4th in the 5A state tournament Feb.25-26. Students who placed in the tournament are as follows:
- 1st - Cael Palmer and Carter Torres
- 2nd - Cole Currin and Zanny White
- 3rd - Zoe Fries and Kody Rich (Zoe was part of the first girls' wrestling state tournament.)
- 5th - Hunter Lowe
- 6th - Noyd Monroe
Kuna Way Award
Superintendent Wendy Johnson highlighted one of this month's Kuna Way Award recipients Swan Falls High School Lead Building Administrator Robbie Reno. Robbie was nominated by health occupations' teacher Jessica Anno. Jessica shared: "Mr. Reno is always looking for ways to help teachers out and make us feel appreciated and supported. I wanted to share these photos of him working as a "patient" for our EMT students last week during finals.
We were just wrapping up our spine board evaluations and he came in, unexpected, and dropped down on the mat and screamed: "Awww, I broke my leg, put me on the spine board!"
After we calmed down our new patient, the students went right to work assessing, spine boarding, and transporting Mr. Reno back to his office on the wheeled cot. They thought it was so fun to work on the Principal and it was a great out of the box experience for them."
(You are welcome to submit Kuna Way nominations using this link.)
Robert's Rules of Order
Vice Chair Thomas shared and reviewed a handout (attached below) on Robert's Rules of Order and motions trustees use in their work. (What are Robert's Rules of Order? These are the rules many governing boards voluntarily use to conduct their business and make decisions.)
Electronic transcript update
Previously, Trustee Russ Johnson asked the administration if the process to request a high school transcript could be improved noting that some college only accept electronic records. High School Coordinator Brian Graves reported that the district's high schools will be using a new program called Parchment to provide alumni access to their transcripts for a small fee. This service should be available later this spring. This will not change what we provide current students and graduates.
Community Outreach - City Council Meeting
Superintendent Johnson and Communication Director Allison Westfall reviewed feedback trustees solicited from the community on growth in advance of the March 10 meeting with the City Council. About 150 individuals submitted comments on growth which were sorted into themes: concerns about class sizes, desire for a growth plan, concerns about high school size, a desire to require developers to support schools, safety concerns, and a desire to slow down growth. Trustees asked that the comments be shared with the City Council.
Trustees reviewed the agenda for March 10 meeting and discussed including school resource officer costs as a topic.
Trustees reviewed statistics on their February newsletter and efforts to increase the reach of the newsletter.
Trustees approved the Consent Agenda which included:
- February 8, 2022 Board Meeting Minutes
- Accounts Payable
- Personnel Report
- School Financials
- Budget Status Report
- Trip Requests
- Public Records Request - Building Contractors Association of Southwestern Idaho, Inc.
- Project Tracker
- Community Development Tracker
- Early Graduation Requests
- Policy Updates
(Note: Starting this month, Public Records Requests to the district will be included in its Consent Agenda to keep the Board informed.)
COVID operational plan changes
Superintendent Johnson said the levels of COVID positive cases have receded in our schools and community and the administration was proposing updates to the COVID plan. She reviewed survey data that showed strong support from staff, parents, and students about proposed changes to the district's COVID plan.
The Board approved the following changes to take effective March 28 after students and staff return from Spring Break:
- Make masks optional and encourage, but not require, their use when we have high outbreaks of illness.
- Eliminate COVID decision tree and use Student Handbook on illness. --stay home when ill and/or test to stay with symptoms.
- If person has tested positive for COVID-19, they will follow current CDC protocols.
- Continue to help families and staff with COVID testing as long as we have funds available to do so.
- Stop using our data dashboard and provide our community and staff with a link to the State of Idaho’s data dashboard.
Trustees approved a resolution prepared by Trustee Thomas requesting Congress fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA). When the IDEA was passed in 1975, Congress was to fund 40 percent. It's contribution however has been about 15%. Trustee Thomas said she would prepare a letter to Idaho's congressmen.
Food "truck" for Culinary Arts Program
Trustees approved the purchase of a trailer for the district's culinary arts program using funds from donations, fund raising, and those earmarked for career technical education program use. The trailer will allow students to prepare and sell food at community and school events. The hope is the trailer will be ready for students in time for next fall.
Calendar Committee members: Mary Holmes of Reed Elementary, Christy Mauk of Kuna High School, and Jason Reddy of Initial Point High School reviewed the process to develop the calendar recommendations and the survey results from parents and staff.
Trustees shared they heard concerns about Option B which would start the school year earlier and conflict with the Western Idaho Fair, concerns about about Spring Break in both options and possible conflicts with neighboring districts, and some feedback about Christmas break.
Trustees approved Option A with the ability to change spring break if needed in April.
I appreciate the hard work of all of those on the calendar committee. After the meeting, I contacted Superintendent Johnson to serve as the trustee representative on this important committee. Another survey will be sent to get your feedback on when to schedule Spring Break. I would really appreciate your feedback either through the survey or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org --- Thank you!
Superintendent Johnsons and trustees thanked Cairlissa Morgan for her years of service as the Clerk of the Board and appointed Deann Greany as District Clerk.
GOOD OF THE ORDER
Meeting between KSD Board of Trustees and City Council on March 10 at 6:00 at Swan Falls High School upstairs common area
Financial advisors will present at the April 12 regular board meeting to update the board on continued planning for growth
Trustee Thomas thanked members of the Get Ready to Learn Kuna early childhood learning collaborative for engaging state lawmakers recently. Superintendent Johnson recognized Kristy Hardy who was part of the effort and was attending the board meeting.
NEXT REGULAR MEETING
April Regular Board Meeting
Tue, Apr 12, 2022, 06:30 PM
Kuna School District, 711 East Porter Street, Kuna, ID, USA
I’ve been a Kuna resident for 24 years, and was a teacher in the Kuna School District for 34 years. At present, I teach 4th grade at Nampa Christian Schools in Nampa, Idaho. My husband and I watched both of our sons succeed in our schools and graduate from KHS. I’ve represented Zone 4 since I was appointed to fill a vacant position in 2016. I was then elected to a 4 year term in May of 2017, and was reelected to a four-year term in November of 2021. I am thrilled to use my knowledge, experience, and love of children to serve my community. I believe children are our future and deserve the best education we can give them. It is important for me to listen to all stakeholders, students, parents, teachers and community members. Please feel free to email me at email@example.com. I am honored to be your trustee and look forward to serving you this term.