Superintendent's Message

June 25, 2021

Dear Meridian Families and Community Members,

There are few items to share as we head deeper into summer and look further ahead. I am not planning to provide weekly messages during the summer but will be sharing pertinent information as it comes to us. Please stay cool these next few days as the temperatures are going to soar!

Learning Updates

As has been mentioned previously, we are looking forward to returning to our normal school schedules and programs for the next school year. We have not received any change in our guidance for the Fall, so if nothing changes, we will still have to manage protocols like social distancing and masks. However, we fully anticipate new guidance with increased flexibility for the school year to be released in July as things continue to open up. As we hear more about what those changes are we will surely share them with you. Additionally, please access the links to the 2021-22 Irene Reither Elementary School Supply List and the 2021-2022 Meridian Middle School Supply List. These will also be posted to the front page of our website - in the rotating banner at the top. MP3 & MHS will share any needed details with students as they start school.

We have received questions from some parents about curricular decisions and involvement opportunities in the district. Meridian School District is deeply steeped in the values of community involvement and sharing our processes. For decades our School Board has been diligent and consistent in its governance of our district finances, curriculum adoptions, facilities improvements, and hiring practices. We value and welcome parent input and community involvement - and have structures in place - to help us meet students where they are. We have offered to meet with a couple of representatives to hear about their concerns. That offer remains open as we welcome productive dialogue.

2021-2022 Budget Approved

Within this Wednesday's Board Meeting we held our Annual Budget Hearing. The budget for the 2021-22 school year was approved by the MSD School Board Wednesday evening. Knowing the difficulties of learning this past school year we have planned significant supports to help our students with learning and returning to a regular school program. Our own effort to save funding and the addition of Federal Elementary and Secondary Emergency Relief (ESSER) funds help us to provide the necessary support for our students. Elements of our budget include two mental health counselors, additional technical support positions, an instructional technology coach to support technology integration and learning, and additional teachers/paraprofessional support for our programs. As we continue watching enrollment throughout the summer, we are able to add additional staff to meet the coming needs. Our new budget positions the District well to respond to student needs and provide support for learning.

Summer School / Summer Projects

We are hosting summer school for each level this summer. The high school started its program this past Monday and will run until July 26th. Our elementary and middle school summer school programs will start Monday and run until August 6th. While our teachers, support staff, and building office staff take a break for the summer, our custodial, technology, and maintenance teams kick things into high gear! Each building is getting a thorough cleaning. Any classrooms that need to change locations are also being moved as part of the work. We are also working to place and hook up the new classroom portables at Irene Reither Elementary and Meridian Middle School this summer. Additional projects include changing the district's phone system, upgrading the wireless system, painting the district office, and resurfacing/painting the MHS parking lot - among other things to get our fields ready for the fall and ensure all our systems are up and running. There is a lot happening during the summer and we appreciate our custodial, maintenance, and technology teams!

Enjoy your weekend, stay cool, and protect yourself from the heat!