Weekly Update from the Superintendent - April 13, 2018

tchurchill Fri, 04/13/2018 - 8:20am
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April 13, 2018

This weekly update includes information from the District Office and department staff regarding District operations and reminders.  It does not include updates or activities from each school site.

Office of the Superintendent:

Incoming Superintendent Contact Information – Incoming Meridian SD Superintendent, Dr. James Everett now has a Meridian School District e-mail address.  It is jeverett@meridian.wednet.edu  If you have any questions for him or would like to contact him please utilize this e-mail address.

MHS Discus Launch Pad to Be Moved – MHS Athletic Director, Bryant Michaelson is working with the District Maintenance Department to move the MHS Discus Launch Pad to a new location to the north of the track for safety/risk management reasons.  Please contact Bryant at extension 2160 or at bmichael@meridian.wednet.edu  if you would like more information on this project.

School Board:

Next Regular Board Meeting - The next regular School Board meeting is at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. Board meetings are held in the Professional Development/Board Room at MHS.  All staff members are invited and welcome to attend School Board meetings.   Meeting agendas and minutes can be accessed via a link from the District web site or at http://www.boarddocs.com/wa/msdwa/Board.nsf/Public

Business Office: (Daniel Yorton, Director of Business Services)

Unpaid Leave - When taking leave, it is the employee’s responsibility to check their leave balance in Skyward and ensure they have sufficient leave for their request.  Please note that for unpaid leave of 4 or more days, District policy requires the “Meridian School District Unpaid Leave Request” form to be completed as well as approved by the Director of Personnel Kurt Harvill.  For unpaid leave of 3 or less days, supervisor or department head written approval is required. If an employee does not check their leave balance before requesting leave and takes leave above their current balance, this requires the employee to be unpaid for such time off.  The hypothetical employee in this example would be in violation of District policy regarding unpaid leave as they did not get the required pre-approval.  If you have questions about unpaid leave, please contact Kurt Harvill.  

Timesheets - Timesheets are the method the District utilizes to track extra time worked, as well as to track time used for leaves (personal, sick, bereavement, etc.)  All extra time and leaves must be pre-approved by your Principal or department supervisor. All timesheets are also required to have the employee's signature to verify their accuracy. By signing the timesheet, you are certifying that you worked the hours listed and that all of the information on the timesheet is accurate. 

Human Resources: (Kurt Harvill, Director of Personnel, Grants and Risk Management)

MCEA Professional Development Grant - The 2017-18 Professional Development funds, as outlined in the collective bargaining agreement between MCEA and the District, have been awarded.  There were five (5) requests totaling $2500. This year all grant requests were awarded.  The award recipients are:

Silves, Teresa

CTE Certification


Miller, Katherine

Annual Northwest Behavioral Health and Addictive Disorder Conference


Whitener, Chelsea

K-8 Master's in Teaching


Lintz, Galina

Elementary Math Games that Build Brain Matter


Erickson, Patti

Quickbooks at Whatcom Community College



STAFF ETHNICITY AND RACE DATA - Federally mandated reporting of staff ethnicity and race data requires districts to collect data about Hispanic origin and about race, using a “two-part question”.

Please review your Race and Ethnicity data in Employee Access and verify or update your information. This area can be viewed through Employee Access/Employee Information/Personal Information/Employee Info. Updates can be made by selecting ‘Request Changes’.

Ethnicity and race categories are set by the federal government. For the purpose of the reporting requirement, Hispanic/Latino is an ethnicity category, not a race category. Ethnicity is a cultural phenomenon. Race is a biological quality.

Ethnicity:  Hispanic/Latino – A person of Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban, South or Central American, or other Spanish culture or origin, regardless of race.

Federal Race:         

  • American Indian or Alaskan Native - A person having origins in any of the indigenous peoples of North and South American (including Central America), and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment.
  • Asian - A person having origins in any of the indigenous peoples of the Fat East, Southeast Asian, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Pakistan, the Philippine Islands, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Black or African American - A person having origins in any of the black racial groups of Africa.
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander - A person having origins in any of the indigenous peoples of Hawaii, Guam, Samoa, Australia, New Zealand, New Guinea, or other Pacific Islands.
  • White - A person having origins in any of the indigenous peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa.

A person may report in more than one of the listed race categories.

If you need help accessing Skyward Employee Access, or resetting your Skyward password, please contact Julie Dodd, Human Resource Coordinator at jdodd@meridian.wednet.edu or at extension 2152.

Special Services: (Dr. Carolyn Jenkins, Director of Special Services)

Opportunity to Earn Special Education Teacher Certification - Here is an opportunity though Western Washington University for classified employees who are interested in becoming certified teachers:

Western Washington University is excited to announce an opportunity for special education endorsement that might work for paraeducators who are interested in becoming teachers. We have recently redesigned the major through our Western Washington University, Teacher Education Outreach Programs housed in North Seattle, Bremerton, and Everett. The plan of study has been reduced from a three-year program to a program that is eight quarters in length. That is two years, including summers. 

 It is a dual endorsement program with both elementary and special education. The program staff will work with candidates to arrange field placements that are compatible with the candidate’s job responsibilities. Classes are held in the evenings, after the school day, and some are on-line. The program is called Education for Inclusive Environments and is focused on high-incidence disabilities. 

 Here is a link to a website that will tell you even more about the program: https://wce.wwu.edu/teop/teacher-education-outreach-programs

If candidates have immediate questions about this program, they can reach out to Joanna Reynoso at WWU via e-mail at joanna.reynoso@wwu.edu .

Teaching and Learning: (Patti Fouts, Director of Teaching and Learning)

Finishing the Year Strong - This short article, How to Finish the School Year Strong, acknowledges the challenge of teaching at this time of year, reminds us to revisit why we do this important work, and offers eight simple strategies for finishing the year strong.  Enjoy!

My Favorite FLOTUS Quote of the Week:  “As for accomplishments, I just did what I had to do as things came along.”  (Eleanor Roosevelt)