Weekly Update from the Superintendent - April 27, 2018

tchurchill Thu, 04/26/2018 - 8:24am
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April 27, 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:

Meridian SD Employees Retiring This Year – Congratulations to the following employees who are retiring this year.  Thank you for giving year heart, soul, time, energy, passion, commitment and professional skill for so many years.  Your work had a positive impact on all of our students and their families.  You have my respect and my gratitude.  Enjoy your retirement.

The Personnel & Payroll Departments list the following retirements at the end of this school year:

Cathy Arnold – PE Teacher at IRE

Matt Vandeputte – CTE Teacher at MHS

Kim Fast – English/Language Arts Teacher at MMS

Dorothy Polinder – Bus Driver

Vanda Russell – Occupational Therapist

Sheree Johston – Family Resource Coordinator

Dr. Carolyn Jenkins – Director of Special Services


OSPI Superintendent Reykdal Asks For Public Input on Developing the Biennial State Education Budget Proposal – Here is the link: http://www.k12.wa.us/Communications/BudgetSurvey.aspx


School Board:

Next Regular Board Meeting - The next regular School Board meeting is at 7:00 PM on Wednesday,  May 9, 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

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

Personal Leave - Please remember if you need a substitute, plan on utilizing a half day or full day only.  We do not contract with substitutes on an hourly basis.  It is your responsibility to keep track of your leave to ensure the leave requested is available for you to utilize.  Please monitor your Skyward account and keep track of leave that is not yet showing in Skyward.   

Technology Policy - Meridian School Board Policy 2022 and 2022P ‘Electronic Resources’ provides guidelines for how students and staff utilize technology.  Please familiarize yourself with the Policy and Procedure, paying particular attention to the sections around Network Security and Privacy which addresses passwords and system logins, Acceptable and Unacceptable network use by district students and staff, and Internet Safety.    

Technology: (Joe O’Brien, Technology Supervisor)

New Gmail - Google has updated Gmail with a new look and some new features. Released on Wednesday, Google distributes its updates in a scatter approach.  There is no specific date when everyone will receive the update. Some of you may have already received it.  Please take a look at the links below to find out about the new look and features



Assessments - Assessments started Thursday and will continue into the first week of June.  Please make sure to email techhelp@meridian.wednet.edu for tech support, but please keep in mind that this is one of our busier times of year.

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

Special Education Students, Anxiety and State Assessments - Many of our students who receive special education services have difficulty with focus and/or readily understanding information presented in a new format, to say nothing of test situations that require these students to sit and focus for the two to three hours a day necessary to complete many of these assessments.

When this difficult time demand is further compounded by tests that must be administered over several days, or even weeks, the potential for acting out and/or shutting down behaviors on the part of anxious students is greatly increased. An additional challenge for administrators, staff and students is that the anxiety produced in this testing environment doesn’t simply evaporate once the tests are done.

Please be aware of your students who have been anxious in previous situations and watch for stress or anxiety that may require an allowable assessment break, change of venue or other modifications as indicated on their IEP or 504 Plans.

Every student wants to be successful and with our respectful assistance, each can perform to their maximum ability on the upcoming assessments.

My Favorite FLOTUS Quote of the Week:  “If a man amounts to much in this world, he must encounter many and varied annoyances whose number mounts as his effectiveness increases.” (Grace Coolidge)