Weekly Update from the Superintendent - January 26, 2018

tchurchill Fri, 01/26/2018 - 8:15am
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January 26, 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:

2nd Semester Begins Monday – Congratulations to all for a successful first half of the year!  Now is the time to reflect on the one thing you identified in August to improve your professional practice.  If you shared this with a colleague please revisit your conversation and evaluate your success…….then reflect again as you head into the 2nd half of the school year. 

School Board:

Brian Evans - Brian recently began another term as School Board Director for District #3.  Brian is the longest serving member of the Meridian School Board (14 years).   He has served as Board Chair, Vice Chair and currently serves as the Legislative “Representative for the Board.  Brian has a deep level knowledge and understanding of school district governance.  Please join me in thanking Brian for his contributions and long-term commitment to serving the Meridian District and community.

Next Regular Board Meeting - The next regular School Board meeting is at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, February 14, 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

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

Aaron Jacoby Named As New Special Services Director – The Meridian School District Special Services Department is pleased to announce that Aaron Jacoby, Asst. Principal at MHS has accepted the position of Director of Special Services beginning July 1, 2018.  He will replace Dr. Carolyn Jenkins who is retiring. Aaron brings a wealth of knowledge about the District gained through his experiences as a former MHS student, special education teacher, teacher leader and building administrator. Please join me in welcoming Aaron to this new leadership position in Meridian.

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

MCEA Classified Substitute Rates Increased – The School Board of Directors approved the increase of classified substitute wages (for those positions covered under the collective bargaining agreement with MCEA) to be increased to a rate of $1.00 per hour less than the Step 1 rate on Schedule A.  This is an increase of $2.00-$4.00 per hour for most substitute positions.  This change does not apply to classified positions covered under the PSE collective bargaining agreement.

You may recall the School Board approved an increase in the certified substitute rate for positions covered by the MEA collective bargaining agreement earlier in the year.   Both of these increases will help Meridian School District attract and retain quality substitutes.

Certification Reminder - Teachers and Principals whose certificates expire on June 30th received a notification earlier this week.  If you have any questions please contact OSPI Certification site or contact Julie Dodd jdodd@meridian.wednet.edu. in the District Office for assistance.

Salary Schedule Movement - As we begin our budgeting process we need to budget for anticipated movement on the salary schedule.  Please email jdodd@meridian.wednet.edu  if you think that you will have earned enough credits or in-service credits (clock hours) by 9/1/2018 to move horizontally on the salary scale.

The salary columns are: BA+15, BA+30, BA+45,  BA+90, MA+0,  MA+45  and  MA+90

This reminder is for budget planning purposes.  Per Article IX, Section 11 of the MEA CBA the credits must be earned by September 1st, and filed with Human Resources by September 15th, 2018.

Transfer Requests - Per Article IV, Section 10 of the MEA Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) those individuals wishing to transfer buildings must make a written request to the Superintendent prior to April 1.  Any previous requests prior to September 1, 2017 have expired.  Full details are on page 12 of the CBA.  This does not include moving within a building which is an assignment, not a transfer.

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

W-2’s - W-2s have been completed and are being distributed to respective building this week.  If you have any questions or concerns related to your W-2, please contact Tracy Newby and/or Stephanie Dyer, Payroll and Benefits Specialist.

Purchasing Procedures Reminder – Standard Process – District procedures require staff to make purchases through the standard purchase order process. This process should be utilized whenever possible. When making a purchase, staff members should attempt to find a vendor that will take a purchase order. In rare instances that no vendor can be found that accepts a purchase order, staff should work with Daniel Yorton, Finance Director, to make special arrangements prior to purchasing. 

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

Why Do You Teach? - Teaching is complex work. This article, Why Do You Teach?  What Sustains Us in Our Work is a light and timely read as we reach the halfway point of the 2017-2018 school year. Take a moment to reflect:  Why do you teach?  As the article suggests, share with your students and share with a colleague (perhaps the colleague you were paired with during the Superintendent's address in the fall).

Technology: (Joe O’Brien, Technology Supervisor)

Technology Support Requests - It continues to be a challenging year for the technology team.  We have 260 support requests and many are taking longer to support.  Below is a list of a few things that you can do to help us help you sooner.

  • Email techhelp@meridian.wednet.edu with your support requests.  If you are not emailing techhelp@meridian.wednet.edu you will not be on the list to receive support.
  • Do not send multiple emails on the same issue.  If you need to check on or update a support requests, reply to the original email you sent so that it does not create a new thread in our ticket system
  • Reply back to emails from the ticket system when we have questions or suggestions regarding your support request.
  • De-prioritizing your requests that are not critical will help us identify and address critical issues in a more timely manner.

Thank you all.  This goes a long way to maximizing our efficiency in supporting your requests.

Transportation: (Mark Dennis, Transportation Supervisor)

Colin Anderson - The Transportation Department wants to thank MHS student, Colin Anderson for all of his help during this first semester of school.  He has helped us in many ways by cleaning our buses and staff vehicles, by completing various office assignments, as well as a host of other miscellaneous tasks.  Colin also was a part of inspecting our new bus that is shown in the photos.  Once again, thank you Colin for your positive attitude and good work ethic in the bus garage.

My Favorite FLOTUS Quote of the Week:  “The clash of ideas is the sound of freedom.” (Lady Bird Johnson)