Weekly Update from the Superintendent - June 1, 2018

tchurchill Fri, 06/01/2018 - 12:00am
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June 1, 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 Public Schools Foundation (MPSF) – For the last 21 years the Meridian Public Schools Foundation has awarded scholarship funds to many hundreds of graduating MHS seniors and MHS alumni. This year the MPSF awarded $117,750 in scholarships for 70+ MHS seniors and alumni. To date they have awarded over $1,000,000 to students from Meridian.

The sole purpose of the MPSF is to provide financial assistance to our graduates.  100% of MPSF revenue goes to funding scholarships.  The MPSF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and all of their Board members are volunteers. Their revenue comes directly from endowments and donations of people who want to help support our Meridian students.

Paul Kratzig is the chair of the MPSF and he dedicates his time to make a personal connection with each recipient as they pursue their education.   For more information you can reach him via phone at 360.319.1727 or via e-mail at kratzig@aol.com  The MPSF web site is http://www.meridianpublicschoolfoundation.org 

MPSF is holding their annual fundraising golf tournament on June 30th at Shuksan Golf Club.  You can register to play or you can also make a donation at http://www.meridianpublicschoolfoundation.org/funding/golf-tournament/ or by calling Paul Kratzig directly.

I strongly encourage you to contribute to the MPSF as they continue their work to support our students and provide them with a sense of community. If you are able, please support this organization financially with a tax deductible donation. If you would like to make a payroll deduction, Tracy Newby or Stephanie Dyer in the payroll office can set this up for you.

School Board:
Next Regular Board Meeting - The next regular School Board meeting is at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, June 27, 2018. (Please note the Board meeting on June 13th has been canceled.) 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 website or at http://www.boarddocs.com/wa/msdwa/Board.nsf/Public

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

Use of Personal Leave- Personal leave must be pre-approved by the building Principal or department supervisor.   Please review the language from the applicable collective bargaining agreement.

  • MEA Article IX, Section 3

Three (3) days per school year shall be granted to employees for personal leave. Personal leave shall not be used for other employment. Personal leave will be scheduled through the school Principal.  Personal Leave will be granted on a first come, first served basis, when a qualified substitute is available to cover the absence of the employee.  Personal leave may not be used during the last three (3) days of the school year. Exceptions may be allowed for clearly stated reasons, on a case by case basis. Written requests for exception should be forwarded to the Superintendent or his/her designee and a written response will be provided within five (5) work days.

  • MCEA Article VIII, Section 8.3.1

Each employee shall be allowed three (3) days of Personal leave with pay per contract year. A personal leave day may not be used to engage in other employment or commercial ventures. If an employee does not use all personal days by the end of the contract year, they may carry over up to two (2) personal days into the following year, up to a maximum of five (5) days.

Personal leave will be scheduled through the supervisor at least two (2) days in advance when possible. In situations when advanced notification cannot be given, the supervisor shall be notified as soon as possible. At the discretion of the supervisor, more than one (1) staff member per classification may be granted personal leave for a given day if it is determined that the requested leave will not disrupt the orderly operation of the school.

  • PSE Article VIII, Section 8.3.1

Each employee shall be allowed three (3) days of Personal leave with pay per contract year.

If an employee does not use all personal days by the end of the contract year, they may carry over up to two (2) personal days into the following year, up to a maximum of five (5) days. If all days of personal leave are not used, employee shall receive full remuneration. Such remuneration, if any, shall take place in July. Personal Leave will be scheduled through the supervisor two (2) days in advance of taking said leave. In situations when advance notification cannot be given, the supervisor shall be notified as soon as possible. No more than one (1) employee per job site may utilize Personal Leave on any given day. With the exception of the Transportation Department no more than two (2) employees may utilize Personal Leave on any given day subject to Supervisor's approval with availability of substitutes.

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

End of Year Article - Take a look at this short article, Eight Epic Ideas for Ending the School Year:  Give Your Students a Year-End Send Off that Celebrates their Learning for some engaging activities to end the year with students on a positive note. 

Technology: (Joe O’Brien, Technology Supervisor)

Spring Assessments - Spring assessments are pretty much done. There are a few makeups yet to complete, but the Chromebook carts are all back in their respective buildings. One thing that we've noticed is that Chromebooks and i-Pads are not being returned to the carts each night and students/staff are taking devices from the carts without checking them out. All Chromebooks and i-Pads must be returned to their cart at the end of every day. Thank you!

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

Expense claim procedures – Itemized Receipts Required - Expense claims are used as a means of employee reimbursement for out of pocket travel expenses for conference and meetings.  Expense claims should be completed on a monthly basis with ideally one claim made per month.  Having only one claim per month cuts down on the amount of paperwork that is processed through accounts payable.  Itemized receipts are required for all reimbursable expenses (including food).  Itemized receipts show the detail of items purchased.  Expense reimbursement rules are governed by board policy and procedure 6213 and 6213P respectively.  If you expect you will need to make a claim or make claims on a regular basis, please review the board policy and procedure in the links below.



Please submit all outstanding expense claims as the year is coming to a close.  Thank you!

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

End of School Year Thoughts - As we near the end of the school year, it is a good time to remember that being away from the routine of school is not exciting for all students. The daily routine of school provides a source of security for many of our students. For some it is a time of being away from family stress, be that emotional, economic or physical. The non-judgmental welcome that students are surrounded within their classes, is often a respite, as well as a support for their development. Having breakfast and lunch at school is often the only good meals some of our students get. Summer brings opportunities for free time, yet for some students, it means moving to another location to be with an absent parent, and consequently are leaving friends and other family members behind. As we celebrate the successful conclusion of another school year, please take time to notice those students who may appear to be anxious, withdrawn or depressed and let them know there are people who care and can be available during the summer. 

My Favorite FLOTUS Quote of the Week:  “Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library.  The only entrance requirement is interest.” (Lady Bird Johnson)