Weekly Update from the Superintendent - March 16, 2018

tchurchill Fri, 03/16/2018 - 8:04am
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March 16, 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:

2018 WA State Legislative Session Concludes – The 2018 legislative session has concluded.  Here are a few of the highlights regarding public schools:

  • (McCleary) Compliance to Fully Fund Basic Education – An additional 1 billion dollars was added to the budget for funding schools in order to meet the requirements set by the Washington State Supreme Court regarding the McCleary lawsuit.
  • Property Tax Relief – Provides for a one-time state property tax relief in 2019.
  • School Construction Assistance – 4.2 billion dollars was released for school and state facility construction projects.
  • Special Education – Adds a slight increase to funding for special education services.
  • Teen Voter Registration – 16 and 17 year olds will now be able to pre-register to vote and schools are required to coordinate voter registration events that coincide with Temperance and Good Citizenship Day in January each year. (Our MHS students in Mr. Lawrence’s classes have been actively involved in supporting this legislation.)

School Board:

Next Regular Board Meeting - The next regular School Board meeting is at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, March 28, 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

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

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Update – Background: The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has its roots in the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), enacted in 1965, with the purpose of providing equal educational opportunity for all students. In 2002, ESEA was reauthorized as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). The most recent reauthorization is the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) which was enacted in 2015 and scheduled to be fully operational in the 2017-2018 school year. It changes the way schools and districts are identified for support with the goal of improving student achievement.

Update: Data for all schools in Washington State was scheduled to be released Thursday, March 15.  Here are additional resources that are useful in understanding how schools are identified:

For a comprehensive overview of ESSA, visit OSPI's Elementary and Secondary Education Act home page.   If you have questions, or would like additional information, please contact your building principal.  

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

Personnel Information on Skyward - Remember that the Employee Access area of Skyward offers you the opportunity to review your Personnel Information (address, phone, email) that you have on file with the District Office and the opportunity to request changes to your information. If you need help accessing Skyward, or resetting your Skyward password, please contact Julie Dodd at jdodd@meridian.wednet.edu or extension 2152.

Paraeducator Requirements - The 2017 Legislature passed into law ESHB 1115 which identifies the requirements for paraeducator employment in Washington State. Effective September 1, 2018, the following minimum employment requirements, as written into law by HB 1115, go into effect. All paraeducators must:

Be at least eighteen years of age and hold a high school diploma or its equivalent; and

  1. Have received a passing grade on the Education Testing Service's Paraeducator Assessment; or
  2. Hold an Associate of Arts degree; or
  3. Have earned seventy-two quarter credits or forty-eight semester credits at an institution of higher education; or
  4. Have completed a registered apprenticeship program.

If you are interested in becoming a paraeducator, the District Office has updated resources available for employees to check out to assist in meeting the above requirements.    Please contact Julie Dodd in the District Office at jdodd@meridian.wednet.edu if you are interested.

MCEA PD Grant - Remember the MCEA Professional Development Grant is currently available.  Please submit your letter before Monday, March 19, 2018.

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

2017/18 Purchase Orders – Reminder: The deadline to have 2017/18 purchase orders in for approval is May 15, 2018. All purchases made after May 15th will require special approval from the Finance Department.

My Favorite FLOTUS Quote of the Week:  “Do what you can to show you care about other people and you will make our world a better place.”  (Rosalynn Carter)