Weekly Update from the Superintendent - March 30, 2018

March 30, 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:

Parent Conferencing Follow-Up – The week after returning from spring break is an important time to follow up with parents regarding the things you discussed and planned during conferences.  Parents appreciate knowing their child’s teacher is following through with the communication commitments and supports after the conferencing occurred.  Please take time to contact parents and give them an update.  This partnership is vital for student success throughout the remaining weeks of the school year.

School Board:

Next Regular Board Meeting - The next regular School Board meeting is at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, April 11, 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)

District Office Schedule - The District Office will be closed to the public during spring break from April 2nd through April 6th.   Payroll will be open by appointment only.  Please email Tracy Newby at tnewby@meridian.wednet.edu or Stephanie Dyer at sdyer@meridian.wednet.edu to arrange a payroll / benefits appointment.

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.

Please note that this is the final due date for 2017/18 PO.  Buildings and departments will likely have earlier deadlines for staff members to get their purchases to the building secretary.  For example, the Meridian High School cut off for teachers and other staff to get their purchases in to the building secretary is May 4.  Please contact your building Principal (or department director) for your exact purchasing cutoff date.

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

Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports (PBIS) - The following article, Behavior Challenges in the Home Stretch, discusses the importance of re-teaching expectations following spring break and provides strategies for making it happen.  The strategies are universal and can be applied to elementary and secondary settings. Set students up for success by taking the time to explicitly reteach routines and expectations following each break from school.  

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Update  - 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.

Data for all schools in Washington State has been released.  To access your schools data, do the following:  

  • Follow this link to OSPI's Washington State Report Card 
  • Click on the tab titled * NEW Washington State School Improvement Framework
  • Click on the tab titled WSIF Data Display
  • Select Meridian School District & your school from the drop down menus

The following resources are useful in understanding how schools are measured and identified for support:

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

Technology: (Joe O’Brien, Technology Supervisor)

Smarter Balanced Assessments - After spring break we will be gearing up for spring assessments throughout the District.  Our first assessment is Thursday, April 26th and will continue most days through Friday, June 1.  For those proctoring assessments, we will be emailing out additional information and instructions very soon.  As always, there will be technology staff on site to support assessments throughout spring.

Technology Support Requests - Please continue to submit technology support requests via techhelp@meridian.wednet.edu. We are working to resolve the requests as quickly as we are able.  With the increase in support requests over the past few years, we are reviewing staffing with the district office as well as evaluating options from 3rd party vendors to improve our support response time for next year.

My Favorite FLOTUS Quote of the Week:  “Art is the window to man’s soul.  Without it, he would never be able to see beyond his immediate world; nor could the world see the man within.” (Lady Bird Johnson)