Weekly Update from the Superintendent - May 25, 2018

tchurchill Fri, 05/25/2018 - 12:00am
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May 25, 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:

Masonic Educator of the Year

Congratulations to MMS English/Language Arts teacher Cynthia Richardson who was selected as the Masonic Educator of the Year for the Meridian School District.  Cynthia was presented with a certificate and award by Masonic representatives at the School Board meeting on Wednesday evening.  Congratulations Cynthia!  

Student Representatives to the School Board

Thank you to MHS Senior Bryn Magnusson for her service as a student representative to the School Board for the past two years (2016-17 and 2017-18). She has been a positive, valuable and contributing representative who has served the students at MHS well. We wish her the best as she moves into her next stage in life at Eastern Washington University.

Thank you MHS Junior Rubijean Stuit for her service as a student representative over the past two years as well.   She will be serving a third term during 2018-19 which will make her the longest serving student representative in Meridian School District history.  She even attends Board meetings in the summer! Thank you to Rubijean for her dedication and her positive and thoughtful contributions as well.  We look forward to her continued service during the 2018-19 school year.

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 web site or at http://www.boarddocs.com/wa/msdwa/Board.nsf/Public

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

Certified Staff Contracts - Certified staff contracts will be delivered to each building head secretary by the end of the day Friday, May 25. The contracts are issued at each staff member’s placement for the 2018-19 school year. The contract amount will be based on that placement on the 2017-18 salary schedule.

All certificated staff will receive a contract addendum after the 2018-19 salary schedule is approved.  Please note: if you take additional coursework over the summer please turn in approved clock hour forms or official transcripts as soon as possible, but no later than October 1, 2018 for changes in placement in the 2018-19 school year.

If you have any questions about your placement, your degree, clock hours or credits, please contact Julie Dodd, Human Resource Coordinator at jdodd@meridian.wednet.edu or at extension 2152.

Summer Hours at the District Office - The District Office will start summer hours (Monday-Thursday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM) starting the week of June 18th and continue through Friday August 10th.  The District will return to the normal Monday through Friday schedule on Monday August 13th.  It is common for District Office staff to schedule vacations during the summer, so if you want to meet with a specific staff member it is recommended to call or email ahead for an appointment.

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

Professional Learning Community- We have exciting work ahead as our District further commits to becoming a high functioning Professional Learning Community (PLC).  This work is supported by building shared understanding and using common vocabulary.  Following is a slight shift in the way we define a PLC.  

  • What is the PLC -- the entire district, the school or the individual teams within a school?  

The larger organization is the PLC.  So, if a district has committed to the PLC process, then the district is considered the PLC.  If a single school within a district has committed to the PLC process, then the school is considered the PLC.  Within each PLC, teachers form collaborative teams to best achieve the mission of ensuring high levels of learning for all students.  While collaborative teacher teams are part of the larger PLC, we don't refer to each teacher team as a PLC. This is a shift in vocabulary for us

  • What is a collaborative team?  

A collaborative team is a group of educators who share students or content and who work interdependently to achieve common SMART goals for which all members are mutually accountable.  

  • What does high levels of learning for all mean? 

High levels of learning for all is defined as all students learning at grade level or better each year and on a trajectory to graduate from high school with the skills, knowledge, and dispositions to continue to learn.  Schools focused on high levels of learning for all create conditions that do not allow students to be tracked for below-grade-level learning. 

  • Does all really mean all?    

Without question, committing to a mission of high levels of learning for all students is a daunting task.  But if a school settles for less - that most students will learn at high levels - then how does the school determine which students deserve less.  We define all students as every student expected to live independently beyond school.  

Mattos, M. (2016). Concise answers to frequently asked questions about professional learning communities at work. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree Press, a division of Solution Tree.

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

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

Technology: (Joe O’Brien, Technology Supervisor)

Spring Assessments - Next week is our last week of major Spring Assessments.  There will still be a few make-ups to complete.  Thanks to all staff and teachers for making it successful. All Chromebook carts will be returned by end of day Thursday, May 31st.

Following testing, we'll be focusing on addressing tech support tickets and preparing for the work we need to complete this summer.   As always, please email techhelp@meridian.wednet.edu for support.

My Favorite FLOTUS Quote of the Week:  “He does well when he listens to me and poorly when he does not. “ (Florence Harding)