Weekly Update from the Superintendent - November 9, 2017

tchurchill Thu, 11/09/2017 - 10:23am
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November 9, 2017

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:

School Board Election Results– The results from Tuesday’s general election will be certified on November 28th, however, at this time it appears that Brian Evans will continue as the School Director for District #3 and Renier (Beaver) Elenbaas will serve as the Director for District #2.  Both will be sworn in at the Board meeting on January 10th.

Reception for School Board Director Karolyn Crabtree – All District employees, students, parents and community members are invited to a reception for School Board Director Karolyn Crabtree who is retiring from her Board position in District #2 at the end of December. The reception will be on December 13th from 6:30 – 7:00 p.m. in the Board Room at MHS. The reception is prior to the regular Board meeting at 7:00 p.m. 

School Board:

Annual School Director’s Conference – All five Meridian School Board Directors (and Superintendent) will be attending the annual school director’s conference in Bellevue next week sponsored by the Washington State School Directors Association.  This annual 4 day conference provides an opportunity for professional development for the 1,477 Board members governing the 295 public school districts in Washington. 

Next Regular Board Meeting - The next regular School Board meeting is at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, December 13, 2017. 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

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

Deposit Timing – For all departments that complete deposits and provide the District Office with a weekly transmittal, please have your transmittals to the District Office by noon on Thursdays. State law requires that we deposit all funds receipted at the District level with the Whatcom County Treasurer at least once a week. Receiving transmittals on a consistent basis each week will assist us in meeting this requirement. 

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

Substitutes - The School Board has approved an increase in compensation for certificated substitutes.  The certificated substitute rate is now $125 for a full day and $62.50 for a half day.  Please note that as districts throughout Whatcom County are continuing to experience a substitute shortage, it is important to make arrangements for a substitute as soon as you are aware that you will be out for professional development or any other leaves.  If you don’t know how to use Sub Online or don’t have a password, please contact your Principal or school secretary. The “day of” substitute requests should be limited to sudden illness or emergency leaves.  If you need a substitute, plan on utilizing a half-day or full day only.  We do not contract with substitutes on an hourly basis. 

Covering Classes:  According to the Article VIII Section D of the MEA CBA:  

In the event any of the following situations occur, the Building Principal will pre-approve and sign a timesheet for the employee indicating their approval. 

  • If an employee is asked by an administrator and agrees to cover the class of another employee thereby precluding utilization of their preparation period, such employee shall be compensated at the pro-rated per diem rate of pay. 
  • If an elementary teacher misses a planning time due to lack of substitute coverage for a specialist absence (i.e. there is no substitute for the music teacher and therefore no music specialist time) the classroom teacher will be compensated for that time at their pro-rated per diem rate of pay. 
  • If a counselor, OT, PT, SLP, or Psychologist if asked to cover for an absent teacher, they will be compensated for that time at their pro-rated per diem rate of pay. This provision does not extend to classroom teachers with full time student teachers that are asked to cover for an absent teacher.

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

IEP Progress Goals - A reminder to the Special Education teachers that IEP goal progress updates are due at the end of each quarter. These updates can be entered on each of the IEP goal pages. You can click on the boxes to indicate levels of progress toward the goal. These pages need to be printed and sent to the District office as proof of monitoring progress for State auditing purposes. A copy should also be sent to the family, unless your school has a different system for you to report IEP goal progress to families. Please contact me if you need any assistance.

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

Parent Conferencing Resources - We are approaching student-parent-teacher conferences, which are an important opportunity to continue to foster positive connection and partnerships with the families of our students.  The links below provide tips to assure positive, productive conferences.  These tips provide important reminders for those of us who have years of experience as educators as well as for those of us who are eagerly anticipating our first conference experience.  Make the best of this opportunity to partner with families in support of the success of each Meridian student.  

Ten Tips for Productive Parent Conferences, a Scholastic Publication

Parent Teacher Conference Tips for Principals, Teachers, & Parents, a resource publication based on research conducted as part of the Global Family Research project

My Favorite FLOTUS Quote of the Week:  “Showing up is not all of life - but it counts for a lot.”     (Hillary Clinton)