Weekly Update from the Superintendent - April 14, 2017

tchurchill Fri, 04/14/2017 - 3:37pm
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April 14, 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:

Site Preparation Bid Awarded for the New MP3 Campus – At the Board meeting on April 12th the District awarded the bid for site preparation of the new MP3 campus to the lowest qualified bidder        P & P Excavating of Bellingham. We expect equipment to begin working on the site within the next few weeks.

April 21 – Learning Improvement Day (LID) - The second LID for the year will occur on Friday, April 21st.  This in a non-school day for students and a non-work day for school year classified employees.  See language below from Article IV, Section 4.E. for certified staff:

Learning Improvement Days (LID): Learning Improvement Days are designed to provide time for teachers and administrators to collaborate regarding the Teacher and Principal Evaluation Process (TPEP), the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) testing/results and Professional Learning Community (PLC) activities. Two (2) Learning Improvement Days will be provided for these purposes.  One LID will be required for all members to work on site and will be paid at the per diem rate.  The second day will be optional and will be paid at the per diem rate for those members who work on site within the parameters set above. Exceptions for off-site work must be pre-approved in writing by the Building Principal and the Superintendent or his/her designee.

School Board:

Next Board Meeting - The next School Board meeting is at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, April 26, 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

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

State Testing Season - The annual state testing "season" is upon us.  It can be anxiety provoking for both staff and students, but it doesn't have to be.  This short article, Test Prep Doesn't Have to Be Overwhelming, offers suggestions for reducing the potential stress associated with assessments and tips for boosting student confidence.  

Food Services: (Maria Doyle, Food Services Supervisor)

New District Meal Charge Policy for 2017-2018 - Beginning August 30th 2017 all students who intend to buy food through the school meals program must pay in advance or pay as they go to purchase items. No credit will be extended. A courtesy meal will be offered to any student that does not have sufficient funds to cover the expense of the meal. This change is reflected in the recently revised Board Procedure 6700P.

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

Expense claim procedures - 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 (by the employee making the claim) 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.  

Transportation:  (Mark Dennis, Transportation Supervisor)

New Partnership with Parts Vendor to Benefit MHS FFA Program – The Transportation Department has secured a new parts vendor (O’Reilly Auto).  This new arrangement will provide the District with significant cost savings. Additionally, as an added bonus, O’Reilly Auto will donate $0.25 to the Meridian High School FFA chapter for each new vehicle filter we purchase.  Thank you to our mechanic, K.B. for his work to save the District money and to also provide a benefit the FFA program.

Maintenance: (Brian Stephan, Maintenance/Custodial Supervisor)

Ants - If you see ants in your classrooms please notify your building custodians. The best thing you can do to prevent ants from entering your classroom is to remove the food source. You can spray the ants with approved safe solutions such as: water/vinegar, lemon juice/water, or dish soap/water. The majority of the ants are either sugar ants or concrete ants. They can be an annoyance but can be controlled or eliminated.

My Favorite Thomas Edison Quote of the Week:  “The best thinking has been done in solitude.  The worst has been done in turmoil.”