Weekly Update from the Superintendent - May 11, 2018

tchurchill Tue, 05/01/2018 - 12:00am
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May 11, 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:

Collaborative Team (PLC) Planning for 2018-19 – Thank you to the twenty MSD staff members who spent two days this week engaged in training and planning the structures for the collaborative team meetings that will occur District-wide on the late start Fridays next year.  These staff members spent two days engaged in professional learning and discourse with Mike Mattos, from Solution Tree.  Mike Mattos is a nationally renowned expert on building and utilizing effective Professional Learning Community (PLC) practices in schools and districts. If you recall, a year ago he presented to the entire MSD staff regarding Professional Learning Communities. 

Please see the Teaching and Learning section below for more information.  I also encourage you to talk with the any of the planning team members listed below to learn more about the structures and expectations for the work of collaborative teams beginning in September.

  • IRE – Patti Fouts, Kevin Hersom, Adrienne Somera, Adam Shaffer, Glenn DePeralta and Vanessa Gunderson
  • MMS – Jerry Sanderson, Amy Fox and Courtney Stacy
  • MHS – Derek Forbes, Aaron Jacoby, Don McMains, Rob Burkett, Andrea Ames and Dave Shick
  • MP3 – Michelle Siadal, Shelli Phillips, Janet Giesen and Sara Kurashige
  • District Office – Kurt Harvill

A Perfect Score – Congratulations to Kurt Harvill, Director of Personnel, Grants and Risk Management for earning a perfect score on the annual risk assessment survey by Washington Schools Risk Management Pool (WSRMP). The risk assessment survey focuses on a specific area of potential liability (risk) for the District each year.  This year the focus was in the area of preventing sexual harassment and abuse in our schools.  Kurt was tasked with providing all of the required documentation (policies, procedures, forms, employee training records and District practices) to WSRMP. This required many hours of work on Kurt’s part and his submissions are scored against a standardized rubric by WSRMP.

Kurt’s work got a perfect score for the District. Well done Kurt!

School Board:

Next Regular Board Meeting - The next regular School Board meeting is at 7:00 PM on Wednesday, May 23, 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 Human Resources)

2018 Summer School- Meridian School District will offer three different Summer School programs to serve our students.   Meridian High School will host two different programs from June 18th to July 20th; that include Credit Retrieval and a Transition program for incoming 9th graders.   

Similar to last year, Irene Reither Elementary will host summer school from July 30th to August 17th.   

Summer school teacher, para-educator, and TOSA positions are currently posted.  You can submit letters of interest through the Fast Track employee access portal on Skyward.  

Learning Improvement Day on May 18, 2018

  • MEA members are required to attend their work location for the required LID Days as outlined in your collective bargaining agreement (Article IX Section 13 C1a).  The first required Learning Improvement Day took place on October 13, 2017 and the second one is on Friday, May 18, 2018. 
  • MCEA members- Only 260 day employees work the two LID days.  All other MCEA members do not work. 
  • PSE members- Only 260 day employees work on the two LID days. All other PSE members do not work.

If you have any question on your employment status, please email Kurt Harvill in the District Office at kharvill@meridian.wednet.edu or call him at extension 2153.

Maintenance: (Brian Stephan, Maintenance Supervisor)

Summer Work Orders - It is getting to be that time of the year again! If you have work orders that need to be addressed over the summer please let your building Principal or Secretary know so that they can get them into the work order system (School Dude). These would be maintenance items (broken windows or latches, problems with blinds, leaky sinks, door issues, broken furniture, etc. ) that are beyond the normal summer deep cleaning work that our custodial staff will do.

Technology: (Joe O’Brien, Technology Supervisor)

Assessment Support - Spring assessments are going well throughout the District.  The technology team will be supporting assessments these next three weeks.  Please continue to send support  requests via email to techhelp@meridian.wednet.edu and we will address issues as quickly as we are able.

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

Professional Learning Community Planning – The Meridian teacher leaders and administrators had the opportunity to work with Mike Mattos to develop action plans for our PLC work. As you recall;

3 Big Ideas Drive the Work of a PLC: 

1.             Focus on Learning

2.             Collaborative Culture and Collective Responsibility

3.             A Results Orientation

PLCs  answer  4 Critical Questions: 

1.             What do we want our students to learn?

2.             How do we know if they've learned it? 

3.             How will we respond when some students don't learn?

4.             How will we respond when some students already know? 

There are 5 Things the District Will Strictly Adhere to in the PLC Process: 

            1.             Work in collaborative teams and take collective responsibility for student learning rather than work in isolation.

2.             Implement a guaranteed and viable curriculum unit by unit.

3.             Monitor student learning through an ongoing assessment process that includes frequent, team developed common assessments. 

4.             Use the results of common assessments to improve individual practice, build a team's capacity to achieve its goals, & intervene and extend on behalf of our students.

5.             Provide systemic interventions & enrichment. 

We are excited about this work and are well on our way to becoming a true Professional Learning Community and achieving our District’s mission:

             Each student will succeed through quality, inspirational and innovative education.


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

Expense Claims – Please submit year-end claims ASAP - 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 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.  Expense reimbursement rules are governed by board policy and procedure 6213 and 6213P respectively.  If you expect you will need to make a claim or make claims on a regular basis, please review the board policy and procedure in the links below.



Please submit all outstanding expense claims as the year is coming to a close.  Thank you!

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:  “It is our responsibility as adults to educate and remind children that when they are using their voices, whether verbally or online, they must choose their words wisely and speak with respect and compassion."  (Melania Trump)