Nampa School District
Nets, corbels and suicide prevention
Bear with me, I think I can connect these three topics. I have been struggling with a way to introduce a really important topic for the Nampa Community to consider: Youth Suicide and Prevention. Part of our challenge is that we don’t often choose to talk about this topic because it can be uncomfortable and we may not know all that we need to know about it. However, it’s time that we have this conversation.
So, let’s start with “nets.” Fishing nets to be exact. The kind that my uncle John had in his fishing boat when he took us out trolling at Big Creek Lakes in Colorado. Uncle John was the expert. Although my dad taught all four of us to bait, cast and tie our lines, it was Uncle John (my dad’s brother) who knew where to fish, when to fish, and what bait or lure to use so that we never came home empty handed. And unlike some fishermen, he shared all he knew with us.
One summer at Big Creek Lakes, my youngest brother Steve and I were the lucky ones to go out with Uncle John in the boat. As we were trolling, Steve’s line jerked and we knew he had a fish on the hook. Uncle John cut the motor, Steve kept reeling and I sat feeling a tad bit jealous. As the reel and pole drew the fish closer to the boat, Steve, in his excitement, lifted the tip of the pole to try to “bring” the fish into the boat. As we watched the fish leave the water and come near the edge of the boat, it happened. The hook lost its grip and the fish began to drop toward the water. Just before the fish hit the water, Uncle John scooped it with his net. Saved!
We spent some time discussing who actually caught the fish. Steve, who had tied the lure, set the hook and reeled it in, or Uncle John whose skill and anticipation netted the fish before it was able to swim away. Clearly, without the net, there was no fish, no picture of Steve and the largest catch of the day, no bragging rights and no trout for dinner. The net “saved” the fish as it was literally falling.
Nets catch things. Nets expand our reach and provide an emergency course of action. Our kids need us to be a net. As our youth deal with the complex issues they face, our community can learn to serve them well by becoming a purposeful, comprehensive net that is prepared to catch them if they need it. Nets, however, are only worthwhile if they are without holes. Our “Nampa community net” needs to be complete, with multiple components that entwine to create a secure, safe place for our youth and children to land if they are in danger or trouble. Our net needs purposeful components at school, at home, in our places of worship, in our afterschool programs, in our youth sports organizations, in our daycares, in our neighborhoods, in our medical facilities, in our businesses, and any other place where children and youth are likely to gather.
While Nampa can create that net, it is a safety feature, not the main event. Our students need support. I mentioned “corbels.” A corbel is a new vocabulary word for me. You know what it is, you just may not know what it is called. A corbel is a support. It is what the finish carpenter creates to “support” the granite overhang on an island in a kitchen. It is the support under a shelf that keeps the shelf from falling. The corbel strengthens whatever it is holding up. Our children and youth need “corbels.” A net is important; a corbel is essential.
How do we become a corbel for our students? We become a support when we are available, when we are capable of recognizing need and when we act on that need. When we see abuse, we call for help. When we see hunger, we access resources. When we see confusion and doubt, we listen. When we notice discouragement, depression, frustration or changes in routine, we ask questions. We don’t ask in judgment, we ask out of compassion and care. We don’t have to have all the answers, but our presence and willingness to engage are important.
Like an effective net, the support needs to be comprehensive. Support comes from our pastors, our bishops, our youth leaders, our daycare providers, our neighbors, our senior citizens, our business community, our coaches, our teachers, our administrators, our mental health professionals, our medical providers and others.
Youth suicide awareness and prevention is a community initiative. It is NOT a K-12 only initiative. It is not a topic that we avoid speaking about. It is time for us to work together to strengthen and align the nets and corbels in our community in a comprehensive approach to suicide awareness and support.
Come join the conversation. In the next weeks and months, Nampa Schools, in conjunction with multiple community partners, will work to provide opportunities for our community to join the conversation. Look for ways to come and learn, to come and participate, and to come and plan with us. If you are interested, please respond to Scott Parker at firstname.lastname@example.org demonstrating your willingness to participate in the conversation. Come be a net and a corbel.
Dr. Paula Kellerer
Kindergarten Registration is April 17
Kindergarten registration for the Nampa School District for the 2018-2019 school year will begin on April 17. Registration is from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. at your child’s school. Children may enroll in kindergarten if they are age 5 on or before Sept. 1. Additional opportunities to register will be available at individual school sites.
NSD Partners with Nampa City for State of the City Address April 17
Mayor Debbie Kling will present the State of the City address from 4-5 p.m. Tuesday, April 17, at Columbia High School, 301 S. Happy Valley Road. Superintendent Paula Kellerer will speak briefly about highlights from across the district. Following the free address, the mayor will host a reception catered by the Nampa School District culinary arts program. Tickets to the reception are $5.
Meals at the HUB
Community members are rallying around homeless students enrolled at Nampa schools by providing healthy meals at the HUB. The HUB is a safe place for youth to enjoy hanging out, receive tutoring and mentorship, learn life skills, get medical and dental care, and get exposure to real life activities. If you or an organization you support is interested in providing a meal at the HUB, please contact Heidi Rahn at email@example.com, or (208) 468-4600, Ext. 1064.
Dance Teams Win Titles
Dance teams from Nampa high schools took home top awards in recent competitions. The Nampa High School team won a national championship in the medium military category. The Skyview High School Dance Team won its sixth consecutive IHSSA state dance title March 17 at the Idaho Center. And Columbia High School’s team won fourth in the state for large dance and prop.
TVLA in the Community
The district’s newest innovation high school, Treasure Valley Leadership Academy, provides a personalized learning community for kids who want to focus on leadership opportunities within the community. A big project this spring is aimed at helping to organize a fruit and vegetable stand in areas of Nampa where residents have no way to purchase food. To learn more about TVLA, contact Emmett Wemp at firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Scholarship Opportunity
The Nampa Schools Foundation has created a new fund for the Elevate (Endowment Linking Education & Vocations Affecting Tomorrow’s Employers) Nampa Scholarship. The goal is to build a match for the Idaho Post-Secondary Credit Scholarship to help Nampa kids move on to get the skills required by employers. Donors are eligible for a tax incentive. More information is available at http://nampaschoolsfoundation.org.
Columbia High Student Recognized as a Hero
Antonio Ballesteros was honored by the Nampa Police Department and featured in a story on KTVB Channel 7 for his heroic actions in December. Ballesteros disarmed a fellow student in an alleged knife attack. But Ballesteros says he is not a hero and insists he did what anyone would have done. NPD photo. See the TV story here: http://www.ktvb.com/mobile/article/news/local/outreach/sevens-hero/nampa-teen-who-stopped-school-knife-attack-thanks-to-god-that-i-was-there-and-able-to-help/277-532009180
BPA Students Excel at State Conference
Fourteen district Business Professionals of America students qualified for nationals at the state conference held recently at Boise State University. The students, from Columbia, Nampa, and Skyview high schools, will compete at the National Conference in Dallas, Texas, the second week in May. There were more than 1,300 students from across the state of Idaho competing at the state conference. Winners were M’Kay Salinas, Bryce Snyder, Tripp Pugmire, Carissa Chandler, Kimberly Roberts, Dylan Yunt, Declan Smith, Gavin Edde, Wade Kindberg, Adrian Kindberg, Breanna Boutte, Ashley Massengale, Ashley Dabb and Devin Clay.
And Here’s a Taste of What’s Been Featured “In the News”
KIVI Channel 6 aired a great story about Skyview athletic trainer Rusty Sullivan, who discovered a rare heart condition in one of his players while testing a new EKG machine. The player, Filiotama’ita’i Church, had life-saving surgery and is doing well. https://www.kivitv.com/sports/ekg-machine-saves-athletes-life-at-skyview-hs
Students in NSD’s dental assistant program helped out at the Special Olympics Idaho State Floor Hockey Invitational in March by preparing mouth guards for 76 athletes. https://www.idahopress.com/community/front_porch/front-porch-nampa-s-high-school-dental-students-help-out/article_cf42d69b-ba06-5985-99ae-12d65f95fca5.html
KTVB Channel 7 reported on alternates to the National Walkout on March 14, including an initiative at South Middle School for students to perform 17 random acts of kindness to honor the 17 school shooting victims in Florida. http://www.ktvb.com/article/news/local/students-plan-alternatives-to-national-walkout/277-528314163
Columbia High School’s STEM Academy is front and center in this Leaders in Learning spot from KBOI Channel 2. http://idahonews.com/features/leaders-in-learning/local-stem-students-transform-their-school
The Nampa School District was well-represented at a panel discussion at the Nampa Chamber of commerce luncheon on March 15. The panel focused on how to prepare and engage young people entering the workforce. Clay Long, assistant director of Idaho Center for Advanced Technology (ICAT), and Gregg Russell, assistant superintendent, talked about district programs and initiatives. https://www.idahopress.com/news/local/2cscoop/nampa-chamber-panel-tackles-millennials-in-the-workforce/article_940b1c0e-8e63-5e2c-8bb3-b7f6ef2a4e61.html
April 7: Hot Rod Happenin’ Car Show, 11 a.m.-3. p.m. at NHS Auto Shop
April 9-13: Volunteer Appreciation Week at Park Ridge Elementary
April 10: High School SAT Day
April 10: Board of Trustees Meeting, 7:30 p.m. at the District Office
April 12-13: Walkathon at New Horizons Elementary
April 13: PTA Sock Hop at Owyhee Elementary
April 14: State Speech Tournament
April 14: Prom for NHS
April 17: Kindergarten Registration, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
April 19: STEM Night at Centennial Elementary
April 19-21: “The Drowsy Chaperone” spring musical, 7 p.m. at NHS Little Theatre
April 21: BYU-I’s Sound Alliance and Vocal Union, 7 p.m. at Skyview High School
April 28: Prom for CHS and SHS
April 28: STEM Year-End Carnival at Sherman Elementary