District Departments » Superintendent's Voice » December 2019

December 2019

SUPERINTENDENT’S VOICE
December 2019

 

This newsletter provides updates on Nampa School District news, accomplishments, goals and initiatives. For more information, visit our web page, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
 
Writing Groups, Listening, Responding, and Holidays 
 
Paula Kellerer portraitRecently, I had the opportunity to visit my daughter and her husband at their home on a military base where my son-in-law serves. My daughter invited me to participate in a writing group that she has enjoyed on base over the last several months. Although there were several writing prompts, my favorite was the last prompt of the evening. We were directed to choose one book at random from the library shelf, read the last line of the book, and respond to it. 
 
The final two lines (maybe I cheated on this one) of the book I chose was the following: “Every person has a voice that deserves to be heard. We just need to listen and change will occur.” 
 
I was reminded in this season of holidays that there are many voices and many perspectives. For some of our students, staff and parents, the holidays are a time for family. There is opportunity to travel or take some time off and change the routine for a few days. For others, the holidays are just another day of work or another day home alone because parents are working and do not have vacation or holiday days off of work. For some, holidays are reminders of things or people we have lost and bring a sense of melancholy. It is different for each of us. 
 
“Every person has a voice that deserves to be heard.” This is the time of year when we have an opportunity to listen to those voices. Sometimes the voices are extremely quiet or even non-verbal. But they are there. Our children are sharing their stories – as parents, teachers and staff, one of our greatest privileges is to listen and to look for those stories. Respecting the context of each story, we listen without judgment and for a moment reserve our comments. 
 
“We just need to listen and change will occur.” I did have to disagree with the author, however, regarding how change occurs. Change certainly starts with listening and identifying specific needs. But change doesn’t occur without response or action. Knowing the need does not change the need. 
 
So, what are the stories our children and other people around you are sharing? In listening, what have you learned about their needs? Whether it’s a student, parent, teacher, neighbor or a stranger in the grocery store, our listening can lead to action and that is when change occurs. 
 
Invite a neighbor to your family celebration of the holidays, drop off a few groceries on the doorstep of a single mom, shovel the driveway of your elderly neighbor, connect the lonely with a support group, or spend an extra moment in conversation with a widower. Listen to the voices of people around us. They all deserve to be heard. And in our community of Nampa, we all have the opportunity to respond to their needs. 
 
Happy Holidays. 
 
– Dr. Paula Kellerer
 
FEATURED NEWS
 
Levy Feedback
With the recent defeat of a proposed $12 million levy, the Board of Trustees is looking for feedback from voters about why they voted either yes or no on the measure. Trustees will consider comments expressed at a listening session scheduled as part of the regular board meeting that begins at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 10, as well as comments gathered from online forums. You can comment online at www.nsd131.org.
 
OTHER NEWS
 
Blue Cross $150,000 Grant
The Nampa School District is the recipient of a three-year $150,000 grant from the Blue Cross of Idaho Foundation for Health. The award allowing for creation of programs to improve behavioral health resources for students will be used during the first year at Central Elementary School, Sherman Elementary School and West Middle School.
 

Pilot programs include providing subject matter expertise regarding resilient learners; Mind Yeti, a mindfulness tool for teachers to use in the classroom; and Second Step, a curriculum tool to complement the district’s use of positive behavioral intervention.
 
Health Curriculum Committee
The district is looking for parents, teachers, community members and administrators willing to serve on a committee to select new K-12 health curriculum. The committee will research materials that increase student health and wellness, enhance the student experience, and support the teaching of essential and Idaho Core Standards for the next eight years. Apply at https://bit.ly/2rgBwtF (parents and community members) or https://bit.ly/2OaVT4m (NSD educators) by Dec. 17.
 
Central 90th Birthday Celebration
Central Elementary celebrated its 90th anniversary on Nov. 21 with a 1920s-themed birthday party. The event featured cake, singing, building tours, family literacy games and more. The school opened in 1929 as Central Junior High. A WPA-funded project provided an auditorium addition in 1937. In 1972, a kitchen was added and Central was designated the 6th grade location for the entire district. Before it was converted to an elementary school in 1996, all students were moved out of Central to East Side so it could be completely remodeled.
 
70th anniversary of the “Year of the Champions”
Nampa High School’s basketball program will host alumni athletes from the 1949-50 season with a special half-time presentation and post-game reception. That was the year the school’s football, basketball, and baseball teams all brought home state championships, and the boxing team won districts (there was no state competition). The community is invited to join them at the NHS vs. Vallivue game at 4 p.m. Dec. 14 in the Nampa High gymnasium.
 
IN THE NEWS
 
The Idaho Statesman posted a link to our District promotional video highlighting student learning. https://bit.ly/2D5YPZS
 
Cameron with KTVB news reporterOwyhee second-grader Cameron Tullock was featured as a 7’s hero for his passion for helping the homeless. Cameron uses his allowance to create “Blessing Kits” filled with supplies to benefit those in need. So proud of this young man! https://bit.ly/2P9RGNE
 
Some of the money raised by St. Luke’s annual FitOne race was used to build a new track at New Horizons Elementary. https://bit.ly/34amvs4
 
KBOI Channel 2’s Leaders in Learning series featured Park Ridge kindergarten teacher Jennifer Crain. Jennifer relates lessons to the children’s five senses to help them build vocabulary and understanding. https://bit.ly/35oIFa4
 
…And Sherman Elementary, where teacher Chad Moore’s fifth-graders are trying to colonize Mars by first identifying viable energy sources. https://bit.ly/2QFlqEF
 
…And Tiffany Jessen, a first-grade teacher at Iowa Elementary who uses “Secret Stories” to help her students with phonics. As a result, the kids’ writing abilities have skyrocketed. https://bit.ly/2rk0Ajm
 
A veteran who attended the Veterans Day assembly at Ronald Reagan Elementary unexpectedly stood up and began singing “God Bless America,” bringing many in the audience close to tears. https://bit.ly/337YEYJ
 
DECEMBER CALENDAR

This list represents a sampling of district events. Events are subject to change. For a complete calendar of events, visit our individual school websites.
 
Dec. 10, 17: Toddler and Preschool Story Time, 1 p.m. at Central Elementary FCRC
Dec. 5-6: DIII Jazz Band Festival at Capital High School
Dec. 6-7: Holiday Havoc Speech Tournament at Columbia High School
Dec. 6-7: State Drama Competition at Idaho Falls
Dec. 7: Holiday Bazaar and Cookies with Santa, 8 a.m.-3 p.m. at Greenhurst Elementary
Dec. 7: NHS Booster Christmas Fest, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at Nampa High School
Dec. 10: Student Showcase and ELL Night, 6 p.m. at Greenhurst Elementary
Dec. 10: Choir Concert, 6:30 p.m. at East Valley Middle School
Dec. 10: School Board Meeting, 6:30 p.m. at the District Office, 619 S. Canyon St.
Dec. 10: Nampa High Winter Orchestra Concert, 7 pm. at Columbia High School
Dec. 11: HP Spotlight School Ribbon Cutting, 5:30-8 p.m. at Lone Star Middle School
Dec. 12: 1st and 2nd Grade Christmas Program, 1 p.m. at Roosevelt Elementary
Dec. 12: 2nd and 3rd Grade Christmas Program, 2 p.m. at Centennial Elementary
Dec. 12: Christmas Concert, 5:30 p.m. at Reagan Elementary
Dec. 12: Orchestra Concert, 6 p.m. at East Valley Middle School
Dec. 12: Choir Concert, 7 p.m. at West Middle School
Dec. 12-14: Musical, “She Loves Me,” 7 p.m. at Nampa High School Little Theater
Dec. 13-14: Rim-to-Rim Speech and Debate Invitational at College of Southern Idaho
Dec. 13: PTA Movie Night, 6 p.m. at Centennial Elementary
Dec. 14: Mini Dance Camp at Nampa High School
Dec. 14: 70th Anniversary of NHS Football State Championship, 3 p.m. at Nampa High School
Dec. 16: Dance Team Winter Showcase, 6 p.m. at Nampa High School
Dec. 16: Columbia and East Valley Combined Christmas Band Concert, 7 p.m. at Columbia High School
Dec. 17-20: First Semester Final Exams
Dec. 17: 3rd Grade Program, 9 a.m. at Owyhee Elementary
Dec. 17: Nampa High Winter Band Concert, 7 p.m. at Columbia High School
Dec. 18: Christmas Caroling, 5 p.m. at Lake Ridge Elementary
Dec. 19-21: Today’s Dentistry Elite 8 Basketball Tournament at Nampa High School
Dec. 19: Nampa High Winter Choir Concert, 7 p.m. at Nampa High Little Theater
Dec. 23-Jan. 6: Christmas Break