Supaman Visits Corvallis Schools

Superintendent's Blue Devil Blog: 9/24/21

Hello, Blue Devils! I am trying something new this year on Fridays. I will be giving you some insight into the Superintendent's job, my personal Blue Devil experience, and end with a Covid-19 update.

Monday 9/20

MCASE/MASS VIRTUAL CONFERENCE – Each fall the Montana Council of Administrators of Special Education and the Montana Association of School Superintendents combine for a fall conference. This year’s conference was virtual. The presentations included the following topics: Leading Innovation through Collaborative Leadership, Women in Leadership Summit, Restorative Practices, Current Hot Legal Issues and the Pandemic, and breakout sessions with other Class A Superintendents. The conference ended on day one after lunch.

TRANSPORTATION MEETING – Met with transportation director on job duties and responsibilities, as well as getting ready for the Transportation meeting Wednesday morning with bus drivers.

BUILDINGS AND MAINTENANCE – Met with Buildings and Maintenance Director on how he and I were going to manage the interim as Transportation Co-Directors until someone is hired. We discussed how we would divvy up the responsibilities. Prepped for the bus driver meeting for Wednesday.

Tuesday 9/21

MCASE/MASS VIRTUAL CONFERENCE – Attended the conference virtually until it ended after lunch.  

SUPAMAN IN CSD – We were excited to have Christian Parish, Supaman, here in our school district. He spread the message of kindness, resiliency, and empathy. He is a Native American Hip Hop Rapper that danced in traditional clothing. He was able to engage and motivate staff in all three schools to dance with his Hip Hop music. Both students and staff loved this experience.

DISTRICT INSTRUCTIONAL PRACTICES MEETING – Met with K-12 district administrators on practices, procedures, and protocols to work on effectiveness and efficiencies. Most the conversation was centered around revisiting our COVID protocols and reviewing metrics.

TRANSPORTATION MEETING – Met with Transportation director and continued to learn more about his position.

TEACHER MEETING – Met with a teacher to discuss the curriculum and personal philosophies according to the latest research.

TRANSPORTATION MEETING – Met with a possible candidate for the Transportation Director position that wanted to learn more about the position.

Wednesday 9/22

TRANSPORTATION MEETING WITH ALL BUS DRIVERS – Met with current bus drivers to discuss the coverage of duties and responsibilities of Jim Bowen and myself in taking over the position in the interim. Got ideas from drivers, discussed concerns going forward, and discussed how scheduling of buses will be administered going forward.

BITTERROOT COLLEGE ADVISORY BOARD – As a superintendent, one of the duties is to sit on several boards in the community. These connections help support our schools and our students. I am on the Bitterroot College Advisory Board which meets monthly. This connection helps provide more opportunities for our students.

CELEBRATING INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY DIRECTOR, DEANNA FLEMMER – Over the lunch period, we celebrated the tremendous career of our Director of Informational Technology, Deanna Flemmer. Today was her last day. She has worked for CSD for 22 years and will be greatly missed! Good luck, congratulations, keep the ball on the green, and I like to state I beat a UCLA basketball player 1:1 this past June.

ADMIN MEETING – Met with a portion of the administrators on the School Board Calendar. We worked on how we can best communicate our progress towards our goals in the Five Year Strategic Plan. There are five focus areas and we reviewed the data we would be using to determine if we meeting the targets with our goals. We understand that Covid has affected our goals; we will be presenting this data and what we will do about it in an upcoming meeting.

BOARD MEMBER WALK THROUGH – Board members are required to tour the facility one time per year according to board policy. All current board members have done this with out students in the buildings in June, July and August, in fact they have toured for almost 5 hours across the two campuses. I have asked all board members to also tour school buildings with me when school is in session.

BUILDING AND MAINTENANCE MEETING – Met with Jim Bowen to discuss the  needs of Transportation, as well as the ability to access the Traversa Bus Route software. We are both learning how to us the software to support drivers and families.

SCHOOL BOARD MEETING: HIRING COMMITTEE FOR BUSINESS MANAGER – Discussion on application process for business manager. We are closing the position on October 1st, reviewing applications, and then setting up interviews the following week.

Thursday 9/23

CONFERENCE CALL WITH MY MENTOR – Met with School Administrators of Montana mentor via conference call. We reviewed specific situations from the past two weeks and debriefed the effectiveness of the communication and actions associated with it.  Then we continued our discussion on the vision and goals for my personal growth for this upcoming school year.

CURRICULUM MEETING – Met with Allison Nys to discuss agenda for two upcoming meetings: District Leadership Meeting, and Administrative PLC (Professional Learning Community). We are continuing to work on making our communication as clear as possible as we are using the mantra this year, “Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind,” a Brene Brown quote.  

MIDDLE SCHOOL ADMIN MEETING – Met with middle school administration to brainstorm and review ideas to continue work on building school culture. We know that the top 1% of the top 1% of the highest achieving schools in the US all have one common characteristic: a positive school culture.

MTSBA THINK TANK THURSDAY - Montana School Board Association holds live Zoom meetings on Thursdays at noon. The latest changes in policy were discussed today. I will now bring the policies that affect Corvallis to the school board for review and possible adoption.

RAVALLI COUNTY HEALTH NURSE CONTACT – On Thursday afternoon’s Maribeth Talia, Corvallis school nurse, and myself have a conference call set up with the Ravalli County Health Nurse as we navigate through Covid.

INTERIM DIRECTOR’S ANNOUNCED – Sent out email to all staff of the interim coverage for two positions. Jim Bowen and myself will be covering for Transportation Director. Todd Watkins, from Watkin’s Consulting, and myself will be the interim coverage for the open Business Manager position.

TEACHER MEETING – Met with a teacher to discuss curriculum options.

TRANSPORTATION MEETING - Met with Transportation Director and reviewed upcoming scheduling conflicts. Problem solved a situation with the MS cross country bus in Thompson Falls.

VOLLEYBALL GAME VS. FRENCHTOWN – I attended the varsity volleyball game as the girls won in three games versus the Frenchtown Broncs.

Friday 9/24

BOARD MEMBER MEETING – Met with two board members to review School Board Calendar. We will publishing a school board calendar that has events, duties, and upcoming presentations connected to our Strategic Plan.

PRIMARY ADMIN MEETING – Met with the Primary principals on curriculum and vision for reading. We want to be able to say, “Here’s what it looks like for a student in reading, K-4?” As we delve into extensions and extra support, we are continually looking at the latest reading research and making sure we are asking the right questions with our teachers moving forward.

HIGH SCHOOL ADMIN MEETING –  Met with High School principals on mental health support of our students, Homecoming events, athletics, and fundraising ideas.

MAINTENANCE AND TRANSPORTATION MEETING – Met with Jim Bowen repeatedly as we are learning all the responsibilities and communication needs to support our bus drivers on routes and athletics.

EASTSIDE HIGHWAY TRAFFIC OBSERVATION – All students were released and on buses ready to leave at 2:15 PM. Buses were able to cross Eastside Highway quicker as the release time for the middle and high school was moved back five minutes. We know the four-way stop is congested and we are doing our best to make sure it is safe and continues to move.  Please make sure you are not blocking traffic as you pull into the Primary School. You risk getting ticketed for blocking traffic. Coming five minutes earlier or five minutes later might be an easier solution.

COVID UPDATE: 9/24/21

Total Active Cases as of Today: 12  ( PS=5, MS=5, HS=1, OTHER = 1) -- Total Active Cases Last Friday: 12

Total in Quarantine as of Today: 25 -- Total in Quarantine Last Friday: 33

Our next regularly scheduled school board meeting will be on October 12th. We will start with a special session at 6:00 PM, and the regular board meeting starting at 7:00 PM in the library.

I have an open-door policy, please come visit me at the Central Office.

Jon Konen, Superintendent "Culture eats strategy for breakfast" -- Peter Drucker