Emmett Independent School District

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Letter from the Superintendent

The Emmett Independent School District will be asking the Gem County voters on May 16th to vote on a replacement supplemental levy for 1.4 million dollars a year for two years for a total of 2.8 million dollars. As a replacement levy, tax payers will not see an increase in their current levy rate.

 

This levy will provide needed funding to replace lost State revenue since 2008 and allow our district to move into a leadership position in Idaho for teaching and learning by implementing a Blended Learning Model district wide.  The goals for this levy are to:

  1. Provide for appropriate staffing to maintain reasonable class sizes and needed services.
  2. Provide safe and well-maintained facilities for learning.
  3. Implement a blended learning model and provide quality curriculum materials for all students.

The levy will provide funds for three full time and two half time teachers, two new and four current paraprofessional positions and a behavioral specialist. One of these teachers will allow us to reduce the 5th grade class size at the Middle School from approximately 37 students to 28 students. By adding a half time math teacher to the high school, we will be able to add physics and computer science classes to our course offerings. A middle school teaching position will also allow us to offer computer science courses at the Middle School. These positions will enhance our ability to offer more courses while keeping class sizes reasonable.

Maintaining quality facilities is an ongoing process for our district. We have 375,478 square feet of student occupied buildings in the District. We are required by law to spend at least $612,000 on maintenance of these buildings each year. This year, the Idaho Lottery only provided our district $142,704 to help pay for maintenance. Our needs are much greater. The District’s 10 Year Maintenance Plan shows that we need to spend about 17 million dollars over the next 10 years on maintaining and improving our facilities. The continued support of the levy will help us meet some of these needs. Some of the projects that are planned include: Middle School – two new heating and air condition units for the lunchroom and band room along with a new roof over the gym; High School – replacing exterior doors and providing for safety improvements to the football field sideline where students have been injured; Sweet – deepen our well; Carberry and Shadow Butte – add a security camera system and improve parking lot lighting.

The more exciting part of this levy will allow our District to make significant improvements in student learning, curriculum, and teaching. We are planning to move our classrooms into blended learning environments.

Blended Learning is a formal education program in which a student’s learning is guided by a classroom teacher in a school and at least part of their education is offered through technology. Students will gain some element of control over time, place, path (order of learning), and/or pace.

Following is an example of blended learning in science from one of our current 5th grade teachers:

“I finally talked myself into implementing the blended classroom — WOW!  My kids were working quietly in small groups. As I moved around the room, every single kid was on task!  They really bought into the whole concept of Watering Hole, Cave Time, & Campfire.

Watering hole is "lab work" where the kids had 2 science experiments on xylem and phloem to do. I put the instructions and tools on the table and they led the experiments.

My campfire was book reading together, finding the vocabulary definitions, and creating a knowledge chart.

My cave time was working in Buzz an online learning management system. They reviewed the test, prepared notes, and watched the science videos.

The kids said they love the new way we are doing science and I'm excited about the engagement and level of interest in their learning!”

Finally, the levy will provide funds to replace outdated curriculum.  In the 2017-2018 school year, we would replace the High School math curriculum. This new curriculum will include both printed and online materials and textbooks.

Wayne Rush


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