BV unmuted - The Blue Valley Schools Podcast

BV unmuted - The Blue Valley Schools Podcast

BV unmuted is your window into the work happening behind the scenes of Blue Valley Schools. Superintendent Dr. Tonya Merrigan, along with our amazing district leaders, will host a variety of guests to talk about a variety of subjects. It's a conversation about what we're doing here at Blue Valley Schools and how we're striving to make every day a #BVBestDay for our students, staff and community.... Show More

Episodes

September 4, 2020 17 min

"Trust your gut. We are facing so many changes and there are so many different ways that our kids are under stress. If you, as a parent, just have that sense that something doesn't feel quite right, please reach out to us." - Karen Mulligan, Social Worker Manager

The challenges of this upcoming school year are unprecedented - and while that may feel like an understatement, it is simply accurate. In this episode of BV Un...

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"This is a pandemic. I've never been a superintendent before, but I've certainly never been a superintendent in a pandemic. I've never been an educator in a pandemic. It's going to take all of us - working together - to ensure that we have a safe, sound and sincere quality of education for our Blue Valley students." - Dr. Tonya Merrigan, Blue Valley Schools Superintendent

In our inaugural episode of BV unmut...

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"If we're going to be ready for students in August, we need to get back to some semblance of normal - but the new normal is going to look very different." - Dr. Tonya Merrigan, Incoming Superintendent 

For our team here at Blue Valley Schools, it feels like a lifetime since we shared our last podcast with you and, in some ways, it has been. Some things will be the same after the COVID-19 pandemic passes and some things w...

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"I have parents tell me that their children are coming home and teaching them about what is happening in the classroom... the parents can see the progress the children are making and that we are establishing a love of reading for them." - Alaina Talley, reading specialist at Heartland Elementary 

In this episode of Toddcast², we continue our conversation about literacy in the classroom. Reading specialist Alaina Talley and s...

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"Students leaving our system, prepared for the world in which they will live and be citizens, is largely based on being literate - being able to read and meet the demands of whatever the future holds for them." - Jennifer Luzenske, Director of Curriculum and Instruction 

From the building blocks of reading and writing, to the integration of content and discipline, literacy is at the heart of learning. In this episode of Todd...

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"The careers that are available to students who have an associates degree have doubled over the last several years. At the same time, in the last 20 years, the cost of going to college has risen at a rate that is 19 times higher than the annual family living wage." - Katie Bonnema, Director of Career-Ready Programs. 

Blue Valley strives to provide learners with the knowledge and skills they need to be prepared for college an...

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"When we think about reimagining our spaces, we first and foremost think about what it means to be a student this day and age in Blue Valley. We often say that we're preparing our students for their tomorrows, not our yesterdays."- Katie Collier, Chief Learning Officer 

With any bond election, it's important to understand how those funds benefit our students, staff and the entire Blue Valley community. In this episod...

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"We'll also be reinvesting in mechanical, plumbing and electrical needs - the things people don't talk about until they need it. You want that stuff to work. We don't want leaky roofs or rooms that are too hot or too cold - that's important and we're going to invest in those things." - Kyle Hayden, Chief Finance and Operations Officer 

The Blue Valley community will have an opportunity to invest in facili...

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"We're up to 16 states that have at least one CAPS program. There's actually a program in Mumbai, India, that launched in August 2019 and is running an entrepreneurship strand of CAPS. It's meant a few nights where I've had to call them at 9pm because it's 8am out there, but it's working really well." - Corey Mohn, CAPS Executive Director 

As our Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) celebra...

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"On a snow day, why do we sometimes allow the kids to come in during the afternoon for activities? The basic reason is sometimes those weather conditions that prevented us from being able to go to school in the morning no longer exist in the afternoon and evening." - Lane Green, Director of School Administration 

We're talking activities and inclement weather on this episode of Toddcast². Superintendent Dr. Todd White an...

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"With a lot of our employees coming from outside the Johnson County area, it's always a concern for us on mornings where there might be some slick spots. Even if it might not be so slick here in the metro area, getting those support staff to work safely is always a big concern for us." - Dr. Mike Slagle, Deputy Superintendent 

Winter is almost here, and with it comes winter weather. In this episode of Toddcast², Superint...

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"Both our students and families will be able to see how a student is doing on a specific standard... so instead of just looking at writing, we can talk about how is your student doing with organizing their thoughts, developing a main idea, or even the basic conventions such as capital letters, periods and commas. We feel this will help our students and families know what is going really well, as well as the areas where we conti...

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"One thing I learned is some students aren't even exhaling the vape cloud any more - they're calling it 'zeroing' it. They swallow the vapor so there's no trace of it. The dangers of that in itself is just astounding to me." - David Stubblefield, Executive Director of Administration - High School 

We continue the conversation around the battle against vaping in this episode of Toddcast². Blue Valley Schoo...

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"No matter how good our school district gets, there will always be some issues to deal with and it's something that we - as a community - can work to perfect. We can make every single child feel that they have a home within their school." - Rabiya Shoaib, student at Blue Valley Southwest. 

Continuing our discussion on the strategic planning process, Dr. White visited with BVSW sophomore Rabiya Shoaib to get a student'...

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"We already have a strategic plan and it's called 'Vision 2020.' Guess what? It's 2020 next year! So it's time for us to take a fresh look at our future and what we want to do here at Blue Valley." - Dr. Tonya Merrigan, Incoming Superintendent 

In our season premier of Toddcast², we talk about our journey to reimagine learning and change the world with the help of our entire Blue Valley community. This st...

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Thank you!!! Yes - you - reading this right now. Because of you, our inaugural season of the Blue Valley Schools podcast was a huge success. While discussing topics that ranged from screen time to student safety - from virtual learning to vaping - we have engaged with our community in a way that we've never done before. In our Toddcast² season finale, we take a look back at these topics, as well as a look forward at things to c...

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"I know that this is a gift... there are not many people who get an opportunity to work along side someone for a whole year knowing that you'll eventually take that position over... I absolutely cherish and appreciate that." - Dr. Tonya Merrigan, Incoming Blue Valley Superintendent 

In Dr. Merrigan's words, she bleeds Blue Valley blue. Since joining the district in 1999, Tonya has served in many different capacities,...

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"It's so easy to use that toddlers can pick it up. You may have an older child in your house who is using a vape device. Perhaps a younger kid, five or six years old, finds it in a drawer. We've seen an astronomical increase through poison centers and emergency rooms across the United States of nicotine overdoses in children of the age seven and under." - Dr. Chris Jenson, medical doctor and BVSW science teacher 

You...

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“We need to open up and work on those relationships between adults and students in the building, so that students will come to us when they’re feeling bad… whatever it might be, that they have someone they can go to who they trust in the building.” - Dan Carney, Executive Director of Safety and Security 

Blue Valley Schools is committed to promoting and fostering a safe environment in and around all of our schools. In our sixth epis...

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We have a special third episode in our series on mental health. In this podcast, Superintendent Dr. Todd White is invited to join the BV Father’s Club as they discuss how to promote mental health awareness in our schools and the community. We’ll hear from club co-founder Brad Holdhusen and Netsmart COO Tom Herzog, along with Blue Valley High students Lauren Huck and Colin Wood.

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