The Blue Valley Schools Podcast

The Blue Valley Schools Podcast

This podcast 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.

Episodes

April 19, 2022 16 min

"I think the lifeblood of our school system is the athletics and activities side of things... it's an important aspect of the development of our kids. It's learning how to work with others and have big wins or big defeats because that's life. We're teaching them life lessons on a daily basis." - Anthony Orrick, head football coach at BVSW. 

Athletics and activities provide opportunities to nearly 75 percent o...

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"I get to see my fifth graders every single day... and that means they retain what we do really well. I had a fifth grader tell me 'I just want you to know that I look forward to this class all day!' and I replied 'Well, that's really cool, because we get to do it again tomorrow!'" - Michael Arbucci, strings teacher

Blue Valley’s performing arts program is one place where students can find a home. It has...

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February 16, 2022 24 min

"We need to be careful to be consumers of technology, but not let technology consume us."
- Heather Jones, Blue Valley parent

The internet is a wonderful place for learning and entertainment, but like the world around us, it can pose dangers if precautions are not taken. Through digital citizenship, Blue Valley students learn how to responsibly use technology to learn anytime, anywhere, and how to stay safe while doing so. I...

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The Learning Connection will be a resource for all families, from those with children entering early learning to those with graduating seniors. The resource allows Blue Valley to engage with the community on a regular basis and serve as an additional platform to expand families’ knowledge about the district’s learning and teaching initiatives and operations. 

In this episode of BV unmuted, Executive Director of Curriculum, Instructi...

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December 2, 2021 13 min

"I think with all of the arts, it's learning to perform and to handle performance anxiety, which is a natural anxiety to have... that's normal. So normalizing that anxiety and having a professional who knows how to help you with that and coach you through that. That's an amazing skill to have because we all face that in life." - Janelle Brower, Performing Arts Coordinator

In this episode of BV unmuted, Superinte...

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"This is a year, if you will, of recovery. There may be times that our curriculum calls for certain skills to be taught. But we may realize... that our students aren't quite ready for that content. We're trying to communicate the need to slow down and back up." - Dr. Katie Collier, Deputy Superintendent.

Sometimes, it's important to slow down before you speed up. This is especially important in addressing the ne...

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"Quite frankly, I've worked in this community for 30 years and I've never seen anything like it - people coming together, for a common cause, led by students." - Tim DeWeese, Director of Johnson County Mental Health Center.

Our 2021-22 season of BV unmuted starts off with one of the most important topics out there - student mental health. Blue Valley seniors and #ZeroReasonsWhy members Anna Hamilton and Esha Parikh ...

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"I'm excited to get everybody back for sporting events and all that stuff. I'm really excited to get back to the normalcy of school. I feel like everyone deserves to have that high school experience." - Gage Roach, junior at Blue Valley West.

We close out our third season of the Blue Valley Schools podcast with a look back at a school year unlike any other. Three BV high school students - BVNW senior Emma Johnson, B...

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January 5, 2021 29 min

"With COVID-19, you get exposed and may not have symptoms for up to 14 days. You can spend 14 days potentially exposing everyone wherever you go. With the flu, often times it's only 2 days from when you get exposed to when you show symptoms and get sick." - Jenna Miller, MD, FAAP 

We've had a lot of questions from our listeners about the differences between COVID-19 and the seasonal flu. In this episode, we answer a ...

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November 24, 2020 22 min

"We've had a lot of great questions from our parents, students and staff regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and these questions are important... We wanted to hit them head-on and share the results with you." - Dr. Chris Jenson, Blue Valley Medical Consultant

When circumstances are changing fast, sometimes you've got to change gears. That's why we've teamed up with Blue Valley's very own Dr. Chris Jenson in ...

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"We need to ensure staffing needs are met, we need to look at master schedules, and we're going to go hand-by-hand through all of our student's schedules to make sure things are right. In order to get all of that done and still give our staff a winter break, we need time to get that accomplished." - Kelly Ott, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Innovation

The deadline is quickly approaching for families and stu...

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"We don't need to be perfect. Every moment isn't going to be Instagram-able. What is it that we can do so that when our head hits the pillow at the end of the day, we as parents can say 'Hey - that was hard, but we did it.' " - Tracy Foster, Co-Founder of START

In this episode of BV unmuted, Superintendent Dr. Tonya Merrigan invites our District Coordinator of Student Support Services Tara Walrod, along with...

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"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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