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July 2024
Parents and Community Members,

Wow… what an amazing year it has been for the Moscow School District! And what an amazing year it has been for myself in my first year at the helm of the best school district in Idaho! Just one short year ago I stepped into my office located at 650 Cleveland. I have met so many of you and there are so many of you that I would love to meet, please feel free to stop me if you see me out and about and say hi!

As you continue to enjoy the break that we call summer vacation and as I put a bow on the end of the 23-24 school year, I thought I would share with you some of the great things that have and are happening as well as some challenges we will continue to face in the upcoming year. It has been an amazing year, so this might take a little bit! Grab your favorite summer drink, take a seat in your best outside chair in a nice spot of shade and for just one day trade the summer leisure reading fiction book for this dynamic and engaging website as you scroll through to check out the great things happening at MSD281!

  • We graduated over 200 high performing, and amazing students at Moscow High School and Paradise Creek Regional High School. I had the opportunity to visit with so many of them and let me tell you… the future is bright! The public-school naysayers are wrong! We have the best kids and they will undoubtedly change the world for the better!
  • ISAT results are in and the results are nothing less than AMAZING! The Moscow School District exceeds state averages in every category and in some areas our performance more than doubles the average around the State of Idaho. A few quick celebrations:
    • 75% of McDonald 5th grade students were Proficient or better on the MATH ISAT and an unheard of 61% scored ADVANCED!!
    • 77% of 4th grade students at Russell scored proficient or better on the MATH ISAT and proficient scores doubled the state average for performance!
    • 67% of our Moscow Middle School 6th graders scored Proficient or better on the MATH ISAT and a whopping 42% - more than double the state average- scored ADVANCED!!
    • 76% of Lena Whitmore 4th graders scored Proficient or better on the ELA ISAT and 55% of those were ADVANCED – far surpassing the Idaho State Average of 27%.
    • Right at 80% - 4 out of every 5 - of our 11th grade Juniors at BOTH Paradise Creek and Moscow High score PROFICIENT or better on the ELA ISAT. An impressive feat!
  • Let’s put it this way… If your student is in a Moscow School District school. I can guarantee you that they are in one of the highest performing schools in the State! You can’t go wrong when picking a public school here.
  • Our ISAT growth is up across the board and our average scores and proficiency rates have , on average, ticked up 10 percent or more, and in some cases as much as 50%, over the last year. Not only are we one of the best but we are getting even better thanks to our amazing staff, parents and students!
  • IRI Reading scores in grades K-3 are also strong and improving!
    • 89% of Kindergarten students at West Park ended the year proficient and if you add in those who are close to proficiency that number grows to 96%!!!
    • 85% of McDonald 1st grade students were proficient readers and all… 100%!! of students were at or near the benchmark!!
    • Last, but certainly not least 82% of Lena 3rd grade student and 98% of students were at or near the benchmark.
  • Do you sense a pattern? If I was a parent, I would want my child to be in a Moscow school. Oh wait, I am… and oh wait, they are!!
  • State Champion Baseball team!! – ‘nough said… Go BEARS!
  • The Moscow School Board was able to host board meetings at every major school owned and operated building as we discussed current and future facilities needs and challenges. It was also a chance for individual buildings to highlight the great things happening.
  • The Russell Decision – I AM SO PROUD of the way we navigated the decision to shutter J. Russell elementary as a school community. I hope that all felt heard and respected and understood. I know that there are disagreements and agreements but at the end of the day it showed me how much this community cares about their public schools and students. I believe that we are now better positioned to make decisions that will benefit our students for the decades to come. I am excited about the future. This wasn’t about closing down a dying school, actually it was quite the opposite, it was about shutting a door that was left open for us and opening a new door that will remain open for a future generation as we step forward. Russell will always be a part of us and I am excited for the future!
  • We have added new bus routes, increasing our service to students who live in areas where walking to school is difficult and at times next to impossible! I am excited about our growth in student transportation and hope to continue this growth in the coming year! Stay tuned!
  • We have a request for qualifications (RFQ) out for architectural services as we begin exploring what to do with our existing infrastructure and expanding elementary opportunities with all students and we have an agreement with the City of Moscow to begin exploring the idea of new construction for our students.
  • Our after-school Adventure Club program is growing and thriving again and this year we expanded from a single site to 2 sites and will be expanding again to 3 sites in the fall!! We hope this better serves our students and families as we build back some amazing opportunities for our students. We hope to bring back a focus on strong academics and positive activities for kids and invite all of you to participate in this low cost and highly effective program! By the way – the summer version of this program is pretty amazing as well! So many opportunities!
  • Our budget is strong! And our financial team is strong! For the fourth year in a row our team was recognized as meeting the highest standard in governmental accounting and we continue to grow and improve our fiscal accountability. Despite the challenges of losing federal COVID funding, we have found efficiencies and created a budget that strikes a great balance and serves all students!
  • I am excited about the opportunities to grow our Career-Technical Education (CTE) programs and better integrate with our surrounding community with the incredible Mr. Brian Smith! Brian has been a difference maker at our schools and will now be serving all of our district students! Even before his official transition, he was able to secure more than $50,000 in funding while building community connections and has been a tremendous advocate for all students. If you have ideas or thoughts, I know he would love to visit with you!
  • We rebirthed and expanded our Certified Nursing Assistant program through an amazing partnership with Gritman that served students from both Paradise Creek and Moscow High! Thanks to Gritman for being such great partners! More great news is on the way!
  • We have grown and increase our community engagement with the Schweitzer Engineering Labs, University of Idaho, Vandal Athletics (CHAMPS program and the December basketball game at ICCU Arena!), Rotary, Extension agency, Scott’s Community Care, City of Moscow, Moscow Education Foundation and many others that I am sure that I am forgetting. We pledge to engage even more with our community of supporters, and I encourage you to reach out to me with ideas and thoughts.
  • GRANTS! We have applied for many financial grants throughout the year! Some that have been funded and others we are still waiting to hear from include federal Restoring America’s Schools HVAC and Energy efficiency grant, purchase and installation of Vape Detectors at the middle and high schools, Security upgrade grants, CTE expansion grants and others!

OK, your drink is long gone, and the shade is fading away … Time to wrap up. What are the big challenges we face as a District in the coming year?

  • We have to continue to grow and improve our Career and Technical opportunities for all students while maintaining our high academic standards and performance.
  • We have to grow our community engagement and be open to new partnerships and ways of connecting.
  • We have to more fully develop our plan for future facilities and facility renovations!
  • We have to complete our every 6-year Accreditation review! Accreditation is a great way to demonstrate through an unbiased third party that we are a high functioning and trustworthy organization.
  • We have to improve our overall attendance and decrease the prevalence of chronic absenteeism in our school. This challenge is not unique to us, but it is a challenge! Attendance drives so much from academic performance to school funding and is vital to our proper functioning! We will do better!
  • We have to find a balance and rhythm to the life of public education and continue to make the Moscow School District a healthy and thriving system where every child can be successful. Where we don’t just survive, we thrive.
  • We have to engage a healthy Moscow School District community through growth and connected relationships.
  • We have to win a State Championship in some sport! (Ok, not really but it would be cool)

Have a great summer and rest easy knowing that the Moscow School District is focused on being ready for your students in August. Moscow is a great place to live and our public school system is the best!

Do you have thoughts, shout outs, questions, concerns or even criticisms? I would love to hear them! Stop by, give me a call, or shoot me an email. One great opportunity to say hi will be at the July 27th Farmers Market. Some members of the Board and I will be there to say hi! I would love to see you and your student!

BRING ON YEAR #2!! Let’s go!

Shawn Tiegs
Moscow School District

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