Updates From D91 Supt. LaOrange
October Updates: Week of Nov. 13
From The Superintendent's Desk ...
Celebrating our Education Support Professionals!
Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to work with support staff who made a difference. As a principal, I worked with a custodian who loved our students. She went the extra mile to talk to students and help them do their best.
In response to significant budget cuts that impacted our custodial program, our custodian worked to establish the student custodian program. Students completed an application and interviewed to clean chalk and window ledges, wipe down light switches, and empty the trash. Because our custodian was so positive, we had more students apply than we needed. We used all of them of course. Along with contributing to our school, they each got daily instruction in “doing your best."
Our custodian had a unique way of reaching even the most difficult students. In fact, she willingly took on some of our most challenging students by meeting them each morning, providing alternative cleaning activities to help them remain calm, and more. Yes, she kept our school sparkling clean. But she contributed so much more than that. Our custodian could reach children who were acting out or had shut down. She would consistently help these students refocus, engage in learning and do their best. Our school custodian was an important part of our work to build a safe school community.
This is just one example of the incredible support staff who work tirelessly to help each child have a positive experience at school. Each and every day, our support staff -- classroom aides, child nutrition workers, bus drivers, school secretaries, custodians -- serve and go the extra mile to make a difference for our students. This week we celebrated Education Support Professionals Day. I hope you will join me in honoring the dedication and sacrifices made by our education support staff, not only today but every day. We couldn’t do the important work of educating our children without them.
D91's schools and offices will be closed Nov. 20-24 for the Thanksgiving Break. We hope all our students, families, teachers and staff have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!
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Important Dates In November & December
- Nov. 20: Teacher Work Day
- Nov. 20-24: Thanksgiving Break
- Nov. 30 PM & Dec. 1: Elementary School Parent-Teacher Conferences
- Dec. 1: At-Home Learning Day for Elementary Schools
- Dec. 13: Board of Trustees Business Meeting, 5:30 pm, Idaho Falls High School Media
- Dec. 18-Jan. 1: Holiday Break, No School
- Dec. 21: First Day of Winter
Elementary Parents: Dec 1 Is An At-Home Learning Day
Just a reminder, that all D91 elementary schools have parent-teacher conferences on Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 with an at-home learning day on Dec. 1. (This does not impact middle schools and high schools.) Elementary schools will send out more information on conference times and at-home learning day expectations, but most students will likely have a packet or project to complete.
Calendar Change For IFHS & SHS high schools
The Board of Trustees has approved a calendar change for Idaho Falls and Skyline high schools. Friday, Jan. 19, will be an Intervention/At-Home Learning day to accommodate the Tiger-Grizz Wrestling Tournament, which brings hundreds of wrestlers from around the state and around the region to compete at Skyline and Idaho Falls high schools. The calendar change was made to address safety concerns. Again, this change will only impact Idaho Falls and Skyline high schools.
Happening Around D91
Idaho LAUNCH Deadline Is Coming Up
If you have a senior, and they're looking for something to do over Thanksgiving Break, encourage them to submit their Idaho LAUNCH application. The new Idaho LAUNCH program provides Idaho seniors with up to $8,000 in tuition and fees for eligible colleges, universities and training programs.
Initial applications are due Nov. 30. If they miss that Nov. 30 priority deadline, students can still apply for Idaho LAUNCH through April 15, but the sooner students apply for the program, the better the chances of landing an award. learn more or apply today!
Ethel Boyes Earns Bucks For Books
Congrats to Ethel Boyes Elementary School, which just received a $2,000 award from the Idaho Lottery Commission's Bucks For Books program. The program was started in response to a 2012 study that showed school libraries were having a difficult time stocking their shelves with updated books and literary materials. Boyes' Librarian Nicole Coverstone will use the money to purchase easy readers, popular new titles and student requested titles.
Still Time To Submit A Bid!
If you know someone looking for an RV, there's still time to submit a sealed bit for CTEC's Skoolie. Students from the welding, industrial mechanics and construction programs at D91's Career & Technical Education Center have spent the last 11 months converting an old school bus into an RV. It has a queen bed, full kitchen with propane fridge, a stove/range, lots of storage and a dining area that can be converted into an additional sleeping area.
Anyone interested in bidding on the converted RV can submit sealed bids to Jessica Swartwood, D91’s Comptroller, at the D91 District Office, 690 John Adams Parkway, Idaho Falls, ID 83401. Bids will be accepted through noon. Dec. 7. The minimum bid is $48,000. Learn more about the bid submission process. Those who would like to see the Skoolie, can call CTEC at (208) 525-7549 and make an appointment.
Spreading Some Idaho Joy!
Dora Erickson's 4th graders were out last weekend decorating the windows of Smokin' Fins with Christmas trees decorated with Idaho's symbols. Students made ornaments featuring Idaho's state symbols like the mountain bluebird, cutthroat trout, peregrine falcon, Monarch buttery, appaloosa and more. "The kids had so much fun and loved every part of it," said teacher Laura Milton
We love seeing our students out in the community sharing what they have learned in fun ways! Way to go
Court Rules on Levy Lawsuit
An ADA County court ruled this week that school districts can only have one facilities levy at a time so the levy that D91 parents and patrons approved in May is null and void. The levy was going to pay for a new elementary school to alleviate crowding on Idaho Fall's south side.
The Board of Trustees will meet soon to discuss next steps. We will share those updates as they become available. The Board of Trustees is committed to addressing its critical facilities issues and ensuring that every student in Idaho Falls School District 91 can learn in an environment that is safe and meets their needs.
We are very disappointed in the court's ruling," said Board Chair Hillary Radcliffe. "D91’s parents and patrons clearly supported this levy as a way to address the district’s ongoing facilities issues. It passed with almost 70 percent of the vote. It’s frustrating that the directive of our local taxpayers has been challenged by the Idaho Idaho Tax Commission and dismissed by the courts."
Recount In Zone 4 Race
The process for a recount in the Zone 4 school board race has begun. Shay Ricks won that seat by just one vote in last week's election with 359 votes to incumbent Elizabeth Cogliati's 358 votes. The recount is tentatively set for Nov. 27.
Policies Under Review
The Board of Trustees is reviewing a number of policies ranging from student and family rights to school sponsored student activities to extracurricular and co-curricular participation and more. See the policies on the Board of Trustees webpage and then send comments to Jessica Cushman at email@example.com.
Another Busy Week For Supt. LaOrange
Supt. Karla LaOrange this week planned upcoming events with her leadership team on Monday morning and met with the Skyline Booster Club on Monday night. On Tuesday morning, she met with student leaders at Compass Academy to gather input on how the district can accomplish its goals of increasing the graduation rate and increasing student proficiency in math, reading and science. Then, she headed to Boise for the annual meeting of the Idaho School Board Association where she gathered with more than 500 school board trustees and school leaders to take part in workshops, network and craft legislative platforms.
Athletics Updates From IFHS & Skyline
Grizz Gear Up For Winter Sports Season
Good luck to the basketball players and wrestlers who are gearing up for the winter sports season! And, congratulations to the Skyline football team! While their run for a 4-peat state championship came to an end last weekend in a tough game against Hillcrest, they had a great season. We are #D91Proud!
We also celebrate Skyline's Athletes of the Week for the Week of Nov 6 -- Nelah Roberts and Maci McCracken. Nelah finished the cross country season as one of the most decorated cross country runners in school history. Maci helped lead the Lady Grizz to their second state volleyball appearance in 12 years, and she remains one of the most successful liberos in the area. Go Grizz!