#271 News & Notes

2020-21 School Year

Coeur d'Alene Public Schools — September 8, 2020

Superintendent Cook's Welcome Message

Welcome to the 2020-21 school year

Board approves mask policy

On September 2 our Board of Trustees voted unanimously to adopt a new policy that requires students, employees and visitors to wear masks on school property during certain stages of the school district's previously approved reopening plan. The mask requirement is in effect when the District is in the red, orange or yellow risk categories.

The purpose of Policy 1207 is to protect the health, safety and welfare of staff and students during the COVID-19 pandemic. The policy was written in consideration of recommendations issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Panhandle Health District, the State Board of Education, and the Idaho Department of Education.

The policy addresses opportunities for safely taking mask breaks during the school day. The policy also addresses accommodations for individuals with certain medical conditions or disabilities.

Answering your questions about our new mask policy

We anticipate you will have questions about the new mask policy and how it will be implemented when students and staff return to classrooms next week. We have built a detailed Q&A to cover much of what we expect you are wondering about this fall. Our Q&A can be READ IN FULL HERE.

Among the questions we answer:

  • Where does the School District get its authority to require masks?
  • Will masks be required for everyone in schools?
  • Will my child be disciplined or excluded for not wearing a mask?
  • What about sports and activities?
  • Are there exceptions for students with certain medical conditions or disabilities?
  • My child has an existing IEP or a 504 plan. Is my child exempt from the mask requirement?
  • If the Panhandle Health District mask order is revoked or becomes ineffective, will the School District stop requiring masks?
  • I disagree with the use of masks. Will the District accommodate me or exempt my child from the mask policy?
  • Can I or my student wear a face shield instead of a cloth mask?
  • Are there any restrictions on the type of masks that may be worn?
  • Will there be any relief or breaks from mask wearing throughout the day?

Some students can pick up chromebooks this week

To prepare for our blended learning schedule (two days of learning in the classroom, three days of learning from home), we will begin checking out Chromebooks to students this week, beginning today.

Our three middle schools as well as Lake City and Coeur d'Alene high schools will check out Chromebooks this week to all students who are scheduled to attend school in person on Thursdays and Fridays (last names L-Z). This also includes any students whose request to switch to the Thursday-Friday schedule was approved.

Secondary students who will attend in person on Mondays and Tuesday will receive their Chromebooks in class next week.

Following is the schedule for Chromebook checkout schedule this week:

middle school chromebook checkout

Today (Sept. 8) during the open house for sixth graders and other new students:

  • Lakes MS: 4-6 PM
  • Canfield MS: 4-6:30 PM
  • Woodland MS: 3:30-6:30 PM

Thursday (Sept. 10) for returning students or any new students who are not able to make today's open house.

  • All three middle schools: 2-6:30 PM

high school chromebook checkout

Wednesday and Thursday (Sept. 9-10), 9 AM to 1 PM

Also, freshmen and other new students attending Wednesday's open house at each school may check out their Chromebooks:

CHS open house: Wednesday, September 9, 5-7:30 PM

  • 5-6 PM - Freshmen and new students with last names A-K
  • 6-6:30 PM - Closed for sanitizing
  • 6:30-7:30 PM - Freshmen and new student with last names L-Z

Lake City open house: Wednesday, September 9, 6 PM

Coming to a school this week? don't forget your mask!

For those who are attending an open house, please remember to wear a face mask and practice social distancing. Let's keep up the momentum of safety precautions and start the school year strong!

  • Follow social distancing protocols (6 feet) when faced with a line.

  • Check your temperature and make sure you and your children do not have any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • If you have a fever, cough or shortness of breath, we ask you not to attend and contact a health provider.

Get ready for schoology

This fall we are using a new learning tool called Schoology (pronounced Skoo’-luh-jee). Schoology enables students, parents and teachers to engage with learning materials and their school community from the classroom and beyond.

By logging in, students will be able to submit homework assignments, review grades, participate in interactive discussions, receive announcements and feedback, take tests, write academic blogs, and more. As a parent, you will be able to view your child’s activity within the platform.

Teachers will use Schoology to post classroom materials online; provide a safe forum for students to discuss ideas and collaborate on projects; and assign and collect homework electronically. It helps students stay organized and it keeps the class connected.

The District is creating an account for every student and connecting them with their classroom or courses. When we are ready, all the student needs to do is log in! With your student account in Schoology you can:

● Access your classroom or courses

● View your grades

● Complete assessments

● Collaborate within groups

● Submit assignments

● Receive updates

● Communicate with teachers

● Manage your calendar

Our teachers will help students learn how to navigate around Schoology. For more in-depth guidance on specific features, check out the Help Center at support.schoology.com.

Schoology makes it easy for parents to stay involved in their children’s education. After our teachers have a little time to work with students in Schoology, we'll bring in parents as well. You'll have your own Schoology account that will give you access to the classes your child is enrolled in; your child's upcoming assignments; and school and class announcements.

Free school meals extended through the fall

A federal program to ensure kids receive school meals during the coronavirus pandemic is being extended through the fall. As a result, students who eat school breakfast and lunch will not be charged for the cost of school meals, at least through December. This goes for meals served in our schools as well as grab-and-go meals we continue to offer weekdays for students not eating at school.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced August 31 that it would extend the flexible free school meals program this fall. The extension is contingent on the continued availability of funds that Congress had allocated for summer feeding through last June.

Coeur d'Alene Public Schools will continue to provide free grab-and-go meals for students on the days they are not attending school in person. The meals will be available for family members to pick up (drive-through or walk-up) at Canfield Middle School, Lakes Middle School and Woodland Middle School between 10 and 10:30 AM. Children do not need to be present.

For assistance, call our Nutrition Services office at (208) 667-7469.

Isolating students with covid-like symptoms

Students who develop COVID-like symptoms while at school will be moved to a safe location within the school building. Parents will be notified to come to pick up their student.

While waiting to be picked up, students will be cared for by school staff wearing full personal protective equipment, including mask, face shield, isolation gown, and gloves.

While we are in moderate to low community spread, students will be able to return to school once they have been free of any COVID-like symptoms for 24 hours, without fever-reducing medication, and all symptoms have improved.

Student medication distribution

All medications administered by the school staff must have a doctor's orders and parent signatures. Medication forms can be found here.

If you decide that your student may self-administer their own medication and you do not want school staff to monitor their medication, you may use the Self-Administration Form. This agreement must be signed and kept in the student’s possession at school prior to the granting of permission to self-administer medication.

What's new with Back to School Vaccinations

Wondering what back-to-school vaccinations are required for your child? You can find the 2020-21 Idaho Guide to Immunization Requirement HERE.

Also find our District information on Immunizations and Communicable Disease HERE.

What to know this year:

  • NEW - 12th graders now need a meningococcal ACWY booster.
  • 7th graders need a Tdap booster and a meningococcal ACWY vaccine.
  • Kindergarten and 1st graders need 5 DTaP, 2 MMR, 4 Polio, 3 Hepatitis B, 2 Varicella (Chickenpox), and 2 Hepatitis A

Board statement on reopening school in category orange

Our Board of Trustees recently communicated about its decision to start the school year in the Orange (moderate risk) category, with a blended learning schedule for all students.

"That is still our plan, and we would expect to remain on that schedule for at least the first two weeks, through September 25," the five school trustees stated.

When the Board voted August 17 to open with blended learning, the trustees committed to this plan for the first few weeks of the school year, and reaffirmed the commitment at its August 24 board meeting.

"Even as Panhandle Health District has moved its risk assessment for Kootenai County from orange to yellow, we believe it's prudent for the school district to ease back into school routines with blended learning before we consider whether the time is right to allow all students to return to in-person instruction five days a week," the board said.

You may read the Board's full statement HERE.

NExA in its new home!

Welcome to NExA

Remember your mask before boarding the school bus

Students who ride the bus to and from school will be asked to wear masks while on the bus. Please don't forget to send your child to the bus stop with a mask!

Have you registered your child for riding the bus?

All students who plan to ride a school bus this year need to register, even if they rode last year. To register your student for the bus this school year, find our registration forms here.

We have updated our school bus routes to reflect changes approved last March in some of our elementary and high school attendance zones. To see if you are located in an area served by buses, and find route and bus stop information, use our school zone/bus route locator tool. Search tip: If your address does not produce a search result, try variations on the format. Example: W instead of West.

eschool teachers get ready for the new year

Students may bring their school supplies the first week of school

Students may bring their school supplies on the first day they attend school in person under our blended learning schedule.

This year students will be asked to refrain from sharing their school supplies with classmates.

Looking for those back-to-school student supplies lists? Our lists are available here. This now includes elementary school supplies for our eSchool classes.

Please remember to provide your student a fresh disposable mask or clean reusable mask each school day for in-person instruction.

Big picture

Teacher Fund donates bacteria growing kits

We want to thank The Teacher Fund and Glidden Group Health Insurance for donating 300 bacteria growing kits to Canfield Middle School this week. These kits will be used by our sixth grade students this fall as they learn about the scientific method. Each student will take home their kit, collect bacteria from a couple of different sources, and record and compare the growth over a week.

The Teacher Fund is a nonprofit that formed in early 2019 to support the needs of local teachers. Thanks also to Coeur d’Alene High School seniors and Teacher Fund interns McKenzie Mattis and Kate Nicklay (pictured here on the left), who secured a large donation from Glidden to support this project, and who helped prepare and deliver the materials. Learn more at https://theteacherfund.com/

Big picture

Army recruiters donate school supplies

Two of the U.S. Army's finest recently paid a visit to our District Office with two large boxes of school supplies, water bottles and hand sanitizer to help our students and families in need. A big thank you to Sgt. James Bennett and Sgt. First Class Jack Macy, recruiters based out of Hayden, for their generous gift.

If you or your organization are interested in making a donation to Coeur d'Alene Public Schools (school supplies, backpacks, clothes, underwear, shoes, socks) please contact James Curb of Hope of the Homefront at (208) 664-8241 ext. 10061. The need is greater than ever.

You also can donate directly to a District program or your child's school HERE.

Looking for Internet access? Several options now available

Coeur d'Alene Public Schools is working with several area Internet access providers to bring Internet and Wi-Fi to student homes.

Additionally, the District will have mobile hotspots available for checkout (must be in Sprint or Verizon service areas). Please complete this form if your family needs Internet access.

Several companies also offer reduced-cost or free Internet access to families in need: visit this document for more information.

As a last resort, all of our schools have Wi-Fi access available on the outside of the buildings. View this page for more information.