D91 Employee News
Nov. 9: All The News Staff Need To Grow & Thrive in D91
From the Superintendent's Desk ...
During the 2017-2018 school year, Linden Park had a whopping 724 student discipline referrals. Fast forward to the 2022-2023 school year where Linden Park reported 242 discipline referrals. That’s a drop of over 480 referrals! What made the difference? The strong leadership of administrators Kevin Cowley and Heather Jarrell, and the incredible work of Linden park's teachers and staff.
Teachers, school counselor Michelle Wells, and the principal and assistant principal meet during PLC time to review behavior data and determine what instruction is needed to help students improve their behavior. Linden Park uses a behavior data collection program, anecdotal records, check-in/check-out logs, and referral information as data points to determine how to help students change and improve their behavior. This data is used to design whole class, small group, and individual instruction to teach students how to behave appropriately.
“Students used to come to school with the behavioral skills they needed to succeed in school.
Now, students come with gaps in their understanding of school behavior,” said Principal Cowley. The Linden Park approach to using data to address behavior as part of an effective PLC has changed all that.
Data analysis and carefully designed instruction aren’t all that happens at Linden Park. Students are also recognized for their good behavior through the Toby the Tiger Fantastic behavior referral system. Any teacher, staff member, or student can give someone a Toby Ticket. Each Friday, Principal Cowley and Asst. Principal Heather Jarrell meet with each child who has received a Toby Ticket during the week. The student receives a prize and a lot of praise for their good behavior. Then, Mr. Cowley and Ms. Jarrell call parents to let them know their child is doing great things at school. Mr. Cowley has found these phone calls change the script so parents know when they receive a call from the school, it is good news.
All of this hard work has paid off in better student achievement, too. “Because behavior is better, students are learning more because they are in class more and more engaged in learning,” Principal Cowley said. Thank you to Linden Park for making a difference for students and teachers!
Instruction & Learning
iReady Resources Available!
As teachers prepare for the next iReady assessment window on Jan. 8, remember there are some great iReady resources available to help support learning. Check them out and download them from iReady Central. If you can't find the resource you're looking for, reach out to Renee Nelson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Try-It-Out Professional Development
Take advantage of D91's new job-imbedded PD. The first session is “Effective Grading Practices K-12 & D91 Structures of Teaching & Learning." You can purchase credit through NNU after 16 documented hours of instruction, and attend the two-hour session that works for you: TODAY at 3:30 pm at AH Bush Library; Nov. 29 at 3:30 pm at Erickson Library and Dec. 6 at 4:30 pm at Compass, Room 204.
Important Dates In November & December
- Oct. 10-Feb. 23: ISAT interim Assessments, Optional Benchmark Assessments
(To learn more, contact Thomas Kennedy, D91's Director of Intervention & Support. You can reach him at email@example.com)
- Nov. 17: End of the 1st Trimester
- Nov. 20: Teacher Work Day
- Nov. 20-24: Thanksgiving Break
- Nov. 30 & Dec 1: ES Parent-Teacher Conferences (Online learning day on Dec. 1)
- Dec. 1-8: iStation District Universal Screener window
- Dec. 13: School Board Business Meeting, 5:30 pm, IFHS Library
- Dec. 21: First Teacher Evaluations Due
Calendar Change For Skyline and Idaho Falls High Schools
The Board of Trustees this week 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 calendar change will only impact Idaho Falls and Skyline high schools.
Radcliffe, Ricks Westwood Win, Recount Planned in Zone 4 Race
Congratulations to Hillary Radcliffe, Shay Ricks and Jeremy Westwood! According to preliminary results, they were the victors in last week's school board elections, although a recount is planned for the Zone 4 race where Shay Ricks beat incumbent Elizabeth Cogliati by one vote.
Here are the preliminary results:
- Zone 3: Jeremy Westwood received 62 percent of the vote while challengers Jordan Oseen received 21 percent and Patrick Jackson received 16 percent.
- Zone 4: Shay Ricks received 50 percent of the vote with 359 votes, while incumbent Elizabeth Cogliati received 50 percent of the vote with 358 votes.
- Zone 5: Hillary Radcliffe received 55 percent of the vote while challengers Melissa LaPray received 38 percent and Kari Vogel received 7 percent.
The results will become official after they are canvassed today. After that, the county elections office will start the recount process for the Zone 4 race.
Political Parties Can Use Schools For Caucus Meetings
We are pleased to announce D91's schools can be used for political caucus meetings, as long as the political parties rent the facilities, provide liability insurance and follow all district protocols related to building usage.
Initially, when D91 first received requests to use its buildings for caucus meetings, legal counsel advised that public property could not be used to “advocate for or against a candidate or a ballot measure . . .” (Idaho Code 74-604) In light of a recent Attorney General’s opinion, the district asked legal counsel to review the matter again. After the second review, the district’s attorneys advised that D91’s buildings can be used by political parties as long as the parties rent the buildings and follow all district protocols related to building usage. We have shared this good news with political parties.
Highlights From Human Resources
Know Someone Who Would Make A Great Substitute?
We know great teachers in the classroom are critical to student success so when a teacher is absent, we need great substitute teachers. D91 is looking for substitute teachers for all grades, all schools. New, higher rates are available for substitutes with a degree or teacher certification. Substitutes can earn bonuses for working 40+ hours and 80+ hours in a month. And, we now reimburse for training and fingerprinting . If you know anyone who is interested, have them fill out an application.
Hurt On The Job?
Happening In D91's Classrooms
CTEC Students Successfully Convert Bus Into RV
Students have spent months turning a school bus into an RV, and D91’s Career Technical Education Center is now accepting bids for the Skoolie.
About 130 students from CTEC’s industrial mechanics, construction and welding classes have been involved in the project over the last 11 months. The converted 2007 Thomas TK bus now has features that will excite any camper and outdoor enthusiast.
Those features include a queen bed, a full kitchen with an Intertek propane fridge, a Graystone stove/range, lots of storage and a dining area that can be converted into an additional sleeping area. The RV also has a climbing wall, an outdoor shower, a waterless toilet and a solar panel, solar storage and a solar generator.
“The amount of work the students have put into this project is incredible,” said CTEC Coordinator Bev Hott. “It was amazing to watch the students grow as they worked independently and in groups to gain the knowledge and experience they’ll need for future jobs.”
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 an make and appointment.
Proceeds from the sale will go to fund CTEC’s next big project – the construction of a tiny house, as well as pay for students to participate in upcoming Skills USA competitions.
Facilities & Planning
New Partnerships Focus On Safety & Maintenance
With it's renewed focus on safety and facility maintenance, D91 is implementing a new program with new partnerships to address issues in our school buildings.
Every school in D91 undergoes an annual inspection by the state building inspector and the local fire inspector, and now the district has formed a team to partner with those inspectors and ensure findings are addressed. Many items highlighted in the audits are minor like too much artwork on a wall or too many boxes in a storage area, while some are more serious like fire extinguisher maintenance or updates to fire sprinkler systems.
D91's Executive Director of Personnel & Planning Kelly Coughenour has started visiting schools with Technology Director Tito Paredes and Maintenance Director Dale Sheetz to review last year's audits and address issues. Simple things are being addressed immediately, while more extensive issues like a sprinkler repair will be added to the list of summer projects or long-term maintenance projects. If similar findings are reported from several buildings, the team may look at special trainings or putting prevention plans in place.
As they visit schools, Kelly will make regular presentations and progress reports to the school board. Our D91 team is looking forward to taking part in the 2023-24 audits with the state and local inspectors, and working collaboratively in this new partnership to improve the safety and security of our schools.
D91 Receives State Grant For Safety Upgrades
D91 has secured a grant through Idaho's Securing our Future grants program to improve the safety and security of our schools.
The most recent grant is for almost $100,000, and will be used to make updates to the fire suppression and sprinkler system at Eagle Rock Middle School. This grant is in addition to the $282,688 in Securing Our Future grants the district received in October.
Those funds are being used to pay for a number of high priority projects including window film installation, door access updates, stairway cameras, new digital radios, and installation of replacement fencing. Schools benefiting from those grants include: Ethel Boyes, Theresa Bunker, Linden Park, Sunnyside, Longfellow, Fox Hollow, Dora Erickson, Edgemont, AH Bush and Westside elementary schools; Taylorview and Eagle Rock middle schools; Skyline and Idaho Falls high schools; Compass Academy; Emerson and the Career Technical Education Center.
D91 will continue pursuing grants and other funding to invest in safety upgrades and improvements to our schools and buildings.
The Lastest Technology News
New Finance, Payroll, HR System Coming In 2024
In the new year, D91 is shifting from Skyward to Infinite Visions, which will be a big change for the district because all our HR, payroll, purchasing, accounts payable and budgeting functions are currently done in Skyward. But, the change will be worth it because Infinite Visions is a better and more modern system, which will provide employees more customer-friendly features like an employee dashboard with updates on pay, benefits, time off, etc.
Payroll, HR and business office staff started training on the new system a few weeks ago. Those trainings will continue through the end of the year. In December, training will begin for school administrators and staff. Watch for more information about those trainings and dates next week.
The current implementation plan is for Phase 1 of Infinite Visions to go LIVE on Jan 1, which will include all business functions and most payroll functions. Then, in Phase 2 beginning March 1, we will move from Skyward’s True Time system to Infinite Vision’s version.
Hall of Fame Moments
IFHS Tigers Take 3rd at State Swim!
We are #D91Proud of the IFHS girls swim team! They placed 3rd at the state meet with some terrific individual results. Abby Balsmeier was crowned state champion in the 100 Butterfly and took 4th in the 200 Individual Medley. Lauren Grimes took 2nd in the 100 Backstroke, breaking an IF school record, and took 3rd in the 100 Freestyle.