#271 News & Notes

2020-21 School Year

Coeur d'Alene Public Schools — August 22, 2020

How to request a change in your student's schedule for blended learning

When students begin school this fall in the blended learning model, they will attend classes in person two days a week. Students whose last name begins with A-K will attend Mondays and Tuesdays, and students whose last name begins with L-Z will attend Thursdays and Fridays.

This assigned schedule may present difficulties for some families. To support the needs of families with certain schedule conflicts, we have a process to petition for a change in schedule from the current assignment.

As our schools construct class assignments and student schedules for the blended learning model, they will take into consideration balanced class sizes to ensure safety protocols are met. Schools also will consider how best to serve each student with an Individualized Education Plan to provide access to specialists and resources.

Once our schools complete this work, they will consider petitions for schedule changes. Approval of petitions will be granted if schedules permit, according to the following order of priorities:

  1. Children in same household or residence who are assigned different in-person attendance days due to different last names

  2. Shared custody arrangement necessity

  3. Extenuating circumstances for work or child care options

  4. Further case-by-case petition to building principal and district administration

For priorities 2 and 3, families are asked to provide documentation of custody agreement, work schedule or child care arrangement to demonstrate the need for the schedule change.

We will accept petitions for a schedule change through Sunday, August 30. Beginning Monday, August 31, schools will process petitions according to priority level. Families who submit a petition will be notified of the school's decision no later than Friday, September 4.

To submit a petition for a schedule change, please complete this form.

District proposes shifting late-start Mondays to Wednesdays

In a proposal to the Board of Trustees, the District would change late-start Mondays to late-start Wednesdays this school year. The one-hour delay in school start time is for staff collaboration and professional development.

The change makes sense for the blended learning model, which will be in effect for the start of the school year, with students attending classes in person on Mondays and Tuesdays, or on Thursdays and Fridays. Moving the staff collaboration to Wednesdays will give students more time learning with teachers in classrooms.

When students return to in-person attendance five days a week, we would keep the collaboration hour on Wednesday mornings for this school year, to minimize disruptions to school schedules and family routines.

Schools are expected to use the collaboration time to focus on COVID-19 response priorities; developing teaching skills and dispositions for high-quality blended and online learning; and building awareness and understanding of our instructional framework, one component of our new strategic plan.

“The time spent in late start collaborations represents a sacrifice and a gift from our Coeur d’Alene community to our teachers, staff, and leaders,” the proposal states. … “District leaders, school administrators, and all our teachers must hold themselves and their colleagues accountable so that every collaboration translates to improved student learning.”

The proposed change in collaboration time is on the Board’s agenda this Monday evening.

school plus child care will begin September 14

We are happy to share that School PLUS will be up and running again at our elementary schools beginning September 14, the new date for the first day of school. We will follow all health and safety protocols associated with the school district’s current risk category and level of operation.

As determined by the Board of Trustees on August 17, the District will begin the school year in the Orange (moderate risk) category, with a Blended Learning schedule in effect. As a result, we will limit our daily student capacity for child care while in the Orange category to facilitate health and safety measures. Each site will have a cap on the number of students that may be in attendance, to allow us to practice social distancing measures.

School PLUS will provide care for K-5 students before school and after school on Monday and Tuesday, and on Thursday and Friday, during our usual operating hours: 6:45 a.m. to 9:00 a.m., and 3:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. This will be available at all 11 elementary schools as follows:

  • Monday and Tuesday for students who attend school in person on those two days.

  • Thursday and Friday for students who attend school in person on those two days.

The District is actively exploring additional child care options, both in District facilities and other sites. As additional options become available, we will provide you updates.

At this time, we expect to open the fall School PLUS registration in early September. We will send you a notice with those details when we are ready to begin.

We know how important it is for you to have quality, dependable child care. We are determined to provide that care for as many students as we safely can accommodate this school year.

Screening students for symptoms each day before they come to school

An important part of our collective effort to keep schools open this fall is making sure anyone with COVID-19 symptoms stays home. We are asking all parents and guardians to take a few minutes each morning, before their students leave home to attend school in person, for a quick symptom screening:

How will students be screened for symptoms? Please check your child for symptoms each morning. Take their temperature and ask if they have a sore throat, new cough, diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pain, or new onset of severe headache. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not currently recommend that schools conduct universal symptom screenings (screening of all students as they arrive to school). Parents or caregivers are encouraged to monitor their children for signs of infectious illness every day. Students who are sick should not attend school in-person.

What if my child becomes sick? If community spread is high, normal childhood illnesses may cause your child to be excluded from school for 10 days. If community spread is down, students will need to be symptom-free, without the use of medication, for 24 hours before returning to school.

What happens if someone at my student's school tests positive for coronavirus? Anyone known to have been in close contact with an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 will be asked to quarantine for 14 days. Close contact is defined as any of the following, starting from 48 hours before the person who tests positive began feeling sick:

  • Being within 6 feet of the person for at least 15 minutes
  • Providing care to the person
  • Having direct physical contact (touch, hug, kiss)
  • Sharing eating or drinking utensils
  • Receiving sneeze, cough or other respiratory droplets from an infected person

Learn more here: Recommendations on school screenings

Falls sports begin with safety measures in place

We began our first games for fall sports Friday. Our teams have worked really hard to practice within safety guidelines so that sports could continue and are looking forward to playing this season

If you plan on attending any sporting event at our schools, please note important spectator details that are in the moderate risk (Orange) category:

  • Capacity limits to ensure social distancing requirements
  • Masks and social distancing are required
  • All children must be supervised by an adult
  • Concessions will be available, but with limited options

For all parents/guardians of athletes: please make sure you have completed necessary waivers and are aware of athlete requirements for game play.

Photo by Dylan Greene, Bonner County Daily Bee

Providing special education services in this unique and ever-changing environment

As we prepare for everything from in-person instruction to distance learning this school year, parents and guardians may wonder what this means for their children who have been receiving special education services through an Individualized Education Plan.

The district will continue to provide these services while also considering the need to protect the health and safety of the entire school community. In this unique and ever-changing environment, the district recognizes that these exceptional circumstances may affect how academic and related services and supports are provided.

It will continue to be extremely important for families and schools to collaborate and communicate as we continue to offer and provide special education services in accordance with our obligation to provide a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).

To learn more about how we plan to continue to supporting all students in the days ahead, please read our letter here.

What to know about bus registration and bus routes

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.

Address search tip: If your address does not produce a search result, try variations on the format. Example: W instead of West.

Bus service for NExA, high school students: For select students affected by school zone changes, bus service will continue to be provided this year. This is applicable to:

  • Northwest Expedition Academy students who reside in the former school zone and will attend NExA at its new location this year.
  • Coeur d'Alene High and Lake City High students (Grades 10, 11 and 12 only) whose school zone changed but who will continue to attend their previous school under the School Board-approved grandfather provisions.

Bus registration open now: 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.

Idaho school leaders' reopening message

Back To School PSA (English Version)

Students will receive Chromebooks this fall

As school starts, our schools will check out Chromebook laptops to students by class.

Middle and high school students will be able to take their devices home immediately after checkout, while elementary students will keep their devices at school until needed at home.

If students already have a dedicated, Internet-connected device with webcam and keyboard, families may opt out of checking out a device. However, this will give students a consistent device that can be serviced by District staff.

Student device checkouts are governed by policy 3275, as well as our student technology use agreement.

Our Chromebooks are high-quality devices that are three years old or less, typically with touchscreens. They will not be offered for sale for $25 at the end of the school year, as some of our older devices were last spring. If you still have a device or hotspot that you checked out in the spring, please return those to our District Office, 1400 N. Northwood Center Court, as soon as you are able. Thanks!

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.

Before visiting our schools, please check for symptoms, and bring your face mask

For student registration and check-ins, we request that you wear a face mask when visiting our schools, in compliance with the current Board of Health emergency restriction order for Kootenai County.

Also, please remember to:

  • 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.

Back-to-school supplies

Looking for those back-to-school student supplies lists? Our lists are available here.

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