#271 News & Notes

2019-20 School Year

Coeur d'Alene Public Schools — May 8, 2020

Answers to questions about the closure

Click above to find updates on our school closure FAQ page.

Update on reopening our buildings

We are so grateful to all of you who have been supporting your students’ learning at home since our school buildings were closed in March. This has been a challenging time, but we have made new connections, learned new skills and endeavored to strengthen our community bond.

The building closure will continue until the end of this school year, consistent with state restrictions on gatherings, while students continue with Remote Learning. (See our May 6 update on the soft closure of schools and the governor’s stages for reopening.)

We are developing an end-of-year calendar that will include the last day of instruction and when final student work should be turned in, as well as other key dates. Look for that soon.

We also are working on plans for a safe reopening of schools in September. This will include a modified plan for teaching and learning, physical distancing and health measures, cleaning and disinfection protocols, and accommodations for students and staff who have a higher risk of infection due to age or medical vulnerability. We also will have a strategy in the event a resurgence in the pandemic forces our District to close all schools again next year, as well as a plan to immediately close and sanitize any building where a student or staff member is diagnosed with COVID-19.

For other answers to your questions, check our Closure FAQ.

How to pick up student belongings left at school

After being out of our buildings for eight weeks, students will soon be able to return to pick up all personal items they left in their lockers, desks and other areas of school.


Each elementary school has scheduled days and times for families to pick up students' personal belongings next week. This will be a curbside pickup outside the school. Each student's items are being gathered up and placed in a labeled bag, which will be delivered to your vehicle after you pull up. Schools are communicating the procedures and details with families via Skyward email.


Secondary students will be given access to their schools the week of May 18. Students will be able to enter the school in small groups, with appropriate social distancing, to retrieve personal belongings. Students also will be able to return textbooks, band equipment, uniforms and supplies that belong to the school. Each school will communicate dates, time and procedures with families.


If you checked out a Chromebook for a student during the building closure, at this time we ask that you continue to keep the device at home. A separate opportunity for returning these devices will be scheduled after our Remote Learning has concluded. In addition, the District will provide an opportunity for families to purchase these Chromebooks at a nominal price. More information on that will be available after the school year ends.

Requesting letter grades for high school courses

If you would like letter grades this semester for your student’s high school courses, the deadline to make the request is June 1. Otherwise, your student will receive a Pass or Not Pass for each class, based on their grades as of March 13. Details on the grading option and how to make the request are available here.

Pass/Not Pass marks given this semester will be recorded on the academic achievement record and will have no bearing on a students’ cumulative grade point average.

If you opt for letter grades, you agree to have your student receive letter grades for all enrolled high school courses. This option also is available to middle school students taking high school-level courses. Letter grades will be used in determining GPA and class rank.

Student work completed during the closure of our buildings cannot negatively impact a student’s grades. Students may, however, improve their grades before the end of the semester by remaining engaged in learning opportunities.

Video addresses dual credit, AP courses and waived requirements

The Idaho State Board of Education has produced this video detailing recent Board-approved changes to high school graduation requirements and Idaho’s Advanced Opportunities programs in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Students, particularly high school juniors and seniors, have a lot of questions about certain graduation requirements and how credit will be awarded for their dual credit and Advanced Placement courses,” State Board President Debbie Critchfield said. “The Board has tried to be nimble in addressing issues brought on by the disruption to the school year and this short video is one of many tools we have developed to inform our students and their families of these changes and what they mean for them.”

More answers can be found at NextSteps.Idaho.gov.

Graduation dates are set, planning is in full swing

Our high schools are preparing for this year's commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2020. Due to the pandemic, graduation will be different this year, and we know it will be a memorable one.

Our graduation ceremonies will be held the first week of June:

  • Venture High School seniors will graduate June 4 at 6 PM on the school campus.
  • Coeur d'Alene High School seniors will graduate June 5 at 6 PM at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds.
  • Lake City High School seniors will graduate June 6 at 11 AM at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds.

Plans include all graduates being able to cross the stage to receive their diplomas.

At the fairgrounds, the ceremonies will be in a “drive-in movie” format with broadcast sound and video boards. Each family is limited to one car, and the events will be live streamed as well.

For all three ceremonies we are working with public health officials to ensure safety measures are followed, consistent with the governor’s Rebound Idaho guidelines.

Thank you to Panhandle Health District, Kootenai County Fairgrounds, Angel Audio, Ampd Entertainment, Second Wind Productions and Impact Lighting for making this opportunity possible for our graduates.

Remote Learning tech support, wi-fi and devices

DISTRICT WIFI: If your student is in need of Internet access, you are welcome to connect using District Wi-Fi outside 18 of our District facilities. Go here to see those locations and maps of the best coverage areas.

CHROMEBOOKS AND HOTSPOTS: We continue to check out Chromebooks and mobile hotspots to students from our District Office, between 9 AM and 2 PM, Monday through Friday. Families will need to email a request for a device to techhelp@cdaschools.org.

TECH SUPPORT: To assist families with Remote Learning, you may contact our tech support staff between 8 AM and 6 PM Monday through Friday at:

School start times committee prepares recommendation

Our School Start Times Ad Hoc Committee met April 22 to review data from a community survey that we shared in February. Over 2,500 responses were received, and the data can be reviewed here.

The committee voted 11 to 8 to recommend that the School District flip elementary and secondary school start times starting with the 2021-22 school year. The committee will meet once more on May 20 to finalize the recommendation and a minority report to present to the Board of Trustees on June 1.

Seeking new members for our long range planning committee

We are looking for volunteers to join our Long Range Planning Committee, which meets monthly during the school year to review and plan for the district's facility needs, and report to the Board of Trustees.

The focus of the committee includes planning for new schools, school expansions and remodels, safety updates, maintenance issues, and more. If you would like to be a part of this team, we invite you to learn more and apply here now. Applications are due August 1.

District Office open to the public again

Our District Office is open to the public from 9 AM to 3 PM, Monday through Friday. The office is at 1400 N. Northwood Center Court.

We request that visitors wear a face mask or covering while inside the District Office at this time. We have clean, cloth face masks available in the lobby for visitors.

The District has received donations of hundreds of reusable face masks for staff use, and we want to thank the community for assisting us. We are still in need of more, and reusable cloth masks may be dropped off in a collection box outside the front door of the District Office.

Kindergarten registration is underway

Kindergarten registration began April 20 for children who will be 5 years old on or before Sept. 1. If you have a young one entering our school district for the 2020-21 school year, registration is available online, by phone or by printing, completing, and mailing a form.

To learn more, find which school your kindergartener will attend, and register, visit our Kindergarten registration page here. Or jump straight to our Kindergarten registration form here.

DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR TUITION-BASED FULL-DAY KINDERGARTEN: At six of our elementary schools (Atlas, Dalton, Hayden Meadows, Skyway, Ramsey and Sorensen) we have both half-day and full-day Kindergarten classes. The full-day Kindergarten classes at these schools are available to students whose families agree to pay a portion of the cost through tuition. Families apply for spots in these full-day classes, and students are selected through a lottery. If you are interested in applying for a spot in one of the full-day, tuition-based Kindergarten classes, you may APPLY HERE NOW. Deadline to apply is May 22. Families will be notified of full-day placement on June 1.

QUESTIONS? Call your neighborhood school or the Coeur d'Alene District Office at (208) 664-8241.

New students need to register for 2020-21

Currently enrolled students do not need to register for the next school year. But students new to our district do need to register, and can do so by going here now.

To know which schools are in your zone, use our School Site Locator. If you have questions, contact Christine Ballard at (208) 664-8241.

Mindful meditation isn't complicated

Mindful meditation doesn’t have to be complicated. You can follow this simple routine each day with only your mind and quiet space:

  • Find a quiet and comfortable space to sit or lay down. You can set a timer for 5 or 10 minutes if you wish. This can be helpful if you find yourself checking the time during your routine.

  • Close your eyes and relax your muscles, releasing tension.

  • Bring your attention to your breath. Breathe normally and notice the sensation of air coming in and exiting your lungs.

  • Focus on the inhale and exhale sensation. It is normal for your mind to wander. When it does, gently notice and bring yourself back to the breath. When it happens once more, notice and begin again. Breathe and notice, coming back each time your mind wanders to the movement of your lungs.

  • When your dedicated time comes to an end, gently open your eyes, take a deep breath and thank yourself for taking a moment of calm before you tackle the rest of the day.

AP exams: Get Ready for Test Day

Here are five steps your child can take to get ready for AP Exams:

Try the Exam Demo: Get familiar with what to expect on exam day by taking a video tour of the online exam and launching the exam demo.

Complete the Exam Day Checklist: Review and complete the exam day checklist for each exam they're taking, and be sure to review course-specific info.

Confirm Their Email Address: Your child's exam e-ticket will be delivered to the email address associated with their College Board account. See how to check their account.

Locate Their E-ticket: E-tickets will be emailed to your child two days before each exam they're taking. It will also include their AP ID, which they'll need on exam day.

Check In 30 Minutes Early: Your child will use their e-ticket to check in to their online exam 30 minutes before start time. Make sure your child knows what time the exam starts in your time zone.

Latest views of our newest school

We are excited to see progress on the new home of Northwest Expedition Academy, under construction on West Prairie Avenue.

We are watching windows go in, drywall hung, concrete floors finished, exterior siding going on, and work beginning on parking areas. (See photos below)

The last project from our 2017 school bond, the 53,355-square-foot school at 2008 Prairie Avenue will serve grades K-5. It's scheduled to open this fall.

Ginno Construction Company is the general contractor, and Architects West designed the new school.

UI-CDA math center creates Family Math Activity Book

The Idaho Regional Mathematics Center at the University of Idaho CDA created this Family Math Book with activities and games for elementary students.

The book was developed to support students without access to reliable Internet or devices during the building closure. The math center has printed some copies and is looking for additional funding to print more books. The activity book is designed to be printed in black and white.


Partners from philanthropy, government and business have come together to create two COVID-19 Response and Recovery Funds that will make grants to community-based organizations in Eastern Washington and North Idaho working on the front lines to serve our region’s most vulnerable populations during this outbreak.

The funds are designed to complement the work of public health officials, medical providers, businesses and governments to expand regional capacity addressing the outbreak as effectively as possible.

In partnership with over 100 regional advisory committee member volunteers, $779,000 was distributed to 138 organizations in the first round of grantmaking.

Here's how to donate to this fund.

Applications are due May 26 for the second round of COVID-19 Response and Recovery Grants. Grantees will be announced by June 12. Click here to see the guidelines for the process before applying. More information can be found here.

University of Idaho Coeur d'Alene has Dig'n IT Summer Programs

Don’t miss your chance to sign up for a STEM summer camp or paid high school internship in Coeur d’Alene! It’s the eighth summer season of Dig’nIT from @UICDA.

This year’s Dig’nIT lineup features:

  • Cosmetic Chemistry Camp, July 13-17 for rising grades 6-9
  • Math is Cool Camp from Growing the Stem, Aug. 10-14 for rising grades 5-6
  • Coding Camps at @NorthIdahoBGC. Check with the Boys & Girls Club for dates, ages and registration.
  • Paid STEM Internships for rising grades 11-12

Camps are pay-what-you-can. Register at uidaho.edu/dignit-camp.

Internships pay $11/hour for 30 per week over eight weeks. Applications are due May 22 at uidaho.edu/dignit-intern.

Growing the stem is on social media

You can now keep up with Growing the STEM on Facebook and Instagram, @growingthestem. Help them build their social media presence!

A nonprofit organization, Growing the STEM organizes and supports math and science programs for students in Coeur d’Alene Public Schools, with an emphasis on developing youth leaders and encouraging underrepresented groups to pursue STEM education and activities. The programs uses student leaders as coaches, with assistance from adult coordinators.

Growing the STEM created and runs the Mathletes Mentor program, which develops student leaders while giving younger students who need extra help a fun and positive experience with math. Volunteers also start and lead math competition teams focused on the Northwest’s Math is Cool competition.

Extracurricular programs are open to students of all abilities and are always free of charge, supported by generous donations from businesses, organizations and individuals. Learn more at growingthestem.org.

Local track club forms for youth ages 7-18

North Idaho Blaze Track Club is a new track and field organization for youth ages 7 to 18. The Inland Northwest Association for USA Track & Field granted Blaze local club status in February.

The club promotes a healthy lifestyle and the opportunity to compete in numerous Junior Olympics events.

"At North Idaho Blaze, we strive to get to the highest level of competition," said Maricela Nelson, a seventh grader at Canfield Middle School. "We are so fortunate to have four dedicated track and field coaches who will be with us for our summer club season."

To learn more or join North Idaho Blaze Track Club for its inaugural year, check it out online and watch the video here.

Nominations sought for mayor's awards in the arts

The 25th Annual Mayor’s Awards in the Arts will be held October 7. Nominations for the Student Excellence in the Arts award are due August 31. High School students residing within the boundaries of our District as well as North Idaho College students are eligible for the award.