#271 News & Notes

2020-21 School Year

Coeur d'Alene Public Schools — March 24, 2021

Thank you to our community for supporting the district's 2-year operating levy

We wish to thank our community for supporting the renewal of our 2-year operating levy, which ensures many district programs and services will continue going strong through the 2022-23 school year. Voters approved the levy on March 9, with 60 percent of votes cast in favor.

10 miles over Spring break

Sources of Strength Virtual Run 2021

5-day meal kits for spring break available March 29

The Nutrition Services Department for Coeur d'Alene Public Schools will distribute 5-day meal kits for children on Monday, March 29, from 11 a.m. to 12 noon.


The free kits, consisting of five breakfast meals and five lunch meals, will be handed out while supplies last in grab-and-go lines at the main entrances to Lake City High School, 6101 N. Ramsey Road; and Coeur d'Alene High School, 5530 N. Fourth Street.


You may walk, bike or drive up to collect your meal kits.

Family calendar for 2021-22

The family calendar for the 2021-22 school year is now available on our website. Click this link to access the calendar.


Highlights for next school year include:

September 7 - First day of school

Nov. 22-26 - Thanksgiving break

Dec. 20-31 - Winter break

March 28-April 1 - Spring break

June 10 - Last day of school

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Secondary students may now request a school transfer for 2021-22

The open enrollment application window began Monday for students who will be in middle or high school next year. Applications will be accepted through April 9, and parents/guardians will receive a letter notifying them of the district's decision by May 7. CLICK HERE TO APPLY


Open enrollment is the process by which students may attend a school other than the one for which they are zoned. Parents/guardians must complete an online application during the open enrollment window to be considered for a school transfer.


PLEASE NOTE: If your student is currently attending school through an open enrollment transfer, and wants to continue attending that school next year, you must complete and submit a new open enrollment transfer request. Applications are required each year for continued attendance, and approval will depend on the availability of space.


Only middle and high school transfer requests are accepted at this time. The open enrollment window for elementary students will be May 3-June 11. Elementary transfer decisions will be made at the end of August when enrollment numbers are more firmly established. Families will be notified prior to the start of the 2021-22 school year.


Under Board policy, the district guarantees a spot for all students in their zoned school. Therefore, not all open enrollment transfer applications can be approved. Decisions on all applications will follow the priorities outlined in Board Policy 3010.

Magnet school application window closes April 16

Families interested in having their students attend one of our three magnet schools for the 2021-22 school year may apply now through April 16. CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE


Applications will be accepted for these schools:


Applications are available at the front office of each school, or may be downloaded from the magnet school’s website.


Please note: Even if you live in a magnet school attendance zone, new applicants are not guaranteed enrollment. Applicants will be accepted based on available openings. If there are more applicants than space available, a lottery process will be used to select students.

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Over 500 pre-register for kindergarten

In the first few weeks of the application window, we have over 500 students pre-registered for kindergarten for next school year. We know hundreds of additional eligible students will be attending next fall, and we want to connect with those families now so that we can plan accordingly.


If you know of a family whose child will be 5 years old on or before September 1, 2021, please share this link with them! To pre-register, FILL OUT AND SUBMIT THIS FORM.


All of our kindergarten classes will be full-day in the coming school year. Learn more at cdaschools.org/kindergarten

Which high school schedule is best? Rate the three options

For the past year and a half we have been studying ideas for a common bell schedule for Coeur d’Alene High School and Lake City High School. The two schools have operated differently for years, with CHS students on a traditional schedule, attending each of their classes every day; and LCHS students on a block schedule, attending half their classes one day, and half the next day.


The daily bell schedule has a significant impact on teaching and learning, school climate, and the wellbeing of students and staff. In addition, our Portrait of a Graduate places increased emphasis on the need for students to have strong critical thinking, problem solving, collaboration and creativity skills. This is why we tasked teams from both high schools and District leaders to explore options for a common schedule that provides all students equivalent academic opportunities with classes required for graduation, elective offerings, career and technical education, and personalized courses at multiple levels -- from basic to advanced. When approved by our Board of Trustees, the new schedule would begin in the 2022-2023 school year.


Our review team has selected three model schedules which may meet these needs. Today we are sharing these models with you and asking for your feedback on what you see. Below each model you will see a list of attributes and challenges identified by the review team. After spending a little time looking over the three options, you will be guided to a survey to provide your feedback. This entire process is expected to take 20 to 30 minutes.


To get started, please select this link: bit.ly/sd271hsschedules

No school for K-8 students this Friday

Elementary teachers are conducting parent-teacher conferences this Thursday evening (4-7:30 p.m.) as well as all day on Friday. There will be no school on Friday for all K-5 students.


In addition, Friday is a no school day for middle school students (grades 6-8). It's a staff work day for their teachers.


Friday is a regular school day at our high schools.


And just in case you forgot, next week is SPRING BREAK! Enjoy the time off, rest and relax, and please be safe! We will see all students back on Monday, April 5.

Don't forget - Wednesdays will change on April 7

Students will return to attending school in person on Wednesdays following spring break. The 5-day schedule for all students, with the exception of those in our online eSchool, will take effect the week of April 5.


LATE-START WEDNESDAYS - Wednesdays will be the designated late-start day, with school beginning one hour later. This is designated as teacher and staff collaboration and professional development time.


The change from the current schedule of students attending in person four days a week is based on significant declines in transmission of COVID-19 in our community and our schools. As long as this trend holds, students will attend in person five days a week from April through the end of the school year. The District will continue to respond to spikes in transmission or outbreaks in schools with appropriate health measures.

Are our schools meeting your needs? Take the parent engagement survey

There is one week left to take the state's annual parent engagement survey, which helps us measure how well our schools meet your needs.


This survey only takes a few minutes, and your responses are anonymous. But they will be critical in helping us identify opportunities to maximize satisfaction, engagement and communication. This is one easy step to help improve your child's school.


If you have students in more than one school in our district, you may retake the survey for each school. Take the parent survey now by following this link. You have until March 31 to respond.

Sora use is soaring

Below you can see the last five years of total checkouts through Sora, our eBook library.


So far this school year we have seen over 26,000 downloads. That's more than twice as many as last year, and up considerably from the modest beginnings in 2015-16.


This certainly tells a story about the previous 12 months of COVID-19 and how we have been able to provide online resources to students.

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How students can access free eBooks on Sora

All students in our district have access to free eBook with Sora. They can check out books using a personal computer, phone, tablet or iPad — at home or at school — from our Sora by Overdrive website. The library is growing, so check back often for new arrivals!


Log in with your school district username and password. It's easy! All student's accounts use formats based on their grade level. See the guide that was sent to parents or contact your child's teacher. Usernames and passwords are the same as the student Google login (without the @students.cdaschools.org) used to sign in at school.


Use a Personal Electronic Device: The easiest way to use the CDA Schools Sora by Overdrive account on a personal device is to download the Sora by Overdrive App, which is available for almost all types of devices.

  • Download the mobile app to your device.
  • Click on Find My School and select Coeur d'Alene School District
  • Log in with your district username (without the @students.cdaschools.org) and district password.

Meet a few of our Project SEARCH students

Project SEARCH is our high school transition program that provides education and training to young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The primary goal is to secure competitive employment outcomes for each of our students.


The one-year program is a collaboration between Kootenai Health, the Idaho Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Coeur d’Alene School District and Tesh. Participants spend a school year reporting to the Project SEARCH host business, where they learn the skills needed to obtain competitive community employment at the conclusion of the program.


All 10 of the Project SEARCH interns this year will seek employment in our community starting in May. (Meet three of the interns below.)


Learn more at cdaschools.org/projectsearch, or contact Theresa Moran, Project SEARCH Instructor, at (208) 625-5799 or tmoran@cdaschools.org.

Apply to join our Long Range Planning Committee

The district's Long Range Planning Committee, appointed by our Board of Trustees, is seeking volunteers to serve on the committee starting in the 2021-22 school year.


The committee is a group of community volunteers who review and update a long range facilities plan for Coeur d'Alene Public Schools. The facilities plan, a component of the district's strategic plan, is available on our website BY CLICKING HERE.


Any resident of our district is welcome to apply. We especially are in need of residents representing the Canfield Middle School and Bryan Elementary School zones.


Click here to apply to be part of the Long Range Planning Committee. The application window closes June 1. Applications will be reviewed by a LRPC subcommittee.


LRPC Meetings are held once a month, generally on Mondays from 4:30-6 p.m. More information and the application can be found by clicking here on our website.

STEM summer camps by UI

The University of Idaho in Coeur d'Alene will offer another summer of learning through its Dig'nIT Summer Program, which includes camps for rising grades 5-9 and internships for rising grades 11-12.


"As we continue to navigate the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we are confident these learning opportunities will be a valuable asset for students this summer," the UI announced.


Camps operate on a pay-what-you-can model and internships pay $11/hour over eight weeks.


Applications will open April 1. You can read more about these STEM programs on the Dig’nIT website.

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Looking for area businesses to help our high school juniors with job experience

1 Connection is a new partnership between area businesses and Coeur d’Alene Public Schools to provide high school juniors experience with job interviews and building a resume.


Each participating business will interview a group of 11th graders during a special event this spring. The goal is to have each business select one or more students for a summer job, internship, apprenticeship, job shadow or mentoring opportunity. Participating schools are Coeur d’Alene High School, Lake City High School and Venture High School.

Students will be assigned to interview groups based on their interest areas, and each business has the opportunity to participate in three group interview sessions, with up to five students per session. Businesses are under no obligation to select a student.

Our hope is to host this event in person the evening of May 19, 2021, with social distancing and mask precautions in place, if applicable. If necessary, the event will be held virtually.

HOW TO SIGN UP
If interested in participating, or if you want more information, please fill out this Interest Form: http://bit.ly/2ZwSW39

To participate in 1 Connection, a business or individual will need to register with Coeur d’Alene Connects, our program that pairs students with businesses, professionals, retirees and career mentors. This lets us vet participants, and there’s no obligation to participate beyond the 1 Connection event. Sign up for Coeur d’Alene Connects at www.cdaconnects.org

Contact Beth Kofmehl with any questions at elizabeth.kofmehl@cdaschools.org or
(208) 667-4509, ext. 40023.
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Last chance to sign up for Spring Break Virtual Run supporting Sources of Strength

We invite students, families and community members to support our Sources of Strength program for middle and high school students this spring. The Virtual Run will be held over Spring Break, March 27-April 4.


SIGN UP TO PARTICIPATE NOW!


Participants will set their own routes and pace, working toward a goal of covering 10 miles during the week: walking, running, using a wheelchair and hiking. All ages are welcome to participate!


This event allows our community to promote healthy and happy living on behalf of our local youth. Participation is free for anyone 18 and younger. Participating adults are asked to sign up for a $10 fee. In addition, event T-shirts will be sold for $20 each. All proceeds from the Color Run will go directly to our secondary schools in support of the student-led Sources of Strength programs.


Through Sources of Strength, students from all walks of life create a culture within their school that empowers change through diversity and compassion. This dynamic club is student-led and assists in helping all students find their personal strength through a message of hope, health and strength.


Our students are doing phenomenal things at their schools, from a focus on healthy activities and finding a mentor, to being thankful and encouraging greatness within our peers.

Students 16 and older can sign up to learn construction practices this spring

The North Idaho Building Contractors Association will hold its second Construction Combine for students 16 and older on May 4 and 5 at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds.


This is an opportunity for students to learn construction practices from experienced contractors and demonstrate their new skills. Students will build full-scale sheds with their new knowledge, and sheds will be donated to local veterans.


Students also have the opportunity to be selected by local construction and trade companies for future employment. This is a great career path for jobs that are in very high demand with great pay.


Students will have small group workshops on a variety of construction related aspects, including drywall and paint, electrical, masonry, concrete, plumbing and others. There is no cost for this event.


Students will be excused from class to attend the event and bus transportation will be available for any students that need it. Attendance will be taken and reported to schools.


Click here to download the registration form. Completed forms must be returned by April 16, 2021. Questions: info@nibca.com.

Update on superintendent search process

The search for our next superintendent is continuing. Executive search firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, tapped by the Board of Trustees to help find the next superintendent for Coeur d'Alene Public Schools, presented a leadership profile assessment to the Board on March 15.


The leadership profile presents findings from the firm's meetings with individuals and focus groups in the district, and from the results of an online survey completed by stakeholders. These surveys, interviews and focus group meetings were structured to gather input to assist the Board in determining the primary characteristics desired in the new superintendent.


READ THE LEADERSHIP PROFILE HERE


The search firm is screening applicants to select a group of finalists for the Board to interview. The position will remain open until filled.


Here is the remaining timeline:

Early April - Semifinalist interviews

Mid-April - Finalist interviews, Board selection

July 1 - Superintendent assumes responsibilities


Learn more at https://www.cdaschools.org/superintendent

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Next School Board meeting is April 5

Your Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting on Monday, April 5, at 5 PM. Some of the topics on the agenda include:


  • High school bell schedule options
  • COVID trends and status of school health protocols
  • School fundraising policies


The monthly meetings and select special meetings of our Board of Trustees are streamed live and archived on our YouTube channel. To watch, simply go to http://www.youtube.com/c/CdASchools271.