#271 News & Notes
2020-21 School Year
Coeur d'Alene Public Schools — March 4, 2021
Click on this link to learn more about the levy supporting Coeur d'Alene Public Schools.
Levy voting reminder: March 9 is Election Day
Please don't forget that our 2-year replacement levy is on the ballot next Tuesday, March 9. The polls open at 8 AM and close at 8 PM.
Registered voters who live within the boundaries of the Coeur d'Alene School District are able to vote on the proposed levy, which will replace the current levy that expires in June. The school district is not seeking an increase in levy funding.
Voters may cast their ballot early at the county elections office, through this Friday, March 5. The office is open 8 AM to 5 PM weekdays. It's located at 1808 N. 3rd Street, Coeur d'Alene.
Where do you vote on Tuesday? To find your polling place, CLICK HERE.
Sign up now for full-day kindergarten
Families are encouraged to pre-register now for kindergarten for any student who will be 5 years old on or before September 1. To pre-register, FILL OUT AND SUBMIT THIS FORM.
It’s important that all eligible families know about this opportunity so we have an accurate estimate of the number of kindergarten students attending next school year.
We will offer free, full-day kindergarten to all eligible students in the District beginning this September. The Board of Trustees approved a plan to expand our kindergarten program to ensure all families have access to full-day kindergarten, tuition-free, at every elementary school. Learn more at https://www.cdaschools.org/kindergarten
K-5 Students: No school Friday, March 5
School levies help support KTEC programs
K-12 magnet school to open in September
What will become of our online CdA eSchool after this school year?
We are excited to share that we are designing a new learning community: We plan to transition from an entirely remote learning option to a K-12 project-based magnet school focused on improving our larger community. Students will learn at a school site, in their homes and around the community. Parents are encouraged to be partners in their student’s learning and to assist learning at home.
The new school received the approval of our Board of Trustees earlier this week.
We will have a lot more to share about the new magnet school in the coming weeks. For now, you can learn more by CLICKING HERE.
Magnet school application window opens March 8
Families interested in having their students attend one of our magnet schools for the 2021-22 school year may apply starting Monday, March 8.
Applications will be accepted for these schools:
- Sorensen Magnet School of Arts and Humanities (K-5)
- Ramsey Magnet School of Science (K-5)
- Our new K-12 magnet school (see previous item)
Applications are available at the front office of each school, or may be downloaded from the magnet school’s website. Applications for the new K-12 magnet school will be posted March 8 on the CDA eSchool'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.
Learn more at https://www.cdaschools.org/magnets
Our levy supports art, music and athletics
End of year testing approaches
As we start the month of March, we are in our final preparations for our students’ important end-of-the-year testing in English language arts, mathematics, and science. The statewide exam window will open soon and continues through the middle of May.
During this time, students will take assessments in the following areas:
- English language arts: Grades 3-8 and 10 taking both an adaptive exam and a performance task – a real-world scenario
- Mathematics: Grades 3-8 and 10 taking both an adaptive exam (questions adjust grade level/difficulty based on the pattern of responses) and a performance task
- Science: Grades 5, 8 and 11, also taking an adaptive exam and performance task which merges life science, physical science, Earth science, and engineering thinking.
Alternate assessments: For those students who qualify for an alternate assessment, students may take ISAT-ALT in English language arts, mathematics, and/or science.
Each building team has created its own testing schedule and your student will certainly not be testing every day; each team’s plan best fits student schedules and school resources. You should have communication from your student’s school providing more specific dates and times as their tests are scheduled.
How you can help your student prepare for their exams
Our teachers have worked hard with your students and provided numerous activities for practice over this year. With your assistance, we feel strongly that our students will be able to perform their highest and reach their goals.
You can assist with this preparation at home as well by looking over the sample items or take a practice exam in the Idaho Portal – available at http://idaho.portal.airast.org. Our district has also posted additional information about the assessments at our district website, www.cdaschools.org under the Departments > Assessments menu.
Also, we would like to remind you that students will be receiving some questions via audio and video, so students should be encouraged to bring their own headphones for testing, although a pair will be loaned to students if they prefer.
Thank you for your partnership in educating our students and for supporting them to do their best.
How we compare: District vs. Idaho
All students will attend in person 5 days a week beginning Monday, April 5
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, according to a plan approved by our Board of Trustees on February 25.
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
Parents, we want to hear from you! Schools across the state are participating in an annual parent engagement survey. This gives you the chance to share your input and help us measure how well our schools are meeting your needs.
The 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.
Make your voice heard! Take the parent survey now by following this link. You have until March 31 to respond.
2x10: A Relationship Math Equation
What is a 2x10? Sounds like a simple math equation right? 2x10 = 20! Yet, what if 2x10 is also a simple challenge we can use to gain a deeper connection with our kids?
OK, let's make sense of this. When we talk about 2x10 in the context of a relationship, it is not a math equation, but a challenge to spend two unconditional, undivided, engaged and present minutes with your child each day for 10 days (get it, 2 minutes x 10 days!).
Sounds easy, right? We spend a lot of time with our children, especially over the last year with many hours and days at home. However, sometimes that time is not spent in intentional connection because the phones come out, the TV turns on, and we are distracted by the many things life throws at us. So this challenge, 2 minutes for 10 days, means no phones, no TV, no distractions. Just two minutes of you and your child being present with one another.
What will you talk about? When I tried this in my own home, the first few days were filled with me asking questions and my kids giving one-word answers like “good.” To give you a head start, here are a few fun conversation starters to engage your child:
What do you like best about yourself?
If you could invent anything, what would it be?
What is one thing you could do to help the world?
Who is your best friend and why?
If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Their turn: It's also fun for your kids to ask you questions. Here are some questions for your kids to ask you:
If you could meet anyone in history, who would it be?
What were your favorite bands in high school?
What did you want to be when you were younger?
What was your favorite childhood vacation?
What technology do you appreciate the most, that you didn’t have as a kid?
What did you like most and least about school?
We hope you have fun with this little challenge, and maybe even learn something new about one another! As always, stay safe and connected.
From Andi West and your Social-Emotional Learning Team
Our levy supports real-world connections
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or
(208) 667-4509, ext. 40023.
The process to apply for a school outside of your attendance zone
Want your student to attend a school that you are not zoned for? Here's the process:
Parents/guardians must complete an online application during our upcoming open enrollment window to be considered for a school transfer.
If your student is attending a school through an open enrollment transfer this school year, you must complete and submit the online application to have your student continue to attend their school of choice next year. Continued attendance will depend on availability of space.
Under Board policy, the district guarantees a spot for all students in their zoned school. Our community is growing and there is limited space in our schools. Therefore, not all open enrollment transfer applications can be approved. Decisions on all applications will follow the priorities outlined in Board Policy 3010.
Here are the two open enrollment application windows for the 2021-22 school year:
SECONDARY (Grades 6-12)
- The secondary open enrollment window is March 22-April 9.
- Parents/guardians will receive a letter notification of open enrollment decision by May 7.
ELEMENTARY (Grades K-5)
- The elementary open enrollment window is May 3-June 11.
- Elementary 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.
Fernan teacher nominated for Presidential Award
Courtney Greene, advanced learning teacher (grades 3-5) at Fernan STEM Academy, has been nominated to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching. The National Science Foundation administers the award on behalf of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
The award recognizes educators who have "deep content knowledge of the subjects they teach and the ability to motivate and enable students to be successful in those areas."
National awardees receive a certificate signed by the president, recognition events and professional development opportunities, and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. Winners are expected to be announced this spring.
We are all rooting for Ms. Greene!
"Lighting up the classroom" - Feb. 15 article in the Coeur d'Alene Press
Our levy supports school safety
Update on superintendent search process
The Board of Trustees is working with executive search firm Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates to find the next superintendent for Coeur d'Alene Public Schools. The company will present a leadership profile report to the Board on March 15.
Here is the timeline after that:
March 22-26 - Top applicants screened by consultants
Early April - Semifinalist interviews
Mid-April - Finalist interviews, Board selectionJuly 1 - Superintendent assumes responsibilities
Learn more at https://www.cdaschools.org/superintendent
Sources of Strength Virtual Run set for Spring Break
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.
More about our school levy
Next School Board meeting is March 15
Your Board of Trustees will hold a special meeting on Monday, March 15, at 5 PM. The topic is the existing policies and laws surrounding counseling services and rights of parents. Seating is limited at the Midtown Center Meeting Room, and attendees are required to wear face masks inside the building, per board policy.
The regularly 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.