Welcome Back!

August 2022

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Make the Most of the School Year!

We’re very excited to kick off another school year! D91 Supt. Dr. Jim Shank has some tips and suggestions on how students and parents can get the most out of the 2022-23 School Year.

  • What advice would you give students about the coming school year? Explore your interests! We’ve got so many new classes and opportunities, especially with our expanded CTE offerings, I urge students to learn about what is available and take advantage of what is available. Earn college credits in high school. Enroll in CTE classes and get an internship. Sign up for a photography club or a skiing club. Learn all you can!

  • What are some things parents can do to help their children be successful? The most important thing parents can do is connect with their child’s teacher. Reach out to our teachers, share any concerns you might have and find out how you can help your child be successful. Then, stay in touch. Sign up for school newsletters and notifications. Be involved!

  • What are you most excited about for the 2022-23 school year? There are so many things I’m excited about. Some things include:

    • The number of schools that have earned HRS certifications and are working hard to ensure all students are successful (Read below)

    • The new stand-alone Career-Technical Education Center, which is allowing us to expand our programs and give our students so many new opportunities

    • The improvements to Ravsten Stadium, which include turf, upgraded lights and a new track. This stadium is such an important part of our community, and it’s exciting to unveil these new upgrades and investments for future generations

We are D91Proud of Our HRS Schools!

Last year we launched an initiative to create High Reliability Schools across Idaho Falls School District 91 with a focus on increased student achievement and success for all students. We are pleased to announce that seven schools have earned Level 1 certification, and one school has earned Level 2 and Level 3 certifications.

Congrats to Edgemont, Ethel Boyes, Linden Park, Sunnyside and Temple View elementary schools, as well as Compass Academy and Idaho Falls High School for earning Level 1 certification. Level 1’s focus is on creating a safe, supportive and collaborative environment. Some of the things these schools have done to create a safe environment include: implementing HOPE Squad, a group of students that build a positive school culture by making sure students feel connected to school; establishing school-wide expectations for behavior; issuing positive behavior referrals; celebrating student successes through leadership tickets and having students participate in morning announcements and holding regular class meetings to gather feedback and recommendations from students.

In addition to earning Level 1 certification, Temple View Elementary School has earned Level 2 and Level 3 certification. Level 2 is Effective Teaching in Every Classroom while Level 3 is a Guaranteed & Viable Curriculum.

All our schools are committed to earning Level 1 certification by the end of the 2022-23 school year! We are #D91Proud.

D91 Bond Will Improve Facilities

D91 patrons will go to the polls on Nov. 8 to vote on a bond proposal that would address some of the district’s greatest facility needs. The bond proposal would pay to:

  • Build a new IFHS on E. 49th South

  • Renovate Skyline and add an auditorium

  • Build a new elementary school south of Idaho Falls

  • Replace Temple View with a new, larger elementary school north of Idaho Falls.

The high school improvements focus on enhancing safety and security; accommodating growth with space for 1,800 students when they’re built out; creating large, updated learning spaces with power, technology and versatility; and improving arts facilities. The elementary schools will be designed for academic success with enhanced safety and security features.

D91’s past bond projects have been completed on time and on budget. And, this summer, the Board of Trustees approved measures to pay the 2012 bonds off early saving taxpayers millions in interest payments. Learn more about the proposal here. More information about the final tax impacts will be available in September when Bonneville County finalizes its property tax assessments. Questions about the proposal? Send them to us.

Important Dates:

  • Aug. 25: Groundbreaking for Tiger Athletic Complex
  • Aug. 26: Late Start Friday
  • Sept. 5: No School/Labor Day
  • Sept. 14: Board of Trustees Business Meeting, 6 pm, IFHS Media Center
  • Sept. 24: Emotion Bowl & Ribbon Cutting For Ravsten Stadium.

Have You Filled Out A Free & Reduced Lunch Application?

Take time to fill out a Free and Reduced Lunch application this year to see if you qualify for help with the cost of school breakfasts and lunches. Because of grants from the USDA, D91 has provided free meals to all students for the last few years but those grants have expired so families will have to pay for meals this year. It’s easy to apply online through our Titan Food Service program. Paper applications are also available at all our schools. If you have questions about an application or about eligibility, you can call the D91 Child Nutrition office at (208) 525-7532.

Middle School Students Get New Chromebooks

D91 prides itself on providing our students with the tools and resources they need to be successful. This year, our middle school students are being issued brand new Chromebooks. These devices will be assigned to students and they will keep them from year to year until they graduate or leave the district.

Students are expected to take good care of their devices. They are responsible for charging the Chromebook before each school day. They should also promptly notify their teacher if their device is damaged. If a student loses his/her charger, they can purchase one at a discounted price of $10 at their school office. If a device needs to be repaired, students will be issued a replacement. But, please note, if a student’s Chromebook is broken due to their poor stewardship, they may be issued an older device as a replacement.

If you are the parent of a middle schooler, here are a couple of reminders to help them take care of their devices:

  • Things shouldn’t be piled on top of a Chromebook

  • Make sure the keyboard is clear of objects like pencils before closing the lid

  • Keep food and drink away from the Chromebook at all times

  • Carry a Chromebook carefully. If it isn’t in a backpack, carry it with two hands and never carry it by the screen.

And, please note all D91 students and staff are subject to the district’s Technology Use Notification.

Wrapping Up Work on CTE Center

Crews are finishing up renovations to the old Deseret Industries building downtown to create a new temporary home for D91’s new Career and Technical Education Center.

The new stand-alone center has allowed the district to expand its CTE offerings and provide students with more opportunities than ever before to connect learning to real-world careers. Classes include construction, firefighting, EMT, culinary arts and more. It has also allowed us to form some new exciting partnerships like the industrial mechanical partnership with the INL, which will provide students with internship opportunities at the site.

D91 has always offered CTE classes, but they’ve been spread around the district so it’s been difficult for some students to take advantage of them. This year we’re seeing a record enrollment in our CTE program.

We’re looking forward to highlighting the center once the final updates and improvements are finished. Watch for more on that in September! Students enrolled in the auto program will continue to attend classes at the auto tech center at IFHS, which was recently upgraded.

Our Focus on School Safety

The safety and security of D91’s students and staff is always a top priority, and this school year is no different. D91 is continuing to work on creating safer schools by focusing on three areas:

  • School culture with an emphasis on building strong relationships with all students so they feel safe and included in school

  • Visible signs of safety with new investments in securing our schools with badges for school visitors, more security cameras and controlled access systems in all our schools. This summer we successfully installed access control systems in our last three schools – IFHS, Skyline and Compass Academy

  • Safety Plans that are reviewed and updated regularly in consultation with local, state and federal authorities and guidance. Those plans also include regular emergency drills to ensure staff and students are prepared for any kind of emergency situations.

In addition, Katie Francis has been named as the district’s new school safety and SEL coordinator. Katie will be reviewing safety plans and overseeing safety practices across the district.
Keeping our schools safe takes a community effort. Please do your part by:
  • Following our safety protocols when you visit one of our schools
  • Becoming familiar with our safety responses such as Evacuate, Reverse Evacuation, Shelter, Lockout and Lockdown
  • Making sure your contact information and emergency contact information is up to date in PowerSchool so you receive notifications in case of an emergency
  • Alerting school officials or local authorities if you hear anything about any suspicious situation. Also, please encourage your child to share what they see and hear in school and around the community

What To Do In An Emergency?

In an emergency situation, our school staff’s first priority is to ensure the safety and security of our students and staff, and then our second priority is to get updates and information to parents. We understand it is natural to want to call or visit the school in an emergency situation, but that may actually make it more difficult for staff and law enforcement officials to take care of students. Instead, here are some things we would recommend:

  • Watch for updates from official district sources. We will send texts and emails as quickly as possible, and, when possible, share updates on the district and school websites and social media and with the local media.

  • Try to be patient. The first few minutes of an emergency situation can be chaotic. It can take a little time to collect reliable information. But, as soon as we have that information, we’ll share it.

  • Be wary of social media reports. Information about emergency situations posted on social media is usually wrong. We would encourage you to rely on district or law enforcement sources and official social media accounts for information.

  • Keep communications with your child short. We know your first instinct is to reach out to your child, but please keep those communications short. Calling or texting your child during an emergency may prevent them from hearing important, life-saving information. Before an emergency, talk to your child about how you might communicate in an emergency situation, something simple like: “I am safe” or “We are being evacuated.”

  • Share your questions and concerns. If you have concerns about how a situation was handled, take time after the incident to share those concerns with school or district officials. We are always working to improve our responses and enhance the safety and security of our students and staff.

New K-8 Math Curriculum Debuts

D91 is excited to be implementing a new K-8 math curriculum this year, which is better aligned with Idaho Mathematics Content and Practice Standards.

The Board of Trustees adopted the Into Math by HMH curriculum last spring based on a recommendation from the D91 curriculum adoption committee. As part of the adoption process, the committee held open houses throughout the district to gather input and recommendations from parents, which were incorporated into their final recommendations.

Some of the highlights of the new math curriculum include:

  • Incorporates current effective mathematics instructional practices

  • Encourages students to use knowledge they already possess

  • Encourages students to engage in discourse about math concepts

  • Identifies common student misconceptions

  • Provides just-in-time ideas for supporting students who are struggling to understand concepts

  • Provides videos to support teachers in learning how to provide instruction

  • Has user friendly teacher materials

  • Has engaging student materials and on-line interactive practice materials

  • Provides many materials to support students of all levels of understanding

  • Has assessments that provide questions at all levels of student understanding

  • Provides parent video tutorials and interactive examples

Teachers took part in professional development on the new curriculum last week.Follow-up sessions are planned during the year. Questions? Send them to us.

Work Gets Under Way on TAC

We are excited to announce that work on the new Tiger Athletic Complex is under way! The athletic complex is a public-private partnership being developed with The Tiger Club on district-owned property on E. 49th South.

The first phase includes practice fields for baseball, softball, football and possibly soccer. The final project, which will take many years to complete, would include additional baseball fields, softball fields, soccer fields and tennis courts.

IFHS currently has no home fields and most of the athletic teams practice and play on city fields scattered throughout Idaho Falls. The Tiger football team practices in a retention pond behind the school that is often filled with storm debris. They play their games at Ravsten Stadium, but that is a district facility shared with Skyline High School.

The project, which is separate from facility projects included in the district’s bond proposal, has been in the works for a long time. The Idaho Falls Board of Trustees in 2021 set aside $2 million in reserve funds for TAC, but progress has been slow due to rising construction costs and supply chain delays.

“We are so excited to finally be breaking ground on this project, which will give our student athletes something they deserve: home fields where they can practice and play and strive to be champions,” said Dr. Supt. Shank. “We look forward to working with the Tiger Club to create an athletic complex that will truly be an asset to our community.”