Headlines & Highlights
Headlines & Highlights
September 12, 2022
Rating the new Balanced Beginning program for kindergarten students
The district’s new Balanced Beginning transition program for kindergarteners is in full swing. Developed by kindergarten teachers, this program's main purpose is to decrease class sizes during the first days of school by offering shorter daily sessions. This allows every teacher to give each student more time, care and instruction for a less stressful start of the year for our youngest learners.
During the first week of school we spoke with many parents and grandparents of kindergarten students during dropoff and pickup times. Feedback so far has been very positive. Families shared that they like the small teacher-to-student ratios as their children learn all the new procedures. They also like some shorter days as their child gets used to the new schedule and pace.
All parents and guardians will have the opportunity to give feedback when we complete Balanced Beginning. Kindergarten teachers will reach out this week or next. Your opinions about this transition program are very much appreciated as we continue into our full-day schedule and look at improvements for the transition program for next year.
Thank you, kindergarten families, for helping your child step into a great school year, become part of their school community and feel safe and excited about their new classroom of friends.
Ideas for helping to encourage good attendance in school
- Set a regular bedtime and morning routine. Sleep is a critical component of school success. Younger students generally need 10 to 11 hours of sleep each night. Teenagers should sleep 8 to 10 hours per night.
- Lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before. If your students packs a lunch, you can save time in the morning by preparing lunch items the night before.
- If you drive your child to school, always give yourself a little more time than you may need in case of traffic congestion, road work or weather. Develop backup plans for getting to school if something comes up. Call on a family member, a neighbor or another parent.
- Try to schedule medical and dental appointments, and family trips, when school isn't in session.
- If your child seems anxious about going to school, talk to teachers, school counselors and other parents for advice on how to make your child feel comfortable and excited about learning.
- If your child must stay home due to illness, ask the teacher for resources and ideas to continue learning at home.
Families invited to provide input on District goals
The Idaho State Board of Education requires all public school districts to submit a continuous improvement plan with community input on a variety of metrics. We welcome your feedback on our past performance and look forward to using your guidance in identifying goals for the coming school year.
Once approved by your Board of Trustees, we will post our goals on our district website and update progress on our public data dashboards.
Answers to many questions found in your school handbook
Many of your questions about the school year are answered in each school’s Handbook for Parents & Students. The handbook includes information specific to each elementary, middle and high school. Find them on your school website or at cdaschools.org/handbooks
We also have a District Handbook with information on rules, policies and guidelines related to the safety and operation of our schools. Please take some time to become familiar with this content. It’s available at the same link.
One week to go until the Sources of Strength Color Run
This year's Sources of Strength Color Run is just around the corner. Join us on the morning Saturday, September 17, at the Kootenai County Fairgrounds. There is still time to sign up for this 1.5-mile fun run/walk. It's open to all and will begin at 10 AM.
The Color Run is FREE for anyone 18 and under with a canned goods donation. The fee is $15 for adults. For more information and to register, SELECT THIS LINK.
All proceeds from this event go directly to our secondary schools to support our incredible Sources of Strength program.
- Color Run t-shirts will be available for sale at the event.
- Raffle tickets for baskets of goodies donated by local businesses will be sold.
- Wear white clothing and allow yourself to be dusted with organic, biodegradable chalk along the way!
Sources of Strength is a program where kids from all walks of life create a culture within their school that empowers change. This dynamic club is student-led and assists in helping all students find their personal strength through a message of hope, health and strength.
Meet the Machines (FREE for families) also is Sept. 17 at the county fairgrounds
Kids and families are welcome to Meet the Machiness on Saturday, September 17, at the county fairgrounds.
Interact with fire trucks, police cars, utility trucks, tractors, semis, UTVs, cement mixers and more!
This free event coincides with the Sources of Strength Color Run at 10 a.m., in the parking lot of the Kootenai County Fairgrounds.
PHOTO COURTESY OF THE COEUR D'ALENE PRESS
Advanced Opportunities provides $4,125 for every Idaho student
If you have a student in grades 7-12, they have access to $4,125 in state funds that can be used to pay the cost of dual-credit courses, overload courses above a full schedule, Advanced Placement and career-technical education exams, and workforce training programs.
Idaho’s Advanced Opportunities program allows middle and high school students to customize their learning to get a jump start on their future. The state sets aside $4,125 for each student to help them attain college credit while in high school, work toward career goals and encourage graduates to continue their education.
Last school year, 877 students in Coeur d’Alene Public Schools drew a total of almost $578,000 from their Advanced Opportunities allotments. This covered fees for 194 overload courses, 2,279 dual credit courses and 610 exams. Those students earned a total of 6,862 college credits through their dual-credit classes.
In just the past 5 school years, our students have used over $2.7 million from the Advanced Opportunities program.
Our middle and high school counselors and college/career advisers can help students access their Advanced Opportunities money. Learn more at www.cdaschools.org/opportunities
Sources of Strength curriculum resources available for public review
The Coeur d'Alene School District is considering adopting the Sources of Strength Curriculum Resources for use in kindergarten through fifth grades to support the elementary health curriculum. If approved by the Board of Trustees, Sources of Strength would be used to help students build resilience by reinforcing strengths such as hope, persistence and asking for help when needed.
These resources are available for public review, and comments will be accepted through September 26. Learn more at THIS LINK.
Apply now for free or reduced-priced breakfast and lunch this school year
For the past two years we did not charge students for school meals due to federal waivers related to the COVID pandemic. That has ended now, and this school year we again have prices for student to eat breakfast and lunch.
You may qualify for free or reduced-price meals!
Schools are required to serve meals at no charge to children whose household income is at or below 130 percent of the federal poverty guidelines. Children may pay a reduced price if their household income is above 130 percent but at or below 185 percent of these guidelines. Children are automatically eligible for free school meals if their household receives food stamps, benefits under the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations or, in most cases, benefits under the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program.
Complete and submit an application for free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch.
Reduced-price meals are 30 cents for breakfast, 40 cents for lunch. Families qualify based on their household income. See if you qualify and apply now at https://cdaschoolsnutrition.com
Begin your application now. Select THIS LINK
Substitute teacher placement service offers Career Kickstart Inventive
ESS, our placement service for substitute teachers, is offering a new Career Kickstart Incentive to help start your career in education. Newly hired ESS staff will be eligible for compensation for some of the costs associated with required school district credentials.
- Substitute and permanent staff hired after January 3, 2022, are eligible.
- Employees must successfully work 25 days with ESS before December 31, 2022, to qualify for compensation.
- Compensation applies to costs for background checks and medical checks, which includes but is not limited to health screening, drug tests, and TB tests.
- Maximum compensation of $125 for all applicable credentials.
- Receipts of credentialing costs must be provided to Kickstart@ESS.com.
- Credentialing compensation will be included on the second paycheck after the employee has worked 25 days, and submitted all applicable receipts.
For questions about the ESS Career Kickstart Incentive, contact us at Kickstart@ESS.com.
Explore titles in our free online library, Sora
One of the best-kept secrets is that all students have access to a fantastic online school library. Access eBooks and audiobooks easily through the Sora app from OverDrive. This app was designed to enhance student reading experiences. They can discover and enjoy eBooks and audiobooks from their school’s digital library for leisure and class-assigned reading. Sora also allows teachers to assign titles and track students’ progress.
LOGGING IN IS EASIER THAN EVER!
Students can log into Sora and begin exploring titles now. Go to soraapp.com, search for Coeur d’Alene School District, and sign in using your district email and password.
Keep informed about school closures and delayed starts
Severe weather, power outages or other conditions may prompt us to close schools or announce a delayed start to the school day. Typically we will announce a closure or delay by 5:30 a.m. the day it takes effect. As a parent or guardian, you will hear about emergency closures as long as we have your current email and phone listed in Skyward Family Access. Expect to receive an email or text message from us.
If you have the Coeur d'Alene Public Schools mobile app on your phone or tablet, we will send you a notification there as well. You also can find our announcements on district and school websites as well as our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds. Or call our Closure Hotline at (208) 667-0784.
The safety of our students and staff is most important in our decision-making process. Download and print our SCHOOL CLOSURE & ALERT INFORMATION at https://www.cdaschools.org/closures
Meet our high school Campus Safety Officers
Our Campus Safety Officers also are essential to our school safety program. We have two at Coeur d’Alene High School and two at Lake City High School. Our CSOs assist with school security, reinforce school rules, patrol areas inside and outside the buildings, and help with door security.
Pictured here, from left, are Dean Keck, District Safety & Security Coordinator; Chuck Keisel, Coeur d’Alene High School; Aaron Boeckel, Lake City High School; Aaron Triana, Coeur d’Alene High School; and Thomas Gandy, Lake City High School.
Meet our School Resource Officers
Here are the 9 School Resource Officers assigned to our schools. Our SROs have a huge role in our school safety program, and that includes building positive relationships with our students. We are grateful to the Coeur d’Alene Police Department and Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office for this ongoing partnership to help protect students and staff in our schools.
Pictured here, from left, are Deputy Joshua Clubb (Atlas, Hayden Meadows, Dalton elementary schools); Detective Mario Rios (Coeur d’Alene High School); Detective Alan Gilbert (Bryan, Winton, Fernan, Sorensen elementary schools); Detective Lee Morgan (Canfield Middle School); Detective Jordan Noble (Venture High School); Detective Nate Petersen (Lake City High School); Detective Brad Wolfinger (Woodland Middle School); Detective Josh Reneau (Lakes Middle School); and Detective Craig Wade (Skyway, Ramsey, NExA, Borah elementary schools, CDA Early Learning Center).
See something? Say something! Help keep our schools safe
Students and families have a big role in helping keep their schools safe. Report threats or dangerous behavior, including fighting, bullying, drugs and online threats, using the District’s mobile app, or using the TIP LINE link found on all school websites. Please have a conversation with your student about how important it is to report potential safety issues, even if they feel something might be fake or a joke. Student tips have prevented violence, self-harm and threatening behavior. If you see something, say something!
Apply now to volunteer in any of our schools this year
Parents, guardians, grandparents and others in our community are welcome to volunteer in our schools. There are many ways to get involved and help support students at all levels, including:
- Classroom aide
- Library aide
- Office aide
- Event chaperone (dances, field trips)
- Coach (athletics, music, drama)
- Athletics (scoreboard operator, ticket booth, statistician, concessions, volunteer sideline officials, announcements)
NEW - We have made changes to our volunteer application process. Please visit our Volunteers page at cdaschools.org/volunteer
Applicants are required to reapply every school year with their photo ID used for our Raptor screening process.
Coeur d'Alene Virtual Academy open to students (grades 2-10) from both inside and outside our District
Coeur d'Alene Virtual Academy is now serving Idaho students who reside within or outside the Coeur d'Alene School District. This school will serve students in grade 2 through 10 in the first year of operation.
For students not currently enrolled in our district, you will need to complete a new student enrollment form and select Coeur d'Alene Virtual Academy as your school of attendance. New student enrollment details can be found at cdaschools.org/newstudent.
Watch our new CDVA video
School calendars for the next two years
Our Family Calendars for this school year and the 2023-24 school years are on our website. Please download and save a copy of the school calendar, or bookmark a link to it. The calendar includes all holidays and no-school dates, parent-teacher conferences, and other key dates.
Keep up with school news all year long
Keep current with district and school news throughout the year! We have many ways to stay connected, including:
Our mobile app, available for Apple and Android devices. The app is a quick way to check for important notifications, calendars, school lunch menus, links to e-Funds and Skyward Family Access, social media feeds, and much more. Download the CDA Public Schools app now from the Apple App Store or Google Play.
We send our district newsletters regularly through the school year. You can find them all at https://www.cdaschools.org/newsletter. Most schools also share newsletters and make them available on school websites.
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at cdaschools. We also have a YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/c/CdASchools271
Explore the drop-down menus atop our District website, https://www.cdaschools.org/. Check out pages and resources nested under About Us, What’s New, Departments, Elementary, Secondary and Resources.
Parents receive school, district and community flyers via Peachjar. Flyers can also be viewed by selecting the Peachjar button on each school's homepage. Digital flyers help you to easily access announcements on the go and allow you to click to take action.
We've made improvements to our mobile app
Don't forget to check out Coeur d'Alene Public Schools new and improved mobile app, where you will find:
- District announcements and alerts
- Bus Routes and Schedules
- School Board Information
- School Breakfast and Lunch Menus
- Skyward Family Access Log-in
- Health Services
- And a lot more!
September School Board Meeting
The Board of Trustees will meet Monday, September 12, at 5 PM at the Midtown Meeting Center, 1505 N. 5th Street. This is the Board's regular monthly meeting.