#271 News & Notes

2019-20 School Year

Coeur d'Alene Public Schools — December 13, 2019

The Sup is On: Superintendent Steven Cook launches new podcast

Today we are launching a new podcast, called The Sup is On, featuring Superintendent Steven Cook. Dr. Cook plans to cover a wide variety of topics related to education as he visits with administrators, teachers, students, volunteers and others in our community.

The topic of his first episode is one that is attracting a lot of attention here in Coeur d'Alene and across the country: how adolescents may benefit from starting school later in the morning.

Dr. Cook's guest is Seth Deniston, our District Director of Technology and Security. Seth is coordinating our examination of this issue through the work of the School Board Advisory Committee on School Start Times. That group has met twice and has three more meetings scheduled after winter break.

The advisory committee will explore what it would take to adjust school start times in our District. That includes considering the impact of starting elementary school earlier, after-school care for K-5 students, transportation schedules, implications for extracurricular activities, potential loss of instructional time and parent work schedules.

We invite you to listen here to this first episode of The Sup is On and learn more about the school start times discussion. New episodes will be shared weekly at http://cdaschools.buzzsprout.com.

An easier way to make a year-end school donation

This time of year we receive donations to our schools. Often these include checks that the donors wish to be deposited before the end of the month, for tax purposes.

To ensure donations are processed in a timely manner, we now offer an online option for making your charitable donation. Go here to make a donation to a particular school. And thank you for supporting public education!

Boundary Review Committee ready to roll up its sleeves

The 38 members of our Boundary Review Committee will begin exploring potential changes to school boundaries after winter break. The committee, which includes school administrators and parent representatives, met twice this month and has received a "springboard proposal" from project consultant FLO Analytics.

The springboard proposal, approved this week by your Board of Trustees, gives the committee a jumping-off point for considering potential adjustments to the attendance zone map. When the committee comes back together on January 7, members will break into work groups and start to design alternative scenarios to the springboard proposal.

As the committee works to refine a proposal, you will have two opportunities to look over the proposed new attendance zone map and tell us what you think. Please mark your calendar now and plan to attend both of these open house events. The committee will revise its proposal between the two events, and these will be the primary opportunities for public feedback on a draft proposal before a final presentation to the Board of Trustees in March.


Tuesday, January 21, 6-8 PM

Coeur d'Alene High School commons


Tuesday, February 18, 6-8 PM

Woodland Middle School cafe

Learn more and stay up to date on the boundary revision process at www.cdaschools.org/boundaries. If you have questions or comments, please contact us at boundaries@cdaschools.org.

Counselor Spotlight: Kelly Reynolds, Coeur d'Alene High School

Kelly Reynolds is the School Counselor for the Class of 2021 at Coeur d'Alene High School. In that role, she advocates for and supports students in their academic and personal goals, while supporting their emotional wellbeing.

This is Kelly's fifth year as a counselor. She was at Hayden Meadows Elementary School the past two years. She received her Bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Montana and her Master in Education, School Counseling from the University of Redlands.

"School counseling has gone through some pretty big shifts recently," she explains. "One of the biggest things changing within the profession is doing away with the term 'guidance counselor,' as it no longer accurately describes our multifaceted role in the schools, including all the social-emotional work we do with students. We try to align as closely as we can with the American School Counselor Association program goals and fundamentals. I am excited about the direction we are heading in!"

Kelly says the best part of what she does is connecting with students and their families, and supporting them throughout their time in high school. She advises them to get involved. "Being a part of our great community is an awesome way to give back, meet others, and gain unique experiences that will benefit you the rest of your life. Being involved and connected is also a great way to manage stress and develop healthy coping skills."

Kelly says she is proud to be a Viking and happy to be back working with the students and staff at CHS.

School Board to discuss high school schedules on January 27

The Board of Trustees will meet January 27 for a workshop on high school bell schedules. The meeting will begin at 5 PM at the Midtown Meeting Center.

The Board will explore the connection and potential alignment between our new Portrait of a Graduate, graduation requirements and bell schedules for our high schools. They will discuss what aspects we as a District and a community hold as priorities when exploring a common bell schedule.

Digital citizenship documentaries to be shown January-April

Starting in January we will bring a series of documentaries to Hayden Discount Cinemas on the topics of technology, digital citizenship and mental health. Each will be at 6:30 PM.

Influenza is here: Reduce your risk

Influenza activity continues to increase in all five counties of the Panhandle Health District, with Influenza Type B the predominant strain circulating at this time.

Anyone can catch the flu, but young children, older adults and people with certain health conditions are at risk for serious complications. Flu symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches, and fatigue.

The following three actions will help reduce your risk of catching the flu:

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We're delivering Jingle Books next week!

This was another blockbuster year for the Jingle Books drive. We collected 25,000 books to give away to all of our students in kindergarten through Grade 3, as well as the preschool students at the CDA Early Learning Center.

These young readers will be invited to pick out their books next week. Elementary schools have scheduled their distribution days between Monday and Thursday.

The Jingle Books program helps us expand access to age-appropriate reading material for developing readers, which has a positive influence on reading fluency in these early grades.

Thanks to all of you who donated new or used books this year, as well as the local businesses and organizations that put out the collection boxes. And a big thank you to our volunteers, notably Norm and Diana Gissel (pictured here) for coordinating the project once again. We couldn't do this without you!

Bond update: New elementary school

Ginno Construction Company has completed all of the main floor concrete slab for our new elementary school along Prairie Avenue. The gym trusses are going in, and steel frame assembly started this week. We'll be seeing significant vertical progress soon.

The 53,355-square-foot school is at 2008 Prairie Avenue. Serving grades K-5, it will be the home of Northwest Expedition Academy starting in September 2020. Architects West designed the new school.

District 271 in the news

Board Inspiration award goes to Elks Lodge 1254

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In November the Board of Trustees recognized Elks Lodge 1254 for donating student dictionaries to all of our 3rd grade students for more than 20 years. This fall the Elks gave over 875 dictionaries to students in the District. The board presented its Inspiration Award to the Elks for their generosity.

Board Excellence award goes to Elementary Cross Country

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This month the Board of Trustees recognized our cross country program for elementary students, which has been going strong for 30 years. About 1,200 young runners from all 11 elementary schools took part this fall. A group of our PE teachers and program coaches accepted the Board's Excellence Award.

Two-hour delays are an option, but not on Mondays

We all know we get snowy school days in our winters. Most of the time it's fine to keep to our usual schedule. But sometimes we experience severe weather and hazardous road conditions. On those mornings, District officials meet early to evaluate the situation and decide if it's better to cancel school for the day, or to delay the start of school by two hours.

What if the severe weather falls on a Monday, the day school already starts one hour late? On Mondays, we will either stick with the normal one-hour delayed start, or we will cancel school altogether. (No tricky math on Mondays!)

Remember, if it's business as usual, there will be no special announcement. If we have not announced a delay or closure by 5:30 a.m., then it's time to get up and get ready for school.

Our delay/closure announcements will be made by email and text message. We also post the announcement on all of our school websites, on District social media, and on our mobile app, and we inform local news media. You also can call our Closure Hotline at 208-667-0784. Learn more here.

Our School PLUS daycare program is open during delayed start days and weather closures, but ONLY for families that enroll in advance. Here's how to enroll.

Sora has your digital books for winter break

No matter where you go over winter break you can take a good book with you. The Coeur d'Alene Public Schools Virtual Library, Sora by Overdrive, is always open.

Limited District Office hours during break

The District Office will be closed December 24 and 25 as well as January 1. The office will be open to the public 9 AM to 3 PM all other days of winter break.

Mark your calendar

  • December 23-January 3 - Winter break
  • January 6 - School resumes
  • January 6 - Board of Trustees annual meeting, 5 PM, Midtown Meeting Center
  • January 7 - Boundary Review Committee, 6 PM, Midtown Meeting Center
  • January 9 - National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day (thank a School Resource Officer!)
  • January 10 - Fight for the Fish, 5:30 PM, Lake City High School
  • January 13 - Special Board Meeting on grandfathering students affected by school attendance boundary adjustments, 5 PM, Midtown Meeting Center
  • January 14 - Boundary Review Committee, 6 PM, Midtown Meeting Center
  • January 15 - School Start Times Ad Hoc Committee, 4:30 PM, Midtown Meeting Center
  • January 21 - Boundary Review Open House #1, 6 PM, Coeur d'Alene High School
  • January 27 - School Board workshop on high school bell schedules, 5 PM, Midtown Meeting Center.
  • January 28 - Screenagers documentary, 6:30 PM, Hayden Discount Cinemas
  • January 29 - District Spelling Bee, 5 PM, Best Western Coeur d'Alene Inn