Full Of Updates

November 18, 2021

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D91 Announces Plans For CTE Center

As part of D91’s efforts to ensure our students are successful beyond high school, D91 is excited to announce plans to create a stand-alone Center for Career and Technical Education. The center is an integral part of a planned expansion of CTE programming in D91.

“With the new Center for Career and Technical Education, we will be able to increase professional learning opportunities beyond the traditional classroom,” said D91 Superintendent Dr. Jim Shank. “Students will be able to engage in skills-based education through patronships with local industry, be encouraged to pursue professional certifications, and engage in authentic learning experiences.”

The district has always offered a wide variety of CTE classes such as certified nursing assistant, auto, culinary arts, and computer science, but those classes are held in buildings scattered around the district. That has made it difficult to build these programs and challenging for students to take full advantage of them. The stand-alone center will make it much easier for all students to access a wide variety of CTE programming, including new courses such as construction and trades, ag and horticulture.

The Board of Trustees has given initial approval for the project. Final approval will come after the project is put out to bid. Learn more.

No Better Time To Be A Substitute in D91!

Finding substitute teachers has been more challenging than ever this year, but D91 is tackling this problem by offering new incentives and pay rates. The Board of Trustees recently approved a package that includes:

  • New Compensation Structure: The district is introducing a new three-tiered compensation structure for substitute teachers effective Nov. 1:

    • High School graduate with no degree: $11.88 per hour

    • College degree in any content area: $12.50 per hour

    • Certified teacher: $12.71 per hour

  • Monthly Bonuses: Substitute teachers will now be eligible to receive a $150 bonus after working 40 hours in a month, and an additional $200 bonus after working 80 hours in a month. These bonuses will be retroactive to the beginning of the 2021-22 school year.

  • Reimbursement for Training: Substitute teachers will now be reimbursed for fingerprinting costs after working 10 hours. They will be reimbursed for training time after working 20 hours. These benefits also will be retroactive to the start of the 2021-22 school year.

  • New Work Day: Substitute teachers will now clock in at the beginning of the day and at the end of their assignment. They will not clock out during lunch or planning periods. Compensation structure for substitute teachers effective Nov. 1.

We’ve also streamlined the hiring process for substitute teachers so it’s easier than ever. Learn more by going to www.ifschools.org or calling (208) 525-7510.

Q&A w/D91’s Student Services Director Shannon Taylor

As the director of Student Services in Idaho Falls School District 91, Shannon Taylor works with her staff to remove barriers and make learning accessible for all students.

  • Why did you get into education? My Grandmother brought me into her classrooms and I grew up helping students with disabilities. Going into education was never a question; I strive to help facilitate the learning of those around me. I was born and raised in Idaho Falls and joined the district 17 years ago to help give back. I am D91 Proud.
  • What is the best part about being an educator? Meeting people where they are and fostering their growth: Academically, socially, and emotionally.
  • What's your education philosophy? ALL students can learn and grow, given the tools and direction that fits them best.
  • What's the most challenging part about your job? The most challenging (yet rewarding) is finding unique solutions to meet the ever-growing needs to support students.
  • What do you like to do when you're not working? I enjoy running with my husband, dancing in the kitchen with my girls, and playing ball with our chocolate lab.
  • What's your favorite vacation spot? Tough to beat Sun Valley, Idaho. Mountains are always calling me…
  • What is your favorite family tradition? My family goes to Starbucks on the first day of school for the past 16 years, taking a picture for the new school year. My husband teaches in the school district as well. We are all D91 Proud!

Update on 1st Trimester Absences and LCAs

As we wrap up the first trimester, here are some updates on how D91 is addressing absences and LCAs (Loss of Credit Absences) this term:

  • In order to encourage students who are sick or showing symptoms of COVID-19 to stay at home, Verified (VER), Late Verified (LTV), Quarantine (QTP or QTS) and COVID (CVD) absences WILL NOT count toward an LCA in the first trimester of the 2021-22 school years.

  • Students who have 5 or more Unverified Absences (UNV) in a class would receive an LCA grade and lose the credit for that class. However, LCAs may be appealed. To learn more about the appeals process, students should contact a school administrator or counseling office.

Be aware the Board of Trustees is currently reviewing proposed changes to the district’s attendance policy, which would impact how we address absences and LCAs in second and third trimester. The proposed changes can be reviewed here. The Board of Trustees is expected to adopt these changes at its Dec. 8 business meeting.

These policy changes are being recommended because attendance is important and impacts student achievement. When a child is not in school, learning opportunities are lost.

Long-term Facilities Work is Getting Under Way

The work to develop a long-term facilities plan for D91 will begin with a full-scale community outreach effort, which will give parents, patrons and staff an opportunity to identify the most pressing needs facing the district. That was among the updates the Board of Trustees recently received from Cooperative Strategies, a national expert in facility planning that is helping the district develop a long-term plan.

The outreach effort will include a survey, community dialogues and input from a steering committee. Learn more about this project at www.ifschools.org. Watch for opportunities to get involved in the coming weeks. Getting feedback from the community is critical as the district works to develop a plan the whole community can support. The goal is to present recommendations to the board some time in March.

Important Dates:

  • Nov. 19: End of the 1st Trimester
  • Nov. 22-26: Thanksgiving Break. All D91 schools will be closed.
  • Nov. 29: Beginning of 2nd Trimester
  • Dec. 8: Board of Trustees Business Meeting, 7 pm, District Office. All board meetings are livestreamed at: https://www.d91.k12.id.us/Content2/2538
  • Dec. 20-31: Christmas Break. All D91 schools and offices will be closed

Have You Set Up Your Titan Account Yet?

If you haven’t set up a Titan account yet, we encourage you to do that today by going to https://family.titank12.com and clicking on the “Sign Up Today!” button. Then, connect your children to your account. With an account, you can take advantage of these special features in our new Titan food service system:

  • MENUS: You can easily check breakfast and lunch menus, see what’s being served and plan with your child.

  • DIETARY RESTRICTIONS: The new interactive menus allow you to search menu options by allergens, dietary restrictions and carb counts so you can select meals that best meet your child’s needs.

  • PAY FOR A LA CARTE ITEMS & EXTRAS: Traditional school breakfast and lunch is free for all students this year. But, if your child prefers a la carte items or wants extra items, you can pay for those in the Titan system. We are no longer using the e-Funds payment system for school breakfasts and lunches, but those balances were transferred over to the new Titan system.

  • CHECK LUNCH BALANCES: Once you’ve set up your account, you can check your balance, manage your account and add money as needed.

If you have any questions about the Titan System or setting up an account, please contact D91’s Child Nutrition Department at (208) 525-7532 or the Titan School Solutions support line at (916) 467-4700, Option. 2.