#271 News & Notes

2020-21 School Year

Coeur d'Alene Public Schools — July 10, 2020

BACK TO SCHOOL SURVEY: We need to hear from you on how school looks this fall

We are working this summer on our plans for the new school year, and we want to make sure we hear from you as we prepare to ask the School Board to make these important decisions.


Even as we’re seeing an increase in the spread of coronavirus in our community, our emphasis will be how to provide in-school instruction in a safe and healthy manner, with options for distance learning or a combination of in-school and online instruction, as needed. The District is working with our partners in public health and using guidance from the State of Idaho in designing our comprehensive back-to-school strategy.


Just as important is having input from parents, students and our employees. We are asking you to complete a short survey to help guide us in our planning for the start of school this September. Your responses will help the District administration and the School Board understand your needs so we can best serve you and all the members of our learning community.


While it is our full intention to have students back in school, five days per week and full time for face-to-face instruction this fall, we recognize that safety has to be an equivalent consideration as we plan to return to school.


We recognize that we will need a distance learning platform for students who may need a completely online option or families who prefer this approach. Additionally, online instruction would be available in combination with face-to-face instruction for a "blended learning" approach, which helps us with social distancing in our buildings, should the community impact of coronavirus necessitate stricter measures. The distance learning option also would be available in the event we had to close a school temporarily as response to a student, staff member or visitor testing positive for COVID-19.


As you can see, we are approaching this year with a very flexible design. Our desire to maximize student learning while balancing student and staff safety makes it necessary to be versatile and agile in our planning. This is why it's so important that we have a reliable, adaptable plan for the school year that provides for a variety of learning options, coupled with a range of safety measures, to respond to changing circumstances. At any given time your child's school may be providing instruction fully in-person, in a blended learning model, or entirely through distance learning, depending on current health and safety considerations. We will use all our available tools and resources to balance essential learning with a healthy environment for our students and staff.


This survey will be available until 9 PM on Friday, July 24. It takes about 10 minutes to complete. Thank you for your participation!


Take our back to school survey now:


PARENTS: If you are a parent or guardian in our District, please take this SURVEY.


STUDENTS: We also invite middle and high school students to complete a similar survey. Parents, please encourage your students in grades 6-12 to take this SURVEY.

State Board of Education APPROVES SCHOOL REOPENING FRAMEWORK

The Idaho State Board of Education on Thursday approved a framework plan to safely reopen Idaho public schools this fall.


The Idaho Back to School Framework sets expectations, establishes guidelines and provides best practices for school districts and charter schools to use to open school buildings and plan for necessary actions based on local public health conditions.


State Board President Debbie Critchfield says opening schools is a priority and local school officials should use the Back to School Framework as a guide in working with local stakeholders and public health districts to open schools in a manner that fits local circumstances.


“We’ve outlined recommended procedures based on the level of coronavirus transmission occurring in various communities across the state at any given time and we’ve listed the procedures by category,” Critchfield said. “For instance, a school located in a Category 1 area where there is no community spread occurring can use this framework as guidance on how to open the school. On the other hand, a school located in a Category 3 area where there is substantial community spread will see suggested considerations for school board decision making.”


“We put this framework together with help from educators, administrators, public health officials and lawmakers,” Critchfield added. “Local governance is paramount in Idaho’s public education system. We want these decisions to be made locally and this framework is designed to help school board trustees to do what they think is best for their schools and their situation on the ground.”


You can find the Idaho Back to School Framework here on the State Board of Education website.

It's time to return, or buy, the Chromebook your student checked out

If you checked out a Chromebook for a student during the soft closure last spring, please return the device to our District Office, 1400 N. Northwood Center Court, between 9 AM and 3 PM, Monday through Friday.


Families also have the option of purchasing their Chromebook from the District for $25. If you are interested in purchasing the device you checked out in the spring, please notify us by email, Techhelp@cdaschools.org.

Panhandle Health strongly endorses community-wide masking, social distancing

This week the Board of Health for Panhandle Health District acknowledged the significant recent increase in COVID-19 infected case numbers in North Idaho.


The health district on Wednesday issued the following statement:


This increase in case numbers will significantly increase COVID-19 illness in our community and the resulting increased demands on healthcare, as well as having a negative impact on business activity, personal interactions and related activities. There is also the potential for the increased infections to overwhelm our regional healthcare capacity.


Based upon previous research with influenza virus, SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV, and evolving research with COVID-19, PHD strongly endorses community-wide masking, social (physical) distancing, and repeated proper hand hygiene (properly wash hands, use hand sanitizer, keep hands away from face).


Ongoing research regarding the spread of infective viruses documents that such viruses are released in droplets during exhalation, coughing, and even talking. Research indicates that such droplets can be small enough to remain aloft in the air.


In light of the serious danger and implications due to this recent significant increase in COVID-19 infected cases, PHD strongly recommends that our community members be consistent and vigilant in practicing the following:


  • On a Community-wide basis use masking, social (physical) distancing, and repeated proper hand hygiene (properly wash hands, use hand sanitizer, keep hands away from face).
  • Make sure that all indoor gathering sites provide sufficient and effective ventilation, particularly in public buildings, workplace environments, schools, hospitals, and aged care homes (opening both doors and windows can dramatically increase airflow rates in many buildings).
  • Avoid overcrowding, particularly in public transport and in public buildings.
  • When possible, provide supplemental general ventilation with airborne infection control such as local exhaust and high efficiency air filtration.
  • It is recommended that local businesses require masking by their employees in all situations where self-isolation (i.e. private offices) is not possible, require (or at least encourage) patrons to wear a mask upon entry to the establishments (particularly when physical distancing is not possible), keep surfaces in the business effectively clean, and provide hand sanitizer for employees and patrons.


Individuals should use masks in public when they cannot accomplish physical distancing of at least 6 feet. Such mask use can reduce case transmission.


PHD also continues to endorse increasing testing availability, as well as ongoing case identification and epidemiologic tracking.


PHD will continue to monitor the situation and while not currently endorsing mandatory rules and/or a COVID-19 Recovery Stage roll-back, PHD may consider such actions if necessary to protect the health of our community.

Results of our spring survey on remote learning

Coeur d'Alene Public Schools announced the transition to remote learning on March 16 following a soft closure proclamation from the Idaho State Board of Education due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The building closure eventually was extended through the end of the school year, and schools continued with remote learning.


Toward the end of the school year the district provided a survey to all parents and guardians on this transition, with 24 questions about demographics, our district's response, and the effects on the social and emotional wellbeing of students. The survey generated 2,512 responses over a three-week period.


You can see all results from the spring survey by clicking on this link.


NAVIGATING THE RESULTS:

There's a lot of data available to review, spread across 64 pages. To help you find what you are looking for, click on < Overview (page 1 of 64) > directly below the title "Remote Learning Survey SY2020 - Parents" in the upper left corner, and select which page you wish to review.


CONTENTS:

Pages 1-3: Overview of all results

Pages 4-7: Overview of elementary school results

Pages 8-11: Overview of secondary school results

Pages 12-62: Results by school (3 pages per school)

Pages 63-64: Open-response comments (names of students and staff have been redacted)