Caldwell School District Update

From Superintendent N. Shalene French

December 18, 2020


In this update:

  • Starting new year in remote, shifting to hybrid Jan. 19

  • Limited openings in Caldwell Online Academy

  • If you travel out of United States, you will need to quarantine

  • Good news about our schools and students

Big picture

Starting new year in remote, resuming hybrid Jan. 19

As we prepare to wrap up 2020, I have an update on the plan for instruction for when we return from Christmas break.

Monday, the Board of Trustees accepted the recommendation that we work toward serving students in-person in our schools.

Here’s our plan:

  • After the January 4, directed day, we will start in remote learning. There will be small groups of students coming to school for services or to meet their teachers during this time.

  • We’ll be in remote learning the weeks of January 5-8 and January 11-15.

  • These two weeks will provide teachers, child nutrition, transportation, etc. time to prepare to resume the hybrid in-person learning schedule on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

This timeframe gets us through the last major holidays and the potential spikes in cases caused by gatherings.

It also provides time for individuals who may have traveled out of the United States to complete recommended quarantines when they return.

I recognize that resuming in-person learning during a time of substantial community spread will be a challenge.

While I am confident in our ability to safely serve students in a hybrid model, we also need to be prepared for the inevitable quarantines of our staff and our students. We expect that short-term closures may be necessary as we monitor staffing levels and health concerns.

Limited openings in Caldwell Online Academy

With the start of the new semester, we’ve heard from a few parents about whether their student could shift to our online only -- Caldwell Online Academy (COA).

COA has a few spots open. Parents may contact for more information. She will contact families in the beginning of January.

If you travel out of United States, you may need to quarantine when you return

We support recommendations that individuals not travel during this time of substantial community spread of COVID. If you and your family, do travel out of the United States please review and follow the recommendations from the Center for Disease Control:

Good news about schools and students

Partnership with Treasure Valley Community College

Thanks to our partnership with Treasure Valley Community College our students are able to take college courses at TVCC while still in high school. Earlier this month, Caldwell High School students registered for these opportunities (nearly 30 courses) that provide college and high school credit. Students will attend the TVCC classes on the TVCC campus.

Kathy Neufeld earns grant for Caldwell Online Academy

Kathy was surprised this month with a CapEd grant of $600 to support her students in the Caldwell Online Academy. She will use the grant to provide additional materials for her online students such as books and art supplies, dictionaries, and tape measures, dice, and other math manipulatives.

Caldwell students, local groups fill holiday boxes for families

I was fortunate to be visiting at CHS and got to see first hand the generous donations our students and staff gathered from area businesses and groups to help more than 80 families with needs this Christmas. Our students are amazing. They are great examples of what it means to be a member of a community, to show empathy, and to use their time and energy in a positive way.

Debate CHS students excel in debate

In November, CHS’ Speech and Debate team participated in the Canyon County Classic Tournament-one of the biggest tournaments of the year; the tournament included teams from across the state and several from other states as far away as Alabama.

Three of CHS’ competitors took 1st place overall in their events:

  • Humorous Interpretation: Angel Padilla

  • Dramatic Interpretations: Mya Hovis

  • Duo Interpretations (2-person performance): Hannah Tish and Sebastian Guajardo

The team also had participants place in three other tournaments including:

  • Fatima Amezcua finaled and placed 3rd in her Original Oratory

  • Hannah Tish and Sebastian Guajardo placed 1st in their Duo Interpretation

  • Mya Hovis placed 1st in her Dramatic Interpretation

  • Angel Padilla placed 1st is his Humorous Interpretation

  • Pretta Kroll finaled in her "After Dinner Speech".

  • Reese Harrop finaled in her Informative Speech AND in Congress

Other team members: Candace and Emily Warner; Kaylee Johnson; Dani Lopez

The Coach and Team recently received "National Outstanding Distinction" from the National Speech and Debate Organization.

The team will compete in four tournaments after the Christmas vacation.

Watch many high school sports online while fans are not allowed

Under current conditions, spectators at sporting events are not allowed. Many home and away games are being streamed live using “Pixelot” or the NFHS Network. Support our teams from the comfort of your home using this service:

Big picture

Mayor supports fitness in our elementary schools

Caldwell Mayor Garret Nancolas provided grants to our elementary school to support physical education as part of the Mayor’s Walking Challenge earlier this year.

Lincoln gets grant for books

Lincoln Elementary was recently presented a check from the Idaho Lottery for $3,000 to be used to purchase new books! Lincoln was chosen to receive the funding after applying for the Bucks for Books Grant, which began last year. The Idaho Lottery and Idaho Commission for Libraries formed this partnership to help Elementary libraries provide high quality, age-appropriate books for students to read both at school and home.

Wilson students get free books

Thanks to the Idaho Commission for Libraries and the Caldwell Public Library every Wilson student received a free book.

Syringa students connect with Micron engineers

Even during remote learning, Syringa scholars are getting the opportunity to interact with community partners! Several 6th and 7th grade Syringa STEM students spent the morning earlier in December on an interactive Zoom call with engineers from Micron.

Desks for students

Shout out to our local newspaper the Idaho Press and its publisher Matt Davison. After sharing he had taken up woodworking during the pandemic, a Caldwell teacher asked if Matt would help build simple school desks for her students. He agreed and is working with others to build desks for students. If you are interested a desk, contact Matt at:

In case you missed it!

The Van Buren Elementary School team used their digital learning tools to bring to perform the 12 days of Christmas.

2020 VB 12 Days of Christmas

Superintendent N. Shalene French

Committed to Caldwell School District's mission, vision, and values to ensure equity and access for all students.