#271 News & Notes

2020-21 School Year

Coeur d'Alene Public Schools — May 18, 2021

Board selects Dr. Shon Hocker as new superintendent

Dr. Shon Hocker of Dickinson, North Dakota, will be the next superintendent of Coeur d’Alene Public Schools. The Board of Trustees voted April 19 to hire Dr. Hocker, who will succeed Dr. Steven Cook on July 1.

“We look forward to continuing the great work of Dr. Cook through Dr. Hocker," Board Chair Jennifer Brumley said. "We believe the background Dr. Hocker brings with his prior experience will continue forward progress on our Portrait of a Graduate and the timelines established under our strategic plan. We also believe he will have trusting and solid relationships with staff and this community for years to come. The Board looks forward to great things to come under Dr. Hocker’s leadership.”

Dr. Hocker has been Superintendent of Dickinson Public Schools since 2018. Prior to that he was Superintendent of the Big Horn School District in Cowley, Wyoming, from 2007 to 2018. In 2016 he was named Wyoming Superintendent of the Year. From 2004 to 2007 he was principal of Shelley High School in Shelley, Idaho.

“I am hopeful to continue to build upon the excellence that Coeur d'Alene Public Schools has come to represent. Coeur d’Alene appears to be a great place to live and work, and a wonderful place to raise a family," Dr. Hocker said.

He continued, "I have always believed that public education, when done well, provides an opportunity to meet each student where they are and move them forward to their path of promise and opportunity. Now, more than ever, we are learning new ways of teaching, new ways of operating, and new ways of becoming better, with the focus of helping ALL students succeed. I look forward to this journey with each of you.”

May 19: Kindergarten and new elementary student registration day

Nine of our elementary schools will stay open until 6 PM this Wednesday, May 19, for families who wish to register students for kindergarten for the coming school year, or to register any other elementary students who are new to our district.

The schools are: Atlas, Borah, Bryan, Dalton, Fernan STEM Academy, Hayden Meadows, Northwest Expedition Academy, Skyway and Winton. To find which school is in your attendance zone, please visit cdaschools.org/zones.

To find the address or phone number for any of our schools, please visit cdaschools.org/schools.

Families also may begin the kindergarten registration process by filling out this form. Registration is open to students who will be 5 years old on or before September 1.

All kindergarten classes will be full-day classes for the 2021-22 school year. Kindergarten lays an important foundation for all students and sets them up for success in their educational career. Students who attend the full day are better prepared academically, socially and emotionally for first grade. This is especially important in helping them become confident readers by third grade.

What to provide for student registration:

  • Child's certified birth certificate
  • Child's immunization records
  • Family's proof of residence (such as a rent receipt or utility bill)
  • Name and phone number of two or three emergency contacts
  • Health history with list of allergies and current medications

Applications for Student Advisory Council are due Friday, May 21

Students interested in serving on our District's new Student Advisory Council will need to turn in their applications, including a teacher nomination form, no later than this Friday, May 21.

This is an opportunity for students in grades 2 through 12 to meet through the school year, work together to address issues that matter most to students, and advise District leadership and our School Board. The advisory group will include 12 elementary students, 12 middle school students, and 12 high school students.

Apply now at cdaschools.org/sag.

Members of this year's Student Advisory Group offer their thoughts about the experience in the following video:

Apply now for next year's Student Advisory Group

Idaho students invited to apply for state superintendent's new advisory council

Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra aims to get input and ideas from a broad range of Idaho students by forming a statewide student panel to advise her and the State Department of Education.

“Our students have so much to contribute to the shaping of education in Idaho, and I love every opportunity I have to interact with them and hear their insights,” Superintendent Ybarra said. “Now I am recruiting applicants from varied grade levels, backgrounds, interests, cultures, school sizes and parts of Idaho to serve on my Student Advisory Council.”

Do you know a student who would love to have a direct role in improving education for students across the state and in the meantime gain important skills in leadership, public speaking, decision-making, team-building and networking? Please encourage them to apply.

To find out more about the Student Advisory Council and to apply, click on this link. The application period continues through June 25.

Twelve student applicants will be chosen to serve on the Student Advisory Council, which will meet quarterly throughout the 2021-22 school year.

Applications must include a signed waiver by a parent or guardian, and students must be accompanied by an adult to Boise or alternate location for quarterly meetings. The state will provide a stipend to cover travel from home to the meeting location and reimbursement for meals and lodging, if applicable, according to Idaho state guidelines and rates.

Please return student Chromebooks, chargers and hotspots on designated school dates

As this school year comes to a close, please be sure your students return any technology checked out to them, including Chromebooks, chargers and hotspots, on the days designated by your child's school.

Our technology staff will be repairing and updating these devices for next school year, and any devices we do not receive may impact technology access for students next year, in addition to incurring fines.

Replacement costs for a Chromebook are more than $300, chargers $20, and hotspots $100 if they are not turned in. Thank you for your assistance.

Kites of Hope to fly this Friday, May 21, in support of students

The Idaho Resilience Project will celebrate Hope in Idaho Day this Friday, May 21. Organizations around the state are holding events to fly kites called "Kites of Hope." Through multiple grants, over 7,000 kites have been delivered this week.

The Sources of Strength group at Lake City High School will participate in the Kites of Hope event this Friday. The students made green ribbons to wear and pass out to other students as an opportunity to talk about this day and mental health awareness.

The Idaho Resilience Project focuses on the ways in which adverse childhood experiences such as abuse, neglect and serious household dysfunction cause trauma in children and can have lifelong impacts on their physical and mental health.

The following video from Idaho Resilience Project features Keith Orchard, Mental Health Specialist for Coeur d'Alene Public Schools, talking about how our District responded to support students and families when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Keith Orchard, Coeur d'Alene School District | Resilient Idaho

Meet our 2021 Teacher of the Year: Amy Wise, Atlas Elementary School

Our 2021 Teacher of the Year for Coeur d'Alene Public Schools is Amy Wise, fourth grade teacher at Atlas Elementary School.

Ms. Wise has taught in the Coeur d'Alene School District since 1986, and she has a long list of accomplishments and contributions with us.

"We can look into the eyes and hearts of the precious children in our care and see endless possibilities in their future, and know that as loving, learning human beings, we can make a positive impact," she said. "We can reflect the light from that child through our own light and make the world a much better, safer place. Children are precious and they are the future of this great world. We owe it to them and to ourselves to continue our goal of excellence in caring for and lifting up one another. Education is key to that goal."

The following video is when we surprised Amy Wise with the Teacher of the Year Award:

2021 Teacher of the Year

Congrats to our other Teachers of the Year

Two DECA students at CHS place high in national competition

At Coeur d'Alene High School, Kaydence Skaggs and Alexis Hildreth finished in the top 20 in the School Based Enterprise Event at the DECA International Conference, held virtually.

In order to qualify for the International Conference they wrote a 20-page paper about how they managed the school food store this year covering three standards: Market Planning, Distribution/Channel Management, and Promotion.

With the paper they reached gold certification and qualified to present these standards at the International Conference. In the first round they competed against 200 students from all states and 9 countries. After that, they were top 2 in their section and qualified for a live event meeting. These two were the only students in Idaho to make the finals stage!

The DECA student organization has over 225,000 members, with about 18,000 competing at the International Conference.

"I love the skills these students can gain by taking business classes and being a part of a student organization," said Antonio Carrico, advisor for the CHS DECA and Marketing Program.

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Apply to join our Long Range Planning Committee

The district's Long Range Planning Committee, appointed by our Board of Trustees, is seeking volunteers to serve on the committee starting in the 2021-22 school year.

The committee is a group of community volunteers who review and update a long range facilities plan for Coeur d'Alene Public Schools. The facilities plan, a component of the district's strategic plan, is available on our website by clicking here.

Any resident of our district is welcome to apply. We especially are in need of residents representing the Canfield Middle School and Bryan Elementary School zones.

Click here to apply to be part of the Long Range Planning Committee. The application window closes July 1. Applications will be reviewed by a LRPC subcommittee.

LRPC Meetings are held once a month, generally on Mondays from 4:30-6 p.m. More information and the application can be found by clicking here on our website.

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Elementary students may now request a school transfer for 2021-22

The open enrollment application window began May 3 for students who will be in elementary school next year. Applications will be accepted through June 11. Click here to apply now

Elementary transfer decisions will be made at the end of August when enrollment numbers are more firmly established. Families will be notified prior to the start of the 2021-22 school year.

Open enrollment is the process by which students may attend a school other than the one for which they are zoned. Parents/guardians must complete an online application during the open enrollment window to be considered for a school transfer.

PLEASE NOTE: If your student is currently attending school through an open enrollment transfer, and wants to continue attending that school next year, you must complete and submit a new open enrollment transfer request. Applications are required each year for continued attendance, and approval will depend on the availability of space.

Only elementary school transfer requests are accepted at this time. The open enrollment window for secondary students closed April 9.

Under Board policy, the district guarantees a spot for all students in their zoned school. Therefore, not all open enrollment transfer applications can be approved. Decisions on all applications will follow the priorities outlined in Board Policy 3010.

CHS honored for 96% graduation rate

Idaho State Superintendent Sherri Ybarra paid Coeur d'Alene High School a visit recently to congratulate CHS for its 96.2% graduation rate for the 2020 school year. Ybarra presented CHS Principal Libbi Barrett a certificate to commemorate the achievement.

After sitting in on a government class, Superintendent Ybarra stopped by several classrooms to thank teachers for their hard work in helping CHS seniors achieve a high graduation rate. There was even time for her to converse in Español in Señora Carlson's Spanish class.

Broadband program helps people stay connected during pandemic

A federal program called the Emergency Broadband Benefit is helping families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. This new benefit will connect eligible households to jobs, critical healthcare services, virtual classrooms, and more.

Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month toward broadband service for eligible households, and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute between $10 and $50 toward the purchase price.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household.

Eligible households may enroll in the program to receive a monthly discount off the cost of broadband service from an approved provider. Eligible households can enroll through an approved provider or by visiting GetEmergencyBroadband.org.

Check out the Broadband Benefit Consumer FAQ for more information about the benefit.

Meet a few more of our Project SEARCH students

Project SEARCH is our high school transition program that provides education and training to young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The primary goal is to secure competitive employment outcomes for each of our students.

The one-year program is a collaboration between Kootenai Health, the Idaho Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, the Coeur d’Alene School District and Tesh. Participants spend a school year reporting to the Project SEARCH host business, where they learn the skills needed to obtain competitive community employment at the conclusion of the program.

Three of the 11 Project SEARCH interns this year have secured employment, and the others are seeing work in our community. (Meet three of the interns below.)

This year's class will graduate Project SEARCH on June 9 at 4 PM. You may watch the ceremony live on the CDA Schools YouTube channel.

Learn more at cdaschools.org/projectsearch, or contact Theresa Moran, Project SEARCH Instructor, at (208) 625-5799 or tmoran@cdaschools.org.

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Next School Board meeting is June 7

Your Board of Trustees will hold its next regular board meeting on Monday, June 7, at 5 PM at the Midtown Center Meeting Room, 1505 N. 5th Street. Some of the topics on the agenda include:

  • State of the District report by Dr. Steven Cook
  • High School bell schedules update
  • Assessments reports (ISAT, iReady, iStation, Civics)
  • Curriculum adoption (math, expressive art)
  • Sale of Hayden Lake School property

The Board also will meet May 24, 3-4:30 PM, for a budget workshop at the Midtown Center.

The monthly meetings and select special meetings of our Board of Trustees are streamed live and archived on our YouTube channel. To watch, simply go to our YouTube channel by clicking this link.

Sorensen Magnet School mural wall

Class of 2021 graduation dates

Graduation ceremonies for our Class of 2021:

  • Venture High School seniors will graduate Thursday, June 10 at 6 PM on the school campus.
  • Coeur d'Alene High School seniors will graduate Friday, June 11 at 6 PM at the school.
  • Lake City High School seniors will graduate Saturday, June 12 at 11 AM at the school.

Other key spring dates, Family Day in the Park

Monday, May 31 - Memorial Day, NO SCHOOL

Thursday, June 10 - Last Day for Half-day Kindergarten

Friday, June 11 - Last day for all other students

  • Early release for 6-8 at 12:35 PM
  • Early release for K-5 at 1:25 PM


Coeur d'Alene Public Schools will have a booth at Family Day in the Park on Friday, June 11, at 12 noon, the last day of this school year. Family Day in the Park, downtown Coeur d'Alene at City Park, features a variety of vendors, food, music and fun to celebrate the start of summer break. click this link to learn more about this event.

4 seniors named finalists for National Merit Scholarship Program

This year we had four amazing students who were named National Merit Scholarship Program finalists for 2021. Congratulations to Malan Davis and Connor Lowder at Coeur d'Alene High School, and Eleanor Tenbrink and Ryland Hoit at Lake City High School.
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Family calendar for 2021-22

The family calendar for the 2021-22 school year is now available on our website. Click this link to access the calendar.

Highlights for next school year include:

September 7 - First day of school

Nov. 22-26 - Thanksgiving break

Dec. 20-31 - Winter break

March 28-April 1 - Spring break

June 10 - Last day of school