New Year, New Updates!

January 20, 2022

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D91 Wants To Hear From You!

Now is your chance to provide input on D91’s plans to upgrade and improve its school buildings. The district has kicked off a months-long community outreach effort to gather input from parents, patrons, students and staff to create a long-term facilities plan the whole community can support. There are lots of ways to get involved.

  1. Take the Facilities Survey: There’s still time to take the facilities survey, but act fast. The survey closes TOMORROW, Friday, Jan. 21. Click here to take the survey.

  2. Attend Community Dialogue No. 1 at 6 pm on Feb. 3 at Skyline High School. After reviewing the survey results, we’ll be looking for additional input on recommendations for the Board of Trustees. If you can’t attend the meeting, there will be a chance to provide input via a survey.

  3. Attend Community Dialogue No. 2 at 6 pm on March 1 at Skyline High School. Again, if you can’t attend the meeting, there will be a chance to provide input via survey.

  4. Watch for final recommendations to go to the Board of Trustees in early March.

  5. Learn more about the work to create D91’s long-term facilities plan here. This website will be updated throughout the project with reports, presentations and more in an effort to keep the community informed about this project.

“I encourage all D91 stakeholders – parents, patrons, students and staff – to get involved in these efforts. We want to hear from you as we look for the best ways to address our facilities needs,” said D91 Supt. Jim Shank. “I am committed to developing a plan the whole community can get behind and support because modern, up-to-date facilities are critical to our efforts to build great schools in Idaho Falls.”

D91 Is Expanding Learning Opportunities

After extensive research over the last few months, Idaho Falls School District 91 is planning to offer all day kindergarten in all its elementary schools beginning Fall 2022.

“Our experience shows all day kindergarten programs close learning gaps and give children the academic, social and emotional foundation they need to be successful in school,” said Dr. Jim Shank.

The district already offers all day kindergarten programs at four elementary schools, but this initiative would expand all day kindergarten to all D91 elementary schools. The district would use general funds, K-3 literacy funds, special education funds, title funds, ESSER and federal grants to make all day kindergarten available districtwide. The district also hopes state monies for all day kindergarten will be available as outlined in Gov. Little’s State of the State address.

“This is an investment to ensure our children start school with a strong foundation, and that they have all the support they need to be successful,” Dr. Shank said.

In recent years, the numbers of students entering kindergarten ready to learn in Idaho Falls School District 91 has declined. This year, only 31% of D91’s kindergarteners were at grade level on the fall Idaho Reading Indicator (IRI), compared to 41 percent of kindergarteners statewide.

D91 schools with all day kindergarten programs such as Temple View Elementary School have been successful in closing those learning gaps. In 2020-21, only 27% of Temple View’s Elementary School’s kindergartners were at grade level on the fall IRI, but 74% were at grade level on the spring IRI.

The Board of Trustees will take formal action on all day kindergarten during its Jan. 25 work session. Watch for more information about D91’s all day kindergarten opportunities during spring registration.

Get Ready For One District, One Book!

Believe it or not, D91's One District, One Book program, which promotes reading and literacy, is celebrating its 11th year! Every family with a child in elementary school will receive a copy of this year’s selection on Feb. 7, and then they’ll be encouraged to read together following the district reading calendar through Feb. 18. Research shows reading aloud together can help children develop the language, listening and vocabulary skills they need to be successful in school and in life.
See if your family can guess the name of this year’s book by following the clues on the D91PROUD Facebook Page and our district and school websites beginning on Jan. 31. Learn more at www.ifschools.org. And, a big thank you to the Maeck Family Foundation for its ongoing financial support of this program.

Your Chance To Review 7th Grade World History Curriculum

D91's Board of Trustees is considering the adoption of World History myWorld Interactive Early Ages Middle Grades as the new 7th grade World Studies curriculum. New materials are being considered because Idaho updated its standards in 2016. In addition, the current curriculum is no longer available as a stand-alone techbook.
A committee reviewed several options before recommending World History myWorld Interactive. You can learn more about the selection process here: summary. The materials will be available for review through mid-February. Parents and patrons can examine the student and teacher textbooks at the district office, which is open Monday through Friday from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm. An overview of the recommended program is also available online at website.
Patrons interested in exploring the entire digital content can make an appointment with Curriculum Coordinator Lisa Armstrong at armslisa@sd91.org. Please submit questions, comments or concerns to the curriculum department using this form. The information will be shared with board members, who are expected to make a final decision on the proposed curriculum in February.

Important Dates:

  • Jan. 25: Board Work Session, 4 pm, Idaho Falls High School Media Center
  • Feb. 3: Community Dialogue on Facilities, 6 pm, Skyline High School
  • Feb. 7-18: One District, One Book
  • Feb. 9: Board Business Meeting, 6 pm, Idaho Falls High School Media Center
  • Feb. 21: Presidents Day, No School
  • Feb. 23: Board Work Session, 4 pm, Idaho Falls High School Media Center

D91’s New CTE Center Will Be Downtown

D91’s new stand-alone Center for Career and Technical Education will be located downtown in the old Deseret Industries building at 450 E. Street. Being in the heart of the city is ideal because it will be easier than ever for students to pursue CTE opportunities no matter where they live in Idaho Falls.

The center is an integral part of the district’s efforts to expand its CTE offerings. It will house existing CTE programs currently scattered in school buildings around the district such as certified nursing assistant, culinary arts, EMT and computer science, as well as new programs such as construction and trades, ag and horticulture and welding. The district is leasing the 30,000+ square foot building until a permanent location for the CTE Center is identified.

D91’s Board of Trustees gave initial approval to the project in November. The design work for the necessary improvements to the building is under way. The project is expected to be put out to bid in late winter/early spring. The bid packages will then go to the board for final approval sometime in the spring. If the board gives final approval, work will begin immediately, and the center is scheduled to be open in Fall 2022.

D91 Continuing To Monitor COVID-19

Like other school districts and businesses in the area, D91 continues to feel the impacts of COVID-19 and other winter maladies. Because of the small substitute teacher pool we have this year, we are seeing frequent staff shortages in schools. So far, thanks to our teachers, staff and administrators, we have been able to cover those absences, and have not had to close any schools. Please do your part to help us keep schools open by following health recommendations, including:

  • Keep your child home if they are sick or showing COVID-19 symptoms. Typical COVID-19 symptoms include: a fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting or diarrhea.

  • If your child has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 but they ARE vaccinated, boosted and are not experiencing any symptoms, they can attend school, but we recommend they wear a mask around others for 10 days and monitor their health. If they begin to experience symptoms, they should stay home and seek testing.

  • If your child has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 but they ARE NOT vaccinated or boosted, they should stay at home for five days and wear a mask around others. If no symptoms appear, they can return to school after 5 days, but we recommend they wear a mask around others for an additional five days. If they begin to experience symptoms, they should stay home and seek testing.

  • Encourage your child to wash their hands regularly or use hand sanitizer when they can’t wash their hands, practice social distancing whenever possible and wear a mask when social distancing isn’t possible.

Information about COVID-19 cases in D91’s schools is available on the district’s website.The information is updated every Monday.

D91 Providing New Resources To Help Families

D91 is proud to announce a new partnership with the Cook Center for Human Connection to provide mental health resources to our parents and families. Through ParentGuidance.org, parents now will be able to access individual coaching sessions to strengthen their parenting skills, online courses, and other resources on a trusted site backed by therapists.

A kick-off meeting about the coaching sessions, which are designed to help parents who are feeling stuck, alone or overwhelmed, is planned from 7 to 8 pm on Feb. 8. Parents can join anonymously via zoom. Register here. Learn more in the coming days at www.ifschools.org