Updates From D91 Supt. LaOrange
Dec. 1 Edition
From The Superintendent's Desk ...
Acting with Courage, Compassion, and Conviction, our guiding values, aren’t just for teachers and staff. Students are leading the way in using courage, compassion, and conviction to help their peers through the Hope Squad program.
Hope Squad is a suicide prevention program that involves students helping other students. The members are nominated by other students as trustworthy peers. Hope Squad members receive training from advisors. This training teaches Hope Squad members how to listen to peers and assist them in getting help when needed.
Hope Squads also plan fun activities to help students interact in fun and positive ways. A high school Hope Squad sponsored a Halloween lunch activity where students could wrap their friend up as a mummy using toilet paper. Recently, one of the middle school Hope Squads sponsored a fun musical chairs activity during lunch. There was high student participation and a lot of laughter!
Hope Squads also sponsor activities to help students feel they are accepted and safe at school. Hope Squad members do this by leaving positive, uplifting thoughts or notes on lockers, helping new students navigate their schedules and inviting students who are alone to sit with Hope Squad members during lunch. These activities aren’t limited to students. Hope Squads also write positive notes and leave sweet treats for teachers and staff. Known as “Love Bombs” at Taylorview Middle School, Hope Squad’s acts of kindness help students feel seen and safe at school.
Our Hope Squads are doing incredible things to help create positive and safe cultures at their schools. Thank you to our Hope Squads and their advisors for creating such environments in our high schools and middle schools. Their leadership and efforts to lift others are making a difference every day!
We Are #D91 Proud!
BPA Wins Big At Regionals!
Congrats to the BPA teams from IFHS, Skyline and Compass! They recently competed at the regional competition, and together, D91 qualified 61 students for the state competition. Whooohoooo!
Congrats To Our Semifinalists!
IFHS has four national merit scholarship semifinalists -- Victor S. Huang, Alexander B. Kingma, Grace E. Madsen and Katelyn G. Traynor! IFHS appears to have the most semifinalists than any other eastern Idaho high school, according to an Idaho Ed News story.
Important Dates In December & January
- Dec. 1: At-Home Learning Day for Elementary Schools
- Dec. 13: Board of Trustees Business Meeting, 5:30 pm, Idaho Falls High School Library
- Dec. 18-Jan. 1: Holiday Break, No School
- Dec. 21: First Day of Winter
- Jan. 2: First Day Back At School
- Jan. 15: MLK Day -- No School
- Jan. 15 & 16: Staff Development -- No School
- Jan. 19: Intervention/At-Home Learning Day for IFHS & Skyline
Jan. 19 Is At-Home Learning Day For IFHS & SHS
Just a reminder, Jan. 19, 2024, is an Intervention/At-Home Learning day for Idaho Falls and Skyline high school students. Students attending Compass Academy and Career & Technical Education Center will have a regular school day, and D91's shuttles will run on a normal schedule. The Board of Trustees approved the calendar change to accommodate the Tiger-Grizz Wrestling Tournament. The tournament draws hundreds of wrestlers from around the state, which raised some concerns about safety at IFHS and Skyline.
Happening Around D91
Shay Ricks Is New Zone 4 Trustee
Congratulations to Shay Ricks! He is D91's newest school board member. He will represent Zone 4, which includes the areas around Dora Erickson, Linden Park and Hawthorne elementary schools.
Ricks beat incumbent trustee Elizabeth Cogliati by 359 votes to 358 votes in the Nov. 7 election. Those results were upheld after an official recount on Nov. 27.
Ricks will be sworn in in January. We look forward to working with him, and thank Elizabeth Cogliati for all her years of service to D91's students, families, teachers and staff.
Time Is Running Out To Bid On CTEC's RV
Sealed bids for CTEC's Skoolie will be accepted through noon on Dec. 7. Students from the Career & Technical Education Center's welding, industrial mechanics and construction programs spent 11 months converting an old school bus into an RV. It has a bedroom, full kitchen with propane fridge, a stove/range, storage and a dining area that can be converted into an additional sleeping area.
Anyone interested in the converted RV can submit a sealed bid to Jessica Swartwood, D91’s Comptroller, at the D91 District Office, 690 John Adams Parkway, Idaho Falls, ID 83401 The minimum bid is $48,000. Learn more about the bid submission process. Those who would like to see the Skoolie, can call CTEC at (208) 525-7549 and make an appointment.
D91 Is Piloting New Program To Make Buses Safer
A new program that will enhance the safety and security of D91's transportation program is being piloted at Theresa Bunker Elementary School
Bunker parents who opt into the new Tyler Drive program will receive an electronic card, which students will scan when they board or exit a bus. This will make it easier for transportation staff to monitor the status of students. When the system is fully functional, parents will be able to use the Tyler Drive app to track their children and get real-time updates on pickup time, drop-off times and potential delays.
Once the program is up and running at Theresa Bunker, we plan to promote it at Linden Park Elementary School, and then eventually roll it out to all D91 schools. Watch for more information in the coming weeks!
Tips, Resources & Updates
Donate To D91 Ed Foundation!
In this time of giving, please consider a donation to the D91 Education Foundation, which supports teachers and inspires students. Last year, the Ed Foundation awarded more than $45,000 in scholarships and more than $100,000 in teacher grants. Donate today.
Supt. LaOrange Meets With D91 Students, SDE Officials
As Supt. Karla LaOrange continues to collect input on the best way to address issues and increase student achievement in D91, she met this week with officials from the Idaho State Department of Education, as well as members of Taylorview Middle School's Hope Squad and student leaders at Emerson Alternative High School. She also helped with Parent-Teacher conferences at Hawthorne Elementary School.
Idaho SDE Shares Parent Resources
If you're looking for resources about scholarships, academics, opportunities after high school or more, check out the Idaho State Department of Education's Parent Corner, a brand new website created with parents in mind. Learn more.
Apply For Empowering Parents Grants!
School Safety & Security
A Reminder: D91's School Safety Protocols
- Evacuation: Move students in a safe and orderly fashion to an on-site or off-site evacuation area when there is a need to remove students from a school building such as a fire alarm, smoke, gas leak or hazardous conditions.
- Reverse Evacuation: Short-term safety protocol to move students and staff into a school building in case of a threat outside such as a danger on the playground, mountain lion in the neighborhood or law enforcement activity nearby.
- Shelter In Place: Short-term safety protocol to keep students and staff safe from hazardous outside conditions such as an earthquake, toxic chemical spill, etc.
- Hall Check: Secure the building and protect students, staff and visitors from external threats such as a suspicious person or object nearby or police action in the neighborhood or to minimize hallway traffic due to a medical emergency or law enforcement activity in the building. Students remain in their classroom, but learning activities and school business continues as normal.
- Lock Down: Protect students and staff when the threat is inside the building such as an armed intruder or outbreak of violence within the school. Safety and survival is the priority and teachers should be prepared to lead without prompts if they become aware of unsafe situations.
Whenever a school conducts a drill or experiences an emergency situation, the district will text parents and provide updates as information becomes available. To receive these texts, parents should make sure their contact information is current in PowerSchool. Questions? Check with your school or pick up D91's School Safety Protocol flyer at your school.