#271 News & Notes


Coeur d'Alene Public Schools — May 14, 2019

We want to hear from you: profile of a graduate workshops

What happens when you bring together a diverse group of people who care deeply about the quality of education in our community and ask them to brainstorm the skills, knowledge and character traits we want our students to have upon graduation?

We found out last week at our first Profile of a Graduate workshop. Participants offered us such ideas as critical thinking skills, emotional intelligence, time management, financial literacy, resilience, higher reasoning, teamwork and much more.

We want to hear from you, too! There are two more opportunities (this Thursday, May 16, and again on May 23) to assist us in this activity, and we have spots available.

Why is this so important? This profile will identify the cognitive, personal and relationship-based abilities that employers tell us they are looking for in our graduates. To get there, our Profile of a Graduate will guide our work through the next year as we craft a new strategic plan for the school district.

When you think about the young people in our community who are entering the workforce, heading to college or trade school, joining the military or making other post-graduation plans, how do you want them to be prepared for those next steps? Share your perspectives with us!

At the workshops you'll also get a chance to hear from about of our 20 students, from kindergarten through high school senior, on what they're thinking about as they reflect on their learning and contemplate their futures.

The workshops are just two hours long and are held at the Hospice of North Idaho Community Room, 2290 W. Prairie Ave., Coeur d'Alene. You have two choices:

Mid-day: Thursday, May 16 from 12 to 2 PM (includes lunch appetizers)

Evening: Thursday, May 23 from 5 to 7 PM (includes light snacks)

Please let us know if you would like to attend. Email your preferred workshop date to Pam Westberg, pwestberg@cdaschools.org

Questions? Contact Scott Maben, smaben@cdaschools.org

Tomorrow! College and career carnival for middle school students

It's not too early to start thinking about your options for college and/or careers. That's why we are hosting our first Middle School College & Career Carnival, open to all families in our district.

WHEN: Wednesday, May 15, 4:30-6:30 PM

WHERE: Woodland Middle School

More than 30 local professionals and education/training representatives will be there. We'll also have pizza, games and prizes!

Questions? Contact Dani Gray, our middle school College & Career Adviser, at dgray@cdaschools.org.

over 1,000 of our students now using advanced opportunities money

Did you know the State of Idaho sets aside $4,125 for every student attending public school to use toward Advanced Opportunities in grades 7 through 12. This money can be tapped to pay for dual credit college-level classes, online overload courses and exams.

Use of Advanced Opportunities funds is taking off in our school district. So far this school year, just over 1,000 of our students have used a total of $471,000 of their Advanced Opportunities allocations. Here's the breakdown of what they've been up to:

  • 2,415 courses
  • 6,382 credits
  • 589 exams

Many students set a goal to finish high school with one year of college already completed. A few will graduate high school with an associate degree in the bag!

Want to know how your student can attain college credit while in high school? Learn more here on our website, or at the Idaho State Department of Education. We also will share information on this program at the College & Career Carnival this Wednesday evening at Woodland Middle School (see above).

It's the final week to take new idaho parent engagement survey

Schools across Idaho are participating in a new parent engagement survey. This survey gives you the chance to share your input on several topics to help measure how our schools are doing in meeting your needs. So far, 780 parents and guardians in our district have completed this online survey from the Idaho State Department of Education. Help us push the number over 1,000!

The survey only takes a few minutes, and your responses are anonymous. But they will be critical in helping us identify opportunities to maximize satisfaction, engagement and communication. You have until this Friday to respond. Thank you!

Lakes teacher Rebekah Comstock is our Educator of the year

We want to congratulate Rebekah Comstock on being named Educator of the Year for Coeur d’Alene Public Schools. Rebekah teaches art, leadership and yearbook at Lakes Middle School, where she's been the past two years. Before that she taught fifth grade for 13 years at Atlas Elementary School.

“Relationships will always be the most important part of who I am, and I hope that when I build that connection with those I meet, I can help them to see their importance and value,” Rebekah said. “It doesn't matter if it is a student or a coworker. People are important and our words matter. We all need to be reminded of our influence and impact on others. I just try to live this truth out for myself and bleed it into my work.”

She encourages her students to serve others. “Any given day our service can look like high-fives in the hallway or a genuine comment of encouragement. Our sacrifice is giving our time to intentionally listen to the kids who carry a heavy burden. Every day we walk in the school doors with opportunities to potentially change the trajectory of our students’ lives.”

The Coeur d'Alene Education Association and school district also paid tribute recently to:

  • High school teacher of the year Jared Helm, the theater teacher at Coeur d’Alene High School
  • Elementary teacher of the year Nancy Nuttelman, a first grade teacher at Dalton Elementary School
  • Rookie teacher of the year Jessica Gaynor, who teaches English, world history and contemporary issues at Venture High School
  • Classified employee of the year Nicole Olson, the district’s administrative assistant for curriculum and assessment

help us plan for the future: join our long range planning committee

We are looking for members to serve on the School Board's Long Range Planning Committee. The committee especially is in need of members representing the Borah Elementary and Venture High school zones. But anyone from any zone is welcome to apply.

This group of volunteers creates and reviews the District's long-range plans for facilities. Participation is a four-year commitment. The committee meets once a month, generally on Mondays, from 4:30 to 6 PM at Midtown Center. More information about this committee is available on our website.

To apply, complete and submit this form. All applications will be reviewed by a subcommittee of Long Range Planning.


Erin Dever, school nurse at Skyway Elementary School, was named Idaho School Nurse of the Year. The School Nurse Organization of Idaho presented Dever its 2018 award in a celebration last week. Dever has been with Coeur d’Alene Public Schools for 13 years, providing care for students from kindergarten through high school.

“Her sincerity, passion, warmth and inviting personality endears her to staff and families alike,” said Nichole Piekarski, who leads the school district’s Health Services staff. “Erin has demonstrated exemplary skills in every part of her nursing care. … She has an excellent rapport with her nurse colleagues, district staff, students and parents.”

Dever joined the district in 2006. Prior to Skyway, she served as school nurse at Coeur d’Alene High School, Lakes and Woodland middle schools, the district’s developmental preschool, and Fernan, Winton, Borah, Dalton, Ramsey and Bryan elementary schools.

“I love getting to work with all of the students and staff members in our school district,” she said. “I am happy that I am able to help them when they are sick, but I also really enjoy helping to educate them on how to stay healthy.”

School nurses provide a range of student services, including administering medication, developing health care plans, immunization review, diabetes care, airway management, gastric tube feedings, sterile catheterization, and vision and scoliosis screenings.

you can Adopt a classroom to help young readers in our schools

Mountain West Bank, Coldwell Banker, Riverstone Orthodontics and Numerica Credit Union have partnered with Coeur d'Alene Public Schools to help young readers by adopting classrooms in our elementary schools.

These businesses are helping our newer teachers build their classroom libraries, putting books in the hands of students as they develop a love of reading. While school and public libraries offer access to books, the classroom library is paramount in offering a literature-rich environment for enthusiastic readers.

In addition, volunteers are adopting classrooms to spend time sharing their passion for reading. All through the school year we rely on volunteers to help enrich the learning environment.

One of the most accurate predictors of a student’s future academic success is whether he or she has developed reading as a pastime pursuit. Students who read independently:

  • Become better readers
  • Score higher on achievement tests in all areas and
  • Have greater content knowledge than non-readers

The possibilities are as endless as your imagination and the creativity of the teachers whose class you adopt! Interested in helping? Browse adoptable classrooms here and sign up to volunteer!

summer celebration! find us june 7 at Family day in the park

Coeur d'Alene Public Schools will be at Family Day in the Park on the last day of the school year, Friday, June 7. Starting at noon at City Park, this community event is a great way to celebrate the start of summer.

We will be there with information about our summer programs, including CDAreads (celebrating reading and books for younger elementary students), the summer meals program offered through our Nutrition Services Department (free meals for children 1-18), and our Hope on the Homefront program, connecting families with needed resources and support services.

Lakes Middle School additions are underway

How to manage your Peachjar flyer email settings

We're saving time and money since we switched to the Peachjar e-flyer platform a few months back.

Peachjar includes flyers created by us, as well as those submitted by local nonprofit organizations, community partners, educational institutions or businesses that want to share relevant information with our families. The flyers appear on all of our school and district websites. Just look for the Peachjar button to see the latest flyers.

These e-flyers also are emailed to families in our district. You can change how often you receive these emails, or opt-out of the email service, by logging into your Peachjar account using the username and password that Peachjar sent you at the end of February (look for the message with the subject line "Coeur d'Alene Public Schools E-flyers through Peachjar").

You also may contact Peachjar directly if you have questions or concerns about this service.

Mark your calendar

  • May 15 - Middle School College & Career Carnival, Woodland Middle School, 4:30 PM
  • May 16 - Profile of a Graduate workshop, Hospice of North Idaho, 12-2 PM
  • May 23 - Profile of a Graduate workshop, Hospice of North Idaho, 5-7 PM
  • May 27 - NO SCHOOL, ALL STUDENTS (Memorial Day)
  • June 1 - Run for 271, McEuen Park, 7 AM
  • June 5 - Project SEARCH presentation/graduation, Kootenai Health Resource Center, 4 PM
  • June 6 - Venture High School Commencement, 6 PM
  • June 7 - LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!
  • June 7 - Family Day in the Park, City Park, 12 PM
  • June 7 - Coeur d'Alene High School Commencement, 7 PM
  • June 8 - Lake City High School Commencement, 11 AM
  • June 10 - Sleep in kids!