Caldwell School District Update

From Superintendent N. Shalene French

January 14, 2021


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In this update:

  • Looking forward to seeing our students in person next week!

  • January is School Board appreciation month

  • Join us! We're hiring

  • Good news from our schools

  • Expanding home spectators at sports

  • Congratulations to Van Buren's Kelly Garey

  • Congratulations Caldwell High School's Samantha Lepiane

  • Thank you Kathy Neufield

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Looking forward to seeing our students in person next week!

Caldwell Parents & Families


We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate serving your children during this pandemic.


We're excited to welcome back students next week in our schools in our hybrid instructional model. A reminder that our hybrid schedule includes:


  • Elementary students attend in person a half day (morning or afternoon) Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, Friday
  • Secondary students attend in person two days a week based on their schedule.
  • Wednesday is an digital day. Children learn at home using their devices


Our community continues to experience substantial spread of COVID-19. It is important that everyone wear masks, maintain physical distancing, and other protocols. Students will need to wear a mask during the school day, this includes their time riding their bus. Visitors will also be required to wear a mask during their time on our campuses.


We will be closely monitoring absences among staff and students. We may need to quarantine classes or perhaps have short term closure of a school due to staffing shortages or possible community spread within the classroom or school.


We can use your help: we ask that you encourage individuals to join our team as guest teachers or to work in our food service program. Click below to learn more.


This week Governor Little announced COVID-19 vaccines for school staff have been moved up. This is good news! We are working with our community partners planning on administering the vaccine to our staff. It will take some time, but it is an important step in keeping our schools open for in-person learning.


As we break for Idaho Human Rights / Martin Luther King Day during a time of national turmoil, I want to share a quote from Dr. King that inspires me: “Darkness can not drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”


Dr. French

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January is School Board appreciation month

January is School Board Appreciation Month. Many parents, patrons, and stakeholders do not realize that school trustees are in volunteer positions. They are not paid. They serve because they care for our students and all of you.


In a “normal” year, our Trustees meet maybe twice a month, so roughly 24 times. In 2020, our Board gathered nearly 50 times. For three of our Trustees, this past year was their first year on the school board. All the Trustees give up time away from family and work to serve, which includes participating in training to become better at governance.


I appreciate the leadership of Trustees Marisela Pesina, Travis Manning, Manuel Godina, Andrew Butler, and Claudia Suastegui.


Among the Board members, they elected members for additional service in leadership roles. On Monday, they re-elected Trustee Pesina to continue as Chairman and Trustee Manning to continue as Vice Chairman. Trustee Godina was chosen Treasurer.


We have included in this newsletter letter a link to information about what happens at board meetings. In addition, we stream them for our community to watch safely during this time.

Board Report

Click to read a summary of meetings and/or watch the video recording.

Good news about our schools, teachers & students

Expanding home spectators at sports!

We appreciate that Governor Little and the State Board of Education reviewed restrictions on gatherings and created a plan to allow a limited number of spectators sporting events. In our Southern Idaho Conference, we agreed to begin with prioritizing our home fans to ensure parents could watch their children compete. Anyone can watch using the “Pixelot” or the NFHS Network. https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/?fbclid=IwAR3e1y3_rEwX4mgylaqo49kdaoAiGRSREpyX2U9N8kIAB6mCF2rf3_T36v0

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Congratulations to Van Buren's Kelly Garey!

Kelly was chosen Idaho’s Veterans of Foreign Wars Elementary Teacher of the Year!

Congratulations Caldwell High School's Samantha Lepiane!

At Tuesday's Board meeting, we celebrated senior Samantha Lepiane. (Shown in the photo with her parents and her counselor Scott Nelson.) Samantha is the first CHS student to use all her Advanced Opportunity state funding - $4,125. With the financial support, she has earned 35 college credits, which is approximately a year of college. She plans to attend College of Idaho after graduation.


These funds are available to all Caldwell students in grades 7-12 who take part in the Advanced Opportunities program. Advanced Opportunities allow for students to individualize their high school learning plan to get a jump start on their future. These options include dual credit courses, workforce training, certification exams, and Advanced Placement tests.

(https://www.sde.idaho.gov/student-engagement/advanced-ops/ )


Families can learn more about these programs at their middle or high school.

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Thank you Kathy Neufield

Last month, we shared that Kathy had received a CapEd Foundation grant to support students in her Caldwell Online Academy class. This month, we’d like to recognize her for reaching out to the our local newspaper about a community effort to build desks for students to use when working at home. Kathy picked up desks last weekend for her students. Read more about this effort in this Idaho Press story.

Superintendent N. Shalene French

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