Spring 2018 Newsletter

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Spring 2018 Newsletter

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State of the District 2018 Recap

On March 12th, the Coeur d'Alene Education Partnership co-hosted the sixth annual State of the District at the Innovation Collective Den in downtown Coeur d’Alene. District 271 School Board members Tom Hearn, Lisa May, and Dave Eubanks were in attendance as well as several local candidates running for political office.

The program began with interim superintendent Dr. Stan Olson speaking about the general state of the district, specifically land acquisition, the construction plans of the new elementary school in Hayden, and the potential of a shift in school district boundaries between Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls. Dr. Olson was encouraging in his statement that he believes the overall state of the district is strong, and overall the community involvement and participation in Data Summits over the school year have been extremely valuable. However, Dr. Olson also cautioned the audience that measures should be put in place to acquire more land for district growth in order for the district to not get into the lack of land predicament that they are currently facing. Dr. Olson also advised the district  to be wary of the effects of having a city of “haves” and “have nots” going forward in the years to come.

Dr. Mike Nelson presented “Career Cruising” to the audience, which is a new digital platform that District 271 has implemented to help secondary students identify potential careers of interests, and the paths towards those careers. Dr. Nelson also introduced  “Coeur d’Alene Connects” (https://www.cdaschools.org/Domain/2575), which is an opportunity for community members to be matched as mentors to students based on career interests.

Finally, Dr. Olson introduced the incoming Superintendent to the Coeur d’Alene school district, Dr. Stephen Cook. Due, to a family emergency, Dr. Cook was unable to participate  in person, but did address the audience over a live video feed. Dr. Cook expressed his excitement to move to Coeur d'Alene, make Coeur d'Alene his home, and be an engaged member of our community. Dr. Cook spoke of his passion to encourage a focus for the quality of learning and education to be in the hands and control of the teachers, as he views the teacher-student relationship as foundational to the overall quality of the district. When asked about his thoughts on school vouchers, Dr. Cook seemed to indicate he did not believe they were the best option given the ways that he has seen school voucher systems play out in other districts.



 

Invest Inspire Innovate Awards: Winter/Spring 2018


Every month, Coeur d’Alene Partnership and the Coeur d’Alene School District honor an elementary school teacher, presenting the teacher with a plaque and a token of our respect for their incredible service to the students of our community. According the the district web site, “we recognize … educator[s] in our district for showing effectiveness in teaching, utilizing creativity, developing a nurturing environment for kids, and going the extra mile in service to our district.”

MARCH Teacher of the Month: Honey Sayler, Special Education Teacher  - Skyway School
Mrs. Sayler is positive, supportive, and encouraging. She celebrates students' successes and works incredibly hard, above and beyond her part-time contract. She sets a high standard of excellence for herself and her students.
 
Mrs. Sayler is always a very reflective teacher in all aspects of teaching. She is always looking for ways to engage her students. She is always looking for ways to help students reach their goals. Mrs. Sayler is always extremely positive towards all staff and students. While she is only scheduled to be here part time, she goes above and beyond all duties expected of her. The way she inspires students is amazing! Mrs. Sayler makes every lesson engaging and meaningful.  She pushes her students to work their hardest and to take pride in their accomplishments.
 
FEBRUARY Teacher of the Month: Shanna Marshall, 4th Grade Teacher - Sorensen Magnet School
Of Shanna Marshall, Principal Brett Depew says "Shanna has a huge heart for students and she works long past the workday to prepare exciting and innovative lessons for her class. She is fun loving and inspires her kids daily to do their best in school and she is always willing to mentor other teachers in need." From Shanna's class web page: "I have been teaching since 2006, and I absolutely LOVE what I do."

JANUARY Teacher of the Month: Deb Loy-Linde, Art Teacher - Bryan Elementary
Deb provides a working studio for our students, instilling a love of the arts within them.  You can watch children learn to take risks, appreciate what they are able to do, and change the way they view themselves.  She incorporates a variety of mediums and experiences. She even involves them in community opportunities such as Junk to Funk.
 
Deb is only able to provide the students with the many opportunities and experiences she does by finding outside resources to supplement funding .  She works hard to do so.  Deb works 4 days a week but you will see her here on all days at all times. When there is work to be done or ways she can help out both with staff and students, she steps up.  Deb is a team player in every sense of the word.  We are so lucky to have her and are excited to have the opportunity to recognize her.

DECEMBER Teacher of the Month: Joy Shoup, 5th Grade Teacher - Dalton Elementary

Community Support for Schueller Family


Coeur d’Alene Education Partnership grieves for the loss of an important member of our community, Troy Schueller. We find some solace in our caring community and thank the businesses, families, and community agencies that have extended their support during this time to the Schueller family and everyone affected by this loss.
  • Flame & Cork
  • The Culinary Stone Cafe
  • Dutch Bros Kootenai County
  • Hippo Car Wash
  • Panhandle Health District
  • Viking Booster Club, Viking Parent Alliance, and Columbia Bank
  • Zips Coeur d’Alene and Zips Hayden
  • Kroc Center
We also thank all of our community and district counselors, including those from North Idaho College, who have made themselves available for the staff and students grieving this loss.

CEP Participated in Defeating the Guided Education Management ACT (GEM) in 2018 Legislative Session


In February, CEP drafted and sent letters to Representative Paul Amador and the Coeur d’Alene Press in response to our concerns for the private voucher bill which was recently introduced in the Idaho House Education Committee - HO 590; RS26177. This is the Guided Education Management Act (GEM). The following is a joint letter of thanks from the Idaho Education Association, Idaho School Boards Association, and Idaho Association of School Administrators:
The news that HB 590, the private school voucher bill, has been pulled from the legislative agenda represents a significant victory for Idaho’s public schools and public education system. It also validates the diligent efforts of a broad coalition of education stakeholder organizations, as well as groups and individuals committed to protecting Idaho’s public schools. Proponents tried to frame this legislation as a scholarship bill, but public education supporters saw through the semantics, especially when it became clear that tax credits for private schools was the ultimate goal.
While the IEA, ISBA, and IASA rightfully took the lead in opposing this dangerous legislation, defeating HB 590 would not have been possible without the determination of individual members of our organizations and a host of others who were willing to fight for the opportunities and access our public schools provide. We have strong public schools in Idaho, and dedicated professional educators who have made it their life’s work to educate and serve every child who walks through the doors of their neighborhood school.
A heartfelt thank you to everyone who contacted legislators, talked to their local school district officials, shared concerns about HB 590 on social media and in person, or assisted in any way to educate the public about this alarming bill. Your efforts will have a positive and lasting [e]ffect on Idaho students, schools and communities.
Thank you also to the legislators who voted or spoke out against this bill, and to the Senate Education Committee for pulling it from the agenda. We share a desire for policies that enable student growth and lead to student success, but private school vouchers that undermine the resources and efforts of public schools are counterproductive.
It is our sincere hope that this defeat of vouchers will bring an end to this assault on our public schools. Instead of trying to circumvent Idaho’s public schools, let’s invest in them so they have the proper resources needed to provide the maximum educational experience for every child.
Thanks again to everyone who contributed to protecting Idaho’s public schools by helping to defeat HB 590.

Sincerely,
Sue Wigdorski
Executive Director, Idaho Education Association
Karen Echeverria
Executive Director, Idaho School Boards Association
Rob Winslow
Executive Director, Idaho Association of School Administrators

Annual Coeur d’Alene Community Focus Group

 

CEP Board members Paula Marano, Lisa Overby, Jamie Robb, and former board member Lori Ann Wallin led an annual community focus group on February 20th with six community members. The external purposes of these focus groups are to capture feedback from a small group about our public schools in Coeur d’Alene and Idaho and to identify educational topics of interest from individuals and the group. Internally, the focus groups help CEP Board Development brainstorm and prioritize potential future projects, events, help board members identify what skills and attributes individuals have to identify future board  participation, and help participants determine if they have an interest in joining the CEP team.

The following are questions discussed with the focus group and their responses. CEP would love YOUR input and assistance in carrying these ideas forward. If you are interested in volunteering and/or participating in an upcoming focus group, please contact Paula Marano (pmarano48@gmail.com).

Areas of strength for the CDA School District that were identified by the focus group:

·         4H program

·         BPA program

·         Communication with district

·         Community engagement for sports

·         Community involvement for fundraisers and district decisions

·         Generous community

·         Hands on extra-curricular/programs

·         Parental involvement

·         Passionate staff / teachers & staff

·         Respectful children/students

·         SKYWARD

Areas you feel there is the greatest need for improvement:

·         Accountability & consequences

·         Communication between district & parents

·         More school counselors

·         Elementary school curriculum

·         Financial literacy

·         Funding – supplies, meals

·         Homeless children

·         Maintain cursive instruction

·         Managing our growth

·         Near-peer counselors

·         Alternative focus options to test scores

·         Pace of learning

·         Parental involvement

·         Community partnerships

·         Professional development

·         Shortage of subs

·         Early life skills education

·         Turn-over of employees

Activities and strategies you suggest for raising CEP’s profile in the community:

·         Create buy-in for children

·         Create engaging learning experiences via community partnerships regularly (Fair Board + 4H)

·         Get materials in the hands of people who care

·         Newsletters

·         Regular and recurring newspaper articles

Strategies to increase awareness & knowledge of CEP:

·         Communicate what CEP is, our goals, and mission

·         Community events – reach out to targeted businesses

·         Get involved with each school individually and have a presence at events (tables, lit, networking)

·         Get students involved

·         Launch mentorship program with the district

·         More social media involvement

·         Pamphlets for counselors to hand out in #271

·         Sponsor more ads, encourage people to like FB Page

·         Sponsor school events – Fight For The Fish, school plays, arts, music

·         Student representatives – contact at each school (student council)

·         Visit the PTAs & PTOs, parent groups, business groups

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Nancy Hart, CEP President

A note
from our President

The weather is getting warmer, the days are getting longer, and we a’re reminded of fresh life flourishing in flowers and trees all around. Yet, in the midst of this new season, we wish to take time to reflect on the lives of those who have recently passed who had significant impact on our educational community.
Our thoughts are with Coeur d’Alene Public School Board Trustee Tambra Pickford and her family. Trustee Pickford’s mother-in-law, Marie Pickford, unexpectedly passed away in March. Marie Pickford had a passion for reading and spent hours reading with students of the Coeur d’Alene School District. We are grateful for the many ways that the Pickford family has supported quality education for Coeur d’Alene students. We are thankful for the donations that have been made to CEP toward Coeur d’Alene School libraries in honor of Marie Pickford.
Most recently, our community has been shaken to the core by the passing of Coeur d’Alene High School Principal Troy Schueller. Troy’s passing has been deeply felt by his family, students, staff, and our community. He was respected and embraced by those who knew him, and known for his profound commitment to our educational community. The Schueller family has poured into the students of Coeur d’Alene, both through Troy, and his wife who teaches at Canfield Middle School.
As CEP looks to the future with good things in store for our students, we are mindful of the hearts of Troy and Marie who have helped our students be who they are today. Both of them would want only the best for our students, just as CEP does. It is in their honor that CEP continues to support the Coeur d’Alene students and honor our educators.
Toward that end, CEP is pleased to honor Coeur d’Alene School elementary teachers every month who have been nominated by their colleagues for the Invest / Inspire / Innovate Award.  We are also thrilled to have co-hosted the sixth annual State of the District in March, with the Coeur d’Alene School District, including a presentation by incoming Superintendent Dr. Cook. Please click on the link to the State of the District rebroadcast on CEP’s website, cdaep.org,  if you were not able to attend.
Watch for more information about our fifth annual Disco Inferno / Dance Explosion to come this fall. We are excited about new developments and vision for this event to support underfunded programs, including libraries, in our public schools.
Please visit our website at cdaep.org to learn more about CEP, our programs, and the many opportunities there are for you to get involved in our organization and support our students.
We look forward to seeing you at more of our upcoming events!
 
Amy Voeller, President
CEP


Thank You for Your Support!


CEP works hard all year to inform, unite, and advocate for excellence in our public schools. To make these events spectacular, CEP relies on donations, such as yours. Consider donating to CEP today! Contact Lexi Witherwax at lexiwitherwax@gmail.com with your financial contribution.
 
The Coeur d’Alene Education Partnership is a 501(c)3 charitable organization and contributions may be tax deductible.

May
  • Coeur d'Alene School Board meeting, May 7th
  • PTO Alliance Meeting, May 3rd
June
  • Coeur d'Alene School Board meeting, June 4th
  • PTO Alliance Meeting, June 7th
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