25 Things You Should Know for 2019-20
Starting August 8, we are posting a daily item — one thing we want you to know for the new school year. All 25 tips will be posted here before the first day of school on September 3.
Share this information with others and help us make 2019-20 the best year yet! #CdASchools25things
# 1 - IT'S A DATE! GET THE SCHOOL YEAR CALENDAR.
Don’t overlook another school holiday, teacher conference or early release day. The district’s official 2019-20 Parent Calendar is available for posting on your family’s fridge. Attendance matters! Check the dates of our Thanksgiving, winter and spring breaks before planning your next family vacation. Download now: www.cdaschools.org/2019-20
#2 - MORNING AND NIGHT, SCHOOL PLUS IS THERE.
Our before-school/after-school childcare for K-5 students is open year-round (even on SNOW DAYS and delayed-start days) from 6:45 AM to 6 PM. With a 1-to-12 staff-student ratio — and a schedule of quality activities, field trips, study time and more — this program is perfect for working families. Did you know? If your family qualifies for free and reduced meals, you could qualify for a minimal copay using ICCP funds! We have School PLUS sites at all 11 elementary schools, with a special site for half-day-K. Register online and learn more at cdaschools.org/schoolplus
#3 - STAY CONNECTED! DOWNLOAD OUR APP.
A great way to stay informed through the school year is by using our mobile app. We designed it to keep our families better informed and connected to what’s going on in our schools. The app gives you easy, real-time access to: school news; social media posts; bus route info; notifications about emergencies and school closures; calendars and school menus; staff directories (by school) with email contacts; easy access to eFunds, Skyward, our tip line and much more! Download it today! From your mobile device, search "Coeur d'Alene Public Schools" in the iTunes App Store® or Google Play® store. www.cdaschools.org/app
#4 - WE'RE HIRING! WORK IN OUR SCHOOLS.
If you enjoy spending time at your student's school, you’ll be happy to learn you can get paid to be there! We have many full-time, part-time and substitute positions available during school hours. We are hiring NOW for the 2019-20 school year. Learn more and apply for positions at our Classified Job Fair on Saturday, Aug. 17, from 9 AM to 1 PM at Coeur d’Alene High School, 5530 N. 4th Street. See what positions are open at www.cdaschools.org/jobs
#5 - FAMILY SUPPORT FROM HOPE ON THE HOMEFRONT
Our dedicated Hope on the Homefront team is available year-round to help district families in crisis find the help they need — connecting them to resources in our schools and our larger community. If you or a family you know is homeless, struggling with precarious housing, or in need of help with clothing, shoes or school supplies, call 208-664-8241 x10060. More info at www.cdaschools.org/help
#6 - IMMUNIZATIONS: ARE YOUR KIDS PROTECTED?
Start off the school year strong with immunizations that protect your child from infectious disease. Chickenpox, measles and whooping cough spread quickly, so children should be protected before they enter preschool, kindergarten and all other grade levels. Idaho’s school immunization requirements are intended to protect children from those diseases as well as diphtheria, tetanus, mumps, rubella, polio and hepatitis. In addition to immunizations for kids entering kindergarten and first grade, students entering Grade 7 need their booster shot Tdap and meningitis vaccines! Panhandle Health District offers Back to School Immunization Clinics every Thursday, 5-7 PM, between August 22 and September 12. These vaccines are available at the Panhandle office on Atlas Road in Hayden. Please bring a copy of your child’s immunization record to the clinic for the Health District to review.
#7 - SCHOOL SUPPLIES: HELP IS AVAILABLE.
If you still have some back-to-school shopping to do, you can easily find the right supply list for your child’s school and grade level at www.cdaschools.org/supplylists. Don’t forget to check what our middle schools and high schools need! Each year we receive some gifts of school supplies, including backpacks, from generous donors throughout the region. If you need assistance with your back-to-school shopping, please contact your school office after August 21. They may have just what you’re looking for!
#8 - BE A REGULAR VISITOR TO SKYWARD.
Skyward Family Access is a powerful tool for tracking how students are doing in school. Skyward gives you a secure view of attendance, discipline, class schedule, food service balance, fees and more for each of your students. You can find grades and assignments for students in grades 6 to 12. When you log into Skyward, you also can update your contact information, ensuring we can reach you in emergencies or to share important school and district news. Log in at skyward.cdaschools.org. If you need help, contact your school office.
#9 - SIGN UP NOW FOR FREE/REDUCED - PRICE MEALS.
When children eat a healthy diet, they can perform at their very best. With 170 days of school on average, serving our students nutritious meals is a big undertaking. Families who meet simple income guidelines qualify for free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch. This easy meal support is completely confidential; even teachers do not know which students participate. A family of four with a pre-tax household income of $47,638 or less qualifies for this service. New meal applications MUST be turned in for all recipients each school year, even if you qualified earlier in 2019. Though we accept applications throughout the school year, completing the application process by the start of school ensures your benefits are applied immediately upon approval. To view the complete income eligibility chart, download an application and instructions for filling it out, or learn how to submit the application online through your SKYWARD FAMILY ACCESS account, go to www.cdaschools.org/mealapp. You also can pick up an application at any of our school offices or at Nutrition Services, 1242 E. Best Ave., Coeur d'Alene.
#10 - RESPECT OUR GUIDELINES ON STUDENT PRIVACY.
When visiting our schools, please be sensitive to student privacy. We ask our families and school visitors to follow confidentiality guidelines when sharing photos or video from school events. You can help by asking the teacher or school official for permission before snapping photos or recording video in a classroom, and by never sharing photo or video of another student without the permission of the parent or guardian. Have questions? Ask a staff member!
#11: EXPLORE YOUR FUTURE WITH CAREER CRUISING.
Career Cruising allows students in grades 8-12 to easily discover their strengths and interests, match them to a career, and then create a 4-plan to get there. By exploring career clusters, core tasks, scholarships, colleges as well as technical programs and more, they learn what is required for success in a potential life path — be it a career or continuing their education. In addition, students will be able to connect to a local mentor to guide their investigations through Coeur d'Alene Connects. We encourage you to log in with your student at home to continue the exploration and discuss the results. More at cdaschools.org/careercruising
#12: SCHOOL NURSES ARE HERE TO HELP.
Our school nurses are a valuable resource for families! You know nurses keep students safe by assessing and triaging illness or accidents during the school day. But our nurses do so much more, including:
—Administer critical medicines with permission
—Offer coordination of care for kids with health conditions
—Provide student and staff training to encourage healthy choices
—Publish and enforce school illness guidelines
—Provide valuable community resources and referrals
Bookmark the Health Services and Nursing section of our website and introduce yourself to your student's school nurse this year! www.cdaschools.org/nurse
#13: SEE YOU AT OUR OPEN HOUSE NIGHTS.
One of the best things your family can do to start the school year off right is to attend the Open House night at your student’s school. The events for our elementary, middle and high schools will take place August 27, 28 and 29. These are opportunities to meet teachers and administrators, collect important information about the new school year, discover ways to volunteer to keep connected, find your way around a new school, and socialize with other families. Go to www.cdaschools.org/openhouse to find the date, time and details for each open house night.
#14: A NEW WAY TO FIND BUS ROUTES AND SCHEDULES.
We’re excited to announce a slick new way for families to look up the bus route, bus stop location, and pickup/drop-off times for students. We’ve launched an online tool that is super easy to use. Just type in your home address (including the north, south, east or west following the street number) and hit search. The bus routes serving your neighborhood will appear, by school. You’ll see the bus stop location as well as the times the bus is expected to arrive. Try it out now at www.cdaschools.org/busroutes. For information on special education bus service, mid-day kindergarten, or any additional alternative transportation needs, call our Transportation Department at (208) 667-3451. Please remember to check for bus schedule updates during the first two weeks of school. And don’t forget that morning pickup times are one hour later on late-start Mondays.
#15: $4,125 FOR EVERY STUDENT GRADES 7-12.
If you have a student in grades 7 through 12, make sure you are familiar with Advanced Opportunities. These programs allow students to customize their high school learning plan to get a jump start on their future. Opportunities include dual credit courses, technical competency credits, and the Advanced Placement program. Many of the programs can earn students college credit while still in high school, saving time and money! Our state provides every student attending an Idaho public school an allocation of $4,125 to use toward Advanced Opportunities, such as overload courses, dual credit classes and a variety of exams. More at www.cdaschools.org/opportunities
#16: THEY'RE FREE! ONLINE LEARNING TOOLS.
You can easily support your student's classroom learning at home! We provide our students access to quality online learning tools that can be accessed from any phone, tablet or computer. Our favorites include Vocabulary.com, i-Ready (elementary and middle school math), Keyboarding without Tears (typing), Overdrive (e-books & audiobooks) and SmartyAnts (before Kindergarten). Read more and log in! www.cdaschools.org/subscriptions
#17: HOW WE PROMOTE MENTAL WELLNESS.
#17 of 25 Things You Should Know - Back-to-school season can be a time of increased anxiety and depression for kids. Be familiar with the warning signs of suicide, and never be afraid to ask the tough questions when someone may be at risk. The research is clear: Asking someone if they are thinking about suicide, or making any plans, does not increase their risk or put an idea in their head. Asking with empathy is shown to actually reduce risk. Need help now? Call/text 1-208-398-HELP (4357). During the school year, students and parents can always reach out to a school counselor, nurse or staff member. Watch for free QPR training periodically throughout the school year. If you'd like to schedule a QPR training, go to Panhandle Health. Learn more: www.cdaschools.org/QPR.
#18: READ AND SIGN TECHNOLOGY USE AGREEMENT IN SKYWARD.
Each year we ask students and their parents/guardians to read and sign our Student Technology Use Agreement. This year we added the agreement to the Skyward Family Access Center. Both students and parents should see the form when they log into Skyward. These agreements need to be submitted so that students may use District computers and tablets. Teachers will clarify expectations before students use District technology for the first time. Please log into Skyward to read and sign the Technology Use Agreement!
#19: PITCH IN! JOIN YOUR SCHOOLS PTA.
There are many great reasons to join a parent-teacher group. Becoming an active volunteer is only one. The best reason to join is that parent involvement has been proven to help students succeed. Anyone can be part of a PTA to be informed of school issues, connect with other parents, make their voice heard, be a part of new school programs and provide support for the school. Ask about joining the PTA at your student’s school during the Open House this week!
#20: SCHOOL CLOSURES AND DELAYED STARTS
We may close schools or announce a delayed start due to inclement weather, road conditions or other safety issues. A school closure or delayed start will be announced by 5:30 a.m. the day it takes effect. If we have your current contact information in Skyward Family Access, you can expect to receive an email message or text from us. If you have the Coeur d'Alene Public Schools mobile app, we will send you a notification. You also can find our announcements on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or call our Closure Hotline at (208) 667-0784. The safety of our students and staff is most important in our decision-making process. More information on school closures and delays can be found here.
#21: VISITING A SCHOOL? BRING YOUR ID.
We use the Raptor system to protect your children by screening parents, visitors and volunteers who enter our buildings during the school day. Raptor screens for registered sex offenders in all 50 states. Additionally, you can help keep our schools safe by always using the secure, buzz-in entrance; sign in and out when visiting a school; wearing your visitor badge or sticker at all times; and never opening locked doors for others. Read more about safety in our schools at cdaschools.org/safety
#22: ADOPT A CLASSROOM
Many of our elementary classrooms are up for adoption! Make a direct impact on the success of students by adopting one of these classrooms and volunteering your time, or providing financial support for a special project. Your family, business or organization can host a book drive to build a classroom library, arrange a weekly visit to read one-on-one with students or provide resources for enhanced learning opportunities. Browse the list of classrooms waiting to be adopted to find one that matches your resources and interests. Learn more at www.cdaschools.org/adopt and browse adoptable classrooms at www.cdaschools.org/browse
#23: IF YOU SEE SOMETHING, SAY SOMETHING. REPORT A THREAT!
You can REPORT A THREAT online! Potential threats or dangerous behaviors (online threats, fighting, bullying, drugs) can easily and anonymously be reported from the CDA Schools mobile app, or by using the TIP LINE link found on all our school websites. Please have a conversation with your student about how important it is to report potential issues, even if they feel something might be fake. Student tips have prevented violence, self-harm, and threatening behavior. If you see something, say something!
#24: READ THE DISTRICT AND SCHOOL HANDBOOKS.
Take a moment to download and review the District Handbook for Parents & Students. Discuss the policies and procedures outlined there with your child, and make a list of any questions your family has for district leadership or school administrators. We are also updating and posting school handbooks, which include additional information and expectations. Find our handbooks atwww.cdaschools.org/handbooks
#25: ATTENDANCE MATTERS FOR YOUR STUDENT
No matter the grade, school or teacher, attendance truly matters. Poor attendance can influence whether children are able to read proficiently by the end of third grade. By sixth grade, chronic absenteeism is a leading indicator that a student will drop out of high school. Taking a week off from school can put students behind for the rest of the year. For future success, we need your help to motivate all students to make daily attendance a priority. What will YOUR family do to reduce absenteeism this year? Here are some great tips on how to reduce school absences:https://tinyurl.com/yaydahvp