Edition 4 | 2017 - 2018
Changes To The District's Gifted Programs:
D91 is beginning its annual screening of all second graders to identify academically talented students for inclusion in the district’s gifted and talented program or PACE. In an effort to identify students who are representative of school and district demographics, the screening protocol has been expanded and refined to include a norm-referenced assessment, rating scale and achievement data. These multiple measures will provide a more comprehensive understanding of student giftedness.
In the next few weeks, second graders will complete the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) Screening Form. Students who score at the 90th percentile or above on the CogAT screener will be administered the CogAT Post-Screening Form. The CogAT measures the level and pattern of verbal, quantitative, and spatial reasoning abilities. These abilities reflect how students think, learn new tasks and solve problems.
These screening results, along with achievement data and a rating scale, will be reviewed to identify students who qualify for the district’s gifted and talented program. Students who qualify for the district’s gifted and talented program will be notified in April.
High School Registration Goes Online and High Tech:
High school students are starting to register for the 2018-19 school year using Class Choice, a new scheduling software that gives them more voice and choice over their schedules. In addition, students and parents now have access in PowerSchool to an online course catalog that includes detailed class descriptions, pre-requisites and more.
By using Class Choice and the online course catalog, students can search for classes in particular subject areas, classes that earn them college credit such as Advanced Placement, concurrent enrollment or dual enrollment, and career-technical options. After they make their class requests, students will meet with counselors to review their progress toward graduation and ensure their choices will lead to success after high school. In May, students will review their final schedules in Class Choice and make changes if necessary.
While ClassChoice won’t resolve all scheduling conflicts, it does give students an opportunity to consider options and make selections based on the things that are most important to them. Special thanks to the PowerSchool Team and our high schools counselors!! Their hard work and innovative thinking made these changes possible.
New This Year: 8th & 9th Graders Taking PSAT:
In our ongoing efforts to prepare students for success beyond high school, our 8th and 9th graders will be taking the PSAT this year.
The PSAT, a precursor to the SAT, a college entrance exam, helps gauge a student’s college readiness. The test also identifies areas where students are doing well and where they may need more work. Students will receive score reports with personalized feedback on their test performance, and they can upload their results to Khan Academy for personalized practice on the skills they need to improve. Taylorview’s 8th graders will test on March 8, Eagle Rock’s 8th graders will test on March 14 and all 9th graders will test on April 10.
Committee Working on K-8 ELA Curriculum:
A team of 41 teachers and literacy coaches from elementary and middle schools across the district are becoming ELA content specialists. This team will build upon the committee work of the last few years (2015-2017) to present a proposal for a comprehensive, cohesive and standards-based K-8 ELA curriculum to the Board of Trustees this spring.
The K-3 team is reviewing the writing component of our adopted program, Journeys, to determine the level of alignment with the Idaho Core writing standards and make recommendations for an instructional supplement for writing in K-3 ELA, if needed. The 4th-6th grade team is reviewing 2nd edition EL Education materials to determine the level of alignment with Idaho Core Writing Standards and look for evidence that the 2nd edition materials appropriately address previously identified deficiencies in the 1st edition materials, primarily in the area of explicit language instruction. Additionally, the 7th and 8th grade team will perform a review of the EL Education materials for ELA for their grade levels.
The teams will present their findings on April 19, which will include opportunities for teachers to provide input. Please join us for the K-8 Materials Review and Poster Sessions at the Innovative Center​ from 4:00pm to 5:30pm.

Making Our School Safer:
One of our focuses this year has been in the area of school safety, an effort that is being led by Rebecca Chidester, our safe and drug free school coordinator. The goal is to update the district’s emergency operations plan by the start of the school year.
So far this year, we’ve worked with the state’s new Office of Safety and Security to audit all our school buildings and identify issues. Many of our counselors and administrators also took part in a two-day PREPaRE workshop, which addresses school crisis prevention and intervention training. Watch for more details in the coming months.
Compass Academy is holding a Disney Dash Fun Run at 10 am on Saturday, Feb. 24, to raise money for the Puerto Rico Project. Compass students are trying to raise money to build houses in Puerto Rico during Spring Break. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the 1K and 5K races will go toward those affected by Hurricane Maria. Learn more about the Puerto Rico project here.
More Input on HS ReDesign Project:
D91 has contracted with an organization called Patron Insight to conduct a survey to gather insights on what kind of bond package our community might support. In addition to the official telephone poll, all parents, patrons and staff have the chance to complete an online survey. We expect to see the results in March.
In the mean time, the results of the Thoughtexchange outreach conducted in December will be available this week. Watch for a link on the district website.
As we gather input, the Board of Trustees is continuing to look at options. At a four-hour work session in January, they discussed ways to reduce the cost and scope of the $110 million bond that would have paid to renovate Skyline High School and to build a new Idaho Falls High School. Those discussions included:
  • Reducing the number of classrooms at the new IFHS, reducing the size of the commons areas and auditoriums at both high schools and making other design changes.
  • Proposing a bond to pay for the basics at both high schools, and then giving patrons the option to vote on amenities such as auditoriums, an auxiliary gym and other athletic facilities.
  • Other facility needs in the district, including a centralized location for career-technical programs and new elementary school sites.
It's Always Phishing Season:
Just a reminder: Be wary of emails that seem a little strange. There’s a good chance it’s a phishing scam, a fraudulent email from a seemingly legitimate source seeking sensitive information such as passwords, etc.
Here are some tips as the tricksters are getting trickier!
  • In general if you aren’t expecting it or didn’t ask for it, be very cautious about opening attachments and clicking links or sharing personal information.
  • Examine the email address. Our email addresses end with @d91.k12.id.us
  • District employee emails contain “-D91” in the sender name.
D91 Ed Foundation/Teton Toyota Raffle Is Under Way:
If you’re looking for a fund-raiser this year, there’s no better choice than the D91 Ed Foundation/Teton Toyota Raffle. Raffle tickets are $10, with $9 going to the group and $1 going to the D91 Ed Foundation.
You can get your tickets from secondary school bookkeepers or from Maria Chavez at the district office. We also have posters, sales tips, sales scripts and Ed Foundation Boardmember Doug Swanson is happy to meet with your group and help develop a strategy. The car is wrapped with photos celebrating IFHS and SHS and it’s available for your special event. To check it out, contact Maria Chavez at the district office.
Feb. 19: President’s Day, No School
Feb. 20-Feb22: Lion King Jr. presented by Eagle Rock Middle School, 7 pm, Tickets are $3 for students, $5 for adults and $20 for family tickets
March 2: End of 2nd Trimester
March 5: Teacher Work Day, No School
March 8: Early dismissal for elementary schools for Parent-Teacher conferences
March 9: No classes for elementary schools for Parent-Teacher conferences
March 19-23: Spring Break
We are D91PROUD of Skyline and Idaho Falls high schools and another successful Souper Bowl. The Grizz collected 57,000 cans of food. We’re still waiting on IFHS’ tally. Our community has come to rely on this annual food drive.

Thanks to our counselors and our partners at Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for another successful mental health workshop. More than 150 people attended the workshop about teen anxiety and depression.

We are D91Proud of Eagle Rock’s Mark Byers who was selected to speak at the 2018 National Northwest Council for Computer Education Conference this month. He will be doing a presentation on: “Integrating Growth Mindset into Teaching.”

We are also D91PROUD of our IT folks -- Eric Bodily, Sandy Barber, Vance Allen and Camille Wood – who are attending and presenting at the annual IETA conference.
Congratulations to the Taylorview Middle School MathCounts Team! They placed 3rd at the recent chapter completion at ISU, which qualifies them to compete at the state competition in Boise in March. All four team members -- Jake Nathan, Wyatt Nilsson, Lily Browning and Xavier Jones also qualified to compete as individuals at the state contest.
Idaho Falls School District 91 | (208) 525-7500 | http://www.d91.k12.id.us/