IPUL's E-News for July 10, 2020
Here are the highlights of our recent activity online. Not all everything is included due to timeliness. If an advertised event already took place, we've left it off.
IPUL Is Here For You!

The best method to reach us is through our ( newly refreshed ) website: 

We monitor our   intake phone line   several times a day, and will try to respond to any request there within 24 hours. 

For questions that are  not  about something in our  scope of work , you can still leave a phone message as above, or send us an email at  parents@ipulidaho.org   - this account will be monitored daily, but is not as heavily monitored as the main intake systems.
We keep constantly updating our COVID-19 page with new information as it becomes available: https://ipulidaho.org/covid-19-information
Idaho State Board of Education Approves School Reopening Framework
header of the pdf announcment
The Idaho State Board of Education today approved a framework plan to safely reopen Idaho public schools this fall. 

The Idaho Back to School Framework sets expectations, establishes guidelines and best practices for school districts and charter schools to use to open school buildings and plan for necessary actions based on local public health conditions. 

State Board President Debbie Critchfield says opening schools is a priority and local school officials should use the Back to School Framework as a guide in working with local stakeholders and public health districts to open schools in amanner that fits local circumstances.

“We’ve outlined recommended procedures based on the level of coronavirus transmission occurring in various communities across the state at any given time and we’ve listed the procedures by category,” Critchfield said. “For instance, a school located in a Category 1 area where there is no community spread occurring can use this framework as guidance on how to open the school. On the other hand, a school located in a Category 3 area where there is substantial community spread will see suggested considerations for schoolboard decision making.”

“We put this framework together with help from educators, administrators, public health officials and lawmakers,” Critchfield added. “Local governance is paramount in Idaho’s public education system. We want these decisions to be made locally and this framework is designed to help school board trustees to do what they think is best for their schools and their situation on the ground.”

The Idaho Back to School Framework is posted on the State Board of Education website:
Gov. Little pushes for in-person instruction in Idaho schools this fall
Thursday July 9, 2020

Boise, Idaho – Governor Brad Little and education leaders rolled out the new Idaho Back to School Framework today, providing guidance to local officials in their decisions about the safe reopening of schools for the 2020-2021 school year.

Governor Little emphasized the importance of students returning to school for in-person instruction, and the need for all Idahoans to slow the spread of COVID-19 in order to minimize disruptions in education delivery.

“We do know the 2020-2021 school year will not look the same as in previous years, but the expectation is that schools will not be closed for extended periods of time. Before coronavirus, too many Idaho students faced a significant achievement gap and ongoing risks to their mental and social wellbeing. It’s imperative that students return to their classrooms and interact directly with their teachers and classmates at the end of the summer,” Governor Little said.

The Idaho Back to School Framework sets expectations for reopening in the fall, provides support for local governance and decision-making, and offers guidance and best practices on the key operational components of reopening. It is available on the State Department of Education’s web site at  https://www.sde.idaho.gov/re-opening/  and the State Board of Education’s web site at  https://boardofed.idaho.gov/covid-19/ .

Governor Little also announced that Idaho will remain in the final stage of the Idaho Rebounds plan for another two weeks.

“We cannot succeed in rebounding our economy and safely send children back to school if we do not individually and collectively take steps now to slow the spread of coronavirus in our communities,” Governor Little added.
Information on the stages of reopening is available at  https://rebound.idaho.gov/ .

Idaho shifted to a regional or localized approach in the response to COVID-19. Local public health officials and mayors have the authority to put in place more restrictive measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in their communities.

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NEWS MEDIA CONTACT: Marissa Morrison Hyer, Press Secretary
208-943-1686 or  marissa.morrison@gov.idaho.gov
Information About Idaho's Juvenile Justice System - Written By Parents, For Parents
For those of you who would like to better understand the Idaho Juvenile Justice System, take a look at their new Handbook for Families. They had a group of parents write it and it explains the whole system.

Survey Shows over 175,000 Idaho Children Lack Remote Learning Devices
We shared this information from the Idaho Ed News
a girl looks at a computer
Devin Bodkin 

Over half of Idaho’s K-12 students don’t have a remote learning device, according to information school administrators submitted to the State Board of Education.

The State Board’s “Digital Divide” survey, which has so far gathered device and internet accessibility projections from administrators in 145 of 178 Idaho school districts and charter schools, suggests that 176,456 Idaho students don’t have a device. To put that number into perspective, the state’s enrollment count for the 2019-20 school year was 312,011, according to the State Department of Education.
Other highlights include claims that 28,521 students and 2,739 teachers lack Internet connectivity and that 12,944 teachers don’t have a device.

Some administrators said nearly all of their students would need a device. Bear Lake School District put its number at 1,042, though enrollment there is just 1,175, according to the most recent state tally. Blaine County reported a need for 3,690 devices, including 400 for teachers, though enrollment their is just 3,391.

Districts with large enrollments also reported heavy demand for devices — and in at least one case, a need for more devices than students. The Bonneville School District, which last year enrolled some 13,300 students, reported a need for 13,700 devices for students and 675 for teachers. The 25,400-student Boise School District set its need for devices at an even 11,000 for students and 1,500 for teachers.

State Board spokesman Mike Keckler told Idaho Education News that the survey was non-scientific and “intended to get a sense of the need across the state.”

“It will not be used to determine who gets what,” Keckler said.
The State Board’s chief planning and policy officer, Tracie Bent, pointed Tuesday to $30 million in Federal CARES Act funding earmarked by Gov. Brad Little’s  Coronavirus Financial Advisory Committee  to help close the digital divide. Funds will be allocated based on grant applications submitted by districts and charters to the State Department of Education.

Local K-12 leaders will be able to apply for a portion of the money to provide technology, improve Internet accessibility or implement professional development for remote learning — “Whatever they need locally,” Bent said.

A digital divide workgroup is still determining when districts and charters can start applying.

“We are working as fast as we can,” Bent added.
Device and accessibility shortfalls have been a lingering issue for local school leaders charged with determining what a return to school will look like this fall. The survey accompanies a continued rise in coronavirus cases across Idaho — and uncertainty about whether districts and charters will let kids back in the classroom, adopt remote learning models or implement combinations of the two in the coming months.

Districts and charters across the state are still debating what to do, though some plans are emerging. Idaho’s two largest districts, Boise and West Ada, have  tentative reopening plans  featuring in-person and remote learning options.  At least two East Idaho districts  are planning for full face-to-face instruction come fall.

Still, a lack of access for many students has prompted efforts to provide more devices and improve Internet connectivity. Idaho Business for Education  is spearheading  an effort to get Internet hotspots and used laptops to Idaho students who lack the technology.

Click here   for the full Digital Divide survey. (Excel Spreadsheet Link)
Americans With Disabilities Act Celebrates 30th Anniversary
ADA 30 logo
The ADA Anniversary is a time that we can reflect positively on a law that has made a great impact on the lives of people with disabilities and our country over the past 26 years. The message within the Preamble and history is powerful because it clearly states the Congressional intent that the law is intended "to assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities."

The ADA signified the adoption of a public policy committed to the removal of a broad range of impediments to the integration of people with disabilities into society. Historically, societies have frequently misconstrued, overreacted to, or ignored differences in individual mental and physical abilities. Recorded instances of ridicule, torture, imprisonment and execution of people with disabilities are not uncommon.

Influenced by the goals, rhetoric and tactics of the civil rights movement, the modern disability rights movement has been marked by the increasing prominence of people with disabilities themselves as its leaders and spokespersons and the emergence of the first national cross-disability organization in the 1970's. It rejects paternalistic treatment that impedes the realization of the full potential of people with disabilities.

Pediatric Mental Health Minute Video Series
IPUL is happy to share with you this series of short, informative videos d esigned to provide real-time education to support you as you care for children and youth with mental health disorders.

These quick yet in-depth videos aim to improve your knowledge and skills both during the current national crisis and in the future

Easily Find Your School District's Website And COVID-19 Plans
Parents, School districts in Idaho are updating their plans for the upcoming school year. You can find each of their websites with their plans on our website for more information. Note, not all districts have posted this information as of yet :

IPUL, DRI, and SDE - Back to School Special Education Conversation - IPUL's July 2020 Statewide Training
IPUL will be hosting a collaborative conversation with Disability Rights Idaho and the Idaho State Department of Education to discuss Special Education in the upcoming school year.

 If you have a question that you would like us to address during the conversation, you can submit it here: http://tiny.cc/u9j7rz

Our statewide training is webcast monthly live via Zoom. Registration is required.

Once you have registered, you will be sent an email with your registration confirmation as well as a link so you can join the webcast.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, IPUL will only be offering this training online.

We will be offering this training on July 15, 2020 at 6:00 PM Mountain Time

Phone: (208) 342-5884