IPUL's E-News for June 19, 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 website request form:   

We are still monitoring 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:
Boise: Open Arms Dance Project @ Cine-Magic Pop-UPS in the Park Movie Night at Jump
pop ups in the park logo
Dance like no one is watching...

IPULArts#Friendship @open.arms.dance.project @idahoparentsunlimited

Join Open Arms Dance Project this Friday night (6/19/2020) at JUMP Boise for a movie on the big screen.

Finding Nemo and Open Arms Dance Project kick off Cine-Magic Pop-Ups in the Park

At 7:00PM Finding Nemo will kick off the season of outdoor pop-ups following a magical performance by Open Arms Dance, a multi-generational & inclusive modern dance company welcoming people of all ages — with and without disabilities. You won’t want to miss the performance by Open Arms Dance Project whose mission is to create greater joy and compassion in the community with dance that opens hearts, minds, and arms. When the community witnesses the relationships between OADP dancers, hearts are opened - and when they see a dance company with diverse bodies, minds are opened. When hearts and minds are opened, then attitudes and behaviors change - helping the community open their arms towards all people.

JUMP is creating its own take on the good ole-fashioned drive-in movie by offering Cine-Magic Pop-Ups in the Park, a unique outdoor movie experience in the JUMP Park in downtown Boise. If you are a movie-lover longing for a date night or a family eager to escape another Friday night cooped up at home, bring your lawn chairs, camp chairs, bean bags, blankets, munchies, and warm clothes for a much-anticipated inaugural evening of Cine-Magic Pop-Ups in the Park on Friday, June 19th. Stay in your bubble and with your families to maintain safe social distancing, which is naturally built into this outdoor environment. Ride your bike, roll your wheelchair, push your stroller, or walk down to JUMP (or park in the onsite parking garage) to enjoy this free, family-friendly event.

Throw a blanket on the Front Lawn or arrange your lawn chairs along the Pioneer Pathway to create your own space, then lean back to enjoy a magical dance performance and heart-warming movie as the world around you slowly fades away and your mind is taken to exciting new places.
Idaho Medicaid Coverage Survey
We passed this along from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare:
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is committed to improving the experience for Idahoans when they work with us.

We know sometimes it may be confusing or stressful accessing services for you or your family, and we want to make it better for you. To help us, we are asking for you to complete a short survey (only six questions). You have been selected to receive this survey because your child recently applied for or currently receives Medicaid coverage through Katie Beckett which provides home-based Medicaid services for disabled children under the age of 19. This is the process we want to improve, and we would like your feedback.

It should take you just a few minutes. The link is below:

Boise Parks and Recreation Working to Make More Playgrounds Accessible
We were happy to share this news from the Boise Parks and Recreation department:
playgrounds under construction
Boise Parks and Recreation is resurfacing several of the playgrounds in our network this summer to make them more accessible for children of all abilities. The new bonded rubber surfacing material will be mobility device friendly. Fences have been placed around the sites this week as construction work begins.

Playgrounds scheduled for new bonded rubber surfacing installation:
-Ann Morrison Park
-Camel's Back Park
-Castle Hills Park
-Morris Hill Park

Playgrounds scheduled for new bonded rubber surfacing and playground equipment replacement:
-Hobble Creek Park
-Phillippi Park

Playgrounds scheduled for new bonded rubber surfacing and new 2-5 age equipment installation:
-Simplot Sports Complex

Work is estimated to be completed this summer or fall (depending on the project location). All of the playgrounds listed will be closed during construction.

We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your cooperation as this work is completed. If you have any questions please call (208) 608-7600 or email bpr@cityofboise.org.
Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith, Founder of VSA Has Passed
Idaho Parents Unlimited was the VSA (Very Special Arts) affiliate for many years, and we continue to work under contracts through the Kennedy Center to this day. We are so incredibly grateful to Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith and all she envisioned for ensuring children and youth with disabilities have access to high quality arts education and opportunities.

I had the pleasure of meeting Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith and even enjoying dinner at her table at the annual VSA reception in 2013. She will be missed and we send our condolences to all family and friends. May her legacy live on.

~Angela Lindig, IPUL Executive Director

Dear friends -

It is with deep sadness that I share with you the information that Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith passed away. She was known for many things, however, I will remember her as the founder of VSA (formerly Very Special Arts) 46 years ago. She was a champion for the rights of people with disabilities to be respected and included in the cultural arts. The work of VSA took place around the United States and across the globe through a network that she nurtured. I will never know precisely how many people's lives were touched but many a child and young student with a disability experienced the arts, many an artist/performer with a disability got a career start or boost because of the Ambassador's dedication.

I had the privilege and honor of working with her for a short time from 2011 on.. I found her humorous, joyful, and astute. Her powerful commitment to ensuring that people of all ages with disabilities had access to the arts never waivered.

Condolences to the Kennedy Family and to all her knew her.
New committees to address fall school reopening and the digital divide
While we are grateful for these important committees to address these concerns, IPUL is concerned that there does not appear to be representation from those with expertise in special education where there is considerable digital divide.
news release graphic
(Press Release from Governor Brad Little, Wednesday June 17, 2020)

Governor Brad Little announced the formation of two new committees to create a plan for reopening public schools this fall and a plan to address the “digital divide,” a term that describes the inequity between students’ access to remote learning across Idaho.

The committees will support the Governor’s Office and the State Board of Education, which have been working with school districts for weeks on reopening options and making access to remote learning more consistent within and between school districts.

“Despite these extraordinary circumstances, it is my intent to have schools safely reopen across Idaho in the fall, although it may look different than it has in the past,” Governor Little said. “Both of the committees, led by State Board of Education members, can support and remove barriers to the fall reopening, provide clear expectations, and identify the tools to meet those expectations.”

The Public Schools Reopening Committee is chaired by Idaho State Board of Education President Debbie Critchfield and includes participation from legislators, the State Department of Education, school district and charter school administrators, operations staff, business and industry representatives and local health officials.

“Our goal is to successfully reopen schools in the fall and provide clear expectations for student learning and guidance to school districts as they make their decisions locally,” Critchfield said. “Districts are discussing approaches to reopening and how to navigate the learning environment. Many decisions are contingent upon developing and changing conditions.”

The committee will make guidance and resources available to school districts and charter schools in the coming weeks.

State Board of Education member Kurt Liebich leads the Digital Divide Committee, which includes school technology directors, administrators, business leaders, and legislators.

“When the pandemic forced the soft closure of schools and a transition to distance learning options, it became painfully clear just how wide the digital divide is,” Liebich said. “We will discuss access to devices for students and ways to improve connectivity throughout the state. Additionally, we will support school districts and charter schools as they develop strategies to implement a blended learning model. Robust learning management systems and professional development are also part of our overall vision for each and every public school in our state.”

Both committees are extensions of the Governor’s K-12 Emergency Council, formed in March to respond to the pandemic and advise the Governor on K-12 issues during these unprecedented times.

More information about the two committees, including meeting dates and membership, is posted on the State Board of Education website at https://boardofed.idaho.gov/…/k-12-emergency-council-subco…/.

Members of the Public Schools Reopening Committee include:

Debbie Critchfield, Chair, State Board of Education

Linda Clark, State Board of Education

Sherri Ybarra, State Superintendent

Senator Carl Crabtree

Representative Judy Boyle

Representative John McCrostie

Greg Wilson, Governor’s Office

Brian Armes, Office of School Safety and Security

Spencer Barzee, Westside School District

Ryan Bowman, Twin Falls School District

Steve Cook, Coeur d’Alene School District

Bob Donaldson, Lewiston School District

Julie Douty, Vallivue School District

Jonathan Gillen, West Ada School District

Ty Jones, Idaho High School Sports Association

Karen Pyron, Butte School District Trustee

Donell McNeal, West Ada School District

Stephanie Myers, Boise School District

Angela Rodriguez, Cassia School District

Anne Ritter, Meridian Medical Arts Charter School Board

Rob Sauer, Homedale School District

Lisa Sherrick, State Department of Education

Gina Pannell, Central District Health

Members of the Digital Divide Committee include:

Kurt Liebich, Chair, State Board of Education

Greg Wilson, Vice Chair, Governor’s Office

Senator Jim Woodward

Senator Janie Ward-Engelking

Laurie Anderson, Micron Foundation

Toni Broyles, University of Idaho

Chris Campbell, State Department of Education

Marc Carignan, Bluum

Theresa Carter, Idaho Digital Learning Academy

Matt Compton, Idaho Education Association

Spencer Cook, Sugar Salem School District

Steve Cook, Coeur d’Alene School District

Seth Deniston, Coeur d’Alene School District

Keven Denton, West Ada School District

Karen Echeverria, Idaho School Boards Association

Eric Forsch, Department of Commerce

Marc Gee, Preston School District

Will Goodman, Idaho Digital Learning Academy

Rod Gramer, Idaho Business for Education

Andy Grover, Idaho Association of School Administrators

Cassidy Hall, University of Idaho, Doceo Center

Peter Jurhs, Nampa School District

Paula Kellerer, Nampa School District

Russell Miles, Orofino School District

Simon Miller, Kellogg School District

Andrew Moore, Glenns Ferry School District

Kelley Packer, Association of Idaho Cities

David Roberts, Boise School District

Terry Ryan, Bluum

Robert Sanchez, Idaho Business for Education

Steve Schellenburg, Snake River School District

Michelle VanBeek, Nampa School District
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