Cooperation Needed to Make Coming School Year a Success

Image of Cliff and quote "Coorperation is always more powerful than competition.


The theme of the Krew Communication for this week is Cooperation. Without cooperation, this year will be incredibly challenging. This is going to be a year of firsts, a year of trial-and-error, and a year of frustration as we may navigate in and out of traditional, hybrid, or online learning. One thing for certain, even with all of these complications, we are all in the same boat, and the best way to persevere through these complications is with cooperation.

Cooperation will be something we ask of our staff, our students, and our families. We will do as much as we can to keep learning happening, but it will require great cooperation from our entire community.

Please take a moment and read this great article from Lynda Gratton (Harvard Business Review) about a “Culture of Cooperation

Return To Learn Reopening Plan

At a special board meeting on Monday August 3rd, Kamiah Joint School District Board of Trustees voted to approve the Return To Learn Reopening Plan. In that plan, the board approved the August 31st start of school with face-to-face learning. This is considered Level 1 Normal with Precautions. In Level 1, a number of health and safety precautions will be in place. The building administrators willl continue to develop the operational protocols in the buildings to adhere to the health and safety requirements spelled out in the Return To Learn plan. If you have any questions regarding your individual building, please do not hesitate to contact your building principal. Please understand that we may not have all the answers, but will work to get that information to you as soon as possible.


We have implemented a new protocol to request and communicate the use of facilities in each of the three buildings. We are leveraging google calendar to identify if and when the three common spaces are reserved. Please continue to work with your building principal to request use through a facility use agreement. The form has been modified, but the process remains very similar. Once approved, your event will be listed on the respective calendar.

As we all return to the school buildings, you will notice the great work completed by our internal department heads and also our external vendors (Lawncare and Technology). I will ask that when you are on campus and see an area of concern, please be sure to communicate those concerns directly with your building principal and avoid going directly to our outside vendors or department heads. At times, our outside vendors or department heads are bombarded with requests by staff that may fall outside of the goals of the district. Many of these requests can pull vendors and department heads away from tasks that are scheduled by district administration and incur expense not previously planned. Outside vendors and department heads want to satisfy all these requests, but have been asked to remind staff to communicate with their building principal for those requests.

LMS Learning Management System

As part of the Return To Learn plan, the adoption of a Learning Management System to support all three levels of learning and staff professional development has been initiated. The LMS that has been selected is Schoology. Schoology was selected for a number of reasons, most importantly, it is directly aligned with our current Student Information System PowerSchool. In addition, the Schoology LMS was selected as it is the current system in use by IDLA and many of our students andstaff are familiar with that platform. Schoology will be the primary LMS system for our district. Grades K-3 will utilize the DOJO system as part of their instructional platform. If you have any questions please reach out to me. Much of our fall professional development and bookkeeping items will be launched through the Schoology Staff Classroom. This will provide a hands-on opportunity for you to see Schoology as a user.

We are currently working with IDLA to adopt their digital content for online courses. IDLA is releasing this content at no cost to us at this time.

If you are familiar with Schoology and interested in developing a Schoology-Basic, Schoology-Intermediate, and Schoology-Advanced course please contact me. A stipend will be paid for the development of these training courses.


Henry Bailey is working with building and district department heads to acquire all the necessary PPE for the Return To Learn plan. If you have a specific request that may not be outlined in the RTL plan, please communicate with your building principal. They will then discuss this request with you and then bring that to the attention of Henry and myself.


I want to thank and recognize Peggy Flerchinger and Bill McFall for their work over the course of this summer. Both Peggy and Bill have been on campus, participating in numerous planning meetings, interview committees, and facility discussions even though this is still their summer break. They are putting in the work to ensure we can bring students and staff back in a safe manner. Thank you both for your hard work these past few months.

Have a great weekend!

Very Best,

Dr. Merrill