On Innovation…


The theme of the Krew Communication for this week is Innovation. At our upcoming district meeting, I will talk at more about the term innovation, and its relationship to change. However today, I want to focus my message on the need to collectively view possible changes associated with Covid-19 as opportunities to build upon the obstacles that we may face in the months ahead. Thinking about change as an opportunity to reflect on our current practices, to seek improvement in areas of need while codifying those many areas of strength, will be the core principle and message of the 2020-2021 school year. To do that, we will need exceptional cooperation and effective communication in all directions in order for our students to thrive.

Please take a moment and read this article from Tara Garcia Mathewson (The Hechinger Report) on April 23, 2020, titled Coronavirus opens doors to rethinking education

The coronavirus is wreaking havoc on the U.S. education system, but many educators are finding a silver lining in its potential to be just destructive enough to prompt change for the better.” – T. Mathewson 2020

Innovations to Instruction

As you may have read earlier, Kamiah schools have adopted the Schoology Learning Management System (LMS). The LMS is closely integrated with our Student Information System (SIS) PowerSchool and is also the interface used by our learning partner Idaho Digital Learning Academy (IDLA). As a result, it was a natural choice to adopt the Schoology LMS as a tool that will prove instrumental in multiple areas of teaching and learning. 

First, the LMS will be the backbone of our logistical collection of personnel items throughout the school year. Teachers, Teacher Partners, and Staff will interface as end-users to submit personnel-related information ranging from SafeSchools certificates to Class Syllabi. Staff will be exposed to Schoology both as a facilitator and end-user to better understand its functionality. 

In Level 1, teachers will be asked to introduce Schoology to students in the preparation for potential scenarios causing students to learn remotely. This initial introduction will provide opportunities for teachers and students to work alongside one another to submit online assignments, participate in asynchronous discussion boards, and be assessed remotely. This practice will ensure that students will be prepared to continue learning and receive high-quality instruction from our exceptional teachers if our district is required to move to Level 2 or Level 3 on our Return To Learn plan. Teachers in our primary program grades K-3 will have the opportunity to utilize ClassDojo as a part of their instructional program for ease of use and familiarity. 

Return To Learn Reopening Plan

We are currently operating in Level 1 of the District Adopted Return-To-Learn Plan. We hope to see the NorthCentral District Health (NCDH) roll out their website which will drill down to identify the 7 day rolling average of positive cases for our county. That information should be released soon and once it is, I will be sure to release it. 


This week, I want to personally offer on behalf of KSD a thank you to three individuals that have been and will continue to be the backbone of our school district. I want to thank Ms. Musgrave, Ms. Jacobs, and Ms. Skinner for their commitment to our students. Thank you for your work this summer and through registration.  I wish I could more adequately articulate my respect for all school secretaries. In my experience, I have rarely found more committed, hardworking, and passionate advocates for our students. These three are integral to our school system. They are the face and voice of our institutions. More than any other individual, they play a significant role in sustaining a positive building culture, characterized by respect, compassion, and integrity. These three people have a special place in our collective hearts. When you see them, please thank them for all that they do. They represent the foundation of our school and for that I thank them. 

Have a great weekend! 

Very Best, 

Dr. Merril