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Superintendent » Parent Newsletter May 2019 English

Parent Newsletter May 2019 English

In this newsletter

  • Connecting parents, students & teachers with school leadership hiring
  • New STEM Diploma & Advanced Diploma in the works
  • Strong connections keep our Career Technical Education programs aligned with industry
  • Jefferson Middle 1 of 10 schools in Idaho awarded Tech Grant
  • Starbase experience on tap for Caldwell fifth graders in 2019-20
  • New charter schools mean adjustments for Caldwell School District
  • Coming soon! Electronic flyers home
Caldwell School District
May 2019


Caldwell School District logo
Caldwell School District mission statement
collage of photos of superintendent with students
Connecting parents, students & teachers with selecting principals

Principals are essential to the success of a school and the school community. The principal cares for each student’s safety and strives to ensure their academic success. S/he also leads the teaching team, connects with parents, and builds support within the community.

After joining the Caldwell School District, I implemented a hiring process that engages all the major stakeholders to participate in the interviews. It is essential that these different representative groups help inform the decision about who will be the best fit to lead the school.

I admit that my favorite representative group is the parents and students team. We ask parents whose children attend the school to participate in the interviews and to submit interview questions for the candidates. Parents are also asked to bring their child with them to the interviews. The children, who are students at the school, are asked to also submit interview questions. Our students’ questions and comments are especially insightful. It is very telling to observe the candidates’ interactions with their potential school community. In a recent panel, a fourth grade student shared why he believed school leaders are important. He stated, “The principal is the teacher’s teacher.”

I appreciate everyone’s engagement in these efforts. It is part of our commitment to involve our families and employees who are impacted by these important decisions. We asked some parents and students to share their thoughts about this process in this short video.

This spring, we have invited representative groups to assist in selecting principals for Lincoln and Lewis & Clark Elementary Schools.

I’m happy to announce that we are recommending Richard Jamison to the Board of Trustees as the new principal of Lincoln Elementary School.  Mr. Jamison has been an instructional coach at Jefferson Middle School for the past six (6) years and has been instrumental in improving student learning. We will begin interviewing for the Lewis & Clark Principalship within the next week.  


Again, I appreciate the time everyone gives to help us select the best leaders for our children, our schools, and our school communities.

graduation cake

New STEM Diploma & Advanced Diploma in the works

Graduation is May 20th.  Caldwell High School will award its first STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) diploma to approximately 20 students. The STEM diploma was created and approved by the Idaho Legislature in 2018.

Caldwell High School will be one of very few high schools to make this opportunity available this year. What is it? Students qualify when, beyond meeting the minimum graduation requirements, they earn additional math, science, engineering, and technology credits. (For more specific details, check with your child’s counselor or with the administration staff at CHS.)

Planning is already under way for next year to offer an Advanced Diploma in order to recognize students who choose to enroll and complete multiple Advanced Placement and/or dual credit classes. There will also be an special CTE diploma for those students who earn Career Technical Education certifications or become a CTE completer. We believe it is important to recognize students who challenge themselves and choose to exceed expectations.

photo of group attending cte lunch

Connections keep our Career Technical Education programs aligned with industry

 In April, three (3) postsecondary representatives, 16 representatives from engineering related businesses, and three (3) government representatives joined with educators and members of the Caldwell Chamber Education Committee. A roundtable discussion was held in an effort to share ideas to more effectively bring educators and industry together in an effort to continue enhancing and improving engineering education for students in the Caldwell and Vallivue School Districts.

Participants visited Dennis Zattiero’s engineering class after the discussion to talk with Mr. Zattiero and his students about the engineering program at Caldwell High School. They also asked students about their future plans. The input from industry participants and the students was very valuable. The industry participants offered a variety of growth opportunities for students and educators such as internships, job shadows, guest speakers, site visits, and curriculum ideas.  

Industry, government and college partners included:

Kurt Gusinow- Micron Technology- Director of R&D Test Engineering

Lloyd Pack- Advantage Consulting Engineers- Consultant

Peter Kushnieruk- Valli Information Systems- Sales and Business Development Manager

Rob Roberts- R&M Steel - Owner

Nancy Roberts- R&M Steel - Owner

Steve Parke- NNU - Engineering Department Head

Tiffany Englar- Southwest Idaho Manufacturer’s Alliance

Dwayne Dayley - Sapphire Metal Finishing - Owner

Al Foy- ON Semiconductor- Computer Integrated Manufacturing Engineer

Craig Graff - Micro 100 Tool Corporation - Vice President of Manufacturing

Tom Weltner - Micro 100 Tool Corporation- Engineering Manager

Dale Hamilton - NNU- Professor of Computer Science

Jeff Wilhite - CWI - Instructor of Machine Tool Technology

Jodi Olson - Hewlett-Packard - Boise Site Program Manager

Angela Ogle - Hewlett-Packard - Manager and Engineer

Kimberly Allan - Hewlett-Packard - Product Development Section Manager and Engineer

John Russ - Idaho Department of Labor - Area Manager, Workforce Field Division

Joseph Mason - House of Design - Process/Business Development Coordinator

Josh Huether  - Plexus - Product Engineering Manager

James Haynes - Power Engineering - Executive Vice President

John McFarlane, Idaho STEM Action Center, MakerMinded Coordinator


Jefferson Middle 1 of 10 schools in Idaho awarded Tech Grant

Next fall, students at Jefferson Middle School will have the opportunity to experience virtual reality coding thanks to a grant recently awarded to the school from the Idaho STEM Action Center.

The purpose of the grant is to teach students coding skills and creating 3-D worlds using the Blocksmith VR platform. Jefferson Middle School's grant application was one of only 10 funded in Idaho. In addition, the school will be using new VR tools to take students on adventures around the world through Google Expeditions.

The grant will help the school expand its STEM programs that have included 3D printers, coding, and other opportunities. JMS teachers explain what students can expect in this short video:

Starbase experience on tap for Caldwell fifth graders in 2019-20

collage of photos

Caldwell School District is expanding its participation with Idaho Starbase in 2019-20. The program offered at Gowen Field provides  innovative hands-on activities in science, technology and mathematics based on the physics of flight. Fifth-grade students experience the application of scientific concepts in a real world setting. National Guard personnel demonstrated the use of science, mathematics, engineering, and technology in their fields of expertise and serve as role models to the attending students. Check out this KIVI story on our Sacajawea Elementary School students recent visit: Learn more at :


New charter schools mean adjustments for Caldwell School District

Next fall, new charter schools are opening in Canyon County. A preliminary report from the State Department of Education indicates about 250 CSD students, mostly in secondary grades, were chosen in lotteries for these schools.

Department staff also shared with us that the experience of other districts with new charters is that many families try the “new” and then decide to return to their traditional community school district or hop to a different charter. This uncertainty makes it a challenge for our district as we prepare our budget for next year since our funding is based on the number of students we serve.  To adjust for the potential impact, we will not fill some teaching positions that have become open due to staff retirements or teachers leaving for other positions. It is possible that we may need to hire teachers this fall after students register for classes.

If you considered a charter or put your student’s name in a charter lottery, I would love to visit with you. I believe our schools are your best choice and would welcome an opportunity to talk with you about your experience. I often find that parents are not aware of the great educational opportunities available in the Caldwell School District.


Peachjar logo


 Coming soon electronic flyers home!

In a few weeks, we will offer a new service to families - electronic flyers sent home via email. The service is called Peachjar and is used by many schools in Idaho. The change means flyers come direct to parents’ inboxes - no more hoping they make it home in a backpack! It allows parents to easily share flyers via social media and control how often they receive these flyers. This video provides details:


Thank you for choosing Caldwell schools!
Dr. N. Shalene French
Caldwell School District Superintendent