From the Principal

Welcome to Kootenai Elementary School!!  

Kootenai Elementary Staff and students are working hard every day to build a community that supports each of our students in both a social and academic way.  

I encourage you to read & subscribe to my blog below for the most up-to-date information and happenings regarding our school. 

Please also check out the "Events Calendar" link for a calendar of everything we have going on this month! 

Thanks for stopping by our website, please contact us with any questions or concerns!

Warmest Regards,

Kelli Knowles



Halloween Costume Guidelines

posted Oct 19, 2017, 2:05 PM by Kelli Knowles

Kootenai Elementary students will be permitted to wear costumes to school on October 31st. Please keep in mind the following guidelines:

  • Students may wear Halloween costumes but must be recognizable, i.e. no masks or facial coverings.

  • Face painting is allowed if the student is recognizable and the painting applies to the costume being worn, i.e. whiskers for a cat, nose for a clown.

  • No toy (or real) weapons are allowed at school.

  • Any student wearing a costume must fully prepare before arriving to school. Spray cans, hair coloring, spray string, face painting, etc. will NOT be allowed at school.

  • Parents are encouraged to supervise their child’s costume choice – keeping in mind that ultimately, Kootenai Elementary serves as a safe place for learning every day.

  • If students do wear inappropriate costumes, the administration reserves the right to ask them to change.

  • To ensure the best learning environment for all students, we ask that students do not bring candy to school.  This is especially important to remember following Halloween.

Pick Up and Drop Off Procedures

posted Sep 5, 2017, 4:17 PM by Kelli Knowles

For safety and efficiency, parents are asked to observe the following drop off/pick up locations at Kootenai Elementary:

BEFORE SCHOOL~ STUDENT DROP OFF: Vehicles should pull through the loop on SPRAGUE STREET and drop off students at the main entrance to the school. Please use the parking lot located on 2ND STREET, north of the front entrance, should you need to accompany your child inside. The front parking spaces will be blocked off during morning drop off for the safety of our students.  To avoid driving over sprinkler heads, please DO NOT PARK on the grass strip in the front of the school at any time.

AFTER SCHOOL~ STUDENT PICK UP:  ** No students will be picked up by cars or parents at the front entrance of the building on Sprague Street***

  • KINDERGARTEN AND 1ST GRADE STUDENTS (+older siblings): Use HUMBIRD STREET, turn right onto 2ND STREET, and use the North parking lot to park. Then walk to the North Exit of the school to retrieve your students from the teachers.

  • 2ND-6TH GRADE STUDENTS: Please utilize the pick-up located on Hope Street. Do not exit your vehicle- please drive up and the teachers will send your child to your car when you enter the loop.

  • Any child walking home will exit the building through the North exit (at the end of the 1st grade hallway) and then continue on the sidewalks to the appropriate crosswalks to head home.

  • Any child riding a bike will exit through the front entrance on Sprague Street to retrieve their bike from the bike rack and head home.

  • Students who ride the bus will exit the south end of the building and proceed to the bus loop on Sprague Street by the playground to board his or her bus.

End of the Year Speech

posted Jun 13, 2017, 11:54 AM by Kelli Knowles

Here is my last goodbye to you for the summer, Kootenai Pirates.  

I want to start by thanking a few groups of people:

Parents, I want to thank you for bringing your children to our school and trusting us with them everyday. Most of you did not have a choice, but I hope that if you did, you would have done it the same way.  I especially want to thank you for raising such an amazing group of young people that sit among us today.  Parents being involved in their own child’s life leads them to more opportunities for success; this group of Kootenai kids has shown so many positive qualities and we know this all starts at home.

Staff.  This is not just about our classroom teachers that have taught these students, but it is about the collective effort of ALL of you.  Everyone, from the librarian, parapros, custodians, cafeteria staff, secretaries, and teachers in the school believe in always doing what is best for the students.  Your kindness and caring for students and taking the time to see the positive in each student as whole people and not as numbers on exams is the reason that we have seen these students blossom and continue to grow in so many ways.  Thank you for always caring about our Kootenai kids.

Standing here today, I look back  at where I was just 9 months ago.  Starting in a brand new job with brand new kids that I had yet to get to know, I was scared and wanted to work so hard to support this school and make it even greater than it already was.  To all of you-teachers, staff, parents and students-- you took ME under your wing as soon as I came here and ensured I was always taken care of, too. In my first year as a principal, I wanted to sit back and learn the environment of the school and I was so impressed with all that you did.  As an educator first, we are suppose to be the ones that teach YOU, but in reality, you taught me just as much. You taught me that every single person in our school can be a leader.  You never outright said this to me, but you never had to.  You showed it in your actions everyday.  These lessons you have taught me: being a leader, be willing to take risks, be kind, and be yourself, are lessons that I will continue to do my best to apply in my own career.  Thank you for always greeting me with a smile, high five or hug.  I am so thankful to get to be here each and every day AND I look forward to many, many more!

I am almost finished, I promise...but before you go... I want to make sure I say thank you for all that you have taught me in my first year of principal.  If I can inspire others half as much as you have inspired me, I know I will have been successful.

Congratulations on your school year, be safe this summer, and GO PIRATES!

With Gratitude,

Mrs. Knowles















Summer Reading is Coming!

posted May 22, 2017, 8:30 PM by Kelli Knowles

Please click on the attachment below for more information on our amazing summer reading program at KT! 

Bully Prevention

posted Mar 5, 2017, 11:35 AM by Kelli Knowles

Dear Parent:

Predominately, schools are safe and nurturing places for students, and school leaders and faculty are dedicated to making sure schools remain safe learning environments for all students. However, bullying is a serious issue that every school in the nation faces. Nationwide, research shows that more than half of all school-aged children will be involved in bullying this year as a victim or a perpetrator with many more witnessing bullying acts on a regular basis.

At Kootenai Elementary, we believe in working together with parents to combat bullying. We know this problem isn’t confined to school grounds. Bullying at school affects and is affected by what happens at home between siblings, what happens in the neighborhood, and what happens when kids go online. We must work together to take immediate action, whether a child bullies, is a victim of bullying, or is a witness to bullying.

I encourage you to consult a new, free resource for parents called the Education.com Special Edition on Bullying at School and Online. This resource helps parents take an active role in addressing bullying at school and online. It includes articles, video clips, quizzes, online workshops, community forums and quick-fact lists, all available as a free download by clicking here.

The Special Edition on Bullying at School and Online was created by the American Association of School Administrators, Education.com, a leading website for parents, and Dr. Shelley Hymel and Dr. Susan Swearer, renowned experts on bullying, with corporate sponsorship provided by Symantec, makers of Norton security software.

We are pleased to share this free resource with you as part of our continuing effort to ensure a safe and productive learning environment for your child.

Remember, bullying should not be seen as “kids being kids” or something that students just need to deal with.  Having a safe school experience is something that all students should be able to enjoy. We look forward to partnering with you to make certain our schools are that kind of place!

I also believe that communication is key to our success.  Please contact the appropriate building principal if you have any bullying-related information for us.  If we don't know, we will be unable to take appropriate action.


Kelli Knowles


Up and Coming Events

posted Nov 11, 2016, 1:34 PM by Kelli Knowles

It is hard to believe that we are already looking at the third week of November! Fall is flying by.. and winter is in the air! 
As I reflect on my first quarter as Kootenai's principal, I cannot feel anything more than immense gratitude to be a part of this wonderful school and community. 
I love Kootenai School: the students, staff, and families make coming to work every day a wonderful challenge that is so rewarding to be a part of.

We have a ton of ways for you to come be a part of the amazing activities at our school each day.  Please check the calendar of events for our weekly schedule!  .. this week we have Idaho Family Reading Week;PTA Meeting; Family Fitness Night for 4th, 5th, and 6th Graders, and our 4th-6th Grade Quarter 1 Awards Assembly!  

The Pirate Press

posted Oct 30, 2016, 12:51 PM by Kelli Knowles

Check out this link for our first issue of The Pirate Press... Kootenai's very own student newspaper. 

Fall is Here!

posted Oct 11, 2016, 9:01 AM by Kelli Knowles

All of a sudden, it is the second week of October! Where has the time gone!?  
We have had a busy first month of school at Kootenai.  Teachers are busy teaching- students are busy learning- and we are all working hard to practice our Pirate P's. 

The highlight of my October so far has been Fall Fest.  It was incredible to see all the families enjoying the bounce houses and various booths that Fall Fest had to offer.  I would like to extend heartfelt gratitude to our PTA- we had some tremendous volunteers and countless hours working behind the scenes to make the whole thing a smashing success!  All of the money raised at Fall Fest comes right back to our teachers- they use this money to alleviate the burden of field trip costs- and we could not do what we do without those funds.  Thanks again to all who were involved! I am already counting the days until next year's event. 

We have fun things happening this week as well. Buster the Bus will be here on Thursday presenting bus safety to our Kindergarten- 3rd graders. 

Student Council also began its Socktober donation drive-- all through the month of October, Student Council will be accepting new and gently used socks for all ages.  We will donate the socks to Blue Haven, which is Sandpoint's local transitional housing.  There is a basket in the entryway for sock donations- please drop them off by October 31st! 
Coats for Kids donations are also being accepted through October 31st-  all coats donated stay local! 

Harvest Party and Open House

posted Sep 16, 2016, 3:11 PM by Kelli Knowles

Thank you so much to all parents who attended Open House on Thursday.  We had a great turnout- and it was nice to meet so many parents and grandparents.  One thing I mentioned in my Welcome Message that I want to reiterate here is that our doors are always open for parent feedback and collaboration.  Please know that you are always welcome to call, email, or stop by if you have suggestions or concerns!

I am looking forward to this coming Thursday at Kootenai School-- our current 5th graders will be serving homemade soup that they will make using vegetables harvested from our own school garden!  Thank you to our master gardeners, Mrs. Kemick and the Fuel Up to Play 60 grant/Idaho Dairy Farmers for sponsoring this fun event. 

First Week Success

posted Sep 11, 2016, 7:16 AM by Kelli Knowles

We had a great first week of school at Kootenai Elementary.  Of course there were some bumps as all of us (students, parents, teachers and staff) are moving from "summer mode" back in to the swing of things---some of us for the first time ;)  I still believe each day brought more clarity and settling in.  By Friday,  students were practicing routines and becoming comfortable in their new classrooms. 
I feel so thankful to be at Kootenai School- working with such excellent teachers and staff-- and seeing all the smiling students each day. 
I want to reiterate that we are a TEAM-- from myself, to my staff, to students and their families-- we have to work together to offer our students a wonderful place to learn.  With that said, please reach out to me if you have concerns or feedback!

I hope to see all families at our Welcome to School Night on THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 15TH from 5:00-6:00. Our annual Open House will give students and their families a chance to meet the teachers and see the classrooms in grades 2-6.   After a 5 minute Principal's Welcome in the cafeteria, we will run two, twenty minute classroom sessions, which will give parents a chance to see multiple classrooms throughout the evening.  Stop by the library and cafeteria for some great information as well! 

Have a great week, Pirates!
Mrs. Knowles

1-10 of 13