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 "like" our Facebook page (Kootenai Elementary) 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, contact us with any questions or concerns!

Warmest Regards,

Kelli Knowles



December Reminders!

posted Dec 10, 2018, 1:52 PM by Kelli Knowles

Indoor/Outdoor Recess?

With the cold weather and snow forecast always comes the question from parents as to how it is determined whether or not it will be an indoor recess as opposed to outdoor recess. So, I wanted to take a minute to remind everyone of Kootenai’s policy and procedures when determining whether it will be an indoor or outdoor recess. First of all, I would like to say that we don’t ever make the decision lightly. Also, keep in mind that we are making a decision based on what is best for the majority of the 400+ students at Kootenai Elementary. Lastly, we make the determination based on the assumption that parents ensure that their children come with adequate winter attire – coat (not a hoodie!) and warm shoes/boots for sure; and then preferably gloves, hats, earmuffs, etc.Freezing

Lake Pend Oreille School District has no policy that involves temperature and leaves that determination up to the local schools to make that determination.

At Kootenai, outdoor play is permitted regardless of temperature, when weather conditions are appropriate.Students will remain indoors when the temperature, with the wind chill, falls below 0 degrees Fahrenheit .  Please be sure your child is dressed for the appropriate weather.  

Now, after having considered these guidelines and procedures, one must remember that they are determined with all the students in mind. If you have a student with a specific need or reason that you feel he/she needs to stay inside today, whether it be that you fear she/he may be coming down with something or is recovering from a recent illness, you may send a note with your child requesting him/her to be kept inside for today’s recesses.

Parents~ please be sure to send your children with adequate cold weather/winter attire and we will do our best to ensure that students are safe during recess. If you have any questions that weren’t answered here, please feel free to call or email.

Safe Routes to School - Winter Walking Tips:

Snow is here but walking to school can still be fun!  Plan extra travel time, walk slowly, and be cautious of the ice.  If there is fresh snow on the roadway, there is a potential for ice below the snow.  Wear waterproof boots with good traction, it may also be a good idea to pack an extra pair of socks in case your feet do get wet.   Cars can have difficulty stopping on the ice and slide into pedestrians easier, make sure and wait for a car to pass or stop completely before stepping into the roadway.  Wear reflective clothing so cars can see you from a distance. Also remind your children to stand five giant steps back from the road when waiting for the bus. Take extra precautions to stay safe while you explore winter. Happy Holidays!

Free Community Meals 11/19-11/23

posted Nov 16, 2018, 9:48 AM by Kelli Knowles


New After-School Pick Up Procedures for K-1.

posted Nov 16, 2018, 9:45 AM by Kelli Knowles

We have experienced an increase in the amount of foot traffic at the North end of the building after school, which is causing severe traffic jams and significant safety concerns.  In response, we are implementing a new after-school pick up procedure: effective Monday, November 19th, all students being picked up will exit the building on Hope Street for parent pick up.  Please read the attached document for more information.

Welcome Back!

posted Aug 27, 2018, 2:15 PM by Kelli Knowles

Dear Kootenai Elementary Families:


It is with great pride and enthusiasm that I welcome you to the 2018-2019 school year!


I am elated to work with such a great staff at Kootenai Elementary, as well as partner with our students and you to create a supportive and productive learning environment.  During these next few weeks, and over the course of the coming school year, my hope is that we will work together to provide students at Kootenai Elementary the best possible opportunities to be successful and reach their goals. Please know that my door is always open and I welcome your input. Feel free to stop in or call to make an appointment to discuss any concerns, suggestions, or ideas to help make this year the best year yet!


Our mission at Kootenai is that “In every classroom, every day, for every child we will: inspire deep learning, awaken creativity, and develop leaders.”   In order to support this mission, we ask that students sail to success with our five Pirate P’s:


PROMPT: Be on Time!

POLITE: Respect yourself, your classmates, your teacher and your classroom.

PRODUCTIVE: Stay on task and follow the instructions given to you.

PREPARED: Bring everything you need for the school day.

PATIENT: Wait your turn; listen when someone else is talking.


We will support these expectations both school-wide and within each classroom.   Furthermore, we commit to you that each child who enters our doors will be encouraged and supported in working to his/her full potential academically, socially, and emotionally.  In order to achieve these important goals, we need to work together.  Please help us support your child by:


      Sending your child to school every day on time.

       Make sure your child always gets a full night’s sleep.

       Establish a routine for supporting learning with your child. Give your child a quiet place to read and regular time for completing homework.

      Keep in touch with your teacher via email, phone call, or by sending notes or letters.

      Attend school-wide events, volunteer in your child’s classroom, and attend conferences.

      Celebrate your child’s success by giving verbal praise, no matter how small it may seem. This will keep your child enthusiastic about learning and develop a pride in them for their work.


It does take a village to raise our children; and a very special school like Kootenai Elementary to educate them.  Please know that we welcome your participation, support and efforts: we are in this together!   

Wishing you and your family a wonderful upcoming year of fun and success.


Warmest Regards,




Kelli Knowles


Safe Routes to School-Autumn Walking Safety Tips

posted Jun 1, 2018, 1:21 PM by Kelli Knowles   [ updated Sep 10, 2018, 4:54 AM ]

School is back in session, please drive slow and be cautious for students walking and biking to school. Try and schedule after school family walks to enjoy the fall weather and color changes.  Dress in bright colors, and walk on the road edge facing traffic while walking in areas where sidewalks are not available. A driver may see you, but not react, so wait for vehicles to slow to a stop before crossing at an intersection.  Distracted walking is a major cause of injury or worse, put away all distractions such as cell phones and enjoy one another’s company. Watch, look, listen and BE SEEN when walking. Remember, you are responsible for your safety!

~Walk to School Day is Wednesday October 10~

Be sure to “like” our FaceBook page for safety tips, newsletters, and upcoming events Safe Routes to School Sandpoint Idaho LPOSD 84.  

Safe Routes to School~Summer = Walking & Biking Fun!

posted Jun 1, 2018, 10:07 AM by Kelli Knowles

Summertime fun includes biking and walking to your destination.  Stay safe and active this summer while you follow the rules of the road - as a cyclist and a pedestrian.  Visit the “Safe Routes to School” webpage located under the “Parents” section @ www.lposd.org to find downtown Sandpoint’s designated bike route map. Also be sure to “like” our FaceBook page Safe Routes to School Sandpoint Idaho LPOSD 84. Enjoy this summer exploring safe routes between the library, City Beach, parks, and your other favorite summer hangouts.

Safe Routes Survey

posted May 14, 2018, 8:45 AM by Kelli Knowles


ITD Grant Funded 2017-18


​To remain in compliance for the Safe Routes to School ITD grant, we are required to ask parents to complete the Spring 2018 “Parent Survey for Walking and Biking to School.”  All families are asked to participate. Please complete the survey even if your child does not walk or bike to school. The survey takes about 5-10 minutes to complete.  Your responses will be kept confidential and neither your name nor your child's name will be associated with any results.



Survey opens Monday, May 14th, 2018

and closes Friday, May 25th, 2018.

Instructions to get to each school's survey link:

1) Go to www.lposd.org

2) Select topic "PARENTS & STUDENTS"

3) Select sub-topic "SAFE ROUTES TO SCHOOL" under Parent Resources

4) Click "CLICK HERE FOR PARENT SURVEY"  (highlighted in yellow)

5) Select your child's school

6) You will be linked to the National Safe Routes to School Collection System.

7) Follow screen instructions to complete and submit Parent Survey.  The survey window is open Monday, May 14th, 2018 and closes Friday, May 25th, 2018.

All surveys are submitted anonymously and all comments are reviewed.  ​Thank you in advance for providing important travel data for our local Safe Routes to School program.​


Erin Billings

LPOSD #84’s Local SR2S Coordinator

Safe Routes to School- May is National Bike to School Month!

posted May 8, 2018, 8:15 AM by Kelli Knowles

This year’s National Bike to School Day celebration takes place May 9th, 2018  If you haven’t yet, it’s time to refit your helmet, tune up your bike and take it for a test ride so you can safely participate on Bike to School Day.  We do have some helmets available through Safe Routes to School this year, please send a message on the Safe Routes Face book page or contact the school office.  This year, Safe Routes to School is awarding awesome prizes for students who participate on Bike to School Day and Bike to School Day events. If you cannot ride from your home, you could consider parking a few blocks from the school and ride the rest of the way. Safe Routes to School encourages you to choose riding your bike to school as often as possible.  Be aware of motorists and pedestrians, use proper hand signals, wear brightly colored clothing, and follow the rules of the road.  Safe cycling!


Safe Routes to School now has a Face book page…..Safe Routes to School Sandpoint Idaho LPOSD 84, please like our page to keep up on the latest events and safety tips (it should be easy to find if you search Safe Routes to School Sandpoint….you may have to click on “see all” button). If you have any questions you can also call 208-263-2184 ext. 1124.

Teacher Requests

posted Apr 18, 2018, 12:47 PM by Kelli Knowles

Dear Kootenai Elementary Parents/Guardians,


During the month of May, Kootenai Elementary staff will meet to determine student placements for next school year.  This can be a challenging and complex process as we strive to create balanced and positive classrooms. We take many factors into consideration in an effort to place your student in an optimal learning environment.


We take our classroom placement decisions very seriously and do our best to create classroom communities that promote the growth and development of each student.  Experiences with a variety of teaching styles and classroom environments help develop a student’s ability to apply strategies and adapt to changing situations.  We believe that adaptability is the highest form of functionality and your support for your student and teacher is instrumental in your student's success in any environment.


When assigning students to a specific classroom, student placement is taken seriously and is initiated according to a process involving time and careful thought concerning the best interest of every child in each classroom.  Classrooms are heterogeneously grouped to mirror our society: in order to create balanced classes of students, the following factors are considered: gender; ability levels; student needs; behavior concerns; and special program needs.  Please note that the final decision on all student placements rest with the principal. 


We are very fortunate to have a talented, dedicated, and professional staff that is committed to providing valuable learning experiences for your children. However, if you as a parent or guardian feel strongly about placing your student in a specific teacher’s classroom for the coming school year, please make an appointment as soon as possible to speak directly with Mrs. Knowles regarding your request. 


Thank you again for all you do to support Kootenai School.




Mrs. Kelli Knowles, Principal


posted Mar 16, 2018, 8:50 AM by Kelli Knowles

We are proud to announce that our school was selected to receive funding to support our Fuel Up to Play 60 initiatives, which support for a variety of activities and tools, such as foodservice materials and equipment, nutrition and physical education materials, student and staff incentives, staff development and overall Fuel Up to Play 60 implementation. Our school will be using our funding for a race timing kit and Kitchenaide mixer with attachments.The race timing kit will be used during our Pirate Pie Run 5K in the spring, which will help raise money for our jogging club .

Supported by Dairy West, the National Dairy Council, the USDA and the NFL, the program encourages our students to consume nutrient-rich foods and achieve at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Multiple health organizations and several major corporations are also supporting Fuel Up to Play 60, now in its seventh year.

“Fuel Up to Play 60 has really taken off in Idaho. Over 400 schools have received the FUTP 60 mailing, and wellness champions and students have embraced the program, and these funds will help many of the participating schools to do even more,” said Crystal Wilson, Vice President of Health and Wellness with Dairy West.  

Schools, parents and students can learn more about Fuel Up to Play 60 at www.FuelUpToPlay60.com or visit www.dairywest.com.

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