The Coeur d’Alene School District will reopen a shuttered, 80-year-old elementary school next year to relieve crowding on the fast-growing north end of the district. But an educational emphasis for the school remains up in the air.
The school board voted 3-2 Monday night to again operate Hayden Lake Elementary School as an attendance zone school starting in fall 2017.
It’s the first step in adding classrooms to serve new housing developments springing up on the northwest end of Coeur d’Alene. District leaders also are considering asking voters to approve a bond measure to build another elementary school on the northwest end.
But after a messy series of votes, the board was unable to pick a “program of emphasis” for Hayden Lake. The district’s other 10 elementary schools include a magnet school of science, a magnet school of the arts and humanities, and a STEM Academy emphasizing science, technology, engineering and math.
Trustee Tambra Pickford said she’d like the school itself to choose its focus. But with no staff hired yet, and without families knowing what the school’s specialty will be, the timing could be problematic, trustee Christa Hazel said.
The board considered three program types culled from public and district staff proposals this year. One, the COMPASS Academy, would emphasize computers, robotics and aerospace sciences; one would be centered on fitness, health and an active learning environment; and one would use project-based learning and thinking skills.
But a motion to designate Hayden Lake a magnet school failed Monday, as did a motion to assign the school the COMPASS focus. Board members indicated they would seek more public input in the next few months and settle on a theme next spring.
Hayden Lake, at the corner of Government Way and Hayden Avenue, closed in 2005 after Atlas Elementary School opened in Hayden. The district reopened it as an all-kindergarten school for several years, and it housed the students and staff of Winton Elementary School for the 2014-15 school year while Winton was torn down and rebuilt.
The district in recent years has updated Hayden Lake school, including a new roof, technology and security, and heating/air conditioning system. It’s not yet known how much more must be spent to reopen it next fall.
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