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



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.

Safe Routes to School - Put a Little Spring in Your Step:

posted Mar 4, 2018, 4:26 PM by Kelli Knowles


Daylight savings time begins March 11th.  Our days grow lighter longer.  Drivers please pay particular attention for more students walking and biking to and from school.  Dust off the bike helmets and make sure they still fit properly.  Spring bike maintenance ABC’s:  Air up your tires to pressure printed on tire wall, test/adjust your brakes for proper working order, and lubricate the chain.  Most likely, your child has grown since the last bike ride.  The seat position should be set so the extended leg has a slight bend at the knee.  Wear sturdy, closed-toed shoes when biking to school.  Be safe and always wear a helmet & obey the rules of the road.  Be seen and wear light, bright, and reflective clothing at night.  Be smart and use hand signals to show your intentions and ride in a predictable fashion.

Safe Routes to School - Walk for a Happy Heart Tip:

posted Feb 5, 2018, 2:37 PM by Kelli Knowles

February is American Heart Month which is all about adopting a permanent lifestyle change that will make your heart healthy and happy.  “Physical activity doesn't need to be complicated. Something as simple as a daily brisk walk can help you live a healthier life.  For example, regular brisk walking can help you:  maintain a healthy weight, prevent or manage various conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, strengthen your bones, lift your mood, and improve your balance and coordination.  The faster, farther, and more frequently you walk, the greater the benefits (Mayo Clinic 2014).” One of the most important and effective ways to combat heart disease and maintain a healthy lifestyle is through exercise.  Let American Heart Month inspire you to begin walking your child to school each day. Children under 10 yrs old should be accompanied by an adult or someone who will make sure they walk safely.  Teach kids to make eye contact with drivers and focus when walking.

Healthy Snacks Guidelines

posted Jan 29, 2018, 9:43 AM by Kelli Knowles

Dear Kootenai Parents and Families:

In order to follow the regulations set forth by the Lake Pend Oreille School District’s Local School Wellness Policy (LPOSD Board Policy #8200),  Kootenai Elementary is changing our classroom celebration snack requirements, effective immediately.  

While we do encourage families to bring in snacks to share with classrooms to help celebrate holidays and birthdays, we are now requiring that classroom snacks follow the Federal Smart Snacks guidelines.

What are examples of healthy classroom snacks?

Children can be served healthy snacks and celebratory foods in the classroom, such as:

Fresh fruit

Fresh vegetables w/ low fat ranch dip   

Low fat or nonfat yogurt  

String cheese   

Cereal bar  

Cheese cubes  

Fruit muffin  

Whole grain crackers


Cheese Crackers

Whole grain tortilla chips and fresh salsa  


*Please remember that all food items brought to share must be store bought vs. homemade.

Your child’s teacher is also a great resource for verifying if a food item meets the district guidelines. If you are interested in viewing a more extensive list, please visit: http://www.lposd.org/home/departments/child-nutrition-1/wellness-policy

Alternatively, non-food items that can be given to children as part of a celebration including bubbles, stickers, temporary tattoos, erasers, silly straws, etc.

Thank you for your attention to this matter. Please contact us with any questions.

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