Home Based Learning Information

Home Based Learning

This page will contain information, updates, and resources for parents and students during our home based learning phase.  Please check here for information prior to calling the schools for information as many of your questions can be answered by the information on this page.

UPDATE May 16th 2020 En Espanol

Preston School District Parents,

We are rapidly approaching the end of the school year and once more I would like to express my appreciation to you as parents, our students, and our teachers and staff, for all the ways which each of you stepped up to the challenge that we faced.  I know it was not easy and it was not always fun, but I appreciate that you did not back down from the challenge.

As we move into our last week there are just a few announcements I would like to share.

  1. Laptop Dropoff

If you received a laptop from the school district at some point this spring we need those laptops to be returned.

The laptops can be returned to Preston Jr. High, in the front doors, Monday through Wednesday (May 18th – 20th) from 8:00 to Noon.

The laptops need to come charged.

They will need to be turned on at the time they are turned in.

Please remember the charging cable.

  1. Preston High School Graduation

Preston High School Graduation will be held on May 21st.Only graduates and a small group will be able to attend and graduates have been notified of the process.For those that would like to watch, the event will be live-streamed by KACH.Time and link for watching will be added here on the website next week.

Following the graduation the graduates will have a parade down main street starting at 7:00 pm and we would like to encourage the community to come out and park on main street and cheer/honk your support and congratulations to the graduates.The route of the parade will also be added to our website next week.

  1.  Franklin County High School Graduation

Franklin County High School Graduation will be the same as that of Preston High School and will occur right after Preston High School is done.  They will also participate in the parade.

  1.  Each of your students should have received, or will receive, information from their school or teacher about closing out the school year (returning books, picking up supplies, etc).  If you have not received that information by Monday, please contact your student’s schools.

Once again thank you all for your efforts and sticking through the process for the last 2 months!


UPDATE 4-30-2020  En Espanol

Preston School District Parents and Students:

Yesterday we (two board members and I) met with local and regional health officials to ask what we could do to come back to school.  We felt that it was our duty to know how to come back, and pursue coming back if we could do so safely.  After the conversation it was clear that there was not a reasonable path back that would be accepted by the health officials and so we as a district will remain in soft closure until the end of the 2019-2020 academic school year.

What that means for us now is that we will continue to pursue home-based learning until the end of the school year. 

Here are a couple of key points:

  1.  Home-Based Learning will continue for all schools until May 14th.  No assignments should have a due date after May 14th. The last week (May 18th-21st) will be used for any make-up that needs to be completed. (Dual-Credit Courses may have different arrangements as determined by the sponsoring university) 

***Franklin County High School students will have a different plan for the final block.  Please watch for information from your teachers and Mrs. Russom.***

  1. Schools will also use the final week (May 18-21) to arrange small groups to return to school voluntarily for end of year matters assuming the state has moved to the 2nd Stage outlined by the governor. Specifics for the last week will be delivered at a later date.
  2. We have worked with the local health department to identify methods of bringing smaller groups of students (2 to 3 at a time) in for specialized instruction.  This is allowed for in the State Board of Education's recent decision regarding the soft closure of schools.  As a district we have allowed some specific areas to come in for small group instruction, primarily in the special education courses.  However, we recognize there may be other situations where teachers and students may be willing and able to participate with instruction in specialized courses that cannot be done in a home-based setting.  As we move to expand this offering slightly in the district we will establish a maximum number of students allowed in a classroom as well as the maximum number of students allowed in a building. As there will still be limitations, these options will not be required for students.  Teachers will contact students if this will be arranged for their course.
  3.  Plans for graduation are ongoing.  We had a slight problem in reaching all seniors and their parents with some surveys and have rectified the problem, but we plan to make decisions surrounding graduation for seniors on Monday (May 4th) to give some time for all seniors and their parents to share their thoughts.  We will communicate those plans on Monday next week.

I would like to add how much I appreciate your patience and understanding throughout this situation.  Everything has not gone as many of us would have liked or hoped, but I appreciate each of you making the best of a difficult situation. Continue to feel free to contact me if you have questions or concerns.

Mr. Gee

UPDATE 4-17-2020 (7:35 PM) En Espanol

Preston School District Parents and Students

I wanted to update you as to the process the board will be taking in making decisions regarding whether we will be returning to a normal school schedule or not.

As many are aware, earlier this month the Idaho State School Board decided to close all school's until the end of the school year, while still giving schools the opportunity to come back, if they were to meet a series of criteria.  While they did not give the criteria at the time, this morning (Thursday), the state board finalized those criteria. 

The first criteria includes wording that prohibits schools from returning if there is a stay-at-home order in place.  Wednesday, Governor Little announced that he would be extending the stay-at-home order until April 30th.  As such, there is no decision that can be made until that time.  Our board has determined that prior to April 30th members of the board and superintendent will meet with our local medical professionals and regional health department officials to determine if conditions are appropriate to safely return to normal operations in our schools. 

As such, home based learning will continue through April 30th at which point we will assess the situation and the information available to make a determination for the remainder of the school year.  Thank you for your continued perseverance and patience in trying times.  We truly appreciate being a part of a community that can come together to help during a crisis.

UPDATE 4-9-2020 (2:00 pm) En Espanol

School Laptop Needs

The Preston School District Help Center can still be accessed from 8:00 am to 1:00 pm, Monday through Thursday, by calling (208) 240-6963 or emailing psd@psd201.org.  All laptop exchange and pickup will occur at the district office (105 E 2nd S) from 8:00 to noon.  Families coming for an extra laptop should come during that time frame.  To exchange a laptop that is not functioning correctly, please be sure to call the Help Center first.  They will give instructions for how to get the laptop exchanged.

State School Board Decisions
On Monday afternoon the state school board met and chose to close schools until the end of the school year.  However, they have provided schools with options for returning if they meet specific criteria.  Those criteria will not be determined until Monday, April 13th.  

When the criteria for returning to school are set and all necessary information is gathered, the district school board members will, working directly with FCMC and the local public health department, make the decision surrounding when students should return to school.

Hotspot Access for non-school devices at PSD Hot Spots (not necessary for Direct spots)

Below are two zip files with programs to allow your non-school devices to connect to PSD Hot Spots.  For windows devices follow the instructions below.  For Mac devices you will need to follow instructions specifically for your machine.

Windows Zip File (RootCAInstaller)         Mac Zip File (root_authority)

Windows Instructions

1.  Click on zip file, look for the file wherever downloads go on your computer.

2.  Open the folder and extract the file (usually by double clicking on the file)

3.  Click on RootCAInstaller

4.  You will be asked, "Do you want to allow this app from an unknown publisher to make changes to your device"  Click Yes.

5.  Click "Next"

6.   Click "I Agree" (If you use Firefox add a check in the box "add to firefox"after this step)

7. Click on Install

8.  Click Next and then click on Finish.

If you have issues please contact our help line at (208) 240-6963 or email psd@psd201.org.  Available 8 am through 1 pm.

Hotspot Updates (April 2, 2020, 4:00 pm) (en espanol)

As indicated yesterday, four internet hot spots have been established for those that have trouble accessing the internet in their homes.  These spots have been developed by Preston School District and Direct Communications.  Below is access and location information for each hotspot.

As you access these hotspots please follow legal parking restrictions.  Please don’t block entrances to private homes or businesses. At the spot near Canyon Creek Dental, please do not park in their parking lot during business hours (Mon-Thus 8-5, and Fri 8-2). 

Many local organizations and businesses have been happy to help and serve during this challenging time for our community.  Please be sure to be considerate of their service and keep their areas clean. This includes at our lunch delivery locations.  Please do not leave trash and other items on the organizations’ property out of appreciation for their willingness to allow school patrons to use these areas.

Direct Communication Hot Spots

Between Canyon Creek Dental (395 E 600 S, Preston, ID) and the Preston School District Bus Garage (indicated in the green arrow below)

Hot spot location near Canyon Creek Dental

East of Big Js (at about 35 E 2nd N, Preston, ID) image below.

Hotspot East of Big Js.

Access for both Direct locations:  SSID:  DirectcomSchool  Key: doyourhomework

Preston School District Hot Spot Locations

Student Parking Lot at Preston High School (Near Pizza Stop).

Parking Lot in Front of Oakwood and Pioneer Elementary Schools. 

Access for both school locations:  SSID:  PSD201  Key:  WiFi@PSD201 (case sensitive)

Currently the school sites are only set for school devices, however, in the coming days we will provide instructions for using the hotspot for any device.

Home Based Learning UPDATE (6:30 pm, April 1st)

Reminder:  Tomorrow (Thursday), parents and students can pick up an additional computer for their home based learning from the school.  This will happen at Oakwood Elementary and will run from 8:00 am through 12:00 pm.  If you cannot make that time fit please make arrangements for another time by calling Oakwood at (208) 852-2233.

6th Grade Laptops can be picked up at the Jr. High between 8 am and 1 pm.  

PSD Technology Help Line:  (208) 240-6963 or email psd@psd201.org.  Available 8 am through 1 pm.

Hot spots will be made available for internet use by Preston School District and Direct Communication. There will be a total of four locations available.  Those locations and connection information will be sent out tomorrow.  

Thanks to all that have made our computer distribution, school lunches, and online curriculum possible over the last several weeks!

Computer Pickup UPDATE (8:14 am, April 1st)

Kindergarten through 4th Grade CAN pickup computers today.  However, if 5th through 12th grade students will be using the computer they will need their username and password. K-4 will not need a username and password.


We are excited for this endeavor of distributing hundreds of computers to families today.  I'd like to give a big shout out to Steve Crookston, TJ Burbank, and all others who have worked endless hours to get this ready.

A couple of instructions for you as you come to make it run smoothly.

The most important thing you need to know is that if 5th grade through 12th grade students will be using the computer at home, you will need to have the student come with you to log on, or you will need to have their log in information (username and password).  

When you arrive at Oakwood, please come in the front doors and proceed to the gymnasium.  There you will be handed a short form to fill out, a computer, and instructions for logging in there.  

Computers have been sanitized. Families will be kept at appropriate social distance and tables will be sanitized between each family.  School staff will be present to answer questions.

Thank you for your patience.

Mr. Gee

UPDATE—Home Based Learning  (3-31-2020, 5:00 pm)

Just two updates today:

  1.  Computer Distribution:  There were some issues today with sixth grade laptops.  We have plans for correcting those issues and parents of sixth grade students will receive information today on how to correct those issues.

At this point, we anticipate that we will be able to distribute computer devices at Oakwood tomorrow on the schedule provided below (yesterday's announcement).

  1. Learning Materials and Assignments:  As we have sent out assignments for students, many have shared their appreciation for the teachers efforts, but have felt overwhelmed with the number of assignments for a family, the time required to complete assignments, and the amount of computer time required.

We are aware of these concerns and are currently working with teachers to establish appropriate levels of work for students during this time where many have limited time and technology resources to complete the assignments.  This will be a balancing act that we will continue to try to provide meaningful activities and be understanding of the situations families find themselves in.  Again, teachers have been asked to be flexible in these first days with due dates and expectations while families work things out.

Please look at how things are going in your household after this first week, and if there are continued concerns, reach out to your teacher and principals.

UPDATE Home Based Learning (Monday March 30th, 5:00 PM)  (En Espanol)

Food Service

Thanks for those that participated today.  We feel it went well.  If you have concerns, please contact Candy Longhurst, candy.longhurst@psd201.org.

Here are a couple of updates:

  • There are lines on the sidewalk at the high school to help maintain social distancing requirements.
  • Doors at the high school will close at noon, so please be early.  Busses will also leave their locations at noon.
  • A parent or one child can pick up lunches for multiple children.  Please remember that these lunches are for children ages 1 to 18 only.
  • Any student can pick up a lunch at any location. See Locations Below.

Laptop Loaning and Pickup

IMPORTANT:  We have hit a couple of logistical snags and will need to push the laptop pickup back one day.  So the schedule will be the same, but pushed back one day.

Wednesday, April 1st from 8:00 am until 10:00 am—Families with no devices in their homes.

Wednesday, April 1st from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm—Families receiving one device

Thursday, April 2nd from 8:00 until 12:00 – Second device for a family delivered (if available)

Teachers will be made aware of this change and flexibility will be given for assignment due dates.

Sixth Grade students can still pick up their laptop tomorrow (Tuesday) from 8:00 to 3:00.

We are evaluating other aspects of our home-based learning plans and will make further adjustments as necessary. 


HOME BASED LEARNING INFORMATION BASICS  (Updated 3-27-2020 @ 2:00 pm) (En Espanol)

Since we closed schools on March 17th, the state board has closed all schools in the state through April 20th and Governor Little has instructed all to stay at home except those industries and businesses considered essential.  Schools fit within the essential model but have been asked to conduct what they call a “soft closure”.  This means, that while we will not be holding classes in our buildings, we will be providing students with an educational experience through a home-based learning process. 

Emails, our website, Facebook pages, etc., starting Friday the 27th will have essential information for parents and students about what the home-based learning process will look like and what they can expect from district staff and what district staff will expect from students. 

In preparation for at-home learning starting Monday March 30th, we have put this information together for parents and students.

Home-Based Learning

We anticipate that this will cause varying levels of stress for families throughout the district depending on a wide variety of factors.  As a district we are doing our best to prepare for this new instructional method.  Many of our teachers have experience teaching in an online or home-based instructional method and they are mentoring the teachers that have not had as much experience.  We are asking our teachers to be patient and understanding with families as they sort through this process and would request the same from parents and students as we work through the process.

Initial Contact: Each student should receive a contact from their teacher by the end of the day on Monday, March 30th.  For older students (6th grade and up) this will happen through their school email accounts.  Parents should be copied on those emails.  For the younger students it may come to you as parents in an email or a phone call from the teacher.

Virtual Office Hours:  Each teacher will establish virtual office hours where parents and students can expect relatively prompt replies to emails or phone calls.  Teachers will also be available for one-on-one (via phone or videoconferencing) help by appointment between the hours of 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, Monday through Thursday.

Instruction:  Instruction will be varied, however, for older students most of the material will be delivered through Canvas or Teams.  Younger students will be primarily through iStation, Gooru, or Pearson Online.  Parents should receive access instructions for each of these.   

Instruction will focus on the essential principles for each subject area and will not be a full copy of what happens in a face-to-face classroom.

If a teacher conducts a live session via video conferencing.  Students can log in for the specific time, but the video will be archived and students who cannot work that schedule in at home can watch the session later.

Families without Internet:  The district continues to work with internet providers to find options for families.  Several companies have offered free services and that list will be attached on the website.  We are also looking for options with Direct Communications to set up hotspots throughout the district.  We will forward information if we are able to get those set up.

In the meantime, if students do not have access to internet, please contact your teachers and they will each develop the best method for getting that information to you.  If you cannot reach your teachers, please contact your principal.

Laptop Loaning and Pickup:  The school district technology department has been working round the clock with extra employees coming in temporarily to get our laptops ready to loan out to parents.  We will loan the device to parents at no cost.  However, parents will need to agree to split the cost, 50/50, for repairs or replacement of laptops that are damaged. 

The laptops (except for 6th graders) will be distributed from Oakwood Elementary on Tuesday, March 31st and Wednesday, April 1st.   Laptops will be delivered to your vehicles and a short form will need to be filled out.  District employees will help with this process at your vehicles.  No parents or students will come in the building to help keep appropriate social distancing. Laptops are being cleaned and sanitized prior to being delivered to parents.

Priority will be given to families that do not have access to any computer device in their home.  After that we will only deliver one device to each home to start with to ensure that everyone is able to get at least one, before multiple laptops are delivered.

Tuesday, March 31st from 8:00 am until 10:00 am—Families with no devices in their homes.

Tuesday, March 31st from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm—Families receiving one device

Wednesday, April 1st from 8:00 until 12:00 – Second device for a family delivered (if available)

6th Grade—Tuesday, March 31st from 8:00 am until 3:00 pm at the front door of Preston Jr. High.  If you are not able to pick up the laptop on this day please contact the Jr. High to set an appointment.

Questions on this process can be directed to Kaylynn Hamblin at Oakwood Elementary at Kaylynn.hamblin@psd201.org or calling 208-852-2233.

Technology Help Center:  Preston School District will provide a Technology Help Center for parents as we start into home-based learning.  This help center will focus on how to access specific programs and troubleshooting issues with laptops provided by the district.  The help center can be contacted between 8:00 am and 1:00 pm each day Monday through Thursday.  However, hours may be modified depending on the volume of calls that are made.  The Preston School District Help Center can be accessed by calling (208) 240-6963 or emailing psd@psd201.org.  Questions about the help center can be directed to Clint Peery at clint.peery@psd201.org.  The Technology Help Center’s first day will be Tuesday, March 31st

Grab-and-Go Lunch

The Preston School District will be implementing grab and go lunches starting Monday

March 30th, until we return to school. Lunches will be provided Monday-Thursday and are free to all children ages 1-18, not just students who qualify for the free and reduced lunch program. Please be aware that this program is for children only and there will be no adult lunches available.

High School lunch site – Lunch will be served from 11am to noon. Lunches will be handed out at the North cafeteria door by the new gym. Students will grab their lunches and exit up the ramp and down the stairs and go home. No one is allowed in the building and bathroom facilities will not be available.  To maintain social distancing students will be required to maintain six feet between one another.  Marks on the ground will be made to help guide students. 

Bus lunch stops – To accommodate rural families, we will be busing lunches to the following sites:

  • Franklin Stake center parking lot -106 E. Main Franklin
  • Cub River LDS church parking lot -5307 E. Cub River Rd
  • Whitney LDS church parking lot -1444 S. 1600 E.
  • Fairview LDS church parking lot -165 W. 4800 S.
  • Winder LDS church parking lot -4400 N. 1600 W.
  • Riverdale LDS church parking lot -3562 N. 1600 E.
  • Mink Creek LDS church parking lot -7316 N. Capitol hill Rd.
  • Sunrise Mobile Home—Sunrise Drive off State Street.

Buses will leave Oakwood elementary at 11am and should be at each site between 11:30-noon

Unfortunately, there are no special lunch options available such as gluten free.

Questions on the lunch program can be directed to Candy Longhurst, candy.longhurst@psd201.org.

Counselor Support

Preston School District will continue to provide counselor support throughout the closure.  Students in need of academic or social counseling should contact the counselors for their schools directly.  If a teacher recognizes a need for counseling with any of their students they may refer the student to counselors and the counselors will make contact with students and/or parents as appropriate.  Counseling activities will certainly take place in a different medium than normal, but the manner of contact will be the responsibility of the counselors and students/parents involved.


Preston and Franklin High School Counselors

Carrie Sanders—carrie.sanders@psd201.org

Jennifer Gardner—jennifer.gardner@psd201.org

Preston Jr. High Counselor

Don Woodward—don.woodward@psd201.org

Oakwood Elementary Counselor

Ashley Geary—ashley.geary@psd201.org

Pioneer Elementary Counselor

Janell Royle—janell.royle@psd201.or

Senior Projects

As a part of the Idaho State Board of Education’s decision to close schools until April 20th, they also waived the requirement for the senior project for seniors this school year.  For some students this will be a benefit because to finish their project requires access to resources that may not be available in the current community situation. However, recognizing that many students have put in a significant amount of work on their projects and would like the chance to finish and have the project on their transcript we are giving the choice to students of whether or not they would like to complete the senior project.

  1.  Students will choose if they want to proceed with their senior project.  If they choose to complete they will need to contact Mr. Sessions at jeff.sessions@psd201.org.
  2. Students who choose not to complete their project will not have any indication on their transcript.
  3. Students who choose to complete the project will have individual communication with Mr. Sessions or Mrs. Swainston about specifics of what they need to do to complete the project.  The projects will be scaled back as necessary and appropriate.
  4. For the presentation students will do a scaled back version at home and send the video to Mr. Sessions.
  5. For students who choose to complete the project, the grade will be a letter grade and listed on their transcript.