Idaho New School Fellowship

Seeking Ambitious Ed Entrepreneurs

The Idaho New School Fellowship targets Idaho’s neediest students (those attending schools with 70 percent or greater free and reduced price lunch rates) by providing educational leaders with the advanced leadership training and local expertise needed to launch a successful school. Idaho New School Fellows are empowered to plan, develop and launch a high-performing public school in an underserved Idaho community. Bluum and the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) are partnering to offer a highly-selective, paid, two-year experience that includes full participation in the KIPP Fisher Fellowship. Fellows will be part of a national KIPP cohort of school leaders, and participate in Idaho specific training related to financial management, community engagement and navigating legal requirements for establishing a new school in the Gem State. New School Fellows are expected to launch gap-closing schools in Idaho’s most underserved communities, and will receive grant support during their start-up phase.

This is an opportunity to be on the front lines of school change and improvement efforts in one of the country’s fastest growing and rapidly changing states. Idaho’s families are increasingly urban, more racially diverse and from lower income households. Education needs to catch up with the changing needs of families. We seek ambitious education pioneers interested in making a difference for an increasingly diverse group of students in one of America’s most beautiful and naturally wild states.

Idaho New School Fellowship will include:

  • Full participation in the best-in-class school leadership development training through the KIPP Fisher Fellowship
  • Idaho specific training on financial management and navigating the legal requirements to open a school in Idaho
  • Hands-on residencies in some of Idaho’s high-performing public charter schools
  • Assistance in developing an effective, innovative and financially viable public charter school
  • Start-up funding to launch an approved new charter school model
  • Access to school facilities experts Building Hope, and talent experts Teach for America Idaho

The Idaho New School Fellowship is for educators who are passionate about improving the prospects of children and have at least four years of teaching experience.  The strongest candidates will possess a coherent instructional vision of what a high-performing school looks like. Candidates should have extensive experience in leading, motivating and developing adults, a deep commitment to serving all children, and meet the rigorous selection criteria for the KIPP Fisher Fellowship.

The characteristics for those who will make a successful candidate include:

  • A deep belief that all children, no matter their personal backgrounds or previous educational experience, can learn and become productive citizens;
  • Demonstrated leadership in education or other relevant fields of human development;
  • Proven achievement in academic, professional, community, and/or voluntary settings;
  • Fortitude and integrity when the going gets tough;
  • Evidence of staying true to a cause and reaching the toughest goals;
  • Exceptional critical thinking skills, including the ability to find solutions to what others consider insoluble problems;
  • Ability to organize others to get things done;
  • Interpersonal skills necessary to motivate others to follow;
  • Passion to thrive in a new environment with challenging opportunities;
  • Operate well outside of own comfort zone; and
  • Respect for others.

Applications are now closed for the 2016 Idaho New School Fellowship. Materials for the 2017 Fellowship will be available in Spring 2016.

Idaho is the 6th fastest growing state in the country, and is annually rated one of the best places to live in America. Its population of 1.6 million is rapidly becoming more diverse. But to maintain its status as a top place to live education will have to improve. Less than half of all Idaho students are proficient in reading and math and less than a quarter of adults in the state have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Looking more closely at the student population, there’s a disparity in the performance of low-income and Hispanic students across the state.

Idaho was built on the values of choice, resilience, the ability to think independently, and on the frontier spirit of pioneers who are committed to building a future that is better and very different to the past. Idaho is an American jewel in need of top talent willing to lead schools and educate students to the highest levels possible.

Meet The 2016 Fellows

brad-2016-squareBrad Petersen

Brad Petersen taught and designed curriculum for KIPP Houston Public Schools from 2013-16. Brad graduated magna cum laude from Brigham Young University-Idaho in 2012, speaks fluent Spanish, and started teaching as a Teach For America corps member in 2013. He founded and ran an after-school computer science club in partnership with Google, and also co-founded and led a technology startup focused on empowering student voice. Brad recently competed for, and won, a highly competitive new school development grant from 4.0 Schools. This ‘Tiny Fellowship’ will support the planning and launch of an after-school computer science program in a Treasure Valley community. Brad is committed to starting a high-performing elementary school in an underserved region of the Boise area. His school will have a STEM focus and prepare students for the finest secondary schools, universities and careers by offering a personalized, technology-enthused curriculum for each student.

Amanda Cox

Amanda Cox is a first generation college graduate and native of the Northwest. In 2007, she began her career in education as a Teach For America corps member. She spent four years teaching in rural North Carolina. Amanda is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians and currently serves on the national advisory council for the Native Alliance Initiative. Amanda served as a Director of Teacher Leadership Development for TFA South Carolina. Amanda graduated from Whitworth College with a B.A. in Sociology, with an emphasis in Social and Cultural Analysis, as well as an Ed. M in Prevention Science and Practice from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Amanda plans to use her expertise to open and run a college preparatory school for currently underserved elementary students with a focus on service, design-thinking, and personalized learning.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is Bluum?

    Bluum is a non-profit organization committed to ensuring Idaho’s children reach their fullest potential by cultivating great leaders and innovative schools. Bluum believes that school choice helps families, children and educators achieve more and do better. Bluum works to help Idaho become a national model for how to maximize learning opportunities for children and families.

  • Why Idaho?

    Idaho is the 6th fastest growing state in the country, and is annually rated one of the best places to live in America. Its population of 1.6 million is rapidly becoming more diverse. But to maintain its status as a top place to live education will have to improve. Less than half of all Idaho students are proficient in reading and math and less than a quarter of adults in the state have a bachelor’s degree or higher. Looking more closely at the student population, there’s a disparity in the performance of low-income and Hispanic students across the state. These statistics only begin to highlight the inequity that exists throughout the state, which since 2007 has ranked last in the country for average annual wage, per-capita income and wage increases.

    Idaho was built on the values of choice, resilience, the ability to think independently, and on the frontier spirit of pioneers who are committed to building a future that is better and very different to the past. Idaho is an American jewel in need of top talent willing to lead schools and educate students to the highest levels possible.

  • Why invest in school leaders?

    According to the Stanford education economist Eric Hanushek, “highly effective principals raise the achievement of a typical student in their schools by between two and seven months of learning in a single school year; ineffective principals lower achievement by the same amount.” School leaders are key to improving education for Idaho’s children.

  • Who is eligible to apply?

    Educators who are passionate about improving the prospects of children. Specifically, we are looking for highly successful educators with at least four years of teaching experience and demonstrable evidence of improving student learning in their classrooms over time, and a commitment to investing themselves in Idaho and its future.

    Applications for the 2017 Idaho New School Fellowship will be available starting in Spring 2016.

  • When does the Idaho New School Fellowship begin and end?

    The selected candidate for the 2016 Idaho New School Fellowship will be notified by early March 2016 and will begin the KIPP Fisher Fellowship portion of the program in May of 2016. This Fellowship will end in June 2018 with the expectation that the Fellow will launch a new school in Idaho in August 2018.

    Applications for the 2017 Idaho New School Fellowship will be available starting in Spring 2016.

  • Where is the Idaho New School Fellowship based?

    The Idaho New School Fellowship is based in Boise, Idaho and will include travel around Idaho and the United States for the KIPP portion of the development program as necessary. A travel stipend will be available to fellows for school visits and other learning opportunities.

  • What support is provided to Idaho New School Fellows after conclusion of the program?

    Bluum will provide ongoing support to the Idaho New School Fellow during the two years of the fellowship and after the new school is launched.

  • What support is made available for opening a new school model?

    If an Idaho New School Fellow is in good standing and receives a charter from the state of Idaho to launch a new school, the J. A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation will consider a multi-year grant to help support the opening of the Fellow’s school.

  • How do I apply for the Idaho New School Fellowship?

    Applications for the 2016 Idaho New School Fellowship are now closed. Application materials for the 2017 Fellowship will be available starting in Spring 2016.

  • If you have other questions?

    Contact Amy Russell, Communications Coordinator at Bluum, at arussell@bluum.org.