COVID-19

A student lays down on a blue carpet writing

Tips for Parents on How to Prepare Their Little Ones for Kindergarten

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by Lindsay Trombly For most families, back to school is top of mind this month, as students and parents prepare to dive back into learning. Last fall, Bluum and Public Impact partnered to curate a list of resources that families may use at home to support young learners—preschool to early elementary—during distance learning, which can still be helpful as students…

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Kids run off the school bus at Future Public School

Bridging the COVID-19 Learning Gap

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by Lindsay Trombly “We Want to Support Families”  Compared to last summer, Idaho Arts Charter School summer programming took a different approach. Last year students attended an art-integrated camp, while this year, the focus is on reading and math for grades K-8.   Lauren DeNinno, Vice Principal of the Secondary Campus and Head Administrator of the summer program, said the Nampa-based public charter school wants to help the kids…

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Monica Harshman stands in front of the stove in the Forge Kitchen

What’s Cookin’ in the Forge Kitchen?

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Idaho public charter school serves 4,000 meals a month by Lindsay Trombly Kitchen Manager and mother of three, Monica Harshman, makes the kitchen the “heart of the home” at Forge International School. She ensures students can access nutritious, consistent meals, and reaches families on a deeper level by battling food insecurity. Harshman said Feeding America projects that 1 in 8…

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Students sit at a graduation ceremony wearing their caps and gowns

Resilience: Lessons from 2021 Idaho Graduates

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by Alan Gottlieb A one-word description emerges after speaking with several 2021 Idaho charter high school graduates about the most unusual conclusion to their secondary school careers: resilience. It would be easy for the class of 2021 to feel a collective sense of self-pity. After all, portions of their junior and senior years were disrupted by a global pandemic that…

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An American flag hangs with the edges torn

United We Stand: Charter School Educators Offer Competing Perspectives on Educating for Citizenship

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by Alan Gottlieb, with Foreword by Terry Ryan Foreword “Good citizenship is when effective citizens do simple but powerful things on a daily basis that keeps our country strong and free.” – Benjamin Franklin As a Boise-based education nonprofit committed to improving opportunities for Idaho’s families and young people Bluum cares deeply about what is taught in our schools, and…

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Second graders create distance between each other

A COVID-19 Education Case Study: Idaho, Local Control and the Pandemic

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by Alan Gottlieb When it comes to reopening schools for in-person learning during the COVID-19 pandemic this school year, Idaho has been a study in contrasts. K-12 students in some remote rural districts have been back full face-to-face, masks optional and social distancing not enforced, since the beginning of the school year. In some more urban areas, older students are…

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Discussion – Creating a New Normal: Post-Covid Assessment and Accountability Possibilities

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If you missed it, you can view a recording here! The cancellation of end-of-year standardized testing in 2020 and concerns about testing in 2021 raise questions about the future of assessment and accountability in a post-Covid “new normal.” Does it make sense to maintain the current assessment and accountability system given the shocks to K–12 education from recent health and…

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Resources for Families with Young Children Learning At Home

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Bluum and Public Impact partnered to curate a list of resources that families may use at home to support young learners—preschool to early elementary—during distance learning. This document compiles online resources, most of which are available at no cost, that address some foundational building blocks of early learning: These resources address five key components of reading: phonemic awareness, phonics, vocabulary,…

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New Resource: The Together Work-From-Home Teacher

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Over the last few months, Bluum helped host nearly 30 Idaho educators as part of Together Teacher courses. The program is designed to help educators build the organizational skills necessary to be great classroom teachers. The course trains educators on how to make the best use of their time by “creating customized organizational systems that hold up to fast-paced, high-volume,…

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Curated School Reopening Resources by National Education Experts

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Bluum and Public Impact partnered to identify how states are addressing school reopenings to inform policymakers and school leaders in Idaho. This document collects our findings to key questions based on a review of national media, third party reports, and a select number of state plans (Nevada, Utah, Texas, North Carolina, Colorado, and Indiana). State and district reopening plans are…

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