Innovative Ideas

Logan Waetje

Idaho New School Fellow Will “Elevate” Career-Tech Education in Southeast Idaho

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by Lindsay Trombly Idaho Falls educator Logan Waetje will become the 20th Bluum Idaho New School Fellow when he starts his Fellowship in early July to work with the Elevate Academy team in launching a school in 2023. “I see a school in Idaho Falls that serves the underserved. I’ll bring the energy, and the enthusiasm, the support… I love…

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Children in a kindergarten class smile at the camera at Gem Prep in Nampa

Free, All-Day Kindergarten Provided to 17 Idaho Schools

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News Coverage: Free all-day kindergarten provided to over 1,000 Idaho kids Idaho foundation funds all-day kindergarten in 17 Idaho schools Press Release, 5/27/2021 | Download The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation is fully funding all-day kindergarten for more than 1,000 students in the Bluum network of public charter and private schools. Students who attend all-day kindergarten have been shown…

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Kurt Kargou

Kurt Kargou Continues His Impact on Schools Through a Financial Leadership

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This content was originally included in Teach For America, Idaho’s newsletter Kurt Kargou was lured to Idaho by a fellow 2013 Teach for America (TFA) Corps member in Houston, Brad Petersen, who moved to the Gem State to open Future Public School, a Garden City-based charter school. After his corps service, Kurt had developed school finance expertise by working in…

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An American flag hangs with the edges torn

Civics & Citizenship in American Schools: Teaching Citizens & School Profiles

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Teaching Citizens & School Profiles by Alan Gottlieb Bluum interviewed educators from four very different public charter school networks to get a sense of how they approach teaching civics and history. Those approaches varied significantly, from Democracy Prep’s action-oriented curriculum with an emphasis on real-life experience and current events, to Great Hearts’ close study of American history source material and…

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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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Kids who attend Upper Carmen Public Charter School stand outside the school

Local author produces a reading series

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by Sue Smith, Upper Carmen Charter School  Sue Smith, long time educator, has just published the fifth book in a five-book series.  This series of books is used to teach very young, deaf, dyslexic, learning delayed, and English as a second language students how to read. She developed this reading program over a period of thirty years, based largely on…

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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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Kids stand outside by the playground at Rolling Hills Public Charter School

Everything is FRAGILE

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Handle with Care Shane Pratt is a veteran educator in Idaho’s Treasure Valley, who recently shared this insight on navigating the effects of COVID-19 with his team of educators.  by Shane Pratt, Principal of Rolling Hills Public Charter School  With the lingering stresses of the pandemic and the consistent issues of life that present themselves, I cannot help but find…

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Students at Mosaic hold snacks

MOSAICS Public School Donates Over 1,200 Pounds of Food

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Student Council Seeks to Support Their Community MOSAICS Public School, a new STEAM charter school in Caldwell, has a mission to create community stewards. The student council at MOSAICS takes this mission seriously. This past holiday season, the council organized a food drive and set a goal of donating 750 pounds of canned goods to the Salvation Army. After just…

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Three people sitting in front of a window

Cardinal Academy is Tailored to Educate Parenting Teens

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Powerful partnership with The Salvation Army builds on rich history by Alan Gottlieb  Cardinal Academy, a new public charter high school for pregnant and parenting students opening this fall, offers a powerful example of how charter schools can fill voids school districts are unable or unwilling to fill themselves.  In the case of Cardinal Academy, the void was created when…

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