Innovative Ideas

Elevate Construction Teacher with Student in the Shop

Help Wanted – Teachers Needed

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New Charter Teacher Certification Empowers Local Educators  by Kristen McCarver  Part of Bluum’s commitment to Idaho’s families is taking risks to develop new approaches, so all Idaho students have access to a great education. During this year’s legislative session, our lawmakers approved one such approach – Idaho’s new Charter School Teacher Certification will empower Idaho charter schools to grow, mentor,…

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A True Original

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Charter School Pioneer Celebrates Retirement by Alan Gottlieb Jackie Collins is retiring at the end of this school year, after leading Idaho Arts Charter School in Nampa since it opened in 2005.  Jackie is one of Idaho’s charter school pioneers, and the K-12 school she has led is the second-largest brick-and-mortar charter school in Idaho, serving some 1,300 students. Almost half…

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Melissa Stevens teaches her English class

Two Journeys, One Destination

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Two alumni return to Compass as teachers by Lindsay Trombly ‘I VALUED WHAT I WAS TAUGHT’ Being a teacher was always in the plan. Melissa Stevens now teaches at Compass Public Charter School in Meridian, and knew her calling ever since her time as a student at Compass. Stevens attended Compass in 2005, when the school first opened, as a third…

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A student and her mom point at the '80 for 80' board

Making Their Mark

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Elevate Academy students make career commitments with support from peers and community partners by Lindsay Trombly Spring has sprung and graduation is right around the corner for the 80 seniors in Elevate Academy’s inaugural graduating class. The school’s ‘80 for 80’ program is designed to prepare students for their next steps beyond graduation; including college, career or military. Earlier this year,…

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“Idaho Students Need Her”

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Internationally-educated student returns to teach in rural Idaho by Lindsay Trombly Ana Earl, Teach For America (TFA) Corps Member and first-year Social Studies Teacher, at Forge International School moved around quite a bit in her youth — living in not just Idaho — but in other countries such as Azerbaijan and England. She said it was hard being the new kid…

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Rob Roberts

Idaho’s “Friend of Education”

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Local business owner creates needed classroom space for students   by Lindsay Trombly Rob Roberts’ dedication to Idaho students began with “just a wild hair” to move from Pennsylvania to Idaho, where he founded R&M Steel in 1969.   Rob Roberts at Western School of Heavy Equipment, Weiser, ID 1968. Photo courtesy of the book “BOISE An Illustrated History” by Merle…

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Bluum Finance Team

Swim Rather Than Sink

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How Bluum’s finance team serves Idaho’s public charter schools by Alan Gottlieb In Idaho and across the country, Bluum is best known for helping launch high quality charter schools, and ensuring that those schools have top-flight leaders and excellent facilities in which to carry out their mission.  Outside of Idaho’s charter school community, however, fewer people are aware of another, no…

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Christmas Trees in front of Washington D.C

“A Sparkle in Their Eye”

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Idaho Arts Public Charter School represents Gem State in The National Christmas Tree: America Celebrates Ornament Display Project   by Lindsay Trombly High school art rooms are usually chaotic and full of energy. Students clan together in groups at tables to chat and kibbitz about their school work, with art supplies scattered about.  But one day, recently, was different at Idaho Arts Public Charter School in Nampa.  Silent anticipation engulfed the classroom.  Students sat arm-in-arm with their peers, staring at the projector, waiting to see if their art submission had…

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Anser students buddy up to stroll through a nearby park. Photo courtesy of Anser Charter School.

Weighted Student Lottery Strengthens Idaho’s Charter School Pioneer

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by Alan Gottlieb As the 2021-22 school year began, Anser Charter School eighth-grader Sophia Acosta noticed something different about newly enrolled students: More of them looked like her. Sophia, who is Latina, is in her second year at the K-8 charter school in Garden City. She had previously attended district-run public schools in Caldwell and West Ada where a significant portion…

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Andy Johnson in the military

Continued Service: Veterans in Idaho Education

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by Alan Gottlieb While it might be little noticed by most people, military veterans are having a significant impact on K-12 education in Idaho. It seems only fitting on this Veterans Day to pay tribute to those men and women who have chosen to continue their service in classrooms, on boards, and in the public education policy realm. Greg Wilson, Senior…

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