School Choice

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 to 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 in a green classroom

New Charter School Receives Nearly $1 Million in Early Fundraising Efforts

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Since December, a highly anticipated school this fall in Idaho Falls has received in support from a variety of sources Alturas Preparatory Academy (APA), a new International Baccalaureate (IB) charter school founded as a sister school of Alturas International Academy (AIA) in Idaho Falls, has been awarded a competitive federal grant and has attracted numerous local donors eager to see…

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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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Idaho School Leadership Fellowship – A Retrospective

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Dr. Clinton Condra is a 2019 Bluum Idaho School Leadership Fellow working with Treasure Valley Classical Academy to learn aspects of school leadership, including responsibility for planning, implementing, managing and leading the academic and instructional needs of the students and staff in one of Bluum’s partner schools. Idaho School Leadership Fellowship – A Retrospective By Clinton Condra, Ph.D. The 2019-2020…

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Idaho’s Most Remote Public Charter School – Island Park

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Idaho’s varied, naturally wild geography – from the rolling hills of the Palouse Prairie to the plains around the mighty Snake river – lends itself to a state full of communities that are just as diverse. For the most rugged and rural, public charter schools offer a unique way for people to create schools that are most relevant to their…

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Be The Change You Want to See – Kipp Columbus

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by Terry Ryan The images over the last month have been hard, sad, and disheartening to watch. Start with the callous murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, move to watching greedy opportunists loot stores and burn out community businesses while smiling for social media, then watch a military helicopter push legitimate protesters away from Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C. What…

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Idaho’s Charters Are Preparing Students for College and Career, Even During Distance Learning

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Educators across the country are trying to figure out what the new normal will be, but for Addie and Luke, students at Sage International School of Boise, top of mind for next year is not how they will be learning, but the academic rigor of their senior year. Sage is a K-12 public charter school. Charter schools educate roughly 8%…

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5th Grade Student From Ammon Creates Community Garden to Feed Hungry Families

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Sidonah Colvin is on a mission to help feed hungry families in her community. She’s doing this by working with the mayor and other city officials of Ammon, Idaho, to create a community garden, and she’s doing it in the midst of a global pandemic. Sidonah’s project started at school – Alturas International Academy in Idaho Falls. Alturas is an…

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How Idaho’s Gem Innovation Schools Are Keeping Learning Going During COVID-19

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by Alan Gottlieb Originally Published on the Thomas B. Fordham Institute’s Flypaper Blog on 4-16-2020 In these uncertain days, with many brick-and-mortar schools shuttered indefinitely, one of Idaho’s leaders in online education has moved in a deliberate and intelligent fashion to transition its brick-and-mortar-based students to online learning. That’s because the leaders of Gem Prep, a growing network of three…

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Rural Charter School Offers New CTE Opportunities for Students in Salmon, Idaho

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by Kristen McCarver “Thank you so much for doing this, it’s the first time he’s shown interest in something other than hunting,” said one parent of the new 6-week welding class offered by Fernwaters Public Charter School. Prior to this program, few 7th and 8th grade students in rural Salmon, Idaho were able to engage in career exploration. Salmon is…

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