A Gem Prep student

Gem Prep Online Posts Best Reading Scores in the State

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Press Release, 7/7/2021 | Download VIRTUAL SCHOOL RANKS FIRST IN STATE Gem Prep: Online (GPO) students ranked highest in the state on the 2021 Spring Idaho Reading Indicator, outperforming the state average by 30 percentage points. In a year that saw declines in education success across our state and nation, these virtual students thrived. 95% of Gem Prep: Online 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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Students listen to their teacher

All-Day Kindergarten Pilot Aims to Demonstrate Its Efficacy

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by Alan Gottlieb When Michelle Ball learned last year that she would receive funding through Bluum from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation to expand Idaho Falls-based charter school Alturas International Academy’s kindergarten program from half-day to full-day, she was ecstatic.   As a former kindergarten teacher, she knew how big a difference those extra hours could make in the academic and…

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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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Charter School Teaches Music Classes on Fridays

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Photo and Article by Haley Pijl, The Recorder Herald Fernwaters Charter School is bringing more music to children in the Salmon community. As part of its continuing effort to extend learning to students beyond the 4-day school week, Fernwaters is offering three group music lessons on Friday mornings from 9-12. Classes include beginning piano, intermediate piano, and violin. Fernwaters instructor…

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

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by Kristen McCarver 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…

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

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by Kristen McCarver 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.…

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A student sits on steps studying outside

Federal Paycheck Protection Program Offers Loans for Covering Salaries at Nonprofits. That Includes Charter Schools

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Like many employers across America, leaders in the charter school movement are wondering how federal funds can help them maintain their operations, support their staff, and retain necessary staff to transition back to on-campus learning. SBA financing through the Paycheck Protection Program has allowed some Idaho charter schools to keep important adults available to students and families during campus closures,…

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5 Things We Learned from Idaho Charter School Leaders as Their Students Switch to Online Learning — and 2 Thoughts for the Future

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by Kristen McCarver and Josh McCarty As the need to transition to remote learning grew more apparent, many of Idaho’s charter school leaders began to plan their transition from their current teaching methods to remote options. We brought these schools together virtually to talk about how they are working to serve their families, children and communities during the COVID-19 shutdown,…

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