Education news around Idaho

College of Eastern Idaho names Aman as president

The College of Eastern Idaho on Wednesday named interim president Rick Aman as the school’s inaugural president.

Aman was president of Eastern Idaho Technical College before Bonneville County voters approved a May 2017 ballot measure to turn the school into a two-year community college.

College of Eastern Idaho president Rick Aman

Originally, more than 40 candidates were considered for the new position.

“In the unanimous opinion of the trustees, Dr. Aman is the right person to lead the institution and we are fortunate he has enthusiastically accepted the challenge,” CEI board chairman Park Price said in a news release.

Aman earned a Ph.D in Community College Leadership from Oregon State University. He holds a master of business administration from Golden Gate University, a bachelor of science in education from Western Oregon State College and an associate of science in computer applications from Mt. Hood Community College.

Schools honored as National Distinguished Schools, Blue Ribbon nominees

Four Idaho schools producing results in helping at-risk kids achieve in the classroom have been recognition by the Idaho State Department of Education.

Harold B. Lee Elementary in Dayton and Murtaugh Schools in Murtaugh were selected as this year’s Title I-A Distinguished Schools for Idaho. Rexburg’s Lincoln Elementary and Garwood Elementary in Rathdrum are Idaho’s two nominees for the National Blue Ribbon Award.

“With skill, hard work and individual attention, these educators accomplish amazing things,” Superintendent Sherri Ybarra said.

The annual Distinguished Schools awards recognize outstanding achievements by two Title I schools from each state that are serving a high proportion of at-risk students.

Harold B. Lee Elementary, in the West Side Joint School District, was honored in the category of Exceptional Student Performance. The school outperformed 91.1 percent of other Idaho schools in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding proficiency in the content standards for both English language arts and mathematics in 2017. More than 50 percent of Harold B. Lee students come from an economically disadvantaged household.

In the Murtaugh Joint District, Murtaugh Schools’ selection came in the category of “Closing the Achievement Gap.” Once identified as among the lowest-performing schools in Idaho, the school is now in the top quarter of all Idaho schools in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding proficiency in both English language arts and mathematics. More than 75 percent of its students come from economically disadvantaged households.

In order for a school to qualify for the Distinguished School Award, it must:

  • Have a poverty rate among students’ families of at least 35 percent for the selected school year.
  • Demonstrate high academic achievement for two or more consecutive years.
  • Meet or exceed state-determined criteria based on two or more consecutive years of achievement data.

The Blue Ribbon nominees, both nominated as Exemplary High Performing Schools, are Lincoln Elementary in the Madison School District and Garwood Elementary in the Lakeland District.

Lincoln Elementary outperformed 92.6 percent of other Idaho schools in the percentage of students meeting or exceeding proficiency in English language arts and mathematics in 2017. Garwood Elementary outperformed 88.6 percent of other Idaho schools by the same measure.

Garwood improved its mathematics proficiency rate from 48.7 percent in 2015 to 62.2 percent in 2017, with particularly strong improvement in the performance of students with disabilities and minority students. Lincoln increased its participation rate in English language arts assessment from 84.9 percent in 2015 to 98.7 percent in 2017, exceeding the state requirement of 95 percent.

In order to be nominated for the National Blue Ribbon award, a school must be in the top 15 percent of all schools in the state, ranked on the performance of all students who participated in the most recently administered state assessments in reading/English language arts and mathematics. Idaho nominees must have at least 40 percent of their students identified as low-income.

Idaho’s Distinguished Schools and Blue Ribbon nominees will each receive $15,000 from state Title I funds.

Enrollment open for new charter school

The first Waldorf school in the Treasure Valley and the third in the state of Idaho has open enrollment now until Jan. 15. Approved in October by the Idaho Public Charter School Commission, Peace Valley Charter School, a tuition-free school for pre-K through sixth grade, plans to open fall of 2018 in Boise.

Peace Valley Charter School will serve 320 students in the first year and is open for enrollment for Boise and Meridian students. The school will be located at 1845 Federal Way.

Waldorf public education principles emphasize on educating the student intellectually, emotionally and socially through sustainable living, gardening, music, movement, foreign languages, experiential learning and minimal use of technology in the early grades.

“There is a lot of excitement about the first Waldorf School in the Treasure Valley,” said Laura Henning, the executive director of Peace Valley Charter School.

Peace Valley Charter School, a member of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education, would be the third school in Idaho guided by Waldorf principles. Sandpoint Waldorf  School, a private K-8 school opened 25 years ago, and Syringa Mountain School opened the Idaho’s first Waldorf charter school in Hailey four years ago.

Nationally, there are more than 50 charter schools that are members of the Alliance for Public Waldorf Education.

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