Education news from across Idaho

Caldwell installs book vending machine

Starting next week, elementary students in the Caldwell School District can select books from a vending machine.

The “Inchy the Bookworm” vending machine arrived at the district’s Lewis and Clark Elementary School this week, the district announced Thursday. Students can start using the machine Oct. 21-24.

The machine will provide “literacy opportunities by allowing students to take books home as a reward for their outstanding work and behavior at school,” said Lewis and Clark Principal Matt McDaniel.

Students will be able to select a book using “I love books” tokens. Teachers will award a weekly token to a student from their room for good behavior, academic gains and other growth measures.

Pocatello-Chubbuck partners to help local kids in need

The Pocatello-Chubbuck School District has partnered with a website that connects donors to local kids in need.

Since September, the East Idaho district has encouraged parents to download the free Purposity app, which notifies locals of kids with various needs, from school supplies to shoes.

Participating school districts and other non-profits from across the country inform Purposity of local children with various needs. Purposity shares stories of need with potential local donors who have dowloaded the app.

Participants must subscribe to the Pocatello-Chubbuck School District within the app to receive local notifications.

The West Ada School District’s Rocky Mountain High School also partners with Purposity to help local kids in need.

Participation is free. Private donors fund purposity’s website and system.

Blaine County joins local law enforcement for bus safety week

Local cops will join the Blaine County School District to recognize National School Bus Safety Week next week.

The district invited police officers from the Blaine County Sheriff’s office and Hailey Police Department to ride along on buses, help monitor traffic and enforce stop-arm violations next Friday.

“Almost every school day in Blaine County, bus drivers report that a car does not stop to let students cross the street or a car drives around a bus while students are loading and unloading,” the district said Thursday.

The district’s transportation department last school year recorded 144 stop-arm violations.

National School Bus Safety Week runs from Oct. 21-25.

McDonald’s owner emphasizes education for employees

A Pocatello McDonald’s restaurant owner has for years made education a priority for employees.

“I measure my employees success by how successful they are after they work for me,” said Mary Johnson, who owns three McDonald’s restaurants in the Pocatello area.

Mary Johnson

Since 2003, Johnson has helped dozens of employees at her three McDonald’s locations complete the fast-food giant’s Archways to Opportunity program, which helps working students earn a high school diploma or GED, receive college tuition or learn English.

Johnson also partners throughout the year with the Pocatello-Chubbuck School District for “McTeacher’s Night,” fundraisers for local schools held at her various restaurants. Over the years, Johnson has  donated some $85,000 in funding for local schools through McTeacher Night.

Johnson’s McDonald’s also provide incentives aimed at improving student performance. Cash bonuses are determined by grade-point average:

  • A 3.5 GPA earns high school employees $50.
  • A 3.75 GPA earns them $75.
  • A 4.0 GPA earns them $100.

“I don’t want people to think I’m the only one doing this,” Johnson said. “I know it’s something McDonald’s owners all over the country do every day.”

Devin Bodkin

Devin Bodkin

Devin was formerly a senior reporter and editor for Idaho Education News and now works for INL in communications.

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