Volume 2

May 10, 2024


Welcome to The Summit, the Blaine County School District newsletter that’s designed to keep you informed on the latest happenings in our schools.

The Board of Trustees wants to hear from you! Please submit your public comments here.

Para ver este boletín en español, pulse aquí.

SCHOOL BOARD NEWS - Supplemental Levy

Board of Trustees (clockwise): Vice Chair Dan Turner, Chair Lara Stone, Blanca Romero, Amber Perkes and Nora Roebuck.

Additional actions the school board has taken to balance the budget can be found in this Idaho Mountain Express article.

May 21 Election - Levy on ballot

Blaine County School District is one of 42 school districts across Idaho running levies on Tuesday, May 21 to supplement funding from the state of Idaho. Idaho ranks lowest in the nation in per-student K-12 funding.

The $1.85 million per year raised by the 2-year levy will fund salaries and benefits for four programs not covered by the state of Idaho:

  • Preschool
  • Full-day kindergarten
  • Summer school
  • Gifted and talented education

Read more at Idaho Ed News: Districts to ask patrons for $209 million in local bonds and levies on May 21.

Learn more about school district finances on our School Finance Basics FAQ and the school board's 2024-2025 Budget Guiding Principles.

STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT - Wood River High School

“I think it’s super important to use the resources at school. The teachers are there to help and want you to succeed.”

Tatum Ware, WRHS Senior

Engineering Excellence

Where can ‘being good in math’ get you? For Wood River High School student Tatum Ware, the answer is the Santa Clara University School of Engineering, an elite program with an acceptance rate of just 11%. Tatum was also accepted to nine other schools.

Behind that accomplishment is a lot of hard work, a dedication to achieving goals along the way, and teachers who moved her up to higher math levels and recommended that she double up on math, putting her two years ahead of her peers.


“The program is preparing me for future college classes. I have that background knowledge so it won’t be so hard to learn the new content to become an ultrasound tech.”

Lourdes Lopez, Senior CMA student

Hard Work Pays Off for WRHS Seniors

If you’ve visited a local health clinic over the past few months, you may have met one of the 14 seniors on track to finish the Certified Medical Assistant (CMA) program at Wood River High School.

In the words of Hallie Star, WRHS College and Career Counselor, “The entire group is nothing short of remarkable. They are a highly diverse group of exceptional students who are thriving in the program (as well as all other subject areas) and have a wide range of interests in the medical fields they plan on pursuing post high school.”


SCHOOL SPOTLIGHT - Silver Creek High School

“Many of our students aren’t traditional learners, so we try really hard to figure out what they are interested in and tailor their learning around their interests.”

Principal Toni Boush, Silver Creek High School

Turning Interests into Careers

Did you know…about 89% of students entering Silver Creek Alternative High School said that they do NOT like going to school? And yet three of those students not only just graduated a trimester early, but are working as apprentices for local companies…and continuing their education. 

One of those students, Josh Romero, was hired at Sun Valley Auto Club and wants to go into auto mechanics at the College of Southern Idaho (CSI). His apprenticeship allows him to build up hours for CSI coursework, along with other benefits. In his words, “Silver Creek High School helped me get a job at a place where I can work on nice cars all day. I got the opportunity to graduate early and start making money early."



Full-day kindergarten closes achievement gaps:

Boosts student achievement

Improves students’ social and emotional skills

Preferred by teachers and parents.

Full-day Kindergarten Helps Close the Achievement Gaps

Full-day kindergarten is a sound educational investment. Research demonstrates that full-day kindergarten, though initially more costly than half-day kindergarten, is worth the expense.

Full-day kindergarten not only boosts students’ academic achievement, it also strengthens their social and emotional skills. Additionally, it offers benefits to teachers and parents—teachers have more time to work with and get to know students, and parents have access to better learning and care for their children. The bottom line: everyone gains. Read more...

"...70% of stay-at-home parents surveyed stated they would return to work outside the home if quality and affordable childcare was available."

Executive Summary

Early Childhood Education Needs Assessment

This community needs assessment highlights the pressing concerns surrounding early learning opportunities and care for the birth through five-year-old population, their families, and the early childhood providers in the Wood River Valley.

The affordability gap is a serious concern, with most families unable to pay more than $30 a day per child, and providers unable to sustain their businesses without charging at least $40 a day per child. Read more...


“It’s a big camp experience, and there is a lot of learning. Getting caught up or ahead is a big deal.”

Jason Shearer, CEO, Wood River Community YMCA

Summer Camp With a Difference

Who knew that going to summer camp could improve academic performance? If you ask about the 2nd grade students who attended SummerBridge Education Camp last summer, you’ll learn that they scored 9.52 points above the average student summer regression in reading and 64.78 points above the average student summer regression in math.

Joy Spencer is the principal of SummerBridge and a 4th grade teacher at Hemingway STEAM School. She shared her excitement about the program: “I am proud to see the transformative impact the program has on our students. Students participating in the program are making strides in their academic progress and building confidence along the way. The best part is that students are excited for the opportunity to attend SummerBridge! They know that they are going to learn and have fun with their friends! They also know that there will be teachers there who care deeply about them and their success. Read more...

Learn more about SummerBridge.



We honor the memory of Lyman Drake, who was passionately committed to education and students in Blaine County. Lyman served on the Blaine County Education Foundation executive board and advisory board, helping to lead their vision and growth for more than two decades. He was an inspiration to us all. Idaho Mountain Express Lyman Drake

The Screentime Consultant How an Idaho School District Adopted a Phone-Free Policy (spoiler alert - it's BCSD!)

Idaho Mountain Express AI in the classroom: WRHS considers risks, rewards

Idaho Mountain Express The high costs of childcare: Early childhood education critical for economy, community long term

Idaho Mountain Express BCSD suspensions decrease dramatically -

School leaders attribute drop to new approaches to discipline

Please help - we need bus drivers!!


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