Volume 1

April 15, 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.

Levy Election on May 21

The Board of Trustees has determined there is a need for a supplemental levy to address a projected $2 million funding shortfall. The election will be held on Tuesday, May 21. More information about actions the school board has taken to balance the budget can be found in this Idaho Mountain Express article.

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

The most recent policy updates and other school board business items can be found on the April board agenda.


"Our goal is to have every student engaged in a productive way with their learning with every lesson.”

Jim Foudy, Superintendent

Professional Learning Communities

What’s behind the move for students to get out of school early on Wednesdays? It’s all about improving academic performance. Each week, teachers join Professional Learning Communities (PLCs)—meetings with other peer educators (by grade or topic - language, math, etc.)—to collaborate on key questions:

Define the standards: What do we want students to know and be able to do? 

Assess knowledge: How will we know that they are able to do those things?

Adjust lessons to level of understanding: What do we do when they demonstrate mastery before the lesson has been taught? What do we do when they're not able to gain the skills? 


SCHOOL SPOTLIGHT - Alturas Elementary

“The students are thriving in our Dual Language world. Not only are they continuing to build skills in their native languages, you see them open up and be joyful learners of a new language."

Principal Brad

Dual Immersion Changes Lives

The first day of school can be a challenge for any student. For Luke, it was overwhelming. Not only was he starting second grade, but half of his day was in a language he didn’t understand - Spanish. Fast forward eight months, and you’ll find Luke not only speaking two languages with ease, but asking to teach the other students how to solve a math problem…in Spanish. 

“As time went on, he moved from translating the language in his head, to being a truly bilingual student,” said Gaby Ruiz Meza, his Spanish language teacher. “It’s the way that this program has been built - with students in mind.” Read more...

ALUMNI UPDATE - Ellie Punnett

"I can say wholeheartedly and without a doubt that dual immersion changed my life for the better and am so grateful to have been part of the inaugural class."

Ellie Punnett, BCSD Alumna

Dual Immersion Inaugural Class

Ellie Punnett was in the first dual immersion class 20 years ago. 

How has the dual immersion program impacted your life? 

I was able to use my Spanish to double major in college and came out with two degrees in the same time as many people complete their one degree. I received scholarships for my Spanish performance during school which eased the financial burden of completing a post-secondary degree. Read more...

Any advice for students and their parents? 

This is such a unique opportunity that so many individuals, families, and communities are not presented with. I can say wholeheartedly and without a doubt that dual immersion changed my life for the better and am so grateful to have been part of the inaugural class. Read more....


Just how much sleep do students need?

6-12 years......9-12 hours

13-18 years....8-10 hours

18+ years........7+ hours

For more information, read The Importance of Sleep overview.

The Importance of Sleep

The Communities for Youth found a correlation between lack of sleep and depression in local youth. Of the 1,250 secondary students in Blaine County who responded to the survey:

27% are experiencing moderate to severe depression.

40% of students getting less than 8 hours of sleep per night are moderately to severely depressed, whereas

13% of students getting more than 8 hours of sleep per night are moderately to severely depressed.

Learn more: 

• View the website Blaine County Initiative

• Sign up for the Communities for Youth newsletter

• View the Youth Well-Being Initiative slides

• Read The Sleep-Deprived Teen, by Lisa L. Lewis


“The Space has helped Alex like school more. It’s been amazing.”

Sara, Alex's mother

After-School Opportunity

Every Wednesday when the Wood River Middle School students get out early, 14-year old Alex heads over to The Space, an organization dedicated to providing individualized support to 6th–12th graders so they can have a meaningful educational experience.

In practice, this means tutoring in English and Spanish, help with GEDs, college placement and more. That ‘more’ is something pretty special. Read more...


Apple Podcast Kids Are Missing School at an Alarming Rate 

Idaho Mountain Express Valley mental health projects identify goals

Please help - we need bus drivers!!


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