Category Archives: Elementary School

Building an Environmentally-Friendly Riverstone

By | Community & Service, Elementary School, High School, Middle School, Outdoor Education | No Comments

Thanks to efforts by students of all ages, a wildlife habitat is being created, food gardens are taking root, and turf is removed in order to create a more environmentally friendly campus to learn and play.

The Riverstone Pollinator Garden and Bioswale has seen several recent expansions and now includes a wide variety of native flowering plants; including columbine, goldenrod, yarrow and two species of milkweed. The bioswale itself helps us remove rain water from where we don’t want it (in the parking lot) to where we really need it (helping trees, shrubs and flowers provide habitat and food). Eventually the bioswale will extend all the way to the playground basketball court!

Nearby, directly outside the Elementary School Music room and Gr 1 and 5 classrooms, our Outdoor Learning Space was a group effort imagined and designed by Gr 1, 5 and 8 students. After removing a large section of sod, a thick layer of mulch was laid down to create a blank canvas for students to design an the space. Water conservation, native plants and food gardens, as well as natural seating areas and art installations were predominant in the students’ design concepts, ensuring it that it is as people- and planet-friendly as possible.

Additionally, students harvested and planted garlic cloves in the Elementary School Garden. Middle and High School students who are members of the Green Team and Plant Club care for the original garden on campus near the North Fork building.

Potential future projects include:

  • Paint a mural with non-toxic paint;
  • Test the campus water quality;
  • Wildlife field trip;
  • Garbage pick up;
  • Environmental awareness campaign;
  • Build animal homes;
  • Goose poop cleanup.
If you or your child is interested in reimagining the way in which Riverstone’s outdoor spaces can be as stimulating as our classrooms, contact Sustainability Coordinator Ben Brock.

Becoming (and Staying) an IB School

By | Academic Excellence, Elementary School, High School, IB, Middle School | No Comments

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According to the IB website, “Becoming an IB World School means joining over 4,500 schools worldwide in delivering IB programmes, and becoming part of a community of educators that is growing and developing constantly. The IB’s unique implementation is strengthened through our relationships with schools, governments and international organizations globally.” The authorization process varies by school and IB programme, but typically takes between two and three years. It comprises the following phases:

Following initial authorization, schools undergo regular re-evaluations to ensure ongoing quality and adherence to IB ethos.

Although we share our framework and philosophy, each school develops their own curriculum surrounding that framework.

When parents are considering an IB school, we suggest they:

  • Confirm the status for each program they are interested in;
  • Ask how long the school has been offering those authorized programs;
  • Ask about the training of the teachers, and whether they also serve as IB trainers or examiners;
  • Ask about the language, music, arts, PE, and design programs;
  • Ask which classes the school offers in the Diploma Programme;
  • Ask what percentage of Diploma Programme (Gr 11-12) students are IB candidates seeking the full diploma;
  • Ask how successful the students are at achieving the IB diploma and how many receive certificates;
  • Ask what other opportunities exist for students to supplement their IB education (outdoor education, leadership opportunities, international student population, etc).

The International Baccalaureate Programmes are robust and complex in order to meet the needs of our youth. There’s a lot to learn! As part of our weekly newsletter, we include a section highlighting features of the IB Programmes – subscribe today!

For more information, read about our Authorizations and Accreditations here or inquire today.

Gr 1 Commitment and Veterans Day

By | Academic Excellence, Elementary School, IB | No Comments

Please enjoy the following write-up from Gr 1 teacher, Mrs. Morgan, about their Unit of Inquiry, Where We Are in Place and Time:

“This week, our first graders learned some amazing lessons about commitment. We interviewed our parents about ways they have shown commitment. We identified areas in which each of us shows commitment. We started learning about the commitment shown by the Pilgrims so they could worship their own way. Perhaps most importantly, we learned about the incredible commitment that has been demonstrated by the veterans who have served, or are serving, our country.

Throughout the week, we read stories, watched videos, and had great discussions about the sacrifices that veterans make to keep us free and safe. We wrote letters to veterans and mailed them to the Veterans Home and the Veterans Medical Center.

The most exciting part of learning about veterans was when we delivered some of our letters to the veterans at our Veterans Day assembly on Friday. It was really special to be able to personally say, ‘Thank you’ to these amazing people for their sacrifice and their commitment to The United States of America!”

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Exploring Primary Sources in the Elementary School

By | Academic Excellence, Elementary School, IB | No Comments

Throughout the school year, Riverstone students focus on “Units of Inquiry” – in-depth explorations of concepts where students inquire into a central idea or a main understanding, guided by lines of inquiry and teacher prompts.

Our Grade 4 students’ current Unit of Inquiry is “Where We Are in Place and Time,” which focuses on how primary sources provide a unique insight into cultural and personal histories. Students explore inquiries into how primary and secondary sources are used for research, how these sources can assist with understanding individuals and cultures, and how information gained through the interviewing process can lead to new understandings.

Last week, students were placed into teams to explore the four major types of primary sources: documents, artifacts, photographs, and oral histories. For several days, teams explored each primary source and set out to explain what they had learned to their peers by creating an informative poster. Students also learned how graphic design can make information visually interesting, presentation skills and how to be a good audience.

This kind of experience is prevalent throughout Riverstone’s Primary Years Programme (PYP), where students (Preschool – Grade 5) learn skillsets throughout each school year, culminating in their Gr 5 year with their Exhibition project and greatly benefiting their future experiences as students in Riverstone’s Middle Years Programme (MYP) in writing essays and research papers and Diploma Programme (DP) in writing their Extended Essay.

The Journey to Becoming a Lifelong Learner: Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten at Riverstone

By | Academic Excellence, Elementary School, IB | No Comments

The early years of a child’s education are critical in laying the foundation for learning in their future years. During this time, children absorb knowledge at amazing rates and develop the skills necessary for success in school — and life.

Preparing your child for a lifelong journey of learning is the primary goal of the Preschool and Pre-Kindergarten classes.

Our small, nurturing environment and experienced staff focus on the cognitive, social, and emotional well-being of students while building upon the strengths of the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Programme (PYP) curriculum.

The Pre-Kindergarten schedule “allows for the students to have ample opportunity for unstructured free play time with a balance of teacher directed time to help prepare the students for the transition to Kindergarten.” – Kathie Stilinovich, Pre-Kindergarten Teacher

In both classes, activities are student-centered and developmentally appropriate, with a balance between free-choice activities and small group directed activities. Listening, pre-reading, and writing skills are promoted in Language Arts activities. Students learn math with hands-on manipulatives. Art, music, PE, and library time are integral parts of the week and all subjects tie into the classroom Unit of Inquiries.

The Preschool Unit of Inquiry, “Who We Are,” in which students begin to understand that we “all experience the same emotions, but the ways in which we navigate through those feelings can be different.  It is important not only for creating and strengthening our classroom community, but for beginning at a very young age, an idea of cultural sensitivity and acknowledgement of each person’s unique attributes.” – Janice Flynn, Preschool Teacher

Students begin to make connections between school and their personal experiences outside of school, as well as begin to take responsibility for their learning.

We encourage our students to attain their “personal best” and we celebrate their individual accomplishments. Recognizing that most learning occurs through active participation, our teachers help students stretch to take that next step.

We have openings for the 2017-2018 school year. If you apply before August 15, 2017, for the 2017-2018 academic year, your $75 application fee will be waived. Please note this applies only to applicants for the upcoming school year, not for 2018-19.

Inquire Today!

Preschool:PreK details

Kindergarten at Riverstone

By | Academic Excellence, Elementary School, IB | No Comments

Why is Kindergarten at Riverstone International School Different from Other Options?

Small classes – maximum of 16 students per class
Full day program
World renowned International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme
Spanish, art, music, and PE taught by specialist teachers
Outdoor education and field trips included in tuition
Fully-credentialed, experienced teachers
Before and after-care available for additional fee

Idaho’s top performing International Baccalaureate World School
Ranked as Idaho’s Best Private School by Niche.com

Thirty percent of Riverstone students are awarded tuition assistance or scholarships that do not need to be repaid.

Inquire Today!

Idaho National History Day 2017

By | Academic Excellence, Elementary School, High School, Middle School, Uncategorized | No Comments

Not only did 84 Riverstone students continue their exceptional tradition in the regional National History Day competition this weekend, but Riverstone was also the host to all Treasure Valley competitors!

Congratulations to the 35 Riverstone students advancing to the State competition on Saturday, April 15 at the College of Idaho – the student names and their placements in their respective categories are included below.

Individual results are as follows. Please congratulate these students if you happen to see them. Please also thank our dedicated teachers and staff who made all of this possible: Jeff Cole, Trevor Lindsay, Joe Beard, Kate Riede, and Andy Johnson.

Grade 5

  1. Blake B – Youth Individual Website, 2nd Place
  2. Thomas B and Ethan E – Youth Group Website, 1st Place
  3. Laura F – Youth Individual Exhibit, 3rd Place
  4. Nolan G – Youth Individual Exhibit, 1st Place
  5. William G – Youth Individual Exhibit, 2nd Place
  6. Carter H -Youth Individual Historical Paper, 3rd Place
  7. Lily S – Youth Individual Historical Paper, 1st Place
  8. Fiona VDG -Youth Individual Historical Paper, 2nd Place

Grade 6

  1. Parker B – Junior Individual Performance, 2nd Place
  2. Lucas E – Junior Individual Website, 2nd Place
  3. Annie L – Junior Individual Website, 1st Place
  4. Gabby M – Junior Individual Historical Paper, 3rd Place
  5. Katie M – Junior Individual Historical Paper, 2nd Place
  6. Michael M –  Junior Documentary, 3rd Place
  7. Nina N – Junior Individual Website, 3rd Place
  8. Aidan S – Junior Individual Exhibit, 1st Place
  9. Kimberly S – Junior Individual Exhibit, 4th Place

Grade 7

  1. Solomon B – Junior Individual Exhibit, 3rd Place
  2. Darci D – Junior Individual Website, 2nd Place
  3. Andrew E – Junior Documentary, 2nd Place
  4. Meghan F – Junior Individual Exhibit, 3rd Place
  5. Derek L – Junior Individual Performance, 1st Place
  6. Hailey W – Junior Individual Exhibit, 2nd Place
  7. Ryan W – Junior Individual Website, 3rd Place

Grade 8

  1. Spencer B – Junior Individual Exhibit, 2nd Place
  2. Walker C – Junior Individual Website, 3rd Place
  3. Emma G – Junior Individual Historical Paper, 1st Place
  4. Gavin G – Junior Documentary, 1st Place
  5. Olivia G – Junior Individual Website, 1st Place
  6. Ethan H – Junior Documentary, 1st Place
  7. Nathan M – Junior Individual Website, 1st Place

Grade 9

  1. Max C – Senior Individual Website, 1st Place
  2. Samantha E – Senior Individual Website, 3rd Place
  3. Tess E – Senior Individual Historical Paper, 1st Place
  4. Aiden G – Senior Individual Exhibit, 2nd Place
  5. Edie J – Senior Individual Historical Paper, 3rd Place
  6. Maeve P – Senior Individual Historical Paper, 2nd Place
  7. Gwyneth W – Senior Individual Website, 2nd Place

Join Us at an Open House!

By | Academic Excellence, Elementary School, High School, IB, Middle School | No Comments

Tuesday, Jan 23 at 9:00 AM: Preschool – Grade 5

Thursday, Jan 25 at 9:00 AM: Grade 6 – 12

Riverstone International School is private, independent, Preschool through Grade 12 school located in the Pacific Northwest that offers day and boarding students the academic prestige of the International Baccalaureate programmes with outdoor education, leadership, service, and international opportunities.

We have combined the best of the international school and community school educational models to create something totally unique: a school with internationally-recognized academics and opportunities to explore through service, leadership, and the outdoors, all built upon the fundamental belief that knowing and nurturing students lies at the core of any successful school.

Quick Look:

  • Celebrating 20 years of excellence in education
  • Idaho’s Most Challenging High School (The Washington Post; 2016 and 2017)
  • Top Private School in Idaho (Niche; 2016, 2017 and 2018)
  • #1 Best High School for STEM in Idaho (Niche; 2017 and 2018)
  • Top-performing International Baccalaureate School exceeding Diploma Programme pass rate globally and nationally
  • 345 students in the Preschool – High School with 40+ nationalities represented
  • Student-teacher ratio of 7:1
  • 1 of 20 schools in the nation and the only school in Idaho authorized to offer the continuum of International Baccalaureate Programmes (Primary Years, Middle Years and Diploma Programmes)
  • 1st and only John C. Malone Family Foundation School in Idaho
  • 30% of our students receive tuition assistance
  • Dual language-learning in Pre-Kindergarten class (Spanish and English)
  • 100% of graduates accepted into four year colleges and universities world-wide: Class of 2017 College Acceptance List
  • Riverstone students’ combined average SAT scores exceed Idaho and national averages
  • Athletic teams and extracurricular opportunities offered

We’d love to show you more! RSVP below to join us at an upcoming Open House.

RSVP Here

Welcome Back from Fall Trips!

By | Elementary School, High School, Middle School, Outdoor Education | No Comments

The following is a note from Outdoor Education Director, Ben Brock, regarding the recent fall trips. Following his note, there are a few photos of the Elementary, Middle and High School trips all around Idaho and Wyoming in the past two weeks!

“For more than 15 years, students and teachers in our Elementary, Middle and High Schools have been welcoming the beginning of each new school year by heading into the great outdoors.

This year’s adventures had students (some as young as 3 years old!) floating the Payette and Main Salmon Rivers, exploring Yellowstone National Park, riding the Weiser River Trail and backpacking to lakes and creeks throughout the Sawtooth Mountains.

Grade 4 had a ball at the McCall Outdoor Science School where they explored Ponderosa State Park in search of signs of glaciation and macro-invertebrates, comparing different habitats, measuring the moisture content in a sage meadow, and identifying different coniferous tree species. Interspersing lots of trust and team-building games with the science, this is one of our Elementary School staff’s favorite trip to lead.

Whether they are first-timers or veterans, born and raised here in Boise, or members of our new residential house, students are challenged to bring their best attitudes and offer their own particular strengths to make our community great. With teachers (and staff and alumni and parents!) there every step of the way, the adventures play an important role in laying a foundation of trust and friendship that help make every new year a great year! Thank you to everyone who continue to make Riverstone’s Outdoor Education programs an incredible success for all those involved.

Make sure to check out the school’s Facebook and Instagram profiles for a collection of pictures from the last few weeks of incredible outdoor experiences for our school!”

Our First Week Back-to-School!

By | Academic Excellence, Elementary School, High School, Middle School | No Comments

Students, faculty and staff enjoyed a wonderful first week back at Riverstone to kick off the new school year!

Our traditional All-School Convocation started Monday morning off with each class, Preschool through Grade 12, cheering and dancing their hearts out as they were officially welcome and announced. Our students were joined by over 200 family and community members.

Class of 2017 speaker, Rowan P, gave an inspiring speech highlighting all of the parts that come together to make Riverstone the incredible community that it is, specifying the faculty and staff as one of the primary reasons he loves attending school here:

“To me, the thing that makes Riverstone so special and sets it apart from every school in the country is the teachers. People who have dedicated themselves not only to endowing students with knowledge and the ability to think critically, but in fostering growth, curiosity and passion. People who are willing to respond to your emails at 1AM, or to come in on a Sunday afternoon to work on a biology lab. People who are willing to sacrifice weekends and weeks to spend their time with us hiking up mountains, rafting down rivers, sleeping in snow caves, skiing, visiting the White House, traveling around the world, and even touring colleges. These are more than teachers: they are mentors, friends and even family.”

You can listen to the full speech here.

A representative from Idaho Education News also attended our Convocation and created this short video.

Following Convocation, the wonderful Parents’ Association team hosted the Boohoo Yahoo Coffee for parents and then wrapped up the day with an Ice Cream Social.

Students spent the rest of the week getting back into the swing of things with homework, sports practice, and after-school activities. Our new group of students in Grade 6 have excitedly been walking the school halls, experiencing changing classrooms with each period, enjoying their first week as Middle School students and figuring out the difference between Elementary School recess and Middle School lunch. Gr 10 students are thinking about their Personal Projects and which teacher they would like to be their advisor. Students in the Class of 2018 have just begun their Diploma Programme experience and are thinking about their Extended Essay topics, where they would like to apply to college, and how they’re going to welcome their peers back for Convocation next year. And the Class of 2017 is already getting ready to take their IB exams next May as well as submit their college applications this Fall and decide what to do as they become part of our strong alumni community.

Needless to say, we are so happy to have students back on campus and are amped up for the new school year! Check out photos below from all of this week’s activities.

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