Category Archives: Leadership by Example

Rake Up Boise 2015

By | Community & Service, Elementary School, High School, Leadership by Example, Middle School | No Comments

For 17 years, Riverstone has organized a Rake Up Boise team to rake and winterize yards for senior and disabled neighbors who cannot do the work themselves.

This year, we had over 30 students, teachers, administrators, parents and friends come out to fill 90 bags of leaves from homes in Southeast Boise. With the kind donations from DK Donuts and the HumanBean, the team got an early start on Saturday, November 14.

Thanks to the High School’s Social Change Leadership student group who organized this year’s team.

Taking part in the largest volunteer event in Idaho is very gratifying and a wonderful opportunity to connect personally with our neighbors.

Please check out the photos of Team Riverstone at Rake Up Boise!

Riverstone’s Halloween Parade

By | Community & Service, Leadership by Example | No Comments

Last Friday, we hosted our annual Halloween Parade for the Elementary School. A long-standing tradition, our Preschool students start off the Parade by winding through the school hallways and picking up students in the next grade. Once all the students from Preschool through Grade 5 have joined, the Parade then makes it way over the Middle School and High School Quad area for the older students to cheer them on.

An exciting event for students of all ages, it’s great to see how much our community celebrates each other during the parade. Emboldening our emphasis on leadership by example and community, the Halloween Parade inspires camaraderie and companionship throughout all grade levels. Here are a couple student and teacher quotes about this year’s parade as well as a few photos of the amazing costumes.

“The whole event is a great community builder because we get the whole school together during the parade. Unfortunately, the fun has to stop at 3:30 when we all go home. I can’t wait until next year!” -Gabby M (Grade 5)

“The day that our little ones were waiting for finally arrived! We enjoyed  seeing Riverstone  full of parents and kids dressed up in different costumes like witches, Darth Vader, the Cat in the Hat, dinosaurs, paper bag puppets, dolls, mermaids, superheroes, and all sorts of interesting characters.” -Mrs. Stilinovich and Señora Vallejos (Pre-Kindergarten teachers)

Annual Fund Kick-Off!

By | Annual Fund, IB, Leadership by Example | No Comments

Last week we held the kick off for the 2015 Annual Fund, centered around the theme of “Riverstone: A Gateway to the World.” The campaign runs from Monday, October 19 through Friday, November 20. Over the next five weeks, our goal is to raise $200,000 with 100% support from our Board of Trustees, parents and staff, as well as see an increase in alumni participation.

Riverstone parents Kipp and Deborah Martell are this year’s Annual Fund Chairpersons and have worked tirelessly to organize the campaign and create a theme that speaks to the essence of Riverstone and our community. In the first newsletter sent out earlier this week, the Martells discuss the school’s impact on their children and within their family: “Riverstone is a gateway to the world: bringing an international based education and experience to them and a place that broadens our children’s horizon beyond Boise. It prepares them to be a part of the global stage – to participate in it, contribute to it, influence it. Our children have developed a deeper global perspective and understanding so they are more compassionate and aware. Not only do they have an excellent well-rounded base of education, but they have cultivated a world perspective they will take with them confidently through life. And it was nurtured here in Boise, Idaho.”

We hope you feel as strongly as the Martells do about Riverstone. With a short five week campaign, we have tried to make it as easy as possible to participate. All Annual Fund gifts are tax-deductible and may be matched by participating companies. We will be sending out a newsletter every Tuesday during the campaign to share progress and information.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to Kathleen Gilton.

Ways you can participate:

  • Return your donor envelope with your donation.
  • Make a gift of stock and contact Kevin Richmond, Business Director.
  • Many employers sponsor corporate matching gift programs and will match charitable contributions that their employees make, truly maximizing your gift to the Annual Fund. Please obtain your company’s matching gift form and send it to Kevin Richmond, Business Director, with your gift.

Thank you for your generosity!

RIS Annual Fund 2015 IMG_7594

Senior Night Volleyball

By | Athletics, Leadership by Example | No Comments

We had a great turnout for our High School Girls’ Volleyball Senior Night with a winning match against Victory Charter School! Students wore their Riverstone colors throughout the school day to show support for the team and were thrilled when the players signed “otter graphs” after school. The grand finale for the day came when we celebrated our seniors by thanking them for their dedication to making our school (and Volleyball team!) great.

A note from the coach, Demi Dlouhy:
“I want to give a big thank you to all of the fans who came out for the Senior Night match. Riverstone hasn’t seen a rocking crowd of that size this season and while the team didn’t play as expected in the first game, they focused up and played hard to win the next three. I am very proud of our five seniors. With all the energy they received from the crowd their adrenaline was pumping. They were able to pull off the win against Victory Charter School and I am looking forward to Thursday’s home match against Victory Charter School which will determine if we will participate in the District Tournament.”

Middle School Celebrates Diversity

By | Academic Excellence, Community & Service, IB, International Understanding, Leadership by Example | No Comments

Riverstone’s Grade 6-8 held their first Diversity Celebration on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 28 and 29. Middle School Director, Alex Ide, organized the celebration and provided the following recap.

We had two great keynote speakers! The Honorable Judge Gutierrez has spent time to promote various diversity, education and leadership causes within the judiciary, the legal profession, and the larger community in Boise. He is a member of the Diversity Section of the State Bar; a past board member of the the National Job Corps Association; and a board member of the Idaho Latino Scholarship Foundation. Our students were graced with stories of his upbringing, and were privileged to hear his words of advice for the future. Dr. Janet Kaufman has integrated diversity work into her college courses, in High School, and in Middle School. She has led diversity trainings for a range of organizations. Mostly, she enjoys facilitating conversation that helps people of any age discover new ways of thinking about themselves and others. Dr. Kaufman introduced our students to activities that helped them to consider how we make the world a place where everyone has a voice, feels safe, and gets to contribute.

Over the two days, students rotated through the following sessions:

  • Celebration of Diversity Though Art (finished product below)
  • Perspectives: Ethical and Moral Dilemma Role Play
  • Human Rights and Diversity: LGBT Topics
  • Acceptance Through Tolerance and Repsect
  • Insider vs. Outsider: A Mini Theory of Knowledge Lesson
Students were surveyed before and after the event. After the event, the students rated themselves in the following manner:
  • I am more comfortable about who I am as an individual and what my values are 91%
  • I feel more compassionate and empathetic towards others 93%
  • I feel more empowered to speak up to support my peers when issues arise 93%
  • I have increased my knowledge and awareness of issues of diversity 97%
 Special thanks to Judge Gutierrez, Dr. Kaufman, our Middle School Staff, Sarah C, Olivia D, and the International Parent Committee for helping to make these celebration days a success!


Sharing Shackelton

By | Academic Excellence, Elementary School, IB, Leadership by Example | No Comments

The following was reposted from Debbi Wallace’s blog during their unit of inquiry centered on “Where We Are in Place and Time.” Mrs. Wallace is one of our Gr 3 teachers.

Third graders have been amazed by Sir Ernest Shackleton. His commitment to his goals, his courageous journeys, and his leadership skills have given us a unique perspective with which to view exploration. Today we enjoyed sharing his story and our own thoughts about him with our parents. In understanding why he took the items he did off his crumbling ship, we learned what a thinker he really was! The children will continue to compare his story to other explorers, to our own class exploration, and then reflect on his inquiring spirit as they design an exploration of their own!

Preschoolers & High Schoolers Dabble in Drama

By | Academic Excellence, Elementary School, High School, IB, Leadership by Example, Visual and Performing Arts | No Comments

The following is reposted from the Preschool Class blog written by Meghan Sterling:

We’ve been dabbling in drama as another artistic option for expressing emotions. Using our bodies, faces, and a bit of voice we’ve been working on finding means of showing our feelings. Yesterday afternoon, the high school Diploma Programme Theater Arts students visited our classroom, spending time talking about and acting out different emotions. Our preschoolers acted a bit shy at first with these big kids but warmed up during an improv dramatic performance of The Three Bears. As the high schoolers demonstrated their artistic talents, the preschoolers identified which emotions were being exhibited. Before the high school students departed, the entire group came together to show their skills. As I named different feelings, kids both big and small called upon their acting talents to express these feelings. The shyness had definitely dissipated! The DP students agreed to return next week to help us act out another story.

We had a second, wonderful opportunity to watch dramatic expression in this morning’s presentation of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” by Rivestone’s 2nd grade. Before the presentation, I asked the preschoolers to watch carefully for different emotions we might see. The 2nd grade certainly delivered, using their body language and voices to convey anger, silliness, surprise, love, sadness, and happiness. Later, over snack, the preschoolers discussed what they’d seen and how they knew which emotion was being expressed. These observations demonstrate the preschoolers’ growing ability to begin to “read” the dramatic language which will serve them well in their social interactions too.

For the Love of Reading

By | Academic Excellence, Alumni, Community & Service, Leadership by Example | No Comments

Alumni visit the school for lots of reasons: to see their former teachers, coach our athletic teams, lead an outdoor trip, and even to teach. But last week, one of our alumni, Trevor Wallace (’11), visited our Gr 3 class to talk about his favorite authors when he was in elementary school. Trevor is currently a film major at Wesleyan University and donated many of his books to Ms. Wallace’s class library. He spent quite awhile sharing with students who were interested in finding new, more challenging authors to try. No one gives a book talk quite like a person who has loved and lived through the stories many times!

As you can see by the photos, the students loved Trevor and were hanging on every word. Thanks Trevor!

Technology Use Across Cultures

By | Academic Excellence, Elementary School, High School, IB, International Understanding, Leadership by Example | No Comments

Reposted from Trevor Lindsay and Stacey Walker’s Gr 5 blog:

This afternoon we had a unique opportunity to learn how technology is used in the native countries of Riverstone’s international students. Students from China, Norway, Germany, France, Israel, Spain, and Albania shared the technology use in their home schools. It was a great way to make international connections, learn from the experts at our school and inquire further into our line of inquiry. Surprisingly, Riverstone uses technology more than any of the other students’ home schools. Students from China shared how many teachers view technology as a distraction and entertainment rather than an educational tool. Norway was the only country similar to Riverstone’s technology use in school. In relation to our central idea, technology enables individual expression while diversifying interactions with others, these students shared how frequently they use technology to communicate with their friends and family in their home countries.

Some of these students also shared their family’s email address so we can make contact and share our summative assessment, a creative articulation of expressing themselves to communicate internationally.

Cooperation Comes in Many Forms

By | Academic Excellence, Community & Service, IB, Leadership by Example | No Comments

Reposted from Mrs. Sterling’s Preschool Class Blog:

“This week, as we’ve continued our discussions on friendship, ‘working together, otherwise known as cooperating, has been our focus. Over the past couple weeks I’ve concluded that active participation seems to make the greatest impression on these young minds so we stuck with this learning model and I capitalized on every opportunity to point out when members of our preschool team were in cooperation mode. Fortunately, I’ve had lots of great examples: when the kids go through their morning routine; when they participate in circle each morning; when they discover ways to work together in free play time; as we clean up our room; when the kids responsibly complete their daily duties and/or respect each other in the process; when they respond to a call for help and provide assistance throughout the day; and how they generally interact with each other in positive and helpful ways. Many of these cooperative efforts have allowed us to revisit past lessons on being a responsible member of a community, using helping hands, and sharing.

To really emphasize the concept of cooperation and give the kids additional examples we could explore, we read and discussed a variety of relevant stories: Swimmy, Rainbow Fish and Rainbow Fish to the Rescue, David’s Drawings, Stone Soup, Burgoo Stew, and Fandango Stew. Next came the creative explorations. We made paper-bag rainbow fish complete with flashing scales. We painted other fish shapes and added glitter to represent the community of fishy friends that developed after Rainbow Fish shared his scales. We worked together to create a colorful and super-sized Rainbow Fish who, in the second story, encouraged the other fish to join forces to rescue a fellow fish in danger. We replicated the giant fish created by Swimmy and friends when they all swam in formation. When working together, they found courage to face predators and swim in the open sea. Inspired by David and his classmates, we created a cooperative drawing, each member of our preschool team offering their individual contributions to one paper. Most of these creative efforts are incorporated in the hallway bulletin board display just outside our classroom. The projects were intended to reinforce the power of cooperation present in the stories but also to allow the kids to directly experience the value and success of combined effort.

The reinforcement didn’t end there. After reading the variations of Stone Soup, we branched out from art into food. On Tuesday the kids helped to prepare our own chicken noodle Stone Soup. Our proverbial ‘watched pot’ did take a long time to cook but excitement remained high. Before the day was out, we’d not only enjoyed it ourselves, but we’d shared the bounty of our cooperative efforts with various members of our Riverstone community. Then Wednesday, each child contributed to our Friendship Fruit Salad. By combining our efforts, we enjoyed a delicious and varied snack. (PS Thanks Parents for making it possible!) We’re also discovering that sharing and working together is so much more fun than not.

Also during the week, unrelated to any literature, we found fun ways to be cooperative. We formed an impromptu band, making music together, focusing on playing together with coordinated stop and go rhythms. Self control is a pretty hard thing to master at such a young age but they all tried. We also banded together to build a tall block tower. The tower did topple several times but we were laughing together, rebuilding it together, and having fun … together! We focused on working as a group, invested in a common goal. Every afternoon before going home, we’ve been playing a round or two of Memory. In some other games the kids have been vying to be the “winner” but in this game, they’ve been celebrating each match that is made, regardless of who makes it. The kids worked on patience, taking turns, and finishing the game together. We’ve continued to play our balloon games – keeping the balloon aloft for as long as possible. Maybe I imagine it but the mayhem in this game seems to have diminished a bit as the kids become accustomed to playing it together, trusting they will get a turn.

Encouraging each other and letting go of individual preferences to embrace a group effort is a long process. Not every activity noted above went off without a hitch. Reminders were needed, encouragement was given, hurt feelings were soothed. As with all skill development, the more we practice it, the easier it will become. Here’s to a year of productive practice by Team Preschool!”