Category Archives: Teachers & Staff

Where You're From Is Who You Are

By | Academic Excellence, Elementary School, International Understanding, Teachers & Staff | No Comments

Grade 4As part of the Fourth Grade “Who We Are” unit of inquiry, Riverstone Librarian, Susan Tabb, and the students are creating a map that shows where we have lived. The “we” in this project are the Riverstone staff and students. Gathering this information has been humbling.

At Riverstone, when we talk about International Understanding as one of our five pillars, and creating an international culture at the school, we tend talk about the number of international and expatriate students, we have as well as the international experiences our children have through travel. But we cannot forget the experiences that the Riverstone staff members bring to this equation. The Riverstone staff has world experiences that cover every continent, 40 countries, and 40 states plus Washington, D.C.

Thank you to our Grade 4 students for gathering the following information! And thank you to our staff for creating a truly international experience for our students!

Countries Riverstone Staff Have Lived In

American Samoa
New Zealand
Puerto Rico
South Korea
United Arab Emirates
United States
West Germany
West Africa

States (including Washington, D.C.) Riverstone Staff Have Lived In

New Jersey
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Washington, D.C.

Teacher In-Service Days

By | Academic Excellence, IB, Teachers & Staff | No Comments

The past two days of staff development at Riverstone have been incredibly productive and rewarding. Here is a short list of what the staff have been up to:

  • Several teachers attended Khan Academy training at Northwest Nazarene University
  • Middle School teachers prepared for their Middle Years Programme re-authorization visit in November
  • Primary Years Programme and Diploma Programme teachers worked together refining curriculum
  • All staff attended a two hour session with the Flourish Foundation about mindfulness
  • All teachers organized themselves into department meetings to work on ensuring vertical articulation of our curriculum by subject area (Math, Science, English, etc)
  • All staff participated in a training session on crisis management
  • To wrap it all up, we had a delicious pizza and salad lunch in the atrium!

It was a busy two days but having the chance to learn new things and work together is invaluable and translates to a better experience for our students and staff. We look forward to bringing back what we learned to the classrooms!


Amazing Teachers Focus on Curriculum Development

By | Academic Excellence, IB, Teachers & Staff | No Comments

Thank you to Lynne Erickson for spending the day with us. Lynn led our teachers in a full-day of professional development related to curriculum development as it applies to the International Baccalaureate Programmes. As Idaho’s first IB World School, and only one of 16 in the country authorized for the PYP, MYP, and DP, we take our professional development seriously!

We are off to a great start for 2013-2014!

Ben's Shiny New Boots

By | Outdoor Education, Teachers & Staff | No Comments

Ben Brock, our Director of Outdoor Education, showed up at school yesterday sporting his new hiking boots. His plan is to start breaking in those shiny new boots before the Sawtooth Traverse and Fall trips. Seeing Ben excited about his new boots reminded me of his email to parents prior to Spring Trips about the importance of breaking in boots and the newly established Boot Camp to help our students do just that. I wanted to post the email here as another example of Ben’s innovative and fun ideas to prepare our kids for backpacking trips. Maybe your family would like to establish your own Boot Camp this summer?

Email from Ben Brock to parents of students in Grades 8-11:

“If you’re one of the people who have outgrown your boots since your last backpacking trip, time is getting tight to properly break in new pair of boots for Spring Trips…

But don’t despair. During the next two weeks, various Riverstone teachers / trip leaders will be hitting the Greenbelt every day at lunch to put a few miles on new kicks in the First Annual Spring Trip Boot Camp! If these walks aren’t sufficient to completely break in new footwear, they will at least help identify any hotspots that might develop. We can then use a little preventative moleskin on those potential hotspots on the first days of Spring Trips to make sure that blisters don’t form, even if boots are still a little stiff.

Additionally, on the next two Tuesdays and Thursdays (April 30, May 2, 7, 9) from 3:30 to 4:30 Ben Brock will lead a little more ambitious walk up Council Springs Road, into the foothills directly north of school. We’ll walk out (and up) for 30 minutes and then turn around and walk back to school. In addition to getting a few more miles on some boots, this will also be a great opportunity to put a little weight in your pack and build an aerobic base for the upcoming Spring Trips. Don’t have a pack you say? Reserve one from the Outdoor Program and check it out early to make sure it gets properly fit. And that you know where to put that new hydration system that you just went out and bought…

Loaner Boots – If you know that you need boots for this trip and are worried about getting a brand new pair, let me know. I have a pretty good selection of pre-loved boots that have been donated to the school.

Weather is getting NICE and I can’t wait to hit the trails (blister-free)!”

Getting Ready for a New Year

By | Academic Excellence, Parents' Association, Teachers & Staff | No Comments

Getting ready for the first day of school is always an exciting time. Teachers are meeting to collaborate on curriculum, learn new technology skills, and prepare their classrooms, among a long list of other things. It’s a time of high energy and excitement that reminds us all of why we love working together.

Yesterday, the multi-purpose room was put to good use while staff were certified in CPR and First Aid. At the end of the day, the room was re-invented when the Parents’ Association treated everyone to a visit from the taco truck! Now that was the way to start the year!

Many thanks to our teachers and staff for all their efforts preparing for our students’ arrival on Monday. And we are grateful to the Parents’ Association for the good food and good fun!

Chinese Spring Festival

By | International Understanding, Teachers & Staff | No Comments

One of our international students, Lily, invited our Grade 4 teacher, Kerry Fitzharris, to a Chinese Spring Festival party with other international students this past weekend. Kerry and Lily made cookies together and then gathered with the other students at the home of one of our Riverstone host families to enjoy lots of delicious food, socialize, and share Chinese traditions. When Lily woke up the next morning for Chinese New Year, she found the presents that Kerry had wrapped for her as a surprise.

The Chinese New Year tradition is to reconcile, forget all grudges and sincerely wish peace and happiness for everyone. How wonderful is that?

Teachers Back in Action

By | Academic Excellence, Teachers & Staff | No Comments

Riverstone’s teachers spent the day working in their re-accreditation teams in preparation for next year’s re-accreditation visit by the Pacific Northwest Association of Independent Schools (PNAIS). Accreditation provides school leadership, families, staff, and the general public with an independent, non-governmental validation that the school is effectively delivering a quality educational experience to their students.

The five core values that PNAIS accredited schools follow are:

Independence in determining their own missions and philosophies, are self-governing and self supporting without substantial dependence on government, other entities, or individuals.

Encouragement of free and open inquiry in which students are taught to think critically and to challenge their own perspective and others of others.

Commitment to diversity and creating a community of students, families, trustees, and staff from as many diverse backgrounds and perspectives as possible.

Commitment to ongoing improvement through a continuous process of research, reflection, and on-going improvement that enables schools to stay relevant to their missions and to the students and families they serve.

Voluntary operating in accordance with collegial relationships and ethical leadership within the Association.

To learn more about the Pacific Northwest Association of Independent Schools, visit their website .