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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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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!

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2017 Middle and High School Awards

By | Academic Excellence, High School, Leadership by Example | No Comments

Each year, we honor students who have gone above and beyond inside and outside the classroom and within our community. Congratulations to all of our Middle and High School award winners!

  • Head of School Award – James E (Gr 11)
  • High School Leadership Award – Maggie L (Gr 10)
  • Middle School Leadership Award – Louisa G (Gr 8)
  • Outdoor Leadership High School Award – Ian W (Gr 10)
  • Outdoor Leadership Middle School Award – Louisa G (Gr 8)
  • Community and Service High School Award – Ellie C (Gr 11) and Anna F (Gr 10)
  • Community and Service Middle School Award – Meghan F (Gr 7) and Taavi Z (Gr 8)
  • International Understanding High School Award – Caca W (Gr 10) and Ana Sofia (Sofi) LG (Gr 11)
  • International Understanding Middle School Award – Ethan H (Gr 8) and Honggeol K (Gr 8)
  • English Departmental High School Award – Jessica A (Gr 11)
  • English Departmental Middle School Award – Darci D (Gr 7)
  • Spanish Departmental High School Award – Olivia L (Gr 11)
  • Spanish Departmental Middle School Award – Katie M (Gr 6)
  • Mandarin Departmental High School Award – Preston B (Gr 9)
  • Mandarin Departmental Middle School Award – Laila M (Gr 8)
  • French Departmental High School Award – Elvira T (Gr 11)
  • English B Award – Haobo (Jay) X (Gr 11)
  • Individuals and Societies High School Award – Emilie E (Gr 11) and Edie J (Gr 10)
  • Individuals and Societies Middle School Award – Emma G (Gr 8)
  • Biology Award – Emilie E (Gr 11)
  • Chemistry Award – Christina U (Gr 11)
  • Physics Award – Josh HK (Gr 11)
  • Sciences Award -Charlie D (Gr 8)
  • Mathematics Award – Avery P (Gr 10) and Nathan M (Gr 7)
  • Visual Arts High School Award – Kana T (Gr 10)
  • Visual Arts Middle School Award – Emory G (Gr 8)
  • Music High School Award – Rose E (Gr 11)
  • Music Middle School Award – Salma S (Gr 7)
  • Scholastic Art and Writing National Award – Maeve P (Gr 9), Silver Key
  • Physical Education Award – Laurel C (Gr 10) and Ryan W (Gr 7)
  • Wesleyan Book Award – Qianyi (Astoria) S (Gr 11)
  • Wellesley Book Award – Zibo (Rebekah) J (Gr 11)
  • Kenyon College – Ellie C (Gr 11)
  • Williams Book Award – Aela D (Gr 10)
  • Dartmouth Book Award – Javin S (Gr 11)
  • University of Pennsylvania Book Award – Josh HK (Gr 11)
  • Brown University Book Award – Christina U (Gr 11)
  • Mount Holyoke Book Award – Ana Sofia (Sofi) LG (Gr 11)
  • Certificates of Recognition for Math Tutoring – Olivia D (Gr 11), James E (Gr 11), Rose E (Gr 11), Josh HK (Gr 11), Anna F (Gr 10), Anton (Tony) K (Gr 10), Jordan L (Gr 10), Maggie L (Gr 10), Olivia L (Gr 11), Drew M (Gr 10), Patrick M (Gr 10), Avery P (Gr 10), Solomon R (Gr 10), Anwen R (Gr 10), Javin S (Gr 11), and Christina U (Gr 11).

The Washington Post’s Most Challenging High School in Idaho 2017

By | Academic Excellence, College Placement, High School | No Comments

TWP America's Most Challenging High School Badge 1Riverstone International School has topped The Washington Post‘s list of Idaho’s Most Challenging High Schools for the second time! On a national level, Riverstone moved up the rankings from #125 to #116 out of approximately 22,000 schools in the United States that were evaluated.

According to reporter Jay Mathews, “America’s Most Challenging High Schools ranks schools through an index formula that’s a simple ratio: the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Advanced International Certificate of Education tests given at a school each year, divided by the number of seniors who graduated that year. A ratio of 1.000 means the school had as many tests as graduates.”

Reflecting on this recognition, Head of School, Bob Carignan, wrote to the community, “While no ranking captures what a school does, it is certainly an acknowledgement of our excellent delivery of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Programmes. We do the IB right!

In his article on the selected schools, Post education writer Jay Mathews talked about dedicated teachers finding potential in students – all students. This is something that we have always believed and it is why every student at Riverstone is enrolled in IB classes for their entire time here. Many schools make students apply and test in to the Diploma Programme, but we offer it to all.

While not every student is successful in gaining the Diploma, every student gets a better education because they are taking these demanding courses in small classes with teachers who are totally focused on each student’s potential. Every student must think critically, write clearly and persuasively, analyze facts, and apply what they are learning. Ask any senior who is currently taking the grueling set of IB exams this month.

And yet we are more than the most academically challenging high school in Idaho. While not every day is rainbows and sunshine for every student, nor should it be, when I walk down our hallways I am always renewed by how much our students laugh – in class and out. The faculty mentorship, the academic challenge, the emphasis on curiosity, interests, and passions turns our academic rigor into a very special kind of academic vigor that lasts a lifetime – this is our true coin of the realm. This is what is reflected in our ranking, and we should all be very proud of that.”

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Riverstone International School is a private, independent school with 350 students from preschool through high school. Offering both day and boarding programs, Riverstone is Idaho’s premier International Baccalaureate World School and the only school in Idaho authorized to provide all three International Baccalaureate Programmes. The school awards scholarships and tuition assistance to approximately 30% of their students and 100% of graduates are accepted into four year colleges and universities around the world. Academic excellence, community and service, leadership by example, international understanding, and outdoor education form the foundation of Riverstone’s educational philosophy.

 

Inquire Today!

 

 

Exceptional Riverstone Faculty News

By | High School, Middle School, Teachers & Staff | No Comments

We are excited to share the recent successes of two members of the Riverstone faculty. Both Christine Corbin and Jon Moreno-Ramirez exemplify the unique and exceptional individuals who teach at Riverstone International School.

Congratulations, Christine and Jon!

00063Christine Corbin, our Middle School Art teacher, has been recognized as a 2017 Fellow and awarded a $5000 grant to “Explore the art, customs and culture of the diminishing Ethiopian Omo River Valley tribal people to enhance current art units on perceptions of beauty in diverse cultures and on unique tribal identity through the use of body painting and adornment, scarification, and piercings.”

During her month-long trip, Christine will be living with the Omo River Valley tribal people as she conducts her research. Fund for Teachers, the organization awarding this grant wrote to Christine, “From thousands of applications from across the country, your proposal stood out as one that will bring relevant knowledge and skills back to your students.You now join a peer group of over 7,000 other PreK – 12 educators who refused to settle for traditional professional development or the status quo in their classroom. After navigating the globe conducting field research, attending seminars, volunteering with community organizations or observing best practices, our Fellows inspire school communities with authentic learning.” You may read more about the 2017 Fellows and their proposals here.
We are incredibly proud of Christine who put over 100 hours of work into her grant application. We can’t wait to hear about her adventures and see the impact on our students! Congratulations, Christine!

 

00236High School Physics teacher, Jon Moreno-Ramirez was recently featured in an Idaho Ed News article celebrating him as a recipient of a $15,000 Partners in Science Program grant from M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust.

Jon will investigate the fundamental physical properties of nanoscale ferroelectrics and multiferroics in various devices, such as computer memories or microwave electronic devices. The grant program is to help high school science teachers obtain firsthand research experience that they can apply in the classroom. Congratulations, Jon!

 

 

 

 

 

Riverstone’s Earth Week

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

Throughout this past two weeks, students have been learning about all of the sustainability initiatives on campus at Riverstone to celebrate Earth Day.

Elementary School students attended a brief assembly where they learned about pollinators and the school’s Pollinator Garden. Each class was given a blueberry bush that they will plant on campus with Outdoor Education Program Director, Ben Brock, during the coming weeks.

Senior Alex M presented a mason bee house that will be installed in the pollinator garden to illustrate that not all bees sting and are welcome in our garden. Special thanks to Far West Nursery for providing the blueberry bushes to replace the Japanese Yew shrubs that the school removed in February to provide a safer wintering habitat for deer and elk.

In an assembly organized by students in the Plant, Sustainability and Veggie Clubs, Middle and High School students learned about diverting waste from the landfill through increased awareness of recycling, composting and reusable containers. During the 200+ person event, less than 2lbs of garbage was produced! All biodegradable waste was diverted into the Middle and High School garden compost and all plastic/glass made its way into the recycling. Following the assembly, Darjeeling Momo, El Paco Tacos y Tortas and Burgerlicious food trucks set-up shop in the Middle and High School Quad for the school’s first Food Truck Rally! The rally educated students about fuel emissions and the environment and encouraged students to stay on campus for lunch or walk to nearby stores.

Big thanks to Naomi C (Gr 12), Ethan E (Gr 6), Anna F (Gr 10), Andres G (Gr 12), Avery P (Gr 10), Olivia P (Gr 12), Zach P (Gr 6), Vedant R (Gr 6), and Dev S (Gr 6), for inspiring us all to have a positive impact on our planet!

Additionally, students from our Outdoor Leadership Program will be maintaining Riverstone’s Ridge-to-Rivers Adopt a Trail segment in Polecat Gulch.

On Earth Day, Saturday, Apr 22, our community will gather to expand the school’s Pollinator Garden and Bio Swale on the west side of the Elementary School! Once the swale itself has been widened and a bit more sod has been converted into mulched garden beds each Kindergarten through Grade 5 class will get to plant a blueberry bush and make our campus more pollinator friendly, and edible. Native and flowering plants will continue to find homes in the garden during the spring thanks to Plant Club and Middle School Science classes! Stay tuned for more pictures.

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

The Otterbots Compete at FIRST Tech Challege

By | Academic Excellence, High School | No Comments

Congratulations to the Otterbots, Riverstone’s Robotics team, for their stellar performance at last weekend’s FIRST Tech Challenge Competition in Moscow, ID! The six members of the team have been meeting twice a week after school since September to design, build, program, test, and refine their robot in preparation for this unique competition in which they compete in head-to-head challenges in an alliance format.

Led by Coaches Jon Moreno-Ramirez and Jenn Schmutzler (our High School Science teachers), the team made it to the semi-final round of their inaugural competition! They were honored to be invited to join one of the finalist teams as their alliance partner, a reflection of the Otterbots’ skill and teamwork during the early rounds.

Team members included in the team picture below are Nathan M (Gr 8), Jay X (Gr 11), Kana T (Gr 10), James E (Gr 11), Rose E (Gr 11), and Leo W (Gr 11). Also pictured is Coach Jon Moreno-Ramirez. Not pictured team members are Gavin G (Gr 8), Colin C (Gr 12) and Neo Z (Gr 11).

The team is not finished for the year, as they will be going to reconvene after Spring Break to create a plan for next year with a focus on participating in and completing challenges they haven’t yet tried (such as using sensors and building a new arm).

Special congratulations to Rose E (Gr 11) for being chosen as a Dean’s List Award Finalist!

Rose was chosen for her leadership, dedication, and contributions to the team!

Go Otterbots!

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