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:
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:
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!
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!”
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.
At the end of each school year, we select a junior to receive the Head of School Award. Three months later that same junior, now a senior, delivers the Convocation Address from the graduating class. We are so proud of James E (Class of 2018) and his peers for all of the journeys they have taken and will take.
Please view his inspiring speech below and join us in wishing all the best to the Class of 2018, and all of our Riverstone classes, for the 2017-18 school year!
You can read more about James’s journey in the Idaho Education News article from September 2017: One of Idaho’s Top Students Survived Life-Threatening Illness.
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!
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!
Riverstone 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.”
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.
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