Category Archives: Elementary School

Becoming (and Staying) an IB School

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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!”


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

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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

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, Nov 7 at 9:00 AM: Preschool – Grade 5

Thursday, Nov 9 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
  • 345 students in the Preschool – High School with 48 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
  • Riverstone exceeds IB Diploma Programme pass rate globally and nationally
  • Athletic teams and extracurricular opportunities offered
  • Recently recognized as Idaho’s Most Challenging High School (The Washington Post), as the Top Private School in Idaho (Niche), and as the #1 Best High School for STEM in Idaho (Niche)

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


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.

Important Policies and Procedures

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

Please find important policies and procedures for our community included below.

*Updated Aug 2017

School Hours

  • Preschool – Grade 5 (8:30 AM – 3:30 PM)
  • Grades 6 – 7 (8:20 AM – 3:20 PM with a daily 15 minute homeroom built in to the schedule)
  • Grades 8 – 12 (8:20 AM – 3:05 PM)

Notify the school if you child will be absent
Our experience has shown that attending classes daily is one of the most important factors of being a successful student.

If your student will be absent, please notify the school as soon as possible.

Please contact Sarah Taylor in the Elementary School (208-424-5000 ext. 0) or Tanith Brown (via email) in the Middle and High School.

Middle and High School parents may submit attendance excusals by 9:00 AM the morning of absence via ManageBac at

If a student has repeated absences or tardies, the Division Director will work closely with the student and their parents to rectify the problem.

Checking In or Checking Out Students
Parents must sign in students who are arriving late or sign out students who are leaving prior to the end of the school day.

Elementary parents should use the sign in/out sheets that are located by the Elementary School Director’s office.

Middle and High School students should be signed out on the clipboard by Kathleen Gilton’s office in the Middle School or by Andy Johnson’s office in the High School.

For the protection of your child’s classmates and staff, if any of the following signs or symptoms are present over the next school year, please keep your child at home for at least 24 hours after the last sign of symptom.

  • Elevated temperature (100.0° or higher)
  • Diarrhea
  • Persistent headache
  • Inflamed/sore throat
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Unexplained rash
  • Wheezing
  • Earache

When a student has a communicable disease, it must be reported to the school at once. Communicable diseases include: Chicken Pox, Head Lice, Impetigo, Pink Eye/Conjunctivitis, Ringworm, Scabies, Scarlet Fever, Strep Throat or Fifth Disease.

When the school becomes aware of students having been exposed to a communicable disease, the school will make every effort to contact families of the exposed students.

If a child becomes ill at school, or has any of the above symptoms, parents will be contacted in order to take their child home.

Administering Medications
While your child is at school, Riverstone faculty and staff are prohibited from giving your child medications – including acetominophen, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium – without express written permission accompanying the medication in its original container. The permission must describe the dose the parents approve the school to administer.

Please provide the medication and permission to either James Hamilton-Vail in the Elementary School or Andy Johnson in the Middle and High School.

At Riverstone, we use ManageBac, an online tool specifically designed for planning, assessment, and reporting for International Baccalaureate programs.

In the Elementary School, teachers use ManageBac for curriculum planning and producing semester report cards. At the end of the first semester, new parents receive an email inviting them to create a ManageBac account so that they may view their child’s report card when it is posted.

In the High School, teachers use ManageBac for curriculum planning, communicating with students, evaluating student work, and producing semester report cards.

In the first weeks of school, new parents receive an email invitation to create their own ManageBac login. We encourage parents to regularly view their student’s attendance, assignments, and assessments. At the end of each semester, parents are notified when report cards are posted for viewing.

Visitor Sign In
All visitors to the school, including parents, guest speakers, alumni, and community members, must check-in and obtain a visitors badge at either the Elementary School or Middle School front desks.

Badges should be returned and visitors check out at the end of the visit. Thank you for your cooperation!

Preschool – Grade 5 Before and After Care Program
Before- and After-School Care is a fee-based service provided to Riverstone parents and staff. Parents can schedule their children to use this service regularly or on a drop-in basis.

*Please Note: Before Care will not start until Tuesday, Aug 29. After-care will be available on the first day of school, Monday, Aug 28. We will not provide Before- and After-School Care on teacher in-service days (Thursday, Oct 5 – Friday, Oct 6, 2017 as well as Monday, Apr 2, 2018).
The safety of the children is paramount and licensed childcare workers supervise all children. Only children paying for the service are permitted to be in the childcare classroom. Please note that enrollment agreements must be signed prior to your student utilizing Before- and After-School Care.

Before-School Care is available Monday – Friday from 7:30 AM – 8:15 AM at a cost of $3 per session.

After-School Care is available Monday – Friday from 3:30 PM – 6:00 PM at a cost of $6 per session.

Study Hall: After School Gym Foyer Supervision for Grades 6 – 12
Riverstone will continue to provide supervision in the gym foyer after school for students in Gr 6-12 between 4:00 PM – 6:00 PMMonday – Friday.

Students on campus after 4:00 PM must be in the Gym Foyer unless in the direct supervision of a faculty member during an after-school activity or athletic program.

The foyer will provide students with a space to catch up on homework as well as a place where they can wait for practices or games to begin.

If you have any questions, please contact Kevin Berner.

After School Activities

Online Registration – All Riverstone clubs and teams will require parents to register or sign up online. Links will be made available and sent to families via the weekly newsletter. Information about specific activities is sent out the first few weeks of school.

Clubs and Club Fair – A Club Fair following the Fall Outdoor Trips will give students the opportunity to explore their options for each year. Club sign-up information will be sent out to families via the newsletter.

Social Events – Social events will include dances, movie nights, evening activities, occasional “meet-ups,” as well as events organized by the MS and HS Student Councils. Event dates throughout the school year are posted to the school calendar and will updated with additional details closer to the event. Please check it often to stay current on any upcoming events.

If you have any questions, please contact Kevin Berner.

Riverstone Staff 2016-17