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Idaho National History Day 2017

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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

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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!

Our International Community: A Letter from our Head of School

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The following is the introduction to Bob Carignan’s February 2, 2017 newsletter to the Riverstone community. To read previous Riverstone newsletters, you may link to our archives here. We invite you to subscribe to our weekly newsletter here.

A few years ago, I remember teaching a unit on Persepolis, the Iranian graphic novel, and a student pondered what life would be like in Iran. As if magically, the classroom door opened and I heard “Hi Bob!” coming from a recent Riverstone graduate who had spent the summer in Iran with her family. So I gave her the floor to discuss her experiences and what life was like in Iran for her and her family. I remember the enormous pride I felt that we at Riverstone, in Boise, Idaho, had built an authentic international community in thought and deed that connected our kids everywhere. I am no less proud now.

We have welcomed immigrants, refugees, exchange students, and green card holders from throughout the Middle East and Africa, including most of the seven countries experiencing the current immigration and travel ban. In all cases, these students and their families made Riverstone a better place by deepening the richness of our community and widening the perspective of our students. Included below are pictures from our 2005-06 school yearbook, featuring our international students. We are proud of this tradition and of bringing these incredible students into our community year after year.

I want to make it clear where we stand as a school. Riverstone will continue to welcome students from around the world. We will continue to read and teach from a global curriculum. We will continue to give our students an understanding of the Middle East and the worlds great religions. We will continue to encourage free and open inquiry. We will continue to encourage critical thinking in which facts matter. We will continue guiding our students through difficult conversations in an atmosphere of respect.

These changes are already impacting our community. Please read this article from a major German newspaper concerning one of our graduates, Kat T (’10).

Places like Riverstone, places that strive to teach students empathy through a diverse curriculum including the study of global art and music are places that can serve as antidotes to hatred and ignorance.

Yes, the world is a difficult and complex place that can be dangerous. But, we need to stand for opportunity and understanding; optimism and realism can exist side by side. A disciplined, “liberal education” that is global in reach, asks difficult questions and does not settle for easy answers, encourages 21st Century skills like collaboration, celebrates diversity, and encourages understanding is the best way to prepare students for the most important job that lies ahead: being informed and responsible citizens who seek peace and make the world a better place.

Bob Carignan
Head of School

Riverstone Students Receive Idaho Scholastic Writing Awards

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This week, 19 Riverstone students were recognized for excellence in writing by the Idaho Scholastic Writing Awards – an affiliate of the national organization that works to honor and encourage the voices of young writers. Student submissions were blindly judged by panels of leading writers and artists in our community. Each student’s work will be submitted to the national awards, which entails massive scholarship opportunities and a possible invitation to the awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall. For more detailed information about the awards, please visit

The students who were honored at the Idaho level (names included below) will be recognized at a spring ceremony at Boise State University on Sunday, Mar 19 at 4:30 PM. All Gold Key and Silver Key recognitions will be submitted to the national awards, which entails massive scholarship opportunities and a possible invitation to the awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall. For more detailed information about the awards, please visit their website here.

Grade 12
  • Nina E: Poetry – Gold Key
  • Ethan T: Poetry – Gold Key
  • Audrey T: Poetry – Honorable Mention

Grade 10

  • Laurel C: Short Story – Honorable Mention
  • Olivia D: Personal Essay/Memoir – Gold Key, Silver Key and Honorable Mention
  • Aela D: Poetry – Honorable Mention; Flash Fiction – Silver Key and Honorable Mention
  • Anwen R: Personal Essay/Memoir – Honorable Mention and Honorable Mention
  • Maryana T: Personal Essay/Memoir – Honorable Mention
  • Ian W:Personal Essay/Memoir – Honorable Mention

Grade 9

  • Aiden G (Gr 9): Flash Fiction – Honorable Mention
  • Maeve P (Gr 9): Personal Essay/Memoir – Gold Key and Honorable Mention

Grade 8

  • Rachel C (Gr 8): Flash Fiction – Silver Key
  • Louisa G (Gr 8): Poetry – Honorable Mention; Flash Fiction – Silver Key; Critical Essay – Honorable Mention
  • Olivia G (Gr 8): Flash Fiction – Gold Key
  • Emma G (Gr 8): Flash Fiction – Honorable Mention
  • Alyson G (Gr 8): Flash Fiction – Silver Key; Poetry – Honorable Mention
  • Ethan H (Gr 8): Flash Fiction – Gold Key
  • Nathan M (Gr 8): Crictical Essay – Gold Key; Flash Fiction – Honorable Mention
  • Faye S (Gr 8): Critical Essay – Honorable Mention

And thank you to our English teachers, Amanda Micheletty and Jeff Cole, for guiding our students with their entries for this year’s competition!

Spirit (of Kindness) Week

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During our all-school Spirit Week, our Middle and High School students also celebrated Spirit of Kindness Week and heard from Sienna, a representative of Revealing Kindness LLC, on how and why it is important to be kinder to each other.

Organized and led by senior Avery W, students spent the week practicing kindness to others as well as participating in the “Pie in the Face” fundraising campaign. Avery asked students to put spare change into one of four jars labeled with four of our staff members’ names: Andy Johnson, Jim Harper, Amanda Micheletty and Samantha Cole.

Whoever received the most donations in their jar would not only get to choose which charity to donate all of the funds to, but they would also receive a pie in the face during our Spirit Week Pep Rally. After the original donations were calculated, it was revealed Jim Harper, Art teacher, and Amanda Micheletty, English teacher, were tied. After accepting a few last minute donations, Amanda was the lucky winner of a pie to the face with all of her students cheering her on. You can watch the video on our Instagram here.

Other Spirit Week activities included students dressing up based on a theme each day, such as a day dedicated to wearing your favorite international sports team jersey, to making plaid rad again, to wearing one color in solidarity with classmates. Middle and High School grades each participated in a dodgeball tournament during lunch with Grade 8 taking the final win against Grade 12 – the Grade 8 champions are pictured below. All grades competed in a relay race and Riverstone cheer contest with Grade 12 winning both competitions.

This week not only encouraged our students to be kind to one another, but to feel pride for the school they attend and the peers they share it with. Check out all of the pictures from this week’s events below!

Middle and High School Morning of Service

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Middle & High School Students Impact Local Organizations during Morning of Service

In a single morning, local non-profit organizations were the recipients of about 450 hours of volunteer work by Riverstone International School Middle and High School students. Rather than staying at home when they had the day off for parent-teacher conferences, 180 students in Grades 6-12 donated their time to give back to the Boise community during their semi-annual “Riverstone Morning of Service” on October 27, 2016.

Students assisted the Discovery Center of Idaho by assembling engineering kits and helped with Zoo Boise’s fall cleanup. The largest beneficiary of this year’s Morning of Service was the City of Boise. Students helped prepare two new parks, Molenaar Park and Esther Simplot Park, by collecting trash and moving mountains of mulch. Another group replanted 10 acres of sagebrush on Table Rock to help replace the vegetation burned in this past summer’s fire. Additionally, one group stayed on campus to complete projects in order to make it more sustainable.

The Morning of Service takes place twice per year; this is the school’s fourth year of holding these service days as a means to put into practice the school’s commitment to Community and Service.

Watch the KTVB news story here

Watch the Idaho Ed News news story here

Join Us at an Open House!

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Tuesday, Mar 14 at 9:00 AM: Preschool – Grade 5

Thursday, Mar 16 at 9:00 AM: Grade 6 – 12

Riverstone International School is innovative, independent, and forward-thinking.

We believe that students need to fearlessly ask questions, think critically, develop creative solutions, and collaborate with others who have diverse perspectives. Students have to be prepared with the academic skills to tackle the next big challenge while having the personal fortitude to know what they believe in and who they are.

Riverstone’s Mission

Our mission is to inspire courageous journeys of academic and personal exploration that enable our students to lead purposeful lives.

As a school, we are committed to offering our students an education that provides outstanding academic preparation plus additional experiences that shape students’ understanding of themselves and the world. These experiences center around our Five Pillars — Academic Excellence, Community and Service, Leadership by Example, International Understanding, and Outdoor Education. We also strive to create an environment of respect and trust between students, teachers, and administrative staff.

Inspiring the Journey: Preschool through Grade 12

Recently recognized by The Washington Post as “Idaho’s Most Challenging High School” and by Niche as the Top Private School in Idaho, Riverstone is the only school in Idaho, and one of 17 in the nation, authorized to offer the complete continuum of International Baccalaureate Programmes:

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.

What’s New and Exciting at Riverstone

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

Inquire here

Welcome Back from Fall Trips!

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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!

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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

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Welcome back from the Riverstone faculty and staff! Please find important policies and procedures for the 2016-17 school year, as originally shared in last week’s newsletter, included below.

School Hours
Students should arrive at school by 8:25 AM with all the necessary supplies and be prepared to participate when class starts at 8:30 AM. All grades will start at 8:30 AM and end at the following times:

  • Preschool – Grade 5 (8:30 AM – 3:30 PM)
  • Grades 6 – 9 (8:30 AM – 3:20 PM)
  • Grades 10 – 12 (8:30 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) or Melinda Quick (208-424-5000 #1) 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 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 next few weeks, new parents will 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
We will be offering Before and After Care again this year and have extended our hours for After Care! Our fee-based Before and After Care Program for Preschool – Grade 5 students will take place in Room 16 of the Elementary School (Mrs. Walker’s Gr 5 classroom from last year) Monday through Friday.

Before Care begins at 7:30 AM and will be supervised by Ms. Whittington*
After Care is offered after school until 6:00 PM and supervised by Ms. Butler and Ms. Linville.

Parents will need to deliver and pick-up children directly to/from Room 16, rather than entering through the Elementary School. Doors to the Elementary School are locked until 8:00 AM and re-locked at 4:00 PM.

**There is no Before-Care on the first day of school. We will have After-Care however.

If you are planning on regularly utilizing Elementary School After-Care services, please email Kayla Butler so that we may plan accordingly.

Study Hall: After School Supervision for Grades 6 – 12
Riverstone will continue its supervised after school study hall for students in Gr 6-12. Between 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM, Monday – Thursday, students will be supervised in the gym foyer.

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

If you have any questions, please contact Kathleen Gilton.

After School Activities
We anticipate starting our After School Activities program in the next few weeks. Please watch the newsletter for details!

Riverstone Staff 2016-17