High School

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.

2017 Convocation Senior Speech

By | Academic Excellence, High School, IB | No Comments

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.

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!

 

 

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!

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 www.artandwriting.org.

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!

Middle and High School Morning of Service

By | Community & Service, High School, Middle School | No Comments

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

International Achievements: IB Diploma Programme and International Schools’ Assessment

By | Academic Excellence, Elementary School, High School, IB, Middle School | No Comments

The following is the introduction to Bob Carignan’s July 18, 2016 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.

Hi All,

At Riverstone International School, we are committed to ensuring that our students have both the personal and academic skills to interact with others and contribute on a global stage. An international community of families, students and staff provide excellent opportunities to connect on a personal level. Additionally, we evaluate our academic programs through two important measures: our International Schools’ Assessment (ISA) exam results and our International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP) scores.

International Schools’ Assessment

In 2015-16, over 76,000 students from 355 schools around the world participated in the ISA.

Yes, I can tell you how Riverstone’s Grade 3 measures up against third graders in Poland in Math or how our Grade 9 performs against their peers in Finland in Writing.

The graphs in the bottom of the newsletter highlight that our students in Gr 3, 5, 7, and 9 are outperforming their counterparts in every area that is tested: Mathematical Literacy, Reading, Narrative Writing Narrative and Expository Writing.

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme

The Diploma Programme pass rate is another method that we use to evaluate our students’ preparation.

I’m pleased to share that the percentage of Riverstone Diploma Programme candidates earning the IB Diploma exceeded both the United States and the global rate for the third straight year. Please see the graph below. Additionally, our average score was 31 whereas the US average score is 27 and the global average score is 30. Read the IBO announcement regarding DP results here.

I would highlight that our ISA scores and DP pass rate are not achieved by rote practice, but achieved because our school and teachers provide an atmosphere where both skills, knowledge, and innovation are equal parts of the daily education. We balance the emphasis on project-based learning with skill acquisition. We develop students who have strong 21stCentury skills, who can research and read critically, who complete a rigorous math and science curriculum, who find mentors and ask for help, and who engage daily in a global community. We strive to bring the IB mission to life, “…to develop inquiring, knowledgeable and caring young people who help to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.”

I am proud of, and grateful for, our faculty who provide a challenging, yet supportive educational experience and am proud of each and every one of our students. I am excited for the upcoming school year and know we will continue to engage, teach, and learn from one another.

We will return to school at the end of August. Until then, enjoy time with your family.

 

Call for anything,

Bob Carignan

Head of School

Riverstone Breaks Ground on Phase 1 of New Middle & High School Building

By | Academic Excellence, Elementary School, High School, IB, Middle School | No Comments

Riverstone International School is expanding!

With an eye to the future, Riverstone International School has broken ground on Phase 1 of a new Middle and High School on their campus in southeast Boise and will be opening a new residential program this fall.

Phase 1 features a 6,962 square foot building that will include two music classrooms, a recording studio, two science classrooms with laboratories (one wet and one dry), a general classroom, restrooms, and two offices.

This new building was designed by Erstad Architects and will connect to a larger, Middle and High School building to be constructed at a future date. The overall design compliments the striking, light-filled Elementary School that Erstad Architects designed in 2009. PETRA, Inc. is the general contractor for the project with an anticipated completion of December 2016.

According to Bob Carignan, Head of School, “Upgrading our Middle and High School facilities to reflect the innovative education we offer at Riverstone is part of our 2014-2019 Strategic Plan. Our goal is to create a distinctive learning environment that fosters inquiry-based learning, encourages engaging discussions between students and teachers, and builds a strong community.”

The school is opening a residential facility in downtown Boise in the fall of 2016 with a long-term goal of housing 32 domestic and international residential high school students. Improving the school’s academic facilities is necessary to meet both the educational needs of students and future growth of the school.

Phase 1 of the new Middle and High School replaces the original modular buildings that were purchased in 1997 when the school first opened as the independent Hidden Springs Community School in Hidden Springs. The modulars were moved and installed at the school’s campus at 5521 Warm Springs Avenue when the school relocated to its current 14-acre site in 2000. The school bid a fond farewell to the modulars in late May.

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Riverstone International is a private, independent school with 325 students from preschool through high school. Recently recognized by The Washington Post as “Idaho’s Most Challenging High School,” Riverstone is the only school in Idaho, and one of 17 in the nation, authorized to provide the three International Baccalaureate programmes. About 20% of the families receive tuition assistance. Riverstone International School inspires courageous journeys of academic and personal growth to enable students to lead purposeful lives.

We will waive the $75 application fee for families who start their applications* for the 2016-17 academic year prior to August 15. Please inquire at the button below. We will send instructions and the appropriate code via email.

*Day students only; not applicable for residential students.

Inquire here

Photo includes  Andy Johnson (RIS Middle & High School Director), Andy Erstad (Erstad Architects), Katrina Kulm (Erstad Architects), Mark Liebich (RIS Chairman Board of Trustees), Bob Carignan (RIS Head of School), Rachel Pusch (RIS Director of Enrollment Management), Jerry Frank (PETRA, Inc), and Melinda Quick (RIS Class of 2009).

Riverstone International School Awarded Idaho’s Most Challenging High School

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

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Riverstone International School has topped The Washington Post‘s list of Idaho’s Most Challenging High Schools!

According to reporter Jay Mathews, “The index score is the number of college-level tests given at a school in the previous calendar year divided by the number of graduates that year.”

As an International Baccalaureate World School that enrolls every student in the prestigious IB Diploma Programme, graduates sit for six college-level tests. In addition to a month-long battery of exams covering six subject areas, students must complete an independent research paper of approximately 4,000 words and 150 hours of Creativity, Action and Service. Additionally, students are required to complete a course in Theory of Knowledge, a hallmark of an IB education.

On a national level, Riverstone appears at #125 out of the approximately 22,000 schools in the United States that were evaluated.

 

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