For those moving to a new location, it’s important to know what educational options are available. This chapter outlines the public schools system in Elmore County and its surrounding areas, along with information about local libraries and higher education. There are private schools, charter schools and home schooling available to children in the area as well.
To be enrolled in an Idaho school, a child must be at least 5 years old by Sept. 1 of the school year. Those wishing to register their child in school should bring the following to the school office: a birth certificate or other proof of the child’s age and the child’s previous school records and immunizations records. Check with the school for additional requirements. Required immunizations for a child enrolling in kindergarten are as follows: five doses of diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis; four doses of polio; two doses of measles, mumps and rubella; three doses of hepatitis B; two doses of varicella; and two doses of Hepatitis A. For details on Idaho’s minimum vaccine requirements for students in grades K-12, visit the Idaho State Department of Education’s website at www.sde.idaho.gov.
In 2011, Idaho, along with the majority other states, the District of Columbia, Guam, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Department of Defense Education Activity adopted Common Core State Standards that provide a consistent set of educational expectations for students, regardless of ZIP code. When a family moves, a student’s education is often disrupted because the student may be forced to repeat material or learn at a different level at the new school. With common standards across states, this disruption will be reduced — of particular interest to military families. At present, national Common Core State Standards exist only for English language arts and mathematics, with science and social studies in development, though Idaho has added literacy standards in other subject areas so students will learn how to read, analyze, and write in any subject matter or career field they choose. The new standards are available online at http://sde.idaho.gov/academic/standards. For more information, visit www.corestandards.org.
Charter schools are public schools of choice that are tuition-free, serve all students and have open enrollment. For more information or a listing of charter schools in Idaho, visit the Idaho State Department of Education’s website at www.sde.idaho.gov/school-choice/charter.
For an introduction to home schooling in Idaho, visit the Idaho State Department of Education’s website at www.sde.idaho.gov/school-choice/home-school. Here you will find information on home-school rules and regulations, testing information, home-school curriculum providers and more. Note that Idaho does not monitor or regulate homeschool education. This means that completion of distance education coursework, while meeting the intent of state law, does not necessarily entitle the student to a high school diploma from a local public school.
P.O. Box 1661
Meridian, ID 83680
Christian Home Educators Encouraging & Resourcing is a community of Christian homeschool parents in the Treasure Valley. The members support and encourage one another at monthly parent meetings, mom’s socials, a co-op, field trips and other outings.
Idaho Coalition of Home Educators
P.O. Box 878
Eagle, Idaho 83616
Idaho Coalition of Home Educators is a nonprofit advocacy organization established to defend and advance the right of parents in Idaho to homeschool their children. Through annual memberships and standardized testing of privately homeschooled students, ICHE unites Idaho families in protecting homeschool freedom.
To search for local private schools in Idaho, visit the National Center for Education Statistics website and use the private school search tool at www.nces.ed.gov/surveys/pss/privateschoolsearch. Users may search by location, religious affiliation, school type and more.
Choosing a School
Choosing the right school is very important, so be sure to research each one before deciding. Contact the school by phone or by visiting its website, which is a valuable source for school district statistics and curriculum. Talk to people in the area, especially friends and colleagues who already live there.
If the school shows promise, schedule a visit and bring a list of written questions about student-teacher ratios, computer availability, extracurricular activities, sports programs, music programs, gifted programs and grading standards.
Discuss the potential school with your child: what they like and what they didn’t like. Your family’s ability to readily adapt to a move and to find happiness in your new home may depend, in part, on how happy your children are in their new school.
Boise School District
8169 W. Victory Road
Boise, ID 83709
The Independent School District of Boise City, commonly known as the Boise School District, is the second-oldest school system in Idaho and formerly the largest district in the state. The district has 32 elementary schools, eight junior high schools (grades 7-9), five high schools (grades 10-12) and two alternative schools. There is also a language academy, Dennis Technical Education Center, Treasure Valley Mathematics and Science Center, and Madison Early Childhood Center in the district. There were 26,023 students enrolled in the district in 2014.
Bruneau-Grand View Joint School District
39678 State Highway 78
Bruneau, ID 83604
Bruneau-Grand View Joint School District includes two elementary schools and a junior/senior high school, and serves children in kindergarten through 12th grade.
Glenns Ferry School District
800 Old Highway 30
Glenns Ferry, ID 83623
Glenns Ferry School District has one elementary school, one middle school and one high school.
Mountain Home School District
470 N. Third East
Mountain Home, ID 83647
Mountain Home School District has one high school, one alternative high school, one junior high school, one middle school and three elementary schools in Mountain Home. An elementary school is at Mountain Home Air Force Base, and a remote elementary school, grades K-8, is in Pine, Idaho. Enrollment for the district is approximately 3,800.