White Pine Charter School  Newsletter
Cougars are Willing, Positive, Connected, and Significant

Success for Every Student 


February 2018                                                                              Vol. 03
Administrative Update

White Pine Charter School has been in existence for 15 years.  Throughout these years, we have remained true to educational philosophy of E.D. Hirsch Jr.  Our students have experienced tremendous growth through our dedication to Core Knowledge.  As time has progressed, we have also added features to the school to increase students abilities to contribute in a global society. Over the years, WPCS has increased access to current technologies, which provides greater instruction in math and science as well as a deeper understanding of applied learning.

Through instruction and collaboration by outstanding teachers in our elementary school, a natural course of study was developed for a new middle school course, STEM. For STEM to continue hiring a teacher who has knowledge and vision is essential.  WPCS found the particular set of abilities in our previous STEM teacher, Mr. Carroll.  He worked hard to integrate s cience, t echnology, e ngineering, and m athematics in his classroom.  He created a foundational class that has helped our students understand instruction across the curriculum. 

Our current STEM teacher, Mr. Lang, continues to build on the great foundation that Mr. Carroll started. Our students learn about programming, hydraulics, measurement, force, etc. They apply these ideas in a controlled classroom environment that fosters creativity in our students.  

At WPCS, we will continue to prepare our students to be positive contributors in a connected society.  As the graph below demonstrates, the increase in STEM related jobs will continue t o grow.

( https://www.ed.gov/stem)

Over the past week , I  had the opportunity to visit three STEM high schools. Each school was fantastic and based on the informat ion gathered there, WPCS will be able to create a high school that will prepare our students to be successful in the jobs of the future.

Parent Connection

Parents were asked via social media, "Name a teacher or staff member that has had a positive impact on your child (and tell us what they did)."

"Mrs. Johnson made my son's kindergarten year of school amazing. Now he loves everything about it."
-Pam Taylor

"Ms. Croft has been such a support (and inspiration) to our son." 
- Jana and Larry Johnston

"Mrs. Day! Her Rubik's cube club is just one of many reasons my son loves her! She's really developed his love of social studies and math too!"
-Liz Beaman

"Ms. Hawes changed my son's entire outlook on school. She took a kid who had literally scraped by in second grade and turned him into a kid who excelled and tried to do extra work, even. She is an absolutely amazing teacher, and he still talks about how much he loved her class. She is one of the best members of the teaching staff, in my opinion."
-Caiyah Lynn

"There are so many great teachers and staff members at our school. I want to give a shout out to all our special education teachers and staff members, especially Mrs. Graham, Mrs. Peterson, and Mr. Spencer. You guys are the best!"
-Erika Paul

"Michelle Elsbree has been a huge support to my children while they struggle with learning disabilities. She is always positive and very communicative when I have a concern or just need to vent."
-Lacey Hale

"Miss Hawes has been amazing for our son. Before he came to school at White Pine he was starting to hate school and not feeling very god about himself. He felt like he wasn't good enough and even said he felt dumb! Miss Hawes has built him up and he is now excelling in school and absolutely loves going to school. I can not thank White Pine enough for allowing our kids to go to school there. Miss Hawes is so amazing and we are forever grateful for her!
-Cristine Garza

Exciting News from our Board of Directors

Over the years, many parents have passionately expressed their desire for White Pine Charter School to expand into high school. They want their students to continue the "White Pine experience" beyond 8th grade, finding personal growth and academic success in our rigorous, nurturing environment. Our board of directors and administration team unanimously agree, and we are actively pursuing this vision.
Over the last couple of weeks, the Board hired a specialist to take the lead in developing the necessary charter documents, business models and growth plans to create a separate high school. This individual is a top-notch attorney with experience in charter school formation and financial modeling. These documents are essential for making the vision a reality. We'll use the information to engage our students and parents, form partnerships and generate funding from potential donors. We want your input during the planning stages, and we promise to keep you posted at different milestones of the project. 
We also continue to meet with a key partner, The BLUUM Foundation. They closely work with the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation to cultivate educational leaders and innovative schools. BLUUM believes in our school, our leadership team and our students. They have examined our school's commitment to excellence and our students' high academic performance.
As a result, The BLUUM Foundation recently awarded White Pine with three travel grants to visit a few of the top STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) schools in the country. Their interest is to help White Pine model our high school after the very best in the nation. 
On Feb. 8-10, board chair Tony Lima, board treasurer Jim Seamans and Principal Jeremy Clarke accompanied BLUUM CEO Terry Ryan to Columbus, Ohio. Thanks to BLUUM's personal connections, we met with three leaders from Battelle Education, a nonprofit venture in STEM that offers customized consulting and training.  They were with us the entire time. Coincidentally, Battelle Education has invested in dozens of STEM schools, many of which are located near national laboratories like the one we have in Idaho Falls. Since Battelle Education trains STEM education leaders and it may have interest in supporting an Idaho high school, we wanted to establish this important relationship.
Specifically, we toured the BioMed Science Academy in Rootstown, Ohio, where their facility is actually located on the campus of a medical university. Their building and lab equipment are top notch, and their culture felt like a close-knit family. Afterward, we visited the renowned Metro STEM High School in Columbus, Ohio, which is located next to The Ohio State University. Metro takes full advantage of its proximity and deep relationships with the university, resulting in the majority of its students taking college coursework while in high school. Last, we walked the halls of Global Impact STEM Academy in Springfield, Ohio, learning how they blend courses together into real-world experiences that push students beyond the classroom.
While all three STEM schools have common ground, such as strong partnerships with colleges, universities and local businesses, each school approaches their STEM curriculum in a different way. This was an interesting finding. It means that we have the remarkable opportunity to craft a high school curriculum that has relevancy for our students, our community and our industries. The board is starting work on this critical component, which requires extensive community engagement, and we want your insight on this point here.
All who attended the trip came away with the determination to create an innovative high school that exceeds the standards of the great schools that we visited. Inspired by these pioneering STEM schools, we are energetically engaged in the cause of taking our school to the next level.
Because this project pertains to every family at White Pine Charter School, we welcome your ideas and feedback. We simply can not do it without your participation. Please do not hesitate to reach out to your board chair, Tony Lima, at limato@wpcscougars.org or the school's principal, Jeremy Clarke, with your input. We also invite you to attend at our next board meeting on Feb. 27 at 6:30 p.m.

Message from our PFA

Thank you to everyone who supported our Family Night/Week at Pizza Pie Café.  We were able to raise $281. We also raised $168 through our Popcorn Friday that occurred on February 2 nd .  We have some fun events coming up and the money raised at those events will help to pay for the expenses involved.

We have ValYou Cards that are now available for purchase through Mrs. Buddenbohm or Mrs. Attebury. We have a few parents and faculty members who ask to buy these each year so we have a limited supply.  They are $20 each and can be purchased with cash or a check made out to White Pine PFA.  This is not a formal fundraiser and we will not be selling them door-to-door.  

The Read-a-thon was tremendously successful!  The goals was to raise $3000, and $4200 has already been received. More is expected now that the event has ended and hourly pledges have started to be paid.  What was accomplished in just two weeks has been truly amazing! If a pledge was made, but not paid, the deadline is March 2. It can paid online or with a check or cash sent to the school.  Checks need to be payable to White Pine PFA.

We have two events coming up this month:

Family Night
On February 21 st, we will be having our Family Night at Culver's.  The week before this event, please look for flyers that will be sent home with students.  A portion of the sales that night will be donated to the PFA to help pay for our Family Reading Night in March and the Picnic with Parents in May.

Family Reading Night-March 2
While we are still planning the details of this night. Please look for those flyers to be sent home the second to last week of the month.  This event will be free of charge for all those who attend.

Counseling Corner

If you would like more information or participate in the following events, please contact Mrs. Elsbree, our school social worker at counselor@wpcscougars.org.

8 th grade students will continue to build their 4 year high school plan with Mrs. Elsbree from now until the end of the year.  Please be active in this process. Appointments are available to meet with Mrs. Elsbree to make the plan.

February 20 th -23rd  will be No Name Calling Week. Various events will be happening around the school.

Green Dot student leadership training is Saturday, March 10th, 2018.  Parent letters were sent out last week explaining this program and inviting all students to participate.  If you would like to volunteer there are behind the scenes prep that needs to be done.

The Career Fair is coming up on March 14 th from 9:30-1:30pm.  We are looking for volunteers to run the booths.

St. Patrick's Day is coming up on March 17 th .  We will celebrate March 16 th by having green items for sale.  We are looking for volunteers to help that morning.

Positive Behavior Supports and Interventions

Cougars are willing, positive, connected, and significant. These are our school-wide expectations for White Pine Charter School. We have set aside time in each classroom on Monday for "Cougar Rally." The purpose of the rally is to teach these expectations with roleplaying, activities, or class discussions etc. 

Every classroom has a behavior matrix where each expectation is tied to a location. A few middle school classrooms have students take a square of the matrix (pictured above) and make a presentation to discuss and teach the expectations. We realize, as a school, that teaching them one day a week will not have a huge impact. Teachers and staff do a great job of implementing them in the classroom every day. 

Be sure to have a discussion about these four adjectives. Ask them what they mean and what they can do in school to represent them. 

Capturing Cougars in Action

100th day math activity - 2nd grade
Reading groups - 2nd grade

100th day activities - 1st grade

Sack lunch Kings

Read-a-Thon winners making Mr. Clarke and Mr. Graham look "silly."
 5/6 grade Cougars move to 2-0 and 7/8 grade move to 3-1 with victories in Swan Valley.

Cougars volleyball battled against Idaho Science and Technology but ended up on the losing end. 

Frog dissection in 5th grade

Ancient Rome catapults in middle school 




  Monthly Events

Feb 14/15 - Student Led Conferences

Feb 14 - Valentine's Day

Feb 14 - Blind Date with a Book

Feb 15 - Volleyball - Pocatello Community Charter @ White Pine 

Feb 16 - No School

Feb 19 - President's Day/No School

Feb 20 -  Boys Basketball - White Pine @ Holy Spirit

Feb 20 - Volleyball - White Pine @ Taylor's Crossing

Feb 22 - Boys Basketball - Blackfoot Community Charter @ White Pine

Feb 22 - Volleyball - White Pine @ Idaho Science and Technology

Feb 27 - Boys Basketball - Idaho Science and Technology @ White Pine

Feb 27 - White Pine @ Pocatello Community Charter

Our funding is 
based on student attendance 

When you make appointments that could take your child away from school, please schedule them for after 1 p.m. We lose funding if students leave before 1 p.m. Also, please plan vacations when school is out of session. We want to secure as much funding as possible to invest in your children!

Office Info 

Please check in at the front office before heading to a classroom. F or the safety of your children, a ll adults must have a visitor badge. When bringing your students in late, please make sure to sign them in before taking them to class. Otherwise, they may be marked absent. 

Dress Code Reminder

Please make sure your child is coming to school in dress code. Our policies and resources are listed on the school website. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.