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From the Coeur d’Alene Press
 Give the kids a brake
From the Idaho Spokesman-Review
 No education stories posted online today.
From the Moscow Daily News (password required)
 Fair provides chance for employers, students to meet
 OUR VIEW: Valuable lessons from levy lawsuit (Editorial)
From the Lewiston Tribune (password required)
 Idaho Legislature is always good for a few laughs
From the Idaho-Press Tribune, Nampa
 Bill targets speeders
 Ed panel wants to grill State Board
 Bill would require background checks on school contractors
 Moscow schools to fill cut positions
 1,500 universities hold environmental „teach in‟
 NNU reports record student retention rate
 Local schools respond to snow snow causes chaos
From the Idaho Statesman
 Snow day, ice day: School closures depend on weather
 BSU wins $200,000 for faculty to improve careers
 Community colleges want to raise tuition
 Law would let sex offenders into schools to vote
 Panel votes to grill state education board
From the Twin Falls Times-News
 Filer Schools close after kids arrive
 Effort under way to recall chairman of Buhl School Board
 CSI: spring enrollment up
From the Idaho State Journal
 ISU gets $1.5 million to help fund planned sports complex
 Idaho Legislature must not support iSTARS as the teacher pay plan (Commentary)
 ISU heating plant is going green
From the Idaho Falls Post Register (password required)
 2 plans, 2 opinions
 Higher ambitions
FROM THE COEUR D‟ALENE PRESS

Give the kids a brake

Posted: Thursday, Jan 31, 2008 - 10:19:27 pm PST
Email this story Printer friendly version By DAVE GOINS
Press correspondent
Legislation would increase fines for school zone speeders

BOISE -- Getting caught speeding through school zones may soon become a bigger pain
in the, uh, pocketbook.

That's if legislation to increase school zone speeding fines to $75 statewide becomes law.

The Senate Transportation Committee Thursday afternoon advanced to the Senate floor
the legislation -- sponsored by Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene -- to increase the
school zone speeding fines by $41.50 per violation.

Kootenai County Sheriff's Capt. Ben Wolfinger said the current standard speeding fine is
$33.50 for motorists found guilty of exceeding school zone speed limits by one to 15
miles per hour. Add court costs and current school zone speeding fines statewide total
$75.

With Goedde's Senate Bill 1361, total costs for cited drivers would rise to $116.50.

"What we have before us is a bill that would make school zones safer," Goedde said.

Coeur d'Alene police officer Tim Vulles also supported SB 1361 in testimony before the
committee.

"We believe an enhanced penalty for school zone violations would raise the awareness
and encourage the motoring public to change their driving behavior when applicable,"
Vulles said.

Wolfinger and Vulles also noted the legislation standardizes signage in school zones,
clarifying some legal interpretation confusion in current law about the signs indicating it's
a school zone "when children are present." Signs and speed limits in school zones vary,
making it difficult for officers to know how to enforce speeding laws, the law
enforcement officers said.

"The biggest problem we have at this time is when it says 'When children are present,'"
Vulles said. "This is up to the discretion of each judge ... We had a recent case where a
judge actually dismissed a school zone speed violation because one child was present and
the sign stated children."

Uniformity in signage is needed statewide, the two law enforcement officers said.
"The motoring public should be able to go anywhere in the state and be able to know
what the speed limit is in a school zone," Vulles said. "This proposal would make signage
consistent throughout the state. It would be very basic and would be a one-time cost for
the jurisdictions involved."

In addition to the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office, Goedde said the idea for the potential
law was brought to him by officials from Coeur d'Alene School District #271.

"We enhance penalties in construction zones to protect construction workers," Goedde
said. "It just makes sense to me to provide our children with that same protection."

Wolfinger agreed: "It's past time to use the same ideas, and the same tools, to help protect
our children."

Wolfinger said evidence indicates that increasing fines serves as a deterrent to traffic
violations.

"We know that higher fines compel people to obey the law," Wolfinger said. "This is
evidenced by our neighbors to the northwest in the state of Washington. In 2002, the fine
for a seat belt violation in Washington was $86 and seat belt compliance ran between 82
and 84 percent. When the fine was raised to over $100, the compliance rate rose to 96
percent."

Vulles said: "School zones contain our greatest assets and future leaders. Children are
less likely to be able to protect themselves from the danger of speeding vehicles."

Giving rationale for increasing the fines, Vulles cited the case of a father who dropped off
a 13-year-old at a Coeur d'Alene middle school at the first of the current school year.
"The child ran around to the back of the father's truck and into the road without slowing
down or even looking to see if any vehicle was coming," Vulles said.

The child was then struck by a passing vehicle "and sustained severe injuries."

"Also, excessive speed may or may not have been a factor in the crash," Vulles told the
Senate Transportation Committee. "It just shows that we cannot predict what children are
gonna do. We need to protect our children. Our overall goal is to raise awareness of the
motoring public on the significance of observing and strictly obeying posted (speed)
limits in our school zones."



FROM THE IDAHO SPOKESMAN-REVIEW

No education stories posted online today.
FROM THE MOSCOW DAILY NEWS (PASSWORD REQUIRED)

Fair provides chance for employers, students to meet

By Hadley Rush, Daily News staff writer

Thursday, January 31, 2008 - Page Updated at 12:00:00 AM

Andrew Gorbett's interest in forest and timber industries may land him a job sooner than
he thought.

Gorbett, 22, was one of about 200 University of Idaho students who attended the Science
and Natural Resources Career Fair on Wednesday in the UI Student Union Building
Ballroom.

"I'm looking for summer work," Gorbett said. "My interests are working in the forest, in
timber industries, timber sales and (crop) thinning."

The career fair enabled employers ranging from the Forest Service to the Washington
Apple Commission to meet potential employees, and gave students a chance to find out
what kinds of jobs are available to them.

"This is a cost-effective way for us to make personal interactions, answer questions and
meet students," said Kiley Nelson, human resource coordinator for Boise Cascade.

Nelson said he's particularly looking for students who have or are working toward natural
resource degrees.

"We're looking to fill positions," he said. "We're facing some retirements and we're
getting an idea who's out there."

Ann Correll Munden, a field representative for Boise-based Syngena Seeds Inc., said she
was scouting for interns who she would be working with closely.

"We're looking for people who are willing to work hard, independent, self-motivated and
able to critically think," she said. "We've had seven or eight students come to the booth"
who would be a good fit for the position.

Correll Munden said career fairs make it easier to find qualified candidates faster.

"It's easier to do interviews on site," Correll Munden said. "It saves us a step in the
process."

Joseph Blackburn, a conservation social science major, had never before been to a career
fair. He said he's glad he decided to go.
"I found out about it through my friends," Blackburn said. "I'm learning about what jobs
are available. I'll have my degree next fall, and I'm looking for something with the Fish
and Game or Forest Service."

Blackburn said after he's done with his first degree, he intends to follow it up with
another degree in wildlife.

"I think that would make me more diverse" for employers, Blackburn said.

Todd Fryhover, a project manager for the Washington Apple Commission, said his
company wants students to know that it does more than work with apples.

"We have accountants, engineers, food science (positions), food safety ... This is a
multifaceted industry," Fryhover said. "Right now we have one internship position open,
but we're advocating positions for packers to pack and ship fruit, and summer
employment as well."

Fryhover, who graduated from the UI in 1985, said he's enjoyed being back on campus
and meeting students from his alma mater.

"It's nice to come back," Fryhover said. "It's been a while. I have children who will be
going into college soon, and the University of Idaho has a fantastic campus and the
people are so nice."

Amy Calabretta, a marketing specialist for career and professional planning for the UI,
helped organize the career fair.

"We have around 200 students here this year, which is the same as last year," Calabretta
said. "We were hoping to reach 300, but there's lots of people here offering summer jobs
and internships" as well as jobs for those who already have graduated.

"There's something here for everyone," she said.

Gorbett said he's pretty sure he made some professional connections from the fair.

"It's a good way to get yourself out there and into contact with future employers," he said.
"I found a few companies (that would) fit the bill for me."

Hadley Rush can be reached at (208) 882-5561, ext. 239, or by e-mail at
hrush@dnews.com.


OUR VIEW: Valuable lessons from levy lawsuit (Editorial)

By Murf Raquet, for the editorial board
Wednesday, January 30, 2008 - Page Updated at 12:00:00 AM

It's over.

The lawsuit over the March 2007 indefinite levy election is finally over after months of
legal wrangling, finger pointing and a school district left in limbo.

The Moscow School District can collect its levy money and Gerald Weitz can take pride
in standing up for what he believed despite the personal and professional costs.

Weitz filed suit in district court arguing the levy was illegal and invalid because it asked
the voters to approve an increase of $1.97 million to the indefinite supplemental levy but
didn't state the total amount certified would be $7.6 million.

Judge John Bradbury agreed with Weitz and invalidated the levy, telling the district to
rerun the levy election with the proper wording. The levy passed again in November.

The past few months were spent determining if the district could collect the money.

There were no clear winners.

"This is a case of first impression," Bradbury wrote in his decision. "The statutory
scheme is complex. The school district did what it thought was right. Dr. Weitz provided
a valuable service of clarifying a statute much in need of clarity."

Bradbury's decision should send the message to state legislators they need to revisit the
statutes governing levy elections. The current wording is vague enough to have given the
lawsuit legs.

It won't be long before another district is faced with a similar situation if nothing is done
to clarify the statute's wording.

The district didn't need the hassle of time and money defending its actions.

Likewise, Weitz saw a flaw in the system and felt it his civic duty to question the validity
of a levy.

There are a few good lessons to come out of the suit, despite the rancor played out in
many forms since May.

The district, like any public entity, must operate fully in the public view. It is accountable
- first and foremost - to the district patrons who empower its board and pay the bills.

It also is incumbent on anyone who feels they are not being properly served to speak out
and try to correct the problem.
If a public entity tries to operate under the radar and no one speaks out, the process fails
and we deserve the result.



FROM THE LEWISTON TRIBUNE (PASSWORD REQUIRED)

Idaho Legislature is always good for a few laughs

Dean A. Ferguson

Thursday, January 31, 2008

BOISE - Teachers are "mother hens," a school superintendent explained to the House and
Senate education committees at public hearings in Boise a week ago.

That's why some teachers oppose a pay plan by Idaho Schools Superintendent Tom Luna,
he said. Such nurturing folks worry about student welfare and teaching, but when it
comes to talk of pay, or "change," they become fearful, he told the lawmakers.

A vision of my Genesee High School science teacher popped to mind.

With his shaggy beard, dry wit and joy during "electric currents day" in physics class -
when dumb student volunteers experienced painful, educational shocks - I pictured him
as a hairy, fretting mother hen, wearing an apron and wielding a rolling pin.

I chuckled, accidentally, at the back of the hearing where 100 folks had gathered to back
or bludgeon the idea to pay teachers more if they give up continuing contracts.

"Hey," the woman next to me chided. "You're a reporter. You're supposed to be
objective."

But it's tough not to laugh - objectively or subjectively - around the Idaho Capitol.

During a House Business Committee meeting Monday, a group of marriage and family
therapists testified in favor of a bill to change their license requirements.

The issue is a big one for therapists.

Once a therapist gets a degree, Idaho requires them to conduct 1,000 hours of counseling
with couples and families to become licensed.

But few places in Idaho will hire the up-and-comers because Medicaid and insurance
agencies won't pay for unlicensed counselors. And, since the unlicensed therapists are
called "registered interns," cash-paying clients are leery of "unlicensed but qualified"
credentials, one young therapist explained.
It's a Catch-22: Can't get a job without a license. Can't get a license without a job.

So marriage therapists want what amounts to a name change in Idaho law, allowing
licenses for "associate marriage and family therapists."

As a couple of representatives grappled to understand the problem, one lawmaker
proposed an amendment to the proposed bill to change the name to " 'licensed' associate
marriage and family therapists" - just to be sure the name change worked.

Rep. Steve Thayn, R-Emmett, asked whether the amendment needed to be amended to
put the new name in a different spot in an alphabetical list of therapist ranks in the
proposed bill.

Soon, the committee was debating whether to add an alphabetical amendment to the
proposed amendment to the proposed bill or to send the proposed amendments to the
proposal to what is called the "amending order" and let the full House vote on the
amendments before voting on the bill.

As I followed the debate - and, yeah, I understood it - a grin crept, unbidden, to my face.

Rep. Carlos Bilboa, R-Emmett, caught my eye. The retired senior quality manager for
Boeing Company, who was quiet during the alphabetical debate, had a twinkle in his eye
and a small grin.

We'll have to see what all 70 House members will have to say when the alphabetical
debate hits the floor.

From big debates, such as Luna's $46 million teacher pay proposal, to the small ones such
as hammering out alphabetical protocol, lawmakers are really hard at work down here in
Boise.

And if you ever wonder what takes so long to figure out how to cut grocery taxes or to
spend millions mending roads or to stiffen dog fighting penalties, it's because you aren't
getting news about everything - there really would be no way to report on everything.

About 250 bills are working through the Legislature now. Whether it touches the wallets
of 16,000 teachers or a handful of specialized counselors, you can bet each bill is
important to someone. And each bill will get some kind of attention whether we know
about it or not.

That's probably a good reason to smile, too.
---
Ferguson may be contacted at dferguson@lmtribune.com or at (208) 848-2274.
FROM THE IDAHO-PRESS TRIBUNE, NAMPA

Bill targets speeders

LEGISLATURE: Proposed law would more than double fines for violators who go too
fast in school zones

By Christin Runkle crunkle@idahopress.com and Jared S. Hopkins
Twin Falls Times-News
  BOISE — A bill introduced in the Senate Transportation Committee would increase the
fine of speeding violations in school zones to $116.50. Those fines are now $41.50.
  “The magic number seems to be over $100,” sponsor Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur
d‟Alene, told the committee.
  A series of traffic crashes in Couer d‟Alene, including fatal ones, sparked the issue, and
a costlier consequence could deter people from speeding, Goedde said after the meeting
this week.
  But Goedde said that safety near schools is a statewide issue.
  “I don‟t think it resonates only in north Idaho,” he said.
  The bill would also allow for provisions and rules for signs in school zones to be more
efficient, he said.
  “It would enhance the quality of signs,” he said.
  Sen. John McGee, R-Caldwell, said he thinks the bill is so important that he will co-
sponsor it. He believes raising the fine will make people think twice before speeding
through a school zone.
  “We‟ve had too many tragedies in this state where people are disregarding speed limit
signs in school zones,” he said.
  Local school district officials agreed that drivers speeding in school zones pose a safety
problem, though they differed in their support for the bill.
  Vallivue School District Superintendent George Grant said he doesn‟t think raising
fines matters as much as enforcing the speed limit in school zones.
  “If a cop is sitting there pretty regularly ... people just respond to that,” he said.
  Jonathan Cline, area director of elementary schools for the Caldwell School District,
called the proposal “an absolutely fine thing.”
  The school district has experienced some problems with people who speed in school
zones, and Cline said he‟s in favor of doing anything necessary to slow those drivers
down.
  “We need to do whatever it takes to ... stop it,” he said. “I‟m adamant about the safety
of our kids.”
  Allison Westfall, public information officer for the Nampa School District, said no
district level administrators had seen the bill as of Thursday afternoon.
  “We do share the senator‟s concern that citizens obey speed laws and slow down when
driving near and by schools,” she added.
Ed panel wants to grill State Board

  BOISE (AP) — The Senate Education Committee voted unanimously Thursday to
question all eight trustees of the State Board of Education at an upcoming meeting over
their role in violations of state accounting standards that resulted in the agency‟s $1.4
million deficit last year.
  Senator Mike Jorgenson told Board Chairman Milford Terrell he wants to grill the
group because he‟s “afraid there are some people who haven‟t yet accepted
accountability.”
  The board ran into the crisis when it approved using money lawmakers had set aside for
fiscal year 2008 to pay for work on a testing contract completed in 2007.
  Terrell, who appeared before the Senate Education Committee as part of his
confirmation hearings, described the financial debacle as “pathetic” — before adding the
agency he oversees is now financially solvent.


Bill would require background checks on school contractors

The Associated Press
  BOISE — Idaho lawmakers will consider closing a loophole in a law that mandates
criminal background checks for school employees such as teachers, counselors or food
servers, but doesn‟t apply to private contractors hired to work for school districts.
  State law prohibits Idaho public schools from hiring anyone convicted of felonies
involving children, such as battery, assault and sexual abuse. The law also applies to bus
drivers who work for companies contracted by districts.
  A bill advanced Thursday by the House Education Committee would expand the law to
include contractors such as a private consultant or janitorial service hired by a district.
  Rep. Jim Patrick, R-Twin Falls, a lead sponsor of the bill, said he is simply seeking
assurances that the law requiring background checks will apply to anybody who might
have contact with children in schools.
  Patrick said he began researching the issue after a bomb scare last spring at the Filer
School District, where his grandchildren are enrolled. A bus driver there pleaded guilty to
calling in the threat. Even though the company performed a background check on the
driver, Patrick said the episode got him thinking.
  The Idaho Department of Education revised its policy in November to require
background checks for anyone hired by the agency to work in public schools.
  The change came after department officials learned that a consultant hired to assess
school safety had been convicted of indecent exposure. The consultant, Doug Melvin,
president of DACC Associates in Boise, was sentenced last spring to one year probation
and fined $500. Agency officials severed Melvin‟s contract in November after receiving
a call about the arrest and verifying the conviction.


Moscow schools to fill cut positions

The Associated Press
  MOSCOW — The Moscow School District in north-central Idaho plans to fill teaching
positions that had been cut and restore its budget for buildings following a judge‟s
decision that allows $1.97 million in supplemental levy taxes to be collected.
  “We are going to have to be creative this time of year of how to best use those staff,”
Superintendent Candis Donicht told the Lewiston Tribune.
  She said the district will fill 3.5 teaching positions, which will reduce class sizes, and
unfreeze building budgets.
  The court case began May 3 when Moscow dentist Gerald Weitz filed a lawsuit
contending that an indefinite levy approved by voters in 1992 should be invalid because it
did not meet state law.
  Weitz also said levy increases that followed the 1992 election were also invalid. That
included a $1.97 million increase approved March 27 by voters.
  Second District Judge John Bradbury previously ruled that most of the levies could not
be challenged because Weitz had filed his lawsuit too late.
  However,heruled theMarch 27 supplemental levy approved by voters contained unclear
information, and gave the district the option of running the election again to make sure
voters knew what they were doing.
  The district held another election in November with the reworded ballot and the $1.97
million supplemental levy passed again. That money is in addition to $5.6 million in
levies voters had previously approved.
  Weitz than asked for an injunction arguing that the November election could not be
certified as if it had been held in March. Bradbury denied that injunction last week, also
denying Weitz court costs.


1,500 universities hold environmental ‘teach in’

EDUCATION: Professors from many disciplines talk about climate change

The Associated Press
  PORTLAND, Ore. — Global warming issues took over lecture halls in colleges across
the country Thursday, with more than 1,500 universities participating in what was billed
as the nation‟s largest-ever “teach-in.”
  Organizers said the goal of the event, dubbed “Focus the Nation,” was to move past
preaching to the green choir, to reach a captive audience of students in many fields who
might not otherwise tune in to climate change issues.
  Faculty members from a wide spectrum of disciplines — from chemistry to costume
design — agreed to incorporate climate change issues into their lectures on Thursday.
Community colleges and some high schools also took part.
  “It‟s about infusing sustainability into the curriculum of higher education, so students
can graduate prepared to deal with the world they have been handed,” said Lindsey Clark,
23, who organized events at the University of Utah.
  The day‟s activities were the brainchild of Eban Goodstein, an economics professor at
Lewis & Clark College in Portland who authored a widely used collegiate textbook on
economics and the environment. Major funding came from Nike, Clif Bar and Stonyfield
Farms, among other companies and foundations.
   Goodstein, who has spent years training people to speak on climate change, said he
issued a call to arms to fellow professors across the country a few years ago, as his
certainty grew that time was running out to address global warming.
   Some participating professors said the climate change issue already had been woven
into their syllabus, in areas as disparate as philosophy and urban planning.
   “For my students, three years ago, it felt like I was shoving this down people‟s throats.
Now it feels mainstream,” said Jane Nichols, who teaches interior design at Western
Carolina University. “Students don‟t want their future clients to know more than they
do.”
   Nichols said global warming is relevant to interior design because a designer‟s choice
of materials has environmental implications. Bamboo floors and furnishings, for
example, are more environmentally sustainable than old-growth wood, she said.
   Other schools held panel discussions with political luminaries, including Senate
Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, who participated via video satellite at the
University of Nevada‟s campuses in Las Vegas and Reno.
   At Lewis & Clark, student actors portrayed presidential candidates for a mock debate
on climate change issues, with the Hillary Rodham Clinton character stressing the need
for “green collar” workers and the John McCain figure echoing the candidate‟s calls for a
cap-andtrade system to regulate carbon emissions.
   Glendale Community College in Arizona and the University of Kentucky have been
serving “low carbon” meals all week. Organizers at New York‟s Fordham University put
up a mock wind farm to show people that “solutions are close at hand,” said philosophy
professor Jude Jones.
   Western Carolina University hosted a recycled fashion show. And at the University of
California at San Diego, a student dressed as a polar bear sat in a mock electric chair to
illustrate how climate change could erase the species‟ habitat.


NNU reports record student retention rate

EDUCATION: Officials credit university‟s efforts to evaluate, improve experience for
students

Idaho Press-Tribune Staff newsroom@idahopress.com
  NAMPA — Northwest Nazarene University released spring enrollment numbers this
week showing strong retention rates for freshmen and an increased number of transfer
students.
  Officials said the increase marks growth in undergraduate and graduate programs this
semester.
  The retention rate for fall-tospring freshmen students was 92.6 percent, a new record
for the university.
  “This is well above the national benchmark average for schools our size and enrollment
demographics. Overall retention for those students eligible to return is 95 percent,” Eric
Forseth, vice president for enrollment services and marketing, said in a prepared
statement.
  NNU Director of Student Retention Lance Nelson said the record retention rate reflects
the commitment of the university to evaluate and improve the experience for students.
  Forseth added that there was a large increase in transfer student attendance this spring
— more than double the average number of transfer students from previous years.
  The university enrolled 50 transfer students this spring compared to an average of 22 in
past years.
  University officials reported spring enrollment of 1,233 undergraduates seeking degree
credits and 537 graduate students. Continuing education students showed a steady
increase as well, up to an unduplicated head count of 8,094 from 7,501 last spring, for a
total student population of 9,864 served in the spring semester.

Other campuses

Boise State University will likely release enrollment statistics sometime next week,
spokesman Frank Zang said. The official count must be made on the 10th class day of the
semester, he said, which will be Monday. Zang said the university‟s spring semester
enrollment is expected to exceed last year‟s record 18,178.
The College of Idaho has yet to begin spring semester. Spokeswoman Jennifer Oxley
explained the school operates differently, with a six-week winter semester between fall
and spring sessions. That semester began Jan. 9, and spring semester will begin in late
February, she explained.
  While the college does not calculate retention on a fall-tospring basis, “our retention
rate has been increasing over the last couple years,” Oxley said. The year-to-year
retention rate for fall 2006-2007 was 82 percent, she said. The College of Idaho enrolls
about 840 undergraduate students.


Local schools respond to snow snow causes chaos

By Bryan Dooley
bdooley@idahopress.com
  CANYON COUNTY — When a snowstorm like the one that dumped 5 to 7 inches on
the Treasure Valley Tuesday hits, local school districts are faced with a dilemma.
  Officials from Nampa, Caldwell and Vallivue school districts said they are always
reluctant to cancel school, but safety takes priority.
  “It‟s a tough d e c i s i o n , ” Nampa School District spokeswoman Allison Westfall
said. “It‟s not one that we take lightly.”
  The process for deciding when to declare a snow day varies from district to district.
Nampa and Vallivue officials must make a decision by 5:30 a.m. so officials have time to
notify parents, staff and the media.
  When there‟s heavy overnight snow, district employees generally start clearing school
property at 3 a.m. Between 3:30 and 4 a.m. district and Brown Bus Co. employees begin
driving bus routes to evaluate conditions and look for problem areas before reporting to
district officials.
Major districts closed

All schools in Nampa, Caldwell, Vallivue and Kuna school districts are closed today due
to snow. Look for weather updates today at idahopress.com
  Brown Bus serves Nampa, Vallivue, and Wilder school districts as well as most charter
schools in Canyon County. Caldwell is served by Caldwell Transportation Company.
  When the snow hits later in the morning, as was the case Tuesday, the situation is
different, Vallivue Superintendent George Grant said, as schools must decide whether to
send students home early.
  Caldwell School District released middle and high school students at 2 p.m. Tuesday to
give buses time to finish their rounds and make pickups at elementary schools on time.
  Nampa and Vallivue canceled all after-school activities, including concerts and athletic
events.
  Grant said there had been some pressure to send Vallivue students home early, but the
district decided against it because doing so can create problems for parents who may not
be at home, especially with younger children.
  District officials continued to watch the roads and weather closely Tuesday afternoon
as they considered whether to cancel today‟s classes. In Middleton, Superintendent
Richard Bauscher was out personally driving the bus routes, his secretary Diane Shepard
said.
  Brent Carpenter, who owns and manages Brown Bus with his brother Brad, spent the
afternoon spreading sand on problematic roads.
  “Actually, (Tuesday) went really well considering everything,” Carpenter said.
  He said a car did slide into one of the company‟s buses, but nobody was hurt and there
was no major damage.
  Nampa and Vallivue officials work with Brown Bus, as well as local law enforcement
and other school districts, when evaluating road conditions and making a decision.
  “(Canceling school) is not a decision the districts make quickly and it‟s not a
recommendation we make quickly,” Carpenter said. “It‟s something that affects a lot of
people.”
  Even when the buses can run safely, other factors such as delays must be taken into
account, Carpenter said.
  Grant said districts try to make their decision together to avoid confusion, but this can
sometimes be difficult because of differing demands.
  Vallivue is unique to the area in terms of both size — the district covers 144 square
miles — and geography, Grant said. The western end of the district is very hilly, he said,
and some roads can become completely impassable.
  Carpenter said flat, rural areas such as the southern part of Nampa School District can
also be problematic as there is nothing to stop snow from blowing and forming drifts.
  “Kudos to our drivers, they did a tremendously good job (Tuesday) and I think it attests
to their concern for these kids safety,” he added.
FROM THE IDAHO STATESMAN

Snow day, ice day: School closures depend on weather

In Boise, schools stayed open Thursday because roads were clear, but in some districts,
drifting snow forced closures.

BY KATY MOELLER - kmoeller@idahostatesman.com
Edition Date: 02/01/08

Blowing snow and below-freezing temperatures Thursday morning had some Valley
parents wondering why a snow day wasn't called by most school district officials who
had called the day off on Wednesday.
Only students in Emmett attended school on the less-blustery Wednesday but took
Thursday off.

"The weather conditions for the kids out at the stops was definitely worse (Thursday),"
said Eric Exline, a spokesman for the Meridian School District. "We've had a lot of calls
about that, about how windy and cold it was."

But Exline said the roads in the district were generally clear and safe Thursday - unlike
the icy conditions on Wednesday - so that's why school wasn't canceled.

Dan Hollar, a spokesman for the Boise School District, said "snow day" is really a
misnomer when it comes to why schools in Boise close.

"It's really ice that's our enemy," he said. "It's not just buses. It's also students walking
and students driving that we're concerned about."

Wednesday was an "ice day," Hollar said. "Maybe that's the best way to describe it."

The temperature between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. Thursday was 27 to 28 degrees, according to
the National Weather Service. But gusts of 20 to 35 mph made it feel much colder.

"The wind chill was 15 degrees - when the wind blew, it felt like 15 degrees," said
Simone Lewis, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Boise.

Some Lake Hazel Middle School students found themselves standing outside longer than
expected Thursday morning after their empty bus got stuck in a snowbank on South Cole
Road en route to pick them up.

Exline said a school resource officer drove the bus route to pick up students while a
substitute bus was dispatched.

Parents of kids along the route were notified by phone of the delay, Exline said. The
students were 45 to 55 minutes late for school.
Ice may have kept Valley students home Wednesday, but in Emmett, snow is more of a
problem than ice, said Sue Beitia, superintendent of the Emmett School District.

Snowdrifts were up to two feet in some areas of the district Thursday, prompting the call
for a snow day.

"The criteria is pretty much drifts," Beitia said. "If the snow gets drifting, we can't get the
buses through."

Snowdrifts affect hills and roads in the largely rural Vallivue School District, too. The
roads were in good shape early Thursday, according to George Grant, Vallivue
superintendent.

"I was out driving at 4:15 in the morning," Grant said. "At 5:30, we could not figure out
why in the world we would close."

Katy Moeller: 377-6413


BSU wins $200,000 for faculty to improve careers

- STATESMAN STAFF
Edition Date: 01/30/08

Boise State University has won a $200,000 award from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to
improve career paths for faculty.
Six universities around the nation won one of the awards, which were announced
Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

The other recipients are Canisius College in Buffalo, New York; Santa Clara University;
San Jose State University; Simmons College in Boston; and the University of Baltimore
in Maryland.

Sona Andrews, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Boise State, said the
award will help BSU improve career flexibility for its faculty. The university plans to
develop mentoring programs for faculty to help them with work-life balance. It's also
planning to create policies that allow part-time tenure-track and tenured appointments for
faculty.

The Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Faculty Career Flexibility recognize colleges and
universities for their work in supporting career flexibility for tenured and tenure-track
faculty.

The awards program is carried out by the American Council on Education with support
from the Families and Work Institute.
Community colleges want to raise tuition

- Idaho Statesman
Edition Date: 02/01/08

State lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow Idaho's community colleges to
double their tuition limit to $2,500 a year to cover the rising cost of education.
The measure was introduced this week by the College of Southern Idaho in Twin Falls
and North Idaho College in Coeur d'Alene. Both schools are approaching the $1,250
annual tuition cap that was set into state law in 1994.

Mike Mason, financial vice president of the College of Southern Idaho, told lawmakers
on the House Education Committee that the tuition bill wouldn't mean the colleges would
double the cost to students immediately.

State law prevents the colleges from raising tuition more than 10 percent annually, Mason
said.


Law would let sex offenders into schools to vote

BY ANNE WALLACE ALLEN - aallen@idahostatesman.com
Edition Date: 02/01/08

The Boise School District is watching closely as a bill relating to sex offenders and
schools makes its way through the legislative process this year.
The bill, which will come before the Judiciary, Rules and Administration Committee,
would alter existing law that governs how close criminal sex offenders can get to school
buildings.

It is a misdemeanor for registered sex offenders to knowingly go within 500 feet of
school properties - or areas that are used by schools - in Idaho. They cannot live within
500 feet of schools.

Legislation introduced by Rep. Jim Clark, R-Hayden Lake, would provide some
exceptions - such as voting in a school building.

But the bill also makes it a misdemeanor for convicted sex offenders to ride on
transportation that is owned, leased or contracted by a school to transport students who
are under 18 years of age.

Dan Hollar, a spokesman for the Boise School District, said the district uses city buses to
transport students to and from Boise and Timberline high schools.
Hollar said the district wants to know how authorities could enforce the provision
prohibiting sex offenders on buses. Hollar also said existing law is unclear about how the
distance is measured between school properties and sex offenders' homes.

"This bill does a good job of clearing that up," he said.

Anne Wallace Allen: 377-6433


Panel votes to grill state education board

STATESMAN STAFF - Idaho Statesman
Edition Date: 02/01/08

The Senate Education Committee voted unanimously Thursday to question all eight
trustees of the State Board of Education at an upcoming meeting over their role in
violations of state accounting standards that resulted in the agency's $1.4 million deficit
last year.
Sen. Mike Jorgenson, R-Hayden Lake, told Board Chairman Milford Terrell that he
wants to grill the group because he's "afraid there are some people who haven't yet
accepted accountability."

The board ran into the crisis when it approved using money lawmakers had set aside for
fiscal year 2008 to pay for work on a testing contract completed in 2007.

Terrell, who appeared before the Senate Education Committee as part of his confirmation
hearings, described the financial debacle as "pathetic" - before adding the agency he
oversees is now financially solvent.



FROM THE TWIN FALLS TIMES-NEWS
N. Idaho school district to fill cut positions
MOSCOW, Idaho - The Moscow School District in north-central Idaho plans to fill
teaching positions that had been cut and restore its budget for buildings following a
judge's decision that allows $1.97 million in supplemental levy taxes to be collected.

"We are going to have to be creative this time of year of how to best use those staff,"
Superintendent Candis Donicht told the Lewiston Tribune.

She said the district will fill 3.5 teaching positions, which will reduce class sizes, and
unfreeze building budgets.

The court case began May 3 when Moscow dentist Gerald Weitz filed a lawsuit
contending that an indefinite levy approved by voters in 1992 should be invalid because it
did not meet state law.
Weitz also said levy increases that followed the 1992 election were also invalid. That
included a $1.97 million increase approved March 27 by voters.

Second District Judge John Bradbury previously ruled that most of the levies could not be
challenged because Weitz had filed his lawsuit too late.

However, he ruled that the March 27 supplemental levy approved by voters contained
unclear information, and gave the district the option of running the election again to make
sure voters knew what they were doing.

The district held another election in November with the reworded ballot and the $1.97
million supplemental levy passed again. That money is in addition to $5.6 million in
levies voters had previously approved.

Weitz than asked for an injunction arguing that the November election could not be
certified as if it had been held in March.

Bradbury denied that injunction last week, also denying Weitz court costs.

Donicht told The Associated Press on Thursday that the district received the first half of
the $7.6 million in levy money, about $3.8 million, on Jan. 25, a day after Bradbury's
decision.

"With that money we're restoring what we had cut out of the budget while we were
uncertain whether we were going to have the money," she said. "We've restored our
building budgets and advertised for teaching positions that we cut last spring."

Information from: Lewiston Tribune, http://www.lmtribune.com

A service of the Associated Press(AP)


Filer Schools close after kids arrive

Bad weather forecast shuts down school today
Times-News

Filer School District officials decided to call off school this morning after the kids had
already streamed into the buildings.

The decision to call off school was made after 9:30 a.m., because of forecasted
snowstorm slated to hit the area later today, said Filer School District Superintendent
John Graham.
Students are still being picked up by their parents and driving home in personal vehicles,
he said around 10:30 a.m.

Transporting students safely on buses to their homes after the anticipated storm hits was
the reason for the district's first snow closure so far this year, he said.

Tonight's sporting events have also been canceled, and a determination about whether to
close school Friday will probably be made by 10 p.m., said Graham.


Effort under way to recall chairman of Buhl School Board

By Blair Koch
Times-News correspondent
Unopposed in last May's Buhl School Board trustee election, not a single vote had to be
cast for Gene Clemens, who ran unopposed and now sits as the board's chairman. But it
will take at least 20 certified signatures to initiate a recall movement.

A petition has circulated in Buhl this week for Clemens' recall, and already enough
signatures have been collected to submit to the district. Those involved with the petition,
including Steve Highbarger, who recently resigned as a board trustee, plan to submit the
signatures today.


CSI: spring enrollment up

State Board's '07 figures show discrepancy
By Andrea Gates
Times-News writer
Spring enrollment numbers at the College of Southern Idaho are up this year by about a
half percent or 46 students.

Or are they?

CSI is adamant its numbers went up this spring. College officials said the spring 10-day
head count this year increased by .65 percent, or 7,049 to 7,095.

But there's a significant discrepancy between some state and local numbers. Last year's
spring enrollment figures from the state and another version from CSI are different.

According to the State Board of Education, the college had 831 more students last spring
than CSI claims to have had from the same period.

The State Board asserts spring enrollment in early 2007 was 7,880 students, but CSI
maintains it only had 7,049. CSI authorities think the State Board's number may be
inflated. The CSI camp contends confusion about new enrollment forms may have led to
double-counting by the State Board.

"The report I produced shows unduplicated numbers," said Gail Schull, CSI director of
admissions and records.

CSI administrators contend their numbers are accurate, and they have questions about
how the State Board came up with its version.

The State Board isn't saying much about the issue right now. The board's spring 2008
enrollment numbers for CSI haven't been posted yet online. Heads are counted for 10
days after the start of spring semester, then tabulated, and compared with the year before.

After that period students can come on board or drop out.

Enrollments can fluctuate after the 10-day period, said State Board Spokesman Mark
Browning. "As a general rule that's where that gap usually comes from," Browning said.

CSI authorities are talking with the State Board to ensure accurate reporting, said Schull.

Even though the number of full-time equivalency students also increased this spring by
63, there were 58 full-time equivalencies taken out after CSI's off campus center at
Micron in Boise closed, according to CSI. "CSI was working to make up for the
enrollment loss," according to a press release from the college.

Andrea Gates can be reached at 735-3380 or Andrea.Gates@lee.net



FROM THE IDAHO STATE JOURNAL

ISU gets $1.5 million to help fund planned sports complex

BY KELVIN ANG kang@journalnet.com

  POCATELLO — Sylvia Papenberg‟s voice cracked as she tried to fight back the
emotions flooding through her.
  As she stood at a podium inside Idaho State University‟s Sports Medicine Center on
Wednesday announcing her gift of 40 acres of land to the university, she thought about
the plans she once had for the property. Papenberg and her late husband, Don, who died
Jan. 8, had long thought about retiring to her family ranch on the land in Eastern Idaho‟s
Teton Valley.
  But most of all, she felt glad she could contribute to her beloved Bengals.
  “I‟m just happy that we could do this,” said Papenberg, an ISU alumna who graduated
in 1964. “It‟s hard to give it up, but it‟s a nice thing to be able to do.”
  Papenberg‟s gift, which has been appraised at about $1.5 million, represents the largest
donation ever to ISU athletics. The university plans to sell the land to help finance a new
softball stadium and an outdoor practice field for the football team.
  The softball stadium will be named Miller Ranch Stadium after Papenberg‟s family
ranch, and the football field will be christened Papenberg Field. The two facilities will
represent the first components of the Bengal Village, a multisport athletic complex first
dreamed up in September 2006.
  “This is a very historic day for Idaho State University,” said ISU President Arthur
Vailas, who attended the news conference along with athletic director Paul Bubb.
  The university will seek formal approval for the construction from the state Board of
Education in April. If approved, bidding will begin for the design and construction of the
facilities.
  Papenberg‟s donation will not cover all the expenses, but it will suffice to get the
construction started. More importantly, Bubb said, the money will help ISU get going on
the Bengal Village project and generate momentum for its fundraising efforts. The
complex will cost between $86 million and $103 million.
  Bubb also sounded hopeful that Papenberg‟s gift will sway the community into
checking the “Yes” column in the Feb. 5 bond election vote that proposes Pocatello and
Chubbuck direct about $24 million to repairs and upgrades of Holt Arena.
  “The expectations since the plans were announced a year ago was, „Why hasn‟t the
show been on the ground already?‟” Bubb said. “I hope it will have a positive impact on
how the community sees that we are moving forward with our other plans, as well.”
  The softball team, which began play again during the 2006-2007 season after being
disbanded in 1984, has not had a home on campus during the last two years. Two seasons
ago, the team practiced and played at Capell Park in Chubbuck. It currently practices at
5:30 a.m. every day in Holt Arena and will play at Rainey Park, about two miles from
campus.
  Having Miller Ranch Stadium will help the team‟s recruiting efforts, as well as make it
easier for the players to practice and for students to show up at games.
  The stadium will be built on the site of the football‟s team‟s current practice field, south
of Holt Arena. The facility will contain bleachers, a full scoreboard and a press box.
  “This is going to be huge for us,” softball coach Larry Stocking said. “It‟s a wonderful
day for us.”
  Papenberg, who met with Stocking and his players earlier in the day, has longstanding
ties to ISU sports. She played intramural softball, volleyball and basketball as a student,
and her late husband, Don, was a member of the football team from 1959-1960. He also
was an ardent booster for ISU athletics and has been enshrined in the Bengals Sports Hall
of Fame.
  For the last 10 years, Papenberg and her husband had contemplated what to do with the
land. They originally had planned to retire to a log cabin on the banks of a creek on the
ranch, but as the Teton Valley developed over the years, they began giving serious
thought to selling it off or donating it.
  Last fall, she finally decided her beloved Bengals needed it more.
  “It was very hard to let go of my family ties to my ranch,” she said. “(But) I just loved
coming to watch the games. It‟s just kind of like still being a student here to come back to
the games.”
Idaho Legislature must not support iSTARS as the teacher pay plan (Commentary)

Marianne Donnelly

  As trustees of Pocatello-Chubbuck School District 25, we are deeply concerned about
the elements and potential impacts of the iSTARS teacher pay plan proposed to the Idaho
Legislature by Tom Luna, state superintendent of education.
  We agree wholeheartedly with the premise that Idaho‟s teacher pay must be increased
and must be competitive nationally. We welcome and encourage the increasing public
scrutiny and discussion to restructure the way teachers are paid in Idaho. This discussion
is crucial because, according to research, policy and practice with differential pay
programs, any restructuring must be very carefully constructed to promote improved
classroom performance by our teachers and students.
  A teacher pay plan must have clearly specified educational goals that include:
  n Improved recruitment, retention, evaluation and training of highly qualified teachers
  n Improved student achievement with local options as a component
  n Incentives to attract teachers to shortage teaching fields and hard-to-staff schools
  Further, teachers must be involved in the development of a differential pay program.
We believe Luna‟s plan fails to meet these critical standards.
  First, the plan does nothing to increase the base salary schedule for teachers regardless
of which contract option a teacher chooses. Plus, a beginning teacher can be frozen at
his/her starting salary of $31,000 a year for up to five years. Luna‟s plan does nothing to
address the issue of cost of living increases which should flow through the base salary
schedule. The failure to comprehensively address this issue has an impact on a district‟s
ability to recruit and retain teachers.
  Next, Luna claims his bonus system would give teachers the opportunity to earn
considerably more. Unfortunately, two of his bonus categories have nothing to do with
individual merit. Instead, they are based on student achievement performance (for
teachers in only 25 percent of the state‟s schools) and growth (for teachers in only 50
percent of the state‟s schools). These bonuses depend on the luck of the draw. If teachers
are in schools where the students test well they will get bonuses. If they are in schools
where students struggle, they won‟t.
  The iSTARS pay plan will pay a bonus to teachers who teach in what is called a
“scarcity” field. This concept is wise but is structured such that only 10 percent of the
staff could be designated as market scarce while some others may also be market scarce
but not compensated. Market scarcity is an annual determination; thus the compensation
is a bonus and does not increase the base.
  Luna proposes other teacher compensation. If a teacher is endorsed in more than one
subject area, that teacher will receive additional pay but only if the teacher gives up
continuing contract status. How does giving up continuing contract status to get more pay
for endorsements improve student achievement?
  Embedded in Luna‟s pay plan is another problematic trade-off and bonus. Only those
teachers who give up continuing contract status are eligible to be state paid for mentoring
other teachers or assuming leadership positions. Continuing contract status teachers are
already actively involved as teacher leaders in districts across the state, without pay or at
the expense of districts. What happens to a school or district‟s level of expertise and what
happens to teamwork and professional development when teachers, who do not give up
continuing contract status, no longer give of their time and expertise because the state
will not pay them for their work?
  Conditioning bonuses on altered contract status simply makes no sense and would
likely do more harm than good.
  If a teacher gives up continuing contract status, that teacher will be paid up to $2,200
above the locally negotiated salary schedule. How does giving up continuing contract
status for more pay improve student learning? Luna claims this pay system is not for
everyone — it is a choice!
  How do all children across this state benefit academically? Consider how we in District
25 support our mission of Maximizing Learning for All Students through Rigor,
Relevancy and Relationships — Whatever It Takes!
  When teachers not involved in the development of a pay plan, are divided by a pay
system that lacks local input, does not provide local districts the resources and flexibility
to meet their particular personnel needs, and lacks the ability to be altered if the plan
simply does not work, student learning is not maximized.
  In addition, consider the backlash districts and the state may experience if teachers
forfeit continuing contract status, a one time only irreversible decision, if the state does
not follow through on its funding promises. We have seen the reality of no funding for
teacher pay.
  We believe our teachers need to be paid more. However, iSTARS as it is currently
proposed is not the plan our Legislature should support. We urge state policymakers to
consider the evidence coming from research, policy and practice and to study the
elements that should be incorporated in state funded teacher pay programs.


ISU heating plant is going green

BY STEPHANIE HALL ISU Bengal

  POCATELLO — From small changes to revolutionary ideas, Idaho State University is
taking steps to conserve energy and is becoming a frontrunner in the move to make
college campuses “green.”
  Many students are probably unaware of the small changes ISU has made over the past
few years to cut back its energy bill by over $500,000 a year.
   In 2002 ISU brought in Chevron Energy Solutions to do an energy audit. This audit
assessed all of ISU‟s energy uses and determined what could be changed to reduce
energy usage. ISU drafted a $6 million contract with Chevron Energy Solutions that
would guarantee $500,000 in energy savings per year.
  Darrell Buffaloe, associate vice president for ISU Facilities Services, said ISU saw the
success of the University of Utah‟s energy contract and decided to implement its own
program. The construction for the project was completed by 2005 and ISU has exceeded
its $500,000 savings goal every year since then.
  Buffaloe says ISU should have its $6 million bond for the project paid off in 16 years
from the time it signed the contract, and “after that the money will go back into
education.”
  ISU has also started a few energy education programs on campus and around the
community. Around ISU there are behavioral training programs that are designed to
encourage ISU employees to do simple things, like turn off lights and computers, to help
conserve energy. “That‟ll be something we‟ll always have to work on,” Buffaloe said.
  ISU has also used grant money to visit local elementary schools and educate kids on
water and energy conservation.
  “These kids will bring these lessons back to their homes,” Syed Hashim, ISU‟s
environmental specialist said. Hashim said the kids were given ticket books and were told
to be the “energy police.” They were instructed to keep an eye out and write tickets
whenever somebody was wasting energy. From these efforts alone, some local schools
were able to cut back their energy bills by 10 to 15 percent.
  According to Hashim and Buffaloe, if everyone in the Pocatello area were to cut back
on energy usage by 5 percent, the community would save around $5 million.
  “That would be $5 million that would come back into the community,” Buffaloe said.
  ISU has big plans for the future as well. The university has joined with the Idaho
National Laboratory, the University of Idaho and Boise State University to build the
Center for Advanced Energy Studies in Idaho Falls, the first building in Idaho to receive
the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design silver rating, which means it is a
highly energy efficient building. The building should be complete in August 2008 and
will be used to research the best energy sources.
  ISU is doing some work on its own as well. “We‟ve got a dream,” Buffaloe said.
  He added that he has been exploring ways of making the entire ISU campus energy-
independent. He said that ISU could achieve this by using hydrogen power.
  “AMI uses a lot of water. We can convert it to hydrogen and run it through fuel cells to
generate the heating, cooling and electricity for the campus,” Buffaloe said.
  He estimated it would take eight windmills to convert AMI water into enough energy
for the entire campus.
  His hope is to receive a grant for one windmill to generate enough energy for the
engineering building. The building will act as a smallscale trial and could be used for
teaching and research purposes as well.
  Energy conservation at ISU is an ongoing project. There is an energy team on the
Campus Planning Council, and if anyone is interested in getting involved and attending
the council‟s meetings, contact Denise Bowen, the council chairperson, at (208) 282-
3159.



FROM THE IDAHO FALLS POST REGISTER (PASSWORD REQUIRED)

2 plans, 2 opinions

Legislators consider dueling pay proposals

By SONJA DECATO sdecato@postregister.com
Comparing teacher compensation packages

One plan asks teachers to give up their continuing contracts for bonuses, and the other
gives local educators the power to divvy up the bonuses.

Nearly all Idaho educators and legislators agree that teacher pay schedules need to be
reworked so good teachers are rewarded and kept in Idaho. But no one seems to agree on
how to go about achieving that goal.

One idea, proposed by State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna, would cost
$46 million and reward teachers who agree to give up their continuing contracts, teach
specific subjects and boost their students' scores on the Idaho Standards Achievement
test. About 25 percent of the state's 14,500 public schoolteachers would be eligible for
Luna's plan, called iSTARS.

Most teachers despise Luna's plan, however.

The Idaho Education Association, Idaho's biggest teachers union, says iSTARS would
deprive teachers of their job security. It's a waste of money, too, the group's leaders say,
and iSTARS won't really reward the good teachers.

"Think of any good teacher you have had; there's little chance of them getting all the
bonuses," said MaryAnn Smith, an Idaho Falls School District 91 trustee.

The IEA has proposed its own merit-pay plan, called WeTEACH.

The program gives local educators leeway in divvying up bonuses, which are earned
when specific goals are met and when teachers further their education.

There's no price tag on it, critics point out.

The two bills have yet to make it out of the Senate Education committee.


Higher ambitions

New classes catch the attention of students
By SONJA DECATO sdecato@postregister.com

Aerospace Studies is one of two new math and science classes planned for next school
year at Idaho Falls High School.

Idaho Falls High School math teacher Thomas Kohler has long been smitten with
airplanes.
His desire to understand how a giant metal craft could take flight is what drove him to
learn all he could about math.

Sensing that the same interests could be brewing among his students, Kohler is set to
introduce a new class in the fall.

Aerospace Studies is one of two classes slated to make its debut in Idaho Falls School
District 91 for the 2008-09 school year.

Both classes are math and science hybrids, and the goal is to spark interest in difficult
subjects while teaching students how math and science are applied in real life.

"(The students) always ask, 'Why do I need to know this?' Now they'll know," said Trina
Caudle, principal at Skyline High School, which will host the other class -- a study of
alternative physics.

The classes will also help students comply with new state requirements to be
implemented in the fall.

Kohler, who said he hopes students in his class will be tricked into liking math, plans to
teach students how to use some of the same tools pilots use to chart their course.

One of the implements is the E6B flight computer, which helps determine how much fuel
is needed and how long the flight will take.

Kohler has been testing the device in his math classes this semester and said his students
have shown interest.

"Math is a lot more interesting when you can see how it applies to real life," said
Gwendolyn Miller, a junior at Idaho Falls High School.

Kohler isn't the only teacher in the area looking for a new way to teach old subjects.

K.C. Jones and Sean Schmidt, science teachers at Skyline, are launching the alternative
physics class, Energy and Power Systems for Tomorrow.

The class will focus on solar, wind and other forms of natural energy while still teaching
physics and math theories and principles.

Jones is test-running activities for the new class in his current science classes. So far, he
said, the students like the approach.

"It's fun to play with the experiments," senior Nick Jackuchan said.
Another student, Uriel Resendiz, learned that his house uses 4,500 watts of electricity a
day, which helped him figure out how much wind and solar power would be necessary to
power the abode for a day.

That sort of material isn't covered in the traditional introduction-to-physics class.

"This is more hands-on," Jones said.

District administrators and school board members are excited about the classes.

"Merging a variety of disciplines to teach math and science is a great way to learn,"
school board trustee MaryAnn Smith said.

				
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