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Friday, February 05, 2010 From the Coeur d’Alene Press Cd'A schools to float $31.1M levy Waxing historic From the Idaho Spokesman-Review Postings prompt lectures From the Moscow Daily News (password required) Seeing -- and hearing -- a difference From the Lewiston Tribune (password required) No education stories posted online today. From the Idaho-Press Tribune, Nampa NNU plans major improvements Local schools restrict surveillance tape access Students, don’t allow free money to escape your grasp (Editorial) Opportunity Scholarship Fund invests in future (Commentary) From the Idaho Statesman High school students get hands-on surgical experience Lawmakers doubt revenues will stretch as far as Otter thinks From the Twin Falls Times-News Concurrent enrollment gains support Jerome superintendent, business manager to retire From the Idaho State Journal Lawsuit filed in Stoddart death Luna should start over (Editorial) Benefits of separate schools for boys, girls (Commentary) From the Idaho Falls Post Register (password required) Lawmakers to retool gun bill FROM THE COEUR D’ALENE PRESS Cd'A schools to float $31.1M levy Posted: Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 - 10:59:53 pm PST By MAUREEN DOLAN Staff writer Bulk of funds, $19.2M would be to build new Lakes Middle School COEUR d'ALENE -- Taxpayers in Coeur d'Alene will be asked to approve a $31.1 million facility levy at the polls in May. Trustees voted unanimously to float the levy before District 271 voters during a special meeting of the school board Thursday. "One of the driving economic forces in a community is the condition of their schools," said board vice chair, Vern Newby. If approved by taxpayers, the bulk of the proposed two-year levy -- roughly $19.2 million -- will be used to build a new Lakes Middle School on the existing 15th Street site. The balance allows $1.6 million for technology, $7.9 million for a new elementary school and $2.4 million for the acquisition of property for future schools. Trustees heard a presentation about the plans for the new LMS building from Mike Patano, architect and leader of the design team. The probable construction cost of the new school is estimated at $23.7 million. The gap between the $19.2 million in the proposed levy and the estimated cost of construction will be covered by $4.5 million left over from a 2002 plant levy. Discussions about upgrading the middle school have been ongoing since 2002 when voters approved a $23 million facility levy that included funding to modernize the building. Increased construction costs of other more highly prioritized projects at the time -- including the remodel of Ramsey Elementary School -- forced the district to put the LMS project on hold. In 2006, voters turned down a $39.8 million facility levy that included a rebuild of LMS where Person Field is located. That plan was contingent upon a land swap with the city of Coeur d'Alene that would have given the district rights to property at Person Field adjacent to land the district already owns. "We heard loud and clear from our community two things when we ran the school plant facility levy in 2006. One was that they wanted schools downtown," said Hazel Bauman, assistant superintendent. "And the other thing that they spoke very clearly about was not relocating to Person Field and again we have honored that." Before voting, trustees were given two levy options with a $1 million difference in the amount allowed for property acquisition. They decided to go with the higher amount citing favorable market conditions for real estate purchases and shrinking availability of land. Trustee Christie Wood asked whether selling other land owned by the district might be a way to save money for taxpayers. Superintendent Harry Amend said the district owns a 10-acre parcel on Thomas Lane that is being held until the district needs a school in that section of town and a 5-acre piece of land it had planned to use for a new food service facility. "As far as land holdings go, we're not very land-rich," Amend said. District financial officer Steve Briggs said the district can't use its current property to meet the needs it foresees. The proposed levy will cost property owners $1.59 per $1,000 of assessed property, which comes out to about $318 a year for a $200,000 home. Before voting in favor of asking taxpayers to approve the levy, Wood expressed concern about how it will be received by the community. "I'm just not sure the support's there for the whole package," Wood said. In other business, trustees formally approved a plan for the district to make up one emergency snow closure day as required by law. Pre-K through grade 8 will attend school all day on April 25, a day originally scheduled as a "no school PD flex day." All high school students will attend a full day of school on March 7 and April 25, days originally scheduled as early release days. Additional time needed will be made up at each school through shortened lunches or extended school days. The district will work with principals to determine how and when the minutes will be made up at each school. Waxing historic Posted: Thursday, Feb 14, 2008 - 10:59:55 pm PST Email this story Printer friendly version By MAUREEN DOLAN Staff writer North Idaho Christian School 10th-graders dress as famous people HAYDEN LAKE -- It was like traveling through time while playing freeze tag with the likes of Mother Teresa, Charlie Chaplin and the Wright brothers. Motionless 10th-graders dressed as famous characters turned the North Idaho Christian School's gym into a historical wax museum Thursday. Wearing a medieval cloak, student Billy Jack Lambert, 16, did double duty running lights for the museum tour and posing as ninth-century emperor Charlemagne. "He was a good conqueror, but he didn't like war. He was more about architecture and philosophy and stuff. He was a good Christian guy," Lambert said. With the rest of the room in darkness, a spotlight was moved from character to character while teacher Marilyn Schneiter shared information detailing each figure's claim to a place in the history books. The human display was the final piece of a project completed in Schneiter's world history class. "They had to research and write a paper -- learn all they could and try to be as authentic as possible with their props and costumes," Schneiter said. She impressed upon the students how important it was to stay in character throughout each tour. Alicia Bassett, 16, didn't have many opportunities to move around and break character. As Joan of Arc, the 15th-century saint and French leader who was executed by burning, Bassett stood tied to a pillar with a pile of logs at her feet throughout the tour. "She was very, very brave," Bassett said. Students dressed as Johnny Cash and June Carter walked the line, while Roy Rogers sang cowboy songs and a toga-wearing Julius Caesar held court on the other side of the room. Nearby, Rachel Malin, 15, dressed as Helen Keller, chatted with her famous teacher, Annie Sullivan, portrayed by Britta Forsythe, 16. In turn of the century garb, they sat together very much like Keller and Sullivan might have more than 100 years ago. "I liked how even though she was blind and deaf she wanted to live her life to the fullest and that she went to college and graduated," Malin said. FROM THE IDAHO SPOKESMAN-REVIEW Postings prompt lectures Students rankled over school's reaction to pictures at social networking site Taryn Hecker and Sara Leaming Staff writers February 15, 2008 Garrett Andrews' MySpace profile features a picture of him drinking beer and guzzling a substance labeled "crack," and says the Coeur d'Alene High senior class president enjoys sex, drugs and alcohol. It's a spoof, Andrews said, meant to provoke school administrators who recently lectured students for pictures of drinking and partying posted on MySpace pages. Some students accuse administrators of invading their privacy and policing the popular networking site, but Assistant Principal Mike Nelson says administrators aren't trying to be "Net nannies." "We just want to remind our students that what's on the Internet can come back to hurt you," Nelson said. Nelson said a student brought him pictures of classmates involved in "illegal acts" and he was obligated to take action. He called students to his office, then phoned their parents. Advertisement School officials throughout the region are faced with similar decisions, as they learn to deal with content posted on social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook. Often, photos and dialogue on those sites – posted at home from students' private computers – come back to the school. It creates a thin legal line between a student's right to free expression and the school's mission to keep students safe, especially when illegal activity appears to be involved, officials said. "Our focus is investigating things that happen at school, and our focus is keeping students safe at school," said Jason Conley, security director for Spokane Public Schools. "As far as the other hours of the day, that's what the police department is for." Like the Coeur d'Alene School District, Spokane's software filtering system blocks access to the social Web sites from school computers. "I cannot even get to MySpace, even if I wanted to," Conley said. "As a work resource it's filtered out." Lakeland School Superintendent Chuck Kinsey said the site is blocked from school computers, but the district would allow administrators to access MySpace "if it is information presenting a problem for a district or an individual school." There have been instances of cyber-bullying in his district where that's happened, he said. Kinsey said the site could also be accessed as part of an investigation into whether students in extracurricular activities are violating the activities code by drinking or using drugs. Despite Nelson's insistence that Coeur d'Alene High administrators haven't gone online to search out evidence, some students are convinced otherwise. Several have switched their MySpace profiles to private – so only their friends have access. A handful of students put messages on the public portion of their profiles poking fun at school administrators. "Even though MySpace is a public posting, it's not school-related at all," Andrews said. "I don't see how the school can feel obligated or just be bored enough to get people in trouble with their parents for things that didn't happen in school or around school." Coeur d'Alene High senior Molly McDonald, 18, has several photo albums with pictures from parties on her MySpace page. She plans on changing her profile to private to keep out prying adults. "The administration should cool off a little bit," McDonald said. "They were kids once, too." Student Sam Lyons was called to Nelson's office because he was in a picture with students who were holding alcohol. "I don't think it's the school's business whatsoever," he said. His mother, Maggie Lyons, agreed. "I don't think it's the school's role to parent," she said. Post Falls School Superintendent Jerry Keane said schools don't have a choice when they're made aware of illegal activity. They're going to share that with parents, and sometimes get law enforcement involved. Keane said the fact that students are so adept at technology is a double-edged sword. "We need to educate students about the consequences of using technology," he said. "We need to include parents and the community. Obviously, there are students making bad choices." FROM THE MOSCOW DAILY NEWS (PASSWORD REQUIRED) Seeing -- and hearing -- a difference Some students' behavorial, learning problems can be attributed to visual, hearing deficiencies By Hadley Rush, Daily News staff writer Thursday, February 14, 2008 - Page Updated at 12:00:00 AM Moscow School District nurse Beth Papineau said the best way to ensure success for students is for parents to have their child's eyesight and hearing tested at an early juncture. Papineau said more often than not, diagnoses of vision or hearing problems go hand-in- hand with behavioral problems in the classroom. "A child with ADHD or autism, a majority of the time (will have) a vision or hearing component," Papineau said. "Their learning is affected when they have" these impairments. JoAnna Newberry, the mother of 9-year-old twin sons, Caleb and Joshua, can attest to that. After minimal academic and behavioral problems began to surface with Newberry's sons, a friend suggested she take them for vision therapy. "We didn't know that they had problems with their vision," Newberry said. "They never complained." Newberry said her sons, who were diagnosed with autism, were having trouble reading and began to fall behind in their studies. After taking her sons to a behavioral optometrist, Newberry discovered they were seeing double at certain distances. "Mainly, it was a (problem with the) connection of their eyesight with their attention span and how they process information," she said. Newberry said her sons began to excel in the classroom after they were prescribed glasses and underwent therapy to strengthen their eye muscles. "Their speed of reading and comprehension is increasing with their therapy," Newberry said. Randall Cummings of Palouse Visual Learning Center in Moscow, who treats the Newberry twins, said parents often don't notice problems in their children until they begin to fall behind their peers. Vision problems "probably affect 20 percent of students - a lot are labeled as ADHD, dyslexic or just poor readers," Cummings said. Cummings said some children who are diagnosed with learning disabilities instead suffer from vision problems that create hardships in the classroom. Papineau said she's the "go-to" person in her district when behavioral, hearing or vision impairments become a concern. "I do the screenings and then I rescreen," she said. "Based on (results) I will refer. On vision I will involve parents and have them get the children to a complete eye exam. As far as hearing, after a rescreen, I refer them out to a doctor." Papineau said some hearing problems are simply due to infections or wax build-up. Other times, it can be more serious. After antibiotics for an infection are administered or was is cleared, Papineau said she rescreens the students to see if there's any improvement in their hearing. "If there's no improvement I refer the child to a (doctor) or I coordinate work with audiologists," she said. Five-year-old Samuel Schwandt began having trouble in school, but his mother, Tabitha, didn't know it was because his eyesight was suffering. "He really struggled the first part of kindergarten," she said. "We didn't realize that he wasn't seeing well peripherally." Although her son's right eye occasionally "drifted," Schwandt didn't initially link it with his academic troubles. "He would get more withdrawn instead of acting out" in class, Schwandt said. "He would shut off and he would start daydreaming. He wasn't disruptive ... Just not focused." Because of the academic problems her son was having, Schwandt feared Samuel would be held back in class. "They were going to put him back into preschool, but now he's OK," Schwandt said. After being diagnosed with intermittent exotropia - a condition that causes one eye to turn out - Samuel was prescribed glasses and began vision therapy. "We've seen this dramatic improvement," Schwandt said. "We never really even thought about" vision problems prior to the diagnosis. Dr. Mike Frostad of Palouse Pediatrics in Pullman said he doesn't often see children in his practice who have hearing or vision problems, but when he does, academic problems usually follow. "It occurs, but we don't see it on a daily basis," he said. Frostad said children with these impairments "can sometimes be (misdiagnosed) if they're not doing well in school," which is why he thinks it's important parents take their children in for an early assessment. They should "speak to their physician," he said, adding that students who have trouble hearing or seeing can usually be helped tremendously by simply using hearing-assistance devices or being prescribed glasses. First, they have to be diagnosed - something Frostad said is up to the parent. Newberry said she couldn't be happier with her sons' improvement in vision and academia after being placed in glasses and engaging in vision therapy. "We've noticed that their schoolwork is improving in reading and (they're) able to do homework more independently," she said. "It's worth looking into and seeing if it's the right approach." Schwandt agreed. "I would say it's worth getting their vision checked and putting in time now when they're young because their quality of life is greatly improved," she said. "If you're with your (child) every day it's easy to miss things, and (problems) can be fixed ... It's amazing. We've had so much success with our son." Hadley Rush can be reached at (208) 882-5561, ext. 239, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. FROM THE LEWISTON TRIBUNE (PASSWORD REQUIRED) No education stories posted online today. FROM THE IDAHO-PRESS TRIBUNE, NAMPA NNU plans major improvements By Brenda Ceja email@example.com ECONOMY: Officials outline $22.5 million in improvements, estimate $200 million economic impact during upcoming years NAMPA — Despite widespread concern of an economic downturn, Northwest Nazarene University has plans to inject millions of dollars into the local economy during the next several years. NNU officials announced plans for $22.5 million in campus improvements as part of the Nampa Chamber of Commerce’s Business & Breakfast Roundtable, held Thursday at the Hampton Inn & Suites in Nampa. Eric Forseth, vice president of enrollment services and marketing at NNU, shared fall enrollment statistics for the growing university that ―used to be a mom-and-pop shop.‖ The school enrolled 10,675 students in the fall of 2007, the majority represented by 1,241 undergraduate students and 8,843 continuing studies students. The school’s plans for investments totaling $22.5 million are on top of past improvements to serve its increasing student population, including Ford Hall, Little Prayer Chapel, Brandt Center, Halle Softball Field, Johnson Sports Center, Helstrom Business Center, Kirkeide Apartments and the Admissions Welcome Center. Forseth said the university will break ground on a $10 million science and nursing facility within the next few weeks to accommodate an increasing number of nursing and science majors. Previous Trus Joist owner Harold Thomas donated $4.5 million for the project, which is scheduled to be completed in January 2009. NNU received a $7.5 million gift from Leah Peterson, a former teacher education major at the school. In October the NNU Board of Trustees approved the initial exploratory phase of a building project honoring her passion for education — a resource center that would include a library expansion. Forseth said the gift is the largest single donation the uni- On the campus Northwest Nazarene University’s Johnson Sports Center is Canyon County’s second- largest building, according to Eric Forseth, vice president of enrollment services and marketing at NNU. The largest is the Idaho Center. versity has ever received. The university has earmarked an additional $5 million bond fund for campus improvements such as remodeling residence halls, building a new intercollegiate soccer field and enhancing other areas of the school. Ronald Galloway, dean of NNU’s School of Business, said money spent by the university, its students and its employees could make an estimated $200 million economic impact through the next several years. In addition to the economic infusion made by the school, it also stays involved in the community. A report at the event outlined some of the School of Business’ community service projects. Forseth said NNU is a believer in community and corporate partnerships. ―Nothing great is ever achieved without collaboration,‖ he said. Local schools restrict surveillance tape access PUBLIC SAFETY: Officials cite privacy issues as major concern regarding release of video images of local students By Christin Runkle firstname.lastname@example.org CANYON COUNTY — When students get in trouble, local school districts say that in extraordinary instances, parents will be allowed to view the portions of surveillance tapes with relevant images of their children. But school officials also want to protect the privacy of other children depicted in the tape as much as possible. All secondary schools in the Nampa, Caldwell and Vallivue districts have surveillance cameras, and several elementary schools have exterior cameras to prevent vandalism or to help staff members see who is coming into the schools. ―If we have a specific incident that results in expulsion, we try and excise only the part that is applicable to the student that is the subject of the discipline,‖ Nampa School District spokeswoman Allison Westfall said. Otherwise, videos aren’t available to the public, she said. ―These videos cover a wide spectrum of kids,‖ Westfall said. ―To release the video would be an invasion of other students’ right to privacy.‖ Vallivue Assistant Superintendent Pat Charlton said the district generally lets parents view surveillance tapes involving their students, as it did last spring after a Vallivue High School student reportedly set a classmate on fire. But Charlton said district officials have to ―see if there are any privacy issues that come to bear‖ before showing a parent surveillance camera footage. Caldwell School District public information officer Vickie Ashwill said allowing parents to view footage would be decided on a case-by-case basis, but that if other kids are in the shot, it’s unlikely the district would share the tapes. Students, don’t allow free money to escape your grasp (Editorial) SUMMARY: Regarding FAFSA, other aid applications, don’t procrastinate Who doesn’t like free money? If you’re a student preparing for college — or the parent of said student — this concept is quite enthralling. There are abundant scholarship and financial aid opportunities for those seeking higher education. The big free money maker is the Federal Application for Federal Student Aid, a valuable resource for students looking for college scholarships and loans. The program applies a student for numerous scholarships and loans, and rounds them all up in one spot. It also sends the FAFSA results straight to colleges or universities requested by the student. And it’s all for free (www.fafsa.ed.gov). Local schools and other agencies may also have separate scholarships students can apply for. Those offer money for almost anything, from GPA to parental income to ethnic background — there’s even a scholarship based on Duct Tape prom outfits (www.stuckatprom. com). But these opportunities come with a catch: paperwork. And it is of utmost importance to apply for these scholarships on time. Though the national deadline for the FAFSA is not until June 30, Idaho’s state deadline is March 1. For priority status, many colleges and universities in Idaho request FAFSAs even earlier. Take an afternoon or evening to just sit down and get things in process. The FAFSA process can go pretty quickly for those who have all the materials needed to complete the application, such as tax documents and a federal PIN. And if you can’t do it all in one night, the application can be saved along the way. The point is, get started as soon as possible. The key to getting a significant jump on earning scholarships is to begin applying immediately. Getting applications in on time, or even early, can mean saving thousands and thousands of dollars in college tuition and living expenses. Even little scholarships can make a big difference in covering expenses such as textbooks and lab course fees. In the end, whatever isn’t covered by scholarships is money that will have to come out of students’ — or parents’ — pockets someday. Don’t be daunted by the task of filling out a few forms. There are lots of online resources to help answer scholarship questions, and school counselors are a great help in getting started finding and applying for aid — in fact, they’ve probably been mentioning it to students already. The clock is ticking, so despite the urge, do not procrastinate. Lots of financial help is there for the taking — as long as you don’t get around to asking for it too late. ¦ Our view is based on the majority opinions of the Idaho Press-Tribune editorial board. Members of the board are Rick V. Weaver, publisher; Vickie Holbrook, managing editor; David Woolsey, assistant managing editor; Jake Alger, opinion editor; and community representatives Scott Faris, Deborah Glasscock and Kelvin Bishop of Nampa, Ruby Valdez of Caldwell, and Jay Sears of Wilder. Opportunity Scholarship Fund invests in future (Commentary) By Gov. C.L. ―Butch‖ Otter Years from now, when my time as your governor and the terms of all today’s legislators have passed, one of the accomplishments of which we should be most proud is that thousands of students who had little hope of doing so will pursue higher education right here in Idaho. More than any buildings, highways, court appointments or collaborative agreements, those students are a legacy for this generation of state leaders. They are Idaho’s hope, and Idaho’s future. But that future can only be assured with your help. Last year the Idaho Legislature approved $10 million of the $30 million I requested to create an Opportunity Scholarship Trust Fund — a needs-based program to ensure that deserving Idaho students have the means to pursue higher academic or professional- technical education. Legislators also approved $2 million for the first round of scholarships. It was a good start. As someone who needed some help of my own as a young student, I commend them. Now postsecondary education is a reality for more than 600 students from communities throughout Idaho who might otherwise have been unable to achieve their educational or career goals. Our economy is growing more slowly than it was a year ago. But wise and frugal management and planning by our Legislature have helped ensure we will have enough revenue this year to provide $50 million in one-time budget surplus for the Opportunity Scholarship Trust Fund. The $60 million-plus total will generate about $3 million a year for scholarships. That moves us a long way toward a truly self-sustaining fund giving generations of Idaho students the chance they need to get ahead — and take us all with them. For students, the need is indisputable. Idaho has among the nation’s lowest percentages of high school graduates who go on to postsecondary education. And it’s not because they are ill-prepared or uninterested in expanding their horizons; it is primarily because they simply can’t afford it. For Idaho there is even less dispute. Competing with other states and countries for the kinds of businesses that bring higher-paying, more stable jobs to Idaho — especially to our rural communities — requires not only that our work force be hard-working and responsible; it also must be well-educated and trained to meet employers’ needs. The time is long past when Idaho can settle for importing a significant share of our expertise in fields as diverse as energy, health care and manufacturing. We must do more to grow our own or resign ourselves to increasing dependence on other states, other governments and other people. I for one am unwilling to accept that. I also am unwilling to accept the idea that we can’t afford $50 million in one-time surplus this year, or that there are better, more proven or cost-effective ways to use that money. Let me be clear: I will not stand for the $50 million I proposed for the Opportunity Scholarship Trust Fund being used as a piggy bank or a slush fund for other priorities or initiatives. I did not intend the fund to be a political chip that could be anted up for a game of high-stakes poker, or a chit to be traded to preserve other items in my recommended budget. We can help ensure Idaho’s future by investing in our students today. Chances to prepare for success in life are precious. They don’t come along often for young people. It’s even rarer that a state like ours, which runs on a balanced budget, can afford to do something today that we know will be the right thing for many years to come. ¦ C.L. ―Butch‖ Otter is the governor of Idaho. FROM THE IDAHO STATESMAN High school students get hands-on surgical experience ELSEWHERE www.stlukesonline.org mmachs.meridianschools.org ADDITIONAL INFORMATION St. Luke's Boise Medical Center offers Surgery Encounter Tours to students in junior and senior high or in organized youth programs from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month. To arrange a tour, call Reuben DeKastle at 381-2830 or e-mail email@example.com. What do the students say about Meridian Medical Arts Charter High School? Instructor Carie Staub and Meridian Medical Arts Charter High School students give insights about the school and its programs. What is the Meridian Medical Arts Charter High School about? Staub: "The vision of the Meridian Medical Arts Charter High School is to foster academic excellence by providing a health science education of the highest caliber using academic, technical, and ethical approaches. Student Olga Onishchuk: Meridian Medical Arts Charter High School was designed to prepare students' futures in the medical field by providing education of the highest caliber. Student Kaitie Shiflet: MMACHS is about creating the best academic experience for students who are interested in medical professions. Student Heather Holloway: MMACHS offers an opportunity for high school kids to get a jump start into the health care field. Student Will McElroy: MMACHS provides excellence in health science technology. Student Kathryn Volarich: MMACHS is about providing quality education for academic excellence, especially for the health care profession. Student Beise Kamenova: MMACHS is about focusing high school students who are interested in the medical field. I believe that MMACHS really helps students make a decision about what they would like to be in the future. What is the goal of the education offered at MMACHS? Staub: The objective of an education at MMACHS is to provide students with concurrent college credit programs, technical certifications where applicable, a state standard education, a fast moving curriculum integrating the health sciences at every level, and relevant experiences through community service, job shadows, and internships. Student Krissy Easom: The goal of MMACHS education is to produce well-rounded professional adults. Guardian Knights have confidence, dependability, integrity and maturity. They follow ethics as well as personal morals. Student Kimber Scharf: The goal of the education offered at MMACHS is to prepare the students for more advanced schooling in college and skills for employability. They also help us acquire concurrent college credit. Onishchuk: The goal of the education at MMACHS is to provide an insight for students on what lies ahead in medicine. It stimulates students minds by teaching the stepping stones of a medical career. Student Ally McKie: Our goal is to inspire kids to become medical professionals and to go for their dreams. This school gives students a head start on life. Student Nick Stoppello: The goal of the education we offer is to produce the best possible candidates for healthcare positions. Holloway: The educational goal of MMACHS is to provide students with the tools and experiences needed to succeed out of high school. Student Zac Bardsley: The goal of the education at MMACHS is to help guide us to a future occupation that will keep a steady income and keep us happy. Student Madeline Pifher: MMACHS is attempting to prepare students by giving them a head start in knowledge of the medical field. We are trying to focus students at this age so when they get into medical school they will be prepared. Student Angie Heuring: The goal of the education that MMACHS offers is to equip students with more than enough knowledge and experience to continue pursuing a career in health care. What students go to MMACHS? Staub: We are a public school that accepts interested students from throughout the Valley using a lottery system. Interested eighth and ninth grade students may pick up an application form from campus and return it by March 21 to be considered for the lottery on April 10. Students not drawn in the lottery remain in the pool to be selected for any open seats that become available. MMACHS will be hosting an open house on March 11. Contact the school for additional information at 855-4075, or our Web site http://mmachs.meridianschools.org/. Student Yessenia Cantu: There are a variety of students at MMACHS, bringing diversity into the school. 70 percent of the students are female and 30 percent are male. Students that come here are dedicated, passionate, and interested in the health care field. Student Kali Reider: Hard workers, wants to be in the medical profession, doesn't mind doing extra work and motivated. Student Brittany Greenleaf: The type of student that attends MMACHS is a dedicated, hard-working student. They need to have a clear focus to excel at MMACHS. Student Kathryn Volarich: Students who are ambitious. It is a school for students who want higher quality education, real world experiences, and better preparation for higher education. Student Camille Thomas: All types of students attend MMACHS, contrary to what some people believe, it is not just for the super smart kids. It is a school for people who know what they want from their education and know what they want with their life. Why did MMACHS go to St. Luke's Surgery Encounter Tour? Staub: St. Luke's is an excellent partner for accomplishing the goals and objectives set forth by the Health Applications class at Meridian Medical Arts Charter High School. St. Luke's provides a unique opportunity for students to discover their passion for various medical professions through their surgery tours and gives students insight into the pathway required to reach their potential dream career. Onishchuk: St. Luke's surgery tours enhance some students' passion for surgery or interest those who didn't know anything about it. Either way it is an amazing opportunity for students to experience the art of surgery. Student Levi Smith: Going to St. Luke's allows us to see the OR staff interact in their environment and learn specific details about their education and day to day experiences. Reider: We are participating to explore more options in the health care field and see if this is the area we want to work in some day. Holloway: The surgery tours at St. Luke's offers students the opportunity to get hands on experience of this career to see if this is what they are truly interested in. Student Ellen Town: As a job shadow, we learn more about the professions involved when surgeries and operations occur. Student Camille Thomas: We are participating in the St. Luke's Surgery Tours because in our junior Health Applications class we have the chance to do job shadows and we are lucky enough to get to go to these tours. Flynn: We're doing the OR Tours with St. Luke's because most of us want to someday end up in some type of medical profession. The surgery tours are very preparative and give us a little peek into what's to come. Diana Park: We go to St. Luke's to experience first-hand what we had learned about in class. We also get to see what it is actually like in a hospital setting. Nick Stoppello: We are going to St. Luke's to become more involved in the community and more informed about the advances and techniques that are being used in surgery. Megan Henry: We go to St. Luke's for surgery tours to give us a better understanding of what goes on in the health care field. Scharf: We are going to St. Luke's to get a look into the world of surgery. This is so we can broaden our views on medicine. Any other information that you can think of about your class? Health Applications is an 11th-grade yearlong course that discusses various health care careers and helps students develop an understanding of the skills necessary to be successful in the profession. This course will help students decide which pathway within this profession they may like to follow. The second semester offers concurrent college credit through ISU. The learning objectives for this course align with the National Health Care Skill Standards. Students will: Understand career pathways within the health care profession. Observe various health care environments through field trips and job shadows. Understand the role of the health care provider within various work environments. Understand injury and illness prevention utilizing safe work and health care procedures. Develop effective oral and written communication skills utilizing vocabulary common to the health care profession. Develop employability skills to enhance employment opportunities and job satisfaction. Sandra Forester: 377-6464 BY SANDRA FORESTER - firstname.lastname@example.org Edition Date: 02/15/08 Toiling with laparoscopic surgical instruments, four teens grabbed and unwrapped Bubble King Bubble Gum and butterscotch candy from the guts of a mock patient. They were students at Meridian Medical Arts Charter High School learning in a St. Luke's Boise Medical Center operating room. "I thought it was cool to go hands-on. It's harder than it looks," said student Eli Schriever. A second team down the hall used traditional surgical tools, including clamps and scissors, to remove a fake appendix, actually a rubber glove filled with water in the belly of a mannequin. But even though the patients weren't real, the thrills were. "I've been looking forward to this all year," said student Caleb Weidner, 16, who took the role of surgeon in his group. "I want to be a surgeon. You see it on TV, but when you're here actually doing it, it's really personal. This is something I could see myself doing for a long time." The students explored surgical careers Wednesday night through St. Luke's Medical Center's Surgery Encounter Tour, a monthly event that gives area high school students an inside look at operating rooms, operations, staff, technology and instruments. On average, 50 to 60 surgeries are performed each day at St. Luke's, staff said. "I never thought surgery was the most interesting field, but today just opened my eyes," said student Kaylee Flynn, 16. The teens grilled the staff. "I love this job," Dave Tarbet, a surgical technician for 20 years, told the teens. "I wake up in the morning, and I look forward to coming into work. The technology and the things that have changed in the last 20 years are wonderful." Surgeries that once required cutting open the patient and several weeks of recovery, such as removal of a gall bladder, are routinely done now through small incisions with laparoscopic instruments - fiberoptic lights, cameras, tubes, tiny clamps and tools. Robots, technology and computers guide surgical teams with more precise measurements and information. The hospital has offered the encounter program for two years, said Reuben DeKastle, operating room clinical instructor at St. Luke's and the program's coach. "It's been quite popular," he said. His team would like to make a hands-on surgical experience available to the community at large, possibly through a county fair in the future, DeKastle said. "It's a really essential part of discovering a career," said Carie Staub, a charter school instructor. "When you're surrounded by a million dollars in equipment, you can't help (but) be in awe." Meridian Medical Arts Charter High School was established in 2003 to prepare students for medical careers. Students graduate with experience as nursing assistants, emergency medical technicians or medical information managers, Staub said. "They are immediately employable," she said. "They'll be quality producers for our community." Sandra Forester: 377-6464 Lawmakers doubt revenues will stretch as far as Otter thinks Budget writers say the revised plans for pay raises and other programs will likely need even deeper cuts. RELATED DOCUMENTS Idaho got more bad economic news Thursday, with state revenues estimated to come in $120 million lower than expected this year and next. The weakened economy has Gov. Butch Otter scaling back some of his ambitious budget proposals, including a plan to give state employees 5 percent raises while reducing health benefits. Some lawmakers say Otter’s budget will have to be cut more deeply yet. BY HEATH DRUZIN - email@example.com Edition Date: 02/15/08 Worsening state revenues have Gov. Butch Otter acknowledging he needs to lower a proposed raise for state employees, but lawmakers skittish about the economy say he's not going far enough. Otter's original plan for a 5 percent pay raise may even have to go to 3 percent, and that's just one of several budget proposals in peril due to Idaho's weakening economy. Idaho will bring in an estimated $50 million less than originally expected this year and about $70 million less than originally expected in 2009, said Cathy Holland-Smith, the budget chief for the Legislature's nonpartisan research office. The revisions come after revenues for January came in well shy of expectations. They mean Otter's proposed budget is $82 million short, said Idaho Department of Financial Management Administrator Wayne Hammon, who worked with Otter to write the budget the governor proposed. "There's not room for everything," he said. Otter is now willing to trim his highest-priority proposal: a raise for state employees that is paired with a reduction in health benefits. Until recently, Otter insisted on a 5 percent raise. Now he is willing to accept 4 percent, while scaling back reductions in health benefits proportionally, Hammon said. "Taking care of employees is still a priority," Hammon said. But Otter is unlikely to get even that much, the co-chairs of the Legislature's powerful budget-writing committee said. Both Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert, and Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, say a 3 percent raise is more likely. "It's still a raise and frankly, in this economy, 3 percent is better than most will receive," Cameron said. The sagging revenues concern Dona Van Trease, the executive director of the Idaho Public Employees Association. Van Trease said it is especially important in tough financial times to work out employee raises before other budget business. "Any time they delay putting through their recommendations for the employees' salary increases, then other entities move in and the money's gone and state employees don't get what they're supposed to," she said. The Legislature's Change in Employee Compensation Committee will meet Friday morning to discuss pay raises. In light of the sagging state sales, income and corporate tax revenues, Otter is willing to scrap a $58 million plan to pay off state bonds early and a proposal to sock away $10 million in the Governor's Emergency Fund, Hammon said. Otter thinks this move could help save budget proposals such as his $50 million plan for college scholarships to needy Idahoans and a $20 million plan to study the state's aquifers. At a meeting of the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Thursday, Senate Education Committee Chairman Sen. John Goedde, R-Coeur D'Alene, suggested investing just $12 million in the scholarship program. After the meeting, JFAC Co- chairman Cameron said the state is unlikely to have $50 million for scholarships next year. "There are a lot of other issues that are not going to get funded that are, in my mind, a higher priority," he said. Scholarship money is a good investment, and the money is there if lawmakers have the will, argued JFAC member Sen. Elliot Werk, D-Boise. "It's always about prioritizing the money you have. There's never enough money to go around. There never will be," he said. Giving the needy a break on the sales tax they pay on groceries is still realistic, and Otter still wants a plan aimed at the poorest Idahoans - similar to the one that failed to gain legislative support last year, Hammon said. But legislators are not sold. The state can pay for some kind of grocery tax relief, Bell said, though what form that takes and who will support it remain to be determined. Bell also said that Otter's request for a $20 million aquifer study still has support in the Legislature. "That will help the entire state," she said. Heath Druzin: 373-6617 FROM THE TWIN FALLS TIMES-NEWS Concurrent enrollment gains support Otter's scholarship program wanes By Jared S. Hopkins Times-News writer BOISE - Concurrent enrollment appears to be gaining support among state lawmakers, but support for Gov C.L. "Butch" Otter's scholarship program continues to wane as it nears time to set next year's budget. Three state agencies submitted funding requests for dual enrollment - in which high school students receive college credits - as both the Senate and House Education committees support some type of funding for it, as well as some members of the joint budgeting panel. In a report to the Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee on Thursday, Senate Education Chairman John Goedde, R-Coeur d'Alene, told budget writers his committee supports $3.5 million for concurrent enrollment. Education Chairman Bob Nonini, R- Coeur d'Alene, who presents Monday, has said his committee is in general agreement with their counterpart's priorities. Concurrent enrollment was included in three budget requests - State Department of Education, College of Southern Idaho and Idaho State University - although all three would be administered differently. Otter did not include the program. CSI asked for $276,000 to extend its dual-credit program to rural Magic Valley. ISU requested more than $700,000, primarily to offset costs of concurrent enrollment. Under Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna's $3.5 million proposal, all juniors and seniors would be eligible for six college credits a year upon passage of a standardized 10th-grade test. "What I'm struggling with is how we go about doing it," said Rep. Janice McGeachin, R- Idaho Falls. Some members of the joint budgeting panel voiced support for the concurrent enrollment program. Rep. Fred Wood, R-Burley, said the program has been a success in his area and urged the two co-chairs of JFAC - Rep. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome, and Sen. Dean Cameron, R-Rupert - to find funding. "It's probably the most effective way of high school reform of any mechanism we have in the state," he said. There are currently about 1,600 students taking such classes at CSI. Nearly 300 students at Twin Falls High School are enrolled in dual credit courses, according to the district. Under the CSI proposal, the money would be used to fund three CSI teachers who would rotate teaching math and science in rural school districts where there are not teachers with credentials to teach the advanced classes. Eight schools are included in the pilot program, such as those in Murtaugh and Hansen. "We've created a state of haves and have-nots with dual-credit," CSI President Jerry Beck told the committee last month in his annual presentation. Meanwhile, support for Otter's $50 million request for college scholarships continues to wane. State budget writers, including Cameron, have said that scholarships will likely be funded but not at $50 million. Goedde said his committee supports an appropriation the same as last year's $10 million. "We do not believe $50 million is realistic," he said. Earlier this week, Otter released a statement saying that the Opportunity Scholarship remains a high priority. "I also am unwilling to accept the idea that we can't afford $50 million in one-time surplus this year, or that there are better, more proven or cost-effective ways to use that money," he wrote. Jared S. Hopkins may be reached at 420-8371 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Jerome superintendent, business manager to retire Jim Cobble and Mike Gibson said they'll depart July 1, 2009 by Andrea Gates Times-News writer The superintendent and the business manager of the Jerome School District announced this week they will retire July 1, 2009. Jim Cobble, 65, has been superintendent since 1993, after he came from a superintendent slot in Gooding. Mike Gibson, 61, came to the district as business manager in 1990, after working in the local banking industry. The impending retirements were announced Wednesday during a staff meeting at Jerome High School. They were announced early to streamline transitions. "We were able to see far enough in advance that we could provide the board and community with an opportunity to plan," Gibson said. "We hope that will make it an easier transition." Gibson said he's retiring because he wants to travel and spend more time with family. Coble said he's known for a while about his retirement plans. "Most people who know me say I don't have the ability to retire. I'll keep busy doing something." Replacements have yet to be officially selected. One man, however, stands out as a viable candidate for Gibson's slot: Jerome High School Principle Clark Muscat. Muscat has been with the district since 1994 where he's been a teacher and assistant principal. "That may be a position I'm looking at," Muscat said. Gibson said he thinks Muscat is a strong candidate, especially given his background in education. Gibson and Cobble oversee a burgeoning school district in a dairy-driven town that's grown from one to four stoplights during their tenures. "When I came on we were relatively small," Gibson said. The number of students has probably increased by 25 percent, he said. Three schools were built, including Summit Elementary, which opened this year, a middle school that should be done by March and Horizon Elementary. Muscat said the early announcement of the retirements is constructive. "Rumors had been going around and there'd been a lot of questions. I appreciate hearing this directly from Mr. Cobble. This district will be missing him tremendously." There are some issues to handle, though, before Gibson and Cobble depart. The district's 10-year facilities levy, which brings in about $650,000 annually, expires at the end of the year and is up for re-election. The district also has a voter supported annual supplemental levy for $250,000. It's unclear if the facilities levy proposed soon to voters will be larger than it is now, said Gibson. "My philosophy is no peaks and valleys … So our taxpayers are able to build their budgets." Fiscal sensitivity appears to be a hallmark of Gibson and Cobble's tenure. Two new schools built through a $26.5 million school bond voters passed in October 2005 are running on time and on budget, they said. That was the first school bond election voters supported after five previous bond issues failed. "We did exactly what we told the patrons we would do," Cobble said. Gibson said the original plan in 2005 was to ask voters to support a bond for the new schools and improvements to the existing high school. But that changed before the vote. "When we were down to the point of presenting the bond question to the public, we didn't have enough to do all three, we had to revise our budget," Gibson said. Andrea Gates can be reached at Andrea.Gates@lee.net or 735-3380 FROM THE IDAHO STATE JOURNAL Lawsuit filed in Stoddart death Slain student’s family seeks damages BY JIMMY HANCOCK email@example.com POCATELLO — The family of Cassie Jo Stoddart has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Torey Adamcik, Brian Draper, both their parents and the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25, seeking unspecified damages. Adamcik and Draper were each convicted in separate trials last year of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in the Sept. 22, 2006, stabbing death of Stoddart. They were both sentenced in August to life in prison without parole for Stoddart’s murder and 30 years to life on the conspiracy conviction. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed in Bannock County on Jan. 31 include Anna Stoddart, Cassie’s younger brother, Victor Price, Anna’s long-time companion and the owners of the North Bannock County home were Stoddart was house-sitting when she was killed. Pocatello attorney Richard A. Hearn filed the lawsuit on behalf of the Stoddarts, Price, and Frank and Allison Contreras — owners of the home where Stoddart was killed — and their children. He is seeking emotional and property loss damages on the Contreras’ behalf. In the suit, Hearn alleges that the parents of both Adamcik and Draper ―negligently supervised, or failed to supervise there respective minor children. As a result of the negligence of Kerry and Pamela Draper and Sean and Shannon Adamcik, Brian Draper and Torey Adamcik were able to accomplish their plan to commit the homicide and wrongful death of Cassie Jo Stoddart,‖ he said in the court document. Hearn states in the complaint that District 25 and its employees are obligated to take action to prevent harm to another person, or student when they know there is a ―high degree of probability that a student will cause such harm.‖ He contends that employees of District 25, ―acting within the course and scope of their employment, were aware of information that caused or should have caused them to know that there was a high probability that Brian Draper and Torey Adamcik were a threat to the safety of others ... and they knowingly failed to take appropriate action ...‖ The defendants named in the suit have until Tuesday to file their responses. So far, only District 25 has responded through its attorney, Brian K. Julian of Boise. ―We deny that (District 25) had any knowledge of any type of situation that would have led to this tragedy,‖ Julian said, referring to Stoddart’s murder. ―Additionally, we are saying that the criminal actions of third persons are the true cause of the loss in this lawsuit.‖ Hearn is also seeking unspecified damages on behalf of his clients for infliction of emotional distress, property damage and loss of property. He said damages sought are not quantified in the suit as per Idaho statutes. ―You present your damages during the proceedings,‖ Hearn said. ―Special damages would be anything you have a receipt for. General damages are those related to the loss of the person who died.‖ Hearn also named as defendants in the suit, one to 20 people or organizations as yet unidentified. The next phase of the suit is discovery, during which ―we will try to find out what happened and who is responsible,‖ he said. It’s during the discovery process that those people or organizations called simply Does, one to 20, may be identified. He said the discovery process will also help determine who may carry some responsibility for Stoddart’s death. ―The issue to be decided is whether or not the parents or (District 25) knew things about Adamcik or Draper that if they acted on those things, would Stoddart still be alive?‖ Hearn said. ―We want to know what the parents and (District 25) knew about Adamcik and Draper and the level to which they were dangerous.‖ Luna should start over (Editorial) Money can motivate. That’s why, in theory, a program devised by State Superintendent Tom Luna that offers teachers bonuses for good work would also benefit Idaho schools and students. A pay-for-performance plan, however, works only if the pay is tied to measurable performance. That’s why it’s good to see that lawmakers and Luna dropped the so-called category 4 contract portion of his performance pay plan, which would offer a bonus to teachers for signing away rights to a continuing contract and giving up some due process rights. Under the initial plan, teachers could earn $2,400 simply for giving up the continuing contract, regardless of their ability to teach. Although teachers could earn a few bonuses without taking that step, many other incentives could be earned only after signing on to a category 4 contract. With a bonus tied to nothing more than signing away rights, the Luna IStars plan didn’t stand to motivate teachers. Instead it set up a system where new teachers had the potential to make good money for a year or two by signing away rights, then move on to a state with more job security. Finding good teachers can be tough — it’s a competitive market and other states are offering good options. Idaho needs new educators with new ideas, but we also need experienced teachers who have spent time in the classroom and understand the nuances of motivating children to learn. It seems the best incentive pay plan for Idaho teachers is yet to be found, especially since projected state revenue is sliding, and just about all state programs are potentially on the chopping block. Luna should not give up, just start over. Benefits of separate schools for boys, girls (Commentary) Schools have changed over the last several decades, students have changed and change is what we anticipate and expect. In fact, the only constant in this world is change. Therefore, change itself can be good. I find that if we expect things to be as they were before, our expectations are never realized. New approaches are often required in order to make things better. The most exciting news story that I have seen in months, if not years, was a report on a new educational approach in Greene County, Ga. The school superintendent was interviewed by CNN concerning a revolutionary approach in education. The headline read,‖ Has Greene County gone too far?‖ The Greene County public school system is actually proposing separate schools for girls and boys. Imagine, public schools in America proposing such a system. This is truly a revolutionary paradigm and based upon my recent experiences, I couldn’t agree more with this revolutionary idea. In truth, mixing girls and boys in the same school is something my wife has never understood about America. In talking with others who come here from other countries, many don’t understand why in the United States we insist on mixing boys and girls at the same school. This is especially true for adolescents and teenagers and in fact, the impact of this mixing appears to be one of the biggest problems of any junior high or high school administration. How can boys and girls go to school together and be given an education at the same time? Maybe it’s because we expect too much from our young people. School should be a serious time in the life of a young person. Education is everyone’s hope for the future. There is no doubt that America will depend on the ingenuity of future generations and truly education is and always has been the key to success. School, as it turns out, is where the majority of our young people will receive the tools necessary for succeeding in the future. So why separate girls and boys? Anymore the answers should be obvious. When girls or boys go to school they often seem more concerned with their peers of opposite gender than they are with learning the subject at hand. Maybe this wasn’t a big problem for me, and I’m sure there are others who don’t face this issue when going to school. Many are there to learn, but others need additional help in learning. We as adults are responsible for providing an environment of learning not an environment for socialization. If asked, I would have assumed that there could never be separate schools for boys and girls in America. At least not in the public school system. I assumed that court decisions would prevent separation based on gender but evidently Greene County, Ga., is pushing forward and I assume they know what type of fights they are likely to face. I personally hope they succeed. Aside from the obvious problems associated with mixing teenage boys and teenage girls, the superintendent being interviewed by CNN noted that girls and boys learn differently. Therefore they have different needs. Because of these different needs, the education system should accommodate each gender so the students will have the best chance for success. What a revolutionary idea. Actually having people in charge of education who understand the needs of young people. Evidently, in Greene County it’s an administration and I assume school board that have studied the issues and realized the needs of teenagers. Who knows if Greene County will succeed. I would predict that maybe those in charge of educating our children will soon be taking notice of the benefits of separate schools for boys and girls. Maybe this will be the future or maybe this step will mark a failure for Greene County’s schools. But I applaud their efforts. I know those who study children, behavior and what motivates the mind of an average teenager will also applaud the efforts of the Greene County School District. What a simple but revolutionary idea. All I can say is that it’s long overdue. Joe Evans of Pocatello is an environmental scientist. FROM THE IDAHO FALLS POST REGISTER (PASSWORD REQUIRED) Lawmakers to retool gun bill BOISE (AP) -- State lawmakers have agreed to rework legislation that would have restricted cities and counties from passing local rules regulating firearms in public places. The bill already has undergone a major makeover since being introduced last week. Sen. Curt McKenzie, R-Boise, acknowledged Wednesday that he agreed to drop a provision stripping the authority college presidents have in keeping universities and community college campuses free of concealed weapons. McKenzie said he agreed to the changes after getting pressure from Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter and university administrators. "I can confirm that McKenzie and the governor did talk and the governor did raise some concerns about that," Otter spokesman Jon Hanian told the Lewiston Tribune. At a hearing Wednesday, representatives for Boise State University and the University of Idaho praised McKenzie for leaving the schools alone. "We are appreciative of what you are planning to do and will support that effort in any way we can," said Marty Peterson, special assistant to UI President Tim White. The bill is also designed to curtail attempts by cities and counties to regulate guns in public places.
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