U.S. education official visits Rathdrum STEM charter school

Print Article

LOREN BENOIT/Press James Blew, assistant secretary with the U.S. Department of Education, asks sixth-graders Shannon Gehr, right, and Chelsey Venning questions about their project during his tour of North Idaho STEM Charter Academy on Tuesday.

RATHDRUM — An assistant secretary with the U.S. Department of Education toured North Idaho STEM Charter Academy Tuesday as part of the department’s “Rethink School” back-to-school tour.

James Blew, assistant secretary for planning, evaluation and policy development, met with STEM Charter Academy’s founders, administrators and teachers, and toured several classrooms, said a news release.

“We are looking at schools that are rethinking the fundamentals of our education system,” Blew said. “We need to do better. Schools like this are doing things differently and getting a much better result.”

In a roundtable discussion with the school’s administrators and founders, Blew asked about the history of the school, Idaho’s charter school application process and the school’s project-based curriculum.

Lorna Finman, a member of the school’s board of directors, said teachers at STEM were told from the beginning that they had permission to innovate. That, she said, has created a culture where teachers can be creative and inspire students to be innovative as well.

Blew’s afternoon visit to STEM coincided with Projects classes. While students take core academic classes in the morning, each afternoon is dedicated to hands-on projects emphasizing science, technology, engineering and math. Students shared plans and models of robots being designed for upcoming competitions and answered questions from the assistant secretary.

Scott Thomson, who founded the school with his wife, Colleen, said it was an honor that Blew made STEM Charter Academy a stop on the national tour.

“It’s a tribute to all of the hard work of the great team we have here at STEM,” said Thomson, who serves as STEM’s executive director. “It’s a tribute to parents, students and teachers all being on the same team going forward in one direction.”

Prior to visiting STEM Charter Academy, Blew attended a National Conference of State Legislators meeting in Coeur d’Alene to discuss federal education policy and the Every Student Succeeds Act. The charter academy was the only school Blew visited while in North Idaho.

Print Article

Read More Local News

Records section correction

January 18, 2019 at 11:02 am | Coeur d'Alene Press Multiple court sentencing details were incorrectly reported for James B. Nagrone, of Post Falls, in Friday’s Records Section. Nagrone has not been charged or convicted of the crimes listed, includin...

Comments

Read More

NIC lands competitive entrepreneurial grant

January 18, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press By MIKE PATRICK Staff Writer COEUR d’ALENE — Talk about an entrepreneurial encore. Last fall, North Idaho College was named Entrepreneurial College of the Year by the National Association for Co...

Comments

Read More

Idaho grad rates are on the rise

January 18, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press By JUDD WILSON Staff Writer POST FALLS — The Idaho State Department of Education announced Thursday that the statewide graduation rate is over 80 percent for the first time. “Across Idaho, 80.65...

Comments

Read More

It’s official: Whitcomb out as NIC wrestling coach

January 18, 2019 at 5:00 am | Coeur d'Alene Press COEUR d'ALENE — Pat Whitcomb, who led North Idaho College's wrestling team to four national titles over the past 22 seasons, is out as head coach. The news confirmed by college officials Thursday af...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(208) 664-8176
215 N. Second St
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho 83814

©2019 The Coeur d'Alene Press Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X