August/September 2018

Nampa School District 

August 2018 

This newsletter provides updates on Nampa School District news, accomplishments, goals and initiatives. For more information, visit our web page, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.


Paula Kellerer

Welcome Back! It’s that time again – our retail stores have had school supplies stocked since the week after the Fourth of July, and our athletic teams and bands have been outside clocking hours in preparation for the upcoming competitive seasons. Administrators reported to work at the beginning of August and teachers have been preparing their classrooms (some since the end of the last school year!).


School is starting – a brand new year with hopes and dreams. With new school years come tales of summer adventures. Although for some of our students, summer just denotes a change in the routine that they would not describe as an adventure, there are always tales to tell about what we did this last summer.


I, too, have a story to tell. We were privileged to be able to visit my daughter and her husband, who is stationed in Germany. Before arriving in Germany, we were able to spend a few days in Paris. My daughter made plans for us to visit the Eiffel Tower so that we could view the City of Lights at night. There was only one slot left in the online ticket queue for that Tuesday evening in July and she grabbed it.


To our surprise, when we arrived at the Eiffel tower, it was not very crowded. We stood in line for a short while and then took the elevator to the second floor. It was a beautiful evening. We enjoyed finding familiar landmarks and seeing the lights emerge as the sun set. Once during our stay on the second floor, we heard some cheering and we wondered about its source.


A few minutes later, the cheering returned and didn’t stop. The city erupted with activity. There were lights blinking, horns honking, and people shouting. It was then that we were able to hear the chatter around us and we realized that France had just advanced to the finals in the World Cup – they had defeated Belgium and their country was celebrating.


I wish I could do it justice in my description – the sound, the roar. It was amazing how the sound traveled and emerged from below, rising to the second floor. It was on all sides and all around us. Although we were above the source of the noise, it was hard not to become engaged in the excitement.


As we descended the elevator and moved out to the streets, the celebration continued. Motorcycles with flags, buses with dancing passengers, subway cars with singing and laughter.


Now to the point – my husband, daughter and I are not soccer fans. My kids played for a while when they were younger. We do not follow the World Cup – but we could sense the excitement and understand the significance of the accomplishment. We could even celebrate with our companions on the bus and the subway. We could learn to recognize the names of the players on the team and we even cheered them on a few short days later as they won the World Cup against Croatia.


That is the dream we have for Nampa Schools. You may not know all the specific details of what is happening in each classroom around the district, but you can listen in on the classrooms where your students are involved. You can cheer and encourage your students and their teachers! You may not know the specifics about our academic progress in this last year, but you can join the celebration of our accomplishment in doubling the state’s average growth in ISAT scores.


We invite you to the celebration of the Nampa School District. We invite you to lean in close enough to begin to hear the whispers of the great things happening in and around our schools. Be a part of the celebration and continue to “cheer” on your school district, your schools, your teachers and your students in this new year. Be a part of the new narrative that is emerging around the Nampa School District.


— Dr. Paula Kellerer


Join me on Twitter


Please follow me on Twitter for the latest news and musings about our students and education. You can find me @Nampa131Super.


Welcome to Our New Trustee


In June, the Nampa School Board appointed Heather Lewis as the new Zone 5 trustee following the resignation of Mike Fuller. A physician assistant and veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Trustee Lewis originally ran for the seat in May 2017. She went on to serve on the hiring committee for the district’s superintendent and is serving a 5-year term on the Preston Capell educational loan committee. She also sat on the Nampa Wastewater Advisory Group and was elected vice president of the Lake Ridge Elementary PTA.


Kindness Week is Sept. 24-28


Schools across the district will celebrate Kindness Week in September with a variety of programs and events aimed at encouraging positive and supportive interactions. Look for opportunities to help the children in your life find ways to show kindness to others in word and deed.


Energy-saving Efforts Earn Big Dividend


Idaho Power rewarded the Nampa School District for its energy-saving efforts with an incentive check for $59,033.80. This amount reflected a savings of more than 450,000 kilowatt hours in 2017. East Valley Middle School, West Middle School and Skyview High School students practiced energy conservation, sponsored a school-wide blackout day, supported a “lamp up” program to use lamps instead of overhead lights, and created a video demonstrating the proper use of the school’s HVAC system, among other efforts. The incentive money will be split between the three schools.


Nampa High Alum Headed to World Competition


Ben Campbell, a 2017 Nampa High School graduate and current NNU student, has been selected to represent the United States at the biennial WorldSkills competition for mechanical engineering CAD held next summer in Kazan, Russia. This is the second time that a Nampa School District alumnus has achieved this honor. Oscar Williamson, a 2016 graduate of Columbia High School, previously qualified for the bi-annual WorldSkills competition for drafting. While at Nampa High School, Ben was involved in the Nampa School District’s Career and Technical Education pathway for drafting and engineering. At SkillsUSA competitions, he won state bronze, silver and gold medals in technical drafting in 2015-2017, and in 2017 he took home the silver at nationals.


Special Educators Advocate on Capitol Hill


Five special education professionals from Idaho volunteered their time this summer to join in swarming Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on behalf of children and youth with exceptionalities and their professional colleagues. Representing Nampa were Gateways Principal Cyndi Cook and Special Education Instructional Coach Rafael Cde Baca. More than 265 special and gifted education and early intervention advocates were in D.C. to participate in the 2018 Special Education Legislative Summit from July 8–11.  The event was organized by the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) and the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE)


Grant to Help in Fight Against Teen Suicide


Gateways Secondary School and Skyview High School will each receive a $2,400 Sources of Strength grant from the State Department of Education to help fight against teen suicide by decreasing risk factors and building positive influences. The grants support adult advisers and pay for peer leader activities to help embed the Sources of Strength ideals throughout the student body.


CTE Students Earn SkillPoint Certificates


Career and Technical Education students Leiana Almaraz (Nampa High School) and Thomas Kraemer (Columbia High School) were awarded SkillPoint Certificates at the recent SkillsUSA Championships in Louisville, Kentucky. The certificates are awarded to students who met predetermined threshold scores in their competition, as defined by industry. Almaraz was recognized for criminal justice, and Kraemer for technical drafting.


Series Looks at Mastery Education


CompetencyWorks wrote a great series on mastery education in Idaho, including four stories out of the Nampa School District. The following two are now available. Two more (both centered on Columbia) will be available soon.



Upcoming Events

(This month includes select high school home games – look for middle school highlights next month. For full schedules, check with individual schools.)


Aug. 20: Volleyball Jamboree, 5 p.m. at CHS

Aug. 20-21: Personalized Learning/Mastery Night at CHS

Aug. 21: Elementary school open houses, 5-7 p.m.

Aug. 22: First day of school

Aug. 23: CHS volleyball vs. Caldwell, 4:30 p.m.

Aug. 24: CHS football vs. Emmett, 7 p.m.

Aug. 24: NHS football vs. Bishop Kelly, 7 p.m.

Aug. 24: SHS football vs. Borah, 7 p.m.

Aug. 27: Middle School open houses, 5-7 p.m.

Aug. 28: High school open houses, 5-7 p.m.

Aug. 28: CHS volleyball vs. Middleton, 4:30 p.m.

Aug. 28: NHS volleyball vs. Caldwell, 4:30 p.m.

Aug. 28: CHS Advanced Opportunities Parent Night, 6-7 p.m., Library

Aug. 30: CHS volleyball vs. Vallivue, 4:30 p.m.

Aug. 31: NHS football vs. Kuna, 7 p.m.

Sept. 3: Labor Day holiday, no school

Sept. 6: SHS volleyball vs. Capital, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 7: CHS football vs. Bishop Kelley, 7 p.m.

Sept. 11: NHS volleyball vs. Columbia, 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 11: SHS volleyball vs. Centennial, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 13: Snake River jog-a-thon to support new playground equipment

Sept. 14: CHS football vs. Kuna, 7 p.m.

Sept. 14: SHS football vs. Boise, 7 p.m.

Sept. 17-22: NHS Homecoming Spirit Week

Sept. 18: CHS volleyball vs. Emmett, 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 18: NHS volleyball vs. Vallivue, 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 18: SHS volleyball vs. Meridian, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 20: NHS volleyball vs. Kuna, 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 21: NHS football vs. Caldwell, 7 p.m.

Sept. 25: NHS volleyball tri-match vs. Middleton and Ridgeview, 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 25: NHS Advanced Opportunities Info Night, 6-7 p.m., Little Theatre

Sept. 25: SHS volleyball vs. Rocky Mountain, 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 26: Lone Star Middle School football, 4 p.m.

Sept. 28: CHS football vs. Nampa, 7 p.m.

Sept. 28: SHS football vs. Capital