Boise Relocation Information - Schools

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Are The Public Schools In Boise Good? 

 Yes, Our son attended all public schools, a combination of charters, magnets and straight public and scored high enough on the ACT to get accepted into any state school in the country! Even though we are near the bottom in funding, garbage in equals garbage out. The overall high quality of kid and the fact we have a solid middle class means more time on instruction and less on discipline.


What Are The Best School Districts In Boise Metro Area?

There are 3 school districts in Ada County. Boise IndependentWest Ada School DistrictKuna School District. The long and short is both the West Ada school district and Boise schools are excellent. There are grade schools in each district I would personally avoid, but once you get to the 7th or 8th grade they are drawing from a large enough area they are pretty similar. Teacher pay is slightly more in Boise. I think Boise High is the strongest academically. The main difference is socioeconomic but with the large middle class it is six to a half dozen and really depends on what your child is more comfortable with. Meridian will be more middle class and Boise will have the janitors and the corporate presidents kids in attendance. Kuna is smaller but still provides a solid middle American educational experience.


What About Private, Stem, Charter And Magnet Schools In Boise?

Private- Boise and Meridian have them all and in various sizes, shapes and specialties. Like everywhere in the United States, catholic schools are in all parts of town, The Catholic High School is Bishop Kelly and it is locate just off Cole road on the Bench. It has a great reputation and is a good choice for any one whom has the means. Other private schools that might be worth a look see would be The Challenger School which runs through 8th grade, The Riverstone International School in southeast Boise and the Sage International School In Boise.

S.T.E.M- Science and math magnets provide a great base for any science oriented student looking to push themselves in these specialized fields. Hands down the best is The Treasure Valley Math & Science Center. Often referred TVMSC, is a public magnet school in Boise, Idaho operated by the Boise School District. It was formed as a public private partnership and is the only public school in the valley that you have to test into and sign a strictly enforced academic rigor form. So if you have a motivated smarty pants call Holly and get lined out. They offer advanced mathematics to AP Calc 2, science, technology, and research classes to students living in the Treasure Valley. Once accepted into the program, students attend TVMSC in its morning or afternoon sessions while they attend their normal public or non-public elementary, junior high, high schools, or are home-schooled, during the other part of the day. They have bus service for students who attend other Boise Schools. If you are in West Ada you will have to arrange a carpool. Our son went here and his biology class was extensive and time consuming. By the time he finished that class he was prepped for college, he knew what to expect in college. Lazy or unmotivated students wash out fairly regularly. Fyi. The next best stem elementary school is Galileo S.T.E.Min Eagle. But you have to win the lottery to get in here. Noah spent 2 years here as well and we loved, loved, loved. Thanks again Mrs. Bentley. If you can get in it is a no brainer.

Charter & Magnet Schools- There are a lot of them. Since Idaho is so conservative we have had lots of school choice thrown at us. The way they are funded makes it hard for the charters and magnets to stay open. The funding model gives each school money to educate the kids, but not to build or maintain the school. Choose carefully as some have crapped out and closed and in one case the Boise school district bought the school and morphed it into a public elementary. That was Hidden Springs. They got the school built and ran it as a charter for 6 or 8 years. They ran into a major water problem under the school and did not have the cash to fix it. So the choice was close the school or sell out to the city of Boise. Another school that is in a bit of a pickle is The Northstar Charter school. Basically, they have a cafeteria, but not enough money to buy equipment for the kitchen or hire cooks to make the food. So sack lunch required. The public schools pass bonds to build and maintain the schools and the charters cannot do that. So they have to build, maintain, educate with the same amount per head as the public schools just educate with. So you end up with lower paid teachers and no cooks in the kitchen. There are also a number of choices for high schools including Compass Charter, Meridian Technical Charter and Meridian Medical Arts.

How About Colleges and Universities In Idaho?

Higher Education In Idaho

BOISE STATE UNIVERSITY- One of the more commonly known higher education campuses in Idaho is Boise State University. It is the largest in Idaho and located in downtown Boise right on the river and conveniently located across Julia Davis Park. Currently, there is over 20,000 students enrolled. Boise State University has a wide range of degrees and areas of study available. More than 100 graduate programs and more than 190 fields of study to be exact! The primary campus covers over 175 acres including a campus library, Student Union Building. Morrison Center concert theatre, and an arena. The University was founded in 1932 giving the campus a lot of history as well as modern additions being added regularly. Academics are organized by these colleges:

• Arts and Sciences
• Business and Economics
• Education
• Engineering
• Graduate Studies
• Health Sciences
• School of Public Service
• Innovation and Design

Sports and student clubs are a big part of Boise State culture. The university’s athletic teams, The Boise State Broncos, have participated in NCAA Division I athletics since the mid 90’s. There’s a vast variety for sports in both men and women teams. Basketball, Volleyball, Track and Field, Cross Country, golf, and tennis to just name a few. But we can’t forget FOOTBALL! Boise State is home to our infamous blue football field. Boise State’s current football coach is Bryan Harsin. Previously coached by Chris Peterson, now University of Washington head coach.
Boise State University offers over 200 clubs and organizations. Ranging from arts and music, to science to various social based clubs. If fraternities and sororities are for you, BSU has those too!

UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO- The University of Idaho whose main campus is in Moscow, Idaho…nearly 5 ½ hours away offers the state’s only land-grant institution. UI Boise has over 30 degrees available plus WWAMI medical education programs. Their main 9 education categories are the following:

  •          Agricultural & Life Sciences
  •          Art & Architecture
  •          Education
  •          Engineering
  •          Natural Resources
  •          Law
  •          Letters, Arts & Social Sciences
  •          Medical Education
  •          Interdisciplinary Degrees

Some Stats:

The University of Idaho Boise provides access to all University of Idaho resources to southwest Idaho.

THE COLLEGE OF IDAHO- Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is Idaho’s first private liberal arts college. College of Idaho has an enrollment of approximately 925 students. 10% of enrollment are international students who come from all over the world representing 46 countries. 1/3 of students compete in varsity sports. Aside from the 20 different sports teams, The College of Idaho offers intramurals, greek life, debate, and even features a performing arts program. The school offers 26 majors and 58 various minors. 11:1 for a student to teacher ratio.

The College of Idaho introduces PEAK curriculum where students essentially earn a major and three minors in four years across the four academic peaks. The school also offers the “First Year Experience” where freshman are prepped with the tools they need to succeed. This includes, a community-building retreat in McCall, a first-year theme and book, first-year seminars and first-year living communities and mentors. Study abroad programs are also available.

The College of Idaho is No. 1 for top schools in Idaho according to Forbes magazine. Also ranked No. 1 in Idaho according to graduation rate reported by U.S. News 

COLLEGE OF WESTERN IDAHO- If community college is what you are interested in College of Western Idaho aka CWI is a great choice. CWI offers a range of academic and career-tech courses. They also offer Basic Skills Education to help prepare for a GED, and dual credit for high school students. According to their website they serve over 28,000 students annually. That number is spread across full-time students, part-time students, and high school students taking dual credit courses. Only 12% of students are full time, leaving a whopping 88% to be part-time! This shows how flexible to school is. The school offers many online classes as well as night classes. They also have two locations. Their Boise campus and their Nampa campus. The class sizes are much smaller compared to BSU, 22:1 in a typical classroom.

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