Looking for potential community partners
 

 

Dear Community Partner,

 

We need your help!  Earlier this year, Heritage Academy was unfairly criticized by our state’s charter commission. A tape of the illegal executive session was made public, and unfortunately, the unfair criticism and subsequent publicity over the summer hurt our fall enrollment and could impact our ability to continue all of the programs that serve our students.

 

Since that time, state data has provided clear evidence that our school is meeting the needs of our students and is serving many students with significant barriers to learning.  In fact, our school serves a high number of students that have not been successful in other schools

 

We are looking for community partners to help us cover the $300,000 loss in revenue that is a direct result of the unfair, unwarranted and illegal comments made about our school and our community.  Please help ensure that those comments don’t hurt our students by eliminating crucial programs, staff members and support necessary for them to succeed.

 

Here is some information about Heritage Academy that might surprise you:

 

·        Heritage Academy is a public charter school in rural Idaho.

·        We serve a student body with 96% of students qualifying for government assistance for food.  The state average is 45%.

·        One out of every four (25%) of our students have disabilities that negatively impact their education.  This is more than double that of the local school district or the state average of 11%.

·        One out of every four (23%) of our students is learning English as a new language. The state average is 7%. The average for all Idaho charter schools is less than 2%.   

·        70%, or 7 out of every 10 students have experienced 3 or more significant traumatic events in their lives. This could include homelessness; physical verbal or sexual abuse; not having access to medical care; having a family member go to prison; not having access to adequate food or clothing; living with people who are abusing alcohol or drugs; witnessing domestic violence.   

·        5-10% are at risk due to homelessness, seasonal work, foster care, etc.

·        Fall enrollment and assessment data show that only 1 out of every 5 students are proficient in reading when he/she enrolls in the fall (28%) and by the spring, approximately 70% are proficient.

·        Our school’s academic growth (as measured by the 2017-18 state assessments) was significantly higher than most Idaho schools, with a 22% increase in math scores, a 77% increase in language arts scores and a 109% increase in reading scores during from fall 2017 through spring 2018.

 

We thank you for your consideration.  If you would like to partner with our school, your contributions are tax deductible and may be eligible for tax credit.  Heritage Academy is a public school in Idaho and also a non-profit organization (501(c)3). 

 

Again, we appreciate your consideration during this challenging time for our school.  We look forward to working with you to serve our students and our community!

 

Sincerely,

 

 

Dr. Christine Ivie

Superintendent and Principal, Heritage Academy

(208)595-1617

civie@heritageacademyid.org

 

 

Heritage Academy Background

 

Our school opened in the fall of 2011 and serves approximately 175 students in kindergarten through eighth grade.  Heritage is a unique school of choice designed to meet the educational needs of the children in the Magic Valley.  Students attending Heritage focus on standards-based instruction and enrichment activities that allow them to create authentic products and services in areas of personal interest.

 

In addition, students learn about key character traits, develop mindsets that help them succeed in life,  and develop an appreciation for the people around them.  They practice showing respect and kindness to those with whom they interact.  As a school, we celebrate examples of showing good character and we recognize students who are responsible citizens; kind and caring individuals and hard workers.  We believe that by recognizing these traits, and building in opportunities for serving others, we are helping develop tomorrow’s employees, parents, friends and community leaders.    

 

Our school’s goals must be achieved on a very tight budget.  Heritage Academy is a separate public school district in the State of Idaho.  Our district receives funding based upon our enrollment, but because we are a State-authorized charter school, we receive very little additional funding for facilities, and we do not have the ability to bond or to generate funding through property tax levies.  As a result, our school district functions on a budget of just over one million dollars.  We are required to operate within our board-approved budget, and we must pay for all of our salary, curriculum, facility and special programs costs using that pool of funding.  We have a very fiscally conservative board, and we have managed our funds responsibly.  We have utilized a 100 year old building and completed paying for in 2017.  We are one of the only schools in Idaho with no facility debt.

 

We have used re-furbished furniture, technology, playground equipment and curriculum instead of purchasing new items or building a new building.  We regularly write grant proposals and participate in fundraising efforts.  Most of our staff members wear multiple hats in order to address the variety of student and program needs within our school. 

 

Unfortunately, we have not been able to accomplish some of our goals due to our budget limitations.  We are requesting support to accomplish a number of different goals at Heritage.  Together, these goals would require approximately $2,965,000.  These include the following:

 

ü  Cover the gap created by the untrue and unfair criticism of our school by the state charter commission (Cost $300,000).  Please note:  This is an immediate need that, if not filled, will result in significant staff lay-offs and elimination of programs that support our students.

ü  Provide a safe and energy-efficient middle school building.  We do not have a gym for our students and have run out of space for classes and services.  We would like to build a middle school building with a gym, updated cafeteria and modern computer and science labs. (Cost $1,500,000)

ü  Provide a safe and energy-efficient elementary school building.  By adding an elevator, central air and heat, updated plumbing and updated flooring and paint, we can make our beautiful old building more efficient, safe and accommodating.  Cost $1,000,000. 

ü  Provide students with a safe and engaging playground by purchasing playground equipment; resurfacing playground and adding an additional soccer and baseball field.  Cost $200,000 (cost for initial playground fixture is $40,000 and we would like to have sponsors for each piece of equipment, field and/or fixture). 

ü  Provide our child nutrition program with an updated cafeteria, including a new floor, a walk-in freezer and several pieces of kitchen equipment.  Cost $60,000. 

ü  Provide students with support for social, emotional and behavioral issues by providing training for all staff members and for parents/community members.  Cost $50,000.

ü  Create a school garden and greenhouse to provide fresh fruits and vegetables to our students and families at a cost of $15,000.

 

We appreciate you considering our proposal for support in one or more of our identified goal areas.  We believe our projects align with the Magic Valley Community’s history of involvement and support for projects focused on education.  Heritage Academy is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization as well as an Idaho Public School District.  Donations are fully tax-deductible under the law. Contributors may also be eligible for tax credits within the State of Idaho.  

 
 
Christine M. Ivie
Superintendent, LEA #479
Principal, Heritage Academy Public Charter School
500 S. Lincoln Ave.
Jerome, ID 83338
(208)595-1617
 
"The supreme quality for leadership is unquestionably integrity. Without it, no real success is possible, no matter whether it is on a section gang, a football field, in an army, or in an office."
Dwight D. Eisenhower