Alturas Academy holds open house before first day

Idaho Falls

IDAHO FALLS — The new charter school, Alturas Academy opened its doors to the public for the first time this week.

“We want to give the parents and the students an opportunity bring all (of) their supplies in so that when we start school next week, we can just jump right into… all of our programs,” principal Steven Andrew said.

Parents, students, and the community were welcome from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday to explore Alturas’ temporary home. Currently, the academy resides in the Boy Scouts of America building on Yellowstone Avenue.

Next year Alturas Academy will move into the O.E. Bell building, a local historic building, for its permanent stay.

“Our long term objective is to get into the O.E. Bell building. What they found… was the best way to use that space would be for us to spend a year in another location. They can do the renovations and get that building ready for use to move (in to) in the fall of 2017,” Andrew said.

Parents and students in the first through third grade area at Alturas Academy.

Prior to the charter school the interior of the Boy Scouts building had arranged office spaces. One of the largest rooms in the building was a space with cubicle separators. The cubicles still stand, but have been rearranged as interconnected classrooms. Other adjustments have been made to the building to get it up to educational code.

“They had to make some adjustments in, for instance the fire system, and some of the entry ways,” Andrews said. “They also had to rearrange the cubicles so we could utilize the largest room. That’s what we’re using for our first through third grade classroom.”

Nicki Warnick and her two kids Tegan Warnick, 5th grader, and Shiann Warnick, 3rd grader.

Parent Justina Gooden-Helton who’s also chairwoman for the Parent Teacher Team (PTT) said that administrators have been preparing to have a successful academic year.

“It’s been crazy busy. I’ve had a really up close look at how fast everything’s been going, and how much really goes into (organization) for the school,” Gooden-Helton said. “For a lot of parents it’s been really exciting to see the vision come together so quickly, and so strongly. Everybody’s really, very excited.”

Heidi Jensen and her daughter Skye Jensen, 1st grader.

The new charter school is set to open Monday, Aug. 22 and Stevens said the students will have fun surprises to look forward to. Some 280 kids from all over east Idaho are enrolled, and will fill classes from kindergarten through sixth grade.

“We’ve got some activities planned that kids are going to enjoy. Because we’re a school of choice we want kids to come here, have such a great and fantastic first day that they want to continue to come to school here,” Stevens said.

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