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Local charter school expanding to high school


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AMMON – A Lincoln Log-style building in Ammon is nearly empty, but Friday afternoon the board of directors for the White Pine Charter School met inside.

“As a school board and administrators, we were celebrating. I think some of us were dancing a little bit,” said board chair Tony Lima.

The board was informed Thursday evening they, along with four other Idaho charter schools, will receive an $800,000 federal grant.

The grant is meant to increase the number of seats available at Idaho charter schools.

For White Pine, it’ll do just that, but also much more.

“The companies and the students aren’t connected enough. And so what we’re trying to do is bridge that gap, help those students realize that there are tremendous opportunities here, they just need to know about them,” said Lima.

For years, White Pine has been kindergarten through eighth grade. They currently serve over 500 students.

With this grant they’re transforming the curriculum for seventh grade and onward, and turning it into White Pine STEM Academy. STEM Academy will focus on preparing students for technical careers in eastern Idaho.

So for the first 9th grade class to walk into the doors of its log cabin building this fall, they’ll also be the first 10th, 11th, and 12th graders to graduate from White Pine STEM Academy.

“If students are passionate about science and technology, engineering, computer science and business, this is the place for them,” said Lima.

This article was first published by KPVI. It is used here with permission.