The Howl

IDVA Newsletter - March 2019

Newsletter Table of Contents


  • No Events in April due to Testing
  • March Statewide Event Photo Slideshow
  • Upcoming ISAT & IRI Assessments
  • Tips to Manage Test-Taking Anxiety
  • Suspicious Email Alert
  • Mid-Year Residence Check
  • Butterfly Effect of Kindness Challenge
  • IDVA's Spring Bullying Prevention Activity
  • Engineering Design EXPO at the University of Idaho
  • Human Rights Art Contest - Grades K-12
  • Idaho Forest Products Commission's Arbor Day Photo Contest - Grades 5-12
  • Learning Coach University
  • Coach-to-Coach Sessions
  • NCAA and IDVA
  • Technical Tips Library
  • Past Issues of The Howl


  • Message from K-5 Principal Keri Brown
  • Confirm ISAT & IRI Appointments
  • ISAT Practice Tests Available
  • Gifted and Talented Screening
  • K-5 Reading Tips - Online Resources

6-12 SCHOOL:

  • ISAT Message
  • Note-Taking and AVID
  • Order Your Yearbook
  • Human Rights Poetry Contest - Grades 6-12
  • College & Career: FAFSA Help for Parents
  • College & Career: Resume Workshop
  • IDVA Scholarships
  • Counselor Connect
  • 2019 Senior Graduation Slideshow
  • U.S. Selective Service System


No statewide events in April

There will be no statewide events in April due to ISAT and IRI testing.

Events will return in May!

Please mark your calendars for our final event day of the 2018-2019 school year on Friday, May 10, 2019. Event details will be shared in the April issue of The HOWL.

March Events Photo Slideshow

On Friday, March 8th, IDVA students, families, and guests spent a wonderful day together at events across our state. We jumped, played board games, celebrated reading, rock climbing and more! New friendships were formed and much fun was had!

*** Check out the photo slideshow of the events located below! ***

Statewide Events are planned for the second Friday of every month except January and April.

We hope to see many IDVA students and families at future events!

Upcoming ISAT and IRI Assessments

It’s that time of year again! In April and early May, all Idaho public school students, including Idaho Virtual Academy students, in Kindergarten through 3rd grade will be taking the Idaho Reading Indicator (IRI), and students in 3rd through 8th and 10th grades will be taking the Idaho Standards Achievement Test (ISAT). You will receive communications about testing locations and times in the coming weeks.

Students - We know that you have been working hard throughout the year! You have set goals for yourself. By engaging in your lessons and attending your classes, you are doing exactly what you need to do in order to meet those goals! This spring is your opportunity to show what you have learned when you sit down to take the IRI or the ISAT! We are excited to see the growth you have made!

Why is it important to do your best on these required tests? *

Testing is a part of learning, and lets students “show what they know” and what they can do.

  • Test results show student strengths.
  • Test results show student opportunities for growth.
  • Testing each year helps a student become a strong test-taker. The more tests students take, the more familiar and comfortable they will feel, and test performance will improve. Performing well under pressure is an important skill each student will need and will use often in life.

All tests, including state assessments, provide information that helps us help students succeed.

  • Test results are important indicators of academic progress. Tests help educators and parents set student learning goals and monitor progress. Test results help teachers and parents address student learning needs early in areas in which the student did not meet standard and focus instruction to build success leading into high school and beyond.

Taking state assessments can provide evidence that IDVA students are learning effectively and mastering grade level expectations in an independent, online and/or remote learning environment.


  • Student performance data helps IDVA administrators identify instructional strengths and weaknesses and make quality improvements to the program that will benefit students.
  • State assessment data is the primary “measurement” of student learning recognized and used by state and legislative officials to make decisions concerning public education. State assessment data on student performance is an important indicator of the success (or failure) of the IDVA option in public education.
  • Through testing data, we can affirm to the Idaho Public School Charter Commission and state legislators that IDVA is a viable alternative to the traditional “brick and mortar” option for student learning and cause them to continue supporting our school. Let’s ensure the longevity of school choice and IDVA in public education.

If you or your students are reluctant to participate in state exams, seek to understand why and determine if this is an opportunity for personal growth.

  • Help your students work through anxiety about testing. Let your student vent. Learn more about current state assessment processes and separate concerns and inaccurate concepts about testing from other issues at home or school. Discuss with your student the reasons he/she might fear tests or feel pressure to do well. Support and encourage personal goal setting and reward achievement.
  • Help your student relate assessment outcomes to his/her future success and career options. As professionals and parents, we share the duty and responsibility of ensuring our children are educated, skilled and contributing citizens, and realize their potential as lifelong learners. Earning a high school diploma is an important step towards becoming a self-sufficient adult. Meeting standards in core academic areas on state assessments is one of the requirements for receiving an Idaho State diploma. Secondary education programs and the U.S. Military require a state-certified diploma or GED, as do most entry-level jobs.

We need you to put forth your best effort on the IRI and/or the ISAT. Your scores do not label your worth as a person, but they do reflect what you are able to demonstrate on the days you test. Both the school staff and outside decision-makers use our school IRI and ISAT results to plan for our future as a school. We need your best effort to help us and others have the most accurate picture of Idaho Virtual Academy.

The best thing you can do to prepare for the spring tests is to continue attending your classes and ISAT prep sessions; continue working through your lessons; and continue asking your teachers questions. Everyone at Idaho Virtual Academy believes in you. Show Idaho what you know and can do on these tests!

Kelly Edginton

IDVA Head of School

*Adapted from CVA “Five Reasons State Assessments Are Important”

Test-Taking Anxiety

What Causes Test-Taking Anxiety?

  • Fear of failing
  • Not being fully prepared
  • Not having a good test taking history

Tips to Address Test-Taking Anxiety

1. Be Prepared for the Test

  • Study the information you need, and feel prepared to face the test

2. Work on Test-taking Skills

  • Read directions fully and carefully, outline writing assignments, and when possible/needed, revisit and check answers.

3. Stay Positive

  • Negative thinking doesn’t do anyone any good, so stay positive.

4. Focus

  • Stay focused on test, not things around you
  • If/when possible, take a break to get the wiggles out

5. Practice Relaxation

  • Take deep, relaxing breaths and relax tense muscles. Yoga movements and breathing is sometimes very helpful.

6. Be Healthy

  • Make sure you get a full night’s sleep and eat a wholesome meal prior to the test.

7. Talk to Someone if Your Anxiety is Too Great

  • Sometimes talking to a counselor or social worker can help

  • On the day of the test:
  • eat a wholesome breakfast
  • drink water
  • get oxygen to your brain by stretching and moving

  • During the test:
  • Read the directions thoroughly
  • Read each question fully so you don’t miss a key component
  • On questions that offer a passage full of information, make sure to completely read the passage (check back to it, too, if needed)
  • On multiple choice test questions, eliminate the answers that are clearly wrong
  • Double check your answers
  • Do not skip a question

Helpful Resources:

Mall, K. (2012, April 25). Teaching the top terrific test-taking tips [Blog post]. Retrieved from:

Anxiety and Depression Association of America. (n.d.). Test Anxiety [Blog post]. Retrieved from

Suspicious Email Alert

Please note that at least one student recently received an email with the subject line, Caution! Attack hackers to your account! The email stated that the student’s account has been hacked and the sender has full access. The sender goes on to threaten exposure if money is not sent. This is a scam. Please ignore and delete the email if you receive this or something similar. As always – be cautious clicking on links or opening attachments from any questionable email.

Mid-Year Residence Check

In an effort to support our students who may be experiencing transitional living situations, Idaho Virtual Academy wants to reach out to our families about housing changes that may have recently occurred. Please take this brief survey so we can offer supports, as necessary:

All IDVA families are asked to complete the brief survey at the below link. Thank you!

Mid-Year Residence Check Survey

Big picture

Butterfly Effect of Kindness Challenge

To honor Jessie Severns' Fight Against Leukemia, IDVA has has purchased 11 butterfly coins.

The butterfly coins were given out at our March 8th events to students who were observed by teachers or staff doing something kind for others.

The eleven students have been asked to either do something kind for someone else and in the process give the receiver of the kindness their butterfly coin, asking them to pass the kindness and the coin on.

Or, the students can observe someone performing an act of kindness for someone else and commemorate the kindness by giving the person the coin and asking them to continue to spread kindness and to give the coin to someone else in the process. The goal is to to keep passing the coin on and with it many new acts of kindness.

Each coin has a unique code that the participants will log at

We will be sharing the travels of our Butterfly Coins and their associated acts of kindness in the future. Stay tuned!

Big picture

IDVA's Spring Bullying Prevention Activity

Big picture

Student Created VLOG (Video Blog)

Topic: Share an idea or ideas that you and your peers can use to overcome bullying. Present your ideas in a 45 second video.

For example, you could share a story, list some ideas, read a poem or song you wrote that conveys the message. Or it can be a quick, fun idea. The video can be short, but be sure to include your name and grade. Note: You will need a webcam and a good microphone.

Instructions: Go to the Flipgrid site and add your school email to enter.

Once you’ve completed your video, a staff person will review before posting.

We will take up to 50 videos until March 28th and then share the final VLOG at our next assembly.

Team includes Mrs. Lecertua, Mrs. Stookey and Mrs. Shilling. If you have questions please contact Mrs. Shilling at

Need Help?: Watch this tutorial video on how to create a video for our VLOG.

Engineering Design EXPO at University of Idaho

Friday, April 26th, 9am-3:30pm

Bruce M. Pitman Center, Moscow, ID, USA

Moscow, ID

Explore innovative and interactive projects that push the boundaries of science and technology and:

  • Participate in hands on activities and campus tours.
  • Learn how U of I students are working together to solve real world problems.

FREE and open to all K-12 students.

Visit here for more information about the EXPO.

Human Rights Art Contest

To participate in the 19th Annual Human Rights Contest, students must create an original piece of art that expresses the value of human rights and reflects on the following


Which human rights are most important to you?

Click here for contest information.

Entries are due Friday, April 19, 2019.

Photo Contest for 5th to 12th Grade Students

The Idaho Forest Products Commission's Arbor Day Photo Contest is open to Idaho 5th-12th grade students. Winners receive cash and other prizes and are honored at the state's Arbor Day ceremony. Their photos are displayed online and in the State Capitol. This year's theme is Look to the Forest.

Contest guidelines and an online entry form are on the commission's website.

Big picture

Learning Coach University

K12 is passionate about helping Learning Coaches be successful. Learning Coaches of students enrolled in a K12-powered school have access to Learning Coach University, which includes interactive 30-minute sessions that cover relevant topics throughout the school year and provide an opportunity for Learning Coaches from across the nation to connect and learn—together. Register and join these tuition-free sessions hosted on Blackboard Collaborate™ (BbC). We look forward to serving you.


Tuesdays at 1:00 pm MT/12:00 pm PT


Stress Reduction Workshop Series with Sara Mrozowsky, High School Counselor at Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy
Special Series: March 19, 26, and April 2
Do you ever find your student stressed out with no idea how to "get over it"? In this three-day workshop, we'll look at stress triggers, warning signs that your student is feeling overwhelmed by stress, resources and tools that can help manage school-related stress, stress management techniques to use in everyday life, and ways to help your student stay seated (e.g., during a test).

RSVP here

Big picture

Coach-to-Coach Sessions

K12 is passionate about helping Learning Coaches be successful. Learning Coaches of students enrolled in a K12-powered school have access to coach-to-coach sessions, which provide a platform for sharing best practices by Learning Coaches for Learning Coaches. Grab a cup of coffee and join us at the virtual table. These 45-minute sessions are held inside Blackboard Collaborate™ (BBC) throughout the school year.


Thursdays at 1:00 pm MT/12:00 pm PT

Hosted by

Rebecca Bohman, Learning Coach at Idaho Virtual Academy in partnership with Dr. Amy Boyd, K12 National Family Programming Team

RSVP here


Minimizing Distractions
March 14
This session covers getting your social network on board with family learning, mentoring your children by managing your own life, and helping your student focus.

March 21
We'll go over real "socialization" and what it looks like for online students, finding like-minded friends and associations, and using your community for socialization resources.


If your student is interested in pursuing college athletics, please, be aware that the NCAA has all K12 schools on “extended review” status. IDVA is a K12 school so is on extended review status with the NCAA. Students graduating from a K12 school applying for NCAA eligibility will be denied currently. After they are denied, they can work with the college Athletic Director to gain a waiver. K12 has helped students through this process and has noted that about 75% of these students do get the waivers.

If you have questions or would like to talk further, please, contact your school counselor.

Technical Tips Library

Technical Tips

Please click on the button for a links to a variety of technical tips.

Past Issues of the IDVA School Newsletter, THE HOWL


If you would like to read past issues of The HOWL, click here.


A Note from the K-5 Principal

With spring break quickly approaching, I hope you have found the motivation to work hard following your daily plan and catching up on courses which may have fallen behind. We know the winter germs have been going around, and many of our teachers, students, and learning coaches have been sick. If you do find yourself behind in courses, working a little over spring break will help you catch up and be on track for an end of year promotion. Remember, the goal is to complete your daily plan each school day to support mastery of skills, as well as to finish school on time. We are so proud of the effort being put forth by our students and their learning coaches this school year! Consistent completion of lessons positively contributes to true mastery of grade level standards. Thank you for the grit and drive to push yourself!

Take care,

Mrs. Brown

ISAT and IRI State Testing Appointments

Please take a few minutes to confirm your ISAT appointment for your 3rd - 5th grader. An email was sent to your email address on February 20th.

Also, please watch for an email to confirm your IRI (Idaho Reading Indicator) appointment for your Kindergarten – 3rd grade student. It should arrive in your inbox the first week of April.

If you need to alter your schedule, please contact your homeroom teacher so they may assist you in rescheduling your student’s appointment.

We appreciate those of you who have already confirmed!

ISAT Practice Tests Available To You

Feeling anxious about the ISAT? Not sure what to expect? Relieve those questions by checking out the ISAT practice tests!

The purpose of the practice and training tests is to become familiar with the system, functionality, and item types that will be presented on the assessments. The practice tests provide students with a grade-specific testing experience that is similar in format and structure to the ISAT in each subject. The training tests provide students with the opportunity to experience features, functionality, and item types included on the ISAT.

Use this link to find the ISAT practice and training tests to help prepare your student for their upcoming assessments:

Once on the site, select in the following order:

Big picture

Gifted and Talented Screening

Burley, Pocatello - April 11

Rexburg, Idaho Falls, Orofino, Lewiston - April 12

If you would like more information or to be included, please contact your homeroom teacher or Mrs. Waski

K-5 Reading Tips


ISAT Message

April marks the beginning of ISAT testing. You should have already received the days and times your student is scheduled to test. Please contact your homeroom teacher if you need this information.

Thank you for continuing to work with us to make sure your child is successful. While preparing your student for the ISAT, please be positive about the testing experience. Although this is just a piece of the academic puzzle, the scores from the ISAT help us place your student in courses and determine which live class connect sessions will be most beneficial for him/her.

Please let us know if there is anything we can do better to support your student! We want your child to feel confident and engaged in learning!

Go Wolves!

Note-Taking and AVID

You may have noticed your student’s teachers encouraging note-taking this year! Research shows that taking notes is an effective tool for learning. Students should revisit their notes multiple times to assist them in the process of retaining important content information. Note-taking is just one strategy in the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) program which supports students in college and career readiness. Idaho Virtual Academy is excited to bring this AVID strategy to our students!

High School Yearbooks

Big picture

It’s time to order your IDVA yearbook!

Another year has passed and that means that a new yearbook is here with your best memories. Please review the flyer below for ordering and payment information. Don’t miss out on your chance to have your memories preserved!

For this year’s yearbook, you can get four free personalized pages. To create them, you must order online and follow the instructions listed on the site. If you wish to get more then the four customized pages, additional pages are available for purchase for $.99 each.

Click here for the "How to Customize Your Yearbook" tutorial.

Click here to place your yearbook order.

For questions regarding your online yearbook order or personalization, please call Picaboo Customer Support at 855-537-0050.

For other questions about the IDVA High School yearbook, please contact Misty Dietz at

Have a great week!

Your Yearbook Staff

Grades 6-12 Human Rights Poetry Contest

To participate, students must create an original poem that expresses the value of human rights and reflects on the following question:

Which human rights are most important to you?

Click here for contest information.

Entries are due Friday, April 19, 2019.

College and Career

Big picture

IDVA Scholarships

Idaho Virtual Academy is excited to announce $16,000 in scholarship funds to be awarded to outstanding graduating seniors this year. The scholarships are listed below. For more information about each scholarship, including the scholarship criteria and application process, please click here.

IDVA High Achievement Scholarship:

  • One award at $2,500

IDVA Academic Excellence Scholarship *(new)* :

  • One award at at $2,100

IDVA Janet Aikele Excellence in Online Learning Scholarship:

  • Three awards at $1,000

IDVA Odyssey Scholarship *(new)* :

  • Three awards at $1,500

IDVA First Generation Scholarship:

  • One award at $1,200

IDVA Career and Technical Education Scholarship:

  • One award at $1,200

IDVA Idaho Vision High School Scholarship:

  • One award at $1,500

Only one IDVA Scholarship will be awarded to a student.

Application Deadline: April 26, 2019

You are Invited to the Couselor Connect!

Big picture

Class of 2019 Graduation Slideshow - Submissions Needed

Seniors, please submit your senior photo AND a baby/childhood photo of yourself to be included in the senior slideshow at graduation.

Deadline Extended to: April 15, 2019

Send photos and questions to:

U.S. Selective Service

Attention all 17 and 18 year old young men:

Remember that when you turn 18, the law says you must register for the Selective Service.

Those who fail to register may be denied student loans, government jobs, and a driver's license in most states. In addition, if you are a male immigrant seeking to become a citizen, you must also be registered, regardless of your immigration status.

Click here to visit the U.S. Selective Service website.

Have a Question?

Have questions about your classes or our Idaho Virtual Academy school? Ask your IDVA teacher or staff.

Have technology questions? Ask K12 Customer Support.