The Howl

IDVA Newsletter - April 2019

Newsletter Table of Contents


  • May Statewide Events
  • Reminder: ISAT & IRI Assessments
  • Tips to Manage Test-Taking Anxiety
  • Learning Coach End of Year Survey
  • Mid-Year Residence Check
  • Life is a Journey - How Did Your School Journey Go this Year?
  • Butterfly Effect of Kindness Challenge Coin Update
  • IDVA's Spring Bullying Prevention Activity
  • Engineering Design EXPO at the University of Idaho
  • Human Rights Art and Poetry Contests - Grades K-12
  • NCAA and IDVA
  • Technical Tips Library
  • Past Issues of The Howl


  • ISAT Message from K-5 Principal Keri Brown
  • ISAT Practice Tests Available
  • 5th Grade Students and the Transition to Middle School
  • K-5 Reading Tips - National Poetry Month

6-12 SCHOOL:

  • ISAT Message from 6-12 Principals Jenny Whelan and Amber Hatrock
  • Elective Survey Class Connect - Grades 9-11
  • Order Your Yearbook
  • Summer Camp Scholarships
  • Cybersecurity Summer Camps - Grades 9-12
  • College & Career: Explore Your Future
  • College and Career Newsletter Link
  • IDVA Scholarships - Deadline 4/26
  • Counselor Connect
  • U.S. Selective Service System


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Friday, May 10th, 2019


  • All are welcome. Remember, per IDVA policy, all students must have a parent/guardian with them at all times during school events.

  • Please bring exact cash for admission.

  • There are no classes scheduled on event days.

  • All events are optional.

  • Photo Disclaimer: Please understand that photos may be taken and could be used by K12 and/or Idaho Virtual Academy. If you would not like yours or your child’s picture taken, please let an IDVA staff member know at the event.

We want all students to have the opportunity to join an event. If cost is keeping you from being able to join, please email Lisa Stein

Treasure Valley

Where: Urban Air Trampoline & Adventure Park

Address: 3876 E. Lanark Dr.

Cost: $12.00

Check-in: 9:30 am MT

Start Time: 10:00 am MT

End Time: 12:00 pm MT

Instructions: Please complete the Urban Air Liability Waiver in advance.

Liability waiver instructions in the Sign-Up Form.

Advance Pay Option: We encourage advance payment for this event.

Click here to pay with a credit card.

Note: Food concessions will be open. Students are also welcome

to bring a sack lunch to eat at Urban Air.

RSVP: Click here to sign-up.


Magic Valley

What: Swimming

Where: Twin Falls City Pool

Address: 756 Locust St. N., Twin Falls

Cost: Ages 3-11 $3.00, Ages 12-17 $4.00, Adults $5.00, Ages 2 and under free

Check-in: 9:30 am MT

Start Time: 10:00 am MT

End Time: 12:00 pm MT

RSVP: Click here to sign-up.


North Idaho

What: Rollerskating

Where: Skate Plaza

Address: 5685 N. Pioneer Dr., Coeur d'Alene

Cost: $7.00 includes skate rental

Check-in: 10:00 am PT

Start Time: 10:30 am PT

End Time: 12:30 pm PT

RSVP: Click here to sign-up.



What: Gym Fun

Where: Hamilton Indoor Recreation Center

Address: 1724 E. F. St., Moscow

Cost: FREE

Check-in: 10:00 am PT

Start Time: 10:30 am PT

End Time: 12:30 pm PT

Note: Families are welcome to bring a picnic lunch and eat together on the grounds

or in the lobby (depending on the weather) after the event.

RSVP: Click here to sign-up.


Eastern Idaho

What: Gym Fun

Where: YMCA Idaho Falls

Address: 155 N. Corner Ave., Idaho Falls

Cost: FREE

Check-in: 9:30 am MT

Start Time: 10:00 am MT

End Time: 12:00 pm MT

RSVP: Click here to sign-up.



What: Board Game Fun

Where: Larsen Sant Library

Address: 109 South 1st E., Preston

Cost: FREE

Check-in: 10:30 am MT

Start Time: 10:45 am MT

End Time: 12:00 pm MT

Note: Please bring a board game or card game to share.

RSVP: Click here to sign-up.


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Reminder: 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

End of year survey - Learning Coach Feedback on the upcoming K12 survey

There are 7 surveys over the school year, and the final one was sent Monday, April 15th. At IDVA, your feedback is important to us, and completing each survey is vital. We hope you take a moment next week to answer these few questions in an honest and constructive manner. Even if you completed a previous survey, we want to hear from you again. This being said, you do not have to wait until the survey to give feedback.

All IDVA administrators review your comments and reflect on how we can increase the educational experience of your student(s). As usual, in the spirit of transparency and growth, we will provide a high level overview of the survey results in next month’s newsletter

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. If you haven't already responded, 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

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Life is a Journey - How did your school journey go this year?

As we approach the end of this school year, we’d like to encourage all students to take time to reflect on the journeys they have taken to get to this point.

If you are interested in sharing about your journey, please feel free to choose any of the options below or attached, including creating an Adobe Spark poster, creating a PowerPoint, or responding to one, any, or all of the questions in the Google survey. Remember, this is completely optional, but we do hope you’ll take a look back at all you have done!

If you would like to use Adobe Spark to share your journey, here is the link to log in to Adobe Spark.

You can use your Adobe log in or you can use the free version of Spark by signing up with an email. Think about the questions listed below as you create your poster. Please send the link of your completed poster to

  • When you think back to the beginning of the school year, how did you feel then about school?
  • When you think about your school year now, how do you feel about what you have accomplished?
  • What is something amazing that you learned this year?
  • What is a challenge you experienced this year? How did you overcome it?
  • What are you looking forward to this summer?
  • What are you looking forward to next school year?
  • What is something or who is someone that helped you to learn this year?

Here’s the optional Google Survey with several questions to consider. You can answer none, one, some, or all. Your choice!

Here’s the link to the PowerPoint. After you click on it, you will see the PowerPoint, but you won’t be able to edit it with your own images and words until you download it.

You can email your slide(s) to Andrea Wells:

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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!

Butterfly Coin Update

We have three updates from the travels of our Butterfly coins. Thank you to those who posted and we look forward to seeing where our coins go and what acts of kindness are connected with them!
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IDVA's Spring Bullying Prevention Activity - Last Chance to Participate!

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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 Flipgrid 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 May 5th 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

Note: This is an optional project, but we would love to see your contributions!

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 and Poetry Contest

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

Which human rights are most important to you?


  • Art Contest is open to students in grades K-12.
  • Poetry Contest is open to students in grades 6-12.

Click here for contest information.

Entries are due Friday, April 19, 2019.


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 our testing season now open, I want to ensure you are well informed and have access to resources to help you gain a solid understanding of the Idaho Standards Achievement Test (ISAT) for your 3rd – 5th grade student. I also want to encourage both students and learning coaches during this time.

To our students - We at IDVA believe in you! Participating in state assessments is one piece of your educational road map. There are so many parts to making you who you are, and this is just one small piece of the puzzle. As you head into state testing, take a deep breath, give your best effort, and believe in yourself. You CAN do this!

To our Learning coaches - Please be certain of your testing dates and times. If you have questions regarding your student’s testing appointment, contact your homeroom teacher. Please review the information and link below, it will answer many of your ISAT testing questions and help prepare your student for their testing experience.

Happy Testing,

Mrs. Brown

ISAT Practice Tests Available!

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.

Click here 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:

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5th Grade Students and the Transition to Middle School

It is a very exciting time for 5th grade students as they prepare to transition to IDVA’s Middle School. Many students have engaged in the Understanding the Middle School Experience course that has been loaded in the online school. This course is comprised of 6 lessons that will equip both you and your student for next school year. Lesson topics include:

1. Introduction to Online Middle School (OMHS)

2. What to Expect in Middle School

3. The Learning Coach in Middle School

4. Student Resources and Tools in the OMHS

5. Preparing for Next Year

6. Community and Support

Please make it a priority to complete this course to ensure both you and your 5th grade student have a strong start to school year 2019-20.

K-5 Reading Tips

April is national poetry month, a celebration of poetry! This is a great way to increase awareness and appreciation of poetry in the United States. Take the time this month to recognize poetry with your student.

For fun ideas and resources go to National Poetry Month and Reading Rockets.


ISAT Message from Your 6-12 Principals

ISAT Testing is underway! 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!

Mrs. Whelan

Mrs. Hatrock

Elective Survey Class Connect for Students in Grades 9-11

Dear Learning Coaches and Students!

We are very excited to announce that this year, the Student Support Services Department will be holding a Class Connect session for returning students in grades 9-11 that will:

  • highlight and provide detail for all the electives that will be available for next year.
  • show you how to locate and view your graduation plan.

  • show you how to complete the elective survey.

Please plan to join us for this informative, fun, and engaging class as you prepare for next year!

Watch for the invitation in your Class Connect schedules.

Best Regards,

IDVA Student Support Services Department

High School Yearbooks

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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 above 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

2019 Summer Camp Scholarships Available

A thousand full scholarships for low-income, gifted students between the ages of 10 and 17 to attend weeklong summer camps at several prestigious universities in North America are being offered thanks to a generous grant of $1.2 million from the Nudelman Family Trust.

Students will be able to attend summer programs at 16 locations across the US and Canada, including Stanford, Harvard, New York University, UCLA, UCSD, UC Irvine, the University of Washington, University of Chicago, UT Austin, University of Houston, University of Pennsylvania, Duke, George Washington University, the University of British Columbia, University of Toronto, and McGill.

The scholarships will be awarded based on both merit and need, and will cover the cost of tuition, meals, and facility fees. The grant does not cover overnight stay at the universities.

An equal number of scholarships will be awarded to girls and boys. The summer camp opportunities are being offered through Digital Media Academy. Applications for the 2019 summer season are now available and can be filled out via the Digital Media Academy website. The Selection Committee will include prominent members of the education community, including CER Founder & CEO, Jeanne Allen. Apply today! Recipients will be notified from April to June 2019.

Gencyber - Cyber Security Summer Camps for Students in Grades 9-12

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College and Career

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College and Career Newsletter

Check out the latest College and Career Newsletter!

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 $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!

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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.