Wildcat Wire

September 23 - September 30

PSAT/NMSQT - Sophomores & Juniors

The PSAT will take place on October 12th. Sophomore students will be taking this assessment. All sophomores should be at their home school that morning to test. It will take place in the morning through lunch time. More information about where students will test (specific room) and the schedule will be coming. Cell phones and smart watches should be left at home that day, if brought they will need to be completely powered off during the exam.

Information from CollegeBoard –

  • The PSAT provides data on student academic strengths and weaknesses early in high school, when there's plenty of time to improve before college. It lets them know which Advanced Placement (AP) courses they're most likely to do well in.
  • It's a great way to practice for the PSAT/NMSQT in 11th grade, which qualifies them for the National Merit Scholarship Program and a chance to win recognition and money for college.

Juniors may sign up to take the PSAT/NMSQT. This assessment will be offered at Columbia High School on October 12th. This assessment prepares students for the SAT which is offered in the Spring and has scholarship potential (see below). Juniors need to sign up in the Career Center by September 30th with Mrs. Baeza to take the assessment. The cost is $20.

Information from CollegeBoard --

  • By taking the PSAT/NMSQT as a junior, students may meet the requirements to enter the National Merit® Scholarship Program, an academic competition for recognition and scholarships.


Overtime is a 3-strike program to establish academic urgency for students to complete work by the deadline. It is an assigned lunch detention within the school day with teacher support. Communication between the classroom teacher, the student, the parent and the mentor being integral to the success of the intervention.

Strike 1: Student missed deadline for required work (check point, project, test)

Strike 2: Student does not turn in work by next class period after the due date

  • Parents notified

Strike 3: Student does not turn in work by second class period after original due date

  • Teacher talks to student about Overtime support and expectation to attend until work is completed

Overtime: Student goes to assigned Overtime location for the first 20 minutes of lunch

  • Student continues to attend Overtime until assignment/project is completed

Overtime is initially being implemented in English Language Arts, Math, Social Sciences, Science and BPA classes. We encourage parents to talk to their student(s) about their assignments, projects and assessments and use their Summit Learning Parent access to help track their student(s)'s progress.

Staff Spotlight

We are excited to welcome 11 new staff members to our Columbia Family. So far you have been introduced to 7 of them. . . . .here are our remaining 4.

Jennifer Cole - Para Professional

I was born and raised in Nampa and graduated from Skyview. Ten days after I graduated, I went to basic training for the Army. I was a mechanic when I was on active duty. Then decided to change jobs when I transferred to the Army Reserve and became an Admin Specialist. I spent a total of eight years in the Army and was very lucky to have never been deployed overseas. This is my eleventh year working for the Nampa School District. I worked at Owyhee Elementary and Park Ridge before moving here to Columbia. I have two kids, one is a senior in high school and my other is in their sophomore year at the University of Idaho. I am also a pet parent to three cats and one dog. In my free time I love being outdoors, traveling, watching movies and going to concerts. I am excited to be a part of the Wildcat family this year!

We're so glad to have you Ms. Cole!

Mary Claire D'Arrigo - English Language Arts Teacher

My name is Mary Claire D'Arrigo (said Dorito, but with a g), and I grew up in Chicago with three younger siblings, my parents, and a nice beagle named Annie. I went to the University of Denver for college where I double majored in English and International studies. In my spare time, I like to read, cook, and spend time outdoors around Boise and in the mountains. Teaching and moving to Idaho has been one of the crazier adventures of my life so far, but I am loving it! This is my second year working for NSD but first year at Columbia, and I am so excited to continue learning and growing in this role.

Ms. D'Arrigo, welcome to the Columbia Family!

Alysha Ferguson - Family & Consumer Science Teacher

Hello, I'm Mrs. Ferguson, the new Family and Consumer Science teacher here at Columbia. I'm a future ISU graduate and BSU alumni! I'm excited to finally start my teaching journey here with what already feels like a great community to be a part of. My passion is child and adolescent development, I'm looking forward to developing our parenting and child development class into something our learners really love!

Welcome Mrs. Ferguson!

Amy Shepard - Special Education Teacher

I am the new extended resource room teacher for freshmen through seniors at Columbia. I have been teaching for 18 years but this is my first year of teaching at the high school level. I moved with my family from California in June of this year to live in the great state of Idaho. My family and I love camping, fishing, kayaking, and exploring the great outdoors. My husband and I have 3 amazing children and 2 fantastic grandchildren. I am so impressed with Columbia High School for the amazing community and the Wildcat Way. I am so proud to be here and a part of Columbia High School.

Welcome to the Columbia Family Mrs. Shepard!

Homecoming Week is next week!

October 3 - October 8 is CHS Homecoming! Encourage your student(s) to get involved by helping to decorate their hall and/or float, dress-up for spirit days and attend the homecoming activities.

October 5 - Powder Puff game 6pm

October 5 - Bon Fire, immediately following Powder Puff game

October 7 - Football game vs. Ridgevue 7pm

October 8 - Homecoming Dance 8-11pm at Columbia HS

Columbia students wanting to bring a guest from another school to the Homecoming Dance will need to complete a permission form. Forms can be picked up in the front office.

Picture Days!

Fall Sports pictures will be Wednesday, August 28th. Picture packets can be picked up from the coach or advisor or in the front office.

PICTURE RETAKES: If your student(s) missed picture day, please mark you calendar for October 13th! Picture packets can be picked up in the office.

Week 4: Athletes & Team of the Week


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