News of the Huskies

Celebrate Emmett's students, staff, parents and patrons.

Third Edition: November 11, 2020

  1. Superintendent's Message: I’m grateful that we have this opportunity to provide 'hero pay' instead of just saying 'thank you' to our staff as we forge ahead
  2. Emmett School District launches Purposity with great hope community and staff become involved to help local students
  3. Meet Amy Burr: Community School Coordinator/McKinney Vento Liaison
  4. Black Canyon High School expands to add seventh and eighth graders; School adopts new learning platform
  5. Bryan Weeks: I love how rigorous Summit is yet, easily adaptable to the needs of students at every level
  6. Four local veterans presented Quilts of Honor at EHS
  7. Free meals for children through the end of the school year!
  8. Good luck Huskies as you play in the semi final Friday night!


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I’m grateful that we have this opportunity to provide 'hero pay' instead of just saying 'thank you' to our staff as we forge ahead

When the new school year started in July, the Emmett School District made some severe budget cuts because Gov. Brad Little had ordered two budget cutbacks in anticipation of revenue shortfalls triggered by the pandemic. It also meant no pay increases for the staff.

I was grateful that the Gem County Education Association understood the district’s financial situation when it came to negotiations.

Fast forward a couple of months. We know the coronavirus is here, likely until we have a safe and effective vaccine.

Ask any of the estimated 330 full-time Emmett School District employees what the pandemic has meant for them, and each and every one of them will say: “It’s been a different year and sometimes scary year.”

Many will say it’s been a rewarding year, especially because the Emmett School District has had students in the classrooms for face-to-face learning.

But they will also say it’s meant extra work. More cleaning. More effort. Longer hours. Extra documentation. More processes.

Our message to employees has been simple. We need to do what we can to provide a safe environment and good education for our students. We can’t stop just because it is difficult.

When Idaho school districts were awarded some federal funds for the specific purpose of covering COVID-related expenses, such as staffing, extra cleaning supplies, additional equipment or hazard pay, we looked at it as a way to provide a one-time monetary “thank you” to the full-time staff. The Idaho State Department of Education called it “hazard pay.”

Frankly, I prefer “hero pay” or “extra duty pay.”

The Board of Trustees evaluated the situation at the October 12 board meeting, considering amounts equal to 1 percent, 2 percent or 3 percent. The Board voted 6-0 to grant a 3 percent “thank-you” for full-time employees. They will receive 1.5 percent in each of their November and December paychecks.

Some people have mistakenly believed the 5 percent budget cut ordered by Gov. Little earlier this year was restored when the federal funds were distributed to school districts. That’s not the case.

The federal funds funneled to the school districts via the state with very specific rules for one-time expenditures. Many school districts are doing something similar. I’m grateful that we have this opportunity do more than just say “thank you” to our staff.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

- Superintendent Craig Woods


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Emmett School District launches Purposity with great hope community and staff become involved to help local students

The Emmett School District has partnered with Purposity, a mobile app connecting users with one-to-one needs in this community. The partnership aims to fulfill the essential needs of the students. The needs are identified by school leaders.

“It’s very easy to participate,” Emmett Middle School Vice Principal Stacy Kastler said. “Once you’ve downloaded the Purposity App, you “follow” the Emmett School District and review the needs that have been posted. Those needs can vary from a fidget gadget to a pair of shoes or a coat for a student.”

The beauty of this program is that you don’t have to shop. Purposity takes care of all that. You choose a need, based on what you want to spend, click that button, and then provide payment. There’s no payment until you choose something to donate.

The new item is purchased and shipped directly to the school where that child is enrolled. The school leader who suggested the need will get the item to the student. Sometimes people want to help, but they don't know how. Or they want to know that they are providing something that is really needed.

And let’s face it, teachers and school administrators see the needs of students all the time, and they wish they could dig deep into their own pockets and provide that specific need for the students, but in reality they can’t.

Don’t worry if you check and see that “all needs have been met.” There may be lulls from time to time when the schools don’t identify specific needs. But you can always check back.

That’s why Purposity was created. It’s a program used nationwide to fulfill the needs that often go unmet.

If you have questions, please email Mrs. Kastler at or call her at 208 365-2921 or Amy Burr at or 208-365-0839.

Read more about Purposity.

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Meet Amy Burr: Community School Coordinator/McKinney Vento Liaison

Amy Burr has joined the Emmett School District in a newly created position to work with the community and homeless families. Her official title is Community School Coordinator/McKinney Vento Liaison.

The Education of Homeless Children and Youth Program is a federal program that ensures students who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate night-time residence are provided a free, appropriate public education. This includes educational services that provide for an equal opportunity to enroll in, attend, and be successful in school. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, most recently reauthorized as Title IX, Part C of the Title IX-A Education for Homeless Children and Youth section of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) ensures that students who lack a fixed and regular nighttime residence are provided a free, public education.

Amy was born and raised in Glenns Ferry. After attending BYU-Idaho and earning my Bachelor's Degree, she married, started a family, and moved to Emmett 2 1/2 years ago, and we are thrilled to be "home."

"I am so excited to be working with the Emmett School District. I get the opportunity to help better connect the school with the community. I also get to help families in times of need by connecting them with resources and providing supplies," Amy said.

Amy can be reached at or 208-365-0839.


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Black Canyon expands to add seventh and eighth graders; School adopts new learning platform

Emmett School District alternative high school has undergone quite the transformation since school ended in May.

When it opened this fall, its name changed to Black Canyon Junior-Senior High School and became home for students in grades 7 through 12. The high school has 78 students and another 20 are enrolled in seventh and eighth grades.

But it’s not just the expanded grades that makes the school different this fall.

As an alternative education program, Principal Stephen Joyner and his team wanted a different approach. After a lot of research about different curriculums and the direction the school wanted to go, the school adopted a mastery based program called Summit Learning that allows teachers to work with students in small groups to encourage mentoring and individualized learning experiences.

The mastery based learning platform meets students “where they are,” Joyner said. Students choose to move at an accelerated pace or at a steady pace set for them by teachers.

The younger students, organized in two classrooms, have embraced the new concept that allowed for a more individualized learning experience. Students in grades 9-12 move between four core classrooms, making it a bit more difficult to create the same experience.

The smaller school population creates a close-knit family-like atmosphere that Joyner hopes provides students with a safe environment where they are secure with themselves and can be independent in their learning.

As they become secure and more confident, students will be able to carry their ability to learn at their own pace into life after high school.

“What you’re going to see in Black Canyon Junior-Senior High School is you’re going to see these kids start to move forward especially as they realize their potential and where they can go,” Superintendent Craig Woods told the Board of Trustees at the October 12 meeting.

- PIO Intern Autumn Hutchison contributed to this story.

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Bryan Weeks: I love how rigorous Summit is, yet easily adaptable to the needs of students at every level.

How do you like the new platform?

I am a big fan of the Summit Platform. I have already seen that it provides students with a relevant and engaging educational experience that is focused on both rigor and general well-being. Additionally, I also like that Summit is built around projects that focus on big ideas and requires working and reworking through ideas along the way.

What do you like most about it?

I love how rigorous Summit is yet, at the same time, can be fairly easily adapted to the needs of students at every level. It's a different approach, but I already see some incredible growth among my students. Not to mention, Summit has the mentoring component, and I am really enjoying having one-on-one time scheduled with each of my students every week to build relationships and problem solve together.

What do the students think about it?

All in all, the students have been quite receptive to Summit. As with anything new, it was a little complicated and overwhelming at first, but we walked through that together. Now that we are nearing the end of the first trimester, I can say that it has been encouraging to see students who have not been particularly successful in the past find success now. When I asked my students, all but one said they like Summit more than what they have done in the past. The one holdout is not against Summit, but said that they are undecided.

Has it been hard to implement?

Yes, of course. But like I told my students today, "If life is never difficult, you're probably doing it wrong."

Would you want to go back to what you were doing before?

No. Definitely not.

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After School Program helps students engage in learning, provides academic support and enrichment programs

Emmett Middle School’s new 21st Century After School Program, which began October 19, is off to a great start. With 45 students currently enrolled, and a waiting list of students who hope to soon be enrolled, EMS students are able to stay after school four days per week to receive academic support and participate in additional enrichment classes.

The purpose of the EMS After School Program is to help students engage in their own learning, provide homework help, and build relationships without the use of technology. In the short 12 days the program has been running, students have had the opportunity to complete art and craft projects, make pop-up-light-up cards, code robots, build relationships by playing games, complete Lego challenges, and make pie filling to later be placed in a Thanksgiving pie and taken home. Valor Health will also teach first-aid and CPR classes to students.

Any EMS student may stay for academic support after school until 3:45 Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and until 2:45 on Wednesday. The academic support portion of the program is open to everyone and does not require registration in the program.

There is a district bus that runs at 4:45 pm M-Th and is open to anyone who needs a ride to the following locations: Butte View, Shadow Butte, Carberry, Emmett High School, Letha, and the Bus Garage. Please contact Shannon Anderson, 21CCLC Grant Director, for more information.

- Shannon Anderson, 21CCLC Grant Director

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No turkeys were harmed making this Rubik's Cube display!


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Four local veterans presented Quilts of Honor at EHS

Four Quilts of Valor were presented to local veterans today, Wednesday, November 11, at Emmett High School in honor of Veterans Day. In all, Valley of Plenty Quilters made 10 quilts this year for veterans and 50 since the group started making them, according to Sharon Boatman.

Watch the video of the ceremony. More photos will also be posted on Facebook later today.

The event is organized by Mayor Gordon Petrie, a veteran himself, and is held annually at the High School, and the EHS History Club , according to history teacher Molly Yates.

However, because of COVID, attendance was limited this year during the presentation that also featured the High School choir and band, performing the Star-Spangled Banner and the Armed Forces Medley.

  • C. Eugene Parks - Vietnam (Army), quilt pieced by Alphi Bennett.
  • Robert Hargrove - Korena Era (UK in the USAF), quilt pieced by Sharon K. Boatman.
  • Joseph Conner - Vietnam (USAF), quilt pieced by Linda Leonard.
  • Kirk Wille - Iraq - quilt pieced by Susan Caswell.

The Quilts of Honor were made by Valley of Plenty Quilters and machine quilting services were provided by Shirley's Machine Quilting in Ontario.

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C. Eugene Parks - Vietnam (Army), quilt pieced by Alphi Bennett

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Robert Hargrove - Korena Era (UK in the USAF), quilt pieced by Sharon K. Boatman

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Joseph Conner - Vietnam (USAF), quilt pieced by Linda Leonard

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Kirk Wille - Iraq - quilt pieced by Susan Caswell


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Good luck Huskies as you play in the semi final Friday night!

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Huskies just keep winning in state 4A championship series

Tickets for Friday's semi-final state football game vs. Century will be sold electronically by the IHSAA. The allotted amount of tickets will be reserved for the family members of our participants. IHSAA will require masks. There will not be tickets available for purchase at the gate. If you are not part of the reserved groups receiving tickets you can stream the game on

Thank you Bruce BPhotography for the awesome pictures of our students!

To see his fantastic work, please visit his Facebook page.

About this Newsletter

This is the third edition of the Emmett School District Newsletter. It’s scheduled for monthly publication the same week as the regular school board meeting. It’s designed to celebrate the good news in the Emmett School District and will primarily focus on our great employees and students. Occasionally, we may have a special edition.

We will continue to distribute press releases on immediate news and share information on Facebook. If you have an idea or want to contribute something, please email Public Information Officer Vickie Holbrook.

Graphic by Dwight Munger III for the Emmett School District.

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