Author: Kathleen Mulroy
Since 2003, the Panhandle Alliance for Education, a non-profit organization made up of local businesspeople, educators and other citizens concerned about local education, has enabled our community to demonstrate its enthusiastic support of Lake Pend Oreille School District’s (LPOSD) teachers and schools.
Through community members’ donations, the Panhandle Alliance – in partnership with the school district – has developed several highly successful programs which have enhanced the quality of education in our schools. These programs include annual teacher grants, an early childhood literacy program for parents of children from birth to age five (READY! for Kindergarten), a college/career guidance counselor at the high school, and a classroom volunteer program. In the classroom volunteer program, community members – who receive training from a volunteer coordinator – take on an important role in assisting LPOSD teachers. During the month of January 2014 alone, volunteers logged more than 1,500 hours.
Community support has made a real difference in LPOSD students’ lives. Over the past five years, students’ ISAT scores have significantly improved and individual schools have won several honors. A substantial number of LPOSD schools have been given a four- or five-star designation, five stars being the highest rank based on academic growth and proficiency compared with similarly sized schools throughout Idaho. Sandpoint High School is justifiably proud of being a five-star school. Sandpoint Middle School ranks sixth academically among all Idaho middle schools, and Southside Elementary is one of 320 Blue ribbon schools in the entire nation.
Thank you, Sandpoint, for helping the Panhandle Alliance for Education to improve the lives of students from elementary school through high school, and beyond.