Friday, December 20, 2013

Genesee Teachers Receive Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

President Obama Honors Outstanding Math and Science Teachers WASHINGTON, DC

President Obama today named 102 mathematics and science teachers as recipients of the prestigious Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. This year’s awardees represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the Department of Defense Education Activity. The educators will receive their awards at a Washington, DC, event in the coming year.

 The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching is awarded annually to outstanding K-12 science and mathematics teachers from across the country. The winners are selected by a panel of distinguished scientists, mathematicians, and educators following an initial selection process done at the state level. Each year the award alternates between teachers teaching kindergarten through 6th grade and those teaching 7th through 12th grades. The 2012 awardees named today teach kindergarten through 6th grade.

 Winners of this Presidential honor receive a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation to be used at their discretion. They also are invited to Washington, DC, for an awards ceremony and several days of educational and celebratory events, including visits with members of Congress and the Administration. “These teachers are inspiring today’s young students to become the next generation of American scientists, mathematicians, and innovators,” President Obama said. “Through their passion and dedication, and by sharing their excitement about science, technology, engineering, and math, they are helping us build a promising future for all our children.”

 The recipients of the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching for Idaho are Genesee teachers Tauna Johnson, 5th grade teacher (Science) and Donna Wommack, 4th Grade teacher (Math).

Congratulations to both Mrs. Johnson and Mrs. Wommack!  We are very proud of both of you!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

New Idaho Core Standards

Dear Parents,

This fall, your child's teacher will begin teacher to higher academic standards in Mathematics and English  Language Arts.  These standards are not only higher but also comparable with any other country in the world.  This will bring changes, but we are working to prepare our staff for them.  We are also excited for the professional development and learning opportunities these new standards bring for both our students and our school district.

The new Idaho Core Standards were adopted after a state led effort referred to as the Common Core State Standards Initiative.  Through this initiative, state governors and education chiefs across the United States came together to find a solution to a common problem all states are facing today;  while students are performing well academically in grades K-12, too many students are graduating from high school unprepared for the rigors of post secondary education or the work force.  This challenge is very real in Idaho where 46% of Idaho's high school graduates go on to post secondary education and of those, nearly half must take remedial courses.  At a district level, we have worked to address this challenge in several ways and we are pleased to see it being on a state level.

The Idaho standards are the goals that the state has set for what every child should know and be able to do by the end of each grade level.  Our local school district will still determine the curriculum and materials that will be best to help teach these standards in the classroom.

Here is a look at how the standards will change in English Language Arts and Literacy:

First, students will read challenging texts in every class.  They will continue to read classic literature, stories and poems in English classes, but will also be challenged with studying and analyzing non-fiction texts in all subject areas as well.  As a result, students will be better prepared to read, analyze and write about all types of texts at a higher level when they graduate from high school.

Second, your child will be asked to use evidence from the text when writing papers or making oral presentations.  In all classes students should be required to not only read the text but dig into to it to support their arguments or research.  As a result, students will be better prepared to support their arguments and decisions with evidence, not just opinion, whether they are in college or the workforce.

Third you will see an increased focus on vocabulary across all the grade levels.  As a result, students will continue to learn new vocabulary words as they progress through schools as well as the correct context in which to use them.  This is more important than ever in the 21st Century where students live and work in the digital age and encounter new words and terms constantly.

Here is a brief look at how the standards will change in Mathematics:

First, students will work more deeply in fewer topics.  In each grade level, your child's teacher will cover fewer concepts than in the past but go into much more depth on each concept.  This makes sure students will gain a full understanding before moving onto the next concept.

Second, your child will understand why math works and be asked to talk about and prove their understanding.  Students will no longer just memorize formulas, but will learn critical foundational concepts and problem solving skills in the early grades so they are prepared for higher levels of math, such as Algebra once they enter middle school.

Third, your child will be asked to use math in real world situations.  Students will learn strategies for solving problems they could encounter in real life. Students will gain critical thinking and problem solving skills while in school that they can apply in the future.

These are just some of the changes you will see as a result of the implementation of the new standards.  We know that the transition will not happen over night and we have a long process ahead of us, but it is one that we believe is best for the education of our students.  We have worked at the local level to expand learning opportunities for our students.  We have made strategic investments in our children:  expanding technology in the classroom, recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers and paraprofessionals and offering programs that are critical to learning.  We believe that these higher state standards are achievable and necessary for our students to be successful in the future.

What can you do as a parent?

  • Talk to your child's teacher about what you can do to support your student at home.
  • Stop by district office and pick up copies of the Idaho Standards (both ELA and Math are available at no cost).
  • Support your child as they face this more rigorous content in the next school year and beyond.  
If you have any questions we are here to help.  Please feel free to contact your child's teacher or myself at 208-285-1161 or


Wendy Moore

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Thank you for sharing your most precious possession!

As we close another school year, I would like to express my deepest appreciation to all of our Parents/ Guardians of Genesee School District.  As District Administrator, it has been a sincere pleasure to work with all of you and your children during the 2012/13 school year. It is hard to believe that another year has passed so quickly.

I look at all the faces that come through the doors on a daily basis, and I feel grateful that you entrust your most valuable possession to those of us at Genesee Schools. It is a sincere honor to have this opportunity allowed to each and every one of us. I have the opportunity to hear about "lost teeth", family vacations, special events in their lives, college plans etc. It is truly a blessing and something I am very grateful for each and every day!

Thank you for sharing your children with us and we look forward to seeing them back in the fall.

Enjoy your summer! Make some wonderful memories!

Mrs. Moore

Friday, March 22, 2013

Idaho Core Standards - Blog From Idaho Education Network

What the New Idaho Core Standards Will Mean for Idaho Students

This fall, Idaho teachers will begin teaching new academic standards in mathematics and English language arts that are higher than Idaho’s previous standards and comparable with any other country in the world. 

These new Idaho Core Standards were adopted after a state-led effort referred to as the Common Core State Standards Initiative. Through this initiative, state governors and education chiefs came together to find a solution to a common problem they were all facing: while students were doing well in grades K-12, students were graduating from high school unprepared for the rigors of postsecondary education or the workforce. This challenge is all too real in Idaho, where just 47 percent of Idaho’s high school graduates go on to postsecondary education and, of those, nearly half need remediation once they get there. 

Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Luna and Governor Otter joined other states in working to develop more rigorous standards in mathematics and English language arts in 2009. This was a state-led effort. The U.S. Department of Education was not involved in any way. Idaho educators played a role in developing these standards. Once the standards were published in 2010, it was then up to each state to decide whether or not to adopt these standards. States took different paths to best meet the needs of their students. Virginia, for example, decided not to adopt the standards because it believed its standards were already rigorous enough. Other states chose to adopt just the math or just the English language arts standards. 

The State of Idaho followed the same process it follows every five years to review academic standards in every subject area and decide whether or not to adopt new standards. The Idaho State Department of Education brought in Idaho teachers to review these new, more rigorous standards in mathematics and English language arts. A comprehensive gap analysis showed a strong correlation between Common Core State Standards and current Idaho state standards with a 70 percent match, but the Common Core State Standards were higher and deeper than previous standards. 

Idaho’s colleges and universities also weighed in, telling us that students will be ready for postsecondary education if they master these standards. We also asked the business community in Idaho to take a look at these standards during the review process. The Department held regional public meetings across the state to gather input from educators, parents and Idaho citizens. The Idaho State Board of Education held an open public comment period as well. 

In 2010, based on all of this input and feedback, the State Board of Education chose to adopt these standards as Idaho’s new content standards in mathematics and English language arts. The Idaho Legislature gave final approval to adopt these standards as our new state standards in 2011. They are now Idaho’s Core Standards in mathematics and English language arts and part of Idaho’s Content Standards for all subject areas. 

These standards, just like standards in every other content area, are the goals the state sets for what every child should know and be able to do by the end of each grade level. The state still only sets the standards. It remains up to each local school board to adopt curriculum, which is the textbook or other materials a teacher will use in the classroom to teach these standards. 

Ultimately, the Idaho State Board of Education and Idaho Legislature have oversight of these standards. As with any standards, these standards can change in the future as the state reviews academic standards every five years. 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Supplemental Levy Passes

On Behalf of the School Board, Administration, Students and Staff of Genesee School District, I would like to thank you for supporting our 2013 Supplemental Levy.

Your support enables the district to continue to provide the quality education that our students will need to be successful. Your "yes" vote continues to show students and others that education is valued among the community. By supporting public education you are enabling us to be able to provide our students with skills and tools to be successful in the future.

As District Superintendent, I appreciate your support and hope to continue to be able to provide our children with the quality education that our children deserve and need. It is a pleasure to be a member of such a strong, supportive community.

Our school district wouldn't be the great institution it is today without such great community support. Thank you for voting YES!

Wendy Moore Superintendent

Monday, February 25, 2013

Genesee Schools Seeks Renewal of Supplemental Levy

The Genesee School district will ask voters on March 12, 2013 to renew the proposed one-year levy of $935,000.  This levy is a renewal of the 2012 levy. 

The determination of the levy amount is based on the discrepancy between the revenue available to the District from other sources and the educational needs determined by the Board of Trustees. Taking into account the property tax reduction provided by the agricultural equipment replacement exemption, which is approximately $46,211,  the estimated cost of this levy will be  $877,307.

This supplemental levy allows  the District  to maintain educational, sports and other extra-curricular programs for students attending Genesee Schools for the 2013/14 school year.  The proposed levy provides the necessary funds that State and Federal Dollars do not cover.  

If you would like additional information, please contact Mrs. Wendy Moore at 208-285-1161 or

For Electors in Latah Co.:  Genesee Senior Center, 240 E. Walnut, Genesee, ID  83832Absentee (In Person) voting will take place at:  Latah County Courthouse, Room 101522 South Adams, Moscow, ID.  83843Deadline for Absentee (in person) voting is March 8, 2013.

For Electors in Nez Perce Co.:  Ballots will be mailed to registered electors beginning Feb. 16, 2013.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Supplemental Levy Community Meeting

On Thursday, February 21st 2 6:00 p.m. the district will host a community meeting to inform patrons why the levy is necessary. The meeting will be held in the Multi-Purpose Room.

This supplemental levy is a renewal of the levy amount approved in 2012 for $935,000. This supplemental levy allows the District to maintain educational and extra-curricular programs for students attending Genesee Schools for the 2013/14 school year. The proposed levy provides the necessary funds that State and Federal dollars do not cover.

This levy ensures that our students continue to receive the highest quality education that has been the Genesee tradition over the last 100 years.

 If you cannot attend and would like additional information, please contact the district office at 208-285-1161.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Personal Property Tax

In Dec. 2012 the Idaho State Tax Commission released its first comprehensive study of business personal property, in preparation for the 2013 Legislative session. In Idaho, property tax usually applies to real property (land and buildings), business personal property (furniture and equipment), and operating property (public utilities and railroads).
The  study reports on personal property by taxing district. There are 964 Idaho taxing districts that levied taxes in 2012; these included cities, counties, and everything from library districts to cemetery districts. The report shows each district’s total amount of property tax and the amount of personal property tax attributed to locally assessed property and operating property. Total personal property tax for Idaho amounts to $140.9 million for 2012.
The 2012 Personal Property Tax Analysis is available on the Tax Commission’s website, and printed copies are available on request by emailing
   An Idaho partnership called Partnership for Idaho's Future has put together a short video on what the personal    property tax means for communities. There are two versions of the video, both can be accessed at the links below:

The partnerships goal is  to get information out to the public in an effort to educate everyone of the impacts of a personal property tax repeal without replacement funding. The video is very well done. Please take a few minutes to watch it and then share it with others in the community. We will need everyone's help to make sure the best tax policy is made at the state level. 

Again, this video is to be shared within our communities. Please forward it along to anyone you wish.