A Letter From The Principal:
Welcome to our school. I come to NExA as the principal at the high achieving and well respected Fernan STEM Academy and have been with the CDA School District for 15 years. I am committed to our community, committed to high expectations in education and committed to providing a safe, nurturing and positive school climate.
I am the district lead for the Stand Up Speak Up anti-bully initiative and take school safety as a top priority-a child cannot learn unless he/she feels safe. Our school teaches assertiveness, kindness, how to stand up to someone who is being mean and how to stand up for someone who is being bullied. I tackle student aggression head on. I am on the playground daily, in the cafeteria daily, in every class every day, and I know every student in my school by name. Kids will be safe at Northwest Expedition Academy.
This expeditionary school (not affiliated with EL Education) is exemplified by project-based learning expeditions (using the Buck Institute PBL philosophy), in a workshop model (using inquiry based learning and the thinking strategies) with the world as our classroom. Students take physical and academic journeys using critical thinking, hands-on learning, journaling, observation, exploration, collaborative learning and strategic and scientific methods to truly get to understand their world. Using the Idaho Core Standards, academic work is rigorous, challenging and purposeful.
Key to academic success is strong character. This school embraces the work by Angela Duckworth and Paul Tough which focuses on grit, curiosity, self-control, social intelligence, zest, optimism and gratitude. PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports) is the framework to support students to make good choices and to work hard. Rather than telling students what not to do, our school focuses on preferred behaviors. Kindness is embraced and taught and bullying is not tolerated.
Learning must be purposeful and make a true difference in the community we live. For this reason, an authentic audience with community partnerships are paramount for all PBLs at Northwest Expedition Academy. Our advisory committee continues to search for positive role models, innovative community members and interesting people to increase the diversity of our learning.
I am glad to be in Hayden as the principal for your school! My door is most always open and I do my best to invite parents in to share concerns, offer ideas and celebrate student success. Please pop by and say hello.
Bill Rutherford, Principal, Northwest Expedition Academy