The School Edit; interview with West Ada School District’s Nicole Scheppers
School starts Tuesday, August 23, for West Ada School District! For young families, where kids go to school is a top question when buying a home. We had a chance to sit down with Nicole Scheppers with West Ada to chat about their education offerings. She is the Chief of Staff and past Community Liason Coordinator for West Ada and it’s clear that she has a lot of enthusiasm for creating the best learning environments possible for each individual student.
Is West Ada the largest school district in Idaho?
NS: Yes, our school district is the largest in Idaho with approximately 40,000 students. By comparison, the second largest is Boise School District with approximately 20,000 students.
Are there any noteworthy items that West Ada School District is known for?
NS: Yes, I would say that we’re a district of choice. In addition to the designated elementary, middle and high school enrollment, parents have the option of pursuing Art schools, STEM schools or Online schools (Virtual School House) for their children. West Ada makes it possibly for students to get a jump start on their skills through the Career and Technical Education pathway. Also, Centennial High School is an English Learning magnet school with a rich history. It is also our most diverse campus. Links to more details:
- Schools of Choice – https://www.westada.org/page/enrollment-schools-of-choice/
- Career and Technical Education (CTE) – https://www.westada.org/page/career-technical-education/
What STEM schools are available in West Ada? Are there any tuition fees or other related costs in these schools?
NS: There are four STEM schools in West Ada and there are no additional fees beyond the standard expenses like school supplies, lunch, etc. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics. There is usually a lottery process involved with these enrollments and you can learn more at these links:
- Barbara Morgan STEM Academy – https://www.westada.org/o/BarbaraMorgan
- Galileo STEM Academy – https://www.westada.org/o/galileo
- Spalding STEM Academy – https://www.westada.org/o/SPSA
- Summerwind STEM Academy – https://www.westada.org/o/SSA
Are there any schools within the district that are at capacity?
NS: Currently, none of our public schools are at capacity. But this status could change at any time.
What if I would like to enroll my child in another West Ada school other than my designated one?
NS: Parents are encouraged to register their student at their boundary school first, and then request an In-district Transfer to their preferred school and coordinate with school administrators to make the transition, provided there is space.
What reporting agencies does West Ada submit information to, such as greatschools.com or niche.com?
NS: We do not provide information to any rating systems. Our learning environments are varied and there isn’t one reporting style that everyone fits into. Whatever is reported online for West Ada and its schools is likely generated by Google and its alogorithms. For anyone looking to gather more information on West Ada and our culture, I would suggest going to our Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.
Is there a West Ada contact person or resource for parents new to the area to connect with to get more information?
NS: There really isn’t a designated person to coordinate newcomers to the district. Instead, we encourage them to go to our website and enroll online:
The prompts are easy to follow but if you get stuck, always feel free to call West Ada at 208.855.4500 for assistance.
What does the school calendar look like?
NS: There is only one school calendar for West Ada and you can find it at the link below. Some students were enrolled in year-round school, but that was discontinued in the 2020-2021 school year. Here’s the calendar for the 2022-23 school year:
Where can parents go to get move information on bus routes?
NS: Establishing bus routes is difficult to pre-plan because we’re uncertain how many students will use the bus stops until school is in session. The most up-to-date information can be found here:
If patrons would like to assist the underserved students in our district – do you have any suggestions?
NS: Patrons interested in supporting West Ada students and teachers are encouraged to visit our West Ada Education Foundation website to donate; there is always a need for donations:
Beginning a new year at a new school is both an exciting and anxious time for kids. West Ada strives to make each individual student’s experience a positive one. For more information, please do not hesitate to reach out to West Ada at 208.855.4500 – they welcome the opportunity to assist you!