In three short years, Horseshoe Bend Elementary went from being a two-star-rated school — one of the lowest in the State of Idaho — to earning a national award for academic excellence.
In the heart of mustang country, 100 students and their teachers are working toward a common goal.
“Not a minute can be wasted every day,” said Cora Larson, Principal of Horseshoe Bend Elementary School.
This school year, Horseshoe Bend Elementary was named a National Blue Ribbon School, a highly coveted award based on academic excellence.
“When our name came up, I couldn’t believe it,” Larson said. “I was so excited.”
Larson, a native of Horseshoe Bend, says just three years ago this kind of recognition was unimaginable.
“Everyone here was working so hard, and we couldn’t figure out why we weren’t achieving and growing,” Larson said.
An incredible transition that began with a change in mindset.
Math and reading curriculum was taught to fidelity, with targeted interventions for each student — a daunting task for a school only open four days a week.
“We have to double up on math on Tuesdays and make sure we hit all of the reading as well,” Larson said. “So it makes us be very efficient with every moment.”
The results speak for themselves.
It’s an example, Larson says, of setting goals for each student and staying focused.
“You just can’t accept anything less than really high achievement for each student,” Larson said.