In late 1996, Roy Raymond of Roy Raymond Ford, Curtis Eaton of 1st Security Bank, Mike Glenn, Technical Dean at the College of Southern Idaho, Armand Eckert, chair of the Buhl School Board, and Steve Marshall, chair of the Jerome School Board started meeting at the urging of Roy Raymond to come up with ways to enable students who graduated from high school to be valuable employees to local businesses. Mr. Raymond donated $10,000 to start the effort. Unfortunately, he and his wife were killed in January, 1997 in a commuter plane crash.
The remaining members of the group decided to continue his efforts and the beginnings of what would be the Advanced Regional Technical Education Coalition (ARTEC) was formed. David Sass, chair of the Twin Falls School Board soon became part of the original group as well. During the spring of that year, superintendents and board chairs of several area school districts started meeting several times a month for breakfast to discuss how high-end technical programs could be shared among the school districts in the Magic and Wood River Valleys. Soon a group of 12-15 persons was meeting for breakfast to discuss possibilities. The coalition has always had three partners: school districts, business, and the College of Southern Idaho. The vision of the group was to allow students to graduate from high school ready to enter a two or four-year post-secondary institution, successfully complete a technical program at the post-secondary level and/or find employment in the student’s technical area of interest.
To jump-start this vision, in the fall of 1998, the College of Southern Idaho offered a chance for any area high school senior who was interested in the opportunity to attend CSI in a technical program. The College also arranged for the students to take senior English and American Government at the College so that they could complete their requirements for graduation from their home high school as well as receive a technical certificate from CSI. About 25 students chose to take advantage of the opportunity to gain a year of free college tuition.
In addition, the group wanted students to have the ability to attend a different high school in order to access a technical program not offered in the home high school. This cross-district attendance by students has been one of the few disappointments in the coalition’s vision as few students are willing to travel to another school for a technical program. The sole exception has been the Buhl Automotive Technology program which consistently pulls students from other high schools
During the summer of 1998, the J. A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation announced a new initiative aimed at supporting high-end technical academies in the state. In order to assist coalitions in understanding what technical academies were, they supported several trips to nationally recognized programs in the eastern part of the United States. With the assistance of a $25,000 grant from the Idaho Division of Professional-Technical Education and dues paid by interested member schools, the group decided to hire someone to write an application to the Foundation for the benefit of the schools in the region. David Sass, chair of the Twin Falls school board, and Claire Major, chair of the Gooding School Board, were hired to complete an application. The group also formalized its effort by applying to become a 501-C-3. (The official name of the corporation became ARTE, Inc., rather than ARTEC, Inc., because ARTEC was already on file in the Secretary of State’s office for a group in Boise.)
The application to the Foundation was submitted in February, 1999 and a 4.8 million dollar grant was awarded to the coalition in March of that year. The grant was to cover a three-year period and the project objectives included:
- Serve as a statewide model Professional-Technical Academy
- Provide graduates with the knowledge, technical skills and attitudes needed to compete in the 21 century
- Expand educational and career choices for 11th and 12th grade students with a focus on professional-technical programs
- Provide students with “real-world” learning opportunities through integrated academic and technical instruction, and work-based/school-based learning experiences.
- Forge substantial partnerships with business and industry to assure curriculum and instructional content meet standards of industry and local school exiting standards.
- Secure commitment of the community to support enhanced Professional-Technical Program by building partnerships of parents, community and civic leaders, employers, postsecondary institutions, students and staff that promote and support initiatives to help all youth succeed.
- Provide students with an appreciation and ability to use, manage, and understand technology.
- Measure results including: student achievement; dropout-retention rates; postsecondary continuation rates, particularly in technical studies; involvement with business and industry demonstrated by alignment of curriculum with standards of business and industry, and meeting employer expectations; integration of academic and technical subject matter as evidenced by involvement of teachers and school personnel among comprehensive high schools and academy programs.
All of the school districts in Region IV paid a membership fee to be part of the group except for Cassia County School District as it was submitting its own application to become a technical academy at the Cassia Regional Technical Center. (The Center received a 2.2 million dollar grant as well.)
After ARTEC’s grant was received, the selection of programs began. The first programs selected were those meeting the definition of high-end (i.e.,. there was a sequences of courses from introductory to advanced, teachers were industry-qualified as well as educationally, industry certificates were a possibility, and there was a willingness to workwith other school districts to have students move for technical programs.) The original programs selected for the 1999-2000 school year included the Buhl, Hansen, and Minico Residential Construction programs, the Gooding Cabinetmaking program, the Hagerman, Jerome, Kimberly, and Wood River Information Technology programs, the Wood River Finance Academy, Valley Electronics, and Minico Automotive, Health and Pre-Engineering, Although these programs received assistance in certification training and equipment, all of the schools in the coalition were allowed to send teachers to the professional development initiative.
The second year of the grant saw the Residential Construction program at Buhl dropped and Agriculture Technology and Automotive Technology added. Castleford added Agriculture Technology, Minico added the Finance Academy, Wood River added Travel and Tourism, and Twin Falls Information Technology. The Electronics program at Valley was dropped the second year and the equipment transferred to the College of Southern Idaho’s Electronic program because the instructor did not have the necessary qualifications to teach the higher level electronics courses. Additional programs added in the third year included Glenns Ferry Information Technology, and Carey Residential Construction. The last programs added were Gooding Health Professions and Information Technology, Diesel Technology at Minico (the Automotive program switched to Diesel), Finance at Twin Falls, and Information Technology at Wendell.
During the five years of the grant, the number of high-end technical programs which received or were receiving grant funds grew from 11 to 31.
The number of students enrolled in grant funded programs grew from to 327 during the 1999-2000 school year to 1365 during the 2003-2004 school year – the final year of the grant.
The number of students who graduated between 2000-2003 in one of the technical programs supported by the grant showed an impressive percent who were either enrolled in a four-year college program, a technical program, or working in their technical field. The following chart shows the compiled statistics of those graduates. In addition to the numbers shown who were either enrolled in a technical program or a four-year college one, 115 were gainfully employed either full or part-time in the technical field they had studied in high school.
The grant was originally scheduled to be completed in July of 2002. However, because the funds were under spent during the first three years, permission was granted to continue using them during the 2002-2003 school year. At the end of that time, the coalition was given one more chance to complete the allocation of the remaining $600,000 as long as it was used only for professional development and not for equipment or salaries.
Professional development was a key piece of the grant. Funds were used to provide training for instructors to receive certification in a number of industry-based certificates. Some of these included A+, Cisco, Net+, Oracle, Advanced Welding, NCCER, NAF Finance and Travel and Tourism, Certified Nursing Assistant, Emergency Medical Technician, and NATEF.
The number of industry certificates earned by students during the grant period went from a high of 101 to a low of 85 the fourth year. At that time, business advisory committees recommended that the programs consider emphasizing soft skills (writing, speaking, coming to work on time, working in teams, etc.) as well as the industry certificates. However, the certificates have continued to be important today as they are an integral part of the requirements for a program to be a part of the ARTEC Regional Professional Technical Charter School.
One of the largest Professional Development programs that the grant sponsored was the establishment of a number of training sessions which brought together math, science, English, and technical teachers to establish minimum standards of what was expected to be taught in each subject as well as grade level. The rationale behind this program was the discovery during the first year of the grant that the expectations of an Algebra I or English III student, for example, varied from high school to high school. As a result, McREL was brought in to lead discussions and help write performance standards in the selected academic areas. These standards became the basis for the state-wide academic standards which were developed during the middle 2000’s. As a result, Region IV was far ahead of the rest of the state in implementing these into the curriculum. (Ironically, the state has, in 2011, joined 44 other states in adopting the Common Core Standards which standardizes the content and skills needed in the areas of math, science, and language in all states involved in the agreement as the states recognized the expectation of learning in a given subject should be standardized – 11 years after the ARTEC coalition recognized the need.)
In addition, groups of teachers were brought together for training in curriculum integration. The Career Academy Support Network worked with programs for three years helping the schools to adopt a strict or modified academy program. This program aimed at encouraging students with a similar technical interest (i.e., information technology, finance, health, etc.) to take not only one or two technical courses together but also take at least one or two academic courses together as well. The academy model worked well for some programs and is still continued today with the Twin Falls Finance Academy and the Wood River High School technical programs. An integral part of the academies was project-based learning. To this end, teams of academic and technical teachers met in curriculum integration workshops and developed projects which involved the teaching of an academic subject (i.e., English, math, science, social studies) with a technical subject. The underlying philosophy is that students more readily see the reason that a given academic subject has relevance to their technical interest and therefore they are more willing to engage in the academic subject. This piece of grant-sponsored activities has become central to the ARTEC Regional Professional Technical Charter School as teachers continue to develop and implement cross-curricular projects. Examples of current projects can be seen at https://sites.google.com/site/pteacademicintegration/?pli=1.
The last major emphasis of professional development was the engagement that the districts had with the Southern Regional Education Board and its High Schools That Work program. Under this program, which is recognized nationwide, there is an emphasis on raising student achievement through high expectations of all students, a career focus, four years of math and English including the senior year, and the use of data to drive decisions. Students who follow a specific focused program tend to stay in school longer, graduate, and, in the technical fields, leave high school with employable technical skills. Many of its recommendations have become common place today in education in Idaho: senior projects, data-driven curriculum, increased graduation rate, integrated curriculum and math in the senior year.
The grant also provided an opportunity for schools to engage in distance learning through a system designed for use by the participating schools. This program was not as successful as the other pieces, due in part to its being ahead of its time. In the end, the remaining funds were given to the College of Southern Idaho to expand its Microwave system. Today distance learning has become a key piece of the Students Come First legislation adopted in 2011 by the Legislature and continues to be an integral part of the ARTEC RPTCS programs.
Some of the changes that occurred in Region IV high schools during the five years of the grant include the following:
- Graduation requirements increased – in 1998, districts required from 42 to 54 credits for graduation; in 2004, districts require 48 to 60 credits and most required a third year of mathematics.
- Traditional vocational programs became high-end technical ones – in 1998 there were three A+ programs and one automotive; in 2004, there were 31 high-end technical offerings available for coalition member students with industry certification and college credit in Agriculture Technology, Automotive Technology, Construction Technology, Culinary Arts, Finance, Health Professions, Information Technology, and Pre-Engineering.
- Enrollment in the high-end professional-technical programs and the percent of that enrollment to the total high school numbers saw a dramatic increase in the number of students enrolled in the area high schools in high-end technical programs – in 1999-00 there were 327 (5%) enrolled and in 2004, there were 1612 (22%) enrolled.
- Efforts were made by the high schools in the region to conform to the high school schedule – at least spring breaks – to the College of Southern Idaho’s schedule. Today, for the most part, high schools still try to meet at least the spring break schedule with the College.
- Senior projects became the norm in the majority of the coalition high schools before the state mandated them.
- Data was being used to change curriculum taught and expectations of students before the state became involved in the same issues.
- Teams of teachers met in subject areas to agree on what a student should learn at each level – English I, English II, Algebra, Geometry, American History, etc. long before the state adopted the Common Core Standards in 2011.
- Because of the coalition’s involvement in The High Schools That Work program, the State Department of Education became a state participant in the national movement which allowed other schools outside of Region IV to participate. The state’s membership continued until the funding dried up for education in the late 2000’s.
- The vision for distance learning and sharing of classes from high school to high school was too far ahead of its time – twelve years later, the technology is making this vision a reality.
Six persons have served as President of the coalition since 1998. They include Keith Huettig from Valley School District, Eric Steigers of D.L. Evans Bank, Chuck Byler of Wells Fargo, Armand Eckert from the Buhl School District, Dar Wagner of Wagner Consulting and Michael Arrington, CEO of Starr Corporation.
Persons who have served on the Board during the past 17 years included Curtis Eaton – 1st Security Bank, Dr. Mike Glenn – College of Southern Idaho, Buck Ward – Richfield SD, Jody Tremblay – Twin Falls Clinic and Hospital, Eric Steigers – D. L. Evans Bank, Ken Edmunds – Edmunds Group, Mike McBride – Independent Meat, Ed White – Lamb Weston, Chuck Byler – Wells Fargo, Dr. Nick Hallett – Minidoka SD, Dr. John Garner – Kimberly SD, Keith Huettig – Valley SD, Steve Marshall – Marshall Farms, Dennis Maughan – St. Benedicts Family Medical Center, Armand Eckert – Buhl SD, Dr. Rick Hill – Buhl SD, Dr. Bill Feusahrens – Filer SD, George MacDonald – Minidoka SD, Matt Flygare – Mini-Cassia Chamber, Lee Mitchell – Hagerman SD, Kelly Murphey – Castleford SD, Lindsay Call – Call Auto, Brandon Armstrong – Idaho Tech Connect, Dar Wagner – Wagner Consulting, Michael Arrington – Starr Corporation, Marie Sharp – St. Lukes Magic Valley Medical Center, Lisa Hollibaugh – St. Lukes Magic Valley Medical Center, Tammy Stevenson – Minidoka County SD, Dr. Scott Rogers – Minidoka County SD, Dr. Gaylen Smyer – Cassia County SD, Jim Cobble – Camas County SD, Dr. Wiley Dobbs – Twin Falls SD, Dr. John Miller – College of Southern Idaho, Dr. Todd Schwarz – College of Southern Idaho, Terry Patterson – College of Southern Idaho, Cesar Perez – College of Southern Idaho, Nadia King – Glambia USA, Cheryle Becker – Region V, Southern Idaho Health District, Dr. Kenneth Cox – Minidoka County SD, Ron Anthony – Buhl, SD, Dale Layne – Jerome SD and Dr. L.T. Erickson – Twin Falls SD.
Timeline of the Development
Roy Raymond met with several businessmen and CSI.
Roy Raymond and his wife were killed in a plane crash. Several school district superintendents and board chairs joined the discussion.
The Joe and Kathryn Albertson Foundation announced a Technical Academy Initiative. David Sass, chair of the Twin Falls School Board and Claire Major, chair of the Gooding School Board were hired to write a grant to the Foundation.
Approximately 25 area high school seniors attended CSI in a technical program while completing the graduation requirements at their home high schools by taking senior English and American Government at the College (CSI offered them free tuition.)
The Cassia County School District, working with Senator Dean Cameron, spear-headed a proposal which eventually became HB 510. This piece of legislation allowed schools, which shared high-end technical programs with other high schools and had 15% or more enrollment from outside its campus, to receive additional funding through a special appropriation from the Legislature. Funds could be generated through a consortium of two or more districts or by a stand-alone center such as the Cassia Regional Technical Center. All of the other districts in Region IV elected to become the Magic Valley Cooperative School Service Agency. (The entity can receive funds generated by programs with 15% or more enrollment from another high school, home-schooled students, and/or private school students.) This additional funding stream fits with ARTEC’s mission to provide access high-end technical programs across the region. (NOTE: Today, all of the ARTEC RPTCS programs have been approved by the Idaho Division of Professional-Technical Education as high-end, or Professional Technical School, programs.)
In February a grant for 4.8 million dollars was submitted to the Foundation and approved in March, 1999 for three years. All of the Region IV school districts signed the original application except Cassia County which submitted its own application.
Articles of Incorporation were filled and ARTE, Inc. received its 501 C-3 status.
Four employees, David Sass, Director, Claire Major, Assistant Director, Katie Cutler, Curriculum Director and a secretary, were hired to implement the conditions of the grant. In August, 1999, 11 high-end programs in nine area high schools were in place.
The first professional-development workshop “The Big Tent” was held in June. It brought together experts in learning styles, career-technical education, and academy structure. Both technical and academic teachers were in attendance. Because of its success, it continued each year for six years.
Eleven programs received funding for equipment and specialized training. (See the previous chart illustrating program growth.)
Eight additional programs were added and two were dropped due to low enrollment and lack of teacher expertise. Funds continued to be spent on equipment and professional development.
Because of differences in expectations of competencies in academic subjects in coalition high schools, a contract was forged with McREL to align the competences of English, math, science, and social studies in the region’s high schools.
Cassia County joined the coalition in order to take advantage of the McREL training. The majority of the school districts participated in this activity.
The coalition continued to struggle with developing a closed distance learning system.
Teams continued to work on aligning competencies of academic and technical programs across the region, technical teachers continued to upgrade their industry certifications, and the coalition continued to try to implement a successful closed distant learning system.
Three additional programs were added bringing the total number of high-end programs to 20 involving 12 high schools.
The Career Academy Support Network (CASN) was hired to assist the schools in developing true cohort academies with students taking academic and technical programs in a cohort group. (Research has shown that students who are a part of an academy, particularly in large high schools, do better as they belong to group which provides
CASN was also hired to introduce project-based learning. A portion of the Big Tent was devoted to developing curriculum-integrated projects.
Remaining funds from the distance learning portion of the grant were given to CSI to develop more microwave sites.
Seven additional programs were added to the list receiving funding from the grant bringing the total to 15 schools out of the 21 high schools in the region which had participated in one year or another with programs and/or professional development.
ARTEC was given permission by the Foundation to continue one more year providing that the remaining funds were used for professional development, data, and career academies only and no equipment or salaries. David Sass resigned as Director and Claire Major assumed the position.
MPR, a data-driven research company was hired to help schools learn how to collect relevant data and what to do with it.
Three more high-end programs were developed bringing the total to 30.
At the conclusion of the expenditure of the grant funds, the remaining 17 member districts agreed to search for ways to continue to support high-end technical education across the region including integration of technical and academic subjects, academies, project-based learning, and business involvement.
A three-year grant from the National Science Foundation to the College of Southern Idaho, written by Claire Major and Dr. Todd Schwarz for professional development of information technology teachers in ARTEC coalition schools and at the College of Southern Idaho helped support this effort as well as resources from the member districts.
One additional program was added bringing the grand total of high-end programs which had been affected in one way or another by the grant to 31.
After researching numerous options, the Board of Directors hired Dr. Nick Hallett, retiring superintendent of the Minidoka County School District and Claire Major part-time to write an application to become a regional-professional technical charter school. Minidoka County School District sponsored the petition and the State Department of Education approved it allowing the Charter School to open in August, 2006.
The ARTEC Charter School is unique in that students are enrolled in the Charter School one-half of the day and are enrolled in their home high school the other half. Students from other high schools, home-schooled students, or students from private schools may also enroll in the technical programs offered. Students have the option of receiving a diploma from their home high school, the Charter School, or both. Elements of the academy model begun under the grant are present as students engage in integrated projects with their technical course and an academic subject.
All of the programs which are a part of the Charter School must meet the Division of Professional-Technical Education’s definition of high-end: i.e., they meet industry standards, have industry certificates available, offer dual or tech prep credit, are taught by instructors with industry experience, offer internships, and follow a sequence of instruction leading to a capstone course which culminates in all of the above experiences.
ARTEC Charter School opened with five programs in two school districts – Information Technology, Diesel Technology, and Health Professions at Minico High School and Cabinetmaking and Health Professions at Gooding High School (These teachers each took a year’s leave of absence from their districts in order to participate in the program.)
The Charter School received a federal Charter Start-up Grant from the State Department of Education which allowed it to buy equipment for the programs and to provide curriculum integration summer workshops in professional development. These workshops have emphasized project-based learning as each technical teacher must have an academic partner to participate in the workshop.
According to Idaho Charter School Law at that time, only charter schools could hire teachers to teach in them. Because ARTEC Charter School’s model was to continue supporting high-end technical programs in area high schools, Director Dr. Nick Hallett worked closely with Senator Dean Cameron and an exception to the law was passed which allows regional professional-technical charter schools serving two or more school districts to lease teachers, equipment and facilities from traditional high schools.
This resulted in a name change for the school. It is now ARTEC Regional Professional Technical Charter School (ARTEC RPTCS).
Twelve additional programs were added which included Residential Construction at Minico High School, Information Technology at Jerome and Kimberly High Schools, Automotive Technology at Buhl High School, Electronics, Residential Construction, Health Professions, and Automotive Technology at the Cassia Regional Technical Center, and Information Technology, Finance, HealthProfessions, and Automated Manufacturing at Twin Falls High School. (The Automated Manufacturing program was jointly supported by the College of Southern Idaho and the Charter School with CSI’s students using the facility after 4:00 p.m.).
The Charter School continued enjoying the benefits of the Charter Start-up Grant which allowed the purchase of additional equipment, professional development training of teachers, and the curriculum integration summer workshop which again emphasized project -based learning.
As the Charter Start-up Grant was expiring, Dr. Hallett wrote a Charter Dissemination Grant to the State Department of Education. This was awarded for the 2009-2011 school years.
Twin Falls School District opened a new high school, Canyon Ridge High School, and the Health Professions and Automated Manufacturing programs moved to the new high school.
With the awarding of the Dissemination grant, ARTEC RPTCS was able to take its message of how to form a regional professional-technical charter school with partners from industry, post-secondary education, and traditional schools to other interested groups.
Dr. Nick Hallett, Director and Principal, decided to retire and head up the outreach program to other areas of the state provided through the Dissemination grant. Mike Gibson, former Business Manager from the Jerome School District, was hired to replace him and Claire Major became Principal of the school.
Thanks to the Dissemination Grant, the Charter School was again able to continue the curriculum integration summer workshops which were expanded to include training in peer counseling (teachers were given training and time to observe each other’s teaching) and the understanding of what IS a charter school. A workshop, using grant funds, was also given in Pocatello with the Pocatello/Chubbuck SD, Malad HS, and American Falls HS which introduced them to project-based learning, peer counseling, and charter schools.
The Board of Directors voted to add the awarding of the Fundamental Skill Certificate, developed by business leaders in 2000, which emphasizes the soft skills desired by business, to the list of criteria which identify the high-end technical programs of ARTEC RPTCS.
In December, 2010, the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation gave a onetime gift of $100,000 to each operating charter school in the state. This grant will allow the Charter School to continue the curriculum integration workshops during the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years.
Again the summer workshops, covering many of the same topics as the one offered in 2010, were given in both Twin Falls and Pocatello with a total of 70 teachers, both academic and technical, participating. Their projects can be accessed at https://sites.google.com/site/pteacademicintegration/?pli=1.
Through the outreach efforts of Nick Hallett, made possible by the Dissemination Grant, a coalition of three school districts in Region V (American Falls, Oneida, (Malad), and West Side) are in the process of seeking approval from the State Department of Education to become a Regional Professional Technical Charter School.
Two $500 scholarships were established in the memory of long-time Director George MacDonald who passed away unexpectedly in January 2011. These were awarded to two ARTEC graduating seniors in May, 2011.
Under the direction of the current board, Dar Wagner, President – Wagner Consulting, Michael Arrington, Vice President – Starr Corporation, Marie Sharp, Secretary-Treasurer – Pioneer Federal Credit Union, and Directors Lisa Hollibaugh – St. Lukes Magic Valley Medical Center, Tammy Stevenson – Minidoka County SD, Dr. Scott Rogers – Minidoka County SD, Dr. Gaylen Smyer – Cassia County SD, Jim Cobble – Camas County SD, Dr. John Miller – College of Southern Idaho, and Dr. Todd Schwarz – College of Southern Idaho, the original vision of the founding members continues to be carried forward.
Industry certificates, internships, project-based learning, integration of curriculum between academic and technical teachers, instructors with industry certification, and an emphasis on soft skills through the Fundamental Skill Certificate all continue to be a part of those programs today – a living legacy to the work begun in 1996 .
ARTEC Regional Professional Technical Charter School continues to serve students enrolled in high-end technical programs across the Magic Valley. One of its programs, the Finance Academy at Twin Falls High School under the direction of Lorraine Rapp and Carrie Ploss, was chosen as the Division of Professional Technical Education Secondary Exemplary Program for 2013. Each year its students participate in a wide variety of business opportunities including bankruptcy court, Financial Literacy Awareness Night, National Job Shadow Day, and summer internships, and earn the W!SE Financial Literacy certificate. In the summer of 2015, teams placed 1st in the Economic Research competition and 2nd in Financial Analyst at the National BPA conference.
The Southeastern Idaho Technical Charter School began operation in the fall of 2013. This regional professional-technical charter school is the result of the efforts of Dr. Nick Hallett working with the three districts under one of two Dissemination Grants awarded in Idaho for the 2009-2011 school years. ARTEC RPTCS continues to help mentor the new school.
A new dimension to professional-technical education began in the fall of 2012 when the Twin Falls High School Information Technology program began broadcasting high-end IT courses over the Idaho Education Network to students around the state. The program was also approved as the first technical AP course in Idaho. This allows students to sit for the prestigious AP exams and those who successfully complete the course can take their college credits to any college or university.
Students enrolled in Electronics at Cassia Regional Technical Center recently placed 4th in the International Robotics Competition in Louisville, Kentucky out of 10,000 teams. They also placed 1st in eight competitions in Idaho, Utah, Nevada, and Hawaii during the 2014-2015 school year.
Automotive Technology students from Buhl High School continue to refurbish donated ambulances and fire trucks for Care Convoy, a non-profit which gathers all types of emergency equipment and supplies and take them several times a year to remote Mexican villages. In March or 2013 four ARTEC RPTCS students accompanied the group taking the refurbished ambulance and spent a week seeing what a benefit this program brings to these people. Three students from the Buhl program who worked on the ambulance and one student from the Kimberly Information Technology program (who went along to video the project) had their horizons widened by the experience.
A few of the other successes of students include one cabinet-making student from Gooding placing fourth in the nation at the SkillsUSA contest, a number of health professions students from four programs have attended the national HOSA convention winning honors there, and automotive students from the Cassia Regional Technical Center placed in the annual Ford contest in Dearborn, Illinois. The Finance Academy Program was selected as the PTE Exemplary Secondary Program in 2013 and in 2015, students placed first in Economic Research and second in Financial Analyst at the National BPA Conference.