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NAMPA — It was 64 degrees as the sun rose over the ridge, casting shadow over the outlined letters RHS. At 8:35 a.m., with up-beat music rippling and the smell of mint drifting, approximately 1,100 students clustered in the 15 rows of Ridgevue High School’s football stands.

Cellphones in hand, clad in skinny jeans and T-shirts, students texted the coordinates where they sat to their friends as the buses circled, dropping off other students at the rear doors of the main hallway, across from the field where an opening ceremony Monday took place.

Teachers gathered on the field and unfolded a large American flag. In a show of school pride and spirit, after the instrumental national anthem, the Warhawk military plane flew over the school.

Students and staff visually followed the plane as it came in from the south, arched around the field, then came back for a second pass over.

Everyone cheered.

“The biggest thing is a culture of family,” teacher Jon Zubizarreta told the Press-Tribune Aug. 22. “With the faculty here it is easy to instill a culture family here to help students be college and career ready.”

To conclude the opening ceremony, before headed to their new classes in their brand new school, students, teachers and staff formed their school letters, RHS, for Ridgevue High School.

The school held a ribbon-cutting event Friday prior to the first home football game of the season.

Ridgevue High School teachers and staff moved in Aug. 22 to prepare for the new year.

The school was built to ease Vallivue High School’s overcrowding, the Press-Tribune reported.

The new high school has about 1,100 students.

Ridgevue High School offers 18 AP courses, five pre-AP classes, 25 clubs and eight Career Technical Education programs.

“We recognize what rigor will do,” principal Julie Yamamoto told the Press-Tribune Aug. 22. “Students will do it if given the opportunity.”

Tegan Byerly, a science teacher, said within the science department is a service-learning component of several courses to give more purpose to what the students are learning. For example, last year, students made an app that tracked fires in Idaho.

In English, according to Vicki Scaggs, ninth- through 12th-grade students will go through a four-year curriculum around exploring four “essential questions,” such as who they are as an individual, how they fit into their community, if there is still an American Dream, what matters in the world and what rights can be lost or gained.

“I look forward to working with this staff,” health/physical education teacher Kira Skroh said on Aug. 22. “For us as teachers, it is awesome to see students figure out something, like their purpose.”

Alx George is the IPT education reporter. Contact her at 465-8178 or Follow @missalxgeorge.

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