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Want to Move to a City with Excellent Educational Options? Consider Meridian, ID

With an impressive roster of public, private and charter schools, students will be well-prepared for the future.

By Teree Caruthers on September 25, 2021

student training in the heath field
West Ada Public Schools

Parents who choose Meridian, ID have many options for their children’s education, from a top-rated public school system to highly lauded private and charter schools, all of which excel at preparing students for college and local, in-demand careers.

Meridian is home to the largest school district in the state, West Ada School District, which serves more than 40,000 students and their families in grades pre-K through 12. The district earns top marks for its CTE (Career and Technical Education) program, which gives high school students hands-on training in career fields, such as agriculture, business and marketing, engineering, health care and human services.

Career and Technical Education

The district offers 19 CTE magnet programs and operates three
Career-Technical Centers where students travel for a half day to a specific course based on the magnet program they are in.

“We also have other CTE programs at our high schools if students choose not to enter into a magnet program where they travel,” says Char Jackson, chief communication officer for the West Ada School District. “CTE students also have the opportunity to earn concurrent credit and technical competency credits toward postsecondary education.”

Jackson says the district works with local business and industry leaders to drive its curriculum and offer externships. Each CTE program, for example, is required to have a technical advisory committee made up of industry and postsecondary representatives.

Committee members provide input on specific competencies, hands-on skills, training on current and updated equipment and other factors students need to be successful.

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Meridian Medical Arts Charter High School

Students Will Be Workforce Ready in Meridian, ID

The region’s charter schools, including Falcon Ridge Public Charter School, Compass Public Charter School, Meridian Technical Charter High School, Legacy Charter School and Meridian Medical Arts Charter High School, also play a major role in preparing students to enter the local workforce.

Meridian Medical Arts, for example, trains its students for careers in health care. Graduates leave the school with an industry certification, and, through a dual enrollment partnership with Idaho State University, some graduate with an associate degree in health science.

“We have everything that students will see in the professional setting, and that helps them learn the skills and get the hands-on training they need to either go on to college or go straight to the workforce,” says Dawnetta Earnest, principal of Meridian Medical Arts Charter High School.

“Our graduate rate is close to 99%. That’s because students enjoy coming to school, and they like what they’re learning.
They are in their wheelhouse.”

Dawnetta Earnest, Meridian Medical Arts Charter High School

In 2021, 10 students graduated with a pharmacy tech degree and more than 40 graduated with a certified nursing assistant (CNA) certification. Another 20 passed the national registry to be emergency medical technicians.

Students are chosen for admission to the tuition-free school through a lottery system, which translates to a grade-A work ethic. “We’re small — only about 200 students — but we have a mighty big impact on the workforce,” Earnest says.

Personalized Education Through Private Schools

Meridian families can also choose from a number of high-performing private schools, including Cole Valley Christian Schools, Sheridan Academy and The Ambrose School, a K-12 Christian school that offers families a choice in the style of education that best fits their children’s needs.

The school also has a hybrid program, The Ambrose School Bridge Program, which offers on-campus classes two days a week and provides lesson plans for parent-directed learning during home days. Plus, the school offers a College Bootcamp, which walks juniors through the college admissions process and career exploration.

“Many high-ranking employers have expressed a need for employees who can think logically and critically, can communicate well and have a broad knowledge of multiple subjects rather than being specialized to one function,” says Molly Blakeman, communications manager at Ambrose. “A classical Christian education is designed to train students in exactly these qualities and gives employers a worker who is extremely versatile, learns quickly, can see the big picture and knows how to problem solve.”

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