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Wakapa | September Newsletter

Stay Informed | Wakapa Newsletter by: Maggie Fortner, Wakapa Principal

Wakapa Academy is excited about the coming school year! The third year of Wakapa Academy is set to build on the fantastic things that we’ve been able to accomplish over the last two years and usher in some exciting new changes. Last year ended with 13 graduates. Over the year, Wakapa’s commitment to student achievement was apparent in the gains we saw in academic performance and opportunities for students to get out in the community to learn life/job skills. One of our most exciting internships was with Rick Robinette at Foothills Aviation. Wakapa is proud to be partnering with some amazing community members to bring students the best education possible. Another community partner, Mayor Tom McCauley not only brought government alive for our students but helped to teach the water cycle through tours of Buhl’s water treatment facilities and a hydroelectric generating station in the area. This year, our principal, Maggi Fortner and English teacher, Jennifer Miller will be joined by Emily Pitts (math/ science teacher), Ashley Slagel (paraeducator), and Shari Moulton (college and career counselor). The entire staff is looking forward to a great year!


As we usher in the new school year, principal, Maggi Fortner would like to take a moment to answer some frequently asked questions about Wakapa Academy.

Q: What does Wakapa mean?

A: The word “Wakapa” was chosen because of its rich history in the community of Buhl and in keeping with Buhl School District’s Native American themes. Early Buhl yearbooks were called The Wakapa. I have been told that it is an old Native American word meaning “to excel”.

Q: What is an alternative high school?

A: In Idaho, an alternative high school is considered a school of choice. Students attend Wakapa by choice. They are never forced to attend. Students who qualify and have had difficulty being successful in a traditional school environment have the opportunity to learn in different ways in different environments. Alternative schools are not the right fit for every child but give an alternative to those who need something different.

Q: Do you have to be in trouble to attend an alternative school?

A: Not at all. Though we have had students who have been in trouble both in and out of school, our numbers are similar to those at other schools. Students choose to attend an alternative school for a variety of reasons including- anxiety in large settings, being behind on credits for graduation, frequent moves that have caused gaps in learning, etc.

Q: Is Wakapa only for Buhl kids?

A: Wakapa is happy to accept out of district students.

Q: How can I apply for Wakapa?

A: Students in grades 9-12 will need to fill out the application form found on the school website. Forms can also be picked up at Wakapa Academy or in the Buhl High School counseling center.

Q: Does Wakapa Academy accept every student that applies?

A: No. The application process includes screening to ensure that students meet state requirements for eligibility. In addition, every student and parent must attend an interview in which a determination is made about whether the school might be a good fit for the student. In The school is limited in the maximum number of students that can be accepted. So, students that qualify may still be placed on a waiting list.

Q: How can I get more information?

A: Check out the Wakapa Academy website. You can find the link on the district webpage at or call the school at 208-543-8262 ext. 246



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