Friday, April 23, 2010

Albertson Foundation Issues “Go On” Challenge to Idaho High Schools

Olympic Gold Medalist Kristin Armstrong joined students and staff at Mountain View High School in Meridian today to kick off the “Go On” Challenge for Idaho high schools.

The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation issued this unprecedented challenge to all Idaho high schools today to encourage schools to take critical steps that will lead more students to post-secondary education after high school.

Schools that participate in the “Go On” Challenge will have the chance to earn $100,000 by fulfilling the requirements of the following categories:
·    Increase the number of students taking the ACT, PLAN, PSAT and SAT
·    Increase the number of students who register for advanced opportunities such as AP, Dual Credit and Tech Prep
·    Increase the number of students who register for upper-level classes, especially in math and science

Mountain View High School became the first in Idaho to accept the challenge today.

The above three areas were selected for their proven effectiveness in helping to prepare, motivate and challenge students to Go On, and in helping students who have already entered college be less apt to drop out or need remediation.

A winner will be awarded in each category. After the 2010-11 school year, participating schools that demonstrated the most significant improvement (measured by percentage) over the 2009-2010 school year in a category will be awarded $100,000 to spend as they wish.  Schools will compete against schools with similar enrollment sizes.  All schools will compete for the most-improved overall award.

“We realize this is a tough economic time for all Idaho schools, which is why our foundation decided to get creative in our funding,” said Jamie MacMillan, the Foundation’s executive director. “And, we feel strongly that our high schools have to find innovative ways that continue to provide the best opportunities and resources for our students to help them to GO ON to a better life. It’s up to all of us – schools, parents, businesses, communities, and the state, to be part of the solution by being resourceful and innovative.”

Even if schools are unable to compete in the “Go On” Challenge because they do not currently offer AP, dual credit or tech prep courses, these schools still have a way to win. By just signing up to be a “Go On” School, a high school can compete to win a grand prize of $15,000, a second prize of $10,000 or $5,000 for honorable mention based on a different set of criteria.

School principals will receive a taped invitation to join in this unique effort.  This invitation is being delivered this week, along with detailed instructions on how to participate in the challenge. The invitation is also available online at The foundation encourages parents, students and anyone with a stake in post-secondary education to view the invitation and read more about the challenge. 

“There are so many opportunities waiting for students after they graduate from high school,” said Armstrong, who is delivering the challenge to schools across Idaho. “The question is: Are they ready to seize those opportunities? The big, important things in life rarely happen by accident — they require planning, dedication and the willingness to reach the next level.”

In addition, the Foundation is partnering with the Idaho Statesman to issue monthly “Go On” challenges for cash prizes starting on May 2, 2010. It is open to anyone throughout the state. To enter, log on to and upload your essay, photo or video. The contest topics will change every month and participants will have two ways to win — by popular vote or through a Statesman panel of judges.

Community partners, including the Boys and Girls Club, Treasure Valley YMCA and Big Brothers Big Sisters are committed to helping create greater awareness of the “Go On” Challenge.

Learn more about the Go On Challenge and how your school can participate at the Go On Idaho website.

~ Melissa M.

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