Foothills School of Arts and Sciences was founded in 1992 by Susan and John Medlin to provide a new learning environment for Boise children. Foothills School was the first non-sectarian independent PreK-9th grade school in the city. The doors opened to 12 students with one full-time teacher, one paid aide, two volunteers who joined the school over the course of the first year, and a large black and white cat named Clyde. Over the next few years, the school continued to grow in students and faculty. In 1995, through the generous contributions of parents and two significant grants, the school raised $90,000 to move to its current location at 618 South 8th Street, in the heart of the cultural district in downtown Boise. In 1998, a commitment was made to begin a pilot program called the Early Learners for children ages 3 to 5. The J. A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation provided a $208,000 grant to create an Early Childhood Learning Center and Laboratory School, based on research the Early Learners faculty had done on the schools of Reggio Emilia, Italy. Together, our community of committed teachers, administrators, Board members and parents continue to take on the mission of educating children for success in the future.
Our School Today
Foothills School continues to have its home in downtown Boise with access to the city's rich park and river system, museums, cultural and arts organizations, business districts and Boise State University. To enhance the education of our more than140 students, Foothills takes advantage of its location to provide experiences that are truly unique and authentic. With student-teacher ratios of 9:1 and a highly engaged parent community, the school community is a regular participant with community partners - including The Cabin, The Boise Art Museum, Boise State University, the Idaho Historical Museum, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Zoo Boise, and many others - through field trip experiences and off-site project work. Foothills has also initiated a school wide electives program called CHOICE for 1st-8th grade students, which encourages students to find their passions through exposure to scientific exploration, outdoor education, health and wellness activities, and the arts. These educational opportunities align with the school's philosophy to provide a differentiated education for every child. At Foothills, we understand that every learner is different, and we keep our community small so that the potential of every child can be realized academically, socially and personally every day.