This FAQ page answers common questions about Sage International School and charter schools in general. Please contact us by emailing info@sageinternationalschool.org if you have questions regarding these FAQs, information on our website, or any topics we did not cover.

Sage International is a free, K-12, public charter school authorized by the Idaho Public Charter School Commission. Sage International is not a part of the Boise School District. Please click the links below for important information regarding what it means to be a public charter school in Idaho.

CHARTER SCHOOLS - General Information

The following links provide general information about Idaho charter schools: 

·        Click here for the Idaho Department of Education’s Charter School Page.

·         Click here to go to the Idaho Public Charter School Commission’s (PCSC) web site.

·         Click here to go to Idaho’s Public Charter School statute.

·         Click here to go to Idaho’s Administrative Rules Governing Public Charter Schools.

Why does Idaho include charter schools within its public school system?

Charter schools are public schools and are intended to expand and enhance public education options in Idaho for students, teachers, families and the community by offering innovative education models that do not otherwise exist in the traditional public school system. In short, charter schools are designed to be different and to provide clear education choices - a charter school should not look, feel, and teach like area traditional public schools.  

When the Idaho Legislature enacted Idaho’s charter school laws in 1998, they offered the following reasons for creating public charter schools: (1) To improve student learning; (2) To increase learning opportunities for all students, with special emphasis on expanded learning experiences for students; (3) To include the use of different and innovative teaching methods; (4) To utilize virtual distance learning and on-line learning; (5) To create new professional opportunities for teachers, including the opportunity to be responsible for the learning program at the school site; (6) To provide parents and students with expanded choices in the types of educational opportunities that are available within the public school system; and (7) To hold the schools established under this chapter accountable for meeting measurable student educational standards.

What does the word ‘charter’ refer to in ‘Charter School’?

A ‘charter’ is a document that a school submits to the State Board of Education (Idaho Charter Commission) seeking ‘authorization’ to become a publicly funded school of choice. The charter document explains exactly what that school will offer - it explains the school’s purpose and mission, size, curriculum, grade levels, growth plan, etc.  In other words, it informs families what they are ‘choosing’ when they consider attending that school. 

When a charter school is proposed and goes through the authorization process, it must define what it is going to offer that is otherwise not offered by area district schools.  If the charter is approved or ‘authorized’, the State gives the founding Board and Executive Director the autonomy and funding to build the best school they can in accordance with the charter.  The school’s funding and continued existence are tied to delivering on their charter commitments. If the board and leadership stray from their charter (aka mission drift), the school will lose its funding and will, in all likelihood, close. Because the charter defines the unique opportunities the school offers, families understand the choice they are making by attending that school.  

How are charter schools (such as Sage International) different than traditional public schools in the Boise School District?

Charter schools in our area exist to offer educational ‘choices’ that differ from what the Boise School District offers to public school students. Charters are not intended to mimic large, traditional school districts and do not have the ‘economies of scale’ (financially or personnel-wise) to offer everything a traditional school district can offer - they are meant to be different. 

Comparing the Boise District to Sage International highlights these differences - if you think of the Boise District and Sage International as businesses, the Boise District is Microsoft and Sage International is a new, growing tech startup. 

The Boise School District has existed since 1881. The Boise District constructed and paid for many of its schools over 100 years ago and has run a similar number of students and grade levels through certain schools for decades. Currently, the Boise District has 48 schools with over 26,000 students and a full-time staff of 2,600. District schools often cover 10-20 acres and have their own football fields and athletic complexes. The 48 District schools are a great option for many area families.  

In contrast, Sage International School first opened in 2010.  Over the last eight years, Sage has grown from 218 students in K-7 grades to our current enrollment of 1,025 students in K-12 grades. Sage financed the purchase of its campus in 2016 and expends 13% of its total revenues each year. Sage has just under 100 employees. Sage International School is ‘chartered’ to provide the International Baccalaureate (IB) curriculum and French language instruction - while also meeting all State of Idaho curriculum and assessment requirements that traditional schools meet. Sage International is its own ‘school district’, intended to be different and innovative, with a great deal of autonomy within its charter parameters.

Area families are fortunate to have excellent, very distinct, public education options; traditional Boise District schools are the right fit for some families while Sage International and other area charter schools are the right ‘choice’ for others.


SAGE INTERNATIONAL - Charter, Mission, Curriculum, International Baccalaureate, French


Where can I find Sage International’s Charter document?

You can find Sage International’s Charter on our web site by clicking the ‘About’ link and then clicking the Our Charter link. 

French Language Instruction at Sage International (Why not Spanish/Mandarin?)

As discussed above, charter schools are meant to offer choices that don't otherwise exist in area traditional public school system. The Boise District does not offer the IB curriculum in any of its schools and focusses its foreign language instruction on Spanish. The Idaho Charter Commission ‘chartered’ Sage International School to be different than area district schools by providing an IB curriculum coupled with a focus on French language instruction.  Sage must accomplish and deliver these core ‘charter’ directives.   

Sage International School selected a French language focus for many reasons, as detailed in our Charter Document.  Here are a few quick highlights:  French is spoken by more than two dozen countries on five continents; French is the most popular second language worldwide; for English speakers, French is the easiest language to learn and makes learning Spanish easier; and half of Africa speaks French. 

Beyond IB and French, what makes Sage International innovative and different  from area traditional public schools?  

4-Day Week for Students (Mon-Thurs):  Students attend Sage International School Monday-Thursday each week.  When our students are at home on Fridays, our teachers are at work collaborating, discussing students, conducting research, preparing for the next week, and innovating.  We refer to these as our ‘Professional Development Fridays’ and believe that providing our educators with a student-free day each week when they can grow and learn is one of the key elements that makes Sage International unique and great.  

K-12th School with 13-year IB Curriculum Scope and Sequence:  Providing students with a carefully coordinated and structured K-12 curriculum scope and sequence makes Sage International School unique. Transitions between elementary, middle and high school are seamless for our students - we don’t have ‘get up to speed’ or ‘getting to know each other’ time with these transitions. We know our students and they know us and our IB culture.

Culture - Social/Emotional - IB Attributes:  Sage International School’s culture is centered on the IB's 10 Learner Attributes. The learner attributes provide a long-term vision of education.  They are a set of ideals that can inspire, motivate and focus the work of schools and teachers, uniting them in a common purpose. 

Students begin learning the attributes in Kindergarten and expand their knowledge and depth of understanding of each attribute throughout their 13-year career at Sage International School. Through use of the IB attributes, Sage fosters a culture of respect, individuality, and inquiry and helps students grow into responsible members of local, national and global communities. 

Assessment For Learning v. Traditional Grading:  As an IB school, Sage International utilizes the IBO’s 7-point assessment scale - this scale is used at the 2,000+ IB schools around the globe. Sage does not issue traditional A-F or 4.0 scale grades.  Sage tracks student learning using an ”Assessment for Learning” model (AFL).  AFL is designed to continually challenge students and to give a wider range of feedback to students on their performance. 

Why locate all three schools (elementary, middle, and high school) at one location?

There are academic, culture, community, and financial benefits to having a “Unified K-12 Campus.” Having our entire staff, administration, and student population together at a single location facilitates the transition of students between schools (elementary, middle and high), allows for constant collaboration throughout our entire staff, strengthens student-teacher relationships, increases mentoring and service opportunities for DP students, and reduces duplicate staffing, services, IT, phones, etc.  - every dollar we save on these items is additional money we can spend educating our students.  Finally, having a Unified Campus will help our leadership ensure our K-12 curriculum scope and sequence is being effectively delivered throughout our schools and that our ‘Sage culture’ (social and emotional learning) is consistently infused throughout your student’s career with Sage International. Our team can only grow stronger by being together with each other and all of our students every day.   


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