Award Year: 2017

Horseshoe Bend Elementary School

398 School Drive
Horseshoe Bend, ID, 83629-8099

(208) 793-2225

Mr. Dennis L. Chesnut, Principal at time of Nomination

Mrs. Cora Larson, Current Principal

Title I School

Horseshoe Bend School District (073)

School Website

School FaceBook


We foster a challenging educational environment where students become responsible, contributing citizens and life-long learners.

Student Demographics
  • White: 88%
  • Hispanic: 2%
  • Asian: 1%
  • Native American: 1%
  • Two or more races: 8%
  • Economically Disadvantaged: 78%
Horseshoe Bend Elementary Blue Ribbon School Celebration

Horseshoe Bend Elementary Blue Ribbon School Celebration

Horseshoe Bend Elementary, located in rural Idaho, is a small PK-5 school with fewer than 100 students. Three years ago, we earned a 2-star rating by our state department, among the lowest in the state. We had turnover at the top with five superintendents in three years. In addition we experienced internal personnel difficulties and our attempts to pass a supplemental levy were failing. Our future looked bleak. With nowhere to go but up, our staff came together and used our footing on rock bottom to push ourselves up. With guidance from our new leaders and hard work from our staff, students, and families, we made major changes in a short time that set us on a new trajectory toward incredible student growth and achievement.

First of all, we stopped blaming our students' circumstances for their low achievement and developed high expectations for all students. We used data to drive our decisions, large and small. We committed to teaching our ELA and math curricula to fidelity, making every minute count in our four-day school week. We used student data to provide explicit, meaningful, and targeted daily interventions for all students. We focused our parent-teacher conferences on student data, goal setting, and action plans which built stronger home-school partnerships. We quickly began to see growth and increased achievement that put our small-town students on par to compete with their peers on national and global levels, giving them a sense of pride and self-efficacy that will last a lifetime.