While Blaine County students soaked up the last week of summer break, their teachers were already in class Tuesday morning, receiving marching orders—and a touch of motivation—before the academic year begins in earnest on Aug. 19.

Employees of the Blaine County School District, including some 37 new hires, crowded the Community Campus in Hailey to hear Luis Cruz, Ph.D., an educational consultant and speaker specializing in school reform.

His main message: As the BCSD’s student body changes and the state standards by which they’re evaluated stiffen, its teachers and staff must be willing to change, too.

Faced with increasingly diverse demographics—including more Latino students, Spanish speakers and kids living in or near poverty—that change hasn’t

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