District History & Information
The District was established in 1950 in the northern half of Valley County, which is located about one hundred miles north of Boise, Idaho. The District covers an area of 4,242 square miles, 98% of which is in Valley County, and approximately 2% of which lies in Adams County. Valley County had approximately 8,332 residents according to the 2005 Census Bureau's estimates, ranking 30th out of Idaho's 44 counties in population. Nearly two thirds of those residents live in the McCall-Donnelly Jt School District, while the remaining third live in the Cascade School District. The City of McCall serves as the District's headquarters, and is basically the economic hub of the area. Highway 55 passes through the District, providing a more scenic alternative route to Idaho's main North-South route, Highway 95.
Once an area dependent upon harvesting natural resources of timber and mining, the McCall-Donnelly area is changing to a four season destination resort area. Within the District's borders lies Brundage Ski Resort, Tamarack Ski Resort, Payette Lake Recreation Area, Cascade Lake Recreation Area, Frank Church National WIlderness Area, Payette River and South Fork of the Salmon River. The development of the Tamarack Ski Area has triggered significant growth in the area, making Valley County one of the three fastest growing counties in Idaho.
Student enrollment has recently showed consistent increases for four consecutive years. The fall of 2016 saw student enrollment reach 1110 students, returning to levels comparable to the 2006 - 2007 school year. This trend also marks the first time in more than twenty years that the district has seen five consecutive years of growth.
The District's 1110 students are housed in five schools. One elementary school in Donnelly serves 157 students in grades pre-school through fifth grade, and one elementary school in McCall serves 372 students in pre-school through fifth grade. Payette Lakes Middle School has 272 students in grades 6-8, while McCall-Donnelly High School has 287 students. Heartland High School, the District's alternative school, is home to 22 students. There is a small one-room school house in the unincorporated area of Yellow Pine that was closed in the year 2003 because there were no students in the area. Payette Lakes Middle School and most of Donnelly Elementary School were constructed in the mid 1990's. Barbara Morgan Elementary School and McCall-Donnelly High School were built in the 2009. There have been many remodeling phases and additions to the high school over the five decades of its existence. Heartland High School consists of two modular units that were moved to their present location in the early 1990's. Yellow Pine Elementary School was constructed in the late 1940's or early 1950's, but remains a fully usable facility.
**In January 2005, the McCall-Donnelly Jt School District re-established a facilities planning committee to review facility needs in light of the recent growth and age of existing facilities. In May 2006, the District was able to successfully pass a $28.5 million bond issue that was used to construct a new elementary school in McCall, named Barbara R. Morgan Elementary, double the size of the Donnelly Elementary School, and completely renovate the McCall-Donnelly High School Facility.