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News Releases

Superintendent Ybarra Offers Open House to Show Idaho's Educational Return on Investment

(BOISE) – The Idaho State Department of Education will be offering a public open house on Monday, January 23rd, Superintendent Ybarra announced today. The open house will be held on the 2nd floor of the capitol rotunda from 9AM – 1PM allowing the public to see their return on investment for supporting educational programs for students across the state.

Idaho Reading Indicator (IRI) Information Now Available Following Intent to Award to Istation

(BOISE) – Superintendent Ybarra announced today, following a thorough request for proposal (RFP) process, that proposal documentation associated with the Idaho Reading Indicator (IRI) has gone through the proper redaction process and is now being made available to the public. Following the public notification of the intent to award letter provided to Istation, the department thoroughly reviewed over 2,000 pages of proposal information to ensure that the information was properly made public.

Process Overview: Istation to Provide Services to Support the Idaho Reading Indicator (IRI)

(BOISE) – An intent to award letter was provided to all respondents of the Request for Proposal (RFP) regarding the Idaho Reading Indicator (IRI) on December 19, 2016. With the delivery of the intent to award letter to Imagination Station, also known as Istation, the Idaho State Department of Education has completed the required process of conducting an RFP, and displays the following evidence:

Intent to Award Letter Sent to Idaho Reading Indicator Respondents

(BOISE) – Superintendent Ybarra announced today that correspondence has been sent to the respondents of the Idaho Reading Indicator (IRI) Request for Proposal (RFP). The correspondence was the notification of the department’s intent to award a contract to Imagination Station, also known as Istation, pending appropriation by the Idaho Legislature for fiscal year 2018.

Two Idaho Schools Recognized As Title I Distinguished Schools

(BOISE) – Superintendent Sherri Ybarra announced today that Rulon M. Ellis Elementary of the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District and Clearwater Valley Elementary of the Mountain View School District are the recipients of The National Title I Association Distinguished Schools Program Award.

Superintendent Ybarra Directs Districts to Stand Tall, Stand Proud, and Stand Together

Superintendent Ybarra stated, “In a memo sent to superintendents and charter administrators this morning, I directed districts to stand tall, stand proud, and stand together to the interpretation of the McREL report on teacher evaluations, as this audit was never intended to be an ‘I gotcha’ of Idaho educators. It is important to remember that this audit was conducted with data from the 2014-2015 school year, which was prior to the implementation of the new Career Ladder requirements. The release date of this report has caused confusion due to the original contracted auditor passing away, which did cause a slight delay in the release of the report. That being said, superintendents and educators have my full support as I recognize they are working hard to follow the law.”

Statements from Superintendent Ybarra Regarding Idaho's Graduation Rate

(BOISE) – With the recent release of national graduation rate data from the U.S. Department of Education, The Idaho State Department of Education’s focus continues to be on providing schools and students resources to ensure that achieving a high school diploma truly means something. It is also important to credit educators and students for their hard work in this achievement.

Opinion: Idaho Needs an Accountability System That Reflects State Values and Enables Mutual Responsibility

The State Department of Education (SDE), under my direction and in partnership with the Accountability Oversight Committee of the State Board of Education (AOC), is hard at work designing a new accountability system for public education in Idaho. We have an opportunity to be better able to measure how ready our students are to engage with society – economically, intellectually, and civically. We need an accountability system that enables mutual responsibility for student success among educators at every level, from the classroom to SDE, which is one of the goals of my administration. I want to share some principles that, if adhered to, will lead to such a system.

Department to Lead Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan Feedback Forums

(BOISE) – The Idaho State Department of Education will be hosting forums across the state to gather feedback on the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State Plan, Superintendent Ybarra announced today. The purpose of the forums is to publicly present the Idaho's Consolidated Plan for public comment and feedback. Substantive comments and feedback will be considered within the final version of the Idaho's Consolidated Plan, as well as feedback from stakeholder groups.

Opinion: We Need Real Solutions to the Very Evident Teacher Shortage

Idaho is seeing an increased demand for teachers, but the supply is hitting a critical low and school districts across our state are struggling to fill teaching positions. Given the importance of a high-quality teacher in the classroom and how it relates to achievement, it’s time we begin to find strategies and realistic solutions to an issue that is also getting national attention—the very evident teacher shortage.

Department Releases Final Statewide Assessment Results in Mathematics and English Language Arts

(BOISE) – Statewide ISAT results in Mathematics and English Language Arts (ELA)/Literacy assessment percentages are being made available today, Superintendent Ybarra announced. With the release of ISAT results for the 2015-2016 school year, statewide increases were seen in all grades for both Mathematics and ELA/Literacy.

Superintendent Ybarra Set to "Rock "in an Effort to Create Awareness and End Child Abuse

(BOISE) – In an effort to raise awareness and to end child abuse, Superintendent Ybarra will be joining in the 3rd Annual Scentsy Rock-A-Thon supporting Family Advocates, this Friday, September 9th. The Superintendent will be rocking along with many others throughout the day to show her support for families in the community, and support for Family Advocates and their effort to protect Idaho’s youth.

Superintendent Ybarra Releases FY18 Public Schools Budget Providing Focused Support for All Schools and Students to Achieve

(BOISE) – The public schools budget request from the Idaho State Department of Education was submitted to the Division of Financial Management, and the Legislative Services office, Superintendent Ybarra announced today. The FY18 public schools budget requests a general fund increase of 6.6% for Idaho’s public schools.

Advanced Opportunities Conference Focuses on Supporting Students to Pursue Their Passions

(BOISE) – The Advanced Opportunities Conference is focused on equipping secondary and post-secondary educators with the most current best practices surrounding academic advising, student readiness, and career/college program expansion as students are encouraged to pursue their passion beyond high school. This effort is aligned with the State Board of Education’s goal for 60% of Idahoans to attain a postsecondary degree or certificate.

SAT School Day Results Now Available in Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing

(BOISE) – The performance summary for all SAT School Day test takers is being released, highlighting the 17,470 students who participated in the new SAT, Superintendent Sherri Ybarra announced today. 180 schools throughout 101 school districts participated in the newly revised SAT this spring, which assesses students on mathematics and evidence-based reading and writing.

Hunger Doesn't End When School Ends, The Summer Food Service Program Fills the Hunger Gap

(BOISE) – The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) will kick off the summer feeding program on Monday, June 6th, Superintendent Sherri Ybarra announced today. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) serves healthy meals and snacks to children in low-income areas in the summer. The department along with the Idaho Foodbank will kick off SFSP by reading the SFSP proclamation which was signed by Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter proclaiming June 6th as Summer Food Service Program Awareness Day. This kick off will take place at Winstead Park in Boise at 11:00 a.m.

2016 Idaho Indian Education Summit to Focus on Culturally Responsive Teaching

(BOISE) – The 2016 Idaho Indian Education Summit is scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, June 13th - 14th at the Red Lion Downtowner in Boise. Themed Culturally Responsive Teaching: Practice and Purpose – More than a Lesson Plan, the Summit will focus on identifying instructional strategies for use in the classroom to promote equitable learning practices for American Indian students.

Department Fills Policy Liaison Position

(BOISE) – The Idaho State Department of Education has made a selection to fill the position of Policy Liaison, Superintendent Sherri Ybarra announced today. Duncan Robb will begin with the department on July 1, 2016 and will focus on supporting the Superintendent in policy matters as well as being a department representative working collaboratively with Idaho legislators.

Idaho's U.S. Presidential Scholars Program Semi-Finalists Announced

(BOISE) – The national U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, which annually selects the best and brightest graduating high school seniors from each state in the union, has narrowed its search to six semi-finalists for the state of Idaho, all selected for their “outstanding achievements.”

First Cohort for Idaho Mastery Education Network Announced by the Department of Education

(BOISE) – The first group of schools that will participate in the newly created Idaho Mastery Education Network (IMEN) is being made available, Superintendent Sherri Ybarra announced today. The Idaho Department of Education selected 19 applicants that represent a wide and diverse array of schools and locations and will be supported by Kelly Brady, Director of Mastery Education for the Idaho State Department of Education.

Idaho Mastery Education Network Application Window Closes, 19 Applications Received

(BOISE) – Superintendent Sherri Ybarra announced today that with the Mastery-Based Education application window closing on March 11, 2016, the Idaho State Department of Education was in receipt of 19 applications from schools and districts seeking to implement a Mastery-Based Education system within their school or district.

Second Year ISAT by Smarter Balanced Administration Window to Open For Districts Today

(BOISE) – The ISAT by Smarter Balanced, also known as the SBAC assessment, will be administered statewide beginning today, March 28th. The test is required by the state and federal government and measures Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy (ELA) along with critical thinking skills aligned to Idaho’s higher standards.

Department to Host 2016 Post Legislative Tour

(BOISE) – With the Idaho Legislature adjourning for the year, the 2016 Post Legislative Tour by the Idaho State Department of Education will take place April 12th – 20th, Superintendent Sherri Ybarra announced today.

Department Announces Recognition of Three Additional Reward Schools

(BOISE) – Superintendent Sherri Ybarra announced today the recognition of three additional reward schools, previously required under the previous federal education law. The Idaho State Department of Education as authorized under NCLB annually recognizes Title I-A Reward schools.

Department Releases Second Year Graduation Rate Under New Calculation Showing Increase

(BOISE) – The Idaho State Department of Education (SDE) released the 2014-2015 graduation rates for each school district and public charter school, Superintendent Sherri Ybarra announced today. The 2014-15 school year statewide graduation rate confirms the percentage of students earning their high school diploma in four years at 78.9%. This is an increase from the 2013-2014 statewide graduation rate of 77.3%, which previously established the baseline under the new federal calculation.

Superintendent Ybarra Presents FY17 Budget Requests to the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC)

(BOISE) – Superintendent Ybarra presented this morning before the Joint Finance and Appropriations Committee (JFAC), delivering the details of the proposed FY17 public schools budget and the department operational budget.

2015 Idaho Youth Risk Behavior Survey Released by the Idaho State Department of Education

(BOISE) – The State Department of Education has released the results of the 2015 Idaho Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), Superintendent Sherri Ybarra announced today. The data was gathered with the cooperation of the Idaho school districts and students and serves to provide state agencies, schools and communities with an overview of the health status and risk behavior of adolescent youth in Idaho. This information is critical when it comes to decision making, program design, and establishing policy related to student health, school safety, and security.

Idaho State Department of Education Seeks 2016 Summer Food Program Sponsors

(BOISE) – The Child Nutrition Division of the Idaho State Department of Education is seeking partners for this year’s Summer Food Service Program. The Summer Food Service Program provides free meals and snacks to children, ages 1-18, which live in areas in low-income areas during the summer months.