Summer Professional Development Opportunities from The State Department of Education

Throughout the summer months, the Idaho State Department of Education will be offering professional development opportunities to teachers, principals, superintendents, and other educational stakeholders. We understand that professional development and continuing education are critical to ensuring continued success in Idaho’s schools and districts. Through Students Come First, the state is funding $4 million a year for professional development for classroom teachers. With this new, ongoing investment, we are working to make sure all professional development offered from the Department is meaningful and effective. Here are the opportunities the SDE is offering to educators this summer:

EduStat — In June, the Idaho State Department of Education is partnering with Schoolnet to host EduStat, a professional development conference that will bring educators together and offer hands-on practice for integrating technology in the classroom to improve educational practices and raise student achievement. The theme of the conference is "Flip: Education Turned Upside Down." EduStat will be held June 26-27, 2012 in Boise. Continuing education credits will be made available for interested attendees. The two-day program will feature Idaho educators and nationally recognized speakers, such as Adora Svitak, Aaron Sams, Jeff Mao, and Greg Green. Educators will present case studies on data-driven instructional practices; integrating technology into curriculum, professional development, and classroom management; assessment literacy; digital content uses; and teacher effectiveness. Visit to learn more about EduStat or to register.

Idaho Summer Institute of Best Practices — The Idaho State Department of Education hosts the Idaho Summer Institute of Best Practices at three different locations across the state, covering a series of topics to assist Idaho teachers and instructional leaders in improving practice and raising student achievement in the classroom. Topics at the Summer Institute will include:

  • How to Grade and Report for Learning
  • Assessment Literacy
  • Tapping into Technology
  • Oh the Places We'll Go!: Implementing New Technologies into Your Classroom
  • Integrating Technology into the Elementary Classroom
  • Excuse Me… You Want Me to do What?: An exploration of literacy and the many synergies that exist between and among reading, writing, science, and technology
  • Teacher Wellness: Dealing with Stress in a Positive Manner
  • Focus in the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics with the Common Core Toolkit
  • 6+1=Awesome!: Writing with Elementary Students
  • Teachonomics: Incorporating the Economic Way of Thinking in the K-8 Classroom
  • The Literacy Design Collaborative (LDC): SREB/Gates Literacy Project
  • Power of ICU: Using "I" - Incompletes to Get Students to Complete Work
  • Lesson Plans and Activities on Energy Related Topics
  • Understanding and Integrating Text Complexity in the classroom using the Common Core State Standards
  • Health Education Standards and Assessment: Aligning health standards and assessment with your current curriculum and/or resources

The three Institutes will be held July 23-24 in Idaho Falls, July 25-26 in Wendell, and August 6-7 in Payette. Visit to learn more about the Idaho Summer Institute of Best Practices and to register.

Common Core State Standards workshops — Idaho adopted the Common Core State Standards for mathematics and English language arts in 2011. They will first be taught in Idaho’s public schools in the 2013-14 school year. The Idaho State Department of Education has created great partnerships with our institutions of higher education and is offering several professional development opportunities for teachers and school administrators on the implementation of these new standards. Find the opportunity that’s best for you!

  1. Transitioning to Common Core: Preparing Idaho's Students for College and Career Readiness — The SDE has teamed up with Boise State Writing Project and the Northwest Inland Writing Project to bring summer workshops to Idaho educators looking at the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). These free workshops, known as "Transitioning to Common Core: Preparing Idaho's Students for College and Career Readiness," are three-day workshops designed for building/district teams ranging from grades K-12. Each workshop will include CCSS lesson and unit planning, curriculum realignments, and a preview of the new Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium assessments. Here are the dates and locations for the workshops: June 11-13 in Boise, June 25-27 in Moscow, July 9-11 in Idaho Falls, and July 18-20 in Twin Falls. Register online at here.
  2. Inquiry Institute: Service Learning and Inquiry — Meeting and Exceeding the CCSS — The Boise State Writing Project is presenting the "Inquiry Institute: Service Learning and Inquiry — Meeting and Exceeding the CCSS" to help participants with the following: Reframe existing curricular requirements as inquiry, help you, help students, meet and exceed the new Common Core State Standards for Reading, Writing, Speaking/Listening, and Literacy in the disciplines, explore project-based learning, learn how to ask essential questions to promote deep understanding and application of disciplinary concepts and strategies, and look at supplementing evaluation with formative and performance-based assessments. The Pre-Institute is on Saturday May 5, 2012. The Institute will take place Monday June 18, 2012 — Friday June 22, 2012, with one follow-up session in the fall. For more information, please contact: Jeffrey Wilhelm, Director, at or Joyce Weir, Program Assistant, at
  3. Focus on Common Core Mathematics at Summer Institute of Best Practices workshop — At the Summer Institute of Best Practices, you will get a chance to hear from teacher leader facilitators trained by Dr. Bill McCallum, the lead writer of the Common Core Mathematics. This session has been created by teachers for a teacher audience and will be facilitated by teachers. It will focus on the Common Core State Standards in mathematics and the Common Core Toolkit. Teachers can choose from three available grade bands: elementary, middle, high school. This will be an all-day training. It will be offered July 24 in Idaho Falls, July 25 in Wendell, and August 7 in Payette. To learn more or to register, visit
  4. Focus on Text Complexity and Common Core ELA at Summer Institute of Best Practices Workshop — The Summer Institute of Best Practices will feature a session titled "Understanding and Integrating Text Complexity in the Classroom Using the Common Core State Standards." In this session, teachers will gain a better understanding of how to use the Common Core State Standards for English language arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Subjects to look at the text complexity in the classroom. Sessions will be held at the Idaho Summer Institute of Best Practices on July 23-24 in Idaho Falls, July 25-26 in Wendell, and August 6-7 in Payette. Visit to learn more or to register.
  5. Take a Bite Out of the Common Core Workshops — The Northwest Inland Writing Project is presenting weeklong workshops, titled "Take a Bite Out of the Common Core," devoted to deep exploration and hands-on work in the CCSS ELA and Literacy Standards. These weeklong sessions will include exploration of the CCSS, a preview of the Smarter Balanced Assessments, and an introduction to 21st Century Classroom Universal Design for Learning lesson planning. Teachers will engage in collaboration with other teachers to target student learning needs, craft integrated lessons, units, and assessments aligned to the common core. There will be two sessions: July 9-13 in Moscow and July 16-20 in Coeur D’Alene. The deadline to register is June 19. Register online at
  6. Transition to Common Core for School Administrators — What needs to happen to effect school-wide change? Dr. Mel Riddile will assist principals and their leadership teams in answering that question and more as he leads principals in transitioning to the Common Core State Standards. Mel Riddile is the Associate Director for High School Services at the National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP). He was formerly a high school principal in Virginia. Riddile was the 2006 Met Life/NASSP National High School Principal of the Year and the 2005 Virginia High School Principal of the Year. His work as a high school principal in diverse, high poverty high schools has earned him both national and international recognition. He is a recognized leader in efforts to reinvent America’s high schools. Riddile has received White House and U.S. Department of Education recognition and was a member of the U.S. Secretary of Education’s High School Reform Task Force. The workshop will be held August 6-7 in the Lakeland School District. Space is limited. Please contact Marilyn Allen to register.
  7. Implementation of the Common Core for High School Mathematics Teachers — Dr. Bradford Findell will assist high school mathematics teachers with practical steps in making the shift to the Common Core State Standards. Bradford Findell, PhD, was a member of the Mathematics Work Team for the Common Core State Standards and is Past President of the Association of State Supervisors of Mathematics. This workshop for high school mathematics teachers will be held August 6-7 in the Lakeland School District. Space is limited. Please contact Marilyn Allen to register.

i-STEM Summer Institutes — The i-STEM summer institutes are supported by an Idaho State Department of Education Math Science Partnership grant and a variety of i-STEM business and industry partners. The theme is: "2012 i-STEM Speedway: Where Integration Meets Innovation!" Educators, administrators, and counselors from across Idaho will have a unique opportunity to receive training, information, and hands-on activities to teach students about various science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) related topics. To register, visit here. All participants will receive free tuition for continuing education credits.

Schoolnet Workshops — The Idaho State Department of Education is hosting one-day, face-to-face workshops on Schoolnet, the state’s instructional management system, in each region. These workshops will provide a ‘hands-on’ experience that will assist teachers and administrators as they work to incorporate data use, lesson planning, and digital curriculum into their daily practice. A prerequisite of the workshop is the ability to login to the ISEE portal and access Schoolnet. (Find more information on webinars to help you meet this prerequisite here). Here is the list of workshops and locations:

Region 1
Thursday, May 3
Wednesday, June 6
Thursday, June 7
Thursday, August 16
Friday, August 17
Region 2
Wednesday, May 2
Monday, June 4
Tuesday, June 5
Tuesday, August 14
Wednesday, August 15
Region 3
Wednesday, May 16
Wednesday, June 20
Thursday, June 21
Thursday, August 2
Friday, August 3
Region 4
Tuesday, May 15
Monday, June 18
Tuesday, June 19
Tuesday, July 31
Wednesday, August 1
Region 5
Tuesday, May 8
Monday, June 11
Tuesday, June 12
Tuesday, August 7
Wednesday, August 8
Region 6
Wednesday, May 9
Wednesday, June 13
Thursday, June 14
Thursday, August 9
Friday, August 10

Registration is now available online at Idaho Training Clearinghouse (ITC): Registration: (click Idaho Schoolnet category). There will be a limit of 50 participants per day.

2012 Annual Superintendents & New Superintendents Meeting — Mark your calendars for the Idaho State Department of Education’s 2012 Annual Superintendents Meeting. The meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 31, 2012 in the Boise area. The New Superintendents Meeting will be held Monday, July 30. The meeting is scheduled just before the Idaho Association of School Administrators’ Conference to ensure superintendents and charter school administrators are able to attend both.

2012 EduFest — The 16th Annual Edufest will be held July 22-27, 2012 in Boise. EduFest 2012 is focusing on the 21st Century Learner and will include presentations on different subjects by scholars and practitioners in the field of Gifted and Talented education. Register online at

ArtsPowered Schools Institute — The Idaho State Department of Education partners with the Idaho Commission on the Arts each summer to present the ArtsPowered Schools Institute, a residential professional opportunity designed to immerse educators in strategies for teaching and learning through the arts. It will be held June 17-22 at the College of Idaho in Caldwell. The workshop series is intense and engaging. Presenters of national caliber, including many from Idaho's cultural organizations, lead educators to envision and learn to use the arts as invaluable components of teaching young people. The focus during the week includes not only activities in the arts, but their integration into the classroom via integrated curricula and lessons, authentic performance-based assessments, and partnerships with local artists and cultural organizations. Teachers who complete the Institute leave with a finished series of lesson plans that they can implement in their own classrooms. To learn more, visit

IdaSTARTALK: Chinese Landscapes: Pathways through Idaho — The Idaho State Department of Education is conducting a two-week Chinese language program titled, "IdaSTARTALK: Chinese Landscapes: Pathways through Idaho," on August 5-18 at the University of Idaho field campus in McCall. This program is open to both pre-service Chinese teachers and current teachers of Chinese. The teacher portion of the program begins with an online component during August 5-10. Teachers will then come to the McCall campus August 12-17 to present lessons to students of novice, intermediate, and advanced proficiency in Chinese. A formal Chinese banquet culminates both teacher and student learning at a local Chinese restaurant where presentations in Chinese and formal banquet etiquette will be observed. Teachers may earn credit and the institute is free, with meals and lodging included. For more information, contact Peggy Wenner at Applications may be downloaded at

Statewide Farm to School Conference — Teachers are invited to participate in the first-ever Idaho Farm to School Conference. This statewide conference will take place in Boise on July 23-24, 2012. The conference includes a specific teacher’s track with a variety of hands-on workshops and ideas for incorporating nutrition, food, agriculture, and gardening activities into your regular curriculum as well as a teacher-specific field trip. Continuing education credits will be offered to conference participants through the University of Idaho for teachers wanting CEUs. Take advantage of this one-time event to learn about new ideas and resources to include in your classroom. Register today at Early bird registration ends May 31. A limited number of travel scholarships are available to help teachers outside of Boise travel to this conference. For more information, contact Heidi Martin, Child Nutrition Coordinator, at or (208) 322-6822.