Professional Development


Provide organization and support for statewide implementation of balanced assessment systems.

Support and professional development activities for 2013-2014 have been designed to achieve the following goals.

Goals for Assessment Professional Development
  1. Increase understanding of assessment literacy resulting in high-quality data for
  2. Support skilled use of classroom formative assessment to guide instruction and enhance implementation of the Idaho Core Standards and new assessment system.
  3. Make optimal use of Schoolnet tools to the degree that student achievement is impacted.

Idaho Formative Assessment Program Project (IFAPP)

Smarter Balanced calls for an assessment system that is balanced between summative, interim and formative assessment. One of those types of assessment holds promise in changing classroom practice that will result in better student outcomes.

Idaho SDE is offering an intensive course in formative assessment for those districts that have prioritized improvement in formative assessment integrated into instructional practice for Idaho Core Standards implementation. The project involves school embedded professional development and facilitated collaborative teacher teams for immediate practice in the classroom. Facilitators for each school will attend out of district workshops on how to support on-going implementation within their school teams. Participation requires a two- year commitment and there are varying levels of support based on how a district would like to participate. Margaret Heritage, in collaboration with the North-Central Comprehensive Center from McREL, authored The Formative Assessment Program, which will be used in our project.. The program includes intentional conversations, specific activities, reflections and teacher actions that gradually mold the practice of formative assessment. Margaret Heritage, a nationally recognized consultant and author is the Assistant Director for Professional Development at the National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards and Student Testing (CRESST) at UCLA. Margaret Heritage and the Northwest Comprehensive Center are support partners on this project.

There is not a cost to participate. To find out details about the project and how to participate please view the Informational Webinar which was recorded on April 24th, 2014.

The timeline is as follows:

Invitation to Participate sent to Districts: April 21, 2014
District Letter of Intent Due to SDE: May 8, 2014- will also be accepted after the June 10th event until June 12th 5PM.

Project Overview / Kick Off with keynote by James Popham: Tuesday, June 10, 2014 Boise, ID. 8:30AM-4:30PM

  • Open to all Idaho districts with priority given to those who have submitted a letter of intent to participate.
  • No cost to participants, travel and lodging will be covered for out of state participants
  • Best Western Vista Inn at the airport, Boise
  • Register NOW until May 30, 2014 in Schoolnet PDP
  • Districts in Cohort II of this Project are required to have representation at this event.

Program begins in districts/schools: August/September 2014

The Idaho Core Standards Through the Lens of Smarter Balanced Assessment

Implications for Instruction Webinars: Connecting the Common Core State Standards for Mathematics and the Smarter Balanced Assessment

The Smarter Balanced Consortium's Theory of Action calls for full integration of the learning and assessment systems, leading to more informed decision making and higher quality instruction, and ultimately to increased numbers of students who are well prepared for post-secondary education opportunities and the workforce. The Implication for Instruction Webinars look closely at the standards as defined by the Smarter Balanced, Math Content Specifications and examines the implications for classroom instruction. For more information please click button below.

Implications for Instruction Webinars

The Power of Assessment Webinar Series

Interactive Webinars. A 12-Module Assessment Literacy Series has been designed that will support district and regional professional development. Topics include: Understanding formative and interim assessment, providing student feedback, grading, understanding and writing learning targets, target-method match, assessment item writing guidelines, resources for implementing Common Core standards and preparing for Smarter Balanced Assessments.

This webinar series supports as well as introduces the conceptual framework for balanced assessment systems that has been introduced this year through district and regional professional development sponsored by the Idaho State Department of Education and provided by the Assessment Training Institute.

If you have previously taken part in assessment literacy professional development, it will serve as an excellent refresher and also provide new learning with more depth and clarity.

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium emphasizes the need for Formative, Interim and Summative assessment working together to improve instruction for students.

This webinar series supports the goals outlined by the department for Formative and Interim support.

All webinars in this series have been recorded and are available at: Associated activity materials will also be available at that link.

Each webinar session is 1 hour with 15 minutes prior to start for log-on, and 15 minutes following the session for questions and chat. The webinar series is available for credit through Boise State University.


Author and National Speaker,
Tom Schimmer
Facilitated by:
Nancy Thomas Price, SDE Coordinator of
Formative & Interim Assessment
Intended Audience:
Building Administration, Classroom Teachers,
District Administration

Formative Assessment Resources & Activities are made possible by a grant from the Joseph & Kathryn Albertson Foundation, and are part of the ISEE Implementation. * ISEE Phase II Grant Sites are given priority for some professional development offerings.