Welcome to the Idaho State Department of Education's Parents Page! We are determined to create a customer-driven education system that meets the needs of EVERY student in Idaho and prepares our students to live, work, and succeed in the 21st Century. As a parent, we know you share our goal!
The State Department of Education strives to get you the information you need to make the best decisions possible for your child. We understand that most of the decisions related to finances and academics are made at the local level, by your locally elected school board, or by you, as a parent. But as the state education agency, we want to make sure you have the most current, accurate information possible. To assist you, we have developed the School Report Card to show every Idaho school’s Star Rating as well as the Fiscal Report Card to show how much money your local school district receives and how this money is spent.
Idaho offers many choices for parents and students within the public school system. Idaho currently has 115 public school districts and 47 public charter schools. While a school of choice may not be right for every child, these schools have certainly helped meet the needs of many children across the State of Idaho. Schools of choice might include a public charter school, magnet school, virtual school, open enrollment, academies or other options offered at the local level. Visit our Charter School Website or the Idaho Charter School Network to learn more about public charter schools available in Idaho, or check with your local school district about the choices they offer at the local level to assist in meeting your child’s individual needs.
Idaho now provides several ways for students to get a jumpstart on their education after high school. Through the Dual Credit for Early Completers Program, students can take dual credit (college credits) during their junior and senior years – and the state picks up the tab. The 8-in-6 Program was created to help students get ahead on their coursework in middle school so they can take advantage of dual credits later in high school. The state also provides ways for your kids to prepare for life after high school by taking the PSAT in their sophomore year or the SAT in their junior year.
The state offers several scholarship opportunities for Idaho students to assist them in paying for their education after high school. Learn more about Idaho’s scholarship opportunities and how your child can apply.
Idaho sets statewide academic standards - or goals for what each child should know and be able to do at the end of each grade level - in each subject area. The state has had academic standards in place since the late 1990s. Idaho has measured students' academic progress every spring through an end-of-the-year assessment since 2002. The academic standards set by the state are a good way for you to know what your child should be learning while in school each year. They are readily available on our website, by subject area and grade level. While the state sets academic standards, local school districts and public charter schools are responsible for selecting the curriculum, textbooks and lesson plans that teachers will use to help students reach these goals. If you have questions about curriculum or textbooks, please contact your local school district.
Here are links to additional resources that might assist you:
Great question! The Idaho Core Standards are Idaho’s new standards in mathematics and English language arts for grades K-12. They are considerably higher than the standards Idaho set in the past and will help emphasize problem-solving and critical thinking for students in all grade levels. Learn more about the Idaho Core Standards and what teachers are saying about the new standards.
The Idaho State Department of Education just worked with the PTA to put together a Parent's Guide to New Assessments in Idaho. Check out this guide to learn more about assessments in Idaho, their benefits and how they are changing.
The staff at the State Department of Education are ready and willing to assist you if you have a question or concern about public education in Idaho. Please keep in mind that many decisions are made by your locally elected school board trustees. Therefore, we always encourage parents and patrons to contact the local school district first. However, we are always willing to take your call or e-mail. Please feel free to contact us anytime. Here are a few specific contacts that may assist you: