Idaho Core Standards Information

Idaho adopted the Common Core State Standards as Idaho’s Core Standards in mathematics and English language arts in 2011. The new Idaho Core Standards are a higher standard of what a student should know and be able to do at the end of each grade level. As a state, we believe these standards will help us achieve the goal we have set for 60 percent of Idaho’s population having some form of postsecondary degree or certificate by 2020.

Since 2011, teachers and other educators have been working hard to implement these standards and integrate them into the classroom. Successful implementation of the standards is critical going forward. To help ensure every teacher receives meaningful professional development, the state has made available nearly $22 million in new and existing resources from both the state and other partners.

Here is a breakdown of all the funding related to Idaho Core Standards that will be provided from state funding and other resources in the coming year:

  • Idaho Core Standards Professional Development Funding: $3.755 million in new funding was appropriated in the FY2014 Public Schools Budget for the Idaho State Department of Education to deliver professional development to schools and districts. The state will use the majority of this funding to invest in regional coordinators specializing in mathematics and English language arts/literacy to assist teachers and administrators at the local level. Total: $3.75 million
  • Excellence in Teaching Awards Funding: $21 million was appropriated in the FY2014 Public Schools Budget to be distributed directly to local school districts and public charter schools to use for differential pay and professional development. Of the total $21 million appropriated, districts/charter schools had the flexibility to spend up to 40% (or $8.4 million) on professional development, including buying time. Total: $8.4 million

Idaho Core Standards Logo

  • House Bill 65: House Bill 65 dealt with funding in the FY2013 Public Schools Appropriation that remained after the repeal of the Students Come First laws in November 2012. Through HB 65, an estimated $5.4 million in state funding was shifted from other programs to be distributed directly to local school districts and public charter schools to be used specifically for professional development activities related to the implementation of Idaho Core Standards, the transition to the new assessment, and the integration of digital content in the classroom. This funding was distributed to school districts in two disbursements: a $15,000 base allocation in June 2013 to each district or charter school to develop a three-year Professional Development Plan, and a secondary allocation in FY2014 based on the number of instructional staff in a local school district or public charter school. Total: $5.4 million
  • JKAF Matching Funds in Public Schools Budget: $4.5 million was appropriated in the FY2014 Public Schools Budget to be used on the implementation of the statewide instructional management system, known as Schoolnet. An estimated $1.5 million of the $4.5 million appropriated will be used to continue a statewide contract with Discovery Education and the development of examples of curricular materials and assessments available in Schoolnet. These resources assist teachers with implementation of Idaho Core Standards at the local level as they work to adopt and develop curriculum and curricular materials that best meet their students’ needs. Total: $1.5 million
  • Idaho Leads Project: The Idaho Leads Project has received nearly $3 million in funding from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation to continue its efforts over the next year in working with specific school districts and public charter schools. Over the next year, Idaho Leads will focus on the implementation of Idaho Core Standards in these participating school districts. Total: $2.85 million
  • When combined, the funding from these programs and resources totals an estimated $21.9 million in new and existing funding that is working to provide professional development to Idaho teachers and school administrators on the Idaho Core Standards over the next year. Of this total, $13.8 million will flow directly to school districts and public charter schools to be used at their discretion.

This edition of the Teacher Toolkit will explain some of the ways Idaho’s teachers can access this funding and professional development opportunities this school year.

For more information on the new Idaho Core Standards, please access the following resources:

  • Professional Development Offerings
  • Idaho Core Communication Toolkit

SBAC and Assessment Information, links to tests

Assessments that reflect the Idaho Core Standards should focus on a ‘Balanced Assessment System’ as defined by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC). Assessment Targets define the evidence from students to show mastery of the content standards and should be considered during instruction as well as in classroom formative assessment, interim or summative assessment. Assessment Claims are the broad statements of the assessment system‘s learning outcomes. They define what we can claim is true if in fact we see that evidence.

There are three ways to become more familiar with item samples:

  1. Item specifications and samples organized by Assessment Claim and Target (PDF and ZIP files)
  2. Sample Items and Performance Tasks
  3. Practice and Pilot Tests

The Schoolnet Assessment module item bank has 52,000 items that can be used formatively and embedded in instruction or to develop unit and benchmark assessments aligned to the standards.

Assessment Support and Resources Best Practices in Classroom Assessment Recognition Program Classroom Assessment Group on EDMODO The Power of Assessment Webinar Series. Video, PowerPoint’s and activities for teacher teams/staff.


Discovery and Open Educational Resources

The Idaho State Department of Education has established a partnership with Discovery Education to provide Idaho educators access to more than 200,000 digital learning objects that cover all curriculum areas and meet Idaho Core Standards. These resources are available by logging into Schoolnet through the ISEE Portal and range from videos, high-quality images, math tutorials, encyclopedia articles, an interactive atlas, teachers’ guides and much more. Powered by Discovery Communications, the No. 1 nonfiction media brand in the world, Discovery Education is the leading provider of standards-based digital resources for the classroom. Discovery Education Streaming Plus captures the minds and imaginations of students by tapping into their natural curiosity and desire to learn.

Also available within Schoolnet are Open Educational Resources (OER) free to all Idaho educators. These OERs include educational gaming, mathematics, social sciences and many more categories that support many content areas for Idaho educators. While these resources are available as free resources, there are instances where the creators of these resources begin to charge fees. In this instance, the Department has provided an OER Suggestions Form to allow great Idaho educators to make suggestions of new OERs or to inform the SDE that a resource is no longer free.

Integrated Professional Development (PD) Modules


In recent months, the Instructional Technology staff has collaborated with ISEE Navigators, district leaders and Discovery Education to develop the Integrated Professional Development Modules, which now are available for use by all Idaho school districts.

These modules are geared toward administrators and encompass and integrate the Idaho Core, Next Generation Assessments, and Digital Content, all supported by Data Driven Instructional Practices and the educational ties between them all.

Click Here for More information


Periodically, Schoolnet provides platform updates, enhancements and ‘bug’ fixes through a version update process. This process occurs every quarter, and we are currently working in Schoolnet version 15.0. With each version upgrade, information is available to all Idaho teachers within the “See what’s New in Schoolnet” section located on the My Schoolnet Homepage.

This great resource will provide information on Schoolnet core enhancements, and also updates to each of the modules within the platform. For example, if you use the Assessment Admin module frequently to create and provide formative assessments within your classroom, you would find that there are assessment enhancements within Schoolnet version 15.0, such as allowing inline responses and mobile device support.

This fall, Schoolnet will be upgraded to version 15.1 and will provide enhancement such as multi-dimensional rubrics, assessment manipulatives and improvements to the professional growth plan. Also, based on user feedback, the Schoolnet look and feel will also be updated to provide a more consistent look across all areas of the platform, such as improved screen legibility, larger fonts, more spacing and more open screen layouts. More details are provided within the Schoolnet 15.1 Release Notes.

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Think Through Math

Focused Content
Think Through Math is focused on the critical foundations for algebra readiness. To accelerate learning for underperforming students, it is not necessary to reteach every missed skill and concept. This program focuses on the development of skills and concepts that are essential for success at grade-level and always teaches in the students' zone of proximal development.

Coherent Structure
The program emphasizes the structure and coherence to mathematics, which helps students apply their understanding to new topics and allows students to successfully transition from elementary content to middle school, high school, and beyond.

Deepen Conceptual Understanding
Deep understanding means that concepts are well represented and well connected to other concepts. Think Through Math makes extensive use of models—real-world situations, manipulatives, number strips, graphs, and diagrams—to help students see the connections between different topics and develop strategies and reasoning that serve as the foundation for learning more abstract math.

More Information:

IDLA Partnership

Idaho Digital Learning (IDLA) was created by the Idaho State Legislature (Title 33, Chapter 55 Idaho Code, 2002) and Idaho educators to serve Idaho learners and is recognized as a leader across the nation in online virtual education. IDLA was created to provide access, equity, and flexibility for students in the state of Idaho. The mission of IDLA is to serve students, school districts, and the state of Idaho by providing a high-quality public school education, aligned with state achievement standards, utilizing innovative e-learning methods of delivery.

IDLA has been able to effectively train teachers in both online and blended learning environments and course development through the iDigLearning Consortium as well as teaching strategies for school counselors in career and academic counseling with the Collaborative Counselor Training Initiative (CCTI).

iDigLearning Consortium
The iDigLearning Consortium is a statewide blended learning initiative led by IDLA. IDLA provides access to instructional technology, engaging digital curriculum, and customized professional development. Consortium members are given the resources and skills necessary to create a blended learning model for their classroom and are able to share curriculum with other consortium members across the state.

Collaborative Counselor Training Initiative (CCTI)
CCTI is an online course that teaches strategies for school counselors in career and academic counseling. The course is designed as three distinct modules for professional development credit or as a complete course for certificate endorsement or academic credit. Through the College Access Challenge Grant, CCTI is offered at no cost to the participant.

IEN update

The Idaho Education Network (IEN) provides free training and professional development opportunities as well as two modules eligible for professional development credits through Boise State University. Contact IEN staff at 208-332-1842 to schedule.

  • Teacher Training – 16-hour class learning how to use videoconferencing technology and integrate it into your classroom. One professional development credit available.
  • Managing Blended Learning – Blended course designed to enhance communication between the teacher, facilitator, and the students using videoconferencing equipment and Edmodo. Two professional development credits available.
  • Scheduling Virtual Content – One-hour class learning how to find and use interactive video content in the classroom. If you are already familiar with the scheduling portion, check out our new five-minute training video on Tips for Successful Videoconferencing with Providers:

IEN Logo

As you begin to plan your activities throughout the school year, keep these opportunities in mind to enrich your students’ learning experience.

  • Presidential Primary Source Project – This series of interactive video presentations from the Presidential Libraries and National Parks are combined with static content to demonstrate the amount of rich research material available to students. The videos are optimal for history, government or social studies 6-12 classes. Watch for further announcements on our website and in our newsletters.
  • IEN Innovation Awards – Watch for these grant-based opportunities to incorporate additional videoconferencing technology in your classroom or school. Announcements are typically made in the spring of each year. This past year, all applicants received an elementary system, so plan ahead now!
  • KC3 Kids Creating Community Content International Contest – Student teams research and present an informational program using videoconferencing equipment. Work typically occurs during the winter and all presentations are given between January and March. Student’s grades 6-12 are eligible for this contest. Visit for more information.
  • Common Core Content and Collaborations – Search online databases at Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (, Two Way Interactive Connections in Education (, and Collaborations Around the Planet ( for interactive content or classroom collaborations related to Common Core.

Partner Applications on Schoolnet

Schoolnet is not just limited to data and applications from the State Department of Education or Discovery Education. The Department also has provided additional opportunities through partner applications. For example, the Department has an agreement with Libraries Linking Idaho (LiLI) that provides access to the library database, which contains magazines, professional journals, newspapers, and references. It also has basic courses in Microsoft Office and SAT prep. Check out LiLI and see what resources you can find for you or your students!

The Department has also established an agreement with Idaho State University for Education Technology Integration (ETI), which supports Idaho educators in creating more effective lesson plans for the 21st century. It is an easy, inexpensive avenue for college credit through professional development.

For more information and access to these two partner applications, simply login to Schoolnet through the ISEE Portal and click on the appropriate item within the scrolling banner.

Power Source Information

Throughout the Schoolnet project in working with dozens of school district, the Idaho State Department of Education received feedback that more readily available training materials would be helpful in learning the Schoolnet platform. Several months ago the website Power Source was launched which houses dozens of training materials for teachers to access at their convenience.

Time constraints is always an issue for Idaho school teachers, and Power Source is available 24/7 allowing teachers the ability to learn about the valuable resources in Schoolnet when they have the time. For example, as a teacher you may ask how do I create an assessment in Schoolnet? Through Power Source, you can simply find your question in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) section, click on the resource and quickly find your answer. Power Source then becomes an ongoing resource for teachers, not only showing you a resource to answer your specific question, but also leading you to a multitude of resources related to your question about Schoolnet.



ISEE Phase II B Grant, and Other Grant Opportunities

Early in 2013, the Idaho State Department of Education awarded 42 school districts the ISEE Phase II B grant. This grant is focused on clean and accurate data within the ISEE upload and implementation of Schoolnet throughout each school district. Each of the 30 grants, whether individual or working in partnership with others, have their own goals and objectives throughout the 12-month life of the grant. These goals and objectives range from building a specific number of lesson plans or assessments in Schoolnet, to developing business documentation of the ISEE upload, to creating more efficient access to Schoolnet and Discovery Education.

Currently, these 42 grant districts are taking the opportunity to work with Discovery Education through the Integrated Professional Development Modules, which focus on encompassing Idaho Core Standards, Next Generation Assessments, and Digital Content, all supported by Data Driven Instructional Practices and the educational ties between them all.

Grant Webinar: