63 districts, charters commit to Idaho Leads

In Round Two of the Idaho Leads project, 63 districts and charters and more than 1,000 educators have committed to a year of professional development, focused on building leadership capacity and implementing Idaho Core Standards.

Idaho Leads directors announced the expansion this week.

Forty-nine districts and charters participated in the project’s first round, which ran from January 2012 through May 2013. The project, funded by a grant from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation and housed in the Center for School Improvement and Policy Studies at Boise State University, was expanded and extended for another school year.

“The first phase of the project was an amazing opportunity to see the great things happening in Idaho schools and to collectively learn from each other,” said Lisa Kinnaman, one of four directors leading the project. “We are thrilled to continue our work together to ensure that all Idaho students receive a world-class education.”

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Idaho Leads provides administrators, teachers and stakeholders with the professional development to build leadership capacity in their education communities. The project uses a research-based framework to build this capacity, which centers on four elements: building relationships, using effective practices, managing change, and committing to continuous improvement.

All Idaho districts and charter schools were invited to participate. Almost 500 educators participated in the first round and volunteer participation has doubled for the second round.

“We are excited to add so many new members,” said Kinnaman. “This represents a critical mass of Idaho school districts willing to work together to get better. It’s a huge opportunity.”

During the next 15 months, Idaho Leads staff will develop and deliver materials designed to help schools implement the Idaho Core Standards, a series of math and English language standards that will launch this fall.

A leadership team of at least three people from each of the 63 districts and charters will begin training Aug. 14-15 in Boise. Professional development will be delivered regionally in the fall to principals and teachers. Additionally, Idaho Leads staff will deliver onsite services.

Idaho Leads Participating districts and charters (63 Total)

North — Boundary County, Coeur d’ Alene, Cottonwood, Kellogg, Kootenai, Lake Pend Oreille, Lakeland, Lapwai, Moscow, Moscow Charter, Mullan, Orofino, Wallace and West Bonner.

Southwest —  Anser Charter, Basin, Blaine County, Boise, Bruneau-Grand View, Cambridge, Emmett, Fruitland, Garden Valley, Homedale, Horseshoe Bend, Idaho Digital Learning Academy, McCall-Donnelly, Melba, Meridian Medical Arts Charter, Middleton, Mountain Home, Nampa, Notus, The Village Charter School and Vallivue.

Southeast (Idaho Falls) — Bear Lake, Blackfoot Charter, Bonneville, Butte County, Challis, Grace, Idaho Falls, Jefferson, Monitcello Montessori Charter, North Gem, Ririe, Soda Springs, Sugar-Salem, Teton, West Jefferson and West Side.

Southeast (Twin Falls) — ARTEC RPTCS, Buhl, Cassia, Castleford, Gooding, Jerome, Mackay, Minidoka, Richfield, Shoshone, Twin Falls and Wendell.

Disclaimer: Idaho Education News and the Idaho Leads project are both funded by a grant from the J. A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation and housed in the Center for School Improvement & Policy Studies at Boise State University.