In efforts to promote innovation and develop effective school leaders, The J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation announced today it will continue to fund the Idaho Leads Project through June 2014.
Boise State University’s Center for School Improvement and Policy Studies launched the Idaho Leads Project in January 2012 with a $3.85 million, 18-month grant from the Albertson Foundation. The foundation has agreed to contribute another $2.85 million to support the project’s continued work, particularly focused on successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards.
Every district and charter in Idaho was invited to participate in the Idaho Leads Project and 49 volunteered for the 18-month commitment. The participating districts and charters represent every region of the state and range in size, demographics and per-student funding. They have worked rigorously with the Idaho Leads Project to build leadership capacity toward create high performing schools where all students succeed.
“Our district has been empowered by the process,” Gooding Superintendent Heather Williams said. “Because of the Idaho Leads Project, we have been able to further break down and overcome the barriers to closing the achievement gap in Gooding.”
The Idaho Leads Project focuses on strengthening leadership capacity through professional and technical assistance offered to everyone in a district’s or charter’s education community. The goals of this project are to support and enhance the advancement of educational improvement and to share best practices with all participants and their stakeholders.
“The presentations were very powerful and really allowed us a great space to imagine and get past the worries and what ifs and focus on the possibilities,” said Heather Dennis, superintendent of Anser Charter School in Boise.
Garden Valley Superintendent Randy Schrader said: “Because of our work in the Idaho Leads Project, the attitudes in Garden Valley have changed to a positive place that focuses on student learning.”
Each district or charter selected a team of 10 that included trustees, superintendents, principals, students, teachers, central office staff, and parents. The participants convened in regional network meetings where they defined priorities, identified what is going well, and isolated areas where improvements and innovations were possible. They also built relationships within their district teams and regional networks.
“It’s all about relationships,” said Mary Ann Ranells, superintendent for the Lakeland School District in Rathdrum. “Everything we do begins and ends with how strong our relationships are.”
Members of the Idaho Leads Project team made onsite visits to each district and assisted leaders by conducting trainings, providing resources and sharing best practices.
“The Foundation is providing a wonderful opportunity to focus on the work of building the necessary leadership capacity to ensure the success of every child in Idaho,” said Idaho Leads co-director William Parrett. “We’re honored at the Center to have been invited to assist in this critically important work.”