Education news from around Idaho

Mountain Home receives $1.5 million Department of Defense grant

The Mountain Home School District is providing resources for students in military families and receiving help from the federal government. The district received a $1.5 million Department of Defense military-connected grant focused on students’ social-emotional skills and behaviors spanning a five-year period.

“This is going to be a good vehicle to help teachers get on the same page and address behavior issues school-wide,” said Albert Longhurst, the director of educational services for the Mountain Home School District. “We aren’t going to change the kids, we are going to change the way we respond to the kids.”

The goal of the grant is to improve social-emotional skills and reduce disciplinary incidents among students in the district, which includes 34.5 percent military-dependent students from the Mountain Home Air Force Base. The grant is designed for military students, but will support all students.

During the 2014-15 school year, there were a total of 641 log entries of disciplinary actions pertaining to military students in the district, and 2,849 disciplinary actions among non-military students. Among the incidents involving military students, 224 disciplinary incidents were in elementary schools, 107 in the middle school, 45 in the junior high school and 265 in the high school.

“These numbers of disciplinary referrals suggest the need for behavioral supports in the district, particularly those pertaining to social-emotional skills and student behavioral self-management,” Longhurst said.

The grant will help with a school-wide social-emotional and mindfulness program based on the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework, with teacher and counselor professional development and a student-to-student peer mentoring program for military-dependent students.

The Idaho Positive Behavior Network (IPBN) is facilitating the trainings for the district.

Mountain Home Training
Katie Bubak-Azevedo, the IPBN director, is addressing the elementary staff at the Mountain Home School District on the grant and five-year partnership with IPBN.

Art grants available for educators

The Idaho Commission on the Arts is now accepting applications for art grants. The commission provides financial support through grants and awards to professional artists, arts educators and arts administrators. Interested artists and organizations can apply at Applications are due Jan. 31, 2017.

Available grants:

  • ENTRY TRACK grants support public programs in the arts delivered by Idaho’s arts organizations.
  • PUBLIC PROGRAMS IN THE ARTS grants support Idaho’s established arts organizations by assisting them in business stabilization.
  • PUBLIC ART & CULTURAL FACILITIES grants encourage local, public, and private support for feasibility studies, public art projects, capital purchases for performance, exhibition, or artist’s spaces, and renovation or construction of those facilities.
  • ARTS EDUCATION PROJECTS grants support activities that unite effective practices in education and in the arts, enriching teaching and learning opportunities for K-12 students.
  •  TRADITIONAL ARTS APPRENTICESHIPS grants support a learning partnership between a recognized master artist and one or more qualified apprentices to continue artistic traditions of a shared cultural heritage.
  • FELLOWSHIPS IN VISUAL ARTS, DESIGN, AND CRAFT recognize the outstanding work of Idaho artists. They reward the pursuit of artistic excellence, promote public awareness of the arts, and help advance an artist’s career.


ISBA scholarship applications open

The Idaho School Boards Association is accepting applications for its annual scholarship

The scholarship is open to children and grandchildren of school trustees. Applicants must plan to graduate from high school by Sept. 1.

The ISBA has awarded more than $115,000 in scholarships over the past 13 years.

The application deadline is Feb. 3. The application is available online. If you have questions, you can contact Payton Grover at [email protected] or 854-1476.

Vision Charter heads to state Lego League Championships

Vision Charter School is sending three of its FIRST Lego League Robotics teams to compete in the state championships in Twin Falls on Jan. 28 after claiming the top spots during a regional competition. The Terminators, Mammal Madness and Crazy Cobra teams made up of 27 fourth-through-eighth grade students worked fall semester building a robot and programming it to autonomously navigate an obstacle course and accomplish missions on a field.

“The teams learn that they are stronger and better together and learn to utilize each other’s strengths,” said Wendy Oldenkamp, the administrator at Vision Charter School.

This month, teams will put in nearly 30 hours of work to prepare for the state competition. The teams will present their robot to a panel of judges and discuss the robot design, programming and strategy for completing missions. During the judged session, every student on the team has a specific job of sharing about the robot and how it works.

Vision Charter School

Click here to learn more about FIRST Lego League Robotics.

Idaho EdNews Staff

Idaho EdNews Staff

Get EdNews in your inbox

Weekly round up every Friday