Education news brief from around Idaho

Register for the scripps spelling bee competition

Boise State University will host the Southwest Idaho regional finals of the national Scripps Spelling Bee in the Student Union Simplot Ballroom on March 11. The winner will advance to the 2017 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C.

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Photo courtesy of Scripps National Spelling Bee/Mark Bowen

Now is your chance to get an early bird registration discount for the spelling bee. The $145 discounted fee ends Oct. 14. Schools can still register for $220 until Dec. 12.

Third through eighth grade teachers and homeschool parents are encouraged to register. Each school or home-schooled family must enroll separately. Register at spellingbee.com.

Once registered, you will receive online access to:

•    Grade-specific word lists and study sheets for grades 1-8
•    Study materials for your school spelling champion
•    The “2017 Classroom Pronouncer Guide”
•    The “2017 School Pronouncer Guide”
•    From Encyclopædia Britannica, a free one-year subscription to Britannica Online for Kids that you may award to one student at your school (a $69.95 value)
•    Materials to conduct your Great American SpellCheck fund-raiser
•    Award certificates
•    Key information about your local spelling bee program

For more information, email [email protected].

Ybarra launches anti-bullying campaign

State superintendent Sherri Ybarra wants students, teachers and parents to be aware that bullying is taking place in Idaho schools. Ybarra is encouraging a cohesive forefront to show that it is everyone’s responsibility to ensure the safety and well being of students.

“Unfortunately, with new technology, this issue is still present in our schools, and students have found under-ground ways of “belittling” their peers,” Ybarra said.

The anti-bullying initiative is to promote an environment that is free from bullying and intimidation. The initiative is to have an comprehensive approach that will build confidence and awareness for those that are bullied, actions taken against bullies and empower adults to get involved.

“We must work together in order to reduce the presence of bullying in our schools,” Ybarra said.

The initiative will be promoted through television and radio public service announcements.

FAFSA application season starts Oct. 1

The college financial aid season is starting earlier this year, and the Treasure Valley Education Partnership is encouraging families to get a jump on their applications.

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid application window opens on Oct. 1. And this year, families can apply for 2017-18 financial aid by using their 2015 tax information. In previous years, families had to wait to file FAFSA forms until after the new year, using current tax information.

The federal government uses FAFSA to determine whether a student is eligible for federal student loans, grants or work-study jobs.

Treasure Valley high schools will offer support and host “completion events” designed to encourage students to fill out their FAFSA applications. Boise State University’s TRIO program will hold FAFSA events at Boise and Nampa public libraries.

For information on FAFSA support, email TVEP at [email protected].