Education News from around Idaho

Winner chosen for State Department of Education holiday card contest

A mask-wearing Santa Clause will adorn the State Department of Education’s 2020 Christmas card, in a drawing submitted by a Boise sixth grader.

Raen Ifurung, who attends Sage International School, was selected as the annual card contest winner out of more than 800 elementary school applicants across the state.

“Raen gave us the perfect holiday greeting for 2020, blending seasonal joy, warm wishes and a reality unique to 2020,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra said in a news release. ” This whole contest has been delightful…it’s a highlight of our year at the State Department of Education and we’re happy to share the winning artwork throughout Idaho.”

Other grade level winners include:

  • Kindergarten: Lucy Kreis, Skyway Elementary, Coeur d’Alene School District
  • First Grade: Blake Felgate, Boise School District Online School
  • Second Grade: Arjun Eruvuru, Boise School District Online School
  • Third Grade: Attyssa Dewey, McGee Elementary, Lewiston School District
  • Fourth Grade: Rachel Winjoe, Virtual School House, West Ada
  • Fifth grade: Caspia Robinson-Hunt, Idaho Virtual Academy, Star

IASA surveys districts about unengaged students

The Idaho Association of School Administrators surveyed school districts last week, to “gauge districts’ need or interest” in working with a third-party vendor to find students that are unable to engage in class or not showing up at all.

“You hear a lot of rumors about we’re missing X amount of kids,” IASA executive director Andy Grover said. “We’re trying to figure out what the truth of that is, and if there are enough people to generate need for a company like that.”

So far, more than 40 districts have shown interest, Grover said.

IASA is hosting an informational meeting with Graduation Alliance on Dec. 2 from 3 to 3:30 p.m. for districts interested in learning more.

If IASA determines there is a widespread need for outside help to connect with students Grover intends to seek funding from a state agency to cover the costs.

SDE offering new grants for Community Learning Centers

The SDE is opening its 15th round of grants for 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which offer out-of-school programs and academic help for students in high-poverty or low-performing schools.

Idaho funds 40 CCLC’s throughout Idaho. They provide services like STEM, art, music, physical fitness, drug and violence prevention, after school and pre-K programs.

The state will give $1.5 million in five-year grants to supplement new or existing programs, starting in the 2021-22 school year. Local Education Agencies, community organizations, tribal organizations and other public and private organizations are eligible to apply. The application program opens on Monday, Dec. 14 and runs through Jan 29., 2021.

The SDE will hold two virtual workshops on Dec. 4 and 9 for potential applicants. Click here to register, or contact Sheena Strickler at [email protected] or Hillary Blackstone at for more information.

Sami Edge

Sami Edge

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