Education news from around Idaho

IdahoPTV looking for ‘Digital Innovator’ schoolteacher nominations

Idaho Public Television is accepting nominations for teachers to honor as their next Digital Innovator.

The IdahoPTV Digital Innovator program recognizes teachers who enhance learning by integrating technology or digital media into their classrooms.

Anyone can nominate their favorite teacher. The link to nominate a teacher is available here. With the application, include the following details:

• How long have you known the educator?
• Why do you think this educator deserves to be the IdahoPTV Digital Innovator?
• What is something innovative this educator is currently doing in their classroom?

Nominations are being accepted until April 16. The winner will be announced in May. The winner will have opportunities to explore new teaching strategies and share their knowledge with other Idaho teachers. The winner will also partner with IdahoPTV education staff on professional development trainings for teachers in Idaho for the 2021-2022 school year. They will also receive an expenses-paid trip to the Northwest Council for Computer Education 2022 conference in Seattle as well as a classroom innovation kit from IdahoPTV.

Website helps students explore career opportunities

With travel still affected by COVID-19, and cases of the virus rising statewide, some students are able to turn to a virtual platform to help them discover more about educational and career opportunities.

Next Steps Idaho is an online platform containing information, resources, tools, tips and interactive activities to help Idahoans navigate their own education and career paths.

“This might not be the road trip your family originally envisioned this spring break, but the Next Steps Idaho portal allows families to virtually visit Idaho’s colleges and universities, explore a vast range of training and professional opportunities, and learn more about hundreds of different careers and pathways,” said Idaho State Board of Education Executive Director Matt Freeman in a news release.

Next Steps Idaho was originally launched in 2015 to help students and parents find post-secondary education options. It was expanded in 2020 to include additional resources for adults who “might be at a career crossroads, looking to upskill, or simply wanting to reimagine their professional lives.”

This includes exploring career and technical education and apprenticeships. There are also “Journey to Career” videos that were produced by Idaho Public Television which showcase young adults pursuing career in wind energy, law enforcement and aquaculture.

The site also includes activities like:

  • Future Finder quiz: This quiz asks you your thoughts on certain activities and will give you an idea of what your strengths and interests are.
  • Career research: Find careers that you might be interested in, including some you may have never heard of.
  • Figure out how much it will cost: The Plan Smart tool estimates how much your adult lifestyle will cost (renting vs. owning, car payments).

State Department of Education awards $1.65 million in grants

Eight Idaho school districts and five community organizations are receiving grant money from through the Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers program. The grants range in size between $100,000 and $175,000 and are awarded annually through federal Title IV , Part B funding for out-of school and summer learning programs.

The recipients this year are:

  • Upriver Youth Leadership Council: $115,000
  • Blackfoot School District: $168,500
  • Gooding Joint District: $115,242
  • Boys & Girls Club, Magic Valley: $115,000
  • West Side School District: $118,922
  • St. Marie’s Joint District: $124,469
  • Coeur d’Alene School District: $175,000
  • Lincoln County: $141,224
  • Treasure Valley YMCA: $102,835
  • Kendrick Joint School District: $119,901
  • Wendell School District: $142,030
  • Plummer-Worley School District: $113,519
  • Boys & Girls Club, Nampa: $100,000

“Idaho’s 21st Century Community Learning Centers support schools and communities by keeping students safe and academically engaged beyond regular school hours, helping to reduce achievement gaps and ease families’ child care costs,” State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra said. “Awarding these grants is an annual highlight for the State Department of Education.”

 

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