Education News from Around Idaho

Applications open for charter grant support

Up to six charter schools could win money for startup, replication or expansion through grants from Idaho’s Communities of Excellence Consortium.

The consortium hopes to increase the number of charter school seats available to Idaho’s rural and educationally disadvantaged students. Grants are offered both to existing charters, new charters and school districts who want to launch STEM academies or charters.

Charter group Bluum will host workshops across the state for potential applicants interested in applying for the grants. The application window opened on Sept. 4. Applicants are required to attend the workshops in person. Click here for information on the workshops and the grants.

Five charters won $800,000 each through the first round of Communities of Excellence grants, awarded in March.

STEM volunteers wanted

Idaho STEM Action Center is looking for two volunteers to help spread science, technology, engineering and math education in Idaho.

The center will host two full-time Volunteers in Service to America positions for the 2019-20 school year.

The chosen candidates will help the center “build capacity through a variety of activities, including program development, data analysis and event planning/execution,” the center said in its September newsletter.

Volunteers will receive a living allowance and be considered for financial awards applicable to college tuition or to pay back student loans.

Applicants must set up a VISTA user profile here before submitting an application for either or both open positions.

Click here for more about the positions.

Idaho Falls implements access control security systems

The Idaho Falls School District has implemented access control systems in its elementary schools and at Taylorview and Eagle Rock middle schools.

The systems, designed to “mitigate risks in and around (the) schools,” went into effect Tuesday, the district wrote in a press release.

Doors granting access to the schools will lock and unlock according to a set schedule:

  • Doors automatically unlock 30 minutes before school starts and lock 15 minutes after school starts.
  • Doors unlock 15 minutes before school ends and lock 30 minutes after school ends.

Front doors of schools with an existing vestibule — including Sunnyside, Hawthorne, A.H. Bush, Linden Park and Fox Hollow elementary schools — will remain open during the day. However, doors from the office into the school will be locked.

Front doors of schools without a vestibule — including Dora Erickson, Edgemont, Ethel Boyes, Longfellow, Theresa Bunker and Westside elementary schools — will be locked during the school day. Visitors of these schools will be granted access via a video doorbell at the front door.

All visitors must still check in at the office before accessing the school.

The district also announced the addition of a fourth school resource officer. Officers are  assigned to both the district’s high schools and Eagle Rock and Taylorview middle schools.

Idaho Press Club sues Ada County

The Idaho Press Club, an organization representing journalists across the state, is suing Ada County over public records.

As reported by the Associated Press, the Press Club contends that Ada County improperly handled four separate records requests filed by the Idaho Statesman, Idaho Public Television and Idaho Education News. Reporters from the outlets contend that Ada County mishandled their requests, denying some without cause and improperly redacting others.

Press Club lawyers are asking an Ada County judge to force the county to provide the records requested and order Ada County to comply with timelines and fee waivers for public records requests established in Idaho law.

Disclosure: Blumm and Idaho Education News are funded from grants from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Family Foundation.

Idaho EdNews editor Jennifer Swindell is named in the Idaho Press Club lawsuit. 

Idaho EdNews Staff

Idaho EdNews Staff

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