Hundreds of K-12 administrators flocked to the Boise Centre Wednesday for the first day of the Idaho Association of School Administrator’s Summer Leadership Conference.
The 566 registered attendees marked the conference’s highest turnout since 2011, said IASA Executive Director Andy Grover. Last year, due to COVID-19 administrators had the option to gather in-person and/or virtually.
Gov. Brad Little kicked off the two-day event with a speech Wednesday morning. Administrators afterward attended workshops covering a range of topics, including mental health support for educators, sex-based discrimination and addressing poverty among students.
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Local education attorney Amy White presented on legal “hot topics” in Idaho education, from federal court cases with wide-ranging implications for transgender students and staff to how Idaho’s new law dealing with critical race theory will — or won’t — impact teaching.
Idaho Digital Learning Alliance Director Ryan Cantrell introduced administrators to the organization’s “Idaho Rural Educators Association,” an affiliate of the National Rural Education Association that will provide added support for Idaho’s rural districts. Administrators can reach out with questions, and the IREA will connect them to people who can provide support, Cantrell said. The group includes multiple former rural superintendents, including Fruitland’s Teresa Fabricius and Twin Falls’ Wiley Dobbs.
Administrators also spent part of the day networking. Districts across the state hired 23 new superintendents for the 2021-2022 school year, many of whom are either new to Idaho or new to the job.
A full agenda for the conference, which runs through Thursday afternoon, is available here.
Idaho Education News reporter Blake Jones contributed to this report.