In brief: SBAC update, contests and more

An SBAC update

Beginning this week, students in many Idaho public schools are testing out a new Common Core-aligned test.

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium test won’t count until next year, but the state is conducting a field test this spring, for all students in grades 3-8 and 11. The dress rehearsal will help the state measure the validity and reliability of test questions. It also allows schools to test their logistics in administering the new test, and allows students to experience the assessment.

No scores will be given this year. The test will be fully implemented in all public schools in 2014-15.

The new test is aligned to the new Idaho Core Standards in mathematics and English language arts.

Most school districts began administering the field test Tuesday — but some schools launched the field test last week.

Name that program

Idaho high school students will get financial help as they work to earn college credit or professional-technical certifications while still in high school, beginning this year.

But first, the program needs a name and the State Department of Education is holding a contest.

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Under the advanced opportunities program, which passed the Legislature with bipartisan support as Senate Bill 1233, high school juniors could receive $200 and high school seniors could receive $400 to help cover the costs of dual-credit courses, college-bearing exams (such as Advanced Placement); or professional-technical exams to earn a certification or license.

Early name suggestions include Jump Start and the Pathways Program. If you have another idea, email it to [email protected] with subject line “Naming Contest” by April 25.

Art contest for secondary students

Hotel 43 is holding a student art contest for Idaho seventh- through 12th-graders. The theme is “Fresh 43: A Celebration of Idaho’s Young Artists.”

Hotel 43, located in Boise, fills its hotel with work produced by local artists. Selected pieces from this contest will be displayed at the hotel.

The contest requires young artists to create something “fresh” or a new take on something indelibly Idaho. For example, the artwork could take a fresh approach to a state symbol such as the mountain bluebird or the syringa flower; re-envision a geographic feature such as Mount Borah; take a unique slant on a famous Idahoan such as Harmon Killebrew or historical place such as Catalpa Mission; or a novel approach portraying the number 43 in an unexpected way. The key thing requirement is to create a new look around something inspiring about Idaho.

Other details:

  • Entries are due May 2.
  • The prize winner will receive a family-stay package at Hotel 43; a $150 gift certificate to Chandler’s Steakhouse; and a $250 gift card.
  • The winner’s school will receive $1,000 in art supplies.
  • Honorable mention winners will each receive a $100 gift card.

Follow this link for complete rules and an entry form.