News Releases

– Two Idaho Schools Receive National Blue Ribbon School Honors September 24, 2020

(BOISE) – U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos today recognized two Idaho schools as National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2020. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups.

SDE seeks public comment on ‘21st Century’ programs, alternate science test September 18, 2020

(BOISE) – In response to the pandemic, the State Department of Education has submitted a waiver request to allow Idaho’s Nita M. Lowey 21st Century Community Learning Centers to provide supplemental services during school hours when students are not physically present in school but are participating in remote or independent learning caused by COVID-19.

– Supt. Ybarra releases back-to-school graphic, PSA for parents August 17, 2020

(BOISE) – As families throughout Idaho start a new school year, Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra has a simple message amid this complicated time: Let’s get back to school, safely. Whether local schools are starting in-person, online or a combination of the two, all families can help stop the spread of Coronavirus by taking a few easy precautions: Wash your hands, wear a mask, maintain social distancing and stay home if you don’t feel well.

– National report praises Idaho’s Advanced Opportunities program July 23, 2020

(BOISE) – The State Department of Education’s Advanced Opportunities Program, which helps students get a jump start toward college and career, offers a worthy example for “state policymakers seeking ways to improve the quality of high school instruction and expand postsecondary access and attainment,” according to recent report from the Manhattan Institute.

SDE distributes hand sanitizer, masks for schools across Idaho June 30, 2020

(BOISE) – This week the State Department of Education distributed thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer and thousands of masks to school districts in Idaho to help protect vulnerable populations when school resumes.

– Media Advisory: Idaho Content Standards review committees start work next week June 26, 2020

(BOISE) – The State Department of Education’s review process for Idaho Content Standards for Math, Science and English Language Arts will kick off Monday and Tuesday, June 29-30. Reporters and interested members of the public are welcome to listen in as newly formed review committees hold their initial meetings.

SDE announces grants for suicide prevention programs across Idaho June 24, 2020

(BOISE) – Students at 21 middle and high schools across Idaho will fight against teen suicide by decreasing risk factors and building positive influences, thanks to state Sources of Strength grants for the upcoming school year. Also, for the first time, the Sources program will be extended to younger Idaho children through an elementary curriculum.

– Guest opinion: Teacher Appreciation Week has special importance in these trying times May 4, 2020

(BOISE) – Teacher Appreciation Week is something we celebrate every year in Idaho, and for very good reason. But this year, May 4-8 has particular resonance because Idaho teachers are stretching their imagination and energy to meet students’ needs during a state and national crisis that has closed our schools and impacted education in ways we never expected.

– Four new members join Idaho’s Professional Standards Commission April 16, 2020

(BOISE) – Four educators from across Idaho will begin three-year terms on the Professional Standards Commission July 1. Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra recommended them to the State Board of Education during Thursday’s board meeting, and all four were unanimously confirmed by the board.

SDE partners with IdahoPTV, Idaho Business for Education in ‘Classroom Idaho’ April 14, 2020

(BOISE) – Thousands of Idaho students don’t have a computer at home or a way to connect to the internet so they can learn remotely during this coronavirus pandemic. But nearly every family in Idaho has a television set and can watch Idaho Public Television. That is where IdahoPTV’s “Classroom Idaho: Learn @ Home” programming can connect these students with certified Idaho teachers so that they can finish learning for the balance of this school year.

SDE offers wide array of resources to educators, parents amid pandemic April 10, 2020

(BOISE) – Although public school buildings are closed, Idaho educators continue instructing students through distance learning, and parents are helping children learn at home. To support these efforts, the State Department of Education is providing a wide range of resources to maximize the continuity of education.

– State Board of Education extends soft closure, grants flexibility to local schools April 6, 2020

(BOISE) – As Idaho education officials grapple with what the end of this school year will look like amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the State Board of Education unanimously agreed Monday to extend the soft closure but give flexibility to Idaho’s school districts and charter schools as they determine new ways to meet requirements and gauge students’ readiness in high school civics and early reading.

– Superintendent Ybarra statement on JFAC action on K-12, operations budgets March 3, 2020

(BOISE) – The Idaho Legislature’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee (JFAC) took up Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra’s proposed fiscal 2021 budgets for K-12 public schools and departmental operations Tuesday. JFAC’s actions, approving several of the superintendent’s key priorities, now go to the full House and Senate for approval.

SDE shares coronavirus resources with school districts, public March 2, 2020

(BOISE) – Schools can play an important role in efforts taken by health officials to prevent the introduction and spread of COVID-19, Coronavirus. And the State Department of Education is circulating helpful links and information to all school districts and charter schools in Idaho.

SDE seeks summer food service program sponsors January 31, 2020

(BOISE) – The Child Nutrition Division of the Idaho State Department of Education is seeking partners for this year’s Summer Food Service Program, which provides free meals and snacks to children, ages 1-18, in low-income areas during the summer months.

– Guest opinion: Don’t rely on luck to address teens’ challenges. Invest in social-emotional learning January 23, 2020

(BOISE) – Our lives are defined by moments, especially the ones we never see coming. My compelling moment – the moment that gave me my mission as an educator -- was on an October afternoon in 2014. I remember putting on my backpack as I watched my athletes load the bus after cross country practice. My phone kept ringing and ringing, and I struggled to find it in my backpack. I had missed three phone calls from my 18-year-old son Keegan, who was a freshman at BSU.

– SDE announces student winners of ‘future’ art contest January 23, 2020

(BOISE) – Young Idaho artists with big dreams for their futures got a moment in the spotlight Thursday when Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra Thursday presented her 2021 budget request to the Legislature’s Joint Finance-Appropriations committee.

– Idaho’s innovative mastery network expands, looks to the future January 20, 2020

(BOISE) – Idaho’s shift to a mastery-based learning model is going strong, with new schools and school districts joining the Idaho Mastery Education Network. After the 2019 Legislature approved a bill to lift the cap on participation in the mastery-based network, the number of participants more than doubled. Today, more than a quarter of Idaho’s school districts and 12 percent of the state’s charter schools are working on new, innovative approaches to teaching and learning.

– Superintendent Ybarra supports Gov. Little's FY 2021 education agenda January 6, 2020

(BOISE) – Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra is, once again, pleased that Gov. Brad Little has made education a top priority. In his annual State of the State address Monday, the governor laid out his agenda for education, which aligns with Superintendent Ybarra’s continued commitment to supporting Idaho schools and students to achieve.

– SDE seeks waivers for recently rescinded program policies December 20, 2019

(BOISE) – The Idaho State Department of Education Child Nutrition Programs (SDE, CNP) has submitted multiple waiver requests to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) for recently rescinded policy waivers as issued in SFSP 01-2019 Summer Food Service Program Memoranda Rescission, October 11, 2018.

– Guest opinion: Supporting Idaho schools and students November 26, 2019

(BOISE) – In more than 20 years as an educator, I have learned that one of the most important things we can do – as parents, family members, teachers or community leaders – is to show our children how much we value their education by supporting and celebrating their hard work and success. Our support, individually and collectively, makes all the difference.

– 2019 ACT results show more Idaho students meet benchmarks October 30, 2019

(BOISE) – ACT results for Idaho’s 2019 graduating class show consistently higher performance than the national average, and contribute to the continuing conversation about Idaho students’ college readiness, Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra said.

– Idaho SDE marks Teen Driver Safety Week with PSA, tips for parents October 23, 2019

(BOISE) – For most young Idahoans, the teenage years bring new independence and flexibility via a driver’s license or permit. That license also brings new risk and responsibility – and the State Department of Education urges teens and families to take those considerations to heart.

SDE awards grant funds to help 19 Idaho schools upgrade kitchen equipment October 18, 2019

(BOISE) – The Idaho State Department of Education has awarded $125,215.47 in federal grant funding through its Child Nutrition Programs to help 19 Idaho schools purchase new equipment for their National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra announced Thursday.

FACE conference brings Elizabeth Smart to Boise, aligns with Safety Symposium October 4, 2019

(BOISE) – Author and activist Elizabeth Smart, who gained unwanted fame as a 14-year-old abduction survivor then went on to become an inspirational advocate for legislation and organizations to safeguard children, heads a varied slate of national and regional speakers at the State Department of Education’s Family and Community Engagement (FACE) conference Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 7-8.

– 124 Idaho schools to receive fresh fruit and vegetable grants July 9, 2019

Students at 124 schools across Idaho will receive free, fresh fruit and vegetables during the coming school year thanks to state-administrated grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra announced.

– Media opportunities at Idaho Mastery Education Conference June 10-11 June 7, 2019

Interested media representatives are invited to join nearly 350 educators from across Idaho and presenters from all 32 schools in the Idaho Mastery Education Network (IMEN) at the Grove in Boise for the state’s first Mastery Education Conference Monday and Tuesday, June 10-11.

– Learn about student-centered learning at free Mastery Education Conference June 4, 2019

For the past three years, 32 schools in 18 districts across Idaho have explored and embraced a mastery-based approach to learning with help from the State Department of Education. Now all interested Idaho educators have the opportunity to explore this personalized, flexible approach during a free two-day conference.

– SDE launches search for new student engagement director May 17, 2019

Matt McCarter, head of Student Engagement, Career and Technical Readiness at the State Department of Education for nearly eight years, is taking a major career step, so the SDE will look for a new leader for that important department.

– Idaho’s 2019 Presidential Scholars announced May 8, 2019

A high school senior from Boise and one from Rigby have been named as Idaho’s two Presidential Scholars for the class of 2019, Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra said Tuesday.

– Guest Opinion: Idaho Teacher Appreciation Week, May 6-10 May 3, 2019

As Superintendent, I have the opportunity to visit many classrooms and talk to many Idaho teachers across our great state. What I always see are caring, dedicated, innovative professionals who spend countless hours making sure our kids are learning, growing and achieving. I see rooms, hallways, libraries and playgrounds full of busy, engaged and happy kids.

– SDE kicks off Legislative Roadshow in North Idaho this week April 22, 2019

(BOISE) – Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra and key staff members will launch their annual Legislative Roadshow in North Idaho Wednesday and Thursday, April 24-25, to share the latest Idaho education developments with area superintendents, charter school administrators, business managers and other district and school representatives.

– SDE seeks waiver for administrative and procurement review cycle flexibility April 4, 2019

The Idaho State Department of Education Child Nutrition Programs (CNP) has submitted a waiver request to the United States Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to extend the current three-year Administrative Review Cycle to a five-year review cycle and align procurement reviews to mirror the administrative review cycle.

– Superintendent Ybarra kicks off Legislative Roadshow April 2 March 29, 2019

Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra and key staff members are hitting the road again this year to discuss the legislative session and all of the latest Idaho education developments, starting with a livestreamed event in Boise Tuesday, April 2.

– SDE suicide-prevention efforts get boost from donation February 25, 2019

(BOISE) – As part of Suicide Prevention Day at the Capitol, Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra will accept a $25,000 check from the Suicide Prevention Action Network (SPAN) Tuesday afternoon to help fund the Sources of Strength program.

– Idaho’s Presidential Scholar candidates announced January 28, 2019

(BOISE) – More than 50 Idaho high school seniors from throughout Idaho are in the running as candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, according to the national committee that organizes the program on behalf of the White House.

– Guest opinion: The future looks bright for Idaho students January 22, 2019

(BOISE) – Abraham Lincoln, our 16th president, understood the connection between perseverance and success. He is credited with saying, “the best way to predict the future is to create it.” I predict a bright future for our students because Idaho is creating an education system that prepares our kids to thrive in the 21st century economy.

– SDE seeks sponsors for summer food program that feeds children in need January 17, 2019

(BOISE) – The Child Nutrition Division of the Idaho State Department of Education is looking for partners for this year’s Summer Food Service Program, which provides free meals and snacks to children ages 1 to 18 whose families may not be able to afford to give their children nutritious meals when school is not in session.

– Superintendent Ybarra lauds Gov. Little's commitment to education January 7, 2019

(BOISE) – As Idaho’s top advocate for schoolchildren, Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra responded to Gov. Brad Little’s first State of the State address by expressing appreciation to the new governor for making education his top priority, committing funding and ideas to the shared effort of supporting Idaho schools and students to achieve.

– Idaho State Department of Education unveils new K-12 Report Card December 19, 2018

(BOISE) – After nine months of intensive work, the State Department of Education’s revamped K-12 Report Card is available online, providing a user-friendly way for parents, educators and others to access information about schools and districts throughout the state.

– Department Seeks Waivers for Recently Rescinded Program Policies December 12, 2018

(BOISE) – The Idaho State Department of Education Child Nutrition Programs (SDE, CNP) has submitted multiple waiver requests to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) for recently rescinded policy waivers as issued in SFSP 01-2019 Summer Food Service Program Memoranda Rescission, October 11, 2018.

– Thirteen Idaho schools get USDA grant funds for kitchen equipment October 30, 2018

(BOISE) – The Idaho State Department of Education has awarded $132,068.72 in federal grant funding through its Child Nutrition Programs to help 13 schools across Idaho purchase new equipment for their National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra announced.

GEAR UP conference in Boise focuses on Advanced Opportunities October 12, 2018

(BOISE) – Nearly 600 education professionals from western states, including 175 from Idaho, will gather in Boise Sunday through Tuesday, Oct. 16-18, for the GEAR UP West conference, which this year will feature the State Department of Education’s Advanced Opportunities program.

State IDs Idaho schools for recognition, support September 5, 2018

(BOISE) – The state today identified schools for recognition and for targeted support and improvement (TSI) based on the performance of 10 subgroups of students. The identifications mark the second of three phases of information released from the state’s new accountability system.

State IDs schools for support, recognition as part of accountability system August 15, 2018

(BOISE) – Idaho will provide coaching, professional development and other supports over the next three years to help elevate student performance in schools identified as underperforming or with low graduation rates by the state’s new accountability system. The state also will invest $6.3 million in improvement grants for underperforming schools that are part of the federal Title I-A program.

Newly hired SDE policy advisor decides to stay in current job August 3, 2018

(BOISE) – Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra is revisiting plans for a new chief policy advisor after Will Goodman, who had planned to rejoin the State Department of Education Sept. 17, told her he wants to remain with the Mountain Home School District.

121 Idaho schools to receive fresh fruit and vegetable grants July 2, 2018

(BOISE) – Students at 121 schools across Idaho will receive free, fresh fruit and vegetables during the coming school year thanks to state-administrated grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra announced.

Treasure Valley math, science teachers earn presidential awards June 27, 2018

(BOISE) – Two Idaho teachers are among 140 math and science teachers across the nation selected to win Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Lynnea Shafter teaches special K-5 STEM classes at Barbara Morgan STEM Academy in Meridian, and Susan Darden teaches 6th grade general mathematics at Galileo STEM Academy in Eagle. Darden also teaches a history class.

Two Idaho students named U.S. Presidential Scholars May 8, 2018

(BOISE) – A student from Boise High School and one from Moscow High School have been named as Idaho’s Presidential Scholars for 2018, Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra said Tuesday.

In D.C. and beyond, Idaho’s Teacher of the Year aims to enhance education May 1, 2018

(BOISE) – For Caldwell teacher Becky Mitchell, this is “the week of weeks.” She’s in Washington, D.C., as Idaho’s Teacher of the Year, spreading the word about Idaho education, networking with other top teachers, absorbing teaching resources at Smithsonian museums, and encountering people and places she previously had only imagined.