BOISE â€“â€“Â Parents who are interested in educational opportunities above and beyond the average school day have a few options, according to the Idaho Department of Education.
Besides any district-specific programs that may be available, the State Department of Education supports in each district the following programs:
GEAR UP Idaho offers targeted early intervention services to students, especially those in rural areas where inadequate academic and financial preparation can make the dream of postsecondary education appear unattainable. Beginning in the 7th grade and continuing through the 12th grade the program helps to improve academic achievement and readiness for postsecondary education by developing a Parent Approved Learning Plan for challenging courses that include three years of math and science, and specific course requirements for postsecondary admission. GEAR UP students also participate in college campus visits in grades 8 and 10. Go to http://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/gearup/gearup.htm for more information.
Think Through Math is an online, supplemental math instruction and tutoring program offered for students struggling with their math classes as part of the State Departmentâ€™s Math Initiative. It provides students with focused instruction, rigorous math problems, and access to live certified teachers and a motivation program with rewards for working on math problems. Think Through Math works with the classroom teacher to tailor the online math instruction to the needs of the individual student. Students can access the program anywhere they can get Internet access. Think Through Math also is now available to use as curriculum for Algebra 1 credit recovery and district approved Alternate Route for Graduation criteria. Go to http://www.sde.idaho.gov/SITE/math/intervention_tools.htm for more information.
The Idaho Science and Aerospace Scholars (ISAS) Program is designed to reach out to rural districts where science education is limited, but is available to all students in Idaho. Students can sign up for the NASA-developed on-line course in early September. The rigorous aerospace science class concludes in the spring with a series of capstone events that show off the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs of Idahoâ€™s colleges and industry. The top students in the program are invited to the programâ€™s Summer Academy at Boise State University, which includes a trip to NASAâ€™s Ames Research Center in Sunnyvale, Calif., for a chance to meet with some of the nationâ€™s top aerospace scientists. Go to https://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/science/ISAS for more information.
Microsoft IT Academy programs are now being offered through many of the stateâ€™s secondary schools. Designed for students in grades 9-12 to work at their own pace, the on-line classes provide job-skill certifications in Microsoft Office 2010 and 2013. Check with the districtâ€™s professional technical education coordinator or guidance counselor to find out if your district offers the program. If not, there are alternative means for students to earn the certifications. Go to the State Department of Educationâ€™s Digital Learning page at https://www.sde.idaho.gov/site/digitalLearning/ and click on Microsoft IT Academy to learn more about the program.
Local school districts throughout the state may offer additional programs to support students.Â Remember to contact your local school district for more information on what help is available.Â For additional information on the programs mentioned above, please contact the Idaho State Department of Education at (208) 332-6800 and ask for the program of interest.