Partnering with the Idaho State Department of Education (ISDE) to:
Deepen English Learner Students’ Understanding of Academic Content
Supporting the more than 16,000 English learner students in Idaho is one of ISDE’s priorities, and we are providing resources that align with this work. Specifically, we have developed an evidence-based guide and conduct trainings to equip educators with research-based strategies to help English learner students in grades K–8 develop the academic content and literacy skills they need to succeed in school.
Improve Intermediate Literacy
Statewide, the highest percentage of schools identified for comprehensive support and improvement are intermediate and middle schools. By request, we have developed training materials to help educators use evidence-based practices to increase the reading ability and engagement of students in grades 4–8. Idaho coaches, regional school improvement coordinators, and capacity builders are being trained as facilitators so that they, in turn, can deliver the trainings to school employees throughout Idaho.
Facilitate Federal Programs Strategic Planning
We are collaborating with the ISDE federal programs team to connect program-level inputs, outputs, and outcomes. Through this support, federal program staff members will create a logic model, measurement plan, and a plan for monitoring the progress of each federal education program active in the state. In addition, Region 17 CC staff will work with the federal programs director to support monitoring of the American Rescue Plan funding use at the district level.
Launch the Reading Coach Academy
To help ISDE achieve one of its top initiatives of ensuring all students are reading at grade level by grade 3, we are excited to support the new Reading Coach Academy (RCA). This project includes designing and offering professional learning opportunities, including training workshops, learning community "jam" sessions, and book studies. The RCA project will align coaching work across schools and districts and create coaching structures that support classroom teachers to implement and sustain evidence-based literacy instruction.
Support Positive Learning Environments
We are assisting the ISDE as they increase support for schools and districts in the planning and implementation of programs and practices that help Idaho students build life skills. ISDE and Region 17 are developing and managing a professional learning community for district and school building educators interested in implementing life-skill services and supports.
Partnering with the Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) to:
Review Montana Administrative Rules
This project helps the OPI facilitate an evidence-based and inclusive stakeholder engagement process to review and revise Montana education regulations related to the accreditation of K–12 schools (i.e., Chapter 55 of the Administrative Rules of Montana, or ARMs). OPI seeks to offer districts and schools more flexibility while maintaining high standards for the education of Montana children and youth. Read this blog post by Sharyl Allen, OPI's deputy superintendent, for more information about this process.
Support Students' Emotional Development
We are proud to partner with OPI, Department of Health and Human Services, Montana University System staff, and local education agency staff to provide evidence-based resources for Montana’s social and emotional learning implementation. Resources are aligned to the Montana social and emotional learning framework with a focus on multitiered systems of support, trauma-informed practices, cultural responsiveness, and restorative justice practices.
Collaborating for Rural Innovation and Student Engagement
The Northwest Rural Innovation and Student Engagement (NW RISE) Network brings together teachers and leaders from some of the most isolated and remote communities in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, and Washington. Through regular convenings facilitated by Region 16 and 17, members share their expertise with peers in similar contexts to develop useful solutions. A network of schools helping schools—especially isolated ones—can raise achievement and increase student engagement by sharing relevant, practical advice that actually works for rural communities.
Working with Comprehensive Centers Nationwide on Literacy
We are engaged in collaborative efforts with the national Comprehensive Center Network to support states in addressing literacy instruction in the context of learning acceleration.