ISU Headlines

ICEE receives $140,000 grant to benefit ‘high-need’ school districts

Posted March 27, 2007

The Idaho State University College of Education has received an additional $140,000 from the Idaho State Board of Education – bringing awards to nearly a million dollars – to continue implementation of a program that trains teachers in “high-need” school districts to teach students with poor English skills how to better master their language skills and other subjects.

The College of Education’s Intermountain Center for Effective Education (ICEE) had previously been awarded $790,000 during a three-year Eligibility Partnership Grant to implement the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol, which assisted close to 15,000 Idaho students statewide, said Charles Zimmerly, Ed.D., ICEE’s coordinator for research services and the grant’s principal investigator. The original grant was a joint venture between Idaho’s universities that was coordinated by ISU.

This next funding period, however, is no longer a joint venture with the other Idaho universities. The ICEE will focus on identifying new high-need school districts to bring on board with the grant, continue to support implementation efforts to those districts already in the grant, and move some districts off the grant into managing their own self-sufficient programs. Additionally the new grant will be used to train a core of individuals throughout the state to deliver what is now referred to as the Idaho Model for Sheltered Instruction (IMSI).

“This has been a highly successful program, that has answered a critical need many schools are facing in Idaho,” Zimmerly said. “As a result of the this program, hundreds of teachers statewide are better trained to teach students with poor English skills. We’re pleased we’ve received the new funding so we can continue to offer and expand the program.”

IMSI is designed to help students with poor academic skills relating to being either second-language learners or children from poverty. IMSI gives teachers the ability to not just provide content and language instruction, but helps them to assess what the children are learning and gleaning from each lesson. Where IMSI has been implemented, educators have seen a marked improvement in student achievement, including better test scores as measured by the Idaho Standard Achievement Test.