Back to School: Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction kicks off first back to school term in office

Published: Aug. 16, 2023 at 5:04 PM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) —As the school year begins many things will look the same however quite a few will look different.

This is Idaho superintendent of public instruction Debbie Critchfield’s first time in office during the start of a school year. And some of the things she implemented in office are already impacting this school year.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Debbie Critchfield says, “getting into office, I was able to work with the legislature and the governor’s office to put together a number of things that will feel and look a little bit different. As we’re looking at graduation requirements financial literacy is now a new requirement for any senior graduating from a High School.”

Depending on your school district, some requirements will be implemented while other’s may take some time. A few local districts may incorporate existing classes like economics and others may begin new classes and electives. It’s up to each individual district to decide what materials are used in the classroom.

Parents and students may not realize it, but the State Department of Education isn’t in charge of that- but they get a lot of requests to help. So ‚they’re going to start a system to help districts, when it comes time to pick curriculum materials.

Superintendent Critchfield says, “what we’re in the process of doing is going through a reviewing process where we’re going to vet. We’re not going to get rid of materials that are published on the website as available options but we’re going to start rating them. Some are better than others particularly when we look at challenges with literacy- whether it’s dyslexia or just underperforming students who struggle in a variety of ways.”

Helping to support kindergarten through third grade teachers and students, with the goal of literacy… will continue to be a priority for the state department of education. The science of reading is being taught to educators, and implemented to help all kids learn to read- including those struggling with possible dyslexia.

“Two legislative sessions ago a law came into effect that directed specific training to teachers when it came to identifying the characteristics of dyslexia and there’s training modules that are out there and at the SDE we’ll continue to provide those and continue to work with teachers, Superintendent Critchfield said.”

Superintendent Critchfield joined the crew on KMVT’s Rise and Shine, to watch the full interview hit play on the video below.