7/17 A Book and A Bite on Idaho Education News

Reading program combats summer learning loss. TVEP’s pilot program (A Book and A Bite) was featured in this article from the Idaho Education News.

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7/17 A Book and A Bite on KTVB

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6/17 Most Treasure Valley High School Students Plan To Go To College, But Not All Make It

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2/17 Local leaders name February FAFSA Completion Month

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11/16 Teaming up to Make College More Affordable

Treasure Valley Education Partnership to host financial aid training for college and high school counselors

BOISE, Idaho — The Treasure Valley Education Partnership (TVEP) has been awarded a Lumina Foundation grant to support a partnership with uAspire to offer local college and high school counselors free college affordability trainings. uAspire offers best-in-class trainings designed for practitioners with turnkey tools that can be implemented immediately to help students find financial aid resources for college.
On Tuesday, November 15th from 8:30am-11:30am, 60 Idaho high school and college counselors will convene at the West Ada Training Center to participate in a training titled FAFSA: Comprehensive Completion for the Practitioner. This training will walk practitioners through helping students complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), specifically with a highlight on working with special student populations and the potential difficulties students may encounter when completing the FAFSA application. The FAFSA is the annual application that current and prospective college students must complete to qualify for federal grants, loans, and work study to help pay for college.
The uAspire partnership grant was awarded to TVEP’s Beyond High School working group, which is a partnership of 30 cross sector organizations including nonprofits, postsecondary institutions, local government, and school districts that are all working toward the goal of increasing postsecondary enrollment in the Treasure Valley. These partners have identified college affordability as a major barrier to postsecondary enrollment. If this barrier can be minimized through student awareness and by providing assistance to students in finding financial aid, more students will have opportunities to pursue education beyond high school.
The TVEP Beyond High School working group has also launched the Cash for College Idaho campaign which encourages and helps students find financial aid for college. Resources and events for FAFSA completion and financial aid access can be found at www.CashforCollegeIdaho.org
The Treasure Valley Education Partnership is a community partnership of school districts, educators, nonprofit organizations, businesses, higher education institutions, and government agencies working together to help support children every step of the way, from cradle to career. For more information about FAFSA support, contact idahotvep@gmail.com


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10/16 KIVI-TV: Many more Idaho students say they want to go on to college than actually do

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10/16 Idaho Ed News: Survey Says: Kids Don’t Always Do What They Say They’re Going to Do

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10/16 Idaho Ed News: FAFSA Application Season Starts October 1st

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10/16 Idaho Business Review: Jodi Chilson joins TVEP as data strategy manager

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9/16 Earlier, easier: FAFSA to open Oct. 1

Revamped Free Application for Federal Student Aid to open on October 1

BOISE, Idaho — The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) will be available earlier this year. For students planning to attend college in the 2017-2018 school year, the FAFSA application process will open on Oct. 1.
The FAFSA is the annual application that current and prospective college students must complete to qualify for student financial aid. Completing the FAFSA is free, and the process determines an applicant’s eligibility for federal grants, loans, and work study to help pay for college.
The FAFSA application process has been made easier this year by allowing students to use their family’s 2015 tax information. In previous years, the FAFSA required students to wait until their family filed tax information for the most recent year in order to complete the application. Beginning this year, students applying to receive financial aid in the 2017-18 school year can use tax information from 2015 to complete the application.
Treasure Valley area high schools will be offering support services and FAFSA completion events to help students complete the FAFSA application. To find FAFSA help, visit the Cash for College website at https://sites.google.com/site/cashforcollegeidaho/home or contact your local school district. Boise State University’s TRiO program will also be offering FAFSA completion support events at both Nampa and Boise Public Libraries.
The Treasure Valley Education Partnership is a community partnership of school districts, educators, nonprofit organizations, businesses, higher education institutions, and government agencies working together to help support children every step of the way, from cradle to career. For more information about FAFSA support, contact idahotvep@gmail.com

6/16 Idaho Business Review: Treasure Valley Education Partnership hires Jenni Kimball

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6/16 Blog: Meet Brooklyn, TVEP Scholarship Winner

SUCCESS STORY: Meet Brooklyn, TVEP Scholarship Winner

It is the last week of school and the halls of Frank Church High School are a buzz with excited students ready for the summer. For seniors, they are thinking about their next steps and plans for the future.  The welcoming Counseling and Career Center takes in students working on resumes and applications, wrapping up the necessary steps to enter college or move into a career.

Brooklyn is one of these seniors at Frank Church.  She is ready for her next step, which will be attending Montana State University in the fall.  Brooklyn grew up in Montana and most of her family attended MSU, so she is excited to follow in their footsteps and study Culinary Arts and eventually become a Physician’s Assistant.  She made this decision in 7th grade, and has worked hard to achieve her goals.

Brooklyn is also one of seven students who received the TVEP scholarship this year as part of the TVEP Cash for College Initiative.  Seven Treasure Valley schools participated in the Initiative, which aimed to increase the number of students who filled out a FAFSA, applied for college and applied for scholarships.  One incentive provided for students who completed the FAFSA was being entered to win a college scholarship.

The $250 scholarship that Brooklyn won will be placed into an IDeal 529 Savings Account that she can use for education expenses.  She says she will use it on books and it “helps a lot”!  Brooklyn also plans to work in Montana over the summer to save more money and add to her new account.

Ms. Waibel, Career Counselor at Frank Church High School worked one on one with students to help them complete the FAFSA, college and scholarship applications.  She and the other high school counselors set goals for the number of students who would complete a FAFSA in their school, and collectively, the seven schools reached almost 90% of their goal.  The scholarship drawing was an added element this year that turned out to be a very meaningful aspect of the Initiative.  “Every little bit helps,” said Ms. Waibel, referring to the scholarship and supporting students in attending college.

Brooklyn and Ms. Waibel pictured below.

TVEP wishes Brooklyn and the other six scholarship winners the best of luck in their pursuit of higher education and their career aspirations!

5/16 Blog: Get Ready to Read


Imagine the joyful sounds of children playing and learning.  Imagine supportive teachers guiding a classroom and leading students through a lesson.  Can you hear it?

This is exactly what took place at the St. Alphonsus Early Learning Center on a beautiful spring day.  This was also the day the 4 and 5- year olds were finishing a literacy screener called Get Ready to Read, which assesses their early literacy skills and preparedness for Kindergarten.

The TVEP Prepared for School Working Group has worked for the last 2 years to implement the Get Ready to Read screener in several Treasure Valley childcare sites.  The goal of the project is to support teachers in identifying how prepared their students are in print knowledge, linguistic awareness and emergent writing. The teachers are then supported with training and tools to work with their students and improve their literacy skills.

At the St. Alphonsus Early Learning Center, this tool has been very valuable for informing the teachers’ lesson plans.  Jackie, one of the St. Alphonsus teachers, said they are constantly working on these literacy skills, and the screener has helped them make changes to support student learning.  For example, they noticed that the some students were only recognizing letters in a certain font.  Therefore, they began activities with teachers writing letters on the board and using a variety of fonts, so that students would gain better letter recognition.

This project utilizes volunteer proctors to conduct the screeners, who have been an important part of the project.  The proctor comes to the class three times a year, reads a book to the kids, and then screens each student individually.  The kids are excited to see them, and they love working with the proctors!  One proctor said, “I enjoyed seeing the growth in skills for the children each time we used the screener.  My only frustration was leaving and not being able to work with the children in some way to support their learning!”

A big thank you to all our Prepared for School partners, childcare sites, teachers and proctors who make this project possible. Your passion for Treasure Valley kids makes a difference!

3/17 TVEP Editorial: Collective efforts increased applications for Idaho Opportunity Scholarship

Collective efforts increased applications for Idaho Opportunity Scholarship, and illustrate student need

Seven high schools are seeing increased financial aid and scholarship applications as a result of the Treasure Valley Education Partnership (TVEP) initiative, Cash for College Idaho, which supports students who are navigating the college-going process.

Cash for College Idaho is available state-wide, but seven schools are piloting the initiative and tracking their progress toward increasing the amount of students who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), college and scholarship applications. With financial aid, many students who can’t afford the full cost of college are able to earn their degrees.

Each of the seven schools, which include Columbia, Frank Church, Kuna, Meridian, Mountain Home, Nampa, and Vallivue, set their own Idaho Opportunity Scholarship (IOS) application goals, above and beyond what their students completed in 2015. In order to apply for the IOS, students must have completed the FAFSA. TVEP is excited to share that the initiative has made a difference. Most notably, these seven schools increased their total applications to the IOS to 423 applications this year, compared to 266 applications last year.

This initiative was particularly successful within the Vallivue School District, helping our students achieve access to scholarship funds. Not only was the goal met, but the number of Vallivue High School students applying for the Idaho Opportunity Scholarship almost doubled from the number who applied in 2015.

The IOS is a great opportunity for seniors from Idaho high schools who are planning to attend an Idaho college or university. The scholarship is awarded based on financial need and merit – students must have at least a 3.0 GPA and be in need of extra financial support for college.

The IOS is a state funded scholarship and is under consideration for additional funding by the Idaho legislature this year. If the increase passes, it will open up 1700 additional scholarships next year. The efforts of TVEP’s partner schools in supporting their students to complete the IOS application helped demonstrate that there are many students eligible for and in need of financial support. The same seven high schools have also been working hard to support students in completing the FAFSA application. While FAFSA completion is only one step in the college-going process, it is a way for students to unlock access to federal loans and grants, statewide scholarships and grants, and often institutional and community based scholarships and grants. Although TVEP’s FAFSA completion initiative deadline is not until April 30, the seven partner schools are more than two-thirds of the way to achieving their FAFSA completion goal.

The results we have seen so far with Cash for College Idaho are one example of what the Treasure Valley Education Partnership aims to achieve. With partners at the table working to create and track data-based strategies together, our community can more effectively support our students in pursuing higher education.

Pat Charlton is the superintendent of the Vallivue School District and a Core Team Leader for the Treasure Valley Education Partnership.

2/16 TVEP press release: Education leaders share best practices

Press release:

Education leaders gather to share best practices around college-going culture in the Treasure Valley

BOISE — More than 60 education leaders attended the Treasure Valley Education Partnership’s (TVEP) Senior Exit Survey Data Sharing event recently at the University of Idaho’s Boise campus.

TVEP shared results from its spring 2015 survey, which polled seniors at 23 high schools across the valley. For the first time, schools had an opportunity to gather in peer groups and discuss opportunities and share best practices in order to better support a college-going culture.

The State Board of Education also shared their research on gender gaps in enrollment statewide and the positive effects of Idaho’s College Application Week on college enrollment. In addition, the University of Idaho also shared the results and key findings of its Life After High School Report.

Attendees included more than a dozen school district administrators, school superintendents, high school counselors, principals, teachers, higher education professionals, and representatives from the Board of Education and Department of Labor.

“I appreciated the opportunity to collaborate with other school districts, university personnel and the Department of Labor to talk about what we can do to continue to improve the good work that our schools in the valley are doing to help graduates enroll in some form of post-secondary education,” said Wendy Johnson, Kuna School District Superintendent.

Says Jenni Kimball, Career Counselor at Columbia High School in Nampa, “It was helpful to gather with our peer schools to share best practices and talk about what’s working.” TVEP collected several best practice ideas from schools across the treasure valley that will be compiled and share broadly with the region later this spring.

“We were able to share important information about student aspirations, the barriers they face and enrollment rates, all within the framework of how we can use this information to help increase college enrollment,” said Amy Little, TVEP’s director of education impact. “We now have a better sense of how we can support our schools who are already doing a great job encouraging students to enroll in some form of postsecondary education or training.”

One of TVEP’s goals for the event was to engage education leaders and officials in the Senior Exit Survey project, a voluntary survey that polls local graduating students about their plans after high school, whether they filed for the FAFSA or applied for scholarships and more. Little says they collected a significant amount of thoughtful feedback to improve the survey for future use.

“By sharing our work and collecting feedback, we hope to create a sense of collective ownership of the survey and improve not only the questions we ask and increase the percentage of seniors completing the survey (currently 55%), but also how we can better support our schools who are already doing great work,” said Rich Raimondi, President of Bishop Kelly High School and current chair of the Treasure Valley Education Partnership.

6/15 Idaho Press Tribune: TVEP receives national grant

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5/15 Lumina foundation press release: Progress made, but need more

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2/15 TVEP press release: Vallivue wins FAFSA Frenzy competition

Press release:

“Vallivue High School wins competition, gets more youth reaching for higher education”.;

CALDWELL — Vallivue High School won the local FAFSA Frenzy financial aid competition this spring, as students increased by 8 percentage points their completion rate of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. The three-month competition, organized by the Treasure Valley Education Partnership, provided collaborative support and motivation for youth at six Treasure Valley schools to complete the FAFSA, which is an important gateway to much-needed money for college. The FAFSA completion rate for Vallivue’s senior class rose from 41 percent in 2014 to 49 percent this year. Their prize is a “Senior Day” of fun and recreation at Wahooz Family Fun Zone in Meridian. “What these Vallivue seniors did is not about an impressive statistic. The real, impactful result is that much more students than ever before worked hard and followed through toward entering the higher education and, ultimately, careers to which they aspire,” said Kelly Emry, counselor at Vallivue High. Other FAFSA Frenzy participants were Kuna, Borah, Mountain Home, Meridian and Nampa high schools. At the FAFSA Frenzy events, knowledgeable financial aid advisers helped students and parents complete and submit this crucial form, and schools were given funding to incentivize participation with food and prizes. With these events and related efforts, TVEP hopes to push the percentage of seniors completing the FAFSA to 65 percent. TVEP is working with the high schools in the Treasure Valley to implement a senior exit survey in May to gain a better understanding of students’ high school experience and plans after graduation. Next year TVEP plans to coordinate a FAFSA toolkit with resources that all schools can access to support FAFSA completion. TVEP comprises partners from early education, K-12, higher education, nonprofits, philanthropy, government and business. The FAFSA frenzy competition received sponsorship from the Micron Foundation and the City of Boise.

Facts about FAFSA.

• Most colleges and technical schools require students to complete the FAFSA to assess financial need.

• The FAFSA is a required step to gain access to grants, loans and work study.

1/15 Idaho Press Tribune: FAFSA key to college assistance

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1/15 Idaho Press Tribune: Vallivue High wins financial aid competition

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2/14 Idaho Press-Tribune — ‘Nampa seniors celebrate FAFSA Frenzy win’

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4/14 Boise State Public Radio–‘Group Releases Report Card For Treasure Valley Education’

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