INTERVIEW: Sherri Ybarra talks upcoming second term

Listen to KID NewsRadio’s full interview with recently re-elected Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — State Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra is gearing up for another term after a narrow win in the November elections.

Student safety is among the top priorities for Ybarra, who told KID NewsRadio the state Department of Education is working on a three-pronged approach to safety.

“The first one is a grant opportunity. It’s a formula-based, one-time money for schools and districts, and public charter schools to address their identified safety and security needs,” Sherri Ybarra, Idaho Superintendent of Public Instruction, told KID NewsRadio. “The second part of the initiative, or the second prong, is a safety course and it’s training on trends in cyber bullying, drug and alcohol use, violence, suicide prevention at-risk behaviors; and this will also help our school personnel prevent and identify, and address potential threats.”

Under the third part of the safety initiative, Ybarra said she wants to focus on making sure students have access to the right people for support in times of crisis.

“We want to put in place, at the state level, expert guidance and training for helping schools to prevent and prepare for and respond to at risk crisis; and should the unthinkable happen, this person will be in place to go out and assist schools,” Ybarra said.

Looking ahead through the next year and her upcoming second term in Idaho’s top seat for education, Ybarra said she will continue to listen to and address concerns from parents, teachers and her constituents.

“I’ve enjoyed the flexibility of the new administration that we’ve been given for Idaho, to educate our kids the Idaho way,” Ybarra said. “We have, since I took office, changed the standards and we will continue to do that under my administration as well as the testing. We’ve reduced the testing time. We’ve investigated other opportunities for our students and we’ve looked at everything that our parents have told us, and my constituents have talked to me about, and their concerns.”