Keynote Speaker: Derrick Boles


Announcing Dr. Wiley J. Dobbs as our Round Table Speaker for our 2016 Conference!  Don’t forget to register.  Only a few days remaining to lock in the early bird pricing.


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Credit Opportunity!

Hey, you did know you can receive a Professional Development credit by attending the IMLA 2016 Conference, didn’t you?  Of course you did!

Once you’ve registered for the conference, head on over to your favorite institution and register for the credit there.  We currently have credit opportunities from Boise State and NNU.  Click on the logos to go to their respective sign-up pages.

A New Newsletter

Screen Shot 2015-09-26 at 3.40.16 PMHey there everyone!

Welcome to the revamped version of our newsletter.
As an IMLA member, you may remember it as the Hot Topic Newsletter, and while we all know that there are definitely hot topics within education, there are also many aspects of our work that stay the same over long periods of time.  Thus, we’ve retitled it: In the Middle.
Our new In the Middle newsletter will focus on all aspects of middle level teaching.  We’ll share information about pedagogy, videos, apps, current practice, future thinking, and more!  Click on each picture in the newsletter to be taken to somethign different!
Each month we’ll send out one issue to any school that has previously been an IMLA member.  But we’re also sharing out a separate newsletter later each month with more links, more information, and access to other opportunities for IMLA members.
(you can also find it on the IMLA Facebook Page)
Make sure to visit our Membership page to sign up as an IMLA member and to register for the 2016 conference.


Drastic Changes

Change-AheadAs we said in our last post, we’ve made some radical changes to our conference over the past two years:

  • Last year we moved our conference from a more traditional location to one of our Member Schools.  Not only does this help us retain prominent speakers and leaders in the education realm, but it also keeps us on our home turf, and in places in which we likely feel comfortable.
  • This year, we’ve moved the conference to take place during a longer weekend, so that we can accommodate time with you and other educators across the state, and still allow you to have time with your families and to decompress before heading back to work.

Therefore, we’d like to show you what this year’s schedule looks like:

Friday, February 12 2016

  • 4:00-7:00pm          Registration/ Id pictures and vendors
  • 5:00-6:00pm          Administrators Round Table
  • 6:00-7:00pm          Ice Cream Social-student music
  • 7:00-8:30pm          Keynote
  • 8:30-9:30pm          Staff Dodgeball/Ping Pong Tournament

Saturday, February 13, 2016

  • 7:00-8:30am                    Registration
  • 8:00am                              Breakfast, Region Awards, and Regions 5&6 Spotlight Videos
  • 9:30-10:30am                  Breakout session 1 (8 sessions)
  • 10:30-11:00am                 Vendor Break
  • 11:00am – 12:00om         Hot Topic (4 different speakers)
  • 12:00 -1:00pm                 Lunch/Vendors
  • 1:00-1:45pm                     Region Meetings (board elections if needed)
  • 1:45-2:45pm                     Breakout session 2 (8 sessions)
  • 2:45-3:00pm                    Break and Art Voting
  • 3:00-4:00pm                   Hot Topic (4 sessions)
  • 4:00-4:15pm                    Snack
  • 4:15-6:00pm                    Keynote and State Awards
  • 6:00pm                             Clean Up


Oh, one more thing…first-come, first-served:

logo_brand-HPThe Hampton Inn in Nampa has graciously set aside 15 rooms at the low rate of $99 per night.

This rate is only open to IMLA Members.  If you or your team would like to book a room (or rooms) at that rate, please do so before Jan 28, 2016.

Please Call them at: 208-442-0036


Heads up! 2016 Conference Information!



c94c65_13d54af1665f4143beffd9396c9d4c06.jpg_srz_805_433_85_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzWe’ve finalized plans for the 2016 conference, and can’t wait to see you in February at Lone Star Middle School in Nampa.  Our Keynote speaker this year is the one and only Derrick Boles.  (click his picture!)

Big Changes

We’ve made some pretty big changes in the past year, and this year is no exception.

From a new website (did you notice we’re back at to a new mailing address, to a redesigned newsletter, we’re working to make the IMLA and our conference work better for our members.

Our Conference has been radically streamlined to provide our members with an entertaining, informative, and inspiring conference, while still allowing members to keep some of their weekend. 🙂

From special opportunities and benefits for IMLA members, we will also be offering access to other resources, information, and tools not available for non-members.

Two things…

Make sure you or your school are up to date on your Membership.

And be sure to hurry over to our Conference Info page to lock in lower pricing for the conference.  Our “early bird” date is is coming up very soon!

Hit us up at if you have any further questions.



Oh, by the way — MEET 2016’s KEYNOTE SPEAKER!

c94c65_13d54af1665f4143beffd9396c9d4c06.jpg_srz_805_433_85_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzThe Idaho Middle Level Association is proud to announce that Derrick Boles is the Keynote Speaker for our 2016 conference!

Derrick Boles is recognized as a thought leader in human development and organizational behavior. He is known for his expertise in leadership and his authentic learning training models.

Derrick has been recognized as one of the most dynamic speakers in the country. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to support the “Ethos” of any group. Ethos is the fundamental character or spirit of a culture; the underlying sentiment that informs the beliefs, customs or practices of a group or society, any community , business or organization. His innovative approach to developing the individual has earned him National and International recognition.

He has been able to build meaningful and lasting relationships with corporations, educational institutions, civil authority agencies and national youth groups which has earned him the none formal title and respect as a “Leader of Leaders.”

Derrick is a powerful presence and an an amazing speaker, and we can’t wait to have you with us at the 2016 conference to take his message back to your schools.

In the meantime, check out Derrick’s Website and his Facebook page to see what he’s up to.  You can also see our prior post about Derrick’s Work with his Stand Up America program.

Looking ahead

Thanks for the great conference everyone!  And special thanks to Cynthia Tobias and all of our presenters and vendors.

Stay tuned to this page for follow-up photos from the conference, as well as some special treats only available to IMLA members.

But don’t think we’re going anywhere until next year — we’ll be updating this page with links to resources, research, videos and more until next year’s conference.  That said: here’s a little teaser to get you jazzed up for 2016’s conference at Lone Star Middle School in Nampa.  The title of the conference is “The Power to Change”

We Still Believe!

IMLA circle blackThis We Believe has been the framework for the development of middle school philosophy since its original publication in 1982. Members of the education community collaborated in the identification of four essential attributes and sixteen characteristics necessary for effective middle level education. Now, over thirty years later, those attributes and characteristics remain a core tenet of the middle level movement. However, the middle level in Idaho is in crisis and some characteristics face extinction.

Budget cuts, spending freezes, and changing leadership have taken a dramatic and painful toll on the quality of middle level education in Idaho. As money has become scarce, districts have had to cut FTE allotments, increasing class sizes while simultaneously damaging the ability of buildings to continue to function with middle level philosophy in mind. Funding for field trips, athletics, or other extra-curricular activities has been slashed, limiting the number of opportunities for children without imposing a burden on individual families to make up the difference.

While we have all felt the shift and the pinch from thinner budgets, we do not have to sacrifice the core tenants of middle level philosophy. The theme for the 2015 IMLA Annual Conference, to be held at the end of February, is “We Still Believe.”

We Still Believe—in understanding the physiological, psychological and social/emotional developmental needs of our students as the primary focus in the decision-making process.

We Still Believe—that every child can learn, regardless of their ability level, and that individual expectations should  emphasize high standards focused on growth and improvement.

We Still Believe—in providing students with the basic skills and knowledge necessary to become a productive member of their community.

We Still Believe—that every child deserves advocacy to ensure they get fair and equal access to a meaningful, challenging, and relevant learning experience.

With courage it is possible for us to protect the attributes and characteristics that have guided us for the past thirty years. Even if your team is unable to join us at the 2015 conference it is not too late to get involved:

  • Follow us on Twitter: @idahomiddle
  • Join the conference live Twitter feed: #imla2015
  • Like us on Facebook:
  • Talk with a board member about how you can get involved in your local area.
  • Encourage your building and district leadership to sign up for membership to the Idaho Middle Level Association for the 2015-16 school year and make plans to attend our conference next year.