Ideas for your back-to-school checklist
See how IDRA's training and technical assistance 
can help your school or district

Across the country, this is a time for getting ready. Families are gathering supplies. Teachers are arranging their rooms. Principals are preparing their staff. 

To help you get ready for a great year, we have some new service offerings. IDRA provides training and technical assistance to thousands of educators across the country. With an unwavering commitment to student success, our services provide innovative, practical and sustainable solutions. We deliver services on-site and online based on the unique needs of your district, campus or classroom. Our staff integrate multimedia technologies and web resources and activities in on-site technical assistance, workshops, and coaching and mentoring activities.

Below are a few examples of our new and most popular packages.
STEM Makerspaces 
Set up a makerspace at your school
Makerspaces have been popping up in community centers, schools and public libraries all over the world with the goal of providing the space and tools for people to be creative while learning new skills. Schools are taking advantage of makerspaces to increase efficacy in the STEM disciplines for more students.

"Making" is a skill that should be afforded to all students, not just those in engineering courses. And having a campus makerspace is a great way to get started. Many schools have mobile makerspaces on carts, others set up in the library or have a dedicated classroom space.
Makerspaces can be used to enhance all areas of study from art to zoology!

Let IDRA makerspace expert, Mark Barnett, guide you through the process from ideation to implementation. Mark has started several makerspaces and is a national speaker on the subject. Be sure to check out his TEDx San Antonio Talk entitled Everyone is a Maker, but not Everyone has Access.

English Learner Education
Engagement Based Sheltered Instruction
Have your English language learners been meeting state standards and passing required tests? IDRA's new research-based sheltered instruction model can assist you in improving the academic success of your English language learners.
The model focuses on student engagement. Engagement in the learning process is essential for academic success. Because of English language learners' different English proficiency levels, teachers often struggle to find ways to have them actively participate in their learning. IDRA helps teachers learn, reflect on use, and adapt instructional strategies so that English language learners are engaged in the instructional process.
This dynamic professional development series focuses on extending the teacher's knowledge of ESL strategies and sheltered instruction to ensure that the English language learner is engaged in learning the academic content. Technology to engage students is an interwoven feature of the training.  Learn more!
Project-Based Learning

Design a Project-Based Learning Implementation Plan
Project-based learning is a student-centered pedagogy that involves a dynamic classroom approach in which students acquire a deeper knowledge through active exploration of real-world challenges and problems. It provides context to learning and offers students opportunities to grow noncognitive abilities as well as academic abilities.
Research shows better learning
Studies comparing learning outcomes for students taught via project-based learning versus traditional instruction show that, when implemented well, project based learning increases long-term retention of content, helps students perform as well as or better than traditional learners in standardized tests, improves problem-solving and collaboration skills, and improves students' attitudes toward learning.
What does project-based learning look like?
  • Classrooms with students working collaboratively in self-directed groups
  • Students giving constructive criticism and positive feedback to each other
  • Students presenting to the city council, local officials or to industry professionals
  • Transformative approach to teaching and learning that sets up group collaboration in real-world exercises that meet the needs of 21st century learners
IDRA can work with your campus to design a Project-Based Learning Implementation Plan, identify needs and support project based learning through professional development and coaching. 

Dropout Prevention

Bring the Popular IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program to Your School
The IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program is a research-based, internationally-recognized dropout prevention program that has kept 98 percent of its tutors in school. 

In this highly successful program, secondary students who are considered to be at-risk of dropping out are placed as tutors of elementary students. Given this role of personal and academic responsibility, the Valued Youth tutors learn self-discipline and develop self-esteem; schools shift to the philosophy and practices of valuing students considered at-risk. Results show that tutors stay in school, have increased academic performance, improved school attendance and advanced to higher education.
"I refuse to miss school because I do not want to disappoint my students,"  explains one tutor.
All students are valuable; none is expendable is the Valued Youth creed. This philosophy is helping middle and high schools keep thousands of Valued Youth students in school, keeping these young people in the classroom and learning.

IDRA Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program

Video: Get a quick overview of how the Coca-Cola Valued Youth Program impacts students and schools. [01:30 min] 
- Watch now
Early Childhood Education 

Use Semillitas de Aprendizajeā„¢ to Support Bilingual Literacy Development 
Re-energize your early childhood education program in a way that is responsive to the characteristics of diverse learners in your school or district
Through the Semillitas de Aprendizaje early childhood set of materials, IDRA provides customized technical assistance and training that can include: classroom demonstrations and observations, coaching for success, nurturing of innovations, and building on existing strengths.
Semillitas de Aprendizaje is a bilingual (Spanish/English) supplemental early childhood curriculum, created by IDRA, based on the art of storytelling. The teacher guide contains 10 units to lead your students through the Semillitas de Aprendizaje stories. Each unit has a set of classroom activities that include a morning song, storytelling, literacy connection with STEM explorations, center activities, phonemic awareness, writing and alphabet knowledge, English transition, family connections and informal assessment.
In addition, we have provided planning tools connected to knowledge, skill and concept objectives along with suggestions for using technology in early childhood. The teacher guide corresponds with the set of 10 Big Books, 10 Storybooks, 20 Cartitas (letters home), 15 preschool math set and the Storytelling & Storyreading Videos DVD.

Semillitas de Aprendizaje video
See samples of our bilingual storytelling videos from our new DVD. The DVD has the 10 Semillitas de Aprendizaje stories told in two styles: storyreading (in English) and storytelling (in Spanish). Each story in Spanish is preceded by an opening gathering song and followed by a closing song. - Watch now
And more...

With a strong commitment to student success, IDRA services provide innovative, practical and sustainable solutions for diverse student populations based on your unique needs. A few examples of assistance packages include:
  • Assessing and elevating the education of English learners districtwide
  • Transforming early childhood programs to centers of excellence
  • Coaching and mentoring novice teachers in culturally diverse classroom settings
  • Increasing effective teaching and learning in mathematics
  • Building authentic parent and community engagement
  • Creating a college readiness culture for success
  • Integrating math and science instructional strategies for English learners
  • Building and sustaining professional learning communities
  • Conducting research and evaluation
Call today! 210-444-1710 or email

The Intercultural Development Research Association is an independent private non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring educational opportunity for every child. IDRA strengthens and transforms public education by providing dynamic training; useful research, evaluation, and frameworks for action; timely policy analyses; and innovative materials and programs.
IDRA works hand-in-hand with hundreds of thousands of educators and families each year in communities and classrooms around the country. All our work rests on an unwavering commitment to creating self-renewing schools that value and promote the success of students of all backgrounds.