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Information for Parents

Thank you for your interest in the 2018 Southwest Idaho Regional Spelling Bee! Here are the answers to some questions you may have about the spelling bee. Don’t see your question or the information you are looking for? Please contact Cece Gassner at

What students are eligible to participate in the Southwest Idaho Regional Spelling Bee?

Students who are in the 3rd through 8th grades in Ada, Adams, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Valley and Washington Counties in Idaho, and who have not reached their fifteenth birthday on or before August 31, 2017 are eligible to participate. If your child attends a school (whether public, private, charter or parochial), your child’s school must register with Scripps Spelling Bee on or before the deadlines that can be found below. If you are home-schooling your child, please visit this page for information specifically for home-schooled children and how they can participate.

If your child’s school is not in one of the above ten counties or you do not live in one of the above ten counties, please visit the database of local bees to see if there is a different spelling bee that includes your geographic area.

If my child wins, is there a cost for him or her to participate?

No. You may incur some costs to travel to Boise for the regional spelling bee; however, there is no additional fee that you or your child will be asked to pay to participate in the regional spelling bee. Additionally, if your child becomes the Southwest Idaho Regional Spelling Bee champion, Boise State will pay the airfare, hotel and certain other related costs for your child and a parent or guardian to attend the Scripps Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. in late May or early June of 2018.

How does my child’s school select a champion to send to the regional spelling bee?

Schools that register to participate are expected to conduct a verbal spelling bee that will determine their school champion. Each school is different, and may use any format that it wishes for its spelling bee. Boise State is currently developing some tools to help schools with their spelling bee.

The teachers at my child’s school are pretty overwhelmed and not sure how to run a bee. Can you help?

Boise State is thrilled to have some amazing students in our College of Education who can likely help you! Please email Cece Gassner at to learn more about how we can help.

How can I help my child prepare for the spelling bee?

Scripps has prepared a Complete Set of Word Lists for Students to Study for their School Bee. 

My child’s school has not registered to participate, and I don’t think they will do so. Can my child still participate?

Unfortunately, no. Under the rules of the Scripps Spelling Bee, your child can only participate by being deemed the champion of his or her school’s spelling bee. We strongly encourage you to work with your Parent-Teacher Organization and school leaders to help your school to register and conduct a spelling bee!

When is the Southwest Idaho Regional Spelling Bee?

The Southwest Idaho Regional Spelling Bee will be held on Saturday, March 17, 2018 starting at 10:00 a.m. in the Simplot Ballroom located in the Student Union Building (SUB) at Boise State University. We will post additional information regarding the logistics of the regional spelling bee and how to best prepare your school’s champion by February 1, 2018.

How will I know about updates to information when they are posted?

Information updates will be posted from time-to-time to the pages under If your child is the champion of his or her school’s spelling bee, an email informing you that an update has been posted will be sent to the email submitted by your child’s school when they submit the name of the school champion. Please make sure that they have a current email for you.

Here are some deadlines you should know:

Deadline for early bird enrollment: October 16, 2017

Deadline for regular enrollment: December 15, 2017

Deadline for a school to conduct its bee to determine its champion: February 1, 2018

Deadline for a school to submit the name of its champion to February 8, 2018. Each school must submit its champion’s name and required information at for the school champion to be able to compete in the regional bee.