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Scripps Southwest Idaho Regional Spelling Bee


UPDATE: The 2020 Scripps SW Idaho Regional Spelling Bee has been cancelled, and will be rescheduled.

With the health and safety of our spellers and their families in mind, Boise State will be rescheduling the SW Idaho Regional Spelling Bee for later in April or May, due to the unprecedented circumstances related to COVID-19.

Thank you so much in advance for your patience and understanding as we explore our options.


Thank you for your interest in participating in the 2020 Southwest Idaho Regional Spelling Bee!

Here are answers to some questions you may have about the spelling bee. Don’t see the information you are looking for? Please email Robyn Williams at with your question(s).


The 2020 School Spelling Bee Study List and Words of the Champions are available to teachers at enrolled schools — simply log in to access and distribute to your students.

When is the Southwest Idaho Regional Spelling Bee?

Canceled until further notice.

What schools can register and send a student to the Southwest Idaho Regional Spelling Bee?

We are pleased to announce this year that our bee territory has been expanded to include more counties.

Each school (whether public, private, charter or parochial) with students in the 3rd through 8th grades in Ada, Adams, Boise, Canyon, Elmore, Gem, Owyhee, Payette, Valley, Blaine, Cassia, Gooding, Jerome, Lincoln, Minidoka, Twin Falls and Washington Counties in Idaho is welcome and eligible to register to send its school champion to the regional spelling bee. Each school must be individually registered – registration by one school in a district does not mean that any other school within the same district or area is also registered.

Currently registered schools include:

  • Adams Elementary School
  • Bickel Elementary School
  • Cecil D Andrus Elementary
  • Challenger School—Everest
  • Chief Joseph School Of The Arts
  • Christine Donnell School Of Arts
  • Cole Valley Christian School – Elementary
  • Collister Elementary School
  • Cynthia Mann Elementary School
  • Dworshak Elementary School
  • Garfield Elementary School
  • Harrison Elementary School
  • Heyburn Elementary School
  • Highlands Elementary School
  • Horizon Elementary School
  • I B Perrine Elementary School
  • Jefferson Elementary School
  • Kimberly Elementary School
  • Kimberly Middle School
  • Lincoln Elementary School
  • Lowell Elementary School
  • Meridian Middle School
  • Monroe Elementary School
  • Montessori Academy
  • Morningside Elementary School
  • Mountain View Elementary School
  • Notus Elementary School
  • Notus Jr-Sr High School
  • Oregon Trail Elementary School
  • Paul Elementary School
  • Pillar Falls Elementary
  • Riverside Elementary School
  • Robert Stuart Junior High School
  • Rock Creek Elementary
  • Roosevelt Elementary School
  • Sawtooth Elementary School
  • Shadow Hills Elementary
  • South Hills Middle School
  • Stricker Elementary School
  • Summit Elementary
  • Tech Trep Academy
  • Tech Trep Academy
  • Trail Wind Elementary
  • Twin Falls Bridge Academy
  • Valley View Elementary School
  • Vera C O’Leary Junior High School
  • White Pine Elementary School
  • Whitney Elementary School

If your school is not in one of the above counties, please visit the database of local bees to see if there is a different spelling bee that includes your geographic area.

How can my school register and what is the registration fee?

  • You must register through the Scripps Spelling Bee website at
  • The deadline for Early Bird Enrollment is Oct. 15, 2019. The fee is $165 per school.
  • Regular Enrollment is Oct. 16, 2019 through December 20, 2019. The fee is $240 per school.
  • Schools may pay via credit card or check. To enroll, teachers or administrators may visit and select the Enrollment button in the upper right corner of our home page

Is there a cost for my school champion to participate?

No. Your school champion may incur some costs to travel to Boise for the regional spelling bee; however, there is no additional fee that your school champion will be asked to pay. Additionally, if your school champion becomes the Southwest Idaho Regional Spelling Bee champion, Boise State will pay the airfare, hotel and certain other related costs for your school champion and a parent or guardian to attend the Scripps Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C. in late May or early June of 2020.

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

Neither Scripps nor Boise State has a prescribed format for how schools must determine their spelling champion. Some examples of how you can do this include:

  1. Hold a single bee that all eligible students at your students compete in;
  2. Hold a bee for each eligible grade (3-8), then have the grade champions compete against each other; and
  3. Hold a bee by each classroom/homeroom and the champions of those rooms compete against each other.

We do not recommend having the champion determined by chance, such as by a coin flip. The Regional Spelling Bee will be a competitive process, and the champion of the regional bee goes on to the Scripps Spelling Bee, which will be a highly competitive event.

What grades are eligible to participate?

Scripps has a rather detailed list of the eligibility requirements to participate in the bee, but generally, students in grades 3-8 who are not older than 15 can participate in the Southwest Idaho Regional Spelling Bee. Although Scripps allows students as young as first grade to participate, we decided to set a lower-limit of 3rd grade for our bee.

Is there a word list we should use? How should our students study?

Yes! If your school has enrolled to participate in the 2020 Southwest Idaho Regional Spelling Bee, you can find the applicable word lists to study and use by logging into the Scripps Spelling Bee site (using the email and password for your account), and then look in the left-hand navigation menu for “School Materials.” The study lists, by grade and also a document that combines all of the study lists, are there as well as the lists of words to use in your classroom and school bees appear toward the bottom of the page.

Does my school register only one champion?

Yes. We strongly suggest that you record the name of your second place finisher and submit their name when you register your champion, just in case your champion is not able to compete and your second place finisher needs to represent your school the morning of the regional spelling bee.

Will vocabulary be included in the Southwest Idaho Regional Spelling Bee?

No. You are welcome to incorporate it into your school or classroom bees, but vocabulary will not be a part of the Southwest Idaho Regional Spelling Bee.

How will my school get information updates?

Information updates will be posted from time-to-time to the pages under An email informing you that an update has been posted will be sent to the name and email you submit as the Contact Person for your school when you register (so please make sure that whoever you submit as the Contact Person is either the person who will supervise your school’s spelling bee or is someone who can pass along information to that person in a timely manner).

Here are some deadlines you should know:

  • Deadline for early bird enrollment: Oct. 15, 2019
  • Deadline for regular enrollment: Dec. 20, 2019
  • Deadline for a school to conduct its bee to determine its champion: Feb. 3, 2020
  • Deadline for a school to submit the name of its champion to Feb. 10, 2020. You must submit your champion’s name and required information at for your school champion to be able to compete in the regional bee.

Event Lodging:

The Courtyard by Marriott Boise Downtown and the Boise State Division of Research and Economic Development have partnered to provide FREE lodging for the night before the Bee, Mar. 27 for those spellers who are traveling from the Magic Valley area. Of course the spellers and their families are the priority and the free rooms are limited, but we are keeping a waiting list for teachers who want to travel to the Bee if any remain unreserved. We will provide this information to the school champions as we receive their names.


Prizes for the winning bee will be provided by Merriam-Webster.

Liz Jergensen, 2019 Winner

Congratulations to the 2019 champion of the Southwest Idaho Spelling Bee, Liz Jergensen of JACKET homeschool in Nampa! Jergensen came out on top of a field of 27 school spelling bee champions from around the region.

Think you can keep up with these amazing spellers? Take the Test here and find out!