Idaho’s public school districts will get the chance to bring their information technology specialists up to speed when they enroll at least one employee in a week-long training session for Microsoft NT or Novell NetWare network operating systems this summer.

The Idaho Division of Vocational Education received a $1.8 million grant in April from the J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation to fund its state-sponsored Technical Network for Training program. The program’s first phase gives school districts the chance to increase their knowledge of commonly used systems.

With the growing demand for qualified network specialist training, Idaho school districts are finding it difficult to recruit system administrators and network engineers, state officials said. The systems training is the first of four phases intended to meet the goals established by the Idaho Council for Technology in Learning, which include integration, compatibility, evaluation, and student training.