ESSA Update

June 14, 2018


Report Card:

The OPI is continuing to work with our GEMS vendor ASPECT to produce Montana’s school report card as required under ESSA. The report card will be made publicly available in December of 2018 and then each spring going forward. The report card will include federally mandated school performance indicators such as graduation rates and testing performance but will not assign punitive labels to schools. In August we will begin sharing design prototypes and asking for input from our partners in education and community.

School Improvement:

Montana’s comprehensive support schools have designated school improvement leadership teams who have met with their designated support specialists at OPI. Initial school improvement plans have been developed and implementation will begin this fall and summer. The OPI is also creating professional development opportunities for our targeted support schools to assist them in achieving equity for all of their students. New professional development will be coming to support schools in reducing achievement gaps for Montana’s growing Hispanic student population. The OPI looks forward to assisting all Montana schools this coming academic year as ESSA is fully implemented.

Title IV, Part A:

School safety and climate are at the top of everyone’s mind right now, so we are pleased that Title IV, Part A Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants have been increased. Funding supports programming targeted in three categories:

  • Safe and healthy student activities
  • Well-rounded educational programs
  • Technology integration into learning.

With this funding increase, all LEA’s that received Title I support this year will receive funding for next school year with grant awards ranging from a minimum of $10,000 to a maximum of approximately $160,000.  Award sizes are based on a funding formula associated with student population. For districts receiving over $30,000, the district will be required to complete a needs assessment to determine their programming priorities. The OPI is working to integrate the components of this needs assessment into the CSIP process to assist schools in integrating program support from the grants into existing school support efforts. With an increase in funding, the OPI has plans underway to hire a full-time coordinator for the grant program. This position will be leading the agency efforts to develop state level support and technical assistance for the program. As with past years, districts will still have the option to roll their Title IV, Part A funds into Title I or Title II if they choose not to run a Title IV, Part A program.

Title I:

Montana districts will be receiving $44,300,161 for the 2018-2019 school year in federal Title I allocations. This is an increase from last year’s allocation of $43,626,298. funding to individual districts is always relative to the other districts.  Enrollment and poverty rates along with other factors always determines the amount a district gets.  Even though we have an increase in funding, some districts will gain funds and others will lose them. Districts will be notified when their allocations are available.

Please send questions to


Susie Hedalen

Director of Educational Services & ESSA