News Release Archive: February 16, 2009 - October 14, 2009

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2009,
CONTACT: Jessica Rhoades 406.444.3160, Jrhoades@mt.gov

Juneau Reports Montana Math Scores are on the Rise, Continue to Best National Average by 10 Points

HELENA, Mont. - The math skills of Montana students continue to exceed the national average and have slowly, but surely, improved over the past 10 years, new findings show. Math scores increased sharply among some of the state's fourth and eighth-grade students in the last two years. The National Assessment of Educational Progress, also called "The Nation's Report Card," out today, details the continued achievement of Montana fourth and eighth graders on the tests, administered by the U.S. Department of Education earlier this year.

"It's great to see the gains so many of our students are making in math," said Superintendent Denise Juneau. "The hard work and innovation happening in Montana's classrooms is paying off as we can see with these top-notch results. I am proud of all of our students and teachers."

Montana eighth graders scored better than students in all but two other states (MN and MA) and Montana fourth graders scored better than students in all but four other states (MN, VT, NH, and MA).

4th Grade
Math scores have increased in grade four at a greater rate than in grade eight, which is also true of the nation. Juneau lauded the progress of Montana's fourth-grade American Indian students, whose scores made a sizeable jump of five points over the last two years, bringing their scores up 11 points over 2003 levels.

8th Grade
After a decade of one-point gains in the statewide average for grade eight, this year's average math score for all eighth-grade students rose by a full five points. Up to this time, national eighth-grade scores were rising while Montana's remained about the same. With the five-point rise, Montana is 10 points above the national score.

"While our overall results exceed national averages, our bottom line must be to raise the level of achievement for all Montana students while closing the achievement gap," said Juneau.

A random sampling of schools and students are selected for testing from Montana and across the U.S. including nearly 21,000 Montana students from more than 450 Montana schools.

The Nation's Report Card: Mathematics 2009 and additional data collected from the 2009 mathematics assessment are available online at http://nationsreportcard.gov.

One-page summaries of Montana's reports are available online.

Grade 4:    Math Scores
Grade 8:    Math Scores


 

Superintendent Juneau Announces Roll Out of Key Strategic Directions

For immediate release

September 14, 2009
Contact:  Dennis Parman
Office of Public Instruction
406-444-5643

Superintendent Juneau Announces the Roll Out of Key Strategic Directions

Superintendent Denise Juneau announced that the Office of Public Instruction is rolling-out five key strategic directions aimed at increasing student achievement for all students in Montana.

The Office of Public Instruction's Key Strategic Directions are as follows:

- Ensure that every child begins school and graduates with the knowledge and skills necessary for success in the 21st century global society by strengthening Montana education from preschool through college and the workforce.

- Improve student achievement in struggling schools by providing leadership for school turnaround efforts across the state.

- Provide current and accurate educational information to the state, school districts, and communities to promote data-driven policy decisions and assist in improving teaching and learning.

- Improve school-community relationships and student performance through the development and implementation of a comprehensive communication plan.

- Provide systematic training opportunities and focused staff development for OPI staff to support their work and ensure quality customer service. 

"We believe these strategic directions will help guarantee that all Montana's students receive a quality education," said Superintendent Juneau.  The Office of Public Instruction stands ready to provide the vision, advocacy, support, and leadership for schools and communities to ensure that all students meet today's challenges and tomorrow's opportunities.


 

National Indian Education Association Selects Superintendent Juneau as Educator of the Year

September 11, 2009

For immediate release

Contact:  Joyce Silverthorne
Office of Public Instruction
406-444-3449

National Indian Education Association Selects Superintendent Juneau as Educator of the Year

The National Indian Education Association (NIEA) will be honoring eight Native individuals who have had a large impact on the world of education during NIEA's 40th annual convention to be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, October 22-25.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau was selected as the Educator of the Year and will be honored at the 2009 NIEA Annual Convention Gala Banquet on Saturday, October 24.

"I am humbled and honored to receive this award," said Superintendent Juneau.

Since 1977, the membership association has honored Native leaders who have changed and improved the lives of their schoolchildren and impacted dialog concerning Native education issues, both locally and nationally.


 

Superintendent Juneau Announces Team Nutrition Grant Award to Help Montana Schools and Communities Promote Healthy Lifestyles

September 10, 2009

Contact: Linda Kaiser
lkaiser@mt.gov
406-444-3160

Superintendent Juneau Announces Team Nutrition Grant Award to Help Montana Schools and Communities Promote Healthy Lifestyles

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded the Montana Office of Public Instruction a two year Team Nutrition Training Grant totaling $344,737. Montana is one of 18 states to receive this grant to help children develop good nutrition and physical activity habits for healthier lifestyles. This funding provides schools with nutrition education materials for children and parents as well as technical assistance for communities and school food service providers.

"The Office of Public Instruction is concerned about the increasing incidence of obesity in our children," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau. "We must have continuing efforts to help children eat healthy and to engage in daily physical activity to help them stay healthy and strong and reduce their risks for obesity-related disease."

The Montana Team Nutrition Program is administered through Montana State University-Bozeman in the Department of Health and Human Development. Montana has been successful in securing Team Nutrition funds since 1995 and much of the monies have gone directly to local schools through mini-grant programs, resource development or training to staff. Katie Bark, Project Director, believes that "schools present an ideal setting to impact children's eating behaviors as they can practice making healthy choices in the cafeteria while learning important nutrition concepts in the classroom." For more information, contact Katie Bark at kbark@mt.gov.


 

Superintendent Juneau releases Adequate Yearly Progress Report

September 4, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Linda Kaiser
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

Superintendent Juneau releases Adequate Yearly Progress Report

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau released the seventh annual Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) Report to comply with the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). A large majority of Montana's public schools met the federal education requirements.

The report shows 603(73 %)of Montana's 823 public schools currently meet the requirements of the federal law which is an increase of 14 schools from 2008.

Each spring, students in grades three through eight and grade ten participate in assessments in Reading and Math. In addition, students in grades four, eight and ten are tested in science. The assessments are aligned to state standards outlining what students should know and be able to do.

AYP is measured using reading and math scores from the test, participation rates, attendance, and graduation rates. Test results are reported for ten specific student groups including race/ethnicity, family income, limited English proficiency, and students with disabilities.

A school makes AYP only if each of the student groups within the school meets the federal requirements. If any of the student groups in the tested grades do not meet the performance targets for math or reading; participation; attendance; or graduation then the entire school does not make AYP. There are 41 categories a school must meet to make AYP. The No Child Left behind Act requires that 100 percent of students demonstrate proficiency by 2013-2014.

"Students and teachers have been working very hard to improve test scores in reading, math and science. Their effort is demonstrated by the progress in our overall academic performances statewide." Juneau stated.

The AYP status of each Montana school and district is summarized on the Office of Public Instruction's web site at: www.opi.mt.gov/AYP


 

Education Officials Report Montana Students Continue to Score Higher than the National Average on ACT Exams
 
August 19, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Linda Kaiser
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160
 
Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau and Commissioner of Higher Education Sheila Stearns report that Montana's 2009 graduating class earned an average composite score of 22 compared to the national composite score of 21.1.  The national and state averages were the same last year.

The ACT is designed to measure the academic skills that are deemed important for success in first-year college courses.

The 2009 ACT tests were taken by 5,960 students (or 54 percent) of Montana's 2009 high school graduates.   Five percent of those taking the test were American Indian, a percentage which remains consistent over the last few years.  One Montana student earned a perfect score of 36.

"Overall, Montana students have consistently scored higher than students on the national level; however, an achievement gap is demonstrated between American Indian and white students.  We need to continue to remain vigilant in preparing all of our students to be ready for college. The data shows we still have some work to do on that front," said Superintendent Juneau.

"The current ACT scores speak well of our students' performance, but we can't afford to stand still. Substantial room for growth exists in college readiness in math and science skills needed by our students in their first-year college courses," said Superintendent Juneau.

"Montana students scored higher than the national average in all four subject areas of English, mathematics, reading, and science," said Commissioner Stearns. "Their highest scores were in reading (22.7) and science (21.7).  This information helps high school seniors focus on becoming college- or work-ready before graduation.  Currently, the University System and the Office of Public Instruction are pursuing several initiatives to help improve math, science, and writing instruction."

"The most significant indicator of how well students do on the ACT and succeed in college is whether they have taken college preparatory classes in high school and we will continue to work closely with postsecondary education to ensure we reach our goal of preparing every student for college success," concluded Superintendent Juneau.


 

Superintendent Denise Juneau congratulates Montana Finalist in Young Scientist Challenge

August 17, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Linda Kaiser
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau congratulates Marina Dimitrov, Sacajawea Middle School student in Bozeman Montana, on her selection as one of ten finalists in the 11th annual Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge.

The Discovery Education 3M Young Scientist Challenge targets students in the years when research indicates their interest in science begins to fade and encourages them to explore scientific concepts and creatively communicate their findings. Students nationwide were asked to create a one- to two-minute video about a specific scientific concept that relates to innovative solutions for everyday life. In Dimitrov's video submission she applied the concepts of heat conduction and convection to design a way to conserve heat from a wood stove. "We are proud to recognize Marina for her ability to apply scientific concepts to design a solution to an everyday problem," said Superintendent Juneau.

Through the Montana content standards for science, educators strive to engage students in inquiry-based learning. "Marina exemplifies those students who connect science to their world and apply the critical thinking and problem solving skills of inquiry-based learning," said Superintendent Juneau.

Each finalist will be awarded an all-expenses paid trip to New York City to compete in the Young Scientist Challenge finals on October 6, 2009. Students will demonstrate their scientific innovation and creativity in a series of individual challenges focused on "The Science of Everyday Life." The winner will receive $50,000 in U.S. Savings Bonds ($25,000 cash value) and the title of "America's Top Young Scientist."

"We are pleased Marina will be representing Montana at this national competition," said Superintendent Juneau.


 

SUPERINTENDENT DENISE JUNEAU REPORTS ASTHMA RATE UNCHANGED AMONG MONTANA STUDENTS

August 5, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Linda Kaiser
Communications Director
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

SUPERINTENDENT DENISE JUNEAU REPORTS ASTHMA RATE UNCHANGED AMONG MONTANA STUDENTS

The Montana Office of Public Instruction recently released the 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) results for Montana high school students. The 91-item questionnaire developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a self-reporting student survey administered by the Office of Public Instruction in February of every odd-numbered year.

Approximately 9.9 million (14%) of U.S. children under the age of 18 have been diagnosed with asthma at some time in their lives, and 6.8 million (9%) currently have asthma. Asthma prevalence rates tend to be higher in Montana than the national average. According to the recently released 2009 Montana YRBS, 19% of Montana high school students had been told by a doctor or nurse that they had asthma, and 10% currently have asthma. Asthma contributes to hospital emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and school days lost among school-aged children. Since 2005, when the YRBS first asked the asthma questions of high school students, the asthma prevalence rate has remained unchanged in Montana, where nearly one in five students have had asthma at some time in their life. The current asthma rate is higher among female (13%) than male (8%) students in Montana.

"We must assure that students with asthma fully participate in school activities and have the best chance at academic success," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau. The Office of Public Instruction is collaborating with the Department of Public Health and Human Services Asthma Control Program to provide training and technical assistance to schools. "Well prepared schools are able to respond to the growing health concern regarding asthma and how it affects students' learning experiences," Juneau said.

For more on the YRBS please visit Youth Risk Behavior Survey.


 

 

SUPERINTENDENT DENISE JUNEAU REPORTS TOBACCO USE DECLINING AMONG MONTANA STUDENTS

August 3, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Linda Kaiser
Communications Director
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

SUPERINTENDENT DENISE JUNEAU REPORTS TOBACCO USE DECLINING AMONG MONTANA STUDENTS

The Montana Office of Public Instruction recently released the 2009 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) results for Montana high school students. The 91-item questionnaire developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a self-reporting student survey administered by the Office of Public Instruction in February of every odd-numbered year.

Newly released data from the 2009 Montana (YRBS) shows that 18% of high school students smoked cigarettes during the past 30 days. Just over half of these current smokers, (54%) have tried to quit smoking during the past 12 months. In 2009, 50% of Montana students reported having tried cigarette smoking, a significant decrease from a decade ago when 73% of students had tried cigarette smoking.

"This positive response to a bad behavior shows that these students are knowledgeable about the health risks associated with tobacco use," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau. "Our job is to continue to impress that message upon students and parents and to reach students at a younger age."

The YRBS revealed that most Montana students have never smoked a cigarette; however of the 38% who have, 33% had their first cigarette when they were under the age of 13.

The Office of Public Instruction is promoting media literacy for educators and students to help youth gain the critical analysis skills they need to counteract the billions of dollars spent by the tobacco industry marketing products that can be attractive to teens. Eighteen percent of high school students (24% males and 12% females) have smoked cigars, cigarillos or little cigars during the past 30 days. "It is difficult to believe that products such as fruit or bubble gum flavored cigarillos aren't targeting our youth" stated Juneau. "We must begin early to educate students about the health risks, the true purpose of advertising, and provide them with tools to make good decisions."

For more on the YRBS please visit Youth Risk Behavior Survey.


 

 

Superintendent Juneau Announces the Creation of a Special Account for Agriculture Education Funding

July 28, 2009

For immediate release

Contact: Linda Kaiser
Office of Public Instruction
Communication Director
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

Superintendent Juneau Announces the Creation of a Special Account for Agricultural Education Funding

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau announced that the Office of Public Instruction has established a funding account to accept donations to support Advancing Agricultural Education in Montana Program under HB464 passed in the 2009 Legislative Session, or for related payments to advance agricultural education in Montana schools.

Donors may write checks payable to the Office of Public Instruction. Donations from private individuals, businesses, organizations, foundations or other donors will be accepted. Donations will be administered by the Office of Public Instruction and disbursed to Montana's Educational Agricultural Programs and related projects.

There are currently agriculture education programs in 76 school districts in Montana, about one-half of the secondary districts. The creation of this account will better enable Montana's schools to fund agriculture education programs and related projects without relying only on the current funding provided schools based on levies or current property taxes. Donations made will be tax-deductable.

More than 4,000 students are enrolled in agriculture education in secondary programs in Montana. "We are pleased to be a part of the efforts to encourage agricultural education in Montana's K-12 schools," said Superintendent Juneau.

Please contact Brad King 444.4451 or bking2@mt.gov for additional information.


 

Superintendent Juneau Announces Funding of the 21st Century Learning Centers

July 15, 2009

For immediate release

Contact:  Linda Kaiser
Office of Public Instruction
Communication Director
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

Superintendent Juneau Announces Funding of the 21st Century Learning Centers

Superintendent Denise Juneau announced that the Office of Public Instruction has awarded more than $5 million to schools and community groups to create or continue afterschool programs for Montana's students at elementary, middle and high schools throughout Montana. Twelve new projects are funded for 2009-2010 joining the 58 projects currently in operation. "It is a great opportunity to be able to support 70 sites that benefit students, schools and communities," said Juneau.

A 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) offers programs and services
that benefits the educational and related health, social services, cultural and recreational needs of youth in Montana communities. These centers serve as safe and nurturing environments where children can participate in enriching activities during times when school is not in session - after school and, in some locations, during the summer. These programs are the result of dedicated partnership efforts between the school and community-based organizations to meet the unique needs of students, families and communities.

More than 12,000 students participated in OPI-funded afterschool programs during the prior year; an additional 4,650 children are anticipated to be served during the 2009-2010 school year. Superintendent Juneau expressed that the "outcomes in core academic studies and positive youth development enrich the lessons learned during the traditional school day."

OPI has supported 21st CCLC afterschool programs since 2002 with funds provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Federal program dollars have grown from $400,000 in 2002 to more than $5 million for 2009-2010. Please visit the Office of Public Instruction website at 21st Century Community Learning Centers for a listing of schools and community based programs that received funding.


 

Superintendent Juneau Announces School Nutrition Equipment Grant Awards

July 14, 2009

For immediate release

Contact: Linda Kaiser
Office of Public Instruction
Communication Director
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

Superintendent Juneau Announces School Nutrition Equipment Grant Awards

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), provides a one-time appropriation of $250,000 to Montana for equipment assistance to school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program. The Montana Office of Public Instruction recently awarded grant money to 45 school districts throughout the state. For a listing of districts, please visit the Office of Public Instruction website at http://www.opi.mt.gov/schoolfood/grants.html.

"The Office of Public Instruction staff worked hard to review the large number of applications received and make grant awards before the federal deadline," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau. "Grants will be used to help school districts support expanded participation in the school meals programs and help improve the overall food service operation. The need for this funding was apparent."

Applicants were required to demonstrate the need for the equipment based on improving the quality of school food service meals, improving safety, improving energy efficiency, and/or supporting expanded participation in the school meal programs.

The one-time grants of $5,000 were awarded on a competitive basis, and as stipulated in the ARRA, priority was given to schools in which at least 50 percent of the students were from low-income families.

While the primary effect of the equipment assistance grants authorized by the ARRA will be to improve the infrastructure in the school lunch program, the grants are also intended to stimulate activity within the American economy.


 

SUPERINTENDENT DENISE JUNEAU APPOINTS DEBORAH HALLIDAY AS COMMUNITY LEARNING PARTNERSHIPS POLICY ADVISOR
July 7, 2009
For Immediate Release
Contact: Linda Kaiser
Office of Public Instruction
Communications Director
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau announced the appointment of Deborah Halliday as Community and Learning Partnerships policy advisor.

Halliday will work with communities, schools, and other organizations to identify and implement steps to increase student achievement by facilitating and strengthening community partnerships.

"I am so pleased that Deb is joining our team, said Superintendent Juneau. Her background and experience will certainly help us to reach out to communities and other organizations to maintain a quality education for students across Montana."

Halliday worked for the past eight years advising non-profit organizations on issues of strategic planning, leadership development, and communications. Prior to that, she served as Director of Planning and Development for Partnership Health Center in Missoula, and as Chief Aide for the Senate Minority Office of the Montana State Legislature in 1995.

"Having attended public school when I was growing up, and with a deep-seated belief in how transformative a quality public education can be to a child's life, I am thrilled to be joining OPI to help communities realize the very best education system possible for Montana's kids," Halliday said.

Halliday is a graduate of Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs' Master's program in Public Administration, where she focused on Social Welfare Policy.


 

GOVERNOR SCHWEITZER AND SUPERINTENDENT JUNEAU ANNOUNCE RELEASE OF STUDENT LOAN ASSISTANCE FUNDS
July 7, 2009
For Immediate Release
Contact: Linda Kaiser
Office of Public Instruction
Communications Director
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160
Sara Elliot
Governor's Office
Communications Director
selliot@mt.gov
406-444-9725

Governor Brian Schweitzer and Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau announce the release of the "Quality Educator Loan Assistance Program" payments to K-12 educators. This is the second year the Quality Educator Loan Assistance program has been in existence. It was authorized by the 2007 legislature, and provides for the direct repayment of educational loans to eligible educators in Montana. The total loan repayment assistance to an individual is limited to $3,000 per year for up to four years. "Great leaders were inspired in the classroom by extraordinary teachers. Montana has some of the best teachers in the nation," said Governor Brian Schweitzer. "It is important that we do what we can to keep them here in Montana so they can inspire our young leaders and help build a brighter future."

Governor Brian Schweitzer and 2007 Montana Legislature appropriated $350,000 for the Quality Educator Loan Assistance Program for K-12 educators and licensed professionals. Nearly 226 educators applied and were ranked based on a scoring system that takes into account the critical shortage areas in Montana. Recipients include 116 quality educators, representing 86 different schools and 4 special education co-ops of which 25% are Special Education educators and professionals.

"Across the state, educators are helping students experience success and the Office of Public Instruction in conjunction with the Governor's Office, is pleased to assist educators with their loan payments," said Superintendent Juneau.

To qualify for loan assistance an educator must be:

- A full-time educator holding a valid educator license with an endorsement in an impacted subject area or a licensed professional providing services to students in a school district, an education cooperative, the Montana School for the Deaf and Blind, the Montana Youth Challenge Program or a state youth correctional facility.

- Teaching in an impacted school. These schools tend to be rural and isolated, have a higher percentage of economically disadvantaged students, and/or have greater challenges in closing the achievement gap. A list of qualifying schools is available at http://www.opi.mt.gov/PDF/Cert/CrShortageNov2008.pdf

- Teaching in an impacted academic area. These areas are Music, Mathematics, Special Education, Science, Speech/Language Pathologist, World Languages, School Counselor, Library/ Media, and Business and Art.
The Quality Educator Loan Assistance Program is administered by the Montana Guaranteed Student Loan Program, a division of the Commissioner’s Office of Higher Education. Questions regarding the program and application process may be directed to Montana Guaranteed Student Loan Program at 800-537-7508. 


 

SUPERINTENDENT JUNEAU SIGNS APPLICATION FOR STATE FISCAL STABILIZATION FUND
June 29, 2009
For Immediate Release

Contact: Linda Kaiser
Office of Public Instruction
Communications Director
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

Tyler Trevor
TTrevor@mt.gov
406- 444-0307

On Monday, June 29, 2009, Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau joined Governor Brian Schweitzer in submitting Montana's application for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds known as State Fiscal Stabilization Funds to U.S. Secretary of Education Duncan. Montana Commissioner of Higher Education Sheila Stearns submitted a letter in support of the application.

The 2009 Montana Legislature appropriated approximately $62.1 million in HB645 to be used, in part, to fund a portion of the 3% increase in K-12 BASE aid related to the Basic and per- ANB entitlements for the next two school-years.

"We welcome the opportunity to apply for State Fiscal Stabilization Funds of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. These funds will help schools make it through these tough economic times in order to maintain quality education services for students. We are committed to rapidly distributing the funds once the state's application is approved by the Secretary" said Superintendent Juneau.

The 2009 Montana Legislature appropriated approximately $60 million in Education Stabilization funding to the Montana University System.  These funds enabled the Board of Regents to bolster their commitment to access and affordability by allowing a tuition freeze to continue on all two-year campuses and at smaller four-year colleges.

Commissioner Stearns stated, "Education Stabilization funding comprised a considerable portion of our budget and essentially laid the foundation for general and educational operations to be delivered at the high level Montanans have come to expect."

Visit the Office of Public Instruction's website at www.opi.mt.gov for additional information regarding the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.


 

Governor Schweitzer  and State Superintendent Juneau  join other States to develop Common Education Standards
June 2, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Linda Kaiser
Office of Public Instruction
Communications Director
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

Sara Elliot
Governor's Office
Communications Director
selliot@mt.gov
406-444-9725

Governor Brian Schweitzer and Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau today joined the National Common Core State Standards Initiative, a state-led process to develop common English-language arts and mathematics standards. The Common Core State Standards Initiative will be jointly led by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO).

Governor Schweitzer and Superintendent Juneau join their colleagues across the country in engaging in a state-led process to develop a national common core of state standards in English-language arts and mathematics for grades K-12. These standards are expected to be research and evidence-based, internationally benchmarked to top performing countries, aligned with college and work expectations and include rigorous content and skills.

“Montana students need to be ready for the 21st Century.  Our students are no longer competing with those in surrounding states but with students in countries across the world,” said Governor Brian Schweitzer.  “All of Montana’s students need to graduate high school ready to succeed in college and work and Montana’s participation in this state-led effort is an important step.”

The goal of the Common Core State Standards Initiative is to have a common core of national standards that states can voluntarily adopt. States may choose to include additional standards beyond the common core.

"We look forward to working with NGA and CCSSO to build upon our existing state standards. Establishing common standards will enhance our ability to prepare all children for success in the global economy," said Superintendent Juneau.

The NGA Center and CCSSO will coordinate the process to develop these standards and will create an expert validation committee to provide an independent review of the common core state standards, as well as the grade-by-grade standards. The college and career ready standards are expected to be completed in July 2009. The grade-by-grade standards work is expected to be completed in December 2009.

Montana is currently working on draft standards for English-language arts and mathematics. To view and provide comment please go to: Mathematics  and Communication Arts



Superintendent Denise Juneau congratulates Montana's 2009 Presidential Scholars
May 29, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Linda Kaiser
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau congratulates Kyle D. Doyle, Loyola Sacred Heart High School student and Emily L. Howell, Hellgate High School student, as Montana's 2009 Presidential Scholars.

Doyle and Howell have demonstrated outstanding academic achievement, leadership, and service to their schools and communities and will be honored for their accomplishments in Washington D.C., from June 21-24.

Of the three million students expected to graduate from high school this year, only 141 candidates were selected to be a Presidential Scholar.

"We are proud to recognize Kyle and Emily for achievement in academics, leadership and their demonstrated commitment to community service," said Superintendent Juneau.

Since 1983, each Presidential Scholar has had the opportunity to select his or her most inspiring teacher to travel to Washington, D.C., to receive a Teacher Recognition Award from the U.S. Department of Education and to participate in the recognition events.

Howell nominated Rob Jensen, science teacher at Hellgate High School and Doyle nominated Matthew Stergios, history teacher at Loyola Sacred Heart High School to receive Teacher Recognition Awards.

"Jensen and Stergios are to be congratulated for their dedication to excellence in education," said Superintendent Juneau.


 

SUPERINTENDENT DENISE JUNEAU ANNOUNCES LUTHER SCHOOL RECEIVES AWARD FOR HEALTHY SCHOOL MEALS

May 21, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Linda Kaiser
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

LUTHER SCHOOL RECEIVES AWARD FOR HEALTHY SCHOOL MEALS

Luther School received a statewide award for its healthy, homemade school lunch program. The Healthier Montana Menu Challenge (http://www.opi.mt.gov/schoolfood/healthiermt.html) recognizes exceptional school meals programs. Luther School successfully met a challenging list of menu criteria to qualify for the award. The menu criteria ensure school menus reflect the dietary guidelines by serving more fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grain, lower fat entrees, legumes, and low fat milk choices.

Ann Ballard, School Nutrition Director, prepares most of the meals from scratch, which improves taste and quality while lowering fat, cholesterol and sodium. Students enjoy fresh-baked, whole-grain bread items. Ann describes why she goes to great lengths to make her school meals healthy, "Caring about these kids as I do; I feel it's important to familiarize them with healthy food choices which will help them develop healthy eating habits that will carry them through a happy and healthy life."

Luther School serves more than 800 lunches to students each month. Over 99 percent of the student population participates in the hot lunch program, proving its high quality reputation. Luther School has an active school wellness committee which has been successful in building a school environment which supports healthy eating and physical activity.

"My grandmother was a school cook for 28 years. She understood that serving more nutritious choices at school breakfast and lunch helps provide the brainpower students need for academic success while teaching them an important lifelong skill - learning to eat healthy," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau.



 

SUPERINTENDENT DENISE JUNEAU ANNOUNCES MULDOWN SCHOOL RECEIVES AWARD FOR HEALTHY SCHOOL MEALS
May 19, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:  Linda Kaiser
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

MULDOWN SCHOOL RECEIVES AWARD FOR HEALTHY SCHOOL MEALS

Muldown School in Whitefish, MT received a statewide award for its healthy, homemade school lunch program.  The Healthier Montana Menu Challenge (http://www.opi.mt.gov/schoolfood/healthiermt.html) recognizes exceptional school meals programs.  Muldown School successfully met a challenging list of menu criteria to qualify for the award.  The menu criteria ensure school menus reflect the dietary guidelines by serving more fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grain, lower fat entrees, legumes, and low fat milk choices.  Muldown School is the fifth Montana school to receive this prestigious award. 

"One of our main goals has been to try to remove the preservative-filled processed foods by making more items from scratch. Our kitchen staff has been great in implementing these changes. Sometimes they think I'm crazy when I tell them we're putting yams in the grilled cheeses and making spaghetti sauce with red lentils but they always give it a chance," said Jay Stagg,  Muldown School Nutrition Director.

Muldown School serves more than 6,000 lunches each month.  The award-winning menu is served district wide, allowing all students healthy options.  Muldown Principal Jill Rocksund said, "Our parents really appreciate the improvements that Stagg and his staff have made.  Their children are getting healthier lunches and more students want to eat our hot lunch."

"My grandmother was a school cook for 28 years.  She understood that serving nutritious choices at school lunch provides the brainpower students need for academic success while teaching them an important lifelong skill - learning to eat healthy," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau.




Superintendent Denise Juneau Honors Milken Educator Award Winner
May 11. 2009
Contact:  Linda Kaiser
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau will present the Milken Educator Award obelisk to Kathie Heusel during an award ceremony to honor Heusel on May 13 at 4:00 p.m. at Morningside Elementary School in Great Falls.
 
The Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award program provides public recognition and financial rewards to elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and other education professionals who are furthering excellence in education. By honoring outstanding educators, the program strives to attract, develop, motivate and retain talented people to the challenge and adventure of teaching.
 
Heusel is one of only 71 teachers nationwide - and the only one in Montana - to be recognized with one of the Foundations' National Educator Award this year. From its original presentation of awards to a dozen California educators, the program has grown to national stature. Over 2,300 outstanding kindergarten-through-12th-grade educators [ http://www.mff.org/mea/mea.taf?page=map ]across the United States have been recognized and celebrated with unrestricted, individual Milken Educator Awards of $25,000 since the Award's inception.
 
Heusel received a $25,000 award at the annual Milken Family Foundation National Education Conference, a professional development conference that was held on April 18-19 in Los Angeles.
 
"We are proud to acknowledge Kathie Heusel and her passion and dedication to furthering excellence in education," said Superintendent Juneau.


Kathie Heusel to receive $25,000 Milken Educator Award
April 14, 2009
Contact:  Linda Kaiser
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

Kathie Heusel will receive a $25,000 award at the annual Milken Family Foundation National Education Conference, a professional development conference to be held April 18-19 in Los Angeles. Heusel teaches fifth grade at Morningside Elementary School in Great Falls.

With a strong focus on active, process-based learning, Heusel integrates multiple subject areas, turning math graphs into art projects and having students write about real-world topics of their own interest. She is a member of Morningside's Intervention Team and Communication Arts Team, and is the school's technology consultant.

Heusel is one of only 80 teachers nation-wide - and the only one in Montana - to be recognized with one of the Foundation's National Educator Awards this year.

The Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award program provides public recognition and financial rewards to elementary and secondary school teachers, principals and other education professionals who are furthering excellence in education. By honoring outstanding educators, the program strives to attract, develop, motivate and retain talented people to the challenge and adventure of teaching.

Superintendent Denise Juneau will present Heusel with a Milken Family Foundation National Award obelisk on May 13 in Great Falls.

"We are proud to acknowledge Kathie Heusel and her passion and dedication to furthering excellence in education," said Superintendent Juneau.

 



Superintendent Denise Juneau announces American Indian Youth Leadership Training to be held on April 16.
April 13, 2009
Contact:  Linda Kaiser
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

American Indian Youth Leadership Training - "Stepping Up", in conjunction with Montana Indian Education Association (MIEA), will be held on April 16 at the Red Lion Colonial Inn in Helena, Montana. Superintendent Denise Juneau will deliver the luncheon address.

45 students from reservation and urban schools across Montana will be attending. The attendees will receive training from DJ Eagle Bear Vanas on leadership, the power of education and goal setting, and participate in leadership and team building exercises. During the afternoon, students will visit several community service organizations followed by a tour of the Capitol and meetings with American Indian Legislators.

"Leadership training empowers students, enriches their education and provides skills they can use in their daily lives," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau.

 



Office of Public Instruction receives grant to expand Statewide Data System.
April 6, 2009
Contact:  Linda Kaiser
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

The Montana Office of Public Instruction has been awarded a $5,798,000 grant from the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) to establish a data warehouse. This four year grant will enable OPI to create a system to organize and map Montana's educational data, create a data governance process, establish a data warehouse, migrate data from various systems to the warehouse, and implement tools to make the data accessible to users.

The establishment of the data warehouse will lay the foundation for a longitudinal data system that will benefit public education in Montana. It will also facilitate the exchange of information between pre-Kindergarten and post-secondary data systems. In addition, a longitudinal data system will facilitate federal and state reporting and provide additional program effectiveness for students by both teachers and administrators.

"Implementing a comprehensive statewide longitudinal data system, will enable OPI to generate accurate and timely data to meet reporting requirements; support evidence-based education decision-making; and increase the efficiency and organization of transferring educational data among schools and districts to improve student achievement," said Superintendent Juneau.

In the future, this system will provide more information to parents and the public regarding school performance and provide for increased transparency.

 



Superintendent Juneau announces 21st Century After School Grants
Contact:  Linda Kaiser
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau announces the release of 21st Century After School grant applications.

21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) grants provide schools or community based organizations funding to create quality after school programs that can improve children's academic and social skills and help promote appropriate activities during those unsupervised "Critical Hours" between 3 and 6 pm. In 2004, Montana's after school system had the capacity to serve approximately 14% (7,430) of over 54,000 elementary school-aged children living in single working parent or two working parent households. Each year since 2002, 21st CCLC funding in Montana added an average of eight programs a year and currently 12,000 Montana K-12 students are being served by these grants. All regions of Montana are challenged to meet out of school time needs, but the lack of services is especially critical in extremely rural counties.

OPI's 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program continues to fund innovative programs that work to serve children and families statewide. For the year 2009-2010 there is $1,145,000 available for new grantees. Eligibility is determined when 40 percent of the students from a school receive free or reduced price meals.

"The 21st Century Community Learning Centers provide additional opportunities for academic enrichment and engaging activities during non-school hours (before-school, after-school and summer) in a community learning center environment and we are pleased to be able to support these programs," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau.

 



Superintendent Juneau announces Title I and IDEA Grants
Contact:  Linda Kaiser
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009. The ARRA provides one time appropriations for Title I and IDEA Grants that are in addition to the regular school year 2009-2010 amounts appropriated by Congress.

Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Act of 1965 provides financial assistance to school districts for services that improve the teaching and learning of children at risk of not meeting challenging state academic standards, especially those children who reside in areas with high concentrations of children from low-income families. The amount of Title I funds allocated to Montana under the ARRA is $34.6 million. The regular Title I allocation to Montana is projected to be $45.7 million for a projected total of $80.3 million. These funds will be distributed to eligible school districts with the districts distributing funds to eligible schools within the district.

The ARRA funds under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) may be used for any expenditure that is considered an allowable cost for special education within the parameters of the IDEA. This includes, for example, personnel services, equipment, and related services, such as speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. The amount of IDEA funds under the ARRA is $36.7 million which will be distributed to school districts and special education cooperatives. The regular IDEA allocation to Montana is $36.98 million for a total of $73.68 million.

"This is an opportunity to help school districts to improve student achievement. We must invest these education dollars quickly, thoughtfully, and productively in ways that best meet the long and short term needs of children," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau.



Superintendent Juneau announces School Nutrition Equipment Grants
April 1, 2009

Contact:  Linda Kaiser
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), was signed into law by President Obama on February 17, 2009. The ARRA provides a one time appropriation of $100,000,000 for equipment assistance to school food authorities (SFAs) participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

Funds received by Montana will be allocated to districts through competitive NSLP equipment assistance grants. The Office of Public Instruction will fund 45 $5,000 grants to school districts participating in the National School Lunch Program. NSLP equipment assistance grant applications were sent to districts during the week of March 23, 2009.

"Grants may be used to help school districts support expanded participation in the school meals programs and help improve the overall food service operation," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau.

As stipulated in the ARRA, priority will be given to SFAs for equipment for schools in which at least 50 percent of the students are eligible for free or reduced-priced meals.



Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau invites the public to attend an Indian Education for All Rotunda Day.
March 12, 2009
Contact:  Linda Kaiser
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau invites the public to attend an Indian Education for All Rotunda Day on March 16th at the Capitol Rotunda from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Montana's Office of Public Instruction will showcase a variety of materials developed to support the implementation of the Indian Education for All act. Featured exhibits include the debut of the new website, "Montana Tribes," developed in a partnership with the University of Montana's Regional Learning Project. The website features hundreds of contemporary video clips addressing a wide spectrum of topics from the perspectives of individual Montana Indians.


Other exhibits include:

* Posters and instructional materials from Montana State University's teacher education curriculum
* University of Montana's Perceiving Art Through Heritage (PATH) Project: Lessons and materials about contemporary Native American art and artists
* The Place Names Curriculum: place-based learning uniting traditional knowledge and technology
* A Colorful Heritage: Plateau Beaded Bags from the Montana Historical Society
* Instructional materials developed by the Office of Public Instruction
* Video footage of Montana educators' reflections on Indian Education for All


"Indian Education For All is transforming public education in Montana's classrooms. The instructional materials exhibited today are an example of Montana fulfilling its promise to provide a quality education for all students. Since 2005, when the legislature provided funding for the implementation of this constitutional mandate, our office, working with teachers and tribal educators, has created over 220 classroom units and lessons spanning nearly every curriculum area," said Juneau.

For more information please contact Teresa Veltkamp at tveltkamp@mt.gov or 406.444.0726



Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau Announces American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Online Conferences
March 11, 2009
Contact:  Linda Kaiser
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau announced that the Office of Public Instruction is inviting Montana school employees and administrators to learn more about the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and its impact on schools through a series of five online Adobe Connect conferences.

"This is a historic opportunity to create jobs and advance education reform. If we do the right thing, not just for our economy, but for our children, we have a chance to do something extraordinary. We must invest these education dollars quickly, thoughtfully, and productively in ways that best meet the long and short term needs of children," said Juneau.

All five online conferences will be recorded and accessible for public viewing and reference at our website, http://www.opi.mt.gov

The first of five conferences, an overview, took place today. Assurances will be discussed on March 25, Title 1 on April 1, Special Education April 15, and on April 29 there will be a legislative wrap-up regarding school funding - both on the general fund and the stimulus package.

Please visit the Office of Public Instruction website for more information. The Recovery Act News tab on the right-hand side of the page links you to documents from the U.S. Department of Education (USED), including fact sheets about Title I, IDEA, Stabilization Funds and an overview, under the related documents link. As more guidance is provided by USED, items will be posted under the Recovery Act News tab on OPI's website.



Montana wins grant to expand Advanced Placement to low income students
March 4, 2009
Contact:  Linda Kaiser
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

Montana wins $25,800 Advance Placement (AP) Grant to pay for all or a portion of AP or International Baccalaureate (IB) tests taken by low income students. The grant will help pay for 430 AP tests and 18 IB exams that will be taken by low income students this spring.

The AP courses and exams currently offered in Montana range from Biology to U. S. History to Art Studio, giving students the opportunity to practice focused explorations of subjects while still in high school. Participating in these courses can help students consider career paths while experiencing high expectations and a commitment to academic excellence.

The recent College Board's fifth annual Advanced Placement Report to the Nation reports that 10.6% of Montana's public school students in the class of 2008 achieved an AP Exam grade of 3 or better (the score predictive of college success) during their high school years. This is an increase over the 10.2 % in 2007 and 8.6% in 2003.

Although 1% of Native American students scored a grade of 3 or better, the number of Native Americans taking the test rose by 26.7%. In 2008, a total of 2,406 Montana students took the AP test in Montana, which is an increase of 5.7% from the prior year.

"Across the state, educators are helping students experience success in advance placement and we are seeing results. We have made significant progress in making AP available to more students but still have work to do to close the achievement gap. This grant will help us close the achievement gap," said Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau.

 



Superintendent Denise Juneau celebrates National School Breakfast Week
March 3, 2009
Contact:  Linda Kaiser
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

(Helena) Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau and several members of her staff will join Jefferson school students for breakfast on Wednesday, March 4th from 7:45 a.m. - 8:15 a.m. to celebrate National School Breakfast Week.

National School Breakfast Week is March 2-6, and schools around Montana will be taking advantage of this opportunity to celebrate the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast. To help increase participation in breakfast programs, Montana schools are getting creative by offering school breakfast in a variety of service options. For example, schools in Missoula, Rocky Boy, St. Regis and Great Falls offer breakfast in the classroom. Other schools like Lewistown, Helena and Whitehall offer a grab and go breakfast to accommodate students' busy schedules.

"My grandmother was a school cook for 28 years. She understood that a healthy breakfast gives students the energy to learn all morning and succeed academically. I am proud that 82% of our schools provide an opportunity for Montana children to enjoy the most important meal of the day," said Juneau.

For more information about National School Breakfast Week please contact our office.



Superintendent Denise Juneau celebrates National School Breakfast Week
March 2, 2009
Contact:  Linda Kaiser
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

(Helena) Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau and several members of her staff will join Jefferson school students for breakfast on Wednesday, March 2nd from 7:45 a.m. - 8:15 a.m. to celebrate National School Breakfast Week.

National School Breakfast Week is March 2-6, and schools around Montana will be taking advantage of this opportunity to celebrate the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast. To help increase participation in breakfast programs, Montana schools are getting creative by offering school breakfast in a variety of service options. For example, schools in Missoula, Rocky Boy, St. Regis and Great Falls offer breakfast in the classroom. Other schools like Lewistown, Helena and Whitehall offer a grab and go breakfast to accommodate students' busy schedules.

"My grandmother was a school cook for 28 years. She understood that a healthy breakfast gives students the energy to learn all morning and succeed academically. I am proud that 82% of our schools provide an opportunity for Montana children to enjoy the most important meal of the day," said Juneau.

For more information about National School Breakfast Week please contact our office.



Montana Children Power Up! With School Breakfast
February 25, 2009
Contact:  Linda Kaiser
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

National School Breakfast Week is March 2-6, and schools around Montana will be taking advantage of this opportunity to celebrate the benefits of eating a healthy breakfast. Research shows that children who eat breakfast at school score better on standardized tests, have fewer health issues, and are more attentive.

To help increase participation in breakfast programs, Montana schools are getting creative by offering school breakfast in a variety of service options. For example, schools in Missoula, Rocky Boy, St. Regis and Great Falls offer breakfast in the classroom. Other schools like Lewistown, Helena and Whitehall offer a grab and go breakfast to accommodate students' busy schedules.

"My grandmother was a school cook for 28 years. She understood that a healthy breakfast gives students the energy to learn all morning and succeed academically. I am proud that 82% of our schools provide an opportunity for Montana children to enjoy the most important meal of the day." said Denise Juneau, Superintendent of Public Instruction.

To help schools celebrate National School Breakfast Week and excite students about powering up with a healthy school breakfast, the School Nutrition Association has launched the "Power Up! With School Breakfast" campaign. There are a wealth of ideas for school celebrations, contests and games for students that can be accessed at http://www. schoolbreakfast.org.



Revising the Ages for Compulsory School Enrollment and Attendance
Feb. 17, 2009
Contact:  Linda Kaiser
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

Superintendent of Public Instruction, Denise Juneau, and Representative Sue Malek introduced HB 433 that would revise the ages for compulsory school enrollment and attendance from age 6 to age 17 or the date of completion of high school graduation requirements. Currently students are required to attend school from age 7 to age 16 or the completion of 8th grade requirements. Montana has a compulsory school age that is outdated. Education is a vital tool for an individual's economic success, particularly in an increasingly complex and technological world.

In the United States, high school graduates earn 43% more than those without a high school diploma - and college graduates earn 150% more. The unemployment rate among individuals who have not graduated from high school is 65% higher than it is for graduates and three times higher than it is for college graduates.

Raising graduation rates requires a multi-pronged approach - but it is more difficult to address the problem if state law sends the message it is acceptable for students to drop out of school before they graduate or reach at least 17 years of age.

"We will work with schools to help provide better alternatives and more educational opportunities for those students who are currently dropping out of school. For most dropouts, their decision is equivalent to choosing a life of financial hardship. Passing this bill says we believe, as a state, that our students can and should graduate from high school." said Superintendent of Public Instruction, Denise Juneau.

HB 433 will be heard in the House Education Committee February 20 at 3:00 p.m.



MONTANA DISTINGUISHED TITLE I SCHOOLS HONORED

Feb 16, 2009
Contact:  Linda Kaiser
lkaiser@mt.gov
406.444.3160

The National Association of State Title I Directors (NASTID) will honor 57 Title I schools (representing 36 states) at its annual Distinguished Schools award ceremony in San Antonio, Texas on February 19, 2009 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the conference's opening session.

"These academically outstanding schools have risen above obstacles of poverty with the help of the Title I program," says NASTID president Julie McCargar.

Central Elementary School in Roundup and Box Elder 7-8 School are two of the 57 Title I schools that will hold the title of a National Title I Distinguished School.

Central Elementary School will receive the National Title I Distinguished School Award for Exceptional Student Performance for two or more consecutive years. Central Elementary School is located in Roundup, a rural community located in central Montana. Central Elementary School has increased its use of data from essential skills assessment to increase student performance and guide their decision making processes.

Box Elder will receive the National Title I award for Closing the Achievement Gap Between Student Groups. Box Elder 7-8 School is located near the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation with a 98% Native American school population. Box Elder 7-8 School increased student achievement by creating self-contained 7th and 8th grade classrooms to ease the transition to high school and prepare its students for academic success.

"The staff at Central Elementary and Box Elder certainly deserve this recognition for their hard work, believing in the ability of every child, and completely focusing on raising student achievement" said Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau.

Title I is the largest federal-aid program in K-12 education with more than $40 million dollars awarded to Montana annually through formula grants. Schools' efforts at using Title I monies to improve the education of students in high-poverty Title I schools are working. These winning schools join hundreds of other Distinguished Schools honored since the recognition program began in 1996.

Both schools will receive an Achievement Award of $25,000.



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