Supt. Juneau and Gov. Bullock Join Polson for Graduation Matters Kickoff
Thursday, September 5, 2013
By Allyson Hagen
Supt. Juneau and Gov. Bullock Join Polson for Graduation Matters Kickoff Celebration
Polson, MT – Today, Governor Steve Bullock and Superintendent Denise Juneau joined Polson Public Schools, school and community leaders, and 1,000 students in grades K-12 to kick off Graduation Matters Polson.
“We all have a responsibility to ensure students have all the tools they need to be successful. I’m thrilled to join parents, teachers, administrators and community members to show our support for these young men and women,” Governor Steve Bullock said of the event. “We make Montana proud when every kid has the opportunity to fulfill their potential.”
Polson Public Schools recently received a Graduation Matters Challenge Fund grant for $5,000 from the Office of Public Instruction to increase their graduation rate and ensure students graduate prepared for college and careers. The Office of Public Instruction was awarded $450,000 over three years from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation to support community-based Graduation Matters initiatives.
Stated Superintendent Juneau, “Bringing students together with school and community leaders to send a strong message about the importance of graduation and college and career readiness is a great way to start the school year. I’m looking forward to see what Graduation Matters Polson accomplishes this year.”
The Polson School Board recently adopted Graduation Matters as one of its top three priorities for the entire K-12 district. Graduation Matters Polson has set a goal of reducing the dropout rate by 10 percent and decreasing the number of students who are credit-deficient by 15 percent. The high school will use a portion of the Challenge Fund grant to develop local partnerships and facilitate community activities. The grant will also be used to train three staff members to become LINK leaders who will work with students at risk of dropping out of school.
Polson Superintendent Dr. Linda Reksten stated, “The Polson Trustees and I are committed and have made it a 3-5 year goal that all students will graduate career and/or college ready in order to achieve their highest potential.”
In 2010, Superintendent Juneau launched a statewide initiative, Graduation Matters Montana, to address the state's dropout rate and to ensure that Montana students graduate from high school prepared for college and careers. Currently, there are 33 Graduation Matters communities, meaning 70 percent of Montana students attend a school with a Graduation Matters initiative. Since Juneau took office in 2009, the dropout rate has declined from 5.1 percent to 4.1 percent, and the graduation rate has increased from 80.7 percent to 83.9 percent.
For additional information about Graduation Matters Montana, go to: http://graduationmatters.mt.gov.