Office of the Superintendent

Schools of Promise Initiative Partners with Communities to Push for Improvement

Monday, May 3, 2010, 10:50 am

Montana Superintendent Denise Juneau announced that as part of her office’s Schools of Promise initiative, which seeks to create innovative collaborations to strengthen the state’s most struggling schools, Montana is eligible for $10.4 million in School Improvement Grants (SIG). The grants will help to turn around some of the state’s most persistently low achieving schools.


Juneau’s initiative will create a new partnership with the five school systems that are eligible Montana for the grant funding: Hays Lodge Pole, Frazer, Pryor, Lodge Grass and Lame Deer.  The partnership will call for more teacher involvement, more time with students, revamped teacher evaluations, and more community involvement.   The funds are part of the $3.5 billion that are available to states from money set aside in the 2009 budget and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).


"We all believe that every child growing up in Montana deserves a quality education and the very best opportunities to succeed academically that we can provide," said Juneau. "We know that not every child in our state is getting that opportunity and we know that, with communities’ support, we can do better."


As a part of this partnership, Juneau and her staff have been travelling across the state, meeting with the eligible schools to inform them of this new partnership opportunity. These meetings have included conversations with local teachers, school administrators, and school board trustees as well as union leaders, community members and tribal leaders to get their input and to increase their involvement in helping local schools succeed.


"We’re proud of the communities who are coming together in an unprecedented level of partnership to take advantage of this unique opportunity to overcome great challenges and improve education," said Juneau."This is an opportunity for all of us to work together – parents and students, principals and teachers, business leaders and elected officials – to make sure we’re creating schools of promise in our communities."


Juneau explained that while some money will go directly to schools, the funding isn’t set up to "throw money at the problem." Instead, this funding will allow the Office of Public Instruction to provide direct services to schools that don’t have the local capacity to provide the higher level of services needed for significant academic growth. 


"This partnership will create schools where students feel safe and have high expectations, parents are proud to send their children, and all the adults in the system are pushing for increased achievement and shared success." 

For more information, contact Deb Halliday, 406.444.3559