Office of the Superintendent

Graduation Matters Montana

Wednesday, September 1, 2010, 10:21 am

Montana Statewide Dropout and Graduate Report for the 2008-2009 School Year
The Montana Office of Public Instruction’s Montana Statewide Dropout and Graduate Report for the 2008-2009 School Year is now available on the OPI Web site:

The advent of a statewide student information system has increased the accuracy and reliability of Montana’s dropout data. This report reflects the second year of collecting and verifying data using the student information system known as AIM (Achievement in Montana). Data from last year’s 2007-2008 dropout report showed a sharp increase of dropout rates.  Completion rates declined slightly but increased for American Indian students.

In this report for 2008 -2009, the number of dropouts decreased slightly for all students and the dropout rate stayed the same relative to last year.  Completion rates declined from 84.2% in 2008 to 81.9% for the class of 2009.  The completion rate for American Indian students declined from 66.7% in 2008 to 64.4% for the class of 2009.

Superintendent Juneau has made Graduation Matters Montana a top priority and will focus her legislative goals for the 2011 Legislative Session on ensuring that more Montana students graduate from high school ready for college and careers.

The report was prepared by the Office of Public Instruction, Measurement & Accountability Division. For more information contact them at (406) 444-6774.

Superintendent Juneau’s Student Summit
On November 12, 2010 40 high school students from varied backgrounds will gather at Carroll College in Helena as part of Superintendent Juneau’s first student advisory board. The students will provide information and insight on the needs and goals of Montana students. The focus of the first summit will be centered on the importance of high school graduation to students under the Graduation Matters Montana initiative.  The Superintendent’s Office is currently planning the student selection process.

OPI and AA High Schools Apply for Federal Funding for High School Graduation Initiative
In July 2010, the Office of Public Instruction joined with a consortium of nine AA high schools to apply for a 5-year, $14.8 million grant to reduce dropout rates.  If funded, the project will reach nearly one-third of Montana’s high school students with strategies structured around the six research-based recommendations of the Institute of Education Sciences report Dropout Prevention, including Data Systems, Adult Advocates, Academic Supports, Classroom Behavior and Social Skills, Personalized Learning, and Rigorous, Relevant Instruction. As part of the grant, the consortium set targets for raising graduation rates, raising attendance rates, and reducing the percentage of students who are two or more years behind their expected age and credit accumulation. The OPI expects to receive notifications of the grant competition from the U.S. Department of Education by the end of September.

For more information, contact Jessica Rhoades, 406.444.3160