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Contact us via email or call us in-state toll-free between 9:00am and 5:00pm MT at 1.888.231.9393, Local 406.444.3095

Have a Media Inquiry?
Emilie Ritter Saunders, Communications Director406.444.3160

MAIN CONTACTS

ACCREDITATION AND EDUCATOR PREPARATION DIVISION

E-RATE PROGRAM

  • Michael Hall, Director of Professional Learning and Technology Support, 406.444.4422
  • Kimberly Vinson, Program Assistant, 406.444.1852

McKinney-Vento - Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program

MONTANA BEHAVIORAL INITIATIVE

NEGLECTED AND DELINQUENT YOUTH

PUPIL TRANSPORTATION

  • Donell Rosenthal, Pupil Transportation Director, 406.444.3024,
    fax: 406.444.0509

SCHOLARSHIPS

  • Tobie Liedes, Program Coordinator, 406.444.2417, fax: 406.444.1373

Questions or concerns about this webpage?
Please contact the OPI Help Desk at opihelpdesk@mt.gov or 406.444.0087

 

School Programs

The Montana Office of Public Instruction's School Programs are designed and managed to support student success in a variety of ways.  No matter the situation or needs, OPI school program staff make available events, training and resources, district and school progress monitoring, telecommunication discounts, homeless education, pupil transportation, prevention and intervention programs, student scholarships, nutrition information and services, and support for Montana's Title I schools.  These programs help Montana's students, families, educators, and community members take steps toward guaranteeing a quality education for all students and building a better future for Montana.

E-Rate Modernization

The Federal Communications Commission has reviewed the E-Rate program and has issued new rules.

Technology Plans are no longer required to receive E-Rate funding, however, systemic planning and/or technology planning is encouraged.

The E-Rate program is administered by the Schools and Libraries Division of the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), a not-for-profit corporation overseen by the Federal Communications Commission to ensure that the benefits of universal service reach communities across the country.

Visit the Schools and Libraries Divisionweb page for complete E-Rate application information and resources.

  • Frequently Asked Questions;
  • Helpful Guides & Videos;
  • Relevant News Briefs; and
  • FCC Forms.

McKinney-Vento - Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program

Welcome to the Education for Homeless Children and Youth (EHCY) Program, also known as Title X, Part C of No Child Left Behind. The purpose of this program is to ensure that every homeless child and youth in the nation has equal access to the same free, appropriate public education, as provided to other children and youth.

Educating homeless children and youth in Montana presents many unique challenges due to the nature of our state. Most of our school districts are small and rural, with dedicated staff members filling multiple roles. Our communities have few resources or services designed to meet the needs of families and youth experiencing homelessness, such as emergency shelters, transitional housing, or soup kitchens.  Despite these challenges, our educators and communities work tirelessly to meet the needs of Montana's most vulnerable children.

What does it mean to be homeless in Montana? Like most states, the majority of our homeless children and families are living with friends or relatives. Under the law, this situation is known as being "doubled up," and is considered a homeless situation if the family is sharing housing due to financial hardship. Homeless families can also be found living in hotels or motels, living in a variety of shelter situations, and even camping out or sleeping in cars. If you, or someone you know, is living in one of these situations, please contact your local school district for assistance with services in your school and your community.

Why is it important to identify and provide services to homeless children and youth? Students who experience one or more episodes of homelessness often face a variety of academic challenges. Identifying these children and youth helps schools and teachers to provide the best level of support through school nutrition programs, Title I assistance programs, transportation, and connections to community agencies which can assist the family with housing, food, medical care, and other basic needs.

The OPI currently provides funding for EHCY programs in the following districts; Billings, Bozeman/Belgrade, Browning, Great Falls, Helena, Kalispell/Evergreen, Missoula and Sidney.

Please click on the appropriate tab below for more information and resources regarding the EHCY program here in Montana.

The National Center for Homeless Education and the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth provide a variety of information and resources regarding the EHCY Program.

 

All of the links on this tab are related to changes being implemented under the new requirements of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Please read through each document carefully as there are a wide range of time lines for the implementation of various portions of both the McKinney-Vento Act and related portions of Title I and other federal programs impacted by ESSA. As information is published by the U.S. Department of Education (USED), the various federal technical assistance centers, and the Office of Public Instruction we will make those documents available at this location.

As of December 10, 2016 the definition of homeless children and youths will no longer include “awaiting foster care placement.” Further information on this item is located at the link below for the Federal Register. Implementation of this portion of ESSA is independent of other implementation dates issued by USED.
All other amendments to the McKinney-Vento Act under the ESSA will take effect on October 1, 2016.

 

For more information contact Heather Denny, State Homeless Education Coordinator, at 406.444.2036 or at hdenny@mt.gov.

Neglected, Delinquent Youth

The purposes of Title I, Part D are to: (1) improve educational services for children and youth in local and State institutions for neglected or delinquent children and youth so that they have the opportunity to meet the same challenging State academic content and State student achievement standards that all children in the State are expected to meet; (2) provide these children with services to enable them to transition successfully from institutionalization to further schooling or employment; and (3) prevent at-risk youth from dropping out of school as well as to provide dropouts and children and youth returning from correctional facilities or institutions for neglected or delinquent children and youth, with a support system to ensure their continued education.

Subpart 1
The Subpart 1 program provides funding to State agencies for the purposes of improving educational services to students up to the age of 21 who are incarcerated in adult or juvenile facilities. The OPI provides funding to the Montana Department of Corrections (DOC) for programs located in the Montana State Prison, Pine Hills Correctional Facility and Riverside Correctional Facility. Funding for this program is determined by a federal formula based on the number of eligible students residing at the facility during the count period in October. Subgrant funds are awarded to the DOC which determines the amounts allotted to each of the three programs.

Subpart 2
The Subpart 2 program provides funding to LEAs for the purposes of improving the educational services to students up to age 18 who are living in residential facilities for children who are in the foster care system or the juvenile justice system, are returning from placement in state or local correctional facilities, or who may meet other federal guidelines for being "at-risk" of failing to successfully complete their education. Funding for this program is determined by a federal formula based on the number of eligible students residing at facilities licensed by the Montana Department of Health and Human Services during the count period in October. The OPI then determines which districts are eligible based on the October student count and disburses funds through a subgrant process.

For more information contact Heather Denny, State Coordinator for Neglected & Delinquent Education, at 406.444.2036 or at hdenny@mt.gov.

 

Department of Corrections Families and Students

Scholarshipsstudent with books

 

The U.S. Senate Youth Scholarship Program is sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and administered by the Office of Public Instruction. The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed this program on the Advisory List of National Contests and Activities.

Click Here for the U.S. Senate Youth Program Scholarship 2017 Application.

United States Senate Youth Scholarship

The U.S. Senate Youth Scholarship Program is sponsored by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and is administered by the Office of Public Instruction. The National Association of Secondary School Principals has placed this program on the Advisory List of National Contests and Activities.

Scholarship
The William Randolph Hearst Foundation believes it is in the public interest to encourage outstanding young people to continue their educational development. To this end, the foundation will make available to each of the 104 delegates selected to participate in the program a $10,000 college scholarship award for undergraduate studies, subject to specific conditions and requirements.

One Week in our Nation's Capitol

The United States Senate Youth Program will be held in Washington, D.C., March 4-11, 2017. The 104 student delegates will visit the Senate, House of Representatives, the Supreme Court, the Pentagon and other Washington sites.  The William Randolph Hearst Foundation will pay all expenses for the Washington Week, including transportation, hotel accommodations and meals.  The military services will provide specially selected men and women officers to serve as escorts for the student delegates while in Washington.

Senator Jon Tester with 2014 Montana delegates Rachel Skaar and Sharidan Russell
2014 USSY winners


College Scholarship
$10,000
Two Montana high school students.

How to Qualify

  • Be a junior or senior in a Montana public, private, or charter high school. Students need not be nominated to apply for the scholarship.
  • Currently serving in an elected or selected capacity in any one of the following student government offices at their Montana high school for the 2016-17 school year student body
    • president, vice president, secretary or treasurer
    • class president, vice president, secretary or treasurer
    • student council representative
  • Be a permanent resident of the United States
  • Be a Montana resident

Montana Requirements

Interested students may download or print an Annual United States Senate Youth Program $10,000 Scholarship Application by clicking on the link to the application that will be placed on this Web page in late August. The link to the application will be removed in late September.
The application must be completed in its entirety and returned by the deadline date in early October.

The top applicants, or semifinalists, will be invited to participate in a telephone interview with a panel of interviewers in October and November.
Two delegates and two alternates will be chosen from the semifinalists and will be notified in December.