* (Asterisk)

An asterisk in place of data signifies that the student population is less than 10, therefore the data must be suppressed to prevent the possible identification of individual students.  

Accountability System

This is how well  how well all students are performing academically and where state resources are needed to ensure schools and districts are being supported. Montana's system identifies schools as Comprehensive Support & Improvement, Targeted Support & Improvement, or Universal Support & Improvement. Support is provided by the OPI according to which identification schools receive.


An administrator provides leadership across all areas necessary to run a school. In the Report Cards, administrator refers to two specific positions within the school and/or district: superintendents and principals.


Test scores that demonstrate mastery of knowledge and skills beyond the basic achievement standard for grade level and content standard. 

Alternate Assessment/Exempt

Alternate assessments are used when appropriate accommodations cannot provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate their skills and knowledge.Typically, alternate assessments incorporate changes to testing conditions such as using an entirely different format for the assessment (e.g., a portfolio system instead of an on-demand test) or assessing content standards that are changed in some way (e.g., expanded standards with different performance descriptors). 

In extraordinary circumstances (e.g., medical emergency or parental insistence), individual students may be exempt from assessments. In this case, the state must describe the reasonable criteria and process that permits the exemption. 


Attendance refers to the average percentage of days that students are present for school. The ESSA Report Card considers attendance below 95% to be low attendance over the full course of the school year. 

College & Career Readiness (CCR)

CCR refers to students having the skills, knowledge, and abilities needed to succeed in life after high school, whether that's college or career. This measure is based on benchmarks of success that include academic and content knowledge, cognitive and higher-order thinking strategies, and critical thinking and problem solving. 

Comprehensive Support (CSI)

Schools identified for Comprehensive Support and Improvement meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • are in the lowest performing 5% of all Title I schools in the state;
  • have a high school graduation rate of less than 67%; and/or
  • have consistently underperforming student groups.

Every three years, the OPI will identify schools for CSI beginning with the 2018-2019 school year. These schools will develop a Continuous School Improvement Plan and work in partnership with the OPI to implement strategies to overcome challenges in the areas of school climate, school engagement, leadership, professional development and curriculum and standards. 

Economic Disadvantage

Economic disadvantage refers to students who are eligible to participate in the Free/Reduced Lunch Program under the National School Lunch Act. 

Emergency Authorization (Administrative Rules of Montana 10.57.107)

A school district that has exhausted all possibilities and remains unable to hire a licensed educator may request to utilize the emergency authorization process. If granted, the Emergency Authorization of Employment allows the district to employ a non-licensed person to teach in that subject area. The district must provide evidence of their due diligence to fill the position with a licensed educator, as well as evidence of the non-licensed person's academic qualifications or significant experience related to the subject area. The authorization is valid for one year and is non-renewable. 

English Learner

A student who was not born in the United States or whose native language is not English; who is a Native American or Alaska Native, or a native resident of the outlying areas; and who comes from an environment where a language other than English has had a significant impact on the individual’s level of English language proficiency; or who is migratory, whose native language is not English, and who comes from an environment where a language other than English is dominant; and whose difficulties in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding English denies the student the ability to meet the challenging state academic standards and the ability to fully participate and successfully achieve in classrooms where the language of instruction is English.

English Learner Progress

English Learner Progress refers to evaluating English Learners' (EL) growth from one point in time to another. It considers how language vocabulary and skills impact their mastery of the regular curriculum and gradution rates from one point in time to another. This is measured using a statewide English language proficiency assessment. 

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA)

The Every Student Succeeds Act amends Section 8302 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). Signed by President Obama on December 10, 2015, ESSA replaced No Child Left Behind and continues the nation's national educational law and the commitment to equal opportunity for students with a more flexible approach.

In practice, ESSA requires that the OPI submit a state plan for education in Montana. The state plan identifies the accountability system that will be used to make sure all Montana's students are served and being prepared for the future. ESSA does outline areas the state's must focus on, but supports a more holistic approach to student and school success that allows the state to integrate its own indicators into its accountability system. 


Growth refers to changes in student achievement from one point in time to another. The ESSA accountability system uses a growth model to demonstrate student learning across time as measured by statewide assessments. 

High Priority District

This refers to a district that has a majority of schools identified for Comprehensive Support. Because of this designation, support is delivered through a systemic district level approach. 

Ineffective Teacher

An ineffective teacher is either not licensed or shows a pattern of ineffective practices as determined by a local evaluation. 

Inexperienced Teacher

An inexperienced teacher or administrator has less than one year of teaching experience in Montana. 


Table F: Montana ESSA Plan 5th Indicator for Montana Flexibility
Federally Required Indicators 2016-2017 2017-2018 2018-2019 2019-2020
Accountability Indictators K-8 & HS K-8 & HS K-8 & HS K-8 & HS
Academic Achievement Proficiency on statewide math & ELA Assessment 25 pts & 30 pts 25 pts & 30 pts 25 pts & 30 pts 25 pts & 30 pts
Academic Growth 30 pts & NA 30 pts & NA 30 pts & NA 30 pts & NA
English Learner Progress - applies to all Schools with 10 or more English Learners 10 pts 10 pts 10 pts 10 pts
Four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate NA & 25 pts NA & 25 pts NA & 25 pts NA & 25 pts
Montana Flexibility Indicator 5        
Satisfactory Attendance 20 pts & 15 pts 20 pts & 15 pts 20 pts & 15 pts 20 pts & 15 pts

College and Career Ready Percentage of Grade 12 students determined to be college and/or career ready, met by students meeting one or more of the following criteria:

• College-ready benchmark on ACT compositeaccording to the Montana University System

• Concentrator in a Career and Technical Education pathway, or

• Completion (with passing grade) of a dualenrollment course, AP, or IB as data is available • Military ready indicator once data is available

NA & 15 pts NA & 15 pts NA & 15 pts NA & 15 pts
STEM Indicator: Proficiency on Statewide Science Assessment 10 pts CRT & NA 10 pts CRT & NA 0 pts New Science Assessment -UNDER DEVELOPMENT & NA 10 pts New Science Assessment & NA
School Survey of program quality indicators for improving school climate, reducing behavior issues, and increasing engagement 0 pts Under Development 0 pts Under Development 5 pts & 5 pts 5 pts & 5 pts


Military-Connected Students

Military-Connected students are those who have a parent or guardian who is a member of the Armed Forces on active duty. 

Nearing Proficient

Nearing Proficient refers to test scores that demonstrate almost achieving the knowledge and skills to meet the achievement standard for grade level and content area. 


Novice refers to test scores that demonstrate a lack of knowledge and content skills necessary to meet the achievement standard for grade level and content area. 

Out of Field Teacher

Out of field refers to any licensed Montana teacher teaching outside an endorsed subject area. 

Per Pupil Expenditure (PPE)

The per pupil expenditure (PPE) is the amount of federal, state and local funds expended per pupil, disaggregated by source of funds.  PPE is calculated at the state, district and school levels on an annual basis starting with the 2018-2019 school year.  Please visit the per pupil expenditure page for more information about exclusions, methodology and other reporting requirements.

Percent Progress

Percent progress refers to the percentage of students that showed progress from year to year. 


Proficient means that a student has mastered an important set of knowledge and skills, and is likely to be successful in the next grade.

Provisional License

This three-year license license may be issued to an individual who previously completed a bachelor's degree with a regionally accredited college or university, and now wants to become an educator. The application process begins with a plan of study from the college or university that the individual will be working through to obtain an educator degree. The plan must confirm that:

  1. the program will be completed in three years; and
  2. that it will result in educator licensure.

The provisional license then allows the individual to be employed in the classroom, teaching in the subject area while finishing the educator preparation program.

Student Group

This refers to a group of students identified by a particular characteristic, such as race, ethnicity, English proficiency, disability status, or income. Using specific data about individual student groups helps to identify and overcome obstacles. The OPI has determined that a student group means 5 percent or more of students statewide. 

Targeted Support (TSI)

Schools are identified for Targeted Support and Improvement each year if:

  • The school has any student group performing in the lowest 5% of all Montana schools. 

Universal Support

Schools are identified as Universal if:

  • They do not perform in the bottom five percent on statewide assessments and have a graduation rate above 67 percent, both school-wide and for specific student groups.