Resources for Families & Students

Laws, Regulations & Guidance

Professional Development Opportunities

ESSA requires each school district to appoint a staff member to serve as a “homeless liaison.” The designated staff person must have the capacity to perform the duties of the liaison. ESSA, Title IX, Part A, Sec. 9102(g)(1)(J)(ii) Liaisons are required, under ESSA, to obtain professional development to assist them in improving “identification of homeless children and youths” and to “heighten the awareness of…specific needs in the education of homeless children and youths.” ESSA, Title IX, Part A, Sec. 9102(b)(5)

Montana’s State ESSA Plan further outlines the requirements for professional development for liaisons serving public school districts. All liaisons are required to complete three (3) hours of professional development on a yearly basis. Liaisons serving districts that have received a McKinney-Vento subgrant from the OPI are required to complete seven (7) hours of professional development on a yearly basis.

The OPI recommends that liaisons complete at least one (1) hour of training on topics specifically related to homelessness. The remaining hours may include topics that are related to the “specific needs” of homeless children and youths. Liaisons should keep copies of all renewal units or certificates of completion as these may be requested by the OPI during a monitoring or in the event of a dispute.

Districts may choose from a wide variety of professional development opportunities. However, the OPI recommends the training options below as these are provided at no cost and have been vetted by OPI staff as complying with the requirements of ESSA.

Resources for Districts

Scholarships & Financial Aid

Federal Financial Aid Information
College Scorecard 
Free Application for Federal Student Aid 
FAFSA Application Guide   
Student Assistance Foundation 
Foster Care to Success 

"I Want to go to College: Now What, U.S. Department of Education?" 

National Scholarships
SchoolHouse Connection Scholarship 
Horatio Alger Scholarships  
LeTendre Education Fund Scholarship 
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Scholarship Programs 
Quest Bridge 

Pride Foundation

State and Local Scholarships
The Montana Community Foundation 
Watson Children's Shelter Scholarship 
Youth Serve Montana Scholarship 
Montana University System Scholarships 
Montana Gear Up 
Montana Educational Talent Search (ETS) 

Hopa Mountain's Scholars of Promise 


American Indian Scholarships and Financial Aid Information
Montana Tribal Colleges 
Montana University System American Indian Tuition Waiver Brochure 
Montana University System American Indian Tuition Waiver Application 
American Indian College Fund 
American Indian Services 
Association on American Indian Affairs 
Indian Health Services Scholarship Program 

Hopa Mountain Indigenous Scholars of Promise 


Career Information
Job Corps  
Montana Career Information System 
My Next Move – Career Exploration 


ARP-HCY Information and Guidance