At the request of Montana State Superintendent Elsie Arntzen, the Board of Public Education (BPE) gave its approval to two accreditation items:
- Allowing the School District plan required by the U.S. Department of Education under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for use of Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III Fund dollars to be considered as the Continuous School Improvement Plan (CSIP) for the 2021-2022 School Year;
- Extending the School Year 2020-2021 Accreditation Status of all school districts through the 2021-2022 school year, and in essence providing a two-year accreditation cycle for districts.
By approving the Federal School District ARP-ESSER Plan as the CSIP for the 2021-2022 school year (ARM 10.55.601(3)), this will allow school districts to have a single plan to meet the demands of continuous improvement of learning for Montana students while providing relief from multiple plans with the same intended outcome. Districts would not be required to submit corrective plans to deviations, as the federal School District ARP-ESSER Plan requires 6-month updates. As such, where workforce challenges, serving subgroups, and other requirements by the federal government are not met, the updates would appear in the LEA plan. For public school districts declining these funds and private schools that are accredited, the continuous school improvement plans as outlined in ARM 10.55.601(3) is still required.
To access the LEA Plan, log into your TEAMS account. You will see ARP ESSER LEA PLAN on the homepage.
The state board of public education establishes and maintains standards for all public schools in Montana to guarantee that all students receive the benefit of attending accredited schools under the Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) Chapter 55. ARM Chapter 55 also requires school districts to develop, implement, and evaluate continuous school improvement plans, make the plans available to the public, and review them on an annual basis.