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Take the Pledge to Graduation

Graduation Matters Montana Toolkits

 


Starting a Graudation Matters Montana Iniative in Your Town


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Take the Pledge to Graduate Toolkit

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Graduation Matters Montana Summits

SAVE THE DATE – June 17, 2014 GMM Summer Summit

Mark your calendar for Tuesday, June 17, 2014 for the third annual GMM Summer Summit. In an effort to coordinate with other OPI initiatives that support every student graduating college- and career-ready, the GMM Summit will be a day-long gathering during the week of the Montana Behavioral Institute, held on the MSU campus in Bozeman. In addition, we will be hosting a GMM College and Career Readiness Workshop at the MBI Institute on Wednesday, June 18, 2014. More details to follow. For more information, please contact Amy Kruse at 444.5643 or akruse@mt.gov.

GMM Summit 2013

Thank you for your interest in attending the Graduation Matters Montana Summit 2013, scheduled for June 18, 2013 (8:30a – 4p) in Bozeman, Montana. The day-long gathering will feature discussions of effective practices happening right here in Montana to increase the number of students who graduate from high school ready for their next steps in life. The GMM Summit is open to school staff, students, and community and business leaders.

The GMM Summit is mandatory for GMM Challenge Fund grantees to attend. There is no fee for attending the Summit.

To register for the GMM Summit, click here.

GMM Summer Summit June 18, 2013 (working agenda)
Grad Talks Montana Agenda

This year, the GMM Summit is being held during the MBI Summer Institute in order to encourage GMM participants to take advantage of the resources available at the Institute, which is an annual week-long gathering of educators, community members and national and state-level experts working to create safe and respectful school environments. If you would like to register for additional days and workshops, you must register here – there is a fee for attending the MBI Summer Institute.

Questions: Contact Deborah Halliday at 444-3559 or dhalliday@mt.gov.

The First Annual Graduation Matters Montana Summer Summit, July 23 & 24, 2012, in Helena, MT

Over 160 school, community and business leaders from 30 Montana communities convened for the first statewide Graduation Matters Montana Summit. Participants shared what’s working and what’s next in our shared efforts to increase the number of Montana students who graduate ready for their next steps in life. Highlights of the Summit included a presentation by Hardin and Missoula schools on their strategies to engage students and the community in their local GMM initiatives; a presentation by the Qualgia Institute showing statistically through the My Voice survey how Montana students’ dreams (the “why”) must be cultivated before they will truly commit to the doing (the “how”) of graduation; and Governor Bob Wise of the Alliance for Excellent Education revealed state-specific economic impacts of graduating more students.

For more information click on the links below or contact Deborah Halliday at 444-3559 or dhalliday@mt.gov.

Agenda for GMM Summer Summit, 2012

GMM Summer Summit Materials, July 23-24, 2012

 

Kristin Lundgren, United Way Yellowstone County
Deborah Halliday, OPI

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Alternative Education Summit 2013

Designing the Future of Learning

The Alternative Education Summit was held in Great Falls, Montana on November 7 & 8, 2013. Over sixty teachers, staff and practitioners convened to discuss effective strategies in alternative education in Montana. In addition, participants worked in teams to explore an innovative planning tool for piloting new strategies. For more information, please contact Deborah Halliday at 444.3559 or dhalliday@mt.gov.

Pre-Summit materials for the Summit included the following three links:

  1. 2REV future of learning video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoSJ3_dZcm8
  2. 2REV designing the future of learning paper: http://www.2revolutions.net/2Rev_Designing_the_Future_of_Learning.pdf
  3. Tim Brown’s work on design thinking: http://www.ideo.com/images/uploads/thoughts/IDEO_HBR_Design_Thinking.pdf

Planning, Tools & Examples

Sample Agendas

GMM School Examples

Media Outreach

Student Advisory Board - PSA

SAB PSA

GMM School Examples

Other Tools

Student Advisory Board PSA

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Helpful Links

Other Resources

What Works Clearinghouse Dropout Prevention Practice Guide

Forgotten Youth: Re-Engaging Students Through Dropout Recovery

Pathways to Prosperity
(February 2011, Harvard Graduate School of Education)

Beyond the Bully Pulpit: The Mayor's Role in Dropout Prevention
(October 2010, National Dropout Prevention Center/Network at Clemson University)

Bringing Off-Track Youth Into the Center of High School Reform
(June 2009, Jobs for the Future)

Progress & Challenge in Ending the High School Dropout Epidemic
(November 2011, Civic Enterprises and Everyone Graduates Center)

The Community Tool Box
(2011, University of Kansas Work Group for Community Health and Development)

Early Warning Systems online tool
(from the National High School Center)

Service-Learning as a Tool for High School Dropout Prevention
(April 2008, Civic Enterprises)

Exemplary Practices in Alternative Education: Indicators of Quality Programming
(January 2009, National Alternative Education Association)

Grad Nation: A Guidebook to Help Communities Tackle the Dropout Crisis
(February 2009, America's Promise Alliance)

Other Resources Archive

Grant Opportunities

GMM SAF College Readiness Fund

Twelve Graduation Matters communities will be receiving $50,000 in grants from the Graduation Matters Montana Student Assistance Foundation College Readiness Fund. Communities will receive grants ranging from $2,000 to $5,000.

This strategic investment of funding is expected to bring in more than $3.9 million dollars in federal grant funding for Montana students and families for college. It is exciting to see Graduation Matters communities setting high goals to reach out to and engage students and families as they prepare for life after high school.

Schools are setting their sights on increasing the number of students in their schools who complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) by participating in programs such as College Goal Montana. The majority of grantee schools will also participate in College Application Week this November, an effort to increase the number of Montana students who apply for college.

Other activities that will be supported by the grant include: promotion of dual credit courses, providing college and career exploration and mentoring opportunities for middle school and high school students, and outreach to families to increase awareness of financial aid and college and certificate options.

Congratulations to these 12 communities!

Communities Receiving Awards from the Graduation Matters Montana Student Assistance Foundation College Readiness Fund: Anaconda, Bozeman, Browning, Columbia Falls, Eureka, Great Falls, Hardin, Hot Springs, Libby, Livingston, Missoula and Thompson Falls.

Sample Checklist for Student Outreach
Click here to see a sample checklist of FAFSA-related activities to assist in outreach to students and their families.

Student Assistance Foundation

College Application Week
Help students learn about Montana colleges and universities and complete a college application during the week of November 11-15, 2013. Several Montana colleges have offered to waiver their application fee during College Application Week!

Montana University System
Find out how many Montana high school graduates attended college in Montana in 2011

FAFSA
Find out how many local high school seniors completed the FAFSA in 2012 through a website from the U.S. Department of Education

Graduation Matters Montana – Challenge Fund 2014

The Montana Office of Public Instruction, in partnership with the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, State Farm Insurance, the Steele-Reese Foundation and AT&T, announces the availability of funds through the Graduation Matters Montana (GMM) Challenge Fund. Grants of up to $10,000 are available for existing GMM initiatives and for new GMM initiatives through a competitive application process. Before you complete the application, please watch this brief webinar. For further assistance, contact Amy Kruse, OPI at 444.5643 or graduationmatters@mt.gov. The grant application deadline has been extended to Friday, February 21, 2014. Award determinations will be announced March 11, 2014.

Graduation Matters Montana – Challenge Fund 2013

Juneau Announces $165,000 in Grants to 25 Graduation Matters Schools
Thursday, April 11, 2013

Helena, MT - Superintendent Denise Juneau announced the award of 25 grants to Montana schools to increase the number of Montana students who graduate from high school prepared for college and careers, for a total of $165,000 to support local Graduation Matters initiatives across the state. The Office of Public Instruction was awarded $450,000 over three years from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation to support community-based Graduation Matters initiatives. In addition, State Farm Insurance granted the OPI $15,000 to add to the GMM Challenge Fund Grants this year.

Superintendent Juneau stated, "These grants have helped jumpstart Graduation Matters initiatives across the state and are now supporting successful strategies that were implemented during the first year of the grant program. The statewide graduation rate is moving in the right direction due to the hard work happening at the local level across Montana."

Montana's graduation rate has improved from 80.2 percent in 2010 to 83.9 percent in 2012. In the 2011-2012 school year, the number of dropouts decreased by more than 130 students, and the graduation rate increased by 1.7 percent to 83.9 percent.

Stated Mike Halligan, Executive Director of the Washington Foundation, “As a major employer in Montana, Washington Corporation knows that an educated workforce starts with every student graduating from high school. The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation is pleased to be partnering with OPI, State Farm Insurance and communities across the state to develop effective, innovative strategies to increase our state’s graduation rate.”

In the first year of the Challenge Fund grant, Graduation Matters communities have focused on identifying students most at risk of dropping out, developing new dropout prevention strategies and interventions, building community support, and offering students college and career exploration opportunities. Graduation Matters communities have partnered with 250 local businesses and community organizations and reduced the credit deficiencies of more than 1,000 high school students.
Mike Miller, local agent for State Farm Insurance said, “State Farm is honored to support OPI’s efforts to engage schools, communities and local businesses in the effort to raise graduation rates in Montana. As State Farm’s CEO Edward B. Rust says, ‘We believe the success of the future lies in the youth of today.’”
For more information about Graduation Matters Montana, go to: http://gmm.mt.gov.

2013 GRADUATION MATTERS CHALLENGE FUND AWARDS

  • Anaconda, $10,000
  • Belgrade, $5,000
  • Billings, $5,000
  • Box Elder, $5,000
  • Bozeman, $8,000
  • Browning, $10,000
  • Columbia Falls, $8,295
  • Corvallis, $5,000
  • Great Falls, $10,000
  • Hamilton, $5,000
  • Hardin, $5,000
  • Havre, $5,000
  • Helena, $4,000
  • Kalispell, $10,000
  • Laurel, $8,000
  • Lewistown, $4,000
  • Lincoln, $5,000
  • Livingston, $10,000
  • Miles City, $10,000
  • Missoula, $5,000
  • Polson, $5,000
  • St. Ignatius, $5,000
  • Stevensville, $8,000
  • Thompson Falls, $5,000
  • Townsend, $5,000

Graduation Matters Montana – Challenge Fund 2012

Juneau Announces 22 Schools Receive Graduation Matters Grants
Montana Making Gains on Improving the Graduation Rate

Superintendent Denise Juneau announced the award of 21 grants to 22 Montana schools to increase the number of Montana students who graduate from high school prepared for college and careers, for a total of $150,000 to support local Graduation Matters initiatives across the state. The Office of Public Instruction was awarded $450,000 over three years from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation to support community-based Graduation Matters initiatives.

Superintendent Juneau stated, "We continue to make gains on the graduation rate statewide, but we still have room for improvement." She continued, "Schools are setting high goals to improve their graduation rates and engage their entire communities in supporting student success. If these communities are successful in reaching their goals, we will be able to cut the statewide dropout rate in half by 2014."

Juneau released the latest dropout and graduation rate data from the 2010-2011 school year. In 2007, Montana established unique IDs for all students in the state and implemented a system for tracking them over time and as they move between programs, schools and districts in the state. As of 2011, Montana has four years of enrollment in its student information system, AIM, allowing OPI to use a new four-year adjusted cohort graduation rate. Montana's graduation rate has improved from 80.2% in 2010 to 82.1% in 2011. The dropout rate remained at 4.3 percent.

"Businesses, schools, families, students and non-profits are coming together across the state to talk about the future of public education in Montana," said Juneau. "The continued focus on increasing our graduation rate and improving student achievement is going to pay off in Montana for years to come."

Juneau pointed to the efforts of communities who have been focusing on improving their graduation rates with local Graduation Matters efforts. Missoula's high schools have increased their graduation rate from 84.5% in 2010 to 86.9% in 2011. Kalispell's high schools have increased their graduation rate from 73.9% in 2010 to 78.5% in 2011, and Helena increased from 75.8% in 2010 to 82.5%.

"Many of our schools spent the last year bringing their community partners together, analyzing their data and putting their plans in place, and now we can help them jump-start their efforts with the Graduation Matters Challenge Fund. The next two years will be critical for showing how working together, we can improve the economic future of individuals and our state by graduating students with the skills they need to find a good job."

Graduation Matters Challenge Fund Awards

Existing Graduation Matters Communities:

  • Greater Gallatin Valley, $10,000
  • Billings, $10,000
  • Butte, $10,000
  • Kalispell, $10,000
  • Great Falls, $10,000
  • Hamilton, $10,000
  • Missoula, $3,600
  • Townsend, $5,000

New Graduation Matters Communities:

  • Anaconda, $10,000
  • Browning, $5,000
  • Corvallis, $4,000
  • Miles City, $8,600
  • Lewistown, $4,000
  • Hardin, $10,000
  • Havre, $4,000
  • Libby, $7,000
  • Livingston, $4,000
  • Polson, $9,950
  • St. Ignatius, $10,000
  • Stevensville, $9,500
  • Thompson Falls, $7,000