Local graduation efforts to get more than $200K in grants

Today, Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau will be in town to announce 35 grants to area schools totaling more than $200,000. The grants are all aimed at promoting higher graduation rates.

Read on for more:

Juneau to Announce Grant Awards with

Missoula-Area Graduation Matters Schools

$203,000 Granted to Improve Graduation Rates

and College and Career Readiness

Missoula, MT – Superintendent Denise Juneau will be joined by six Missoula-area schools for the announcement of 35 grants awarded to Montana schools and United Ways to increase the number of Montana students who graduate from high school prepared for college and careers, for a total of $203,000 to support local Graduation Matters initiatives across the state. This is up from 25 grants totaling $165,000 in 2013.

Juneau will be joined by school and community members from Arlee, Hamilton, Hot Springs, Missoula, St. Ignatius, and Thompson Falls.

“We are very pleased to see the impact that Graduation Matters Montana is having on communities across the state,” said Mike Halligan, executive director of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation. “Since its launch in 2010, local GMM teams have helped hundreds more students graduate, leading to millions of dollars in savings and added boosts to our state’s economy. We have invested in the Graduation Matters Montana program because the strategy and implementation plan targets resources to schools that want to make a difference in the lives of the youth of our state.”

Since the launch of Graduation Matters Montana, the statewide dropout rate has been on the decline, and the graduation rate has gone up. Montana’s high school dropout rate has decreased from 5.0 percent in 2009 to 3.6 percent in 2013, and the graduation rate has increased from 80.7 percent in 2009 to 84.4 percent in 2013. This means that 772 fewer students dropped out in 2013 than in 2009.

WHO: Superintendent Juneau, executive director of the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation Mike Halligan, school leaders, students, and community members from Arlee, Hamilton, Hot Springs, Missoula, St. Ignatius and Thompson Falls.

WHAT: Announcement of $203,000 in grants to Graduation Matters communities and a preview of community plans in 2014-2015.

WHERE: Northern Pacific Depot, Lobby, Railroad Street and N. Higgins (by the X’s), Missoula

WHEN: Wednesday, March 12, 2:00 pm

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Tune in tomorrow for state graduation and dropout report, plus an award for MCPS!

Tomorrow morning in Helena State Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau will officially release the latest Graduation and Dropout Report for Montana.

Her office will also use the occasion to celebrate the Graduation Matters program and the progress made by various Graduation Matters efforts around the state. Five communities and one “community partner” will be recognized with an award.

Here’s a no-brainer preview: Graduation rates in Montana have gone up, dropout rates have gone down – and Missoula’s Graduation Matters effort, which started the whole statewide program, will be among the communities getting an award.

Here’s the official statement from Juneau:

“Through the work of local Graduation Matters communities, hundreds of students’ lives have been changed for the better. When you take a statewide view of the efforts to raise graduation rates and improve college and career readiness, you can see that the economic future of Montana will be forever impacted as a result of local communities and schools working to make graduation matter.”

Details to follow tomorrow!

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New challenge funds pouring into Graduation Matters

Graduation Matters was the brainchild of Missoula County Public Schools Superintendent Alex Apostle, but it’s sweeping across all of Montana now.

And picking up steam as it goes. Here’s the latest news:

New Donors Invest in

Graduation Matters Challenge Fund

$190,000 Available to Support Graduation Matters Communities

Helena, MT – Superintendent Denise Juneau announced the availability of $190,000 in grants from the Graduation Matters Challenge Fund to support new and existing Graduation Matters initiatives.  This year, AT&T has added $20,000 to the Challenge Fund with a portion focused on raising American Indian graduation rates, and the Steele Reese Foundation has invested $20,000 to support rural community efforts. Each grantee will be awarded up to $10,000 to replicate successful dropout prevention strategies. Successful Challenge Fund grantees will be announced in March.

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