Montana Public Radio

Montana Office of Public Instruction

Stevensville High School.
Stevensville Public Schools

Even as Montana's public K-12 schools sit closed over coronavirus concerns, work on the school system continues. Newly released data from the state of Montana provides a picture of just how much it costs to educate the state's students.

Released this week, the state's "report card" shows it cost an average of $10,474.64 to educate each student in the public school system last year. The actual cost varies depending on districts or schools.

CDC School closure decision tree.
Centers For Disease Control

Public K-12 schools across Montana sent out letters detailing their preparation for the coronavirus Friday following Gov. Steve Bullock’s state of emergency declaration Thursday.

Officials are telling schools to create a plan for potential closures and remote learning. After this story published, Gov. Bullock announced that four cases of the novel coronavirus have tested presumptively positive in Montana.

A new report says that indigenous students are disproportionately disciplined in Montana public schools.  Study authors say more support instead of discipline could lead to higher academic achievement rates.

On Monday morning, Billings received another in a recent string of school-related threats. The incident is one of several this year that will factor into a federal database in 2021.

The results of Montana’s statewide college-readiness test for high school juniors were released Friday. The overall test scores are identical to the previous year but down over the last four years.

Montana gives the ACT test to nearly all juniors as part of its federal accountability requirements.

Pistol stock photo.
(PD)

Legislation from Helena high school students attempting to reduce gun deaths in Montana has passed out of the House. Now that it’s before the Senate, it looks significantly different than it used to, after it was changed in order to win approval from some conservative lawmakers.

Students at Capital High School in Helena walk out of class March 14, 2018 as part of what they call a memorial for the Parkland shooting victims and other gun violence victims.
Corin Cates-Carney / MTPR

A week after 17 people were shot to death at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, students in Helena formed a group to talk about gun violence.

It’s now a year later and The Helena Youth Against Gun Violence have introduced a bill into the 2019 legislative session they say will help prevent gun deaths in Montana.

Girl doing homework using a tablet. Stock photo.
Stock photo. / iStock

UPSTART from the Utah-based nonprofit Waterford Institute is a computer program that guides students through academic lessons using digital books, songs and games.

Though UPSTART is meant to be fun, Waterford’s Isaac Troyo says there’s substance behind the cartoon characters and flashy animations.

Montana is getting half-a-million dollars from a new federal grant to train teachers and students on school safety, following the mass shooting earlier this year at a high school in Parkland, Florida. 

State Superintendent Elsie Arntzen and 2019 Montana Teacher of the Year Dylan Huisken at Bonner Middle School on Thursday, September 20, 2018.
Montana Office of Public Instruction

A middle school teacher from Bonner has been named the 2019 Montana Teacher of the Year.

Montana’s Public School Superintendent Elsie Arntzen visited Bonner Thursday to announce that social studies teacher Dylan Huisken had been selected to represent Montana in the National Teacher of the Year program next year.

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