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Equity of Services for Rural, Tribal, and Frontier Schools Across Montana

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $999,999)

Equity of services for rural, tribal, and frontier schools across Montana
Under STOP Act Category 2, Program Areas 3) training school personnel and educating
students on preventing school violence, and 5) hiring school support personnel directly
supporting the prevention of school violence, Western Montana Professional Learning
Collaborative (WMPLC), in partnership with the Montana Small School Alliance (MSSA), is
proposing a project to increase the equity of student services for rural, tribal, and frontier schools
across the state of Montana. MSSA has close to 150 small school member districts and 120 of
them are operating without a single credentialed school counselor, leaving one of their teachers
to take a single three-hour session (provided by MSSA) and then take on the counseling
responsibilities for their school in addition to their teaching role. Some teachers also have the
library media specialist tasks as well. These rural and tribal schools are exceptionally under-
resourced. The purpose of this project is to deliver to underserved areas comprehensive school
counseling, mental health services, and other resources that are crucial for creating and
sustaining safe schools. Increased access to resources, trauma-informed care, school counselors,
e-therapy assessments and treatment, as proposed in the project, is vital to improving the
physical and psychological safety of the school community. The WMPLC/MSSA partnership
aims to serve nearly 150 small school member districts, tribal schools, and frontier schools by
providing counseling supports, mental health services, and proven violence prevention tools that
are desperately needed by students, staff, and families across Montana.

Date Created: September 29, 2022