At your service...

iQ Prototype Systems is at your service.
Contact us via email or call us in-state toll-free between 9:00am and 5:00pm MT at 1.888.231.9393, Local 406.444.3095


Frazer-Based Staff Lame Deer-Based Staff Pryor-Based Staff

Wyola-Based Staff

Questions or concerns about this webpage?
Please contact the OPI Help Desk at opihelpdesk@mt.gov or 406.444.0087


Welcome to the
Schools of Promise!

Cohort 1Hays/Lodge Pole

The Montana Schools of Promise – School Improvement Grants Initiative is a partnership between schools, communities and the Office of Public Instruction to improve Montana’s most struggling schools. In communities across Montana, parents, families and caregivers share the hope that their children will graduate from high school and be prepared to go on to college or enter the workforce. Montana Schools of Promise was established in 2009 under the leadership of State Superintendent Denise Juneau to significantly improve the educational experience and outcomes for students attending SIG eligible schools. OPI hired 22 employees in this unprecedented effort.






Samantha Hudon: Lame Deer, MT

Hot Topics


Community Resource Guides
A Guide to Resources for Frazer, Montana
A Guide to Resources for Lame Deer, Montana
A Guide to Resources for Pryor, Montana
A Guide to Resources for Wyola, Montana

Job Opportunities for Hays Lodge Pole
Starting Salary $30,139 plus $1000 signing bonus, teacher housing, health insurance, moving expenses and up to $300 a month student loan reimbursement.
Special Education
Licensed Professional Counselor
Administrative- Dean of Students
Industrial Arts
Science Broadfield

Montana Schools of Promise:
The Story of Montana’s School Improvement Grant (SIG) Model


Home of the Bearcubs

Frazer High School
Lame Deer
Home of the Morningstars
Frazer High School

Home of the
Plenty Coups Warriors


Plenty Coups Warriors


What is Montana's Schools of Promise?

Superintendent Denise Juneau Speaking All students deserve the chance to graduate and be prepared for college or to enter the workforce. Too many students leave our schools without the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed.

State Superintendent Denise Juneau has been instrumental in working with multiple agencies to bring this initiative to the students in our schools. With a onetime multiple million dollar funding from the Federal Government, we are able to provide more support from the state level than has ever been available.

Through the focus of raising student achievement scores, this grant opportunity will provide more teacher, staff and administration development. School board members and community can benefit from gaining knowledge of laws, policies and opportunities to build up the entire community. While the funding for this grant is only for three years, we hope that there is lasting change to build a bright and promising future for our students.


Meet Our Staff

Helena and Billings-Based Staff Frazer-Based Staff Lame Deer-Based Staff Pryor-Based Staff

Wyola-Based Staff

Hays/Lodge Pole - Based Staff

Montana OPI

Events and Meetings

Click on the Gathering for Details


Schools of Promise Instructional Institute for School Administrators
July 29-August 2, 2013 – Billings, MT

Schools of Promise Instructional Institute
Resources from the Schools of Promise Summer Instructional Institute
August 5-9, 2013 – Billings, MT



Events and Meetings

June 9-11, 2010, Great Falls, MT



Semi-Annual SIG Team Meeting





SIG Meeting at MEA/MFT conference



New SIG-OPI Staff Boot Camp



SIG District Action Planning

Schools of Promise Work Plan, Spring 2010




Events and Meetings

Summer Instructional Institute Resources

August 5-9, 2013 – Billings, MT

Project CRISS
CRISS publications, newsletter, and Featured Articles
Includes examples of CRISS strategies in a variety of classrooms, connection to 6+1 Writing Traits and the Common Core standards

Google Drive Basics Presentation
Google Drive Uses Presentation

RtI Introduction Presentation

Common Core Transitioning Presentation

Writing as Thinking

Reports and Data

One of our core values is transparency and in this section we are providing the public with the information we are required to send to the federal government as part of a monitoring process in the efforts of improvement with the funding provided.

Title I Reports

Montana defines Persistently Lowest Achieving Schools as any Title I schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring that rank in the lowest five percent of those schools based on the percentage of students scoring At or Above Proficiency in Reading and Math using three years of assessment data.

SIG Principal and Teacher Evaluation Waiver

New Application for SY 2015-16 SIG Funds

SIG Application for SY 2014-15 Awards Competition

SIG Application for Funds for SY2011-2012

School Year 2011-2012 Eligible Schools

School Year 2010-2011 Eligible Schools

School Year 2013-14 SIG Applications

School Year 2011-12 SIG Applications

School Year 2010-2011 SIG Applications

Title I Reports









Whole Child

Every child, school, and community in Montana should be healthy, supported, challenged, welcoming, and safe. The Schools of Promise strives to ensure that goal is met through several initiatives and ideas.

Schools of Promise Expand to Communities of Promise

State - OPI Resources

Trauma Indian Education

Understanding and Treating Childhood Traumatic Stress "Cognitive Behavioral Intervention in Schools" is a short power point presentation by OPI and the University of Montana's Institute for Educational Research and Service. The presentation summarizes the findings of the Adverse Childhood Experiences or ACE study, "one of the largest investigations ever conducted on the links between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being."

OPI renewal units available. Instructions found within the presentation. http://opi.mt.gov/Streamer/IndianEd/Trauma/

Altacare, a Comprehensive School and Community Treatment Program (CSCT)
Altacare is Montana’s leading provider of in-school mental health services. With Altacare, children and adolescents can receive intensive outpatient treatment while they attend school - causing little-to-no disruption to their normal lives.

Helping Traumatized Children Learn:
Supportive School Environments for Children Traumatized by Family Violence

This Report and Policy Agenda is compiled by the Massachusetts Advocates for Children: Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative in collaboration with The Hale and Dorr Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School and The Task Force on Children Affected by Domestic Violence.

MT DPHHS Children's Mental Health Bureau – Wraparound
Montana is implementing Wraparound Process facilitation by offering training to grow our own experts. The goal is to train trainers, as well as increase the number of Wraparound facilitators available in communities.

National Native Children's Trauma Center
The National Native Children’s Trauma Center (NNCTC) is the result of a cooperative agreement funded by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) under the National Child Traumatic Stress Initiative. The Center is affiliated with the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) and is housed within The University of Montana’s Institute for Educational Research and Service (IERS) in Missoula, Montana.

Institute for Educational Research and Service (IERS)
Provids grant-funded training and technical assistance to P/K-16 schools and community agencies across the U.S., and with a particular focus on serving Montana, and American Indian/Alaska Native communities.

Montana Safe Schools Center
Provides training, research and professional development services to schools and communities across Montana and throughout the U.S.

"Intergenerational Trauma and Historical Grief in American Indians: A Review of Conceptualizations from Dr. Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart" by Melanie Ottenbacher.
This file reviews American Indian's historical trauma and grief research, in addition to coping strategies and solutions. (The file needs to be download as a pdf online from an administrator computer)


Montana OPI

The Montana Office of Public Instruction Schools of Promise Initiative has launched a school-based mental health model which will assist in improving the lives of youth in both school and community. The model, the Wraparound Process, is being implemented by wraparound facilitators in five tribal communities in Montana; Pryor, Lame Deer, Wyola, Frazer and Hays/Lodge Pole. 

The Wraparound Process is a way to improve the lives of children with complex needs and their families by implementing a “theory of change.” It is not a program or a type of service. The process is used by communities to support children with complex needs and their families by developing individualized plans of care. The key characteristics of the process are that the plan is developed by a family centered team, is individualized based on the strengths and culture of the child and their family, and is needs rather than services driven.

Theory of Change:  Meeting the basic needs and strengthening the social networks of children with severe mental health challenges and their families while enhancing their belief that they can create a successful future, will result in good or at least improved lives. This will be further enhanced by integrating their services and supports into a single plan of action (http://www.vroonvdb.com/).

For more information please contact:
Stephanie Iron Shooter, Caring Schools Coordinator, 406.530.4364
Karla Two Two, SAMHSA SOC Project Assistant

MT OPI Schools of Promise Wraparound Facilitators:
Pryor - VACANT
Lame Deer – Janelle Timber-Jones
Wyola – Joy Buckley
Frazer – Robin “Bobbie” Perry-Martel
Hays/Lodge Pole - Resa LaRoque

Montana OPI Resources for Parents

The more parents participate in schooling, in a sustained way, at every level -- in advocacy, decision-making and oversight roles, as fund-raisers and boosters, as volunteers and para-professionals, and as home teachers -- the better for student achievement.

Working in our SIG schools, which are all located in tribal nations, we have an additional challenge due to past experiences of school for many of our elders and ancestors. Professionals who see parents as “the problem” and themselves as “rescuers” cannot effectively gain the trust of parents. Research suggests that successful programs involve parents as partners with professionals. We have brought these challenges to the forefront by involving parents and elders in discussions around youth and school support.  Constant communication between the school and the community members has brought productive growth to mending broken trust.

The two educational institutions of our children must work together. Parent involvement in schools is one of the biggest challenges many schools face. When parents come to school regularly, it reinforces the view in the child's mind that school and home are connected and that school is an integral part of the whole family's life.

Montana OPIParent – Teacher Conferences

Most schools are having Parent-Teacher Conference days soon as a way to build communication between families and schools. They provide time for families to get to know the teachers in their student's lives. It can be a nervous time for families, students and teachers-but conferences and communication can strengthen a student's success in school. Teachers want to do their very best for your student, and you are the advocate for your student too. Use the SIGNATURE tips to make the most of the parent-teacher conferences.  While schools designate specific days to have a conference, most teachers are very willing to continue conversations to improve a student's achievement.  Don't hesitate to arrange for other times, or ways to communicate (like notes, letters, phone calls or additional meetings).

Montana OPIParent and Family Tips:

  • Speak: talk with your child about their classes before the conferences
  • Initiate: bring up the tough topics or concerns you or your child might have
  • Gratitude: thank your child’s teachers for the commitment they have made
  • Notes: write down each teacher’s specific comments or recommendations
  • Attend: make every effort to meet personally with your child’s teachers
  • Team: work with your child’s teachers to determine goals and expectations
  • Understand: teacher feedback is critical to your child’s academic success
  • Realize: as a parent you are the most important teacher in your child’s life
  • Engage: help your child implement their teachers’ recommendations

Montana OPIVisit the Individual Schools of Promise Websites

Montana OPIWebsites and Articles


Montana OPIOne tool that schools use to learn about students is the standardized test. This page explains basic features of these tests and suggests questions you might ask your child's teacher about testing. Understanding the role of testing will help you to enable your child to succeed in school and to develop a better relationship between your family and your child's school.

Montana OPIUsually created by commercial test publishers, standardized tests are designed to give a common measure of students' performance. Because large numbers of students throughout the country take the same test, they give educators a common yardstick or ``standard'' of measure. Educators use these standardized tests to tell how well school programs are succeeding or to give themselves a picture of the skills and abilities of today's students.

Montana OPIStandardized tests can help teachers and administrators make decisions regarding the instructional program. They help schools measure how students in a given class, school, or school system perform in relation to other students who take the same test. Using the results from these tests, teachers and administrators can evaluate the school system, a school program, or a particular student.

Montana OPIDifferent types of standardized tests have different purposes. Standardized achievement tests measure how much students have already learned about a school subject. The results from these tests can help teachers develop programs that suit students' achievement levels in each subject area, such as reading, math, language skills, spelling, or science.

Educators most commonly use achievement tests to:

  • Evaluate school programs;
  • Report on students' progress;
  • Diagnose students' strengths and weaknesses;
  • Select students for special programs;
  • Place students in special groups; and
  • Certify student achievement (for example, award high school diplomas or promote students from grade to grade).

Montana OPINo. Paper-and-pencil tests give teachers only part of the picture of your child's strengths and weaknesses. Teachers combine the results of many methods to gain insights into the skills, abilities, and knowledge of your child. These methods include:

  • Observing students in the classroom;
  • Evaluating their day-to-day class work;
  • Grading their homework assignments;
  • Meeting with their parents; and
  • Keeping close track of how students change or grow throughout the year.

Standardized tests have limitations. These tests are not perfect measures of what individual students can or cannot do or of everything students learn. Also, your child's scores on a particular test may vary from day to day, depending on whether your child guesses, receives clear directions, follows the directions carefully, takes the test seriously, and is comfortable in taking the test.

Montana OPIHere are a few suggestions for parents who want to help their children do well on tests.

  • First and most important, talk to your child's teacher often to monitor your child's progress and find out what activities you can do at home to help your child.
  • Make sure your child does his or her homework.
  • Make sure your child is well-rested and eats a well- rounded diet.
  • Have a variety of books and magazines at home to encourage your child's curiosity.
  • Don't be overly anxious about test scores, but encourage your child to take tests seriously.
  • Don't judge your child on the basis of a simple test score.
Montana OPI
  • Which tests will be administered during the school year and for what purposes?
  • How will the teacher or the school use the results of the test?
  • What other means of evaluation will the teacher or the school use to measure your child's
  • Should your child practice taking tests?
    After the test . . .
  • How do students in your child's school compare with students in other school systems in your
    state and across the country?
  • What do the test results mean about your child's skills and abilities?
  • Are the test results consistent with your child's performance in the classroom?
  • Are any changes anticipated in your child's educational program?
  • What can you do at home to help your child strengthen particular skills? What Are My Legal
Montana OPI

Several precedents and laws define legal rights related to taking tests in school:

  • Under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, also known as the Buckley
  • Amendment, you have a right to examine your child's academic records. If these records contain test scores, you have a right to see those scores as well.
  • Your child has a right to due process. For example, your child must get adequate notice when a test is required for high school graduation and adequate time to prepare for the test.
  • Your child has a right to fair and equitable treatment. Schools cannot, for example, have different test score requirements based on gender or race.

This publication was prepared by ACCESS ERIC in association with the ERIC Clearinghouse on Assessment and Evaluation, with funding from the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, under Contract No. RR92024001. The opinions expressed in this brochure do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of the U.S. Department of Education. The brochure is in the public domain. Authorization to reproduce it in whole or in part is granted.


Watch Parents in Action for their Children

Montana OPIParent – Teacher Conferences

Watch parents in action for their children

Watch Parents in Action for their Children










Resources for Teachers

Get Connected to Other Professionals...

Professional Development Opportunities

Differentiated Instruction
Introduction to Differentiated Instruction
Setting the State: Creating the Climate
Putting Differentiated Instruction in Science
Setting the State: Developing a Differentiated Lesson Plan
Differentiated Instruction in the High School English Class
Going Beyond: Accommodations, Enrichment, and Interventions

For Paraprofessionals
"To enable paraprofessionals and personnel with whom they work to perceive their work with students as essential and valuable, reinforce an attitude of paraprofessional belonging in the school community, and develop a sense of competence in providing the highest quality of service for students they assist."

Montana joins a growing number of states that are taking advantage of iTunes U to allow access to educational content free of charge, 24 hours a day. Through iTunes U, OPI is able to offer professional development content, instructional videos and classroom activities to teachers, students and the public.

Montana Comprehensive System of Personnel Development (CSPD)

Response to Intervention (RTI)


Instructional Best Practices

The term best practice has been used to describe what works in a particular situation or environment. When data supports the success of a practice, it is referred to as a research-based practice or scientifically-based practice. Training teachers in best practices and classroom applications will help to provide an equitable education for all of our Montana students. Some of the best practices SIG is focusing on are:

  • Professional Learning Communities
  • Reflective Practitioners
  • Integrating Reading Across the Content Areas
  • Differentiated Instruction
  • Response to Intervention
  • Vertical and sequential alignment of unit instruction with Common Core Standards
  • Use of technology in teaching
  • Use of manipulative's in math instruction
  • Inquiry-based science and math instruction

National Board Candidate Support by Certificate Area

In a partnership with MEA-MFT and Schools of Promise, teachers are encouraged to begin their journey toward National Board Certification, in which less than 1% of teachers hold this distinction, but NBCTs are nationally recognized as being among the best teachers in the profession

  • Four of the last ten National Teachers of the Year have been National Board Certified Teachers.
  • National Board Certified Teachers make up 20 Percent of 2011 State Teachers of the Year.
  • Nearly one-third of the awardees for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching were National Board Certified Teachers.

The Schools of Promise and MEA-MFT have provided  mentors, collegial support and financial assistance so that teachers, at all grade and experience levels, may take this opportunity in professional development.

In addition to group and one-on-one mentor support by multiple National Board Certified Teachers, below is a list of additional supports from NBCTs and candidates across the nation.
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards website (hyperlink  http://www.nbpts.org/)


Video Development Instruction

Indicators in Action

Watch Parents in Action for their Children










Montana OPI



Plenty Coups High School Teacher Honored Tuesday at White House
Billings Gazette, August 21, 2012

Making New Promises in Indian Country
The Atlantic, March 23, 2012

Federal Official Comes to See Pryor's School Success
Billings Gazette, April 17, 2012

State officials: Education initiative expanding to include health services
Billings Gazette, December 7, 2011

Promising Start: Lame Deer school sees process from grant program
Billings Gazette, October 2, 2011

State's lowest-performing schools finally get some good news
Billings Gazette, August 7, 2011

Call for External Evaluators - MT Schools of Promise
Montana Wyoming Tribal Leaders Council, February 2011

Teens find ways to support each other and prevent other students' thoughts of suicide
Billings Gazette, February 20, 2011

Suicide prevention top federal, state and tribal priority
Billings Gazette,February 20, 2011

Reasons for suicide amplified for Native Americans
Billings Gazette,February 20, 2011

21 teams from 10 schools compete, including the first-ever American Indian team from Frazer High School
Helena Independent Record, March 8, 2011

Secretary Duncan Discusses Reform with Tribal Leaders
Homeroom: Official Blog of the U.S. Department of Education, December 16, 2010

Renowned guitarist teaches Pryor kids to write songs
Billings Gazette, December 10, 2010

Key to Indian Development: Self-Government
Daily Yonder, December 1, 2010

Duncan, Van Roekel and Hite Discuss Strategies to Turn Around Low-Performing Schools
Homeroom: Official Blog of the U.S. Department of Education,
December 1, 2010

Changes coming for low-performing reservation schools
Billings Gazette, August 13, 2010

Montana gets $11.5M for struggling schools
Billings Gazette, July 24, 2010

‘A huge leap of faith‚: Federal program designed to help lagging schools
Billings Gazette, June 6, 2010

State would handle funding for Schools of Promise effort
Billings Gazette, June 6, 2010

53 Montana teachers "take one"


National Indian Education Association Presentation
Prezi.com, October 2013

Native American Student Advocacy Institute Presentation
Prezi.com, September 2013

Presentation on School Boards
Stevie Schmitz, February 2012

Presentation on Year One
Mandy Smoker Broaddus, September 2011

Presentation on Youth and Community Voice
Mandy Smoker Broaddus and Deborah Halliday, May 2011

Presentation to the Crow Legislature
Mandy Smoker Broaddus and Donnie Wetzel Jr., January 2011

Rural School Turnaround Webinar
Northwest Regional Comprehensive Center, December 6, 2011







Montana OPI

Montana OPI

Montana OPI