Missoula County Public Schools
Missoula County Public Schools serves the city of Missoula and many outlying areas with educational quality that strives to compete with top schools across Montana and the nation. The MCPS district in 2012 serves approximately 8,500 students in 17 schools — nine elementary, three middle and five high schools — including three award-winning “blue ribbon” K-5 elementaries.
Outside of MCPS, children in Missoula and area also attend Target Range K-8 and Hellgate Elementary K-8, which both operate as independent school districts. After eighth grade, Target Range and Hellgate students attend MCPS high schools.
To support its on-going commitment to graduation as a fundamental step in life, the district in 2010 partnered with parents and local businesses to form “Graduation Matters Missoula.” Now in its second year, the initiative is implementing strategies to help educators help students stay in school and earn a diploma. As a result, the district’s graduation rate increased to 87 percent in 2011 from 80 percent in 2009. The district has also reduced its drop-out rate to 2.5 percent, which is the lowest of any double-A school district in Montana. Learn more at www.graduationmattersmissoula.org.
MCPS students on average routinely score high on Montana statewide assessments. In March 2011, 90 percent of MCPS elementary students scored proficient or advanced on the state reading assessment, compared to 85 percent of students statewide. Seventy-nine percent of MCPS elementary students scored proficient or advanced in math, compared to 69 percent statewide.
At the high school level, the district provides an International Baccalaureate Programme, extensive Advanced Placement (AP) classes, dual-credit classes that offer both high school and college credit, and online classes through the Montana Digital Academy. The district also is implementing thematic academies in its high schools — beginning with a Health Science Academy that launched fall semester 2011. In addition, students can experience a wide array of classes in foreign languages (Spanish, French, German, Latin, Mandarin Chinese and Arabic), music (orchestra, band, choir and music technology), and the visual and performing arts. Music, art and foreign language opportunities are also offered to district middle school students.
These extensive programs are part of the MCPS 21st Century Model of Education, which integrates six key elements into teaching and learning. Officially implemented starting in the 2011-2012 school year, the communitywide goal for the public schools is a new model of education to support students’ needs in the 21st century and a school system that will compete on the world stage. The effort integrates six key elements into the teaching and learning process, resulting in schools and classrooms that engage students and provide them with the skills and knowledge needed to be successful in their careers and as future leaders in their communities. Students need to see how their academic work applies to their future careers and experience opportunities to be active citizens and leaders in their communities.
The new model supports the district’s primary goal: that every student will succeed and graduate, regardless of his or her circumstance or ability.
Call the school district 406.728.2400.
Find MSPS online at www.mcps.k12.mt.us.
District offices are located at 215 South Sixth West in Missoula.
More information about the 21st Century Model of Education is online at www.mcpscentury21.org.
Details about MCPS student achievement and the state report card can be found online at www.mcps.k12.mt.us.