On June 17, the Montana Office of Public Instruction notified all of our schools that we did NOT make Adequate Yearly Progress. We appealed their decision on the high school, and on July 25, we were notified that Hardin High School made AYP via Safe Harbor. This is the first time that HHS has made AYP under the existing format.

To reach Safe Harbor, districts and schools must reduce by 10 percent the number of students scoring in basic or minimal performance categories. At Hardin High School during the 2011-12 school year, the number of students scoring in the Novice category was reduced by 50 percent. Wow!

Our entire school system played an important role in this effort. First, accolades have to go out to all of our students; congratulations! The present students in the high school are the first students to have received benefit from all of our reading programs: Reading First, Early Reading First, Striving Readers. Thank you, Jerry Guay, for writing these successful grants to make this possible. Thanks, Richard Bowler, for your effort and persistence in getting the numbers to OPI for the review. The administrators and staff at Hardin High School can take great pride in this accomplishment. A major impact resulted from the group of staff members who proclaimed, “We are the change we were waiting for.” The results speak for themselves. Thank you for making a positive move.

For the 2012-13 school year, one major goal in grades K-12, is to improve vocabulary. The next step in reading proficiency (and ultimately, increased test scores) is to increase vocabulary so students have a better comprehension of what they are reading.

Al Peterson


Hardin Public Schools