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Students respond to a question

Students respond to a question during a youth conference for Schools of Promise at the Holiday Inn Grand Montana-Billings in 2014.

Montana's Schools of Promise program, a turnaround initiative for low-performing schools, received a $1.5 million federal grant to continue to provide services to two schools.

The grant was announced Friday by the Montana Office of Public Instruction, which administers the program.

Schools of Promise began in 2010 as a major initiative of Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau. Nine schools is six communities, all on Indian reservations, have participated. Currently, Heart Butte and Hays-Lodge Pole high schools participate.

“When I walk into any of our Schools of Promise I see students excited about being in school and communities coming together to support educating our children,” Juneau said. “Schools of Promise has allowed us to focus on supporting students’ mental health needs, boosts student engagement, and provides unique training for local school boards and educators.”

The program is funded only by federal money. In 2015, the Montana Legislature voted against a bill that would have provided some state funding.

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