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Evergreen Elementary School Awarded Grant for Student Safety Training | #schoolsaftey

Evergreen Elementary School will receive $20,592 to support student physical and emotional safety programs through the Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) Stronger Connections Grant Program. Evergreen is one of 25 districts across the state set to receive Stronger Connections Grants, which will address substance abuse, community and school violence, mental health issues and bullying in districts throughout Montana.

“As I have said many times, our children are our most precious resource,” OPI Superintendent Elsie Arntzen said in a Tuesday press release. “This grant reflects my Montana Hope initiative which focuses on student mental wellness and family and community engagement. Safer learning environments lead to higher rates of student success.”

Evergreen Superintendent Laurie Barron said that the grant will be used to implement professional training in “evidence-based activities, programs and practices that support physical and emotional safety,” which will be specifically designed for classroom teachers, paraprofessionals, coaches, administrators and school counselors. Programs will focus on relationship building, reducing the use of exclusionary discipline practices, trauma-informed classroom management, preventing bullying and harassment and schoolwide positive behavior interventions.

The Stronger Connections Grant program is funded through the 2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act (BSCA), a landmark federal law that enhanced firearm regulations and provided funding for mental health and school safety programs. Montana was awarded a total of $4.8 million through BSCA, which was made available to school districts through the competitive grant process.

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