The Blackfoot Valley Dispatch is the only newspaper devoted to Lincoln, Montana and the upper Blackfoot Valley and has been the best source for local news from Lincoln, Ovando, Helmville and Canyon Creek since 1980. With a circulation of more than 650 in 37 towns across Montana and in 25 states, we reach an estimated 1500 readers each week. We are member of Montana Newspaper Association and are working hard to provide our readers with the best possible local news and advertising. We appreciate feedback, so let us know what you think and how we can improve.You can contact us at 406-362-4131 of by email at email@example.com Check our new ' Recent stories' page for selected stories from recent editions
Feb. 14 Headlines
Lincoln School receives major grant funding for literacy
Lincoln fouls fail to derail decisive win against Tigers
Lady Lynx baskets prove elusive against St. Regis Enrollment open for American Legion Boys State in Montana
Commentary: Support Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Project Letter: Eric Holder for President a bad idea
Blackfoot Challenge names new executive director Royer takes her fourth Race to the Sky title No worries about sparse attendance for first 300-Mile Vet Check Held in Lincoln
Mary Faith Hoeffner to be subject of March lecture at Montana Historical Society My Smart Mouth: VD 2018
Lincoln School receives major grant funding for literacy Roger Dey
The Lincoln School District is one of 21 districts in Montana awarded a Montana Comprehensive Literacy Project Grant designed to improve reading, writing, and digital literacy skills among disadvantaged kids at all grade levels, from age 4 through the 12th grade. Based on school enrollment, Lincoln Schools is slated to recieve a total of $750,000 paid out over four years, said Lincoln guidance counselor Kathy Heisler. Heisler took the lead in preparing the grant application, which came to 30 pages with supporting documentation, in just 15 days. “We’re pretty dang excited,” she said. Lincoln School District Superintendent and Principal Carla Anderson said it was a huge project. “The first answer out of 14 questions was 10 narrative pages,” she said “We had to provide data on the income of our students, compare their reading scores to what they were, and show graduation rates in the past (compared) to what they’ve been lately, those kinds of things.” Criteria for the grant included having a student body in which more than 50 percent of the kids are eligible for free or reduced-price meals. Money from the grant should become available March 1. The intial installment for this year will amount to $125,000 and the staff is setting the wheels in motion to put it to good use. “I’m already ordering textbooks for the English Department,” Anderson said. “I put out (a job opening) on OPI’s website for applications for an instructional reading coach. We have to hire that person now.” Anderson said the grant is specific to literacy, but she expects it to have an impact far beyond reading and writing. “If we get kids reading better and more fluently and (they) have a better interest in reading, its going to help with all their classwork,” she said. For the teaching staff, the grant will bring in money for additional resources, teacher training, and materials and technology to help make teaching more successful, kindergarten and fifth grader teacher Annette Gardner said. “I think it’s the biggest grant, certainly the biggest reading one, we’ve had,” said Gardner, who has been an elementary teacher here for most of her 33-year career. She said the grant isn’t likely to change the basic elementary reading and writing curriculum, but it will help the school develop resources to help kids who aren’t successful in the regular program, kids who have a learning disability or simply help kids who move into the district get up to speed with the curriculum. “This grant especially will help boost those kids up,” she said. The funding may sound like a windfall, but it comes with a few strings. The district has to increase the percentage of fifth and eighth grade students proficient on the State Assessment, increase the percentage of eleventh grade students proficient on the ACT assessment, and increase the percentage of children aged 3 to 5 who make significant gains on Expressive and Receptive One-Word Picture Vocabulary Tests. The grant also requires the district to implement a local literacy improvement plan that can be sustained after the grant funding is gone. According to the Montana Office of Public Instruction, that plan has to pay special attention to development in kids between age 4 to kindergarten. What that means for Lincoln is development of the districts first pre-school. “That’s the vision,” Heisler said. However, she recalled the effort it took to switch the district to a four day week, and said it’s going to take time for Anderson to work through all the details. “I think this is gonna be great for the students, the staff, the school and the community,” Heisler said. Although Anderson said the successful grant application was a collaborative effort that included long hours of information gathering and homework by the school’s teaching staff, both she and Gardner credit Heisler for shouldering most of the effort “It was kind of a team effort, but it was about 90 percent Kathy Heisler,” Gardner said. Anderson said Heisler leveraged the resources she’d developed over her 30-year career in the school’s administration to ensure the application was as complete as possible. Heisler retired as superintendent in 2015, but has since takenon the job as school counselor. “It was a hurry up process to get it in by the deadline, then a month and a half of hurry up and wait,” Heisler said.
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