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Bozeman Public Schools was awarded more than $3 million in a grant from the National Institute of Justice.

The grant will evaluate the school safety impacts of implementing a Trauma-Informed Care approach, and will provide trauma screening, assessment, and treatment of student-specific risk factors that impact school safety, including threat-to-self and threat-to-others.

Bozeman Public Schools was the only applicant in the state of Montana to be awarded the grant funding this year. The total 36-month award was for $3,319,810.

“This is a highly competitive grant, and we’re thrilled to be a grant awardee,” said Superintendent of Bozeman Public Schools Dr. Rob Watson. “This grant will support the provision of a variety of services to youth in need, and the research focus will inform our district and districts across the nation in how educational systems implement intervention frameworks. We are also excited to know that this grant will allow us to provide direct services for students and families.”

Bozeman Public Schools is one of 24 agencies nationwide to be awarded a Developing Knowledge About What Works to Make Schools Safe grant to examine the implementation of comprehensive, integrated prevention supports for students.

School officials will collaborate with the Montana Safe Schools Center and the National Native Children’s Trauma Center, both of which are housed at the University of Montana’s Institute for Educational Research and Service, Gallatin County Youth Court Services, school- and community-based mental health providers, and THRIVE, a local non-profit providing services related to school and family engagement.

“This grant is another excellent example of how the Bozeman Public Schools collaborates with institutions of higher education and other agencies for the benefit of children,” said Deputy Superintendent and Co-Principal Investigator Dr. Marilyn King.

“This gives us another opportunity to enhance the effectiveness of our mental health and educational systems,” UM President Royce Engstrom said. “The safety of our schools is paramount, and this grant award supports not only comprehensive services but a scientific evaluation that could take this effort across the nation.”

“This is a proud moment for Bozeman Public Schools, to be considered worthy of studying such a critical aspect of school safety and student success,” stated Student Assistance Coordinator Laura St. John, who will assume the role of Project Director. The three-year project will begin in January 2015. “We are excited that we will be bolstering services to students, collaborating with the community and evaluating and sharing the results on a larger scale,” stated Director of Special Education Chad Berg, who will serve as Systems of Care Technical Advisor.

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