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OPI to offer new online mental health, suicide prevention resources for teachers

News from the Montana Office of Public Instruction 

HELENA—The Office of Public Instruction’s Teacher Learning Hub will now offer Montana teachers a program called “At-Risk: Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Role-Play Simulations.” This is being provided to the Learning Hub through the Project AWARE-MT SOARS grant funding. The project is a 12-month unlimited license contract with Kognito Interactive Programs. These courses will be available to all Montana educators, school staff, and OPI partners through the Learning Hub.

HB 381, passed by the 2017 Legislature, tasks the OPI with providing training and technical assistance resources on suicide prevention and response for schools. This online course is one way that the OPI can make best practice training available to all educators across Montana, regardless of their location and proximity to suicide prevention and intervention specialists.

Suicide prevention, mental health awareness, and e-learning are also very important initiatives of Superintendent Arntzen’s administration.

“Montana is a large, rural state with some of the highest youth suicide rates in the country. It is critical that educators not only have resources to promote mental health for our students, but that they have access to these resources regardless of where they are in our state. This is an additional tool that we can use to provide Montana hope,” Arntzen said.


Sustainability competitionfor high schools in Pacific NW opens registration

News from Washington State University

PULLMAN, Wash. – Registration is now open for the Alaska Airlines Imagine Tomorrow competition, May 18-20, 2018, at Washington State University Pullman.

The Alaska Airlines Imagine Tomorrow competition challenges students grades 9-12 from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana to tackle the world’s sustainability challenges with fresh, well-researched ideas.

Now in its 11th year, Imagine Tomorrow offers students three competition themes: The Itron Food, Energy and Water Challenge; the Boeing Aerospace and Transportation Challenge; and the McKinstry Built Environment Challenge.

Imagine Tomorrow provides educators with an opportunity to apply a real-world focus to their STEM teaching principles in and outside of the classroom. The competition encourages student collaboration, creative thinking, and builds awareness of the key societal challenges that are facing the world today.

“I am in my 30th year of teaching and have not seen anything that motivates, challenges and encourages students academically like Imagine Tomorrow,” said Barry Reifel, technology instructor at Yakima’s East Valley High School.

In 2017, more than 114 teams competed for $60,000 in prizes.

Imagine Tomorrow teams will present their projects at the competition May 18-20.

Participation, including housing and meals, is free.

Visit for details and to register.

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