As ESSER spending increases, digital learning is a priority


After a slow start in allocating federal ESSER funds, most states have found ways to spend their COVID relief dollars. In Montana, the Office of Public Instruction (OPI) is directing its ESSER money to digital learning resources.

OPI Superintendent Elsie Arntzen announced a new partnership with Discovery Education, a provider of state-of-the-art digital resources that support instruction wherever it takes place. Through this multi-year partnership, OPI is providing all 496 public school districts statewide access to a curated collection of high-quality, grade level appropriate, digital content aligned to Montana’s rigorous K-12 Content Standards.

The partnership–which is funded through ESSER–supports core instruction across Montana. In addition, the collaboration supports the state’s workforce readiness, rural education, Native American tribal history and culture, and parent and family engagement initiatives. Montana School Superintendents can activate their school district’s Discovery Education account by visiting this website.

“This partnership grows student learning both in and out of the classroom,” said Superintendent Elsie Arntzen. “The parental and family engagement aspect of Discovery Education will strengthen our Montana students’ success. I encourage all of our schools to take advantage of this great teaching and learning opportunity.”

The partnership is also ensuring that students in rural areas, which often lack high-speed internet connections and the resources that come with those connections, will have access to digital learning resources. “Many of Montana’s rural are part of a rural cooperative. Discovery Education will allow all our students the ability to access the content provided. Learning together has always promoted education in our frontier state, this is just another tool for lead teachers,” Arntzen said.

Laura Ascione is the Editorial Director at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

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