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Lincoln County gets Montana's first charter school program - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Lincoln County gets Montana's first charter school program

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Lincoln County Vocational School of Innovation getting started. (MTN News photo) Lincoln County Vocational School of Innovation getting started. (MTN News photo)
KALISPELL -

Students will soon have a chance to enroll in a new charter program to help them prepare for more diverse opportunities after high school thanks to the Lincoln County Vocational School of Innovation.

State education officials gave the go ahead to Libby High School administrators on Friday to create Montana’s first charter program and school officials say they want to admit students by fall.

Libby High School will be offering programs in automotive technology and welding certifications after school officials say industry leaders expressed their need for talent in these areas for the next generation.

Libby and Troy schools got together and pooled its resources to help manage costs and fluctuating enrollment.

Montana state superintendent Denise Juneau says it was an honor to recommend a vocational school of innovation for Lincoln County, "they were the ones that actually picked up the baton and ran with it. They knew this opportunity as available.”

Eight students from Libby and another eight from Troy will be admitted to the program through an application process and then it will expand from there. School officials say they eventually want to incorporate Eureka Schools.

Montana Governor Steve Bullock says the talent in Libby is quite special.  

“They’ve underscored here in Libby and Troy that they can meet those needs in innovative ways. No other place in the entire state has today.”

School officials say the certification program is an important piece in keeping skilled talent in Lincoln County. The charter program initial costs are $50,000, which was funded by Libby and Troy schools general fund and by two grants.

Students in their junior and senior years will split one half of their day in vocational and the other half in core classes.

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