Cascade Public Schools gets science help from Montana Digital Academy

Cascade Public Schools
Cascade Public Schools
Posted at 5:55 PM, Jan 22, 2024

Cascade Public Schools, like several other districts in the state, has experienced teacher shortages over the last few years. To make up for their lack of teachers in the science department, superintendent of Cascade Public Schools, Levi Collins, said they have partnered with Montana Digital Academy (MTDA) to fulfill these needs for the semester.

Cascade Public Schools gets science help from Montana Digital Academy

“The entire state has a hard time right now finding science teachers, and there just aren't enough science teachers in the state entering the market or entering the labor force to make up for that. Some positions are a little bit easier to hire than most, but science and math is very, very difficult to find across the entire state,” said Collins.

“In situations like this, we're happy to step in and help,” said Mike Agostinelli, assistant director for MTDA. “We've tried to be very thoughtful and thorough in our support to make sure it's the best situation for students, and then obviously, once the semester is over, hopefully there's a face-to-face teacher hired and Cascade can then continue to use us in the more traditional way, which is, you know, for those elective courses or one-off situations.”

MTDA is an online distance-learning service with their entire faculty being Montana based public school teachers from all around the state.

While students will begin taking their science classes online through Montana Digital Academy, there will also be an in-person facilitator to assist students with their work and ensure high quality learning.

“The idea is, they have an as good or better learning experience so that they can then go on in the sequencing and thrive,” Agostinelli said. “We've heard from principals across the state that one of the reasons why they choose MTDA is because indeed that is the standard that we set. We pay close attention to that, and again, using such high-quality teacher force that's based in Montana has been a helpful piece in addition to the curriculum materials to making this a successful solution for schools.”

Cascade public schools will begin their learning courses with MTDA on Tuesday, January 23rd.

Cascade Public School District
Montana Digital Academy