Jobs for Montana's Graduates Recognized
Glasgow High School Program Receives ‘5-of-5’ Award
October 14, 2020
Last month Governor Steve Bullock announced that Jobs for Montana’s Graduates received its 14th “5-of-5” award. Glasgow High School was among 16 schools in the state recognized for reaching the “5-of-5” standard for 2019. To receive the award, schools must achieve or surpass a 90 percent graduation rate, 80 percent positive outcomes rate, 60 percent employment rate, 60 percent full-time job rate and 80 percent full-time placement rate.
According to Bullock’s press release, JMG is a state chapter of Jobs for America’s Graduates, a national organization dedicated to improving outcomes among students who face hurdles to graduation and/or employment. In Montana, the program is administered by the Montana Department of Labor & Industry. Statistics are tracked by program administrators in schools and state results are compiled after 12 months of follow-up college placement and career pathway support.
At Glasgow High School, Jill Page teaches the JMG class to help her students succeed in school and in life. She said the course focuses on four main components: civic responsibility, career prep, social responsibility and leadership. While the class focuses mainly on communication and leadership, it is supplemented by the Montana Career Association (MCA) club, a student-led group with a focus on implementing skills from the classroom.
“Last year the big push was the Kindness program,” Page said. MCA members presented a “Kindness curriculum” to students at Irle Elementary and Glasgow Middle School and painted “kindness rocks” with the younger students. “Of course, this year, we won’t be going into any other classrooms,” she added.
The MCA club also participates in yearly events, including running the annual blood drive at the school for approximately 10 years now, which normally occurs in February. “We want to get them to donate at a younger age and keep it going,” Page said. For the holidays, Glasgow students provide turkey dinners to three families at Thanksgiving and buy gifts for needy families during the Christmas season. The club also participates in “Pennies for Patients,” setting out donation boxes at various businesses in the area.
Within the school, participants purchase Glasgow Scottie T-shirts for new students, “to help them belong,” explained Page. MCA also helps coordinate and run Red Thumb Day, an annual awareness campaign to prevent texting while driving. This year, the students will be promoting Red Ribbon Week with club members handing out bracelets promoting a drug-free lifestyle during the final week of October. “We bought a red ribbon to hang on the Scottie dog in front of the school,” Page added.
Students also have the opportunity to travel through the organization, with club officers attending a JMG leadership program in Helena. However, this year’s in-person event was canceled due to COVID-19 health and safety concerns, however leaders will still have a chance to design a logo and write an essay on how high school and the program has helped them with the goal of winning a trip to Washington, D.C. “I’ve had four or five students win the D.C. trip,” Page said, “so it’s been kind of exciting.”
The governor’s press release explained JMG provides students “an opportunity to practice decision-making, critical thinking, and leadership skills; while learning the essential soft skills needed for career readiness to gain employment in Montana’s workforce.” The program is designed to encourage transition from high school to secondary education, the workforce, apprenticeships or military service.
Page noted that this year has presented a bit of a challenge for students as social distancing and group restrictions have impacted nearly all aspects of school and life. Despite the hurdles faced during this time, the class and club are always looking for new programs to help with and expand their skills. Page encourages anyone with ideas to reach out to her at Glasgow High School, 228-2485.