SHAPE 2.0 refines the original initiatives from SHAPE P-20 to focus on programs that incorporate cross-cultural studies and an understanding of global issues; STEAM (science, technology, engineering and math, plus arts integration); early intervention for at-risk toddlers and preschoolers; universal design for learning environments and strategies that are flexible for students’ needs; pioneering digital education; and professional learning communities that allow teachers to investigate and improve teaching practices. These programs place the focus on learning, which empowers students and staff to create a globally competitive learning environments.

SHAPE 2.0 also focuses on the most important component of any classroom: the teacher. UM’s role as a nationally recognized training ground for MCPS teachers means research and cutting-edge techniques are available to educators locally, without having to invest in costly out-of-state training.

“Although everything we do is ultimately for kids, teaching also needs to be fulfilling for educators,” says Trevor Laboski, former executive regional director for Missoula County Public Schools. “Those trained in various strategies, programs or approaches don’t just apply their new learning in specific classes. It impacts every student they teach and helps create opportunities for every child to succeed.”

An assessment report in April 2016 showed that the number of students served, teachers trained and schools impacted met and often surpassed the goals of SHAPE P-20. But the numbers are only a glimpse into a larger story.

“UM and MCPS have taken the lead in reimagining education,” said Mike Halligan, executive director of the Washington Foundation. “The success of SHAPE P-20 proved that these are not just pie-in-the-sky ideas; they are practical ways to implement reform and impact generations of educators and students to come.”

SHAPE 2.0 is the beginning of a new national narrative. Americans know it's time for a change, and Missoula is leading the way.

“We need to seek avenues of engagement that test our comfort zone,” says Mark Thane, superintendent of Missoula County Public Schools. “[SHAPE 2.0] is a way to enhance the relevancy and vibrancy of public education. It’s giving us the opportunity to become recognized as such a leader that ultimately there may be a demand regionally, nationally and internationally for seats in our schools.”

The primary goals of SHAPE 2.0 are to:

  • Develop strategic partnerships to streamline the scaling-up of related activities
  • Provide unique education experiences for all students
  • Provide personalized professional development experiences for educators
  • Provide opportunities to explore science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) at unprecedented levels
  • Provide opportunities for students to learn multiple languages and to explore cultures from around the globe
  • Strategically insert healthiness and physical activity into the existing school curricula
  • Engage families in the education of their children before they come to school in an effort to advance the starting point of academic success


Roberta Evans

Roberta Evans
Dean and Professor
Phyllis J. Washington College of Education & Human Sciences
University of Montana
Email: roberta.evans@umontana.edu

Mark Thane

Mark Thane
Missoula County Public Schools

Adrea Lawrence

Dr. Adrea Lawrence
Professor and SHAPE 2.0 Liason
Department of Teaching & Learning
Phyllis J. Washington College of Education & Human Sciences
University of Montana
Email: adrea.lawrence@mso.umt.edu