Three years ago, UM partnered with Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS) in a groundbreaking effort to ensure students graduate from high school with strong critical thinking, creative problem solving, communication and teamwork skills. With major support from the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, they launched Schools and Higher Education Advancing Public Education across the P-20 Spectrum (SHAPE P-20), a set of initiatives aimed at creating a 21st Century learning environment by transforming the relationship among universities, teachers and student experiences from preschool to the doctoral level.

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, empowering students and staff to create a globally competitive learning environment in every MCPS school.