Missoula's C.S. Porter Middle School is the first in the state to receive the Platinum Award for an MBI Exemplar School. The award was presented at MSU in Bozeman on Wednesday morning by Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction, Denise Juneau.

Eleven MCPS Schools received awards from the Montana Behavioral Initiative, which has established an awards process to recognize schools who meet standards to promote positive school climate and school safety.

C.S. Porter Middle School Principal Julie Robitaille said C.S. Porter is the first middle school to ever receive the Platinum award, the highest level given.

"Up until this time, only one school ever received the platinum award, and that was the Stevensville Elementary School last year," Robitaille said. "We are the first middle school in the entire state to ever receive platinum status. The Montana Behavioral Initiative contains three tiers, three levels of support so students can be successful, both academically, socially, emotionally, and behaviorally, so that they can be successful at school."

Robitaille said several Missoula schools got a head start on the award through a grant process.

"We, along with Paxson School are part of a grant system, and that helped us to reach this status because of our dedication to something called Project REAL, " she said. "It's a multi-tiered level of support. Some schools are just focusing on behavior, while others are focusing on academics. What we're doing at C.S. Porter that is unique and forward-thinking is that we braid everything we do. We're working on all the initiatives, whether it's Every Given Child, or Project Lead The Way, everything falls under the braids of academics, behavior and culture. It just all fits together under our expectations of positive school climate."

Other Missoula schools to receive awards included:

Gold Awards:

Franklin Elementary. Hawthorne Elementary, Lowell Elementary, Paxson Elementary, Rattlesnake Elementary and Russell Elementary

Bronze Awards:

Lewis and Clark Elementary, Meadow Hill Middle School, Hellgate High School and Washington Middle School