Sep 23

MSDB Earns Cognia Accreditation

The Montana School for the Deaf and the Blind (MSDB) announced today that it has earned accreditation by Cognia™, a nonprofit organization that provides quality assurance for schools, school districts, and education service providers.

Cognia, formerly AdvancED, nationally recognizes districts that meet rigorous standards focused on productive learning environments, equitable resource allocation that meets the needs of learners, and effective leadership. Earning accreditation from the Cognia Global Accreditation Commission means that the school is accredited, and that MSDB is recognized across the nation as a school that meets Cognia Standards of Quality, and maintains a commitment to continuous improvement.

“School accreditation as conferred by the Cognia Global Accreditation Commission provides MSDB a nationally recognized mark of quality for our school,” shared Interim Superintendent Paul Furthmyre. “It demonstrates to our community our commitment to excellence, our openness to external review and feedback, and our desire to be the best we can be on behalf of the students we serve.”

To earn Cognia accreditation, a school district also must implement a continuous process of improvement, and
submit to internal and external review. Schools in good standing can maintain their accreditation for a five-year term.

Dr. Mark A. Elgart, president and CEO of Cognia, stated, “Cognia Accreditation is a rigorous process that focuses the entire school and its community on the primary goal of preparing lifelong learners in engaging environments where all students can flourish. MSDB is to be commended for demonstrating that it has met high standards, is making progress on key indicators that impact student learning.”

Cognia is the parent organization of the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School
Improvement (NCA CASI), Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) and the Southern Association of
Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI). Parents and interested
community members can learn more about the Cognia Accreditation at

About Cognia
Cognia offers accreditation and certification, assessment, professional learning, and improvement services to
institutions and other education providers. The result of the merger of AdvancED and Measured Progress, Cognia was formed to bridge the gap between school evaluation and student assessment. As a global nonprofit working in over 80 countries, our 36,000 institutions serve and support nearly 25 million students and five million educators every day. Cognia serves as a trusted partner in advancing learning for all. Find out more at

About The Montana School for the Deaf and the Blind
The Montana School for the Deaf and the Blind provides comprehensive learning and growing opportunities for students from birth through age 21 who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, or deafblind throughout the state of Montana. These opportunities support future independence and success!

Our Education Program serves students from 18 months through high school at no charge to families or school districts. Students in the Great Falls area may attend as day students. Specially trained Teachers, Paras, and Support Staff provide specially designed instruction alongside opportunities to attend public school classes if appropriate.

Our Student Life Program serves students with age-appropriate self-help and independence skills through age 21 in a residential placement. There are six individual wings called Cottages where students reside. Adult supervision is provided at all times in the Cottages. Students typically travel home once a month. While in our Student Life Program, students learn independent living skills such as meal planning and cooking, cleaning, basic daily hygiene, shopping, and social skills. They also experience many special events hosted by the Student Life Staff that provide life enrichment opportunities.

Our Outreach Program serves as a statewide resource center for families, school districts, and professionals who are serving students birth through age 21 who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, or deafblind. Our Outreach Consultants serve hundreds of students and families across Montana. Short-term and weekend events are offered on campus to our Outreach students and families throughout the school year and summer.

For more information about MSDB, please visit our website at