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Contact us via email or call us in-state toll-free between 9:00am and 5:00pm MT at 1.888.231.9393, Local 406.444.3095


Questions or concerns about this webpage?
Please contact the OPI Help Desk at or 406.444.0087


Summary of OPI Activities for June 2017

School Finance

School Finance Summer Workshops

We are ready to roll with our OPI School Finance Summer workshops!!  The dates and locations are as follows:

Thursday, July 13:  Helena (Helena High School)

Tuesday, July 18:  Missoula (Big Sky High School)

Wednesday, July 19:  Kalispell (Glacier High School)

Thursday, July 20:  Fort Benton (Agricultural Museum and Center of Montana)

Tuesday, July 25:  Miles City (Custer Co High School)

Wednesday, July 26:  Billings (Lincoln Center)

Thursday, July 27:  Bozeman (Willson School)

We will have a new format this year, with general sessions starting and ending the day, and hour-long breakout sessions in the middle.  In addition, we will have rotating guest speakers at some locations.  Confirmed at this time, the AIM staff will do a "Basics of AIM" presentation at the Helena, Missoula and Bozeman locations, concurrent with the afternoon general session.  AGENDA

Register here:

For more information, contact Nicole Thuotte, (406) 444-4524

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Educator Licensure

Educator Licensure Reminders

1. School administrators, if you have a new educator that was not currently licensed in Montana at the time of hire, we recommend the following steps:

  • Request to see their MT educator license
  • If they have not yet received their license, advise them to:
    • Log into the Montana State Educator Information System (MSEIS)
    • Direct their attention to the bottom of the screen, the section titled, “Deficiencies For Selected License”
      • Underneath “Statement” will be the list of outstanding documents/requirements; these items may not yet have been received by licensure.
      • To determine if these items are still outstanding, look to the right, and review “Removal Reason.”  For each item under “Statement” there is a corresponding “Removal Reason.”  If the requirement listed under “Statement” has been received/resolved, then it will be noted here and this item has been addressed.

If, however, there is nothing noted in the “Removal Reason,” then this requirement is still outstanding and needs the applicant’s immediate attention.  Applications are not reviewed until all required documents, fees, Praxis, etc., have been received.

2.  Administrators, once you have gone through the above process with your new educator, we also request that you send an email to advising us of your new hires that have not yet received their MT educator license.  These applications receive priority review once we receive your email.  Please note, this email does need to come from the administrator and not the new hire.

3.  A reminder that June 30th is the expiration date of educator licenses.  Please have your educators double check the expiration date of their certificates.  Class 1, 2, 3 and 6 may be renewed with verification of 60 renewal units earned during the five years of validity through August 31st of the year the license expires.

The following is a reminder of the renewal process:

  • Create an account and or log into the Montana State Educator Information System (MSEIS) by opening the OPI home page, select “Educator Licensure, and then click “Log into Montana State Educator Information System (MSEIS)”
    • Remember when establishing your account, we recommend using a personal email.
    • Payment will be required at the end of the renewal process.  Have a debit or credit card readily available when beginning this procedure in order to avoid the system timing out.
  • Enter your professional development.  Select the “Professional Development” tab, enter your renewal unit certificates or official transcripts (if using college credits).
    • If unable to find a provider in the drop down list, call Educator Licensure
    • If unable to find an event in the drop down list, call the provider of that event
  • Follow the renewal steps.
  • When submitting payment, you must click “Continue” for your payment to post to your account.

We hope this information is helpful.  Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns.  Our phone lines are often busy, an efficient means of communication is through our email. 

Thank you for choosing to be a Montana educator; enjoy your summer!

For more information, contact Kristine Thatcher, 406-444-2580

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Educational Opportunity and Equity Division

2017-18 Schoolwide Plan Update

Districts with schools operating a schoolwide program must update those plans no later than July 31, 2017.  The schoolwide plans are located under the Continuous School Improvement Plan (CSIP) which can be accessed on the OPI website at:  The plans are at the school level, and a plan must be completed for each school in the district operating a schoolwide program.  Use the first day of school for SY17-18 as the start date, and make sure to select REVISED for the plan status.

For more information, contact Shawna Pieske, 4064445660

Changes to Title II Part Allocations

Beginning with the 2017-18 school year, the "Hold Harmless" provision for Title II A allocations has been removed.  Hold Harmless was a safety net that prevented district allocations from being reduced by a significant amount in any one year.  The OPI has published a spreadsheet at the following link: to allow districts to see what affect this would have had on their 2016-17 Title II A allocations.

For more information, contact Shawna Pieske, 4064445660

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Measurement and Accountability

AIM Announcements

AIM Average Daily Attendance (ADA) Collection Due June 30th

The ADA Collection can be entered as soon as school is out!  Average Daily Attendance (ADA) information is required for all students enrolled with Service Types of P: Primary or S: Partial at any time during the 16-17 school year.  For each student, districts must calculate the number of days enrolled and the number of days present and enter the data in AIM/Infinite Campus. Information may be directly entered into the student’s enrollment record, or uploaded using the ADA file upload template, or automatically calculated and populated using students’ attendance records (this last option only works for those districts who use Infinite Campus to keep daily attendance).

Fall Regional AIM New User Sessions

All but one of the 2017 Fall AIM Montana Edition New User Technical Assistance Sessions dates and locations have been set:

» August 9th – Hardin
» Sept. 18th – TBA (Helena Region)
» Sept. 19th – Glendive
» Sept. 20th – Billings
» Sept. 25th – Missoula

These sessions are intended for new users of the Montana Edition of Infinite Campus. They will run from 9:00 to 3:00.

Helpful AIM Links

» AIM Website

» AIM Collection Schedule

» AIM New User Guide

» AIM District Contact Update Form

For more information, contact Candi Standall, 406-444-3495

AIM Average Daily Attendance (ADA) Collection Due June 30th

The ADA Collection can be entered as soon as school is out!  Average Daily Attendance (ADA) information is required for all students enrolled with Service Types of P: Primary or S: Partial at any time during the 16-17 school year.  For each student, districts must calculate the number of days enrolled and the number of days present and enter the data in AIM/Infinite Campus. Information may be directly entered into the student’s enrollment record, or uploaded using the ADA file upload template, or automatically calculated and populated using students’ attendance records (this last option only works for those districts who use Infinite Campus to keep daily attendance). For step-by-step instructions, please refer to the Average Daily Attendance User Guide.

ADA information should be entered as part of the district’s end of year process and is due by June 30, 2017.

For more information, contact Candi Standall, 406-444-3495

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Content Standards and Instruction

Personalize Your Summer Professional Learning

OPI Teacher Learning Hub

FACILITATED COURSE:  Understanding Healthcare: Introduction to Teaching Health Science

In some states, health science is taught by a licensed health care professional, and that is still an option in Montana, but there is no specific teacher preparation program for the field of health science.  Take this course to learn more about teaching Health Science and possibly earn a Class 4A license in Health Occupation Education (must meet specific requirements to earn the license).

Sign up or read more about this course.

SELF-PACED COURSE: Tech-ify Your Classroom! The Basics of K-5 Tech Integration

The basics of meaningful, effective technology integration in grades K-5. Young learners are capable of leveraging technology to learn, do and create amazing things, and this course will guide you in thinking about technology and how it can enhance the curriculum and learning in your classroom.

Sign up or read more about this course.


July Math Courses

Facilitated courses focusing on algebra and functions, specific to grade bands. Courses run July 10th - 28th.  Sign up now before all the spots are gone! 

Algebraic Thinking (K-5)

Algebraic Thinking (6-7)

Straight Talk: Linearity (7-9)

Functions as Objects (HS)


Other Facilitated Courses

G “Sweet”– The Main Course (15 renewal units)

August 7th– Sept 17th, registration opens mid-July  Advanced use of Google Suite tools


First Year Teachers! Important Tips, Tricks, and Survival Resources (15 renewal units)

tentatively planned for August 7th– Sept 17th, registration opens mid-July


Coming Soon

·        K-5 Tech Integration

·        Introduction to UDL

·        Many more! Over 70 in development!


Looking for something else?

See all Montana PD on the Learning Opportunities Portal

Search for ready-to-go resources on Montana Teach

For more information, contact Colet Bartow, 406-444-3583

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Career Technical and Adult Education

2018 Carl Perkins applications OPENS 6-30-17


The 2017-2018 Federal Carl D. Perkins E-Grant application opened June 30 and is available for public high school districts to open and complete.  The allocations loaded into the E-Grants system are FINAL numbers. This means you can create a new application for 2017-2018 and begin working on it.  To access your Perkins application, please click here and sign into E-Grants.

According to the Carl D. Perkins Act of 2006, allocation calculations are based on current U.S. Census poverty and population counts. Local Distribution of Funds to Secondary Education Programs are distributed by formula based on school district Poverty counts (70%) and Population counts (30%). In addition, any unobligated or unspent Perkins monies from the prior year are redistributed by formula to all high schools. The distribution explanation can be found in Part C Section 131(1) and (2) on pages 130 and 131 of the Perkins Act of 2006, The Official Guide. 

For questions about the Carl D. Perkins Federal Grant program, or about your application, please contact one of the following:

RENEE ERLANDSEN, Health Science Education Specialist, email: or by phone at 406.994.6986

CHRISTY HENDRICKS, CTE/Perkins Data Control Specialist, email: or by phone at 406.444.9019

For questions about the E-Grant program, contact KARLA BEAGLES at or by phone at 406.444.0764

For more information, contact Christy Hendricks, 406.444.9019

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Special Education

MBI Summer Institute

Check out the 2017 MBI Summer Institute Date Saver at:

For more information, contact Marcy Otten, 406-529-0774

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Health Enhancement and Safety

Traffic Ed Year-End Report due BEFORE July 10 – est. reimbursement $90

The 2017 traffic education reimbursement is estimated to be about $90-100 per student and payments will be made in mid-August. We must have your TE06 Year-End Reports submitted to us no later than July 10. You can enter the data directly into TEDRS or fill out and fax the TE06 form available on our Forms & Reports page.

All traffic education courses that ended July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017 must be reported in the 2017 school year. The TE06 includes both program information and budget data, so teachers and district staff need to work together to get the report done.

Make sure your student lists (with completion dates up to June 30) are entered, completed and submitted online in TEDRS, so we can include all students who are eligible for reimbursement. Verify the number of students to be reimbursed by logging into TEDRS, then Reports/Student Count. If the Total TE Count doesn’t match your records, contact us right away.

If you need TEDRS access, contact Patti Borneman by email: or call (406) 444-4432.

To receive important reminders and updates, sign up for OPI Traffic Education e-news:

For more information, contact Fran Penner-Ray, 406-444-4396

Montana Cook Fresh Class

A regional offering of the Montana Cook Fresh Class is being conducted on Monday, August 14, 2017 from 9 am to 1pm at Glendive High School in Glendive, Montana.  This hands-on cooking course teaches participants six basic knife skills along with the use of fresh herbs and scratch cooking techniques in preparing local, fresh foods in school meals programs. This class has been offered throughout the state since 2014.  The class is free but preregistration is required and attendance is limited to 20 participants. Early sign-up is recommended. To register go to:

For more information, contact Katie Bark, 406.994.5641

Register for Montana Harvest of the Month

Montana school and afterschool programs can now register to participate in the Montana Harvest of the Month program for 2017-18 school year! The Montana Harvest of the Month program showcases Montana grown foods in schools and communities. Each month, participating schools focus on promoting one locally grown item (e.g., winter squash) by serving it in a meal, offering taste tests to students, and doing educational lessons and activities surrounding both the nutritional and agricultural aspects of the food.

Participating schools will receive a full packet of materials at no charge as well as guides, additional resources, and training.

For more information or to register your school or afterschool program, visit

For more information, contact Aubree Roth, 406.994.5996

Save the date - Montana Crunch Time

The 5th annual Montana Crunch Time will be held October 24, 2017 at 2:00pm statewide. Don’t miss out on this massive crunch and mark your calendar now. Montana Crunch Time is a statewide event to celebrate National Food Day and National Farm to School Month in Montana by crunching into locally and regionally grown apples wherever you are—school, work, or play!

Get more information at: Registration for 2017 opening soon.

For more information, contact Aubree Roth, 406.994.5996

Summer Food Service Program Reminders

Thanks for serving meals to children in your community throughout the summer months! Please submit claims for Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) reimbursement by the 10th of the month.

For more information, contact School Nutrition Programs, 406.444.2501

School Nutrition Programs - Online Agreements

OPI School Nutrition Programs is replacing CNPweb with new software.  Sponsors will enter online agreements and claims in SY17-18 using the Montana Agreement and Payment System (MAPS). More information and training will be available soon once the system goes live.

For more information, contact School Nutrition Programs, 406-444-2501

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Accreditation and Educator Preparation

TEAMS (Terms of Employment, Accreditation, and Master Schedule) Work Sessions

The Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) is happy to announce we are providing TEAMS Work Sessions once again this fall! During these sessions, participants will bring and enter their own data into the TEAMs database with face-to-face assistance from OPI staff.

To see a schedule of work sessions and register:

For more information, contact OPI TEAMS, 406-444-9444

TEAMS Security

The annual TEAMS collection will open in August.

Use the TEAMS Security Form found on the OPI School Staffing website to request TEAMS user names, assign users roles, or to make changes ( To maintain continued data security, notify the OPI as soon as possible when user accounts are to be inactivated. The “authorized representative” is the official designation indicating the individual responsible for submitting official educational program documents and reports to the OPI. Submit only one TEAMS Security Form per educational program (i.e., district).

For more information, contact Danielle Murphy, 406-444-1625

Montana Small School Alliance (MSSA) Users

ARM 10.55.710(3) states, “Districts with fewer than 126 students may employ or contract with a licensed, endorsed school counselor or Class 6 specialist or utilize a consortium, multidistrict agreement, or interlocal cooperative to secure these services.”

ARM 10.55.709(2) states, “Schools of fewer than 126 students shall employ or contract with a licensed and endorsed school library media specialist. (3) If a district has fewer than 126 students, the district may utilize a consortium, multidistrict agreement, or interlocal cooperative to secure these services.”

The MSSA serves over 100 school districts across Montana and provides an excellent resource for school counselors and library media specialists. This program provides training and consultation for any school belonging to MSSA. If a school district is eligible to participate in MSSA, the services of counselor and library media specialist must be administered by a licensed educator. These educators need not be licensed in the areas of counseling or library but do need to be a properly licensed educator in the State of Montana.

For more information, contact Patty Muir, 406-444-4317

Montana New Teacher Induction Project

The OPI and New Teacher Center (NTC) are offering an online toolbox of strategies and tools that have proven effective in supporting new teachers through the Learning Opportunities Portal.

The first module, Mentor Practices, focuses on key mentor practices that best support new teacher effectiveness. Through a series of activities and videos, participants are introduced and have opportunities to practice the foundational components of mentoring.

The second module, Using the CAL, (Collaborative Assessment Log) is a valuable tool that, when coupled with mentor language, helps guide and support conversations that support mentor beliefs and practices. The CAL was originally developed by mentors as a way to focus mentor conversation.

The third module, Differentiated Coaching, was created at the New Teacher Center, drawing from the work of Carl Glickman. It is a conceptual framework for differentiated coaching. Mr. Glickman’s focus on development, collaborative supervision of instruction, and applying adult-learning principles provides the foundation for NTC's application of Differentiated Coaching.

Modules can be accessed at

All mentoring toolboxes are free and renewal units can be earned.

For more information, contact Patty Muir, 406-444-4317

Continuous School Improvement Plan

The Continuous School Improvement Plan (CSIP) and Title I applications will open August 1, 2017, for the 2017-2018 school year. The applications close and the plans are due by October 31, 2017. Both the district and school level Title I Improvement Planning sections have been removed from the plan.

For assistance with the CSIP, contact Patty Muir, 406-444-4317 or;

For assistance with Title I Planning, contact Jack O’Connor, 406- 444-3083; or

For more information, contact Heather Denny, 406-444-2036

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Office of the Superintendent

Troops to Teachers is Back!

Troops to Teachers is back in Montana!

The Department of Defense had previously shut down all of the TTT field offices nationwide and reset the organization. This past spring, the Department of Defense announced a non-competitive grant process to get the operations up and running again.  Several changes were made, which included that the funding be routed through a state department of education, which is where the OPI got involved.  We are serving as the fiscal agent for the Lewis & Clark Region TTT program which serves veterans in Montana, Idaho, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Wyoming, and Washington.  

We are excited to be working with retired army Col. LeRoy Gaub, who will again be running the program out of Montana State University.  The OPI is also excited to offer the resources of the Learning Hub to the TTT project as a delivery method for information. 

The funding for this first year is $716,000 but there will be a competitive grant process opening soon for a five-year project which will help ensure sustainability.

For more information, contact Le at or visit 

For more information, contact Tim Tharp, 4064447325

Math Task Force

An interdivisional Math Task Force has been formed at the OPI to analyze all of the ways we support math in Montana and to develop a unified and consistent plan to assist schools in increasing math outcomes.

To support this work, we have hired a short-term worker in the Administration to gather information from a wide variety of sources to help us understand all of the data that we have.  This project is off to a great start, with detailed data arriving from many OPI related sources. The contacts for different data have been more than accommodating. Compiling the information into different parameters is in progress. Helping teachers and the OPI standards committee build stronger math understanding for Montana students is the ultimate goal.

This project will be ongoing into the future. As a society of educators we need to embrace the idea that Math concepts need to be mastered from the grassroots before moving to a new concept. Not liking, avoiding, or sharing that we hated math should not be worn as a badge of honor.  We are role models for the future; professionals that love our vocation and calling. Life time students. Be not afraid of math; embrace it with your students. 

We are also working with the Montana University system, to improve Math understanding for Montana students, who are University or college bound. Many Montana students will be joining the work force without a college degree. We hope to add to and improve the high school and technical school math offerings. Our goal is to keep students in school, by giving them practical math classes required, to be successful in their chosen field.

Embrace math, for everyday life brings problems needing to be solved. MATH IS POWER!

For more information, contact Timothy Tharp, 406-444-7325

ESSA Update


Last week the OPI held larger scale ESSA presentations in Great Falls, Glendive and Billings. The meetings gave in-depth information on the topics being revised and updated for the new draft plan, and attendees included community members, educators, administrators, representatives from our congressional delegation, and more.  We appreciate your help getting the word out and participating.  We have also visited schools and communities to have ESSA discussions across the state. ESSA Meetings/Discussions since January 2017 



The webinars and guiding documents are posted and we have been reviewing the feedback and input received from you.  We would appreciate feedback by July 6th, but will continue to accept feedback and input throughout the summer.  We will hold conference calls and focus groups over the next two weeks to further discuss topics that have come up in the feedback from statewide meetings, presentations and webinars on the OPI website. Upcoming Webinar Schedule/Focus Groups



Three of the states that submitted their plans have received feedback and we are thoroughly reviewing it to gain further understanding of the expectations of the peer reviewers and the Department of Education.  The common theme seems to be that the peer reviewers want clarity and further details.  The Department of Education also issued a FAQ sheet on June 16th that clarifies the Secretary’s roles and responsibilities and more.  It states that once the plan is returned to us we have 15 days to revise the plan or will need to ask for an extension.  

For more information, contact Susie Hedalen, (406) 444-3449

Title IA & Title IIA Allocations

The Title IA and Title IIA Final Allocations were posted on June 28th. We realize that these are several weeks later than districts would normally have received these, but delays at the federal level have pushed back many timelines.  Rest assured that the staff at the Office of Public Instruction are working hard to get these things turned around as quickly as possible as soon as we get the information from the Department of Education.

For more information, contact Jack O'Connor, 406-444-3083

Update from the Office of the Superintendent, Elsie Arntzen

June 30, 2017


OPI is diligently working to update and build upon Montana’s state ESSA plan and preparing for the new fiscal year.



After visiting with community leaders and education stakeholders across Montana in May and June, OPI staff developed webinars on specific sections of our state plan that are being updated. The webinars are available on OPI’s website. Please review the webinars and provide feedback to A draft of the plan will be made available for public comment on July 12th.

OPI held a focus group in Helena on June 29th to discuss college and career readiness, Long-Term Goals and Accountability, and Title IV Part A in the plan. A second focus group on Long-Term Goals and Accountability is scheduled for July 6th. You can participate in person at OPI or by calling in. For more information on how to participate, please send an email to

It is important to note that the plan is a working document that will continue to be updated based on feedback after it is made available on July 12th.


Superintendent’s Activities:

In addition to ESSA state plan work, Superintendent Arntzen has been thoroughly and responsibly preparing for the end of the current fiscal year and beginning of the new one on July 1, along with the fiscal challenges that come with it.

The Interim Education Committee held its first meeting on June 13th. Superintendent Arntzen and OPI staff were at the meeting to provide information on special education in Montana, plans for absorbing anticipated budget reductions, and other items on the Committee’s agenda. Special education will be an important focus of the Interim Committee.

Superintendent Arntzen has also had the opportunity to meet with various student groups including GEAR UP camps in Helena and Butte and Boys’ State and Girls’ State at Carroll College. These were great opportunities for the Superintendent to speak with middle and high school students about leadership principles and STEM education.

Finally, June has been an active month in education for statewide leadership conferences. Superintendent Arntzen and OPI staff have attended or hosted conferences regarding MBI, special education, school transportation, school finance, agriculture, and others. Superintendent Arntzen also participated in the National Forum on Education Policy.


Have a wonderful summer and thank you for putting Montana students first.


Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction, Elsie Arntzen

For more information, contact Dylan Klapmeier, 4064443559

On-going Standards Revision Schedule

On May 11, 2017, the Board of Public Education discussed the upcoming content standards revision schedule.  Interim Deputy Superintendent Tim Tharp and Colet Bartow, Director of Content Standards and Instruction (CSI), discussed changes in availability of personnel and operating expenses at the OPI that are a result of budget and staff reductions required by the 2017 Legislature. The Content Standards and Instruction Division consists of seven people which make up less than 6.5 FTE. Included in this is 1.5 FTE for work specifically on the OPI Teacher Learning Hub. The Division is also down one person due to vacancy savings related to the requirement of the Montana Legislature that the OPI further reduce staff by 3.2 FTE. This means that an already small division with a great deal of work is not in a position to move ahead with the current content standards timeline. 

Dr. Tharp also shared that with this in mind, and recognizing the need to prioritize the work of OPI staff, Superintendent Arntzen has established a strategic focus on improving mathematics outcomes for students.  With low achievement in mathematics, students face difficulties in moving into higher education and careers. Our goals will include continuing to assist schools in clarification of the benchmarks that need to be made at the various levels (K-3, 4-6, 7-8, 9-12), researching and possibly making recommendations regarding the number of math credits required for high school graduation, exploring more dual credit opportunities for math, development of high-quality professional development on the OPI Teacher Learning Hub directed toward math teachers, and how to link to special populations including Native American students, students in schools receiving targeted support, and special education students.

The Board’s discussion centered on the recognition that the adoption of standards is of great importance to the development of up-to-date curriculum at the district level and that schools rely on a predictable schedule. The board also recognized that several of the current standards are approaching 20 years since they were adopted.  The OPI proposed that dates for initiating revision activities would be restarted in January 2018.  The OPI and Board of Public Education will revisit the schedule as needed with the understanding that the timeline may change based on resource availability or other factors.

  • Cycle I (January 2018 to July 2021) - Social Studies, Career and Technical Education, Digital Literacy/Computer Science
  • Cycle II (January 2021 to July 2023) - Mathematics, World Languages
  • Cycle III (January 23 to July 2025 - English Language Arts/Literacy and English Learners, Health and Physical Education
  • Cycle IV (January 2025 to July 2027) - Arts, Science

For more information, contact Colet Bartow, 406-444-3583

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