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Please contact the OPI Help Desk at or 406.444.0087


Accreditation StandardsWelcome!
The Accreditation and Educator Preparation Division provides leadership, oversight, and support of elementary, secondary and postsecondary education in Montana. The division is committed to continuous improvement in teaching and learning ensuring all students meet today’s challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities.

We’re here to help.  Contact us.

Linda Vrooman Peterson, Division Administrator, 406.444.5726
Michael Hall, Director of Professional Learning and Technology Support 406.444.4422
Julia Cruse, Regional Education Service Area Specialist, 406.444.0769
Patty Muir, Accreditation Program Director, 406.444.4317
Nathan Miller, Accreditation Data Specialist, 406.444.2410
Kimberly Vinson, Data Control Technician 406.444.1852
Rehanna Olson, Administrative Specialist 406.444.3114


Accreditation Standards and Procedures

Montana School Accreditation Standards and Procedures Manual
Standards of accreditation as per 20-7-101 Montana Codes Annotated: (1) Standards of accreditation for all schools must be adopted by the board of public education upon the recommendations of the superintendent of public instruction.

The Accreditation Unit primarily serves schools and districts in the area of accreditation standards and practices and program accountability; Terms of Employment, Accreditation and Master Schedule (TEAMS) technical assistance; P20 on-site review criteria, protocol, follow-up technical assistance to schools, research and reporting; and continuous improvement (CSI Plan).



We’re here to help.  Contact us.

Linda Vrooman Peterson, Division Administrator, 406.444.5726
Patty Muir, Accreditation Program Director, 406.444.4317
Julia Cruse, Regional Education Service Area Specialist, 406.444.0769
Nathan Miller, Accreditation Data Specialist, 406.444.2410


Educator Performance Appraisal SystemAEP

As of July 1, 2013, Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) Chapter 55 Standards of Accreditation Revised are in effect. Included in Chapter 55 are the revised standards relating to the evaluation process used in Montana schools, which outline the minimum guidelines and requirements of “the evaluation system used by a school district.”

During the 2013-14 school year, every Montana school district is responsible for beginning to implement the requirements of ARM 10.55.701 (4)(a). As provided in 10.55.701 (4)(b), “model evaluation instruments” have been “developed and published” to assist school districts in meeting the state standards for evaluation.

Click here for the Montana-EPAS Overview Video

Montana-EPAS Happenings

Please check back soon for the listing of Fall 2016 Events


MT-EPAS Directory
The Danielson Group Framework for Teaching
New Teacher Center: Induction Program

Accreditation Standards

Educator Preparation

Chapter 58 (effective July 1, 2015)

Montana Assessment of Content Knowledge

Institutional Report (effective July 1, 2015)
Full Report .docx version

Reports by Section

10.58.102 Process Leading to Accreditation of Educator Preparation Providers

10.58.103 Accreditation Site Reviews

10.58.104 Accreditated Programs

10.58.311 Initial Content and Pedagogical Knowledge

10.58.312 Initial Clinical Partnerships and Practice

10.58.313 Initial Candidate Quality, Recruitment, and Selectivity

10.58.314 Initial Program Impact

10.58.315 Initial Provider Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement

10.58.501 Teaching Standards
10.58.502 Agricultural Education
10.58.503 Art K-12
10.58.505 Business Education
10.58.507 Theatre
10.58.509 English Language Arts
10.58.510 Students With Disabilities P-12
10.58.511 World Languages
10.58.513 Health
10.58.514 Family and Consumer Sciences
10.58.515 Industrial Trades and Technology Education
10.58.516 Journalism
10.58.517 Library Media K-12
10.58.518 Mathematics
10.58.519 Music K-12
10.58.520 Physical Education
10.58.521 Reading Specialists K-12
10.58.522 Science
10.58.523 Social Studies
10.58.524 Commmunication
10.58.526 Traffic Education
10.58.528 Computer Science
10.58.531 Early Childhood Education
10.58.532 Elementary
10.58.533 Middle Grades (4-8)

10.58.604 Advanced Programs

10.58.605 Advanced Content and Pedagogical Knowledge

10.58.606 Advanced Clinical Partnerships and Practice

10.58.607 Advanced Candidate Quality, Recruitment, and Selectivity

10.58.608 Advanced Program Impact

10.58.609 Advanced Provider Quality Assurance and Continuous Improvement

10.58.610 School Counseling K-12

10.58.705 School Principals, Supervisors, and Curriculum Directors

10.58.706 Superintendents

10.58.707 School Psychologists

10.58.802 Approval of New Curricular Programs


Montana has 9 post-secondary campuses offering teacher education programs that have been approved by the Montana Board of Education for teacher, administrator, specialist certification in Montana. Each institution offers its own combination of programs. Both historical and current combinations of programs can be accessed through this site.

Montana New Teacher Induction Project 

Accreditation Standards

The OPI is partnering with The New Teacher Center (NTC), a one-of-a kind national resource dedicated to accelerating new teacher development and impacting student achievement through the design and implementation of high-quality teacher induction programs. The OPI and NTC have developed two virtual institutes to be held June 13 - 14 and June 16 – 17, 2016.

look here! Instructional Mentoring,
which is, designed to build a strong and committed community of skilled mentors and coaches prepared to advance teaching practice and impact student achievement. This two-day session will be held June 13 – 14.

look here!Observing & Conferencing,
a two-day session, extends and expands upon the use of instructional mentoring language, promotes strategies to communicate, collaborate, and coordinate with a site administrator for beginning teacher assessment and support. The session will introduce protocols and tools that support an effective classroom observation cycle. This training will be held June 16 – 17. Prerequisite: Completion of Instructional Mentoring.

Link to the session content, dates and times, and registration can be found at

For further questions, contact Patty Muir, OPI Accreditation Program Director, at 406-444-4317 or

Variances to Standards

Accreditation StandardsVariances to Standards, Effective July 1, 2013
The revised ARM 10.55.604 Variances to Standards rule allows a local board of trustees to apply for a variance to a standard or a section of standards, excluding standards stating statutory criteria, standards pertaining to educator licensure or endorsement, and content standards. The intent of the revised Variance to Standards is to 1) provide options and innovation to school districts to help ensure educational quality and accountability, and 2) create a pre-appointed review board that will make recommendations to the Superintendent of Public Instruction for approval, modification, or rejection of all variance to standard applications.

The OPI strongly encourages applicants to use the appropriate rubric as the application is completed.

Date Location Applications Documentation
04/11/16 Radisson Colonial Hotel, Helena, MT

Billings High Schools
Powell County High School
Kalispell - Flathead High School, Glacier High School
Sweet Grass County High School

Libby High School, Troy High School
Bozeman High School

10.55.704 and 10.55.705
Independent Elementary

Bonner Elementary School
Joliet Public Schools
Malta K-12 Schools

10.55.709 and 10.55.1801Polson High School

Corvallis - Quentin Brown Primary

Billings Elementary Schools

BPE Minutes – Available after July BPE Meeting
August 4 & 5, 2015 -- No applications – meeting cancelled
03/31/15 Comfort Inn, Helena, MT

Beaverhead County High School

Cayuse Prairie 7-8 School
Canyon Creek 7-8 School

Troy 7-8 School
Thompson Falls 7-8 School
Bigfork 7-8 School

Corvallis (Edna Thomas & Corvallis 7-8)

Applications not considered due to request of variance to licensure:

Kila Elementary 
Smith Valley Elementary 
Swan River Elementary
Vaughn Elementary
Fair-Mont-Egan Elementary

August 6 & 7, 2014 - No applications - meeting canceled
04/02-03/14 Red Lion,
Helena, MT

Billings High Schools

Independent Elementary

Laurel Middle School
Laurel High School
Malta K-12 Schools
Polson High School

Corvallis (Quentin Brown Primary)

Variances to Standards Review Board Membership

Fred Anderson

Term Expires: 2016


Elementary School Principal

Great Falls Public Schools

Tony Kloker

Term Expires: 2018


District Superintendent

Montana City Elementary School District

John Fleming

Term Expires: 2016

Board Member

High School Teacher

St. Ignatius K-12 Schools

Paul Furthmyre

Term Expires: 2018

Board Member

High School Principal

Anaconda Public Schools

Kelly Haverlandt

Term Expires: 2016

Board Member

Elementary School Teacher

Whitefish Public Schools

Anne Keith

Term Expires: 2018

Board Member

Elementary School Teacher

Bozeman Public Schools

Wendy Maratita

Term Expires: 2016

Board Member

High School Teacher

Harlem Public Schools

Lance Voegele

Term Expires: 2018

Board Member

Board of Trustee Member

Belgrade Public Schools



We’re here to help.  Contact us.

Linda Vrooman Peterson, Division Administrator, 406.444.5726
Patty Muir, Accreditation Program Director, 406.444.4317
Julia Cruse, Regional Education Service Area Specialist, 406.444.0769
Nathan Miller, Accreditation Data Specialist, 406.444.2410