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Summary of OPI Activities for May 2016

Office of the Superintendent

Highlights of the Month

Happy May! The school year is coming to an end and it is undoubtedly fast and furious so hang in there! This month’s Summary includes information on:

  • Professional learning opportunities and workshops in MBI, Graduation Matters Montana, civics education, earth science, TEAMS, AP® instruction, Montana Harvest of the Month program, Montana Farm to School Summit, school nutrition, Montana DRIVE, school finance, and more
  • Upcoming deadlines for school elections, Corrective Plans, digital content provider reports, summer food service programs, traffic education reports, and school finance reports, etc
  • And much more!

This month includes a very special day. May 3rd celebrates Teacher Appreciation Day and Superintendent Juneau would like to thank every teacher and all school staff for your tireless dedication to caring for and educating Montana’s students and for the hard work you put in each day to ensure a bright future for each child.

For more information, contact Amy Kruse, 406-444-5643

Graduation Matters Montana Summer Summit Registration is Open!

Registration is now open for the 5th annual Graduation Matters Montana Summer Summit, Tuesday, June 21st, 2016 in Bozeman, MT. The Summit is FREE and open to school staff, students and community and business partners. Current 2015-2016 GMM Challenge Fund grantees must attend with a team of three or more. TO REGISTER: Click here. Be sure to join us on Monday evening, June 20th for GRADTalks – a lively hour of storytelling in partnership with the Montana Behavior Institute, on the MSU-Bozeman campus.  If you have questions please contact Jordann Lankford at (406) 444-3526 or

For more information, contact Jordann Lankford, 406-444-3526

Save the Date! Civics Education Day in Billings and Great Falls

The Office of Public Instruction and the Montana Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) are sponsoring Teacher Law Days in Billings and Great Falls the first week in August. The event is open to middle school and high school educators in English, Government, History and Social Studies.  More details to follow soon but registration is limited to 20 people. You can register now at the links below. There is no fee for the institute and teachers can earn continuing education credits.

  • Monday, August 1st - Billings: Register here.
  • Tuesday, August 2nd - Great Falls: Register here.

For more information, contact Terry Kendrick, 406-444-3449

Summer Six Reading Challenge

Superintendent Juneau is launching the 2016 Summer Six Reading Challenge. Students in K-12 are encouraged to participate and read six books over the course of the summer.  When students sign up, they are eligible for monthly prizes. Nearly 5,000 Montana students have taken the Challenge.  You can help students sign up online. The OPI has a page on its website with information for students, parents and educators. Click here for information and the student sign-up page:

For more information, contact Terry Kendrick, 406-444-3449

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Accreditation and Educator Preparation

Digital Content Providers Registered in Montana Annual Reporting

Pursuant to Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) 10.55.907(5)(b), registered digital content providers serving Montana schools are required to provide an annual report to the Montana Office of Public Instruction by June 1, 2016.

ARM 10.55.907(5) – Distance, Online, and Technology Delivered Learning:

“(5) Digital content providers serving Montana schools accredited by the Board of Public Education shall:

(a)  annually, by the first Monday in August, register with the Office of Public Instruction;

(b)  annually, by the first Monday in June, identify the Montana school districts served in the current school year by the digital content provider, including the courses and student enrollments for each school district served; and

(c)  document the professional qualifications, including Montana teacher licensure and endorsement, of their teachers of distance, online, and technology-delivered programs and/or courses by providing names and credentials of other licensing entities, when not licensed and endorsed in Montana.”

Email the report to Nathan Miller at

For more information, contact Nathan Miller, 406-444-2410

Montana New Teacher Induction Project

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 three institutes to be held in Bozeman, Montana, during the week of June 13 – 17, 2016.

Link to the session content, dates and times, and registration:

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

TEAMS Work Sessions

The Office of Public Instruction 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 with OPI staff. Look for dates and registration information to come soon.

For more information, contact OPITEAMS, 406-444-9444

Corrective Plans

Corrective Plans for schools that were in Advice or Deficiency accreditation status for 2015 – 2016 are due by June 1, 2016.

The online Corrective Plan form is at

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

2016 Summer Advanced Placement® Summer Institute, June 27-30 in Bozeman

Great professional development from experienced AP® teachers and exam readers. Registration STILL OPEN. Workshops in three subject areas, AP® Biology, AP® English Literature and Composition, and AP® Statistics, are conducted by exemplary instructors recommended by the College Board. For more information and to register: .

For more information, contact Julia Cruse, 406-444-0769

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Smarter Balanced Testing Going Smoothly at the Half-Way Point

At the mid-point in the testing window, Montana schools are reporting that the ELA and Math Smarter Balanced Online Assessments in grades 3-8 are going smoothly.  Each student takes two sections each in ELA and Math: a Computer Adaptive test (CAT) and a Performance Task (PT).  As of April 25, of those 4 sections, 126,440 have been started and 121,152 have been completed. The first batch of test results was provided to schools on April 22 for students who completed both sections of the ELA and/or Math assessments by April 8.   Results will be released in two more batches on May 27 and June 17. While some districts have received scores for groups of students, districts will not receive district- or school-wide results until all scoring is completed in June. The Office of Public Instruction will not release complete and verified results until mid-July.

For more information, contact Judy Snow, State Assessment Director, 406-444-3656

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Career Technical and Adult Education

Health Sciences Pathways

As you may have read in local papers or heard on the news, healthcare is the fastest growing sector of Montana’s economy. Montana’s current healthcare workforce is aging and projected retirement openings add to the need for even more healthcare workers.

In order to address our state’s workforce demand and allow students to explore health careers, OPI will continue to offer the Health Science Teacher Training on the Professional Learning Network this June.

Secondary science or health enhancement teachers that have taken collegiate Anatomy or Human Biology are eligible to take this two week online course. For more information, please contact Renee Harris at the number or email below.

OPI was also awarded a grant, “New Skills for Youth Initiative”, which will be used to innovate career pathway options. This grant is to assist our small schools that do not have the time or resources to offer health science programs of study. Phase 1 of the grant will allow for creative exploration of content delivery methods to all students interested in these high skills, high demand and high paying jobs. The health science pathway will design templates along the way for developing other areas of high workforce demand as determined by the Dept. of Labor and Industry and OPI.

For more information, contact Renee Harris, 406-994-6986

Remaining Perkins Funds 2015-2016

To all High School Districts with REMAINING PERKINS FUNDS
The CTE Division of the OPI reminds all high school districts with an outstanding 2015-2016 Perkins allocation to please obligate your remaining funds before the end of the current school year.

If you have questions regarding your Perkins balance or any submitted cash requests, please contact Leisa Blanton, Perkins Accountant, at 406-444-4403 or email her at:
For more information, contact Christy Hendricks, 406-444-9019


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Educational Opportunity and Equity Division

2016-17 Schoolwide Plan Updates

Schools operating a schoolwide Title I program are required to update that plan on a yearly basis. The window to update existing plans opens October 1, 2015, and it closes May 27, 2016. Schools should use the upcoming months to examine data, meet, and plan for next school year. The schoolwide plan update is located under the Continuous School Improvement Plan section of the OPI website:

For more information, contact Shawna Pieske, 406-444-5660

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Information Technology Services

Trusted Sites -

The OPI has recently begun using Google Apps for Work to collaborate with schools and districts. This collaboration may take the form of Google sites, blogs or drives. To prevent Google Apps for Work tools from being blocked by filters at the district level, the OPI wants to ensure that schools and districts add its domain to their trusted sites. The domain that should be added to Trusted Sites is If you have additional questions about our work with Google Apps for Work, please contact Susan Murray, IT Project Manager, at

For more information, contact Susan Murray, 444-0727

OPI Website Changes

The OPI would like to announce some changes to its website.

Beginning April 29th, the calendar button at the top of the website will direct you to a list of three calendars that house events and deadlines for Montana schools:

This change in the calendar was completed to make it easier for users to find the types of events they find most useful.

Another change you may have already noticed is the Teaching & Assessment tab, formerly ‘Curriculum & Assessment’. When you click on the new tab, you will find Professional Learning Tools, Academic Standards, and Professional Learning Resources to support teaching and learning in Montana schools. There is also a link for the most current Assessment information, including the JUMP newsletter.

For more information, contact Susan Murray, 444-0727

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Content Standards and Instruction

2016 MBI to Feature Kevin Honeycutt!

Teacher and global presenter Kevin Honeycutt has been added to this year's MBI lineup June 20-24 for Monday's keynote and smaller breakout sessions.  

Kevin is a technology integrationist, staff developer, and Apple distinguished educator who taught K-12 art for 13 years.  He now travels the globe presenting about his passions in education - combatting all types of bullying, creating innovative and engaging curriculum, meeting the needs of at-risk learners, and re-engaging the "lost" learner.  His "tradigital" approach to education combined with his personal life experience, sense of humor, and creativity shine through his work - you won't want to miss Kevin at MBI! 

Find all info for MBI including registration and other sessions here

For more information, contact, 406-444-3583

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Health Enhancement and Safety

School Food Service Director Hiring Standards

Professional standards established hiring requirements for new food service directors based on school enrollment.  School districts with less than 500 students may request approval to hire a food service director candidate who does not meet education or work experience requirements. OPI School Nutrition Programs will work with school districts to meet these hiring requirements.

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

Montana Harvest of the Month - New Program Open for Registration

Montana school and afterschool programs can now register for the Montana Harvest of the Month program! The Montana Harvest of the Month program showcases Montana grown foods in Montana schools and communities. Each month, the schools participating in the program 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. Montana Harvest of the Month is a perfect way to launch or grow a farm to school program as it provides an easy framework to follow and ready-to-use materials.

Montana K-12 schools and afterschool programs can now register for this innovative program, which will begin in September 2016. 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

Registration Open for 2016 Montana Farm to School Summit

Registration is now open for the Montana Farm to School Summit: Sprouting Success to be held on September 22-23, 2016, at Montana State University in Bozeman. Learn and share how Montana schools and programs are sprouting success through the core elements of farm to school--serving local foods, school gardens, and nutrition, agriculture, and food education. Workshops, field trips, and networking opportunities will provide inspiration and skill building. The two-day conference features Chef Ann Cooper, a nationally renowned advocate for improving school meals, as well as Montana farm to school champions who will share their stories and experiences. Scholarships and continuing education units are available.

Register online at:

For more information, contact Aubree Roth, 406-994-5996

Summer Food Service Program

Summer Food Service Program applications are now open.  Be sure to log in and complete your application as soon as possible.  A complete application includes the following:

Did you know?  All Summer Food Service Program sponsors are required by the USDA to attend a state agency-sponsored SFSP workshop before applications can be approved.  You can meet this requirement by registering for one of two (May 10th or May 12th) SFSP Workshop Webinars hosted by OPI School Nutrition Programs.  Register here

Looking to add a site to your Summer Food Service Program operations?  Request a new site using the New Site Request Form on our website!  

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

School Nutrition Employee Conference

All school food service personnel who manage and operate School Nutrition Programs are required to meet annual continuing education requirements. Learn and earn professional standards education credits this summer! Register today for the Montana School Nutrition Association Conference in Great Falls on June 20-23, 2016.  Help us celebrate the 40th anniversary of MTSNA - we'd love to see you!


For more information, contact Tara Ray, 406-431-2920

Traffic Education Year-End Reports Due Before July 10

Submit your TE06 Year-End Report before July 10 for an estimated reimbursement of $90.00 for each student who completed a traffic education course at your school between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016. The actual reimbursement amount will be determined when all TE04 Student Lists and TE06 Year-End Reports have been received and the number of students is divided by the percentage of driver license fees allocated for reimbursement to schools. Reimbursements are issued in mid-August.

Use the Traffic Education Data & Reporting System (TEDRS) to check your school’s Student Count Report and submit the TE06 year-end report. Traffic Education forms can also be downloaded from the Traffic Education Forms page.

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

Teachers, Teens and School Bus Drivers! Register for a Montana DRIVE Workshop

Montana DRIVE Workshops are available for the summer season in Lewistown, but they are going fast. The workshop is popular with school bus drivers for required training hours. Teachers can take the workshop for one college credit if they stay an extra day and write a paper.  Teen drivers are also invited to apply for a State Farm $200 scholarship to attend a teen driving workshop. Workshops are filling up, so register soon!

Operated by the Office of Public Instruction and on track in Lewistown since 1979, these one-day workshops help drivers learn and practice techniques for managing and avoiding risky driving situations. Adult workshops cost $325. One-day teen workshops cost $85 after the $200 State Farm scholarship is applied. 

Visit the Montana DRIVE web page to see what dates are available on the workshop calendar and to register.  Visit the Teen Workshops page to download the teen application/registration form. 

For updates, sign up for the Montana DRIVE E-News.

For more information, contact Patti Borneman, 406-444-4432

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School Finance

Proposed Amendments to ARM

The Office of Public Instruction (OPI) is proposing amendments to a number of Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM).  To view the proposed amendment and repeal of the affected rules: Click Here.

The Superintendent of Public Instruction will hold a public hearing on May 5, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. in the Superintendent’s conference room, 1227 11th Avenue, Helena, Montana, to consider the proposed amendment and repeal of the affected rules.

For more information, contact Janelle Mickelson, (406) 444-3249

School Elections

Upcoming School Election Deadlines:

  • Monday, May 2nd at Noon:  Deadline for absentee ballot requests.  After noon, the elector must come in on election day to receive a ballot.
  • Monday, May 2nd, Noon to 5:00 pm:  Late registration closed.  Late registration continues on election day at the office of the county election administrator.
  • Monday, May 2nd:  Certified copies of lists of registered electors are delivered to each voting location.
  • Tuesday, May 3rd:  ELECTION DAY!
  • Monday, May 9th, 3:00pm:  The first date that provisional ballots may be counted.  An election cannot be canvassed until all votes have been counted.
  • By Wednesday, May 18th:  Trustees canvass the vote, issue certificates of election and publish results.
  • Wednesday, May 18th:  Deadline for trustees to hold organizational meeting.
  • Wednesday, June 1st:  Deadline for trustees to request the county election administrator conduct elections for the next fiscal year (must be done by board resolution).

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

2016 MAPT Annual Bus Driver’s Conference

The Annual MAPT Bus Driver’s Conference will be held at the Heritage Inn Resort and Convention Center, 1700 Fox Farm Road, in Great Falls, 406-761-1900, June 15th through the 17th.

Registration for the MAPT 2016 Bus Driver Conference is now available at the following location:  Click Here

The Agenda can be found at the following location:    Click Here

The Award Applications have also been posted at the following links:

25 Year Service Award:  Click Here

Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) Driver of the Year Award:  Click Here

Montana Highway Patrol (MHP) Aide of the Year Award:   Click Here

You Make a Difference Award:  Click Here

Please take the time to submit an application for that special transportation person that goes above and beyond! They deserve to be recognized!!

For more information, contact Donell Rosenthal, 406-444-3024

Bus Routes and Individual Contracts FY 2017 Roll Over

School districts may roll over their Individual Contracts and Bus Routes for FY 2017 in the Pupil Transportation Program. The process to accomplish this is located under the “Administration” tab in the Pupil Transportation Program. 

For more information, contact Donell Rosenthal, 406-444-3024

MASBO 2016 Summer Conference and New Clerks Academy

The Montana Association of School Business Officials (MASBO) will hold its 2016 Summer Conference and New Clerks Academy in Billings at the Billings Hotel & Convention Center, 1223 Mullowney Lane, June 13th-17th. The New Clerks Academy will be held June 13th through the 15th. The Summer Conference will be held June 15th through the 17th. The New Clerks Academy offers three days of valuable information for staff new to the school business office. The Summer Conference is an opportunity to attend quality training focused on school business operations, including payroll, accounting and budgeting. Both events are excellent ways to network with district clerks and business managers from across the state.

Online registration is available at this link: Click Here

For more information, contact Denise Williams, 406-461-3659

FY 2016 Second Semester Reimbursement Claims

By May 24th, districts must electronically enter and submit 2nd Semester Bus Route Reimbursement Claims (TR-6) and Individual Contract Reimbursement Claims (TR-5) into the Pupil Transportation Program.

Pursuant to ARM 10.7.101 districts must also send the county superintendent one copy of their completed transportation TR-5 and TR-6 claims upon submittal.

By June 1st, county superintendents must verify and electronically approve district’s Bus Route Reimbursement Claims (TR-6) and Individual Contract Reimbursement Claims (TR-5) for 2nd semester in the Pupil Transportation Program.

2nd Semester Transportation Reimbursements will be disbursed to school districts and counties on June 24th.

For more information, contact Donell Rosenthal, (406) 444-3024


The FY 2017 District Special Education Permissive Tuition Levy Calculator is now available on the OPI School Finance Webpage. The calculator is located in two places:  School Finance, Budgets, Budgeting Spreadsheets/Worksheets: Click Here and School Finance, Tuition/Attendance: Click Here.  Districts who estimated expenditures for the FY 2016 should use this calculator to compare their FY 2016 levy to their actual expenditures and adjust their FY 2017 levy accordingly.  

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

School Finance 2016 Summer Workshops

The dates are set!  Summer workshops will be held this year in Missoula (July 7th), Billings (July 12th), and Helena (July 14th).  Please join us for an "International Celebration" in the spirit of the 2016 Summer Olympics.  Steve Hamel, Donell Rosenthal and Nicole Thuotte will present on topics such as TFS, audit, school transportation, tuition, elections and more.  Please save the date and plan to join us for this FREE, fun and informative event.  Registrations are being accepted now at the following location:  Click Here.

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

Understanding Montana School Finance

The "Understanding Montana School Finance" document has been updated and posted on the School Finance webpage at the following location: Click Here. Booklets will not be available until December 2016.

For more information, contact Mari Haefka, 406-444-1960

Important June 1 Deadlines

All public elementary, high school and K-12 districts requesting approval of additional ANB for funding purposes must submit form PAA-3 by June 1, 2016.  Refer to 20-9-313, MCA for a list of the conditions when a district is eligible to apply for additional ANB funding.

  • Anticipated Enrollment IncreaseSchool districts may submit applications for an increase in ANB for FY 2017 through June 1, 2016.
  • Reopening an Elementary or High SchoolThe County Superintendent of Schools must provide an estimate of enrollment for the reopened school for the ensuing year, including a clear explanation or documentation showing the basis for the estimate.
  • Transition from Half-Time to Full-Time Kindergarten ProgramSchool districts that intend to transition from half-time to full-time kindergarten program in FY 2017 must indicate the anticipated percentage of kindergarten students to be offered a full-time program for FY 2017 for each elementary budget unit. 

Form PAA-3 is available on the OPI website at the following link: Click Here

For more information, contact Nica Merala, 406-444-4401

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Special Education

Montana Behavioral Initiative Summer Institute

The Montana Behavioral Initiative (MBI) Summer Institute will take place this summer from June 20-24, 2016.  Registration is now open.  To register go to:

Register before June 1st for the Early Bird special.
Location:  Montana State University, Bozeman, MT

For more information, contact Kelley Brown, 444-5661

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Other Education News

Professional Learning Opportunity: Earth Science & Me Workshop

Register NOW for the "Earth Science & Me" Workshop. This professional learning opportunity will be held July 11-14 at the Heck/Quaw Elementary School in Belgrade, Montana. For more information and to register, click here.

For more information, contact Doug Scott, 509-270-0997

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