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Summary of OPI Activities for September 2016

Office of the Superintendent

Welcome Back to School

I hope you had a great summer break catching up with friends and family, and enjoying all that Montana has to offer. Here at the Office of Public Instruction we’ve had a productive summer and are ready to launch into the 2016/17 school year.  This month’s Summary of Activities has information about:

·         The adoption of new content standards

·         The upcoming Farm to School Summit

·         Ways to celebrate Constitution Day and American Indian Heritage Day

·         Professional development opportunities for educators

·         Important Deadlines and Dates

Please Welcome Our New Leaders

In July, Candy Lubansky joined the agency as Deputy Superintendent. Most recently, Candy served as Superintendent of Belgrade Public Schools from 2010-2015. Prior to that, she led student services for Missoula County Public Schools, overseeing district principals, special education, health services, and gifted education.

Earlier this month, BJ Granbery became our newest Assistant Superintendent. BJ will oversee the Special Education; Career, Technical, and Adult Education; and Health Enhancement and Safety divisions. BJ’s experience, drive and vision make her a strong advocate for these important programs.

Revised Standards in Arts and Health and Physical Education

In July, the Board of Public Education approved new content standards for arts and health and physical education. You can learn more about the new standards here. Professional development tools will be available on the Teacher Learning Hub beginning later this fall.

For more information, contact Terry Kendrick, 444-3449

Reporting of Base Salary Information in TEAMS is now voluntary

For the past three years, the Office of Public Instruction has been collecting base salary information from school districts for all school employees that have contracts with the school district.  Following an audit of OPI’s data systems, which identified base salary as a data element that is not required by statute, the Office of Public Instruction has made the reporting of base salary information voluntary for the upcoming school year. While the data field will still be shown in the Terms of Employment reporting screen, it will no longer be a required field. Three other fields that will also be voluntary are Employment Status (permanent or temporary), Employment Hours (included in the contract), and Employment Days (included in the contract).

While the Terms of Employment collection has changed, school districts will still be required by law to report Compensation Expenditures (salary and benefits) for all school employees at the end of the school year. This data is collected through MAEFAIRS using the same coding that is used for the Trustees Financial Summary.

For more information, contact Madalyn Quinlan, Chief of Staff, 406-444-3168

Montana Council on Education Opportunity for Military Children

Superintendent Juneau convened the Montana Council on Educational Opportunities for Military Children in Great Falls on August 10. The 8-member council includes representatives from the Office of Public Instruction, Great Falls Public Schools, Montana High School Association, Malmstrom AFB, Montana National Guard and the legislature.  The commission’s meeting topics included the Every Student Succeeds Act and the designation of military children as a subgroup for reporting student achievement; school district efforts to welcome and assist students who are transitioning among schools; resources available through the Military Child Education Coalition at ; and the development of a pamphlet for families of military children in Montana.

BG (Ret.) Harold Stearns of Missoula serves is the Compact Commissioner for Montana; his role includes assisting families and school districts when they encounter issues of enrollment, placement, eligibility, and graduation for students of military families when they move among school districts both nationally and internationally. To reach Commissioner Stearns, please contact the Office of the State Superintendent at 406-444-5658, and we will get you in touch with the Commissioner.

For more information, contact Madalyn Quinlan, Chief of Staff, 406-444-3168

Sign Up for College Application Week

October 31 - November 4, 2016 is Montana College Application week.  This is a great opportunity for seniors to submit an application to any of the colleges in Montana and have the fee waived or deferred.  Last year over 3,000 students submitted applications during that week.  Click on the link so your school can participate. The deadline for schools to sign up is October 3, 2016.

For more information, contact Terry Kendrick, 444-3449

Montana's Student Mock Election

Since the creation of the Montana Youth Voting Act in 1991, students in Montana schools have been provided the opportunity to participate in the electoral process that is both meaningful and educational.

The Montana Secretary of State’s office created an online voting application so schools across Montana can participate in a statewide student mock election. The direct link to the application is The site will be ready for registration on September 15th.

Three ballot styles are available for all grade levels: K – 4, 5 – 8, and 9 – 12. All ballot styles include candidates for federal and statewide offices. The K – 4 ballot style contains ballot questions relevant to this age group. The 5 – 8 ballot style includes ballot questions provided by the National Student Parent Mock Election (NSPME). The 9 – 12 ballot style contains the polling questions from NSPME and ballot questions appearing on the 2016 statewide ballot.

The Montana Student Mock Election will occur on November 3rd, 2016.

For more information, contact Casey Hayes, 444-7911

2016 GMM Impact Award Winners

Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau honored five outstanding Graduation Matters Montana communities and one foundation during the GMM Summer Summit in Bozeman.  This year's honorees are: the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation for the Community Champion Award; Graduation Matters St. Ignatius for the Seventh Generation Award; Graduation Matters Columbia Falls for the Engaging Student Voices Award; Graduation Matters Great Falls for the Shining Star Award; Graduation Matters Hamilton for the Raising Aspirations Award; and Graduation Matters Billings for the Attendance Matters Award. Congratulations!

For more information, contact Deb Halliday, 444-3559

2016 Governor's Award for Excellence in Performance - Office of Public Instruction

OPI is pleased to announce that the Graduation Matters Montana team is the 2016 recipient of the Governor's Award for Excellence in Performance from the Office of Public Instruction.

The team, under the leadership of Deb Halliday, has provided support to communities across the state who are working to make sure every student graduates from high school ready for the next steps in life.  There are now 58 Graduation Matters communities across Montana; the state's graduation rate is at an all-time high for the second year in a row; the overall dropout rate has been cut by a third; and the American Indian student dropout rate has also been cut by a third.  GMM communities have established over 450 new business and community partnerships. Private foundations and businesses have contributed more than $1.3 million to support Graduation Matters efforts. 

Key staff from across OPI divisions contribute to the important workof GMM from the deveopment and design of our materials and toolkits to providing data to schools and communities so they can make informed decisions about strategies to increae student success. Congratulations to Deb Halliday, Jordann Lankford, Laurie Bishop, Billie LeDeau, Amy Kruse, Brett Carter, Ellen Leidel, Emilie Ritter Saunders and Terry Kendrick.

For more information, contact Deb Halliday, 406-444-3559

Montana School Broadband Project

Last year, Governor Bullock’s Office, the Montana Office of Public Instruction, the School Administrators of Montana and the Montana Education Technology Association partnered with the nonprofit organization EducationSuperHighway to launch the Montana School Broadband Project with the goal of ensuring that all Montana schools have access to high-speed broadband that can support digital learning in the classroom. As a part of this initiative, school districts have the opportunity to take advantage of network upgrade support services from EducationSuperHighway at no cost to the district.

The EducationSuperHighway team is already working with several districts across the state to help them gain access to scalable, affordable bandwidth. So far:

·         28 districts (and 73 sites) sought procurement opportunities

·         47 district bids received

·         18 districts upgraded with an average 14x increase in bandwidth

·         12,000+ more students now have access to fiber

·         23,000+ more students now meeting 100 Kbps/student goal

When school districts join the project, EducationSuperHighway will work to understand the details of the district’s broadband network, research potential upgrade options, reach out to providers, support the RFP and 470 process, and ensure implementation of the new network.

To claim a spot in the program, sign up at for a brief call with the network experts at EducationSuperHighway.

For more information, contact Ken Bailey, 406 444-2562

Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) Activities - Summer 2016

May 25/26 Stakeholders Meeting

More than 30 Stakeholders met to learn about and give feedback to the process of implementing the requeirements and expectations under ESSA.  ESSA is less "top down" than NCLB was, but carries important district and state responsibility in accountability and meaningful educational experiences for students.  This includes student support, resources development and interventions with a focus on a well-rounded education.  A summary of this meeting has been compiled, distributed to the Stakeholder Work Group and posted to the OPI website.  To view the summary, go to under Hot Topics, ESSA.


- The OPI analyzed the proposed regulations developed by the USED and submitted responses to the Department before the August 1 deadline.  A copy of these comments can be found at under Hot Topics, ESSA

- OPI staff attended two national conference tailored for State Education Agencies to obtain more guidance and information in the development of our State Plan and the details of the new law.

- OPI staff have also consulted with 5 other states, both regionally and nationaly, to learn how others are approaching the transition from NCLB to ESSA

Next Steps

- The next Stakeholders Work Group meeting is scheduled for Monday, September 26, 2016 from 10-4.  The meeting will take place in Helena and the specific location will be announced.

- OPI staff will present at the following conferences with the purpose of sharing the spirit and intent of ESSA and to give districts and parents information about the decision points and implementation process:  MASS/MCASE Conference, Montana PTA Convention, MCEL Conference.

For more information, contact Candy Lubansky, 406-444-7325

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Accreditation and Educator Preparation

Continuous School Improvement Plan

The Continuous School Improvement Plan (CSIP) and Title I Planning applications are open for the 2016 – 2017 school year. Plans are to be completed by October 31, 2016 when the applications will be closed.

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

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

Licensed Educator Deadline

December 1, 2016, is the date that all licensed educators must have registered his or her license with the OPI. If not registered by this date, educators are considered not licensed for accreditation purposes.

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


November 15, 2016, is the date that post-secondary institutions must register internships with the OPI. If the internship is not registered, the new endorsement area will not be reflected on the educator’s license and this could result in an accreditation deviation.

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

Montana New Teacher Induction Project

The OPI is partnered with 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.

This Professional Learning Series offered to Montana schools focuses on accelerating the development of new teachers to improve student learning.

If your district is interested in implementing a quality induction program or needs to enhance a current program, these trainings hold the key to a sustainable and high-quality program.

Watch for upcoming professional development opportunities at this link:

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

TEAMS Work Sessions

The 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 TEAMS, with face-to-face assistance from OPI staff. Links to registration, dates, and times are below.

Link to the TEAMS Work Sessions schedule:

Link to TEAMS Help Page:

Link to TEAMS Registration

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

TEAMS to Open!

The 2016 – 2017 TEAMS Program will open September 1, 2016 and close November 1, 2017. Districts should make sure their authorized representative and anyone else entering data has access to TEAMS. If an update to TEAMS access is needed, the authorized representative must complete a TEAMS Security Form and send it to the OPI at

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

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JUMP Newsletter

The Back to School issue of JUMP, the MontCAS online assessment newsletter, will be posted at the following link:

For more information, contact Judy Snow, 444-3656

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Career Technical and Adult Education

2016-2017 CTE Calendars Posted on the Secondary CTE Web Page


The CTE Calendar of Events and the CTE DUE DATES and DEADLINES calendars have been posted to the Secondary CTE web page located at this link:  Please feel free to print and post both of these important calendars for your reference throughout the year.  For questions about either calendar, please contact Christy Hendricks at 406.444.9019 or email her at: .  

For more information, contact Christy Hendricks, 406.444.9019


2016-2017 Federal Carl D. Perkins E-Grant application is OPEN

The 2016-2017 Federal Carl D. Perkins E-Grant application is open and available for public high school districts to open and complete. Notification to all Authorized Representatives was sent out by email on June 22, 2016, from Karla Beagles, E-Grants Program Manager. The allocations loaded into the E-Grants system are FINAL numbers. This means you can create a new application for 2016-2017 and begin working on it. The following are deadlines for the 2017 Carl D. Perkins Grant:

  • June 22, 2016 - Districts may begin creating new year applications and amendments
  • June 22, 2016 - Districts may begin submitting their applications
  • June 1, 2017 - New year applications and amendments can no longer be created
  • August 1, 2017 - Districts may no longer submit an application

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 HARRIS, Health Science Education Specialist, 406.994.6986

CHRISTY HENDRICKS, CTE/Perkins Data Control Specialist, 406.444.9019

For questions about the E-Grant program, contact KARLA BEAGLES, 406.444.0764

For more information, contact Christy Hendricks, 406.444.9019

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Content Standards and Instruction

OPI Teacher Learning Hub

As you plan your professional development for this year, consider taking online courses on the Teacher Learning Hub!  We offer both self-paced and facilitated courses. The Hub has issued almost 10,000 renewal units over the past year and has tons of new courses in development.  Watch for these courses to open soon: 

  • Introductions to the NEW Arts and Health Enhancement Content Standards
  • Orientation to Special Education
  • Ensuring Equity for All in Math
  • “Backpack Science” K-5 Inquiry Lessons: Mapping
  • Substitute Orientation
  • Writing to Learn
  • Teaching Montana History Online PLC
  • Hashtag, What? Twitter for Professional Learning
  • Montana Civic Educator Resources
  • K-6 inFORMative Math Instruction: Who knows? Who Doesn't? Now What?
  • Classroom Ready: NASA Toolkits
  • PASS (Paraprofessional Achieving Standards Successfully) 

For more information, contact Jessica Bryant, 444-3557

SAVE the DATE: Arts Education Leadership Summit

Arts Education Leadership Summit

September 23-34

Helena, MT

Embracing Arts Integration and the new Montana Arts Standards, this Arts Summit will feature workshops by Montana teacher leaders and special performances by Jack Gladstone and Phillip Aaber. Use this link for more information: 

Learn more about the new Arts Standards at this link or watch this short video.

For more information, contact Christy Mock-Stutz, 444-0736

Science News

Science standards are on the September 2016 Board of Public Education agenda. You can view the draft Administrative Rules of Montana (ARM) here.


Concerned persons may submit their data, views, or arguments either orally or in writing at the hearing.  Written data, views, or arguments may also be submitted to: Peter Donovan, Executive Secretary, 46 North Last Chance Gulch, P.O. Box 200601, Helena, Montana, 59620-0601; telephone (406) 444-0302; fax (406) 444-0847; or e-mail and must be received no later than 5:00 p.m., September 6, 2016.

For more information, contact Michelle McCarthy, 444-3537

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Educational Opportunity and Equity Division

Parental Notification Letters 2016-17

Transition Guidance from the U.S. Department of Education (USED)  provides relief from many of the parental notifications related to Adequate Yearly Progress and Improvement Status.  Listed below are some of the most important parental notifications that have been sent out in past years, and whether or not those letters will have to be sent out this year.  Please remember that all parental involvement notifications are hosted on the Trans ACT website at  The OPI website does not host these letters, but we do have a link to the Trans ACT site on the OPI Title I, Part A web page  Each district has an account at TransACT which has been paid for by the OPI.  All districts need to do is login and create an account to access the forms.  If your district already has an account, all you need to do is login.


Annual Parent Notice, Right to Request Teacher Qualifications (NCLB-A1)            Required

Notice of Teacher Status (NCLB-A4)                                                                     No longer required

Annual Verification of Highly Qualified Staff Requirements (NCLB-A5)                 No longer required

Status of School AYP Progress (NCLB-C1a)                                                           No longer required

District Not Making AYP (NCLB-C4)                                                                      No longer required

Annual Notice of Supplemental Educational Services (NCLB-D1)                           No longer required

School Transfer Option (NCLB-C1c)                                                                      No longer required

Request of School Transfer, Public School Choice (NCLB-E1)                                No longer required

For more information, contact Shawna Pieske, 4064445660

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Health Enhancement and Safety

School Wellness Policy Webinar: What you need to know

September 15, 2016
2:00-2:30 pm

Registration Information coming soon!

It will be posted at these sites:


For more information, contact Katie Bark, 406-994-5641

Last Call for 2016 Montana Farm to School Summit

Don’t miss out on the Montana Farm to School Summit: Sprouting Success to be held on September 22-23, 2016 at Montana State University in Bozeman. Registration closes on September 9. 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. Continuing education units are available (up to 11 hours for OPI credits).  

Register online at:

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

Summer Food Service Program Sponsors

Thank you for feeding children this summer in your community! Please submit the number of meals you served for reimbursement in CNPWeb by the 10th of the month.

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

School Nutrition Programs - Fall Workshops

Attend Fall Workshop with OPI School Nutrition Programs and earn six training hours. Find the class schedule under Current Events and Training and register for one of the regional workshops online!  Interested in other classes? See the calendar of continuing education for more topics and opportunities.

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

School Nutrition Programs - Administrative Review Schedule

OPI School Nutrition Programs conducts administrative reviews of sponsors on a three year cycle. Schools on review for SY 16-17 have been posted online. More specific details regarding Administrative Reviews will been sent to these districts in upcoming weeks!

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

Operating School Nutrition Programs in SY2016-17

CNPWeb is open.  Update your SNP online agreement before September 30. If your district has a new superintendent, clerk or food service director, be certain to update contact information in CNPWeb.  Keep in mind that professional standards established hiring requirements for new foodservice 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.

Free and reduced meal materials are available. Remember students who qualified for free or reduced-price meals in SY 2015-16 are eligible to receive benefits up to 30 operating days of the following school year. When new free and reduced-price meal applications are received, please make eligibility determinations using the Income Eligibility Guidelines (IEGs). Check the latest version of the eligibility manual for more in-depth free and reduced-price meal information.

Adult meal prices and meal reimbursement rates have also been updated!  

Do you have other questions about school nutrition programs? See

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

Electronic Cigarettes: Check Your School Policy

True or False?  January and February go by just as fast as July and August.

Welcome Back!  As you busily prepare for another enriching school year, please take time to familiarize yourself with your school district policy regarding electronic cigarettes.  Even with new federal regulations specific to electronic cigarettes, district policy is the only tool a school has to prevent E-cig use by anyone 18 years of age or older. 

Does your district have policy that prohibits electronic cigarette use by everyone, at all times, on school property, in school vehicles and at school sponsored events?  Most Montana school districts do.  If your district doesn''s time to update your policy. 

These addictive electronic devices have more than caught the attention of our youth.  We were alarmed by the 2015 Montana Youth Risk Behavior survey results which indicated 51% of our high school students have tried electronic cigarettes and 30% are current users. 

The YRBS will be administered again this February, let's do more than hope for better results.  Working together, we can reduce the unhealthy impact electronic cigarettes have had on our kids. Nicotine addiction is hard to beat. Prevention is key and comprehensive tobacco-free school policy is a great start.

For more information, contact Kris Minard, (406) 444-0785

2016 Traffic Education Reimbursement is $104.35 per TE Student

The 2016 Traffic Education (TE) Reimbursement was disbursed to county treasurers (or the district's preferred method) in early August.  The OPI distributed $875,000 from Driver License fees to 132 school districts offering state-approved Traffic Education programs to 8,385 students. District costs were partially offset by state reimbursement amounting to $104.35 per TE student.

Reports showing the FY2015-2016 reimbursements sorted by county and school district are posted here: OPI's Traffic Education Reports.

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

Adapted Illustrated Driver Manual distributed to school and public libraries

The easy-to-read, illustrated version of the Montana Driver Manual, published by the Office of Public Instruction, has been distributed free of charge to all public and high school libraries in Montana, with the help of the Montana State Library and many driver education instructors who delivered a copy to their local school libraries. If your school library still needs a copy of this publication, please email your school library’s name and mailing address to

The Manual is also available for download (4.29 MB) on the OPI’s website and an audio version will be released when the Montana Talking Book Library has completed the recording. 

The Adapted Illustrated Montana Driver Manual is designed to help new driver license applicants understand and remember information that is required to get and keep a Montana driver license. In addition to helping new drivers learn the rules of the road and pass the test for a first Montana driver license, the Adapted Illustrated Montana Driver Manual includes positive encouragement and skill-building ideas to drive without distractions and impairment, to share the road safely, and to always buckle up.

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


Montana Teen Driver Safety Day is Tuesday, October 18!

Celebrate safe teen driving with peer-to-peer activities that bring together students, teachers, families, and communities. In 2009, the third Tuesday of October was designated as Montana Teen Driver Safety Day (MCA 1-1-229) to “increase public awareness and promote teen driver safety.”

Here are a few teen-to-teen ideas for your school:

  • Safe driving pledges
  • Stay in Your Lane distracted driving awareness activities
  • Morning announcements
  • Reader board messages
  • Seat belt and/or cell phone use surveys
  • Safe driving poster or Facebook banner contests

Visit the OPI’s Traffic Education web page for helpful resources. For the latest Traffic Ed news, make sure you are signed up to receive the Teen Driver Safety newsletter.

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


TE01 District Applications are due for Traffic Education Programs

Applications for traffic education programs ending between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017 must be submitted prior to starting your driver education program. Fall programs starting in August, September and October should submit TE01 applications now. The Traffic Education Office at the OPI annually ensures that our high-quality traffic education programs are approved prior to each district’s program dates.

You can use the Traffic Education Data & Reporting System (TEDRS) to enter and submit this form or download the TE01 form on the Forms webpage and mail or fax it to us.

Why is traffic education approval required and necessary?
Administrative rules require that approvals be granted in advance of the driver education program being provided [10.13.307 and 10.13.308 A.R.M.]. Conducting a program without state approval increases the school’s liability exposure. Teens who are otherwise not old enough to drive are legally allowed to drive as a student in an approved driver education program (M.C.A. 61-5-106). If the program has not been approved, or is using teachers whose credentials are expired, the program does not have the authority to allow teens under age 16 to be legally engaged in a student driving exercise.

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

New Health Enhancement Standards Adopted

New Health Enhancement standards for the subject content areas of health and physical education were adopted in July by the Board of Public Education.  Many administrators, health and physical education teachers, and professional interest groups from throughout Montana were involved in the two and a half year process.  The following educational consortium groups have scheduled training for teachers of K-12 health and physical education:  ACE PIR Day - September 19, Northwest Montana Educational Cooperative - October 4, and Prairie View Curriculum Consortium - October 11.  Two resources - the new 2016 Health Enhancement Standards and a K-12 Health Enhancement Model Curriculum Guide - are available online from OPI's Health Enhancement and Safety division.  

For more information, contact Susan Court, 444-3178

Registration for 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey

Registration forms for the 2017 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) will be mailed to district superintendents on October 1.  As always, the time-frame for the 2017 YRBS will be the last week of February; however, schools may select a survey date that better accommodates their school calendar.  Over 95 percent of all Montana schools with students in grades 7-12 participated in the 2015 YRBS.  School-specific data and ways in which to use your data are available at Only the school superintendent and designated YRBS Coordinator for the district have access to the school-specific data.

For more information, contact Susan Court, 444-3178

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Indian Education

American Indian Heritage Day - September 23, 2016

The fourth Friday of September was designated by the 1997 Legislature as American Indian Heritage Day, in recognition of Montana’s constitutional commitment to preserve the cultural integrity of American Indians. The definition of a quality education in Montana includes specific language for the integration of Indian Education for All throughout the curriculum. MCA 20-9-309. Activities that celebrate American Indian Heritage Day can create sustained interest in learning about the distinct and unique cultural heritage of American Indians, setting the tone and creating connections for a year of integrating Indian Education for All.

Spark interest with these activities…

• Display information about Montana tribes – tribally specific posters, maps, and books.

• View new IEFA on-line video projects that highlight Art, Music, Poetry and History. • Highlight Montana tribal histories.

• Learn the names of all Montana reservations, tribes that live on them and languages spoken there. Research how names of the tribes are spoken in their own language.

• Explore nearby Montana Indian cultural and historical sites and community museums. • Invite cultural resource experts from Montana’s tribal nations to visit.

• Display OPI Indian Education for All curriculum materials sent to school libraries (2006-2013) (2014-2015)

CREATE an exhibit of samples of your school’s past IEFA classroom work, aligned with the Essential Understandings. Include student work from any content area – (photos of special projects, essays, poetry, primary source documents studied, school trips, special guests, etc.)

Through the study of Montana Indian cultures and peoples, all students become more self-aware of their own cultures and develop a reference point to support greater understanding of others.

Visit our IEFA homepage to access model lessons and resources for various content areas and grade levels. Check back often for upcoming events, conferences, and new curriculum resources.

For more information, contact Mike Jetty, 444-0720

English Learner Training in Billings, MT on September 26-27

Please join us for a WIDA Traning in Billings, MT on September 26-27th.  The first day will cover ACCESS 2.0 data and the second day will go over using the data with differentiated lessons for English learners.  To register please contact Joan Franke at by Sept. 9th (there is no registraton fee).  School teams are enouraged to attend. 

For more information, contact Natalee Hawks, 406-444-3482

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Measurement and Accountability

OPI eTranscript - K20 Data Project

The eTranscript Initiative at OPI continues to successfully move forward, adding 8 schools to the Data Transport System/Parchment since January 2016.  The system now has 11 schools in production sending their student transcript data through the OPI data transport system to Parchment for delivery of transcripts - 4 more schools are currently in the onboarding process.  From September 2015 through June 2016, 488 transcripts were sent to colleges and 536 transcripts were viewed and stored in student's Parchment accounts. 

The OPI continues to analyze the data received through the Data Transport System and link it with data from the Office of Higher Education.  The more data we receive the more reporting and analysis can be done around the college and career readiness of Montana students. ETranscripts save schools and students time and money. Check out how your school can be part of this project:

Any school wishing to participate in this important and exciting project are encouraged to contact Joe Hamilton, K20 Business Analyst at 444-0475 or


For more information, contact Jamey Ereth, 444-4409

NAEP 2017 Overview

What’s happening in 2017?  Montana will participate in the 2017 administration of the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as the Nation’s Report Card. NAEP is the largest nationally representative measure of student achievement across the country and is a congressionally authorized project of the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) within the U.S. Department of Education. Roughly 330 Montana public schools will participate in the assessments from January 30 to March 10, 2017. This year NAEP will administer three operational assessments including mathematics, reading, and writing at grades 4 and 8. The biennial math and reading assessments will provide state-level NAEP results but writing results will only be released at the national level. In addition, schools across the nation will participate in a few special studies. States and districts are required to participate in the biennial math and reading NAEP assessments under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) reauthorization of 2015 for any district receiving Title I funding.

What’s new?  Most students will take the assessment on NAEP-provided tablets with keyboards and a small subset of students will take paper-and-pencil versions of the assessment. The transition to tablets will allow NAEP to leverage the increasingly important role digital tools play in today's classrooms and assessments, and these paper assessments are essential to examine comparability across testing modes.

How will the test be administered? As in previous years, NAEP assessment teams will provide significant support to schools, bring all necessary materials and equipment, and administer the test. The school’s testing mode information will be released in early December. Most schools (> 21 students per grade), will have two modes, that is, 80% of students assessed with tablets and 20% of students assessed with paper. Smaller schools (≤ 21 students per grade) will only be sampled for one mode. Students do not need to do any preparation for the NAEP assessment. Students will not know in advance which subject they will be given and each student only takes one subject.

School Space Requirements

Classrooms or locations with enough desk space for 25 (12-inch) Surface Pro 3/4 tablets with keyboards, styluses, and ancillary materials. The location should be free of distractions and interruptions. Tablet tests typically require two sequential sessions of 120 minutes (including transition time and instructions) and a dedicated space for most, if not all, of the school day.

Rooms or classrooms with enough seats for 12-25 students to take the paper test. The location should be free of distractions and interruptions. Paper tests typically require one session of about 90 minutes (including transition time and instructions).

Testing Space Considerations

The NAEP team will be transporting heavy cases of tablets; therefore, we highly recommend a location that is on the first floor or accessible by elevator. Access to one power outlet is needed in case a tablet unexpectedly needs charging. Tablet sessions typically require two separate, consecutive seatings of 25 students.

Paper sessions typically require one seating of 12-25 students in a separate location from the tablet sessions.

Time Requirements

The NAEP team will need about 90 minutes before the assessment start time for device set-up. After the first seating, the NAEP team will need about 60 minutes between the seatings to prepare devices for the next group of students. After the test, NAEP teams will need about an hour to debrief the NAEP School Coordinator and assemble materials.

The NAEP team will need a space to work for about an hour before the paper tests begin and about 30 minutes to prepare the room. After the test, NAEP teams will need a space to work for about an hour to prepare booklets and materials for shipping.

What’s next?  In June, schools were asked to designate a school-based staff member as their NAEP School Coordinator. NAEP School Coordinators have expertise about student participation in statewide assessments; knowledge about collecting student information; and are familiar with using computers since all assessment preparation activities will be completed online. The designated NAEP School Coordinator will be our single point of contact for all matters pertaining to the NAEP assessment. At the beginning of the school year, NAEP School Coordinators will be given detailed information about the assessment and instructions for registering on the MyNAEP website.

NAEP 2016-2017 Important Dates:

  • NAEP Assessment Window: January 30 – March 10, 2017
  • MyNAEP School Registration: late August – September 16, 2016
  • MyNAEP Reserve School Space and Provide School Characteristics Information: September 16 – September 30, 2016
  • MyNAEP Review and Verify List of Students Selected for NAEP: December 5 – before scheduled Pre-assessment Review Call (PRC)
  • MyNAEP Complete SD/ELL Student Information: December 5 – before scheduled PRC
  • MyNAEP Notify Parents of Selected Students: December 5 – before scheduled PRC
  • MyNAEP Manage Questionnaires: December 5 – before scheduled PRC
  • MyNAEP Plan for Assessment Day: December 5 – before scheduled PRC
  • MyNAEP Encourage Participation: December 5 – before scheduled PRC
  • Update Achievement In Montana (AIM) Student Information System: December 5 – January 3, 2017
  • MyNAEP School Coordinator Update Student List: January 4 - before scheduled PRC

Helpful NAEP Links:

For more information, contact Ashley McGrath, 406-444-3450

AIM Announcements August, 2016

AIM Data Collections-Fall 2016:

08/15/16 – 10/17/16 -- Previous Year Wrap-up and NewYear Preparation

09/06/16 – 10/14/16 -- Previous Year Dropout, Graduate and Cohort Certification

10/01/16 – 12/31/16 -- Fall Career and Technical Education (CTE)

10/03/16 – 10/14/16 -- Fall Count: Enrollment, Aggregate Hours & Count Date Absences

10/03/16 – 10/28/16 -- Fall Program Participation

User guides are continually being updated and made available on the OPI AIM Website.

Upcoming OPI Regional AIM Montana Edition Training – September 26-29, 2016:

Times and locations for these trainings will be announced when online registration opens on or about August 26th, 2016.

  • Monday, September 26th – Missoula - Big Sky High School
  • Tuesday, September 27th – Helena - DOT Training Room (18 seats)
  • Wednesday, September 28th – Lockwood - Location TBA
  • Thursday, September 29th – Glasgow - Location TBA

For more information, contact OPI AIM Help, 1-877-424-6681

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School Finance



The District Classification collection is now open in the County information system for county superintendents. Please verify the district population and number of trustees for each district in the county and submit the information by the 1st of November. This collection will result in a report of districts required to submit campaign finance information to the MT Commissioner of Political Practices (MCPP) which will be published on the OPI School Finance page in late November/early December. 


The newest Election Calendars and Handbook for the 2017 elections will be published on the OPI Election Resources Webpage in early December. Be sure to watch for those updated publications! If you have suggestions for changes, please send to Nicole Thuotte at

For more information, contact Nicole Thuotte, 444-4524

Impact Aid

Membership Survey dates for the FY 18 Impact Aid application must be between the 4th day of the school year and January 31st, 2017.  Districts should take a snapshot of their student information system’s membership report for the date selected.  A report may also be run from AIM (for any date) and MAEFAIRS (if using the fall count date) for comparison.  This year’s applications are due in the Federal G-5 application no later than Tuesday, January 31st at 9:59pm (MST).  Applications submitted after that date are subject to a 10% late payment penalty.  Please be sure to use the latest Source Check and Survey forms available on the Department of Education’s webpage:  CLICK HERE.

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

TFS/Budget-Important Reminder

Trustee Financial Summary Report and Final Adopted Budgets are due to OPI on or before September 15. 

For more information contact:

Kathleen Wanner, (406) 444-9852 or

Mari Haefka, (406) 444-1960 or

Steve Hamel, (406) 444-0783 or

For more information, contact Steve Hamel, (406) 444-0783

Welcome Kara Sperle

Kara Sperle is joining OPI as our School Finance Division Administrator replacing Janelle Mickelson. Kara most recently held the position of Operations Bureau Chief for the Addictive and Mental Disorders Division of the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services. Prior to that position, Kara spent fourteen years at the Department of Corrections where she held accounting and budgeting positions of increasing responsibility. Kara has experience preparing for and testifying before legislative committees. She has managed federal grants and is familiar with federal reporting and audit requirements.

In her new position, Kara will be responsible for distribution of state funds to school districts, administration of the MAEFAIRS system, compliance with pupil transportation statutes, approval of school district audits, and questions concerning school district accounting practices. Kara can be reached at 406 444-3249 or

For more information, contact Ken Bailey, 406 444 2562

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Other Education News

STEM in the Rockies

The Montana Learning Center has teamed up with the Montana Department of Transportation - Aeronautics Division to bring you a unique opportunity to be on the forefront of STEM education right here in Montana! Come and learn about engaging hands-on curriculua that will excite you and your students about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. This STEM in the Rockiesworkshop also includes one-hour of flight instruction in a Cessna aircraft by an FAA Certified Flight Instructor.

Teachers who participate in STEM in the Rockies will receive 18 Montana Office of Public Instruction renewal units and an array of aeronautics-themed activities that can be done with their students. Room and board is also provided free of charge for participants at the Montana Learning Center.

Space is limited to only 18 participating middle school and high school STEM teacher leaders who teach in the formal classroom setting in Montana, so apply today! Applications are due September 1. Applicants will be notified of their acceptance shortly after the application deadline.

For more information and registration, please visit:

For more information, contact Ryan Hannahoe, 475-3638

Educate - Commemorate- Celebrate the U.S. Constitution

Did you know that celebrating Constitution Day on September 16th this year is required in all schools that receive federal funds? Constitution Week is September 17-23 and legislation adopted in 2004 mandated teaching students about the Constitution on Constitution Day at a minimum. There are MANY resources available for educators. You can get information from Montana Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Week chair Jane Hamman or your local DAR chapter, which can offer assistance with a display, an intercom program, a special program on the Constitution, or additional resources. For a six-page email resource guide, email or contact Jane Hamman

For more information, contact Jane Hamman, 933-8203

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