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Montana Office of Public Instruction's Executive Staff

OPI Staff

The Internet Services Bureau

Denise Juneau, Superintendent

Schools Begin Practice Run of New Online Assessment

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

On March 25, schools in Montana began their participation in the field test of the new statewide student assessment, the Smarter Balanced Assessment. This new, online assessment will replace our current paper-and-pencil CRT assessment in English Language Arts and mathematics.

As this practice run gets underway, I want to remind schools that there are no stakes this year when it comes to the field test. The purpose of the field test is to help ensure the future assessment is valid, reliable, and fair for all students.

This is our opportunity to get a look at the types of questions that will be on the assessment in 2015, to test out school district technology and figure out the best way to schedule the administration of the test, and for students to get a chance to try out the online tools that come with the new assessment.

We expect to learn a lot from this year’s practice run to help inform future assessments. Below you will find the contact information for Smarter Balanced, Montana Educational Technologies Association (META) and the OPI Assessment Unit to help you with any trouble-shooting needs that you have.

Thank you for your participation in this important effort.

Smarter Balanced Help Desk:
Hours: 5 am – 10 pm MDT
Online Help Chat: http://sbac.portal.airast.org/contact-us/  

For hardware, software and connectivity questions:
META toll-free help desk: 1-844-510-6555

For questions related to testing administration, student accommodations, and students with accessibility issues:
Judy Snow, Assessment Director, OPI

Denise Juneau signature.gif
Denise Juneau, Superintendent

Spotlight On:

Student Advisory Board Nominations

The deadline for Student Advisory Board nominations and applications is Friday, April 11. Both nominations from adults and student applications must be completed by close of business on April 11.

Students who are selected for this board will attend two annual board meetings, serve a two year maximum appointment, have the opportunity to network with state leaders, and experience professional and leadership development.

All students who are nominated should be highly interested in the purpose of the Student Advisory Board and able to actively participate as a board member.

To nominate a student, please visit the OPI's Graduation Matters website and click on the Nominate a Student for SAB button.

For the student's application to be complete, they must have an adult nominator who has completed the online nomination form. Nominees will then be asked to fill out a brief application, which should take about 30 minutes to complete.

For more information, please contact Jennifer Bezanson at jbezanson@mt.gov or 406-444-3526.