Update on Implementation of Chapter 55-Revised

  1. Variances to Standards

    The revised ARM 10.55.604 Variances to Standards 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.
    In addition, the revised rule requires the creation of a review board, which will provide recommendations to the superintendent for approval, modification, or rejection of the variances to standards applications. 
    ARM 10.55.604 (1) …
    • (d) Upon receipt, the Superintendent of Public Instruction shall refer applications for variance to standards to a pre-appointed review board.  The Superintendent of Public Instruction shall facilitate and provide organizational support for the meetings of the review board.
      (i)  The review board shall consist of the following, appointed by the Superintendent of Public Instruction from a list of qualifying individuals jointly endorsed by MEA-MFT, Montana Rural Education Association (MREA), Montana Small Schools Alliance (MSSA), School Administrators of Montana (SAM), and Montana School Boards Association (MTSBA): one trustee, one district superintendent, one high school principal, one elementary principal, two high school teachers, and two elementary school teachers.
      Variances to Standards – Phase I Implementation January 2014
      2013-14 Timeline Update
      January 18 Launch variances to standards webpage
      February 8 Announce review board appointments
      April 4 Post variances to standards web applications and rubric
      July 1 Due date for variances to standards applications for January 2014 implementation
      September 12-13 Board of Public Education (BPE) action on variances to standards recommendations
      September 20 Notify school districts of final BPE action
      January 2014 Implementation of approved variances to standards applications

      For more information, contact Linda Vrooman Peterson by telephone at (406) 444-5726, or by e-mail at

  2. Model Montana System for the Evaluation of Teachers and Principals

    The Teaching, Learning and Leading Collaboration (TLLC) Evaluation System Work Team continues to refine the draft models for evaluation of teachers and principals. The Evaluation System Work Team includes: Kirk Miller, SAM; Marco Ferro, MEA-MFT; Dan Rask, MSSA; Bob Vogel, MTSBA; Dave Puyear, MREA; Steve York, OPI; Linda Vrooman Peterson, OPI; Teresa Burson, Helena Public Schools; Virginian Braithwaite, MSUN; and Scott Dubbs, Lewistown Public Schools. By spring of 2013, the Evaluation System Work Team will distribute draft models for evaluation of teachers and principals for discussion and input by education stakeholders.  Montana school districts will be able to adapt, adopt or modify the state evaluation models or use locally developed teacher/principal evaluation systems that are aligned to ARM 10.55.701 (4) (a) & (b).
    • Model Montana Evaluation System – Development
      2013-14 Timeline Update
      Winter 2013 Complete draft evaluation models (teacher and principal)
      Spring 2013 hare draft evaluation models with stakeholders for discussion/input
      Spring 2013 Identify volunteer school districts interested in piloting draft models
      June 2013 Co-Sponsor Montana Educators’ Institute June 11-13, 2013
      Teaching, Learning and Leading:  Fostering continuous professional growth, enabling success for all students
      Summer 2013  Distribute draft evaluation models
      Summer 2013 Train districts’ personnel piloting draft evaluation models
      Fall 2013 Launch pilot project of draft evaluation models
      Winter 2014 Provide ongoing evaluation of draft models used by pilot districts
      Spring 2014 inalize evaluation models for presentation to the BPE

      For more information, contact Steve York by telephone at (406) 444-4434, or by e-mail at .