Office of the Superintendent

Welcome back to school everyone!

Friday, August 30, 2013, 3:03 pm

As you can see from the size of the summary, we have a lot of information and resources to share with you.   Highlights this month include:

  • New resources to use in your classroom,
  • Reminders of important deadlines,
  • Upcoming conferences and professional development opportunities.

 We look forward to a great year.

 No “double-testing” for 2013-14

In July, OPI submitted a request for an amendment to our NCLB Accountability Workbook regarding for the 2013-14 school year.  This request is for Montana to discontinue giving the current MontCAS and allow 100% of Montana students to participate in the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC) field test this spring.  If granted, this request would prevent double testing that is possible for some Montana students if we administered the MontCAS and participated in the SBAC field test. This option allows us to try out the new online assessment, test our technology, and have teachers and students see how it works without concern for the results being used for accountability purposes.  And, next year, we are at 100% proficiency– so whatever state assessment we use – no school is going to make AYP.  We are awaiting word from the US Department of Education and are unsure of their timeline to review and respond to our request. We are moving forward with our planning at the state level on the assumption our request will be approved and will notify you when we hear from the Department and provide the information you will need to prepare to participate in the SBAC field test. Contact: Deputy Superintendent Dennis Parman, 444-5643,

 14 National Board Certified teachers to be recognized

This fall, Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau will recognize 14 Montana teachers who achieved certification from the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards in 2012. These teachers will each receive a $3,000 stipend from the state in recognition of their achievement. Ceremonies are planned in Kalispell on September 5th and in Billings on September 16th. Ceremonies are being scheduled for teachers in other parts of the state. Please join Superintendent Juneau is congratulating the following teachers:

Elizabeth Tuss, Anaconda High School
Rebecca Bruce, Jefferson High School
Kaylin Miller, Belgrade Elementary
Marianne Schumacher, Belgrade Elementary
Deanna Collins, Monforton Elementary
Kerry Gruizenga, Skyview High School, Billings
Kate McPherson, Billings Senior High School
Tami Wiens, Plentywood Elementary
Edward Wiest, Pryor 7-8
Londa Hart, Chief Joseph School, Great Falls
Holly McEwen, CM Russell High School, Great Falls
Susan Corrigan, Flathead High School
Megan Koppes, Flathead High School
Jennifer Stone, Columbia Falls High School

Build a Stronger Montana: End Childhood Hunger Summit

You are invited to attend a statewide summit being held at MSU Bozeman on September 23-24.   Earn 10 Montana Educator Renewal Units or 10 School Nutrition Association Continuing Education Units. Engage with other community leaders about best practices and gain resources to start activities in your own community Registration is now open .  The summit is hosted by the Montana Partnership to End Childhood Hunger. The summit also features a screening of the movie A Place at the Table and discussion  with Co-Director Lori Silverbush and her husband, Tom Colicchio, producer and Emmy-nominated “Top Chef” judge.  Governor Steve Bullock and First Lady Lisa Bullock will speak at the summit.   For more information, contact Montana Team Nutrition, 406-994-5641

Farm to Cafeteria Youth Summit

Registration is now open for Farm to Cafeteria Network's first Youth Summit!    Montana high schools students are encouraged to attend the summit Sunday through Tuesday October 6-8 at the University of Montana, Missoula campus.The summit's theme "Diversifying the Future of Food" will form the foundation for dynamic tours, workshops, and keynote presentations delivered by young innovators from California, Massachusetts, and Montana.  The Youth Summit focuses on strengthening young people’s capacity to organize and educate their peers about sustainable food, healthy living, and vibrant community-based food systemsWhat you should know:
  *   Adults may chaperone (and register with) up to eight young people.
  *   Teachers can receive up to 13 OPI renewal units.
  *   Cost is $65/person by September 10; $85 by September 20.  Cost covers food, lodging, and tours .
  *   Travel scholarships are available for schools/groups, thanks to Montana Team Nutrition.
  *   Students are encouraged to submit a workshop proposal!  Download the workshop proposal form  here.
Contact Nancy Moore at or (406) 533-6648 for more information.

Save the Date! Alt Ed 2013: Designing the Future of Learning

State Superintendent Denise Juneau is hosting Montana alternative education leaders at an Alt Ed Summit November 7 & 8, 2013 at the Paris Gibson Alternative School in Great Falls.  Alternative education practitioners, educators, and administrators should consider attending, as well as those interested in starting an alternative program in Montana. To register, click here  (Graduation Matters Montana website under Resources). Attendees will participate in a highly interactive design process built around the research of 2Revolutions. For more information, please contact Deborah Halliday at 444-3559 or

Governor Bullock encourages students to Make Montana Proud

Governor Steve Bullock has filmed a back to school message for Montana students. In the video, he encourages students to work hard, pay attention in class and make Montana proud this school year. In addition, he thanks educators for the amazing positive impacts they have on the lives of students throughout the state. Please distribute this video to teachers and colleagues, encouraging them to show it to their students. The video can be found on the Governor’s Back to School resources page:  The Governor will also be traveling the state this school year to meet with students, teachers, parents and administrators to visit with the importance of providing our students with a world class education. Contact: Shannon O’Brien, Governor’s Education Policy Advisor, 406-444-7802

GRAD Talks Available on OPI Website

At the Graduation Matters Summit in June, the program included "GRAD Talks," in a format similar to TED Talks. The GRAD Talks highlighted successful dropout prevention strategies from Hardin, Anaconda, Browning, Great Falls and Miles City. It also included poetry by Chase Koenig, Hellgate HS Poet Laureate. These six talks range from 4 minutes to 22 minutes each. Video of each "Talk" is available on our website.   Contact: Deborah Halliday, 444-3559,

Bully-Free Montana Website and Toolkit

On July 1, 2013, a new rule in Montana’s Standards of Accreditation went into effect. The Student Protections Procedures rule requires schools to address bullying and threatening behavior in schools, on school buses, at school-sponsored activities, and online. The rule also establishes the minimum procedures that must be part of the school district’s policy. The OPI has created a model school district policy for bullying, harassment, intimidation and hazing of students. This policy, as well as additional resources for schools, parents and students, can be found at the Bully Free Montana webpage and in the Bully Free Montana Toolkit . Contact: Terry Kendrick, 444-3449

 48 applications received for K12 Data Task Force

The Office of Public Instruction received 48 applications by the August 27th deadline from individuals to serve on the K12 Data Task Force, which was created by SB 175. OPI is compiling the information to make recommendations to the legislative members of the task force who will be making the appointments. OPI hopes that task force members will be notified by early October, but details have not yet been worked out. Thank you to those of you who submitted applications. Contact: Madalyn Quinlan, Chief of Staff, 444-3168,

40 high school students to serve on advisory board

Forty high school students from across Montana have been named to serve on Superintendent Juneau’s Student Advisory Board. The mission of the Student Advisory Board is to include student voice and perspectives in statewide policy decisions. Additionally, including student voice at the local level is a critical component of the mission of Graduation Matters Montana. To learn more about the advisory board and the students who serve on the board, go to . The next meeting of the Student Advisory Board will be in Helena on October 27-28. Contact: Deborah Halliday, 444-3559,

2013 Legislative Summary is on-line

Following each legislative session, the Office of Public Instruction prepares a Summary of Legislation Related to K-12 Education. The summary provides a description of legislation that was approved and includes a listing of all legislation that was proposed related to K-12 education. The 2013 Summary is on-line at: Contact: Madalyn Quinlan, Chief of Staff, 444-3168,

For more information, contact Terry Kendrick, 444-3449