From Rob's Desk! - Quick Links to Contemporary Issues, updated January 12, 2024
  1. Open Enrollment Policy - HB203, July 1, 2024
    1. MTSBA Model Policy, 3141
    2. OPI Form, Attendance & Tuition: FP 14.1
    3. Tuition Calculator (Created by MASBO. Download this excel file)
  2. Recording Board Meetings - HB890, July 1, 2024
    1. MTSBA Model Policy, 1420
  3. SAM Topic Brief - New Graduation Requirements: summary document which explains addition of Financial Literacy to graduation requirements under revised Chapter 55.
    1. Course List from OPI  (Financial Literacy: OPI has provided this list as guidance for districts who are making changes to their programs for the addition of financial literacy. OPI has also stated that districts can request a variance through the variance to standards process.)
  4. Guidelines for Establishing a Early Literacy/Targeted Intervention Program with HB352
    1. Early Literacy Advisory Council recommendations to MT Board of Public Education, Nov 15, 2023
    2. SAM Early Literacy Webinar, Nov 9, 2023
  5. MT New Accreditation Process: Important links
    1. SAM Webinar: Accreditation, October 2023
    2. SAM Webinar: Accreditation 2.0, January 2023
    3. OPI Sample Accreditation Template
    4. General outline for a strategic plan. (ISAP)
    5. Accreditation Guidance Document
    6. MT OPI Accreditation Website
    7. SAMPLE Strategic Plan and Comprehensive Needs Assessment - Evergreen School District
  6. Educator Licensure Fees: Final approved list by Board of Public Ed, Approved at their November Meeting, New fees start January 1.
  7. SAM Topic Brief -  3Ps Bill List: 2023 legislative summary, reference guide to bills that impact Policy, Procedures & Practices.
  8. 95 Mills Discussion: MTSBA Memo drafted by Lance Melton in August 2023, describes history and legal requirements of 95 Mills calculation.
  9. Connecting with OPI: Information and links regarding weekly "office hours" hosted by OPI staff as well as other ways to connect with OPI.

Professional Learning Opportunities

  • Upcoming SAM Events:
    • March 11-12:  MASS/META/MCASE Legal and Technology Spring Conference, Helena
    • July 22-24: SAM Administrators Institute, Helena

 "Did You Know"...Telling Your Story of Personalized Learning and Innovations

"Did You Know"...Telling Your Story of Personalized Learning and Innovations was an effort to collect information about our public schools.  We know that the value our schools bring to local communities enriches the lives of not only our students but our communities and the entire state.  Statistical information about student performance, and financial information about our schools, tell only a part of the story, and our ability to "Tell Our Story" is so important in providing a deeper, more meaningful look at the value of our public schools.  Many joined this effort to describe the ways our schools are making a difference in our communities for our children.

Follow this link to review the stories that were collected:  Innovations in Montana Public Schools.  The information can then be used by all of us to "Tell Our Story" to audiences who want to know more , about the value of our schools.

Other Links & Resources

  • Suicide Prevention resources are available through the University of Montana  Safe Schools Center (MSSC) at
    • The updated Montana CAST-S Toolkit was developed by co-authors Dr. Scott Poland and Dr. Donna Poland in collaboration with Montana OPI, SAM, DPHHS, Montana Association of Pediatric Psychiatrists, and NAMI Montana for the express use by Montana schools:  Montana's CAST-S 2022 
    • The 2017 edition of the Montana Crisis Action Toolkit on Suicide (MT-CAST-S 2017) was developed in a collaboration between the Big Sky Council and NAMI Montana to support Montana school communities in meeting requirements of Montana state legislative statutes HB381 (2017) and HB374 (2019)
  • Montana Unified School Trust (MUST), is excited to be able to offer Montana’s public schools additional flexibility and efficiencies in their funding of employee health benefits. Public schools now have the option to participate in the MUST Multidistrict Agreement to support services and activities for the funding and operations related to their employee health benefits. Visit the MUST Benefits - Multidistrict Agreement webpage for more information. (January 10, 2020)

Membership Renewal Drive 2023-24

The SAM Membership Renewal Drive for 2023-24 has begun!  Remember, district clerks/business managers must complete renewal forms for SAM members associated with districts.  Individuals not associated with a district must complete their own renewal forms.  Click the link below to renew your membership.

Past SAM Membership Totals: 
20-21 = 1107
19-20 = 1083

18-19 = 1045
17-18 = 1058

16-17 = 1020
15-16 = 987
14-15 = 978
13-14 = 974