SAM Executive Director, Dr. Rob Watson

Message from the Executive Director

Exec Director Photo 

Rob Watson, EdD

SAM Executive Director

Welcome School Administrators of Montana! By clicking on this message you are indicating your interest in the work of educational leaders and advocates for youth. Opportunity is on the horizon for SAM as we acknowledge the good work of the past and move our organization into the future. I’m pleased to represent our association as the Executive Director.

We begin the 2022-23 year with the SAM Strategic Plan 2018-22, creating vision and direction for our association. The SAM Board has structured the office team aligning the strategic plan with service to our members. Our SAM office team includes Director of Operations and Membership, Marcus Meyer, and Director of Member Services and Professional Learning, Kim Scofield. We are here to serve you, so please don't hesitate to contact us.  SAM intends to make a positive difference for educational leaders, whose great work in our schools and districts throughout the state, creates opportunities for Montana’s children that are second to none in the world. Telling that story will be important to the future of our schools. My thanks to all who have chosen this great profession and use the services of SAM to assist in accomplishing their goals.

I commit to you that I will work diligently for our organization to continue the excellence of the past while seeking the opportunity to strengthen our ability to meet our core purpose -- “SAM … Visionary leaders united in providing, advocating, and creating education excellence for Montana students!"

From Rob's Desk! - Quick Links to Contemporary Issues, updated May 29, 2024

  1. CAMPS Funding Proposal
    1.  K12 Funding Formula Package Discussion  - DRAFT
    2. CAMPS Proposal, Statewide Spreadsheet, New Funding Proposal
  2. Federal Update: Title IX. (Updated May 10)
    1. New Title IX Guidance - What Superintendents Need to Know - AASA
    2. New Title IX Guidance, detailed update of major changes, AASA
    3. AASA Title IX Webinar, May 6: Download the webinar recording.
    4. AASA Title IX Webinar, May 6, Slide Deck
  3. Advocacy:
    1. CAMPS Statement to Education Interim Committee, March 2024
    2. SAM Comments to Board of Public Ed regarding new Graduation Requirements, May 2024
  4. Open Enrollment Policy - HB203 (Effective 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)
    4. SAM Webinar: Feb 22, 2024, recording
    5. Suggestions for incorporating enrollment restrictions in your strategic plan. (Or you ISAP)
    6. FAQ Document produced by MASBO, MTSBA, MQEC, MREA (Updated March 22 - 2024)
  5. Recording Board Meetings - HB890. (Effective July 1, 2024)
    1. MTSBA Model Policy, 1420
    2. List of Districts required to record Board Meetings
      1. HB890 applies to Class 1 and Class 2 Districts
      2. If you have questions about the classification of your district, speak with your County Superintendent
    3. SAM Webinar: Feb 22, 2024
  6. New Graduation RequirementsSAM Topic Brief - New Graduation Requirements: summary document which explains addition of Financial Literacy to graduation requirements under revised Chapter 55.  (Effective for graduating class of 2026)
    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.)
  7. Guidelines for Establishing a Early Literacy/Targeted Intervention Program with HB352
    1. Updated Early Childhood Standards (Tchr licensure, class size, education standards) - Updated March 2024
    2. Evaluation Framework & Requirements (For both PreK and Jumpstart) - Updated March 2024
    3. List of Approved Evaluation Tools - Updated March 2024
    4. Early Literacy Advisory Council recommendations to MT Board of Public Education, Nov 15, 2023
    5. SAM Early Literacy Webinar, Nov 9, 2023
    6. Early Literacy Resources from OPI (sample letters to parents)
  8. 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
    8. SAMPLE ISAP - Power Public Schools and Accreditation Cheat Sheet - Power Public Schools
    9. Comprehensive Needs Assessment, Sample Surveys - not the OPI surveys. Put the questions in google form, survey monkey or some other survey tool.
  9. HB332, Health Insurance Trust for MT School Employees, FAQ Document, March 2024
  10. Technology or Safety Levy Survey Data: statewide survey data showing support for these types of levies in MT.
  11. Educator Licensure Fees: Final approved list by Board of Public Ed, Approved at their November Meeting, New fees start January 1.
  12. SAM Topic Brief -  3Ps Bill List: 2023 legislative summary, reference guide to bills that impact Policy, Procedures & Practices.
  13. 95 Mills Discussion: MTSBA Memo drafted by Lance Melton in August 2023, describes history and legal requirements of 95 Mills calculation.
  14. Connecting with OPI: Information and links regarding weekly "office hours" hosted by OPI staff as well as other ways to connect with OPI.