Volume XLII                            March 2021

No. 305

In This Issue...

  1. META President Message 
  2. SAM Executive Director Message
  3. 2021 Legislative Update 
  4. Current Awards Open for Nominations
  5. 2021 METAtechED Virtual Conference 
  6. 2021-22 Membership Drive Launches April 6
  7. 2021 Virtual Day of Advocacy
  8. 2021 MASS Virtual Spring Conference  
  9. CoSN - Strategic Technology Planning and Investment
  10. Edgenuity Update

Upcoming Conferences,   Meetings, & Events


March 22,  2021: MT-PEC Virtual Day of Advocacy

March 22-23, 2021:  METAtechED

March 23, 2021:  MASS Spring Conference

** View the full SAM Calendar**   

Thank you to this month's featured Business Partners! 

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SAM Leadership
Dale Olinger
Cal Ketchum
President Elect
Peter Hamilton
Past President
Justin Helvik
Shawn Hendrickson
President Elect
KJ Poepping
Vice President
Jake Haynes
Past President
Shelley Andres
Nicole Trahan
President Elect
Ted Miller
Vice President
Craig Crawford
Past President
Marlin Lewis
Barb Droessler
SAM Representatives
Casey Klasna
Dr. Greg Dern
President Elect
Dr. Mike Perry
Past President
Rick Duncan
Federal Relations Coordinator
Michelle Halberg
Cathy Maloney
Everett Holm
SAM Office
Kirk Miller
Executive Director
Gary Wagner
Director of Operations, Membership & Finances
Kim Scofield
Director of Member Services & Professional Learning




Be ABC Safe

  by Everett Holm, META President 


March will mark the one year anniversary of the historic announcement by our past governor that we would be closing schools across the state. The closures have brought into play various strategies to keep our kids learning as well as being safe as much of our instruction was pushed out to the virtual world. Across the state, technologists have worked in their districts assuring our students have the various tools and resources to continue learning all while keeping them safe from the various cyber threats we witness on a continuous basis. Whether it’s trying to purchase additional mobile technologies such as Chromebooks and iPads, providing internet service by opening up local school networks, or delivering cellular options, it has definitely been a new era that was not necessarily in our job descriptions.

Take some time if you haven’t already done so to applaud the efforts of everyone involved in keeping our students learning - the technology staff making sure things work, administrators giving the best guidance they can, teaching staff across the state being online and the challenges of creating and delivering engaging content to their students and parents who overnight became teachers and mentors as their child's learning environment moved from the classroom to the living room.

Members of META have remained focused on not only providing technology resources but likewise taking measures that all of our students and staff are able to use their technology and remaining safe while doing so. To continue the education of our membership, META is proudly presenting our Spring METAtechED Conference March 22-23, 2021 virtually of course. Our theme this year is the ABCs of Student Safety which our keynote speaker will present on. In addition to our keynote, we have several sessions lined up including our friends from the FBI letting us know about the bad actors to the bit more technical best practices of administering your local G Suite for Education workspaces. I would encourage not only our META members to register today but invite all administrators likewise to register and join us so that we can all participate in our district's cyber safety teams. Registration and session details are found in the METAtechEd Conference link and in this bulletin.

Everett Holm
META President

SAM Members - Making a Difference!

by Kirk Miller, SAM Executive Director

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Late winter/early spring has our schools operating under the changing conditions of the Coronavirus pandemic.  Balancing the safety, health and well-being of your students, staff and community, while continuing the education of those students has been an administrator challenge of great magnitude.  Thank you administrators for your ability to weigh all of the local issues and to make decisions that are in the best interest of your students, schools, and community.  Thank You … You are Making a Difference!

In March, your SAM association begins the evaluation of what is yet to be accomplished in the current year and planning for the 2021-22 school year.  The SAM Executive Board will be meeting in March to review and take action on these big concepts that drive the work of our association to support the needs of our members.  These decisions will be made with the SAM Strategic Plan providing guidance.

SAM Strategic Plan Goals

Leadership Involved in Decisions that Impact Education:  SAM affiliate members modeling and promoting the highest levels of professionalism, integrity and leadership actively engage in impactful discussions on education.

Advocacy:  SAM members will be equipped with accurate information and prepared to use it to advocate for public education.

Professional Learning and Services:  SAM will extend and expand the professional learning delivery system using the expertise of the SAM affiliate’s, as well as other service providers through professional development, mentorship, and other member services.

SAM members are at the table assisting in decision making on many, many topics, issues and agendas that will impact the education of our students.  Those of you providing this expertise and effort - Thank You … You are Making a Difference!

In this Bulletin, you can read about SAM’s advocacy during the 2021 Legislative Session.  We are nearly half way as the legislative session rages on with Transmittal approaching on March 3.  The SAM Legislative Network 2021, has many SAM members deeply involved in the process of keeping up with the bills impacting education and advocating for our children’s education at the state and federal level.  Now is an important time for ensuring the SAM advocacy priorities for the legislative session, developed through the SAM Delegate Assembly process and our memberships’ approval, are upheld and accomplished.  Thank you SAM members for your energy in advocacy … You are Making a Difference!

March professional learning opportunities include the MT-PEC Virtual Day of Advocacy (3/22), MASS Virtual Spring Conference 2021 (3/23) and METATechED Virtual Spring Conference 2021 (3/22-23) are planned with outstanding agendas for learning together and building relationships for future success.  I hope you will register and attend these opportunities.  The SAM Leaders Professional Learning Program 2021 has 70 administrators involved in enhancing their professional learning.  For all of our SAM members pursuing professional learning – Thank You … You are Making a Difference!

Our SAM office team wishes you great success in all you set off to accomplish in March and for the end of the 2020-21 school year.  Contact us if we can assist you in … Making a Difference! 

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 2021 METAtechED Virtual Conference

March 22-23, 2021

ABC's of Student Safety 

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Register HERE!

 2021 Virtual Day of Advocacy

Monday, March 22, 2021

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Register HERE!

2021 MASS Virtual Spring Conference

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Moving Forward Stronger

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Register HERE!

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A Message from New Montana Edgenuity Rep., Chet Riddle...

I hope the spring semester is progressing well for you and your students. Knowing with Spring comes “planning” time for next school year, I thought it relevant to share what’s new at Edgenuity. If you see anything here that catches your eye and would like to learn more, get a free trial, or demo, simply reach me and we can setup some time to talk.

What’s New for 2021:

  • NEW CTE offerings: we now have over 100 CTE courses and 6 Career Pathways available (updated full MT course list here)
  • Social & Emotional Learning: 3 Brand new Courses are now live and FREE for existing customers through July 1- contact me if you haven’t accessed already, or for a free pilot for non-customers. Here is a full course list of our existing SEL offerings if you’d like to add the entire bundle
  • K-5 Intervention: brand new and improved platform called MyPath K-5
    • Imports NWEA MAP or Ren. STAR scores (also has built in, adaptive diagnostic assessment included if you don’t use MAP or STAR) to create fully ADAPTIVE, personalized, and automatic learning paths for each student
    • Improved and simplified progress monitoring and small grouping info for teachers
    • Award winning instructional design with engaging content: Math & ELA specific
  • Learning Loss/Summer School:
    • New custom courses targeting COVID learning loss – available FREE to existing customers, non-customer learn how to access by contacting me
    • Summer School options included
  • CORE Curriculum Offering: LearnZillion
    • Offers the best PERSONALIZED delivery of the highest-quality curricula from Illustrative Mathematics®, EL Education, and Guidebooks—all of which scored all green on EdReports
    • Saves teachers 45 minutes per day by stripping back the drudgery of prep and replacing it with a full suite of effective tools and digital materials, including easy-to-use lesson plans and built-in teacher guidance—saving 3–4 hours a week overall
    • K-12 Illustrative Mathematics curriculum – the same highest rated Math curriculum can be used across all levels, and you can review what last year’s teacher taught in each grade band
    • Frees teachers to connect with individual students, leveraging teachers’ best instincts and better equipping them to do the same for their students.
    • Learn more, here
    • Please keep LearnZillion/Edgenuity in mind as you enter Math and ELA Core curriculum reviews

SAM Legislative Update 3-1-21

Week 8 was an all-out rush to get general bills into committee hearings so they have the opportunity to meet the transmittal deadline. Transmittal requires that bills without revenue or budget implications must have been passed out of one house or the other, thus transmitted to the other house, by March 3.  Approximately 200 bills were heard in committees during the week, and the impact on our SAM Followed Bills caused a change to the weekly schedule of bills in committees to change several times, with the last change happening on Thursday night at about 7:00 pm.  By 6:00 pm tonight, SAM/MT-PEC will have provided testimony on 15 bills this week, monitored another 32 bills and 2 hearings were cancelled. The SAM Testimony Log 2021 Legislative Session shows that SAM has provided testimony 75 times on 57 different bills at this point in the session.

Check out the SAMLN21 Legislative Update 9 2-26-21 and Podcast 9, along with SAMLN21 Schedule Week 9 Mar 1-3 Revised 3-1-21 to review week 8 and get an overview of week 9.  This week's review would give you a good feel of how education is fairing during this session.

Upcoming Week 9 (Mar 1-3) The legislature has now produced 3355 bill drafts with 1120 introduced bills.  SAM advocacy is tracking 379 bill drafts with 160 of those bills introduced.  SAM Followed Bills 2.26.21 and SAM Followed Bills Prioritized Introduced 2.26.21 are updated and uploaded to the SAM Bills 2021 webpage.  Transmittal break is March 4-7, so March 1-3 will be busy with activity to get bills transmitted.

Please join us each Monday at noon for the SAMLN21 Lunch & Legislate zoom call to discuss the legislation and strategies moving forward. This LINK will get you into the zoom if you choose to join us.

Current Award Opportunities

The following awards are open for nomination:

MACSS: (Deadline March 15th)


SAM Membership
Drive 2021-22
Launches April 6th!

The School Administrators of Montana (SAM) Membership Drive will begin on Monday, April 6th for the 2021-22  membership year! We will once again be using the online renewal process that we have used the past several years. As the
"key contact" for a district, district clerks/business managers will receive an email that will include information for completing membership renewals
for their district's MASS, MASSP, MAEMSP, and META members. Please work with your district clerk/business manager to be sure your membership is correct. MCASE members and members not linked to a school district will receive an email that will include a link to their membership renewal form.

We encourage you to renew your membership early so you can start the next fiscal year with the full benefits of your membership in place and without any chance of it lapsing. Contact the SAM Office with any questions you may have.

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Blended Learning

The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) and its Montana state affiliate chapter, Montana Educational Technologists Association (META) are pleased to continue to support the work of current and aspiring superintendents and district leadership teams in leading all aspects of digital learning transformations.  

The Empowered Superintendent edWebinar Series – Monday, March 8, 2021, 3:00 pm MT
“Leading Learning in a Blended Environment: What Works for Students, Teachers and Administrators”

The upcoming episode of the monthly EmpowerED Superintendent Webinar series, co-hosted by CoSN, AASA and edWeb.net, and sponsored by ClassLink, airs on Monday, March 8, 2021 at 3:00 pm MT. The March webinar is titled Leading Learning in a Blended Environment: What Works for Students, Teachers and Administrators. In this edWebinar, three superintendents, Dr. Mark Benigni, Superintendent Meriden Public Schools, CT, Dr. Alan Siebert, Superintendent Salem City Schools, VA and Dr. Jason Van Heukelum, Superintendent, Winchester Public Schools, VA share the leadership strategies they have employed to get the most out of blended learning for their students, teachers and administrators. Diane Doersch, Technology Director for the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools Program at Digital Promise will also join in the conversation. Examples of effective blended learning strategies will be shared along with resources to assist others in leading and implementing successful blended learning environments.

Free registration for the March 8, 2021 webinar is now available HERE  Webinars in this series are also freely available as recordings HERE and via podcast HERE a day or two after the initial live broadcast. 

Leading Digital Learning – CoSN Resources

A one-page document, Leadership for Digital Learning, provides leaders with four essential components for leading blended learning in 1-to-1 environments. Additionally the CoSN Leadership for Digital Learning Initiative web page is designed to help educational leaders overcome barriers to effectively develop, plan, implement and manage policies and best practices. The published resources are on-point and relevant to district leaders in the “new normal” of constant change.

CoSN 2021 Virtual Conference

The 2021 Annual CoSN Conference, scheduled for March 2-4, features interactive breakout sessions, LIVE keynotes, unique networking opportunities, and more.  Learn more and register for CoSN 2021 at https://cosnconference.org.  

If your school or district would like more information about joining CoSN or getting more involved with CoSN, please contact Biran Calvary, CAE, CoSN Director of Membership and Chapters, at [email protected]

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Thank you to SAM's Business Partners!  

Please take time to visit their websites.

Montana Big Sky Sponsors

Health Insurance
P O Box 4579 - Helena, MT 59601
[email protected]

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Technology Innovation
1309 NW Bypass - Great Falls, MT 59404  
[email protected]    

Total Education Solutions in Technology (T.E.S.T)  
PO Box 2900
Missoula, MT 59805
[email protected]

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Empowering Teachers To
Drive Their Own Professional Learning
84 Sherman Street
Cambridge, MA 02140
 [email protected]

Montana Glacier Sponsors

infinite_campus.jpg - 7.35 KbInfinite Campus is the largest  American-owned student information system  
4321 109th Avenue NE
Blaine, MN 55449 stephanie.sondrol@infinite  campus.com     
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Annuities, life insurance     
430 Ryman St., #102
Missoula, MT 59892 
[email protected]

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Mileposts™ cloud-based
achievement & data management
408 E. Parkcenter Blvd., Ste.300
Boise, ID 83706 [email protected] 
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School property & liability insurance
1200 North Montana Ave.
Helena. MT. 59601
[email protected]





Montana Mountain Sponsors

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218 N. 3rd Ave 
Durant, OK 74701
[email protected]
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Professional Learning Organization 
1031 N. Academic Way, Ste. 242 
Coeur d’Alene, Idaho 83814
[email protected]                        208-292-2529  
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Provides Orton-Gillingham Sonday System Programs and Training
Amanda Burnette                                         
3001 Metro Drive, Suite 480
Bloomington, MN. 55425
[email protected]
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Building Management and System Integration
Rick Ruiz, Business Development
800 7th Ave. North
Great Falls, MT. 59911
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The Great Conversation Series
Jamie Vollmer
[email protected]

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Reach Higher Montana
Jason Butcher
Outreach Director
406-422-1275 Ext. 801
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Standards-based digital curriculum resources for
K–12 classrooms 
Emily Keith
[email protected]      

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K–12 online curriculum and blended learning solutions
Michael Bullock
[email protected]
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Targeted Professional Development
Daniel Sybrant
557 Cow Creek Lane
Corvallis, MT 
[email protected] 
888-413-3669, ext. 5776
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Solutions
34 West 6th Avenue, Suite 2B
Helena, MT 59601
[email protected]

Lowest total operational cost clean buildings  2525 Overland Avenue
Billings, MT 59102 [email protected]

School portraits, yearbooks & sports portraits
2110 Overland Ave., #115A 
Billings, MT 59102 [email protected]

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C&C School Accounting
Software For Schools In Montana Since 1980
[email protected]

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Safe, Easily Managed School Networks
106 East Sixth Street, Suite 500
Austin TX 48701
[email protected]  512-904-0544   

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Auto, homeowners, life insurance and financial services
617 W Stolley Park Road
Grand Island, NE 68801
[email protected] 
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School Workers’ Compensation & Liability
PO Box 7029 - Helena, MT 59601
[email protected]
Phone: 406-457-4418
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College Assistance, Job Skill Training   
1956 MT Majo Street  
Fort Harrison, MT 59636
[email protected]



Montana Meadow Sponsors

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Substitute Staffing Service
Maya Burnaugh
3001 Metro Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, MN. 55425
[email protected]

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School Accounting Software
145 Southlake Crest, Suite 1
Polson, MT. 59860
[email protected]  

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Technology planning, project  &
solution  services
2135 Charlotte Street
Bozeman MT 59718
[email protected]  

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Network and Communications Solutions 
904 C Avenue
Circle, MT 59215
[email protected]  

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Systems and applications to reduce the financial burden of federal student loans
[email protected]




900 N. Montana Ave. Suite A-4| Helena, MT. 59601| Phone (406)442-2510 | Fax (406)442-2518 


2020-21 SAM Bulletins

February 2021 Bulletin
January 2021 Bulletin
December 2020 Bulletin
November 2020 Bulletin
October 2020 Bulletin
September 2020 Bulletin
July-August 2020 Bulletin