Mar 22, 2021

Current Trainings from the Montana CSPD (Comprehensive System for Personnel Development)

Since all trainings are currently virtual, it is easy to take a training from ANY of the CSPD regions. 

You can view and register for events from each region: 



You can also sign up for each Region's newsletter to be informed of upcoming events as soon as they become available: 


The Office of Public Instruction also has mailing lists to stay informed of training opportunities. You can sign up here

We hope to see you at a training soon!

Reshaping Special Education: Aligning General and Special Education through Relevant IEPs

June 9 and 10, 2021   1:00 - 4:00 p.m. 

The data is conclusive. Most students with disabilities receive most of their instruction in general education settings. While placements in the least restrictive environment have trended upward for years, many IEP writing practices have not changed over the past 4 decades. With some simple changes, practitioners can strengthen the collaboration and alignments of general and special education instruction. 

Find more information and register here. 

Feb 7, 2021

Data for Inclusion and High School Topics in Special Education

February 17 (3;45 to 5:45PM)
2 OPI Renewal Units
Cost is Free
Information/Registration []

Part 1: Data for Inclusion-In IDEA requirements for the IEP focus around the idea that the program that is put in place enables involvement and progress in the general education curriculum. At the same time, the 2015 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act states that instruction for all students must be aligned to grade level standards. We will make connections between these ideas and the process of writing IEPs that support involvement and progress in the general education curriculum by exploring how to gather data and answer questions that lead to PLAAFP statements that provide useful data to be able to make data based decisions to improve inclusive practices for special education students.

Part 2: High School Topics in Special Education-We will explore the topic of special education students and options for high school graduation and the related special education documents.

Part 3: Technical Assistance and Burning Questions-We will reserve time to review any burning questions you have and provide demonstrations and resources as applicable.

Unleash the Chrome Tools to Promote Inclusion, Independence and UDL

3 Part Series
February 16, 23 and March 2
3:45 to 5:45PM
6 OPI Renewal Units
Cost is free
Information/Registration []
Unleash your Chromebook and realize the power of the G Suite. Join us for this three part series as we explore ways to promote the principles of UDL and build an inclusive learning environment that leads to learner independence and success.

1. Maximize your Chromebooks to Reach All Learners: Chromebooks and the G Suite have many effective supports that can be used to differentiate instruction and include every student in the learning experience. Let's explore Chrome embedded tools, built in accessibility features and creative features of the G Suite apps.

2. Technology to Support Diverse Learners: Chrome Reading & Writing Tools: Let's leverage the power of technology in our classrooms and explore Chrome tools. Join us for this exploration of features to support writers in the areas of pre-writing; drafting; revising; editing and publishing. Supports for reading will include features in the areas of vocabulary, spelling and comprehension.

3. Technology to Support Diverse Learners: Chrome Executive Function Tools: We are using more technology than ever. But for individuals struggling with executive functioning skills, more technology does not automatically lead to greater productivity. Let's explore an array of Chrome based apps and extensions focused on providing support for organization and executive function. Areas of focus include: organization, scheduling, task completion, time management and more.

Providing FAPE During a Pandemic

Providing FAPE during COVID-19 times can be difficult, but there are many proactive steps schools can take to ensure that the individualized needs of students with disabilities are met even during these troubling times. This workshop is designed to help schools ensure the provision of FAPE during a pandemic, including plans to meet the needs of high-risk students and what accommodations and modifications look like during times of unrest in the schools.

About the presenter Elizabeth A. Kaleva is an attorney is private practice in Missoula. Bea graduated from the University of Montana School of Law in 1995 and, after graduation, clerked for First Judicial District Court Judge Thomas Honzel. In 1996, Bea joined the Montana School Boards Association as a staff attorney. She rose to the General Counsel position and remained with the MTSBA until 2003, when she returned to Missoula in private practice. Bea serves as counsel for school districts in all areas of employment and school law. Specific practice areas include: contract negotiations, employee misconduct and discipline, student misconduct and discipline, special education and federal programs, and Board of Trustees practice and procedure. She provides litigation defense to school districts and their employees in federal and state courts, arbitrations, and administrative agencies relating to all aspects of school district operations. She has been selected by her peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America every year since 2014 for the areas of education law and employment law, and was named the Best Employment Law Lawyer for the Missoula area in 2015 and 2019.

FAPE During Covid-19: Looking Back, Looking Forward, and What You Should Be Doing Right Now

 As we all know, Covid-19 has brought many changes to the way that Special Education services are delivered. And, as the pandemic continues, there is continued worry about future quarantines and closures. Through all this, Special Educators have been tasked with providing high-quality Special Education services. This talk will discuss what kind of information Special Educators should have collected since March of 2020, what they should be doing now and what will need to happen when schools return to "business as usual" school. This information will help Special Educators and School District personnel continue to provide the best services they can now as well as plan for future services including the potential for "recovery services" after the end of the pandemic. 

About the presenter: Dr. Ann N. Garfinkle was a professor of Special Education at the University of Montana for 16 years. During that time she worked on many projects related to young children with developmental disabilities, children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders and children and youth with chronic and intensive challenging behavior. She retired from the University to spend more time consulting. Currently she works in 35 schools in Montana. She also publishes and gives presentations at the local, state, national and international level.

Assistive Technology Webinars from MonTECH

Do you wonder if there is assistive technology (AT) that can help your students, but don’t know where to start? Join MonTECH for a series of webinars focused on AT in the classroom and online learning. Come to all four, or just drop by the topic that interests you. Each topic will be 30 minutes of presentation with technology demonstrations followed by 30 minutes of questions and open discussion.


Registration links for each webinar are below. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. Can’t make it? You can schedule a FREE, assistive technology consultation with MonTECH [].

AT and the IEP
February 9 (4:00 to 5:00PM)
Information/Registration []

An introduction to AT in the schools. We’ll connect you with valuable resources to support using AT in the school. We’ll answer frequently asked questions like: Who pays for this? When do I check the box? How do I know what to try?

Tools for Behavioral Support
February 11 (4:00 to 5:00PM)
Information/Registration []

We’ll show you apps and physical supports for behavior management in the classroom. Our main focus will be on tools that MonTECH has available for loan.

Tools for Students with Dyslexia
February 16 (4:00 to 5:00PM)
Information/Registration []

We’ll show you three tools to support students with dyslexia in reading and writing. We will focus on tools available on Chromebooks, but will have other tools available that we can show during the open discussion portion of this webinar.

Tools for Notetaking
February 18 (4:00 to 5:00PM)
Information/Registration []

We’ll show you three tools to support notetaking whether your students are online or in the classroom. (This is a repeat of the same presentation given last October).

Jan 12, 2021



 3  Sessions each 2 hours     (all 3 sessions are required)

This training will show teachers how to use the Two-Column Note systems within all content areas to (1) enhance students’ comprehension of text as they process, organize, and restate information, (2) encourage metacognition as students actively identify and organize main ideas and key supporting details, and (3) gather and organizing information to write from a variety of sources. Active reading strategies and teaching academic vocabulary will also be addressed. Note: 3 two-hours sessions. Each session is a prerequisite to the next.


 w/ Carrie Cole ALL SESSIONS ARE 4 PM TO 6 PM    


 Understanding the Science of Reading


What type of classroom instruction benefits beginning readers and/or struggling readers the most? This session will focus on the latest research on the science of teaching reading, including: (1) the components of reading identified by the National Reading Panel, (2) the Simple View of Reading and how it connects to Scarborough's Reading Rope, and (3) best practices for assessment for MTSS, and (4) how this all connects to current dyslexia legislation.

Understanding the Montana Dyslexia Law


(Note: Session 1 of training is not a prerequisite for attending Session 3, but are highly recommended.)

This session will expand on session 1 by looking at how the Simple View of Reading, how it connects to Scarborough’s Reading Rope, and the best practices for assessment for MTSS connects to current dyslexia legislation. Time will also be spent on how to best use assessment to diagnose student need

Phonology and Its Connection to Reading and Spelling


(Note: Sessions 1-2 of training are not a prerequisite for attending Session 3, but are highly recommended.)

Critical foundational knowledge for teachers of reading includes deep knowledge of English phonology. This session will focus on the speech sounds of English and how this connects to later mastery of reading and spelling. Educators will walk away with a better understanding of phonology, including instructional methods they can immediately implement into their classrooms.

 Phonological Awareness and Beginning Phonics


(Note: Sessions 1-3 of training are not a prerequisite for attending Session 3, but are highly recommended.)

Teaching reading effectively, especially to students experiencing difficulty, requires considerable knowledge and skill. But what type of foundational instruction benefits students the most? This training will focus on proven instructional and assessment methods for phonological awareness and beginning phonics that are engaging and multisensory. Educators will walk away new knowledge and interactive instruction routines that they can immediately implement into their classrooms.

Early Childhood/ Preschool Instruction Sessions



Number sense is linked to future math achievement in a manner similar to the way phonological awareness has been linked to reading achievement (Kosanovich, Weinstein, & Goldman 2009.) Training will focus on predictive indicators for school success and how to develop a curriculum that includes balanced lesson delivery. Instructional strategies will be introduced that provide children with a variety of opportunities to practice and reinforce those key skills during their daily routines . A wide variety of inclusionary practices will be discussed as well as developmentally appropriate knowledge and skill acquisition strategies that are applicable to increasing the access to the curriculum for all children. This workshop will provide practical research and evidence-based math activities and games that will help students increase their math skills. The session will focus on developing an understanding of number sense as well as the latest methods to develop skills in subitizing, counting, one-to-one correspondence, and cardinality. Plan to join this training and learn some fun activities that will allow you to create engaging and positive math experiences for children



Number sense—or a child’s “fluidity and flexibility with numbers” (Gersten & Chard, 2001)—is a critical readiness skill for starting school. The idea of number sense seems like a simple concept, but when broken down, there is a clear developmental progression—or learning trajectory—that   can be a valuable road map for teachers when used to plan instruction based on each child’s individual needs.  This session will focus on developing better understanding of this learning trajectory, as well as the latest methods to develop skills in subitizing, counting, one-to-one correspondence, cardinality, and hierarchical inclusion. Intentional “in the moment” strategies to effectively respond to young children’s mathematical thinking will also be addressed.