Due to COVID-19, professional learning opportunities may be cancelled. OPI staff will make every attempt to keep the OPI Learning Opportunities current and accurate. Please see https://covid19.mt.gov/ for additional details impacting events.


ENROLLMENT OPENS May 10, 2020 – Orientation to Special Education for Paraeducators (May 31 – Jun. 27, 2020)

This module is designed to provide a basic introduction to special education and the needs of students who have disabilities. The content consists of introductory material regarding legal and historical foundations of special education, human growth and development, the nature of disabilities, and an introduction to the basic human needs that paraeducators must address.

Created by the University of Colorado, Par2a Center.

15 Renewal Units

Enrollment opens May 10, 2020

The Apsaalooke Nation: History and Culture

This workshop will explore the history and culture of the Crow Nation. Using various resources like the biographies of Pretty Shield and Chief Plenty Coups, educators will delve into the history and culture from a Crow perspective. Also complementing the workshop will be sharing from elders and members of the Crow tribe.

How to Enroll: Visit the Region III registration website

ENROLLMENT OPENS Dec. 20, 2019 – Orientation to Special Education for Paraeducators (Jan. 13 – Feb. 23, 2020)

This course is designed to provide a basic introduction to special education and the needs of students who have disabilities. The content consists of introductory material regarding legal and historical foundations of special education, human growth and development, the nature of disabilities, and an introduction to the basic human needs that paraeducators and educators must address.

Created by the University of Colorado, Par2a Center. Facilitated by Jenny Malloy, Park County Special Education Cooperative Director and Beckie Squires, Paraeducator Specialist

15 Renewal Units

Enrollment opens Dec. 20, 2019

Visit Orientation to Special Education for Paraeducators on the Teacher Learning Hub to enroll

Cheyenne Memories (Northern Cheyenne History/Culture)

This workshop will consider the history of the Cheyenne Nation (particularly the Northern Cheyenne). The goal of this workshop is to create a strong foundation of understanding the Northern Cheyenne historically and culturally. Using the book, “Cheyenne Memories” (each participant receives a copy), and a tribal elder, participants will explore the rich history of this group.

How to Enroll: Visit the Region III registration website

Teaching Literacy through History – World War I

In honor of the centennial anniversary of America’s participation in WWI, join the Gilder Lehrman Institute and the WWI National Centennial Commission for a FREE full-day professional development session for Montana teachers on Saturday, November 16th.

Free breakfast, lunch, and classroom materials will be provided as well as a $40 participation stipend!

In the morning, you will hear a content lecture by Professor of History at Washington State University and author of  Turbulence in the Pacific: Japanese–U.S. Relations during World War I, Noriko Kawamura. In the afternoon, you will dive into pedagogy and integrated literacy strategies with one of our Master Teachers.

Please register by clicking on the button on the top right. Note that the address you enter will be the one we send the stipend to 3-4 weeks after the workshop – please make sure you enter your correct, preferred address. 

How to Enroll: Visit the registration website

46th Annual Montana History Conference

The 2019 Montana History Conference will be held in Helena, where we will be Keeping up with the Past! Please join us for this exciting gathering of history enthusiasts. Sessions will cover a wide variety of topics ranging from prostitutes and cannibalism on the frontier to railroad tourism, historic photography, and the role of Cheyenne and Lakota women at the Little Bighorn. Famed western photographer Barbara Van Cleve will share her photographic journey, while Northern Arizona University professors Brant and Dayle Hardy Short will share their insight into retellings of 1949’s tragic Mann Gulch fire.

Educators can attend one hour and fifteen-minute sessions, an entire day, or all three days to earn renewal units.

How to Enroll: Visit the 2019 Montana History Conference website

46th Annual Montana History Conference “Keeping Up with the Past!”

Of special interest to: Educators and students who want to attend the Montana History Conference, Sept. 26-28

Applying for registration and travel scholarships 

Save the Date! The Montana Historical Society is putting together an amazing program for the 46th Annual Montana History Conference, “Keeping Up with the Past!” The conference will be held in Helena, September 26-28. Renewal units will be available for both the Thursday educator workshop and all conference sessions. We hope you’ll consider attending!

As in past years, we will be offering travel scholarships for both teachers and students.

About the scholarships: Funded by the Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation, the scholarships will consist of full conference registration plus a $275 travel/expense reimbursement. All teachers and students in Montana’s high schools, colleges, and universities are eligible to apply (residents of Helena and the vicinity are eligible for the conference registration scholarship but not the travel reimbursement).

Teacher recipients must attend the entire conference, including Thursday’s Educators Workshop and the Saturday sessions. Student recipients must commit to attending all day Friday and Saturday, including a Saturday tour.

Preference will be given to

  • Teachers and students from Montana’s tribal colleges;
  • Teachers and students from Montana’s on-reservation high schools;
  • Teachers and students from Montana’s community colleges and four-year universities;
  • Teachers and students from Montana’s small, rural, under-served communities.

Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. September 8, 2019.  Awards will be announced the following week.

Applying for a scholarship is quick and easy. Apply online.

P.S. Please don’t forget to take our short online survey. Help us improve our offerings and maybe be a winner (prizes to the fifteenth, thirty-first, forty-second person to complete this survey.)

Discovering Native Histories along the Lewis and Clark Trail Summer Institute (June 30 – July 21, 2019)

The University of Oregon and the National Endowment for the Humanities are sponsoring a summer institute called Discovering Native Histories along the Lewis and Clark Trail. The institute is an immersive journey along the Lewis and Clark Trail. The institute starts in Billings and ends two weeks later in Bismarck, ND, with stops at Pictograph Cave State Park, Deer Medicine Rocks, and other national and state parks. Stipends are available for participant expenses. The deadline to apply to attend the summer institute is March 1, 2019. Visit the institute’s website for registration information and other details.

Citizen Science and the Lewis & Clark Trail

Bring history, citizen science, NASA technologies and Montana water quality research to your out-of-school program as you meld the mystique of the Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail with modern tools for data collection.

This workshop is open to Montana educators working with youth in grade 5-12 in a classroom or out-of-school environment.

In this workshop, we will:

  • Learn basic aeronautics as we observe the flight of large kites with instrument payloads for collecting data
  • Build and fly your own kid-friendly kites
  • Follow NASA procedures and protocols to develop and answer a science mission question
  • Learn how Montana researchers use remote sensing instruments, aerial photography and environmental mapping to study water quality
  • Join the GO on the Lewis & Clark Trail Citizen Science Challenge and use the GLOBE Observer app to record observations on clouds and land cover
  • Brainstorm new ways to bring all these tools and STEM concepts back to youth, including incorporating art, writing, photography, videography and Lewis & Clark History

No prior experience is necessary.

This workshop is sponsored by the NASA Aerokats and Rovers Education Network, Montana NSF EPSCoR, MSU’s National Teachers Enhancement Network, and the MSU Science Math Resource Center with support from the Montana Afterschool Alliance and the Montana Girls STEM Collaborative.

How to Enroll: Visit the Citizen Science and the Lewis & Clark Trail website

Making It Real: A Montana Historical Society Workshop for Elementary and Middle School Teachers

Award-winning educator Jim Schulz will be joined by Elementary and Middle School Teacher Leaders in Montana History to present a six-hour workshop, which will focus on ways to incorporate writing, engage and empower students, and teach them to look for evidence to support their claims, all while making the past as real as possible. It will include sessions on Visual Thinking Strategies, using artifacts and images to teach about immigration, and presentations sharing “never-fail” strategies and resources that bring the past to life.

How to Enroll: Visit the Conferences, Workshops, and Special Events Montana Historical Society website