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.

Trauma Experience and Support Workshop

This workshop will consist of lecture and discussion around the manifestations and the effects of trauma. We will explore different types of trauma, and we will look at how trauma affects development and how trauma manifests in the body. We will look at various lenses for better understanding trauma such as the Polyvagal Theory and Gentle Enhancement, and we will examine mindful body awareness practices for supporting experience. In addition to exploring these concepts, we will also examine and practice applicable communication strategies for offering support to students. We will engage basic Non-Violent Communication (NVC) skills, we will discuss how to give students the tools to access positive state changes, and we will examine the aspects of co-regulation.

How to Enroll: Visit the registration page

2019 Yellowstone Conference: Communities in Crisis

Yellowstone Boys and Girls Ranch would like to invite you to attend our 2019 Yellowstone Conference: Communities in Crisis being held on our main campus in Billings, MT on Thursday September 19th. This year’s conference is focused on identifying and discussing current crises that Montana communities are facing with professional panel discussions on:

  • Rural Montana
  • Montana Cities
  • Indigenous Communities
  • Collaborating for Community Outcomes

Montana communities face an array of challenges including domestic violence, homelessness, drug use, sex trafficking, incarcerated parents, limited education, access to mental health providers, and a flood of children entering the foster care system. These challenges directly contribute to the generational cycle of abuse, and the trauma that families endure, and in turn create communities in crisis. Panelists for Rural Montana, Montana Cities, Indigenous Communities, and Collaborating for Community Outcomes will address these issues, provide education, feedback, and resources for Montana families and community members.

Registration is open now and the cost of the conference is $25.00 and includes lunch. CEUs and OPI credits are available upon request.

How to Enroll: Visit the Communities in Crisis registration website

Trauma Informed Teaching: Moving Students from Surviving to Thriving

This training explores the impact of ACE, Adverse Childhood Experiences, and poverty on the teaching and learning process and strategies for planning, instruction, classroom management and parent intervention to cope with those impacts.

Learning Objectives:
* Increased understanding of the scope and impact of trauma on children.
* Increased understanding of the effects of poverty on childhood trauma.
* Ability to identify the CDC descriptors for ACE, Adverse Childhood Experiences.
* Development of a schema for the developing brain, especially as it is impacted by adverse childhood experiences.
* Creation of a toolbox of strategies to address the impact of ACE and poverty.
* Improvement in the development of a school culture of equity and social justice.
* Enhanced pupil performance as learning is more personalized and behavior is improved.
* More lively dialogue and communication between leadership team and faculty.
* Development of parent support and trust as leaders demonstrate greater understanding of the needs of all families.
* A more focused, flexible, and functional leadership team equipped to meet the needs of children and families.

About the presenter: Dr. Linda Karges-Bone is a nationally recognized speaker, author, and consultant on the topics of creativity, differentiated instruction, and brain-body connections. She is a tenured professor of education at Charleston Southern University and earned her Ed.D. at the University of South Carolina in Curriculum and Instruction. Dr. Bone is the author of over 30 books in the fields of curriculum and assessment, including her most recent: “Brain Tips” and “Rich Brain, Poor Brain”. She has delivered keynotes and workshops in 38 states through her consulting firm, Education InSite, and is the creator of the radio program “Prayerful Parenting”, one minute messages of inspiration and research for over 25 years.

How to Enroll: Visit Trauma Informed Teaching: Moving Students from Surviving to Thriving on the Professional Learning website

Montana ASCD Summit: A Culture of Safety and the New 3 R’s

In this continuing exploration of #TraumaInvested practice, join childhood trauma expert Kristin Souers (co-author of the best-selling and award-winning Fostering Resilient Learners: Strategies for creating a trauma-sensitive classroom – ASCD, 2016) as she shares keen insights into the practices of empathy and attunement, exploring a communication strategy built to strengthen connection and understanding. Learn the characteristics of a Culture of Safety, and implement timely interventions for students by addressing the “New 3 R’s” in education: Relationships, Responsibility, and Regulation. Using scenarios, research, and a bank of strategies, collaborate with your colleagues to brainstorm approaches to meet students’ needs. Attendees will leave refreshed and excited about meeting the challenges awaiting them, with tools in the toolbelt and the energy and optimism needed to use them! This professional development experience is for teachers, administrators, school counselors, psychologists & community health professionals. It will emphasize strategies to use with students, families, fellow faculty, school personnel & community members. View the flyer for additional information. You can register through the SAM Administrator Institute website.

Intended Professional Learning Outcomes

Participants will:
● deepen their understanding of the value of fostering a safe, predictable, and consistent learning
environment – one that is #TraumaInvested.
● will be introduced to the new 3 R’s – an intervention model packed full of multiple strategies for
education staff and community members to utilize with children and staff with (known and
unknown) trauma histories – helping to sustain learning-ready (and teaching-ready) states.

June Institute 2019 Region 1

June 10-11, at Miles Community College with Dr. Linda Karges-Bone

Trauma Informed Care


Trauma and stress affect a child’s brain in unique ways. The amygdala, located on each side of the cortex turns on and effectively shut down critical and creative thinking, making teaching and learning difficult if not impossible. In the session, Dr. Bone will explain the trajectory of trauma and residual stress and help teachers understand students ‘ behavior, anxiety, and decisions in the light of childhood trauma. More importantly, participants will identify a menu of instructional and behavior management strategies that more effectively address the impacts of trauma and help students regain a healthy perspective.

Classroom Management ER,

Target Audience: New Teachers. Schools with Unsatisfactory Ratings. Special Educators. Teacher Trainers. All educators interested in improved school climate and pupil performance.

Purpose: To provide classroom teachers with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions they need to do diagnostic-prescriptive classroom management and integrate positive classroom management strategies before problems occur.

Outcome: Improved test scores. Fewer referrals for behavioral problems. Satisfied, less stressed faculty. More positive school climate.

Description:This full-day session offers educators an overview of the 7 major theorists that impact classroom management decisions, including extrinsic and intrinsic models. The emphasis is on preventing management problems with organization, understanding of students’ needs, a firm grasp of brain function and child development, and simple techniques for creating a positive, management-friendly environment. Dr. Bone shows educators how the brains of children and their social situations affect behavior and how teachers can intervene successfully to shape desired outcomes. Video, powerpoint, and small group instruction.

Parent Engagement evening, Monday evening

Did you know that the smartest any of ever will be is at age two when we have the largest number of neural connections? The trick for parents is to harness that brain energy. Dr. Linda Karges-Bone’s Family Engagement session brings the current research on raising smarter, more creative children to life in practical, useful ways. Important topics include the family-literacy connection, Brain-friendly family meal recipes, threats of technology to early brain development, and strengthening family communication. Families will receive Dr. Bone’s best-selling book “Brain Tips” to sustain and reinforce the strategies. For more information visit www.educationinsite.com

Eastern Montana Educational Symposium

The event is on Thursday and Friday, October 18 and 19. Sessions include NWEA Testing, Building a School-Centered Climate, Educational Technology with Google, K-12 Teaching Practical Financing, Creating Trauma-Informed Schools, Leadership, Not your Mascot: Supporting American Indian Students, Decolonizing the Classroom & Identifying Anti-Indian Bias, Autism Spectrum Disorder. Contact Sara Engle to register at 406-377-9441 or sengle@dawson.edu

Montana ASCD Summit

“Trauma is a word not a sentence.” Whether you are brand new to the thinking about trauma informed work or an experienced educator, therapist or service provider, the 2018 MTASCD Summit is an opportunity for you to learn from

Kristin Souers, MA LMHC.

Kristin is co-author of the  best-selling and award-winning ​book ​Fostering Resilient Learners: Strategies for creating a trauma-sensitive classroom, a licensed mental health counselor and complex trauma expert. 

The Summit includes breakfast, lunch, snacks and a social hour to network with colleagues and make new connections with a variety of folks from across Montana.

More information about Kristin and her work may be found @ Fosteringresilientlearners.org