Comprehensive System of Personnel Development

Serving Eastern Montana

Congratulations to the Region 1 Award Winners

Teri Fisk Para Educator Recipient

Jessica Berwick-Bainville


Teacher/Para team Recipients


J Bushman, J Amsler, Allyssa Harrell, & Lindsay Peplinski-Wibaux


J Linquist & V Thompson-Plentywood


I have received word from OPI that all face to face trainings are suspended until further notice. I am working to bring Virtual trainings to you this fall and winter. Please check back to see what is being offered virtually via ZOOM.

During this time of Virtual Training please note that CSPD trainings are free, if you reside outside the state of Montana books and supplies cannot be furnished. We will provide you with a resource list as the grant we operate under is specific to Montana educators. Recordings if available are not a substitute for attending trainings.

Please keep track of your certificates.

If you register and are unable to fulfill your commitment please cancel via Eventbrite or email to let me know as many sessions have a limited number of seats available.

Thank you for your understanding and dedication

MCEC Conference registration is open now, montanacec.org CSPD R1 has scholarships available when you register with MECE/SAM. April 15, 8:30-12:30 with Kristen Souers, Celebrating Resilience and CSPD & MCEC/MCASE awards.

There is also an option of additional sessions with Kristen Souers.


Virtual Space June Institute June 14-17 Registrations are open!!

Each day is unique in its start and end time, there will be one renewal unit per hour of class time.

Monday, June 14 Cracking the Code of Reading with Katie Garner

PreK-2nd grade Registration link 3rd-5th grade Registration Link

CSPD (Montana) Region Workshops for Primary and Intermediate Grade Levels-2 sessions!!

*PreK-2nd (4 hours) 8-12am

"Too Many Letters, Too Many Phonics Rules, Too Many Sight Words….Too Little TIME!” Using Brain Science as a Road Map to Fast-Fast Phonics for Reading

Did you know that the brain has a backdoor for attention and learning that’s easily hacked into? Using brain science as a roadmap, discover how to fast-track phonics skills by sneaking through

the brain’s backdoor and connecting them to what kids already know! By aligning phonics skill concepts with “universal” experiences and understanding (i.e. having a crush, not getting along, getting hurt, being left out, doing what your mom or babysitter tells you, knowing where and when to be sneaky, etc...) we can leverage early learners’ social-emotional intelligence to fast-track ALL of the phonics code at the earliest grade levels!

In this session we will explore both the reading science and the brain science, as well as how to take advantage of early-developing and already primed SEL “superhighways” for learning to streamline and fast-track phonics skill mastery at the earliest grade levels. Brain based strategies for sparking emotional engagement that mark information for memory and prioritized learning in the brain will be shared, as well as techniques for aligning existing reading/phonics curriculum and instruction with the research showing how our brains learn best. This power-packed session will leave you armed and ready to empower beginning readers with the tools they need to become fearless codebreakers — not just in the reading block, but across the entire instructional day!

*3rd-5th (2 hours)1-3 pm

Cheating the Brain for Struggling Readers: How to Use Brain Science as a Road Map to “Plug Phonics Holes” Fast!

Did you know that the brain has a backdoor for accelerated learning that’s easily hacked into? Help struggling readers become strong decoders instead of weak guessers by taking advantage of “backdoor” learning systems to fast-track the phonics skills they NEED to read and write. By aligning phonics skill concepts with “universal” experiences and understanding (i.e. having a crush, not getting along, getting hurt, being left out, doing what your mom or babysitter tells you, knowing where and when to be sneaky, etc...) we can leverage social-emotional intelligence to fast-track missing pieces of the phonics code for upper grade, struggling readers. To access complex text, students must possess both the code-based skills to read it and the meaning-based skills to understand it. With too much time and energy spent on decoding text, there is often little left over to actually digest it. For struggling readers, these persistent “holes” impede their performance across all subject areas, and ultimately, their ability to become life-long learners.

In this session for intermediate grade teachers, we will explore both the reading science and the brain science, as well as how to take advantage of readily accessible and already primed SEL “superhighways” for learning to streamline and fast-track phonics skills for struggling readers. Brain based strategies for sparking emotional engagement that mark information for memory and prioritized learning in the brain will be shared, as well as instructional techniques for “plugging holes” in struggling readers’ skill ability without impeding the momentum of on-grade level instruction. This power-packed session will leave you armed and ready to empower struggling readers with the tools they need to become fearless codebreakers — not just in the reading block, but across the entire instructional day…..and for life!

General Points of Discussion Include (but are not limited to):

  • Overview of the science of reading (i.e. how we learn to read)

  • Research on early (back to front) brain development and “backdoor” social-emotional learning pathways

  • Strategies for aligning high-leverage phonics skill concepts to universal experiences & understanding

  • Forging strong sound-symbol (speech to print) connections in the brain for reading and writing

  • Transforming phonics instruction into a “playground” for critical thinking and deep literacy-learning

Katie Garner, M.Ed. (author of Secret Stories® Cracking the Phonics/Reading Code with the Brain in Mind!) is an internationally known keynote speaker, author and literacy consultant with twenty-five years of experience working in elementary classrooms across the US, and a passion for infusing neuroscience into literacy and learning! Her “backdoor-to-the-brain” approach to fast-tracking phonics for reading (via social-emotional channels) shifts the paradigms associated with traditional literacy skill instruction. Katie's fast-paced, dynamic presentations spotlight brain-changing strategies for aligning existing reading curriculum and phonics instruction with the latest neural research showing how our brains learn best. Her practical and proven methods for bringing neuroscience into the forefront of literacy and learning have been shared in both lecture and panel discussions at Harvard University and M.I.T., and have been the subject of numerous professional journal articles and publications.

https://www.TheSecretStories.com https://www.KatieGarner.com

Monday, June 14 Teaching Digitally and the Tools Needed with Sean Wybrant- This training is specifically for Junior high and High School educators. Sean will target 4 technology based tools to increase your awareness and understanding of technology. There will a Google Survey to assess and target needs and wants.

8-12 and 1-3 Tech Registration link


Tuesday, June 15, Supervising Para Educators-Confidentiality, Communication, and Professionalism with Brenda Mast What supervising educators and their paraeducators need to know about communication, confidentiality, and more

8-12 and 1-3 Supervisory Teachers Registration Link

Wednesday, June 16, Tier 3/FBA Creating Useful Information with Stuart Mullins. Part of your day will be in discussion and instruction of Tier 3 and FBA(functional behavior assessment), the other part will be working on a targeted FBA with students in mind.

8am -12pm and 1-3pm Tier 3 and FBA writing Registration Link

Thursday, June 17 SEL Reaching Across the Curriculums through Literature and more with Leah Juelke

Social-Emotional Learning in the K-12 Classroom SEL Reaching across the Curriculums Registration link

9am-11am Connection: The Key to Social-Emotional Learning

11am-12pm SEL Strategies for Supporting Online Learners

12pm-1pm Break

1-2pm Understanding Trauma-Informed Teaching

2- 4pm Using Stories to Create Empathy, Engagement & Empowerment

This course presents information and practical strategies for addressing social-emotional learning in the K-12 classroom. Specific topics include: fostering connections, mindfulness, digital tools, using stories to create empathy, and trauma-informed teaching. Participants will engage with each other during the course, as they try a variety of SEL-based activities.


Autism Education Project: FREE Online Autism Training For more information please contact Doug Doty at 406-459-5303 or ddoty@mt.gov.


CSPD trainings/events are free of charge and offer OPI Renewal units for all trainings.