Presenters - Bios, Sessions & Materials

Conference Keynotes

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Dr. Kyle Peck

Dr. Kyle Peck is a leader in innovations in using technology and data in new and creative ways that puts students, teachers, and school leaders back into the center of reform agendas. Dr. Peck is Professor in the Learning, Design and Technology program at the Pennsylvania State University and Co-Director of the Center for Online Learning. He studies and applies innovations in education with current interests in MOOCs, digital badges, and DIY STEM. Dr. Peck recently served as the Principal Investigator of the NASA Aerospace Education Services Project (2009 – 2013), Director of the Regional Education Laboratory – Mid Atlantic (Institute for Education Sciences), and Co-Director of the Pennsylvania’s Classrooms for the Future Evaluation Project (2006 – 2011).
Profile: https://ed.psu.edu/directory/p16
Personal Page: http://www.personal.psu.edu/p16/Kyle_Peck/Home.html
Clips on Systemic Change:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqpYJgN-RCQ

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Jaime Casap, Education Evangelist 

Jaime Casap is the Education Evangelist at Google. Jaime evangelizes the power and potential of technology and the web as enabling and supporting tools in pursuit of promoting inquiry-driven project-based learning models. Working with the Google for Education Team, Jaime collaborates with school systems, educational organizations, and leaders focused on building innovation and iteration into our education policies and practices. He speaks on education, technology, innovation, and generation z, at events around the world.

In addition to his role at Google, Jaime serves on a number of boards for organizations focused on education, innovation, and equity.  He is on the Board of Inquiry Schools, Seed Spot NEXT, and Mi Familia Vota.  He is part of the Phoenix Union School District Team, who created the Phoenix Coding Academy, an inquiry-based high school designed with computer science as the core language for all students.  Jaime is also an adjunct professor at Arizona State University, where he teaches classes on policy, innovation, and leadership. 
You can follow and reach him on Twitter at @jcasap.

Breakout Sessions (In order of Agenda)

Tuesday Sessions

10:45 - 11:45 am 

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Universal Screener: What it is and why do we need one?
Jenna Briggs,  Elise Guest, Carol Ewen, Jodi Hall, Robyn Nuttall
Missoula Public Schools

The Teaching and Learning department at Missoula County Public Schools is comprised of Dr. Elise Guest, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, and three instructional coaches.  Carol Ewen, RTI Specialist for MCPS, frequently collaborates with Teaching and Learning and lends her expertise to this session. We value research proven strategies implemented within an innovative system to prepare students to be college and career ready. We strive to empower collaborative, reflective teams of educators and innovators to elevate teaching and learning.

Missoula County Public Schools is striving to build a strong, effective balanced assessment system that informs our teaching and learning improvement practices. Identifying a Universal Screener and increasing staff awareness about how and why we use the data is part of that process. Participants will leave understanding how we collected data that informed the need for a K-12 Universal Screener.

They will also leave with an understanding of what a Universal Screener is and why it is an essential component of a balanced assessment system. We will also describe how we designed a system and timeline to support implementation.

Related Materials or Articles: (click on titles below)
MCPS Universal Screener Presentation - PDF

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Montana’s Formative Science Repository
Ashley McGrath, NAEP State Coordinator,
Office of Public Instruction

Ashley has been the NAEP State Coordinator for the past five years and has coordinated three state biennial NAEP assessments in her tenure.  As a former secondary science educator, she has a strong passion for science education. She has been deeply involved with Montana’s NGSS-aligned science standards since the OPI’s “Critical Look at NGSS – Gap Analysis”.

In the summer of 2017, a group of science educators initiated work towards building a robust repository of formative resources and strategies. These educators developed meaningful and actionable resources to share with fellow science educators. This session will share resources and key ideas that help address science learning and instructional needs.

Related Materials or Articles: (click on titles below)
Montana’s Formative Science Repository Presentation - PDF

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You Can’t Fix It If You Don’t Know Its Broken
Heather Denny, Office of Public Instruction

Heather Denny is the State Coordinator for Homeless Education and the Title I Family and Community Engagement Coordinator for the Montana Office of Public Instruction.  She has a B.A. in History and a secondary education certification from the University of Texas at El Paso, a M.Ed. in School Counseling from Montana State University-Bozeman, and is a certified teacher and school counselor who has worked as a teacher and a district homeless liaison in schools in Texas, Florida, and Montana. She is a strong advocate for the inclusion of culturally responsive services in all aspects of her work and recognizes the importance of raising children within a community that supports the development of the whole child.

Over the last five years Montana has seen the number of identified homeless students double. In some cases, communities have gone from no students to several hundred students identified. As districts have shared this data it has spurred communities to act. This session will share examples from across the state, and help participants to identify the types of data they can share in a way that is meaningful to stakeholders. We will also briefly discuss the Every Student Succeeds Act ESSA requirements for identifying and serving homeless students and explain how this data is collected within the Achievement In Montana AIM student information system, and how it is shared in Montana student longitudinal data system GEMS.

12:00 – 12:45 pm

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Integrated Community Data Systems: Privacy Concerns When Linking Data 
Baron Rodriquez, AEM Corporation

Baron Rodriguez directs both the Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) and the State Longitudinal Data Systems (SLDS) Education Technical Assistance Program (EDTAP) with 20 years of  information technology, privacy, security, education, government, and management experience. He provides expert technical assistance and resources to states, districts, and postsecondary institutions through site visits, webinars, regional meetings, and on-line publications. His most recent leadership positions include Chief Information Officer (Oregon Department of Education) and Director/Chief Operations Officer at the Data Quality Campaign.  Baron provides in-depth knowledge of longitudinal data systems, data security, education privacy laws such as FERPA, grant processes, and technical assistance expertise in use and application of education data.

Educational agencies, institutions, and policymakers are increasingly using data to inform program and policy decisions. In many cases, data from more than one government agency is used in research and evaluations to more holistically inform these decisions. This has led to the development of integrated data systems (IDSs) that link administrative data from multiple government agencies. This session will describe U.S. ED's guidance on methodologies and considerations as it relates to Integrated Data Systems and highlight some of the work being done around the country where local school districts are participating in an Integrated Data System along with other local agencies that administer services such as child welfare, mental health, juvenile probation and homeless and housing supports.

Related Materials or Articles: (click on titles below)
Integrated Community Data Systems Privacy Concerns Presentation - PDF

1:00 – 2:00 pm

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Mining GEMS to Advance Teaching, Research, and Outreach in the Treasure State
Dr. Sarah Schmitt-Wilson, Dr. Art Bangert, Dr. Fenqjen Luo, Dr. Carrie B. Myers, Dr. Tricia Seifert, Dr. Tena Versland, Montana State University
This session will explore how Montana State University is planning to incorporate GEMS data throughout the education program focusing on teaching, research, and outreach. Plans for implementation and lessons learned from the process will be discussed.

Related Materials or Articles: (click on titles below)
Mining GEMS to Advance Teaching, Research, and Outreach in the Treasure State Presentation - PDF

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Montana Early Warning System
Eric Meredith, Office of Public Instruction
Eric is a Montana native that graduated from the University of Montana –Western with a bachelor’s degrees in Secondary Education with a major in mathematics and minor in Health Education.  After teaching high school math and coaching for 3 years he went to Montana State University and earned a master’s degree in Statistics.  For the past 7 years, he has been at the Montana Office of Public Instruction as a Research Data Analyst.

The Montana Early Warning System is used to identify students that are at-risk for dropping out. The EWS can also be used for much more than that. The Montana EWS uses school, student, and other live data to identify students that are at risk for dropping out. Identification of these students allows educators a chance to intervene well ahead of the time the student may drop out. This presentation will include details on what your school needs to do in order to participate in the EWS and a demonstration on the reports and information available through the EWS.

Related Materials or Articles: (click on titles below)
Montana Early Warning System Presentation - PDF
School Report Example - Handout
Student Level Report Example - Handout

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Interactive Data Dissemination and Learning for the Technology Based School
Rob Hoffman, Office of Public Instruction & Phillip Nel, Remote Medicine Program
Rob Hoffman is currently the Computer Systems Analyst for the Montana Office of Public Instruction IT Systems Development Bureau. He also has a B.A. Criminal Justice Forensics and M.E.d. in Educational Leadership and is Associate Professor in Tactical Medicine (TACMED) for the Royal College of Surgeons - Edinburgh, UK, Distance Learning DIPROM Program.  Other accomplishments include: President of Valor Infinity Studios, LLC.  Co-Creator of Valor Infinity: The Role-Playing Game, Co-Creator of Escape Da Box card game, Creator of Valor Infinity: The Evander Chronicles Web Series (Film), published author and featured at the Berlin and Beijing Book Fairs. Featured Guest of Honor and attending Pro at several gaming and comic cons. 
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Phillip Nel has a 20 year background in remote and austere environment medicine, mostly in a military orhumanitarian role. In Montana he also teaches and practices emergency medicine and disaster relief with state agencies and volunteer organizations as well as going abroad for work in these roles. He is currently Director/Owner/Consultant at InDuna International, LLC. and as Co-Director and Faculty for the Post-graduate Programme in Remote and Offshore Medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, Scotland.

This session will include an overview of utilizing role-playing, gaming, and new technology in today's education to disseminate data and encourage interactive learning for new generations of technology based students.

Related Materials or Articles: (click on titles below)
Interactive Data Dissemination and Learning for the Technology Presentation - PDF

2:15 – 3:15 pm

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Data Use Practices in Montana’s Schools: Here’s What We Know
Dr. Tena Versland, Dr. Sarah Schmitt-Wilson, Dr. Art Bangert, Dr. Fenqjen Luo, Dr. Carrie B. Myers, Dr. Tricia Seifert, Montana State University

This session will explore how Montana State University is planning to incorporate GEMS data throughout the education program focusing on teaching, research, and outreach. Plans for implementation and lessons learned from the process will be discussed.

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Dropout and Graduation Report 2015-2016 School Year
Andy Boehm, Office of Public Instruction

Andy has been with OPI since June 2002. As a Research Specialist for OPI he is a “de facto” member of the AIM team answering AIM Help Desk phone calls and making phone calls to make sure that the AIM data is the best that it can be. His emphasis is in dropout and graduation quality control, collection and reporting. He also is involved in the collection of enrollment data and puts out the yearly Facts About Montana Education pamphlets.

This Session will include Dropout, Graduation and Cohort Graduation numbers, rates, and trends for the 2016-16 school year for public schools in Montana.

Related Materials or Articles: (click on titles below)
Dropout and Graduation Report 2015-2016 Presentation - PDF

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K20 Research Analysis: Using SLDS Data to Better Understand College Readiness in Montana
Daniel Bruce, Office of Public Instruction

Better decisions require better information. This principle lies at the heart of the Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, SLDS Program. This presentation will provide an overview of Montana's SLDS and highlight how data are being used by OPI to better understand the relationship between K-12 experiences and college/career outcomes. In addition, participants will learn how to access a suite of dynamic reporting tools designed to aid schools in improving college and career readiness - including FAFSA Completion Reports, College Readiness Reports with Predictive Outputs, and Analysis of Career and Technical Education, CTE Concentrators.

3:30 – 4:30 pm

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GEMS Feedback Survey: Thoughts from the Field
Miriam Resendez, JEM&R Research and Evaluation Services &  Dr. Robin Clausen, MDUC Stakeholder Liaison and Analyst

Miriam Resendez, President of JEM & R, has served as a (co)principal investigator or senior researcher on numerous large-scale, complex evaluation studies involving diverse target populations and multiple agencies and stakeholders.  Miriam has 20 years of experience in evaluation research and possesses extensive experience doing research within multiple sectors, including non-profit, for-profit, and government (at all levels from school districts to state agencies), and in multiple areas with specialization in education, mental health and social services. As a bicultural and bilingual (Spanish) researcher, she is keenly aware of the unique issues affecting diverse communities.

Related Materials or Articles: (click on titles below)
Gems Feedback Survey Presentation - PDF

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Robin is currently a stakeholder liaison / analyst that works on an IES grant focused on data use in Montana's educational system. He was a Project Manager for a research laboratory that specialized in data collection: surveys, focus groups, and interviews. As well as a Co-Director of a six-year evaluation of federal and state funded educational technology initiatives that involved thousands of students and teachers annually. Robin also led the drafting of twelve evaluation reports on innovative educational reforms submitted to state and federal agencies

GEMS is Montana’s web-based centralized public education data system providing access to numerous OPI-supported data and research tools. One main purpose of this system is to facilitate data-driven decision making by providing educators and other stakeholders with access to important education-related data. Recently, OPI was awarded “Creating a Montana Data Use Culture” MDUC Grant from the US Dept. of Education, to evaluate in part GEMS’ new features FAFSA, Completion Reports and Early Warning System and usability. This session will highlight how a continuous improvement process is being used to guide the evaluation of GEMS, and share findings from the GEMS Feedback Survey. We will conclude with a discussion on the utility of the evaluation findings, including how the findings will be used to help OPI make improvements to its product and resource infrastructure.

Related Materials or Articles: (click on titles below)
Gems Feedback Survey Presentation - PDF

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Infinite Campus Investigating Ad Hoc Series
Greg Guswiler, Training Specialist

Greg is an engaging, learner focused, training professional with over 10 years of experience training adults and students. His ability to infuse humor and authentic examples into his training sessions capture the learners attention from the beginning. He has worked in K-12 and professional learning environments.

Data analysis feature allows users to analyze student data, measure student progress and create more thorough charts and graphs. Participants of this session should be proficient in basic ad hoc with the ability to create query wizard and selection editor filters before attending this session

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Montana eTranscript Initiative for Public High Schools
Porter Searcy, Parchment

Porter Searcy manages six statewide rollouts of Parchment's digital credentials platform, working closely with the company's sales, account management, and implementation teams. He holds a Bachelor's in Business Administration from the University of Georgia, an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management, and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

Parchment, together with The Office of Public Instruction, OPI are enabling Montana public high school students and recent graduates to gain peace of mind as they help their students securely share key academic achievements electronically, eTranscripts letters of recommendation, etc. with colleges and universities, trade schools, and employers. In addition to this being offered at no cost to Montana districts and schools, OPI and Parchment are offering this eTranscript service free of charge to all current high school students and recent graduates that are or were enrolled in a public school within Montana.

Related Materials or Articles: (click on titles below)
Receiving Digital Credentials - Handout
Send Transcripts & Records Digitally - Handout

Wednesday Sessions

 10:45 - 11:45 am

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Using MCIS Can Help Teachers Deliver Better Outcomes
Annette Miller, Montana Department of Labor and Industry

Annette Miller is the Bureau Chief of the Research & Analysis Bureau at the Montana Department of Labor & Industry. The bureau provides labor market and career information that is used my a variety of people including policy makers, school administrators, job-seekers, career planners, and researchers.She has worked with the Department for 24 years. She has a bachelor of science degree in Mathematics from the University of Central Oklahoma.

MCIS administrative tools provide educators with valuable information to help students create individual education plans during high school and into post-secondary and workforce pursuits. This session explains the data that can be used from the system and how it can help them better prepare their students for the world beyond high school.

Related Materials or Articles: (click on titles below)
Using MCIS Can Help Teachers Deliver Better Outcomes Presentation

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Montana Preschool Development Grant
Silvana Hackett, Research & Data Anaalyst, Office of Public Instruction

This session will provide an overview of the Montana Preschool Development Grant, MPDG. The presentation will explore data collection and use for the four annual assessments for this grant. Discussion will include information on data limitations and appropriate use of preschool assessment data as well as the long-term vision for the preschool data collection. MPDG staff will discuss how the data collected through this grant is used by teachers and program sites to improve instruction and program development.

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Moving the Needle – Extended Conversation 
Dr. Kyle L. Peck & Dr. Robin Clausen

Drs. Peck and Clausen will extend the discussion about how data can move the needle towards meeting educational goals; from improving our understanding of student achievement, to better understand how our schools as a system work - e.g. student characteristics, school finance, and student engagement. This will be a hands on session in which we directly showcase the value of GEMS and how researchers and practitioners alike may benefit from this uniquely Montanan resource.

12:00 - 12:45 pm 

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Data Governance –Implementing Data Governance as a Foundation for Data Use (PTAC) 
Kathy Gosa, AEM Corporation 

Kathy Gosa is a member of the State Support Team, providing technical assistance to states across the nation for the federal State Longitudinal Data System (SLDS) program. A nationally recognized expert in education data systems, Kathy directed information technology efforts for over 20 years in the private sector, and 10 years at the Kansas State Department of Education (KSDE), when she led the implementation of KSDE’s SLDS and data governance program.

With the growing interest in data use by practitioners and researchers, effective processes and structure for decision making and management of data are increasingly important. Data quality and timeliness– two major aspects of data governance – have a significant impact on the value and usefulness of information available to educators. Researchers’ ability to access and understand data to answer important questions is affected by data management and accessibility processes and policies implemented through data governance. This session will include an overview of the data governance landscape with a focus on best practices, tools, and examples for implementing effective structure and processes to support data use through data quality, accessibility, and increased efficiency for data management.

Related Materials or Articles: (click on titles below)
Implementing Data Governance as a Foundation for Data Use Presentation - PDF

1:00 - 2:00 pm

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Filling Employer Demand for Workers
Barbara Wagner, Montana Department of Labor & Industry

Barbara Wagner is the Chief Economist with the Montana Department of Labor and Industry, providing research on the Montana economy and diverse topics such as gender pay, paid leave, wage growth, and business survival rates. Barbara has won both national and regional awards on her research and labor market publications. A Montana native, she holds a BA with honors from the College of Saint Benedict/ St. John’s University in Minnesota, and an MS in Applied Economics from the University of Minnesota.

One goal of a successful education is for students to get a good-paying job in Montana after graduation. The Montana Department of Labor & Industry recently undertook a project to match the supply of students graduating from colleges in Montana to the demand for workers from Montana employers to identify mis-matches. The analysis also provides the employment rates and wages earned of graduates one and five-years after graduation. The resulting information is helpful to students, parents, and teachers looking to help direct students into in-demand careers, and for educational policy makers.

Related Materials or Articles: (click on titles below)
Statewide College Report Presentation - PDF
A Report on the Labor Market Outcomes of Montana Colleges - Link

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Carroll College and Montana No Kid Hungry Partnership
Lizzy Younce & Terry Cox, Carroll College

Lizzy is a fifth year senior who will graduate in May 2018 in Mathematics with Foreign Language for Business Applications. Her  activities include studying abroad in Nicaragua during Fall 2015, and serving as Fundraising Chair of Engineers Without Borders of Carroll (2016-2017) as well as a Peer Minister in the residence halls for 2016-2017. She will be serving as Director of Communications of ASCC, Carroll College student government, in the coming school year. In Fall 2016, herself and fellow presenters Terry Cox & Nathan Boone won first prize in the presentation category of the Montana Mathematical Modeling Competition for their work with the Economics of Marijuana Legalization in Montana.

Montana No Kid Hungry, MNKH is a statewide non-profit organization whose mission is to end childhood hunger in Montana. Using data provided by the Office of Public Instruction, OPI we partnered with MNKH to create analysis tools and analyze participation trends in the Alternative Breakfast Program that has been recently implemented in schools across Montana. Our analysis revealed that, on the majority, student participation in breakfast increased when schools implemented the Alternative Breakfast model. We also found a statistically significant increase in participation in schools which received grants versus schools that did not receive grants. This research was part of a class offered through the Carroll College Department of Mathematics.

Related Materials or Articles: (click on titles below)
Carroll College and Montana No Kid Hungry Partnership Presentation - PDF

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Data Driven Dialogue: Are All Our Students Learning
Jenna Briggs, Dr. Elise Guest, Carol Ewen, Jodi Hall, Robyn Nuttall, Missoula Public Schools

The Teaching and Learning department at Missoula County Public Schools is comprised of Dr. Elise Guest, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning, and three instructional coaches.  We value research proven strategies implemented within an innovative system to prepare students to be college and career ready We strive to empower collaborative, reflective teams of educators and innovators to elevate teaching and learning to increase student achievement.

Data Driven Dialogue is founded on the philosophy that all participating schools constantly focus on answering one essential question: Are all of our students learning? By following a protocol that has specific steps, educators are able to focus on school improvement, develop strong instructional practices, and build skills in using evidence-based practices and data. The result creates a powerful commitment to driving academic excellence. Participants will leave understanding why a data dialogue can aid in school improvement and the keys to an effective data dialogue.

Related Materials or Articles: (click on titles below)
MCPS - Data Driven Dialog Presentation - PDF

2:15 - 3:15 pm

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Infinite Campus Data Validation and Certification
Greg Guswiler, Infinite Campus

Greg is an engaging, learner focused, training professional with over 10 years of experience training adults and students. His ability to infuse humor and authentic examples into his training sessions capture the learners attention from the beginning. He has worked in K-12 and professional learning environments.

This course will introduce participants on how to use the Data Validation tool within Infinite Campus. Participants will learn how to run validations created by the OPI to verify and clean data reported to the state, and how to create district specific validations to ensure the highest possible quality of district data. Participants will also learn how Data Certification tools allow their district to verify, validate, and certify data the OPI has collected from Infinite Campus; providing confidence in state collections.

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Data Driven School Counseling from Training to Practice: A Panel Discussion
Dr. Lindsey Nichols, University of Montana, Megan LaPalm, Facilitator and Panelist Lee Stark, Elementary Panelist, Alli Bristow, Middle School Panelist, Brittany Wilson-Thompson, High School Panelist

Dr. Lindsey Nichols is an Assistant Professor of Counselor Education at the University of Montana – Missoula. She is a licensed school counselor and Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor in Montana. For 17 years she has worked across K-12 and higher education from student teacher to career counselor. She serves on the Tamarack Grief Resource Center board and is involved in cross-disciplinary school and community projects. In addition to specific interest in school counseling preparation, practice, and research, she also focuses her time on exploring diverse cultural approaches to health and wellness.

Data is at the core of what drives the development of comprehensive school counseling programs. This panel presentation offers insight into school counseling best practices focused on the collection and analysis of data to drive intervention implementation. The panel includes Montana school counselors and counselor educators who will describe how data use looks in their specific setting. The goal of this panel is to provide awareness and discussion regarding the role of school counselors, how data influences their roles and responsibilities, and ways to maximize their effectiveness in schools with diverse needs.

Related Materials or Articles: (click on titles below)
Data Driven School Counseling from Training to Practice: A Panel Discussion Presentation

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Utilizing National Higher Education Survey Data at the Local Level to Understand and Improve Students’ Information Literacy Skills
Kate Zoellner & Megan Stark, University of Montana

Kate is currently an Education and Human Sciences Librarian, Economics Liaison an Assessment Coordinator for the University of Montana.

Megan Stark is an associate professor in the Mansfield Library. As the Undergraduate Services and Outreach Librarian she coordinates the library’s undergraduate information literacy curriculum as well as designs the library’s services, programs and outreach for students. She teaches library research, often integrated into targeted first-year courses, and serves as the liaison for many campus units and departments. Her research focuses on the interplay between sustainability, community information and information literacy within academic libraries.

In an era of superabundant information, big data, and alternative facts information literacy skills are an essential learning outcome for students, especially as their role as authors and creators continues to develop. This session will cover how academic librarians are using data from two national higher education surveys, the National Survey of Student Engagement Experiences with Information Literacy Topical Module and the Project Innovation Cultivation survey, to identify and foster local campus conversations about students’ self-reported research behaviors, experiences, and perceptions. This session will also explore how to effectively use the data in Montana to improve instructional practices across the K-20 experience, including identifying key partnerships with university writing instructors, teacher librarians, and other K-12 educators.

3:30 - 4:30 pm

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Education Northwest - Innovations in Educational Research 
Sarah Frazelle & Dr. Aurora Moore

 Sarah is the Montana State Coordinator for both REL Northwest and the Northwest Comprehensive Center, working closely with a variety of education stakeholders and facilitating collaboration across departments within state and local education agencies. As the lead of the REL's Montana Data Use Alliance, she provides technical assistance on data quality and early warning systems (EWS) for dropout prevention. In addition to writing about EWS practices and designing modules to help districts implement these systems, she has created evaluation tools to examine key implementation levers. Prior to joining Education Northwest, Sarah served as the assistant director of the Kansas City Area Education Research Consortium. She holds a master’s degree in economics from the University of Kansas.

Aurora has more than 15 years of experience working at the intersection of research, policy, and practice in K–12 education. She provides technical assistance that helps states, districts, and schools use data and evidence, improve schools and systems, and effectively implement policy initiatives. Her doctoral work at Stanford University focused on the challenges and possibilities of sustaining reform over time, as well as the role of professional learning communities and evidence use in driving equitable practices. Before joining Education Northwest, she served as a data coach with the San Francisco Unified School District, evaluated school and district reform initiatives, and consulted on organizational learning, systems change, and research-practitioner partnerships. Aurora has taught at the graduate and middle school levels and is passionate about putting learning for students and adults at the center of educational change.

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Career and Technical Education as a Pathway
Daniel Bruce, K20 Research Analyst & Brett Carter, Office of Public Instruction

Brett Carter is the Project Manager for the Montana Data Use Culture (MDUC) project at the Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI). He has been with OPI since June, 2013. He has a comprehensive background in research design, data management and statistical analysis.

Daniel Bruce is the K20 Research Analyst at the Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI). He has been with OPI since May 2016. He works to build data connections between Montana's K-12 public education system and the university system and to answer research questions about college and career readiness. Daniel has a background in economics, data analysis, and public policy and previously worked as a data specialist with the Carter Center to collect and analyze data for international election monitoring projects.

Career and Technical Education as a Pathway Did you know that half of all Montana high school students complete a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program? This session aims to explore the postsecondary outcomes for those CTE students. We will examine the demographic and academic profile of students who participate in CTE programs and how it contrasts from students who do not participate in CTE programs. The session will also look at college choices/outcomes among CTE concentrators and to what extent studying a particular CTE concentration in high school, such as Health Science, Business, or Agriculture, influences students' major choice in college.

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How Does Financial Education Affect Post-Secondary Education Financing Decisions? 
Dr. Carly Urban, Montana State University Economics 

Carly is currently Associate Professor of Economics at Montana State University.  Her fields of Research include: Public Economics, Political Economy and Applied Microeconomics.

This session includes research that seeks to understand how coursework covering topics in personal finance affect Montana students' financial aid packages in college. First, we pair high school transcript data on courses students took with information we collect directly from schools on whether or not personal finance courses are offered at the specific school. Second, we determine which types of students choose these electives using the transcript data. Do they have higher GPAs? Are they more likely to be male students? Do most students take this class in their senior year? Third, we determine what types of school districts are most likely to offer the course (compared to those that do not offer the course), and what types of school districts are most likely to have high take up of the elective, compared to those with lower fractions of students taking the course. Finally, we estimate the effect of taking the course on postsecondary education financing for students that remain in Montana for college. We specifically determine how financial education changes scholarships, grants, work study, and student loans.

Related Materials or Articles: (click on titles below)
How Does Financial Education Affect Post-Secondary Education Financing Decisions Presentation - PDF