Dear Partners in Education,

The OPI received formal feedback from the Department of Education on the Montana State ESSA Plan on December 13.  The feedback was shared with staff and our partners in education and posted on the OPI website. On December 20, 2017 the OPI met with staff from the Governor’s Office and discussed the feedback and clarifications being made. The OPI submitted a revised plan to the DOE on December 21, 2017. The plan was required to be resubmitted by December 28, 2017 or the OPI would have had to file for an extension which would negate the Department of Education’s responsibility to approve the plan within 120 days. On December 28, 2017 the DOE sent an email with six bullet points asking for further clarification on the plan that was resubmitted and asked that the plan be submitted again by January 3, 201. The plan has been resubmitted and an updated version will be available on the OPI website ESSA page as soon as the formatting and accessibility are complete.

As previously noted, the letter from the DOE asked for details, clarifications, and consistency in terminology. OPI staff has worked together to provide the requested clarifications and add further detail to strengthen the Montana plan. The plan will continue to evolve and the OPI will include our partners in education in this ongoing effort to expand the fifth indicator and ensure the plan is current, relevant, and puts Montana students first.