Montana LINCS Update


Greetings from Montana LINCS

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Montana Information

1.   HiSET Blast

HiSET® Program eUpdate | August 2014


We are excited to welcome California as the 12th state to join the HiSET® family. We are eager to work with all test centers throughout the state to ensure that an affordable and accessible high school equivalency test is offered to the residents of California.

Scoring for Practice Tests

Make sure to visit the HiSET® Download Library to look at the updated score scales for the practice test. You can also download the Practice Test Results: Are You Ready to Take the Exam (PDF) document which has the conversions for both the free and for-purchase practice test. Please note that all score scales in the free and for-purchase practice tests have been updated to reflect these changes.

Resources for States and Educators and Test Center Staff

Remember to visit our HiSET Download Library for States and Educators and HiSET Download Library for Test Center Staff often to find updated information and new resources that will be useful for your test centers and test takers.

Test Center Reminders

Please make sure you choose the appropriate status (Checked In/Could Not Test/No Show) for test takers by 11:59 p.m. ET each day.

A few helpful examples on appropriate status:

·         If a test taker shows up with invalid ID and is turned away from testing, they should be considered a "No Show" in the system, as they did not show up prepared.

·         If a test taker is unable to test due to a facilities issue, their status should be "Could Not Test," as the situation was out of the test taker's control and would not impact their eligibility to schedule a new appointment.

Test Administration Services1-800-257-5123

For CBT Centers:

·         Please double check to make sure you are launching a live exam to a candidate's workstation and not a demo exam.

·         Demo exams cannot be scored and will result in a test taker needing to reschedule and come back to test again.

For PBT Centers:

·         If you fill out answer sheets prior to test-takers' arrival to expedite the check-in process, please ensure the form on the test book given to the test taker matches the form that was entered on the answer sheet as well as the form that is assigned in the HiSET portal. Any discrepancies in these three can cause an inaccurate score to be processed for a test taker.

·         Also remember that answer sheets should be completely filled out in pencil.

·         All test takers, even PBT test takers, must have an appointment in the system to which their answer sheets can be linked. Please make sure that you are scheduling appointments in the portal for all test takers.

For CBT and PBT Centers:

·         Reminder that only one confidentiality form per candidate per day is needed. For PBT exams, the confidentiality agreement is located on the physical answer sheet.

·         HiSET systems will be undergoing scheduled maintenance on Sunday, September 7 and Monday, September 8. There will be no scheduling activities or appointments during this time.

HiSET® Program Success

We value the opportunity to partner with states on innovative ways to deliver a more accessible high school equivalency test to their residents. The HiSET Program is pleased to be working with Tennessee on its Career Coaches program. The Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development is offering a new service, via the department's three "Career Coach" vehicles, to Tennesseans lacking a high school diploma. The mobile Career Centers have become certified testing sites for the new HiSET exam.

"Making the Career Coaches available as a testing site for the HiSET exam is a tremendous help to organizations and people in areas of the state not located near a test site," said Marva Doremus, Administrator for Adult Education at the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development. "The Career Coaches are certified testing sites, and each staff member is a certified proctor and examiner." To read more about the Career Coaches program in Tennessee, click on the link below.

HiSET Success Story — Union County, Tennessee

After deciding she wanted a career and wanted to set a good example for her children, Michelle Corum from Union County, Tennessee, took and passed the HiSET exam and is now preparing for college. Read more about Michelle's Success Story (PDF).

Save the Date — ETS HiSET Conference



December 1–4, 2014


The Venetian Las Vegas
3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109

Montana Examiners’ Meeting

Click here to access the agenda for the 2014 Examiners’ Meeting on September 29 in Helena.

Montana HiSET Resources

Recently Bozeman shared a couple of new resources that have been posted on the HiSET Resource page.

·         Montana Adult Mathematics Content Standards Checklist

·         Science Video List

Check out the shared resources on the HiSET Resource page at

Remember:  The resources below are teacher-designed resources that may be changed as teachers learn more by experience with HiSET and more vendor HiSET materials become available.

Have you created or found any resources that you are willing to share?  Please email them to MTLINCS.

HiSET Success:  Montana

Do you have a HiSET success story you want to share with us and others? If so, we want to hear it. Email Margaret Bowles with details. Include "HiSET Success Story" in your subject line.

2.   Montana ABLE Fall Conference and Career Pathways Initiative 2014:  More Postings Coming Soon!

Coming soon:  More Postings from Conference 2014!

Click here on Montana ABLE Conference 2014 Resources to find the following resources:



Data:  Desk Audit

Data Presentation Information (Bentham, Missoula)

Monthly ABLE Report (Flynn, OPI)


EdReady How to Get Started

EdReady Goal Assessment Setup Worksheet (Missoula)


Fractions and Decimals (Daviau)


Here are some Reading Resources to tide you over until more resources are sent to MTLINCS.



In the meantime, many people were asking for activities for teaching vocabulary.  Have you checked out the Reading Resources on MTLINCS at  Even though one of the resources states GED Science Terms and GED Social Studies Terms, maybe the lists are starting points for teachers to create new lists for the HiSET test.

Decoding and Fluency

You may also want to take a look at Posting #  below.  LINCS Region 4 is offering online training in these areas.


A new resource is available for supporting students to read complex texts:  The Reading Apprenticeship at WestEd at .

3.   Montana EdReady Webinar

ABE Directors,

I know you are all eager to get started with EdReady. Bob Currie and his staff have moved quickly to make this a reality for you. Please read the attached How to Get Started with EdReady Montana and Sign up your ABLE Center. Make sure your EdReady primary contact/enrollment person registers for the October 2nd Webinar at 3:00 P.M.   

(Check out the information on the ABLE Conference 2014 Resources site.)

Please contact me if you have any questions.

Margaret Bowles

4.   Montana Instruction Ideas

Check out the Postings 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, and 10 below for ideas about instruction. 

5.   Montana PEP Talk Updated

Click here to access the new version of PEP Talk.

6.   WIOA Update:  Montana ABLE Programs – Stay informed!

WIOA Montana Updates:

Click here  to access Montana WIOA:  Chunking Pertinent Information for Montana.

WIOA National Updates:

Click here  

U.S. Department of Education WIOA Reauthorization site

Transcripts of Videos

·        9/8/14 Video:  Session IV:  Title I - Performance Accountability System

o   Transcript:

·        9/2/14 Video:  Session III:  Title I - State Workforce Boards and Unified Plans

o   Transcript:

·        8/20/14Video:  Session II:  Overview of the Adult Education and Family Literacy Act (WIOA)

o   Transcript:

·        8/7/14Video:  Session I:  Overview of Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)

o   Transcript:

National Information

7. College and Career Readiness:  Snackable Content

Taken from LINCS College and Career Standards

I've heard from some teachers who have made their in-class content available online -- through a blog or class website -- that students are more willing and able to read content or watch short videos on their smart phones while they are on a work break or on the bus, than they would be to take out a book or other paper based materials.  

One thing to note in these examples is that the online content might work best if it is broken down into small chunks so students can interact with individual pieces even if they only have 5 minutes at a time.  This has sometimes been called snackable content.  

Mashable did an article on this called Are You Hungry for 'Snackable Content?'  Click here to access the article:  

The key is not to dumb down the content but to break it into short meaningful pieces.

Nell Eckersley

8. College Readiness:  College Readiness Data Tool Catalog

Taken from LINCS College and Career Standards

See the link below for the College Readiness Data Catalog Tool  which is a flexible-use Excel workbook that provides a shell for organizing and tracking student data relevant for measuring college readiness. This data catalog tool was created by the REL Northeast and Islands as well as the accompanying user guide. It may help states, districts, and other entities create similar data catalogs to inventory their data systems, assess the availability of college readiness indicators, and identify gaps that may present challenges for indicator systems. The user guide also includes a template for a data catalog summary report and a sample summary report.

 9. College:  White House Fact Sheet

Taken from LINCS Career Pathways

The August 13, 2014 White House FACT SHEET on Improving College Opportunity is available at contains an announcement that "the President and First Lady will host its next Summit on College Opportunity on December 4, 2014. The goal of this conference will build on the work  from the first College Opportunity Summit last January, while launching initiatives in new areas.  This year’s summit will focus on building sustainable collaborations in communities with strong K-12 and higher education partnerships to encourage college going, and supporting colleges to work together to dramatically improve persistence and increase college completion, especially for first generation, low-income, and underrepresented students."  Several new private and public sector commitments to expand college opportunity are also announced.

Donna Brian

10.  ESL:  New Brookings Institution Study on LEP Workforce in Metropolitan Areas

  Taken from LINCS Adult English Language Learners

You may be interested in this new study: Investing in English Skills: The Limited English Proficient Workforce in U.S. Metropolitan Areas

David J. Rosen

11. Reading: Study Circles on Teaching Adults to Read

Taken from LINCS Reading and Writing 

LINCS RPDC 4 announces the 2014-2015 start of the research-based, facilitated online Study Circle Series for Teaching Adults to Read!

Purpose: This study circle will focus in-depth on moving from knowledge about reading component research for adults to active skill building in using those approaches in personal instructional practice, using a Participatory Action Research approach. The program aligns with the objective in WIOA Legislation for implementation of researched-based “essential components of reading instruction.”

Participants:  ABE and ELL instructors will form a cohort community to explore reading research and evidence-based best practices, discuss implementation strategies and lesson plans, and share experiences in using their lessons with different student groups. Both teachers who are new to the reading components and those who have taken TAR online or face-to-face courses are welcome to participate. This is a great professional growth opportunity for full- and part-time teachers and tutors.

Process overview: The interactive study circle integrates National Academy of Sciences research with a review of the TAR Study Circle series content. The program consists of 1 Introduction Session and 4 sessions that make up each Component Series, with implementation tasks to be completed between sessions. For the Fluency Series, sessions will be on Wednesdays: October 1 (Introduction Session), and October 8, 15, 22, 29 (Fluency Sessions). All sessions will take place in the same time slot. That is (by time zone) 2:15-4:15 PM Eastern, 1:15-3:15 PM Central, 12:15-2:15 PM Mountain, and 11:15 AM-1:15 PM Pacific. Registration deadline: by 5 pm on Monday, September 29!

The Introduction Session provides an overview of research on reading components broadly, and outlines the goals, study circle framework, activities, resources and expectations for the Series. It is comprised of 2 hours of online contact time plus 2 hours of pre-work and follow-up total. This single Introduction Session is a pre-requisite for subsequent Component Series – i.e. participants may enroll in any Component Series (Fluency, Alphabetics, Vocabulary, and Comprehension) after they have at least once participated in an Introduction Session. Each Component Series provides component-specific research and best practices content and is comprised of 8 hours of online contact time plus approximately 7 hours of homework. As the sessions build on each other, commitment to completion of all sessions in a series is essential.

The program emphasizes a comprehensive and ultimately integrated approach to teaching reading – completion of all 4 Component Series is strongly encouraged. Certificates of Completion are available to participants have completed all 4 sessions in a Component Series plus the Introduction Session, and their professional portfolios. For on-going implementation support instructors are encouraged to join LINCS Community of Practice. This is great preparation for individuals who will become reading resource people for their colleagues!

The study circle will be led by educational consultant and Subject Matter Expert Shash Woods, who has 17 years of experience teaching Adult Education, as well as 15 years leading teacher training in content standards and andragogical practices. The facilitator will be Kristin Ockert, LINCS staff, with 12 years of experience in teaching Adult Education, as well as 15 years in creating and supporting professional development programs for ABE instructors and staff.

E-Platform: Blackboard Collaborate with up-to-date Java software.  Compatible Browsers: Safari 6.0 and above, Firefox 23 and above; Internet Explorer 9 and above; Chrome. Collaborate test site for computer set-up:

For registration or questions, please contact: Paul Heavenridge, Executive Director of LINCS Region 4 Regional Professional Development Center. EMAIL:

P.S.  Remember -- if you are having trouble with the links in this email, go to the Email Archives at the top of the MTLINCS homepage at .  Also if you no longer wish to receive this mailing, please let me know!  Thanks!

Norene Peterson
Adult Education Center
415 N. 30th
Billings, MT 59101