Greetings from Montana LINCS

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Montana Information

1. Montana ABLE and Partner Meetings/Trainings:

Montana ABLE Meetings

Montana ESL Conference Resources

ELL Spring Meeting 2016 Resources

Educator’s Guide to Immigration

Montana ABLE Teacher Institute Update

June 1 & 2, Radisson Colonial Hotel, Helena

Information from Summer Institute Professional Development Team

Dear Summer Institute Attendee:

Thank you for joining us on June 1st and 2nd for the ABE Summer Institute. We are confident that you will find the content and activities informative and useable as we move forward with our new WIOA mission to transform our instruction with a focus on College and Career Readiness Standards and Career Pathways.

·       PLEASE SUBMIT IF YOU HAVE NOT DONE SO!  We also require submission of a favorite lesson that you feel results in student engagement and positive results. Please submit to Carol at No later than May 5th

·       You will need to bring a laptop or tablet loaded with the College and Career Readiness Standards. 

As we move forward into a new format for professional development across the state we will ask for continuing input, as we will strive to meet our new challenges and achieve our new goals collaboratively.

If you have questions, please contact Michele Curlee.


The Summer Institute Professional Development Team

Michele Curlee

Lacey Dobyns

James Buscher

Technology Training:  Free

Microsoft Innovator Educator

NCCE nominated Great Falls to be the site of a Microsoft Innovative Educator training on June 16, the day after MIET! By completing the FREE TRAINING, participants will receive a Microsoft Innovative Educator (MIE) Badge and a completion certificate for participation.  Attendees will also receive complimentary certification vouchers for the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) and Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE) exams enabling them to continue to advance their own professional development following this training. The MIE program was designed by teachers and teacher trainers for K-12 educators across all subjects. It increases the knowledge and integration of technology tools to enhance teaching and learning in the classroom, enabling teachers and students to get more out of the Microsoft products they love. This free training has limited enrollment and it's filling fast! Go to the MIET website (below) for a link to register for this separate event!

Visit us online
for more information!

Montana WIOA Core Partner Meeting

·        August 23, 24, and 25

This will be a very important meeting; employability skills training, national leaders’ panel discussion, and unveiling of MT WIOA policy (how the partners will collaborate to provide services) will be unveiled. 

2. Montana ABLE Student Highlight

Click here to view Billings Adult Education graduation highlights.

3. Montana EdReady:  ELA Resources

Although the ELA component of EdReady is not yet available, NROC has available resources shared with us by Ryan Schrenk of the Montana Digital Academy.

1.     Here is a link that goes into depth about the Developmental English project at NROC:

2.     Here are the hippocampus resources you can start to examine or use at any time:

(Click on English then Developmental English, and then you can peruse the resources from there)

3.     Here is a tutorial on creating a playlist that you can customize for your own trials with students at no cost:

4. Montana ESL Update:  BEST+ 2.0 Survey Deadline and CAL Store Update

Update:  5/23/16

As the launch of BEST Plus 2.0 on July 1 rapidly approaches, we want to continue to connect with you to share updates and important reminders to help make your transition to BEST Plus 2.0 as easy as possible.

Complimentary BEST Plus 2.0 USB and Test Administrator Guides
Thank you to all customers who updated their shipping information to receive the complimentary BEST Plus 2.0 USB and Test Administrator Guides. CAL will be shipping these BEST Plus 2.0 materials to arrive in mid-June.

If you did not complete the survey, please contact us at with you program’s current contact and shipping information. You will receive your complimentary copies after July 1.

BEST Plus 2.0 now available for pre-orders

- We are excited to announce that BEST Plus 2.0 materials are now available for pre-ordering on the CAL Store. Materials ordered by June 20 will arrive by June 30.

- CAL is also pleased to offer a discount on the BEST Plus 2.0 Test Administrator Guides (TAG) from May 16 – December 31, 2016 to help our customers who wish to order additional copies for their current trained test administrators.

- You will see that the new BEST Plus 2.0 TAG and USB are visually distinct from the original BEST Plus materials so that test administrators are able to differentiate.

Visit the BEST Plus 2.0 web page
Remember, the
BEST Plus 2.0 web page is your go-to resource for information about BEST Plus 2.0.

- Our revised and enhanced FAQs are a good starting place to get answers to common questions and reflect comments and suggestions that we have received from our customers.

- Find updated NRS score ranges for use with BEST Plus 2.0.

Please contact us with any questions you may have. We are here to help. We appreciate your continued support for BEST Plus and all the work you do to support adult English learners.

Daniel Lieberson
Director, Product and Service Operations
Center for Applied Linguistics

5. Montana Moving Pathways Forward Resources

Click here to access all MPF Resources.

6. Montana and National News Information

Click here to access a site that will take you to the most current information without your having to search.  New resources posted on 5/21/16.

Adult Learning and Technology

Digital Promise Newsletter

As a friend of Digital Promise’s Adult Learning Beacon Network, we’re excited to tell you about our new newsletter, the Spotlight, and invite you to sign up to get it in your inbox monthly! Through the Spotlight, we hope to create connections between technology and adult learners, and want to shine a light on:

Innovative ideas and practices around the country that include technology 

§  Research and reports that ground will help ground us in this work

§  Key events and happenings that are opportunities to learn more

Sign up for Spotlight – Digital Promise's monthly Adult Learning newsletter.

We are excited to share the inspiring stories, resources, and happenings that make up the emerging market of technology and adult learning. We believe that strengthening these connections will ultimately have a significant impact on the digital learning opportunities for adult learners.

Patti Constantakis, Director, Adult Learning Initiatives

7. WIOA Update

WIOA Montana Updates:


Measurable Skills Gain

Below is a rather long document with comments on Measureable Skill Gain (MSG);  there is a lot that will change in the coming years, and we will receive more definitive guidance on what all will be included in MSG. I do want to call your attention to the second to the last page. It appears that attainment of a job-readiness certificate was not selected as a gain type.

I thought this may be important for some of you to know as you work with your partners who may give job-readiness certificates.

Margaret Bowles

Click here for Measurable Skill Gain Excerpt


Agencies urge aligning SNAP E&T with WIOA

To better serve SNAP participants known as ABAWDs (able-bodied adults without dependents), states should connect them to quality employment and training opportunities so they can maintain food assistance while building skills. According to new guidance from the U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Labor, SNAP and workforce agencies should work together to help SNAP participants access WIOA programs. Read more on our Skills Blog.


Montana WIOA Discussion Group Update

Have you been reading items posted on the Montana WIOA Discussion List?  Monthly program reports have been posted.

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

WIOA National Update:

5/16/16:  WIOA Performance ICR: Federal Register Notice Correction

Dear State Director,

On April 26, the Departments of Labor and Education published a thirty-day notice in the Federal Register inviting public comments on the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act Common Performance Reporting Information Collection Request (81 FR 24654).  The document contained a Web site that has changed in order to review the request and incorrect burden summary information. 

The updated links to the Federal Register Notice, the ICR, and the revised supporting documentation may be accessed here and on the page:

·        Federal Register Notice

·        Supporting Statement

·        Appendix A: Comment Analysis for Joint ICR

·        Appendix C: WIOA Statewide and Local Performance Report Template and Specifications

·        Appendix D: Periods for Reporting Annually and Quarterly 

·        Appendix E: Instructions – WIOA Wage Conversion Chart 

·        Appendix F: WIOA PIRL - Participant Reporting to States 

·        Attachment 1: Eligible Training Provider Definitions

We encourage you to review and share this information with interested stakeholders.  Comments for this request may be submitted to:  OMB will consider all written comments that the agency receives on or before May 26, 2016.

Cheryl L. Keenan, Director, Adult Education and Literacy

Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education

U.S. Department of Education

2/20/16:  NRS Implementation Guidelines

NRS Implementation Guidelines

HiSET Information

HiSET® April 2016 Newsletter

The HiSET® Program Welcomes Colorado!

Colorado is the latest to join our family of states and jurisdictions that offer the HiSET® exam to out-of-school youth and adults who are pursuing their high school equivalency credential.

Check out news coverage of this exciting addition in the Denver Post and Chalkbeat Colorado and also on

Practice Tests

Additional practice tests will be released in September 2016.

As of April 8, 2016, the practice tests released in 2013, FPT1 and PPT1, are no longer available. Instructors and test takers are encouraged to use our more recent practice tests released in 2015. For details, see the Quick Reference Guide to HiSET® Preparation Materials.

Test Center Reminders

A friendly reminder to complete and submit your testing schedules by May 1: You should have received a spreadsheet to input all your information from your Test Administration Services (TAS) representative. If you have any questions, please contact your TAS representative.

HiSET Success Story — Denison, Iowa

After completing two years of basic training, Terry Hottendorf, made the decision to drop out of high school in his senior year and enroll in the Army National Guard. He served for six years and found himself working at various packing plants for the next 20 years. Determined to change his path in life, Hottendorf enrolled in the high school equivalency program at Western Iowa Community College. Read more about Hottendorf's story and how passing the HiSET exam has put him on a new and exciting path.

Does your state or jurisdiction have a HiSET success story you want to share with us and others? If so, we want to hear it. Email Sheri Mayo with details and include "HiSET Success Story" in your subject line. For more information about the HiSET program, contact us.

Phone toll-free:



Montana HSE Update: April 2016

Update:  4/11/16

The HiSET team has always committed to providing relevant practice tests in order to assess a test taker’s readiness to take the HiSET exam.  Each year, our practice tests are re-evaluated for their relevance to the latest operational HiSET battery.  Our first two practice tests released in 2013, FPT1 and PPT1, no longer provide a strong correlation to the HiSET battery to measure a tester’s readiness.  As a result, FPT1 and PPT1 will no longer be available as of April 8, 2016. 


Instructors and test takers are encouraged to consider using our more recent practice tests released in 2015.  The HiSET Practice Test Reference Guide provides more details.  We will include a message about the removal if FPT1 and PPT1 in the upcoming HiSET newsletter for the field.


We look forward to providing additional practice tests in September 2016. 

Thank you!

Amy Riker
National Executive Director, ETS High School Equivalency Test (HiSET®)

Educational Testing Service

Update:  3/20/16

HiSET Road Map for Instructors

Update:  2/20/16

HiSET Approved Materials provided by Marianne Shomaker, Montana OPI High School Equivalency Specialist

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 email !  Thanks!